At 16 years old, Ernst was taken by the Nazis and separated from his family. He was sent to work camps, went on death marches, and faced a murderous Nazi with a gun aimed at his head. But now one more Nazi secret of a Holocaust survivor is being revealed that even Ernst didn’t know.
Enrst Bornstein – Before the Holocaust
Ernst lived in Poland. There were pogroms there around 1920, in which Jews were killed. Despite the violent antisemitism, Ernst went to school there. Yet everything changed after Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939.
During the Holocaust
At 16 years old, the Nazis came for Ernst Bornstein. They captured him, and sent him to various work camps. Along with other Jews, they survived on a meager bowl of watery soup and one slice of bread. This was all they ate each day. Nazis shot any prisoners who were caught stealing a potato. One time Ernst somehow got a hold of a loaf of bread. Perhaps he stole it to survive, perhaps another prisoner got some food and shared with him. In any case, a Nazi caught him. Ernst faced certain death. The Nazi raised his gun to kill him, yet the Jewish youth remained defiant, staring him in the eyes. The Nazi smashed his gun barrel into his head and didn’t kill him. Ernst also faced many inspections. During the inspections, Nazis forced the Jews to stand naked, and shot the weakest ones.
As the Nazis were losing the war to the Russians in the East, the Nazis began to flee and take the Jewish prisoners with them. They shot any prisoner who lagged behind. Somehow Mr. Bornstein survived the marches and escaped.
After the war
Surviving the Holocaust, Mr. Bornstein went to university and became a doctor. He married Renee and they raised a family. Dr. Bornstein then published a memoir about his Holocaust experience. His friend, Max, who was a psychiatrist, wrote the preface. However, Dr. Bornstein’s family later revealed that Max was a Nazi!
It is simply staggering that more and more hidden secrets from the time of the Holocaust are coming to light with each passing year. The darkness that the German Nazis brought to the world must be studied in order to make sure that we never allow the world to repeat these horrible crimes against humanity.