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January 19, 2015 5:10 pm

Auschwitz Survivor Remembers Encounter With Monstrous Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele

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Sam Pivnik shortly after World War 2 ended in 1945. Photo: Sam Pivnik

The great Italian Jewish writer Primo Levi famously wrote that a Nazi guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp told him, “Hier ist kein warum — there is no why here.” As the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz  approaches on January 27th, survivors are still recalling, and trying to make sense of, their horrors they experienced.

One of them is London-based Sam Pivnik. This week, Pivnik recalled the moment he encountered Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi monster who conducted sinister medical “experiments” on Jewish and other camp inmates.

“Mengele was wearing his white coat and making his rounds, I was shaking with terror,” Pivnik, who was just 14 years old at the time, said. “We all knew anyone not able to stand by their beds was for the gas. He came to me and his finger pointed to the left, the gas chamber.”

Pivnik continued: “I burst into tears and threw myself at his feet. I think I even kissed his boots. Mengele hated to be touched by Jews and I could have faced a bullet for that. To this day I don’t know why, but he moved away. Later I was told I could stay.”

In 2012, Pivnik published “Survivor,” a harrowing memoir of his plight at the hands of the Nazis.

“My generation won’t be here forever and one day all there will be of us will be words on a printed page. Sam Pivnik is nobody: just one of millions,” he explained. “But the story of Sam Pivnik – I hope that will live on.”

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  • Walter Crawford

    Why this hatred of Jews? Everyone has or should have the right to believe what they want.Ordinary people have been lied to over the centuries and religion has been used as a method of “social Control” to keep the people quiet. I think it was Karl Marx who said “Religion is the opium of the working class” and I believe this to be true. I do not hate any religion-it’s a matter of fate or chance what religion we are born into. Look at the so called leaders??? of all the major religions with their pomp and ceremony and living in grand palaces-a big contrast with the life style of the one they profess to follow, A shame on them. Voltaire said “Man has made you superstitious, not to make you fear God,but tomake you fear them.

  • Bernhard Rosenberg I will never forgive, never forget and will fight for never again …My holocaust surviving parents encouraged me to become a Rabbi because that was my wish. They came from very religious homes , but after the holocaust stopped observing. I CHANGED THAT WHEN AT AGE 12 I ASKED MY PARENTS TO KEEP A KOSHER HOME.

  • Ron Weiss

    The Catholic Church had a huge influence on Germans. Their hatred of anything Hebrew resulted in the Holocaust. The Catholic Church is the harlot, and she teaches her children well.

    Every time the Hebrew people followed His Torah, by not adding to it, or taking away from it, The Father took care of their enemies.

    I am a Hebrew and was a Catholic for 35 years. ABBA delivered me from that Beast. All Esteem goes to Him.

    • John Robertson

      Everything…and I mean everything I have studied showed no such support for hatred against the Jews by the Catholic Church in Germany during this time. How convenient that you leave out how many Catholics were sent to these same camps because of their efforts to hide Jews. I’m not saying there were bad Catholics, but to paint the whole Church that way because of a few bad apples is just plain dishonest.

  • Judy Finney

    I love jews God put this in my heart in the 60’s. I pray nothing like this ever happens again. I know God is in control.

  • charlie johnson

    i have heard that many jews became atheist after that kind of experience. i was sad to hear that.

    • Florence

      Can you blame them?

      • charlie johnson

        Can I blame them? I don’t know yet.I have not been dead. After I am dead I won’t be able to tell you from the location that I end up at. There is a communications problem.