The Holocaust: Felicia Carmelly

1375 Words6 Pages
Felicia Carmelly, currently age 87, is one of the few Holocaust survivors who remains alive today. Her story is riveting and immensely detailed; consequently, it deserves to be remembered for eternity. Being generally knowledgable about the Holocaust is one perspective, however, reading and understanding Felicia’s point of view is much different. The thoroughly haunting events that transpired in Transnistria, orchestrated through the eyes of Carmelly herself, were heart-wrenching to say the least. Before the Holocaust began, Felicia was living a very structured and fairly pampered lifestyle in Dorna, Romania, as an only child. Felicia’s family and a majority of other Jewish families lived peacefully and pleasantly primarily in the centre…show more content…
In September 1941, gendarmes rounded up all the men in Dorna and locked them into the biggest synagogue in town. Among all of the men who had been captured were Carmelly’s father and uncle. The gendarmes proceeded to announce that they would set the church on fire unless the Jewish community brought them a huge sum of money and jewellery. Finally, after almost a week, people in Dorna started realizing that there were no men to run businesses anymore, and had began to feel the impact of it. In addition, the men were released group by group, only to be notified shortly afterwards by Romanian officers that Jewish families were soon being deported. In October of the same year, city hall announced that all Jews were to pack three days worth of supplies and meet at the train station that night. The city also claimed anyone left behind after the train had left would be shot, no questions asked. After waiting upwards of three hours in the freezing cold rain, the families were rushed onto the train by the butts of soldiers guns. Preemptively, the floor of the train was layered with fresh animal manure, and nowhere to go to the bathroom over the span of the three day trip ahead. This legitimizes the systemic dehumanization of Jews, by purposely causing them to feel as if they were animals…show more content…
Needless to say, without the assistance of her parents, she may not have survived whatsoever. Moreover, Felicia and her family received shelter and food from other Jewish families or people willing to help in general, which was crucial to her survival. People were willing to be risking their lives to offer this assistance because everyone was in the same situation: They were all enduring this unnecessary suffering. Although Carmelly was extremely young in the duration of the tragic events unfolding, she managed to resist the dehumanization process by recognizing immediately that the structure of her previous life was gone. Furthermore, regardless of her age she was able to accept that the new structure of her life would be living minute to minute. The pivotal moment effecting the authors survival was when her family ended up seeking shelter from a Jewish family, the grandmother of which was named Babushka. The family of five wound up housing 18 Jews in a one kitchen, two room shack all the way up until the spring of 1944. On top of which, when rumours began spreading claiming that German soldiers were retreating, Babushka’s family hid Felicia, Felicia’s parents, and Felicia’s grandmother all inside of a potato cellar for three days. Had they not done this, the author and her family would have been exposed to retreating Nazi forces, which undoubtedly would have
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