When the tanks roll in, when the new world order plunges mankind into a rapid descent of depopulation, what will you do? What will you do when the new Hitler rises and brings forth a new era of extermination? What will happen when the angel of death fixes his eye on you? Those precious preps will do little to save you in a concentration camp. The jackbooted boys of the NWO will throw your ass onto the most foul smelling cattle train imaginable. You’ll be right there among your fellow men, breathing deeply the stench of fear, headed straight for a forced labor concentration camp where there is little chance of survival.

How do you survive such a death trap? Is there any way out of this sadistic camp? The guards beat and torture you brutally. Your will to survive is on the line…

We can look back and extract lessons from the men and women who survived historically sadistic concentration camps like Auschwitz. Men like Victor Frankl and countless others hold the key to ultimate survival in the face of death.

Surviving Auschwitz

Aerial view of the Auschwitz concentration camp - source: BBC

Aerial view of the Auschwitz concentration camp – source: BBC

 

Looking back through the chaos of world war 2 we see Auschwitz – the most infamous concentration camp in history. Over 1 million people were exterminated in the camp before the Soviets blasted through and liberated the remaining prisoners. Prisoners of this notorious death camp were forced to labor and were heavily guarded by the sadistic and brutal Nazi Schutzstaffel, or more commonly known as the Waffen “SS.” As you entered the camp you were inspected by the SS to determine if you were fit for labor. If you weren’t, you were sent off for a “shower” where you were gassed to death with Zyclon-B and then shoveled in to a crematory.

This leads straight into the first survival tip…

Appear strong and fit

What use are you to the camp if you cannot work? You’ll be gassed straight away if you appear frail, sickly, or too weak. Muster up as much strength as you can to pass inspection. Be grateful for the opportunity to work. When asked about your skills, tell them something practical even if its not true. People with no skills were the first to get gassed. Straighten your spine and puff out that chest. Don’t look at any SS directly in the eye, appear strong but not so strong that the SS think you might have a go at them. One wrong look and you’ll be ordered on your knees and shot in front of your family.

Escape the death wagon

A typical cattle car fully loaded with prisoners deported to Auschwitz

A typical cattle car fully loaded with prisoners deported to Auschwitz

 

If you’ve been rounded up and herded on to one of the many cattle carts destined for the camp, attempt an escape. One man has lived to tell the tale of his escape from an Auschwitz bound death train, with the help of 3 Belgian resistance members. The 3 men were able to stop the train and sever the thick barbed wire holding the metal doors together. Robert Maistriau recounts the experience of stopping the 20th convoy:

The brakes made a hellish noise and at first I was petrified. But then I gave myself a jolt on the basis that if you have started something you should go through with it. I held my torch in my left hand and with my right, I had to busy myself with the pliers. I was very excited and it took far too long until I had cut through the wire that secured the bolts of the sliding door. I shone my torch into the carriage and pale and frightened faces stared back at me. I shouted Sortez Sortez! and then Schnell Schnell flehen Sie! Quick, Quick, get out of here!

Leverage your skills

Joseph Mandrowitz was another survivor who was able to make it through the hellish experience of Auschwitz. One day while laboring in the camp he came across a patch of tomatoes. Almost starved to death, Joseph picked a tomato and ate it. The SS saw this and he was brutally beaten for misconduct. He was sent to the hospital to heal. The rule was, if you were not healed within 4 days you were sent off to the gas chambers. It was in the hospital where Joseph had his first encounter with Josef Mengele, infamously known as the “Angel of Death.” Because Joseph was a trained tailor, he was allowed to work indoors mending and repairing the suits of the SS officers, despite the entire population of the hospital being ordered into the gas chamber at that time. The SS saw value in his skills and spared his life.

Later, Joseph and the other prisoners were forced to drill into a mountain quarry for reasons unknown. After 17 days without food or water they were liberated by the Russians and Joseph returned to his village of Czemierniki, a small polish town, where he found everything completely scrubbed of Jewish tradition.

Play dead

Mordechai Ronen is an Auschwitz survivor who quickly learned how to survive in the camp:

I worked out pretty quickly certain survival tricks. That if the guards called us to line up in front of the barracks, I should hide or sneak into another barracks. The safest place I could find to hide was in the yard near the bathrooms where all the dead bodies were brought and piled up … I would get on the pile, lie down next to the dead bodies and pretend I was one of them.

Mr. Ronen also found a way to secure extra food:

They gave us food in barrels. When the barrel was empty, I could get inside and scrape the leftovers from the bottom. In that way my dad and I got extra food.

Grand theft auto…

Out of the estimated 1.3 million people deported to the camp, 144 prisoners made a successful escape. Perhaps the most daring story of escape comes from a man who stole the commandants personal transportation vehicle and drove straight through the gate with 3 friends. Kazimierz Piechowski was spurred into action when he discovered his friends name was on a death list. Piechowski, being a former scout hatched an escape plan with his friend and comrades. At the time he was working in the camps store room where he had access to SS uniforms. They would later use these uniforms to drive out of the gate.

The plan was ballsy. They had to make it through 2 gates to get to freedom. The first gate sealed the main camp area from the motor pool and store room. They managed to convince the SS guards at the first gate that they needed to dump the days rubbish. They prayed the guards would not look them up on the registration list. Their plan worked and the guards allowed them through.

In the store room, Piechowski secured uniforms for himself and his 3 comrades. His friend who worked as a mechanic had previously made a copy of a key which allowed them into the motorpool – the area storing the commandants personal transport vehicle. Now all they needed to do was drive through the gate and hope nobody stopped them.

As they approached the gate they noticed the guards were not opening it. What was wrong? Had they been discovered? Piechowski confidently barked an order in perfect German to open the gate immediately and the guards complied. The 4 men had made their escape, taking back roads to avoid detection.

The commandant was furious and from that point on all prisoners were tattooed so they could be identified as a prisoner if they escaped.

The psychology of survival

mans-search-for-meaning

Viktor Frankls famous book detailing the 3 years he spent as a prisoner at Auschwitz

 

Victor Frankl survived Auschwitz for 3 years before the Soviets came through and liberated the remaining survivors. Viktor was a student of psychology and noticed certain characteristics present in those who were able to endure the brutal conditions of life in Auschwitz. The most important thing he noted among survivors was a strong sense of meaning. He was adamant that meaning can be found in even the most grave conditions, and finding meaning through suffering was a key component to survival.

When you lose hope the body gives in to death. Where hope is absent, death is present. Without hope you are no longer spiritually able to sustain life. Even in your own life you can see people who have died prematurely because they lost hope. The body cannot live on bread and water alone. You must cultivate the spirit and never give in to circumstances, no matter how grave the situation might be. Viktor also lays out the importance of choice and choosing how to perceive ones current life experience. It is your choice whether you give in to death. It is your choice to decide to die.

Do not doubt the human spirit. Do not fear death. Fear is the little death that brings total annihilation.

Relentless hope and a little luck

More people died in Auschwitz than the British and American losses of WW2 combined. There was a good chance if you went in, you weren’t coming out. The survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp all had one thing in common. Relentless hope and a little luck. In any survival situation, if you believe it’s over it is. However, if you believe you will see it through then your odds of survival are maximized.

The horrific tragedies of war reveal the spirit of the human being. The spirit that cannot be silenced. The spirit that always survives.

Thanks for reading.

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/tales-from-auschwitz-survivor-stories

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/11/i-escaped-from-auschwitz

 

 

 

 

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