The Story of Blima – A Holocaust Survivor


Shirley Russak Wachtel wrote this book and it is about her mother (Blima Weisstuch).

Blima was born and raised in Poland.  In 1936, Blima was in her early twenties, worked at a bakery, and lived with her parents as well as her seven siblings.  She heard rumors of what was happening to the Jewish people in Germany, but didn’t believe what she was hearing.  It seemed to horrible to be real.

The Nazi’s invaded Poland and eventually Blima’s hometown.  Blima was walking home from work, when a couple of Nazi solders grabbed her, put her in a truck, and sent her to a labor camp.

At the labor camp, Blima was working for a German woman named Gizella.  Gizella wasn’t like the other guards, she didn’t hate the Jews, so she provided Blima with extra food and taught Blima how to avoid the selection process that sent people to the gas chambers.  Blima credits Gizella with saving her life.

After the war, Blima was able to find two of her brothers; unfortunately, the rest of her family had been killed.

A few years later, Blima married Chiel.  He had survived the Lodz ghetto and labor camps.  They immigrated to the United States and lived in Brooklyn, where they raised a son and daughter.  Both Blima and Chiel have passed away, but thanks to their daughter their story of surviving the holocaust will continue to be a part of this world.

I think it is important to read the accounts of holocaust survivors.  It helps us remember, these were real people, living lives much like us, raising children, going to work or school.  Their lives were destroyed, not because they were evil or did anything wrong.  Their lives were destroyed, because they were Jewish.  They were a little different.