Hiding in Plain Sight: Surviving the Holocaust

Sophy Ramírez  | 16 de abril de 2020  | Vistas: 688

In the Holocaust between five to six million Jewish were killed, and just a few survived. Allan J. Hall shares the anecdotes written in his book, Hiding in plain sight, which narrates how he and his family survived the Holocaust in Poland during the war (1939-1945).

Hall mentions he was raised in Cracow, Poland, and his first memory about the war was seeing his parents fighting for the decision if they should leave or not their home. They could escape just because his father knew german and read about the war in the newspaper. His family escaped Cracow without knowing if they were going to find a safe place. Then achieved to be transported from a Nazi-controlled zone where Jewish were taken to ghettos, to a Soviet one that was in non-aggression treaty, extending their lives for another 20 months while this agreement was in force. 

Anybody who’s been in a war zone knows you don’t know anything that’s going on in a war zone, you may think you know, but you really don’t”. 

Allan Hall explains that there were 15,000 concentration camps and ghettos, and the bigger ones, such as Auschwitz, weren’t built for Jewish but for Christians. He emphasizes that everyone should always help or speak up for people in trouble, no matter if they are from different contexts or countries because situations similar to these can arise anywhere. 

Then, Hall describes how he got to a concentration camp after a roundup of children, which he survived because his father bought him from a Nazi-commandant, making him the only survivor of the children roundups in history. 

I still see, not even back then. I knew that those children were going to be executed within a matter of hours, and I still see those children and compound, and I guess that’s the survivor’s guilt, I always see those children, they will be with me till the day I die”. 

He points out that after this event, they realized it wasn’t safe to live in the communities where they had the Jewish captured, so they escaped and hide in plain sight as Christians. After a while, they were taken to the Gestapo, the Nazi police, and they were almost sent to Treblinka, an extermination center where the gas chambers would not stop working until they killed everyone who arrived that day. 

Hall reveals how after his mom gave birth to his brother in a bomb shelter, they survived the war and moved to the United States in 1947. To conclude, he advises young people to manage problems while they are small because they can get worse and have a negative social impact.


Writer and Holocaust survivor