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Paperback Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz Book

ISBN: 0897333764

ISBN13: 9780897333764

Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

2019 Reprint of 1947 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition software. Five Chimneys is one of the most detailed personal accounts of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

5 Chimmeys

Wonderful book.Easy to read.


This is the Spanish text edition of the book, "I Survived Hitler's Ovens". It is the story of a woman who spent about seven months in Auschwitz and survived to tell the tale. She wrote this book, which was later released under the less lurid and now better known title, "Five Chimneys", shortly after her ordeal, while her horrific experience was still fresh in her mind. It was definitely a mind numbing, life changing experience, as it saw the loss of her entire family, her parents, her children, and her husband. It should be noted that none of them, including Olga, were Jews. Olga Lengyel lived an upper-middle class existence in Transylvania, in the capital city of Cluj. Her husband, Dr. Miklos Lengyel, was a Berlin trained medical doctor and the director of a private hospital that he had built shortly before the onset of World War II. Olga had also studied medicine and was qualified to be a surgical assistant. She and her husband had two young sons. They were all surviving the war as best they could, with Germans an occupying force. They even had a German soldier billeted with them for a time. Olga had begun to hear disturbing things about what the Germans were doing in occupied territories, but had discounted it. She felt that Germany, a country that had contributed so much culturally to the world, could not be culpable of some of the atrocities of which she was hearing. She felt the stories that she was hearing were too fantastical to be believable. Then her husband came under the cross-hairs of the Nazis, accused of having his hospital boycott pharmaceuticals made by the German Bayer Company. This was the beginning of the end for the Lengyel family. Shortly thereafter in May of 1944, he was ordered to be deported to Germany. When Olga heard this, she insisted on accompanying her husband, as she thought that he would be put to work in a German hospital. She naively asked the Nazis if she could accompany her husband, and they had no objection. When her parents heard, they insisted on going with them, which meant that Olga's young sons would also be going. Once they got to the train station and saw that they were all to board a cattle car with ninety-six other people, they knew that their nightmare was just beginning. Their destination was Birkenau-Auschwitz. Olga recounts the horrors that awaited her family there. Hers is a testament to the brutality of the Nazi regime towards Jews and non-Jews alike. In it Olga chronicles her first hand observations of Dr, Joseph Mengele and his passion for twins and dwarfs, as well as his mad scientist medical experiments. She recalls her run ins with the "blonde angel", the exceptionally beautiful and sadistic Nazi, Irma Griese. She talks about the selections that were made, which determined who lived and who died. She makes it clear that the Jews were targeted, first and foremost, for extermination. She recounts the utter depravity with which the inmates of the camp were treated, creating a veritable

Keep the truth alive--everywhere we look are others

I'm very sorry for the reviewer that uses "gruesome" to describe such an example of someone who survived to bear witness. I have probably one of largest private collections of books on the Holocaust that runs into the hundreds. I am 70 and have known many of the survivors (especially since many were children who were 10 or more years younger than soldiers). Some would share their story with me, some could not, but I believe that one thing that kept many alive was the need TO BEAR WITNESS. One book on this subject is like one book on a bloody battle of WWII, it is ugly--as war usually is--but it doesn't begin to help understand the war (or the Holocaust). There is the individual, the killers and collaborators, the governments, the people on both sides, all of which, if studied for the deep meaning, tells us much about the "human" race.

The crude reality comes afloat in this book

Olga Lengyel survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, but many other jews did not. This first-person experience can leave you a very graphical impression on the horrible experiences millions of innocent women, children and men were to live in those camps of horror. Lengyel explains the daily life in a concentration camp, the medical experiments and the daily horrors she and others had to suffer while they were selected to die in the gas chambers.
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