Women of Valor: Partisans and Resistance Fighters
Anna Heilman - Footnotes
2. Prisoners stayed in the quarantine camp for a few weeks, where they were physically and psychologically "broken-in" to the inhuman routine and torture of the camp. (Auschwitz 1940- 1945, Guidebook Through the Museum, p.45-6).
6. Explosives were brought from the Union factory by several women, including Esther Wajcblum, Alla Gaertner, and Regina Saphirstein and given to Roza Robota, who worked sorting clothing and luggage in Birkenau BIIg, adjacent to crematorium IV.
7. Roza Robota. According to Israel Gutman, a woman named Hadassah transferred the explosives to him or to a fellow prisoner in the Sonderkommando. (Gutman, Israel. Men and Ashes, the Story of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Israel: Sifriyat Poalim, 1957). A footnote to the diary of Salmen Lewental says that it was Roza Robota who transferred the gunpowder to a Jewish prisoner named Wrobel. (Amidst a Nightmare of Crime, p.155).
8. Esther Wajcblum, along with other girls from the Union factory, was interrogated in Block 11, the punishment barrack of the men's camp. "The upper windows were sealed off and the basement windows barred." Most survivors of interrogation in Block 11 were shot at the "Black Wall". (Feig, Konnilyn, Hitler's Death Camps, The Sanity of Madness, NY: Holmes & Meier, 1979, p.347).
13. Salmen Lewental, a worker in the Sonderkommando wrote in his diary, which was hidden in Auschwitz and unearthed after the war, "We believed that the Germans would want at all costs to obliterate all traces of their crimes ... by killing our entire Kommando ..." Amidst a Nightmare of Crime, pp.154-155).
14. Polska Partja Robotnicza, a resistance group formed by Polish communists who escaped and returned from territory initially held by Russia, together with the remnants of the Polish Communist Party. (Korbonski, Stefan, The Polish Underground State, NY: Columbia University Press, 1978, p.110).
15. Additional assistance came from Soviet Prisoners of War who were brought to Auschwitz from Majdanek and assigned to the Sonderkommando on April 16, 1944. They helped organize plans for a mutiny and escape. However, it became clear that assistance from outside the camp would not be forthcoming. When 200 men of the Sonderkommando were taken and killed, it became obvious that "the date of the final liquidation was approaching." The Sonderkommando decided: "To act, to act, over." (Amidst a Nightmare of Crime, pp.157-163).
17. "Evacuation" of KL Auschwitz started on Jan. 18, 1945. Columns of prisoners left in groups of 500 all day and night, on foot, and were marched west for days. Those who could not keep up died where they fell or were shot. (From the History of KL Auschwitz, Vol. 1, Oswiecim; 1967, p.215).