Son Shares Heart-Breaking Letter From His Mother Killed In The Holocaust

A survivor of the Holocaust has finally read and published a letter written by his mother, who was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Vilma Grunwald managed to get a letter away from the camp through the help of a guard who passed it on to her husband. Now, her son Frank has spoken about his experiences and allowed the letter to be displayed in a museum.

Frank, his mother and his older brother were taken to the death camp in 1943 along with 5,000 other people. They were put in a camp for several months before the Nazis decided to make a selection of people to be killed.

He told Sky News: "We all lined up in front of notorious SS doctor Josef Mengele, nicknamed the Angel of Death, who selected who would live or die.

"My brother John, who was four years older than me, was handicapped and he was chosen to die.

"And because I was less than 12 years old, I was also put on death row."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

One of the other prisoners grabbed Frank out of the line and put him with some older boys, saving his life. However, knowing that her eldest son would have to face the gas chamber on his own, his mother stayed with John.

In the days after that, Vilma penned a letter to her husband, Kurt, who had been separated from them and put in a medical camp because he was a doctor.

She found a guard who was willing to sneak the letter out, and it found its way to him.

A few months later, Frank was liberated from Auschwitz along with the others and reunited with his father.

Kurt told Frank that he had a letter from his mother, but the young boy didn't read it for fear of being too upset by it.

They settled together in New York, and after his father's death in 1967, Frank inherited the letter.

He eventually read it, and was moved by his mother's positivity in the face of death, and her strength of character.

The letter Vilma Grunwald wrote to her husband. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The letter Vilma Grunwald wrote to her husband. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The letter reads: "You, my only one, dearest, in isolation we are waiting for darkness.

"We considered the possibility of hiding but decided not to do it since we felt it would be hopeless.

"The famous trucks are already here and we are waiting for it to begin. I am completely calm.

"You - my only and dearest one, do not blame yourself for what happened, it was our destiny.

"We did what we could.

"Stay healthy and remember my words that time will heal - if not completely then at least partially.

"Take care of the little golden boy and don't spoil him too much with your love.

"Both of you - stay healthy, my dear ones. I will be thinking of you and Misa. Have a fabulous life, we must board the trucks.

"Into eternity, Vilma."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The letter is dated 11 July 1944, and is now on show in the United States Holocaust Museum.

It is not known exactly how many people died at Auschwitz, as many prisoners were never registered and a great deal of evidence was destroyed by the SS during the end of WWII.

A study by Polish scholar and historian Franciszek Piper, based on records of train arrivals and deportation records, calculates a figure of at least 1.1 million total deaths, with a minimum of 960,000 of those being Jewish.

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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