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The Agony of Greek Jews, 1940-1945$
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Steven B. Bowman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804755849

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804755849.001.0001

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Abnormal Deaths in a Foreign Land

Abnormal Deaths in a Foreign Land

(p.94) Six Abnormal Deaths in a Foreign Land
The Agony of Greek Jews, 1940-1945
Stanford University Press

About 1.1 million men, women, and children, most of them Jews, died in Auschwitz, and no more than 60,000 survived the ordeal. Almost 11,000 Greek Jews, primarily in Auschwitz and Treblinka, suffered abnormal deaths. The loss of many young Greek men and women could be attributed in large part to the intense family loyalty of Greek Jews, which had prevented numerous youths from escaping to the mountains, where they could fight or survive with the Resistance. The men who were selected for destruction through work in Poland often learned about the fate of their wives, children, and other loved ones only a day or two later. Because of despair, many chose to commit suicide, often by intentionally electrocuting themselves on the charged barbed wire surrounding each concentration camp. Occasional suicides by Greeks are recorded even among the Sonderkommando. Several Greek Jews were forced to work in Jaworzno (Neu Dachs) in Poland, while others were sent to Mauthausen in Austria.

Keywords:   Jews, Auschwitz, Poland, suicide, Sonderkommando, Jaworzno, Mauthausen, abnormal deaths, concentration camp

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