Holocaust Remembrance


Dakota Murchison

     In Queens, New York Leon Sherman sits at his table and stares at his inner arm. It brings back memories of Auschwitz his blue tattoo imprinted with the number b2593. It is the mark of his horrific past surviving the notorious Nazi- run Aushiwtiz concentration camps and others. January 27 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where Sherman endured beatings, starvation, and witnessed murder after murder. It is estimated that 1.3 million Jews were sent to Auschwitz and 1.1 million were slaughtered. Overall 6 million Jews perished in the holocaust. 

     “I feel I have to tell,” Sherman told ABC News. “Because once we’re gone, nobody will know. “

     Sherman says he’s 101 years old, but he may be younger: he said his mother lied about his age to make him older to get him a good job during the Nazi occupation. Documents he has from Germany say he is 100. He said he traveled to Poland after the war to create a birth certificate but he does not know for sure. Sherman said he arrived in Auschwitz in May 1944, where they were unloaded “like cattle” and whipped.

     “We knew that was the end,” he said. “We knew what they were doing in Auschwitz. But you couldn’t run away.”

     They were shaved, stripped and taken to the showers — where he was terrified he’d be gassed.

     “When we saw water, we were relieved,” Sherman said.

     It was a tragic day for a lot of people, many of them died that same day in concentration camps he was one of the lucky people that made it out alive. “When I talk to you about Auschwitz, I remember now,” Sherman said.

     “How can you forget when you see a child, 3 years old, being shot… it’s like a film in my head.”

     Sherman went back to Auschwitz once, to mark one of the anniversaries. He showed his wife his bed in the barrack where he’d slept.