Individual Portrait – Klaus Stern

Klaus Stern

Klaus Stern

(1921 – 2013)
b. Breslau, Germany

Wartime Location: Auschwitz concentration camp, Poland; Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Germany; Flossenberg concentration camp, Germany; Muhldorf concentration camp, Bavaria

[In Auschwitz, Yom Kippur, 1943] “We went to the man in charge of the barrack. ‘Here we are 10 Jewish people and tomorrow is the highest Jewish holiday of the year and it’s a fast day. We made up our minds and we want to fast 24 hours. Please put our food away for us.’ The guy in charge said, ‘I’ve never heard of that in my life. You people are crazy. We don’t get enough food anyway. Why do you want to fast? Okay, I’ll put the food away for you but if I see any of you eating or drinking during the 24 hours I am going to report you to the SS…’ We didn’t eat or drink anything. We had to work hard all day long…we finally got back in the barracks to receive some food. When the guy saw us, he said, ‘I saved the food for you; come receive your food’. We said, ‘Please give us another few minutes, we want to pray’…After we were done, the man said, ‘go and eat’. As bad as he was, when he saw that we had fasted for 24 hours and come back and prayed, that man gave us not only the food we had coming but gave everybody extra bread and soup.”

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