- File Size: 1617 KB
- Print Length: 335 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: May 2, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00X2HRCNQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,930 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Arie was born to Wilhelm Wimisner and Eva Dorf. They had met in Vienna at the University. They talked German to each other and Polish to their children so children grew up knowing both which would be a godsend to Arie in the camps. Mother was born in Krakow and they lived there. Mother’s parents were Orthodox Jews; but Arie’s family was not. Mother ran the house and was socially active. They were wealthy so Mother had help at home. Zosia was the nanny and she became very close to the children and in the process of bringing them up, taught him about Jesus. Their Aunt Rosia, Mother’s sister, taught him about God and God’s love. Father was half owner of a wholesale textile business and was very good at his job. He traveled a lot and wasn’t home much. Even though he wasn’t there physically, he still had an influence on their upbringing. Although wealthy, Wilhelm and Eva made sure their children were not spoiled but well brought up and well disciplined. Good manners and good behavior were expected. His sister Gizia was three years older than he was and was born about 1930. Arie was born about 1933 and adored his sister. When she learned something, he learned it from her and later they were taught together. They were very close. Little sister Serenka was born when he was five (1938). At first, he was jealous of her for taking his place as the youngest; however, he soon came to love her dearly. The three of them played together and ventured out into the town with Zosia.
Due to the gradually worsening conditions, they left Krakow and moved to Lwow and later Lublin and finally back to Krakow. Although Father no longer owned his business, he still ran it and was indispensable to the German owner. Their life didn’t change much at all. Eventually, even for them, things became worse and they moved into the Krakow Ghetto where unlike others, they had three small rooms to live in. Father’s connections with Germans paid off several times while in the Ghetto; but those gradually failed too. Meanwhile, Arie didn’t pay a lot of attention to the political situation and even at first in the Ghetto, he still played like the little boy he was. Gradually, he became very adept at going around the Ghetto and making friends as well as obtaining information. He joined a group of young boys who started smuggling food into the Ghetto. Arie was smarter than some and actually made money which he saved while in the Ghetto. When the final group of Jews from the Ghetto was taken to Plaszow Camp, he was not going to be allowed to go as he was 11, even though he had papers showing he was 14. His appearance just didn’t measure up. Instead of one or both of his parents staying behind with him, he stayed by himself and hid while the Ghetto was being cleared out. Several days after the last were taken, he managed to escape the Ghetto and began living in Krakow as a Polish boy. His learning about God and Jesus from Rosia and Zosia allowed him to pretend to be Catholic and get away with it. Eventually he went into hiding with the help of his cousin Gina. Eventually he was caught and sent to Plaszow to be executed. He was only grazed by the bullets and was taken into the camp where he was reunited with his family, including Gina who was also captured. Although still considered a child, he did not live in the Children’s Home but with his Father and he worked in several different places while there. When they came to take the children, he was included with them. He and a friend decided to escape on the way to the trucks and caused a breakout in which some children escaped, Arie among them. Later, he and his Father were taken to Mauthausen where his Father nearly died but they were able to bribe the kapos to get him taken off the detail for the quarry. They were taken to Gozen 2 where his father died, leaving Arie now 11 or 12 on his own and very sick. He has trouble remembering his Father’s death and his being sick. His Father died at the end of February, 1945 and Arie was liberated on May 5, 1945. He was taken to the American hospital and treated. Every time he had gotten sick, it seemed that someone stepped in to take care of him and not allow him to be killed.
He went to Israel in December 1945 where still lives. He married and had two children who in turn gave him five grandchildren. He was reunited with his cousin Gina who died in Israel in 1994. He remains close to her three children. When he returned to Poland to trace his steps, he took her two daughters. On a second trip, he took his daughter and grandchildren and one of Gina’s daughters and her grandchildren. He caught up and finished his schooling in Israel and taught as well as worked for the Ministry of Defense in weapons research and development. He retired in 1990 and took it upon himself the task of managing and developing computerization of engineering firms as well as teaching.
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