Part of her “Forever Years” spent in a Nazi Death Camp: Miracle that saved a girl from Auschwitz gas chamber, by Paul Ewart

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Yvonne Engelmann was just 15 when she was rounded up with her family and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, one of the network of German Nazi extermination camps operated by the Third Reich in Poland in World War II from 1940-1945.

But it was an unlikely miracle that saw her survive to tell the disturbing tale.

After arriving at the camp, Yvonne was immediately sent to the gas chamber. Thanks to some strange twist of fate, it malfunctioned and she was left naked in the chamber overnight before being freed.

By some miracle, the Nazis kept her alive, and she was sent to sort through the clothes of newly arrived Jews to find any gold or valuables they’d hidden.

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The infamous German inscription that reads ‘Work Makes Free’ at the main gate of the Auschwitz I extermination camp on November 15, 2014 in Oswiecim, Poland. Photo / AP

Her “job” saw her stationed in between the crematorium (which burnt 24-hours daily) and the gas chambers. She ended up being the sole survivor from her entire family, and made a new life for herself in Australia.

“I was 14 and a half when war broke out,” Yvonne tells news.com.au.

“I wasn’t allowed to go to school, I couldn’t walk on the street, I had to wear the yellow Star of David and couldn’t mix with any non-Jewish people. Friends I’d grown up with now totally ignored me, solely because I was born a Jew.

“My father was taken to the police station many times and we never knew if he would come back. One day he returned and his front teeth had been knocked out. We lived in fear constantly – we had no idea what would happen to us in the next hour, let alone in the next day.”

Born in Czechoslovakia to shopkeeper parents, Yvonne was an only child.

“I had the most wonderful childhood that anyone could wish for, but unfortunately it was short-lived.”

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Yvonne Engelman says as a survivor of Auschwitz it is important to perpetuate the memory of those lost and volunteers her time to teach and “tell the world what really happened”. (Photo Source: Sydney Jewish Museum)

In the limbo of uncertainty, things went from bad to worse. Her parents’ shop was taken away and the family was forcibly removed from their home to a cramped Jewish ghetto.

At the approach of her 15th birthday, she and her family were taken from the ghetto – along with hundreds of others – to the railway station where they were piled into dozens of cattle wagons.

“Men, women, children, screaming babies – the journey was too horrific to even describe,” she recalls.

“There was no ventilation, it was hot, an overflowing tin bucket was the only toilet … we were stripped of our humanity.”

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A wedding photo of holocaust survivors Yvonne (nee Engel) and John Engelman, 1949, Australia

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11721357

See also related post:

https://theforeveryears.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/born-in-auschwitz-how-one-woman-delivered-3000-babies-during-the-holocaust/

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World Suicide Prevention Day

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Suicide is a tough issue and one which affects all age groups.  Many who choose to take their own lives are children or young people– teens are particularly vulnerable.  Most of us know someone who has committed suicide and understand the ongoing trauma and guilt for those left behind.  September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day.

Global suicide rates among adolescents in the 15-19 age group, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) Mortality Database, were examined. Data for this age group were available from 90 countries (in some cases areas) out of the 130 WHO member states. The mean suicide rate for this age group, based on data available for the latest year, was 7.4/100,000. Suicide rates were higher in males (10.5) than in females (4.1). This applies in almost all countries. The exceptions are China, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Sri Lanka, where the female suicide rate was higher than the male. In the 90 countries (areas) studied, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death among young males and the third for young females.  [Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1414751/]

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The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people around the world die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. The tragic ripple effect means that there are many, many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has tried to take his or her own life. And this is happening in spite of the fact that suicide is preventable. ‘Connect, communicate, care’ is the theme of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day. These three words are at the heart of suicide prevention.

As of 2009, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. annually, with 33,000 fatalities resulting from approximately 1.8 million attempts every year

Suicide is a serious concern for New Zealand communities. Every year, around 500 New Zealanders die by suicide, with many more attempting suicide. This has a tragic impact on the lives of many others – families, whānau, friends, and workmates, communities and society as a whole.

The media also have an important role to play in suicide prevention. Some types of reporting on suicide (e.g., prominent and/or explicit stories) have been shown to be associated with ‘spikes’ in suicide rates, but others (e.g., those that describe mastery of suicidal crises) have been shown to have a protective effect. Media recommendations have been developed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to assist journalists in getting stories right. Please see: goo.gl/4qVhUp

There are a number of helplines and websites around the world for suicide prevention.  Anyone concerned that anyone, of any age, might be considering suicide or who feels they may be in danger of committing suicide themselves should not hesitate to use these resources.

New Zealand :  Life Line: (Free call) 0800-543-354

Australia: 13 11 14  https://www.lifeline.org.au

Canada:  http://kidshelpphone.ca/ tel: 1-800-668-6868 or 1.877.741.0276.

UK:  116 123 (UK)     http://www.samaritans.org/

USA: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 http://www.crisistextline.org/textline/?gclid=CjwKEAjwgdS-BRDA7fT68f6s8zMSJADZwHmvuskGxz_Eq4Z7oeM2S4JXdUtU2h_D5jiNxSxrKXrY3RoCNazw_wcB

Japan: +81 (0) 3 5286 9090 (Tokyo)   or +81 (0) 6 4395 4343 (Osaka)

India:    24/7 on phone 1300 766 177 or mobile 0410 526 562

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Related Links…

http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addictions/working-prevent-suicide

https://www.iasp.info/wspd/

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The Death Question: when your child asks “will you die?” By Anca Aurora Deaconu

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Children become aware of death at a young age, sometimes younger than we’d expect or are comfortable with. So when your child asks “will you die?” it can be hard to deal with. Hand in Hand Instructor Anca Deaconu’s son first showed his concerns through play.

“We were having special time and I was his old cat, one that he was afraid might die soon,” she says.

Not long after that, he started to ask specific questions about my grandfather, who passed away and about a dog I used to have. Later, when I got stung by a bee, he expressed his fear openly.

Will you die, mommy?

His questions haven’t stopped there. “Who would take care of me if I die,” he asks.

I tell him about the big, caring family that we are blessed with. I also mention the fact that I plan on being around for a long time and am actually actively working on that – it’s the reason we are careful about what we eat and why we spend so much time outdoors taking all those long walks, I tell him. These are things we do to help us lead long and healthy lives, I explain.

In her book, Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting ChallengesHand in Hand’s founder Patty Wipfler explains that avoiding children’s fears can be counter-productive: It’s better to face them head on, she says.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.handinhandparenting.org/2016/06/child-asks-will-you-die/