Vladek's Life in the Holocaust

By hs3
  • Vladek marries Anja

    Vladek marries Anja
    Vladek's cousin introduces him to one of her classmates, Anja. They quickly fall in love with eachother and Vladek end up leaving his previous girlfriend, Lucia, to be with Anja. Vladek and Anja get married not too long after.
  • Period: to

    Vladek's Life in the Holocaust

  • First son Richieu is born

    First son Richieu is born
    Vladek and Anja have their first son, Richieu.
  • Staying at a Sanitarium

    Staying at a Sanitarium
    After having Richieu, Anja becomes very depressed and suicidal. After contacting a doctor, Vladek and Anja make arrangements for Richieu to stay with a Governess so they could go to a Sanitarium in Czechoslovakia. They stayed here for 3 months and it was here that both Vladek and Anja saw their first swastika hanging in the center of the town.
  • Vladek is drafted into the Polish Army

    Vladek is drafted into the Polish Army
    Vladek recieves a letter from the government announcing the draft for the Polish Army. Knowing that there would now be a war, he quickly helped his family pack their belongings and sent Anja, Richieu and the governess to Sosnowiec to escape it. Vladek went in a different direction to the frontier against Germany.
  • Moves to frontier against Germany

    Moves to frontier against Germany
    Vladek was only trained for two days before he was put to fight on the frontier. "We were all digged into trenches near a river. On the other side it was Germans."
  • Vladek is taken prisoner

    Vladek is taken prisoner
    Vladek is captured by the Germans and is taken prisoner of war. As prisoner, they were forced to help search for dead german bodies and even clean animal stables spotless in an impossible amount of time. These dirty stables are what they lived in. He was then taken to a bigger prisoner of war camp where they froze to death living in tents. "To keep warm we had only our summer uniforms and a think blanket." The Germans also only fed them a crust of bread and a little soup a day.
  • Volunteers for labor assigments to replace German workers

    Volunteers for labor assigments to replace German workers
    An opportunity came about for Vladek to volunteer to leave the prisoner of war camps and join labor assignments. These labor assignments would replace German workers called to the front. Housing and food would be supplied, which settled Vladek's decision to join. With these labor assingments, Jews were forced to do hard labor. "The work was really hard, we had to move mountains. The hills were maybe 3 or 4 yards high. We had to make it level."
  • Escapes back to Sosnowiec to his family

    Escapes back to Sosnowiec to his family
    After moving from destination to destination, Vladek finally is released from being a prisoner and is able to make it back to Sosnowiec to Anja and Richieu.
  • All Jews in Sosnowiec are forced into Ghettos

    All Jews in Sosnowiec are forced into Ghettos
    All Jews leftover in Sosnowiec were forced to go live in an old village nearby called Srodula. These places where the Jews were now forced to live were called Ghettos. Vladek and his family lived in a small, cramped cottage. It was here in these Ghettos that the Jews were taken to Sosnowiec to work in German shops. "Every day the Guards marched us about an hour and a half to work. And every night they marched us back, counted us, and locked us in."
  • Tosha poisons Richieu

    Tosha poisons Richieu
    A few months after Vladek and Anja sent Richieu to Zawiercie, the Germans decided to clear out that Ghetto and send every Jew there to Auschwitz. Tosha became outraged by this and refused to let herself, nor the children she was with die in Auschwitz. "No! I won't go to their gas chambers! And my children won't go to their gas chambers." Tosha used the poison she kept around her neck to kill herself, her children and Richieu.
  • Vladek and Anja hide

    Vladek and Anja hide
    The Germans were searching everywhere possible to find all Jews and bring them to Auschwitz. In order to avoid going to Auschwitz for as long as possible, Vladek and Anja hide in multiple spots, one of which was in a giant shoe pile."Even when they came with dogs to smell us out- and they knew that Jews are laying here- but still they couldn't find."
  • Sent to Auschwitz

    Sent to Auschwitz
    Auschwitz VideoAfter months of hiding, Vladek and Anja finally find themselves on a train to what they assume is their final destination, Auschwitz. Vladek and Anja spend what they think is their last time together in the small, cramped train car. "We knew the stories- that they will gas us and throw in the ovens. This was 1944... we knew everything. And here we were."
  • Living in Auschwitz

    Living in Auschwitz
    When Vladek first arrived at Auschwitz, all Jews were shouted at and forced to remove all of their clothes and valuables. "They took from us our papers, our clothes and our hair." Soon after they were chased to the showers where they were rinsed off in freezing cold water and given their prisoner clothes. Most clothes did not fit the individual they were given to. At night, Jews were crammed into room of beds with 400 other Jews.
  • Birkenau

    Vladek came for the first time to Birkenau in the summer of 1944. Birkenau was considered worse than Auschwitz because Auschwitz was a place where prisoners were put to work and Birkenau was a place where the people there were waiting to be thrown in the gas chambers. Here, at Birkenau was where Anja was.
  • Vladek reunites with Anja

    Vladek reunites with Anja
    While at Birkenau, Vladek finally finds Anja. He was shocked to see how frail and weak she looked.To keep her strong, Vladek would save some of his food and give it to her, as well as send letters to her to her side of the camp.
  • Dachau

    Dachau VideoA lot of misery came to Vladek at Dachau. Here, they were kept in barracks, sitting on straw, waiting to die. These barracks were very unsanitary and often resulted in deathly sickenesses. "In the straw, it was lice...from the lice was Typhus." Here, Vladek got Typhus and became so weak that he was unable to talk and walk. After witnessing many deaths and illnesses, the Jews that were still left were put on a train to Switzerland.
  • Germany surrenders

    Germany surrenders
    Germany finally surrenders and the Jews are free. American soldiers find Vladek and other Jews and give them a place to stay, as well as food and gifts. Now that he didn't have to worry about the Germans anymore, his last fight was to find out if Anja made it out alive.
  • Vladek finds Anja

    Vladek finds Anja
    Vladek traveled to Sosnowiec to find Anja. He even traded all of his belongings for gifts to give her. He took trains and walked by foot for 3-4 weeks until he finally arrived at Sosnowiec. He soon enough is finally reunited with Anja and they embraced eachother as they see eachother for the first time since their split up in Auschwitz.