Spared by the Kindness of Strangers

The Genocide that happened in Europe started when the Green Police (known as the Nazi) started capturing the Jews and forcing them to work for labor camps that would benefit the Germans. The Nazi were also killing them in concentration camps. They were also placing them in Ghettos (a Ghetto is where they cram a whole bunch of people in to little area. Some also made them work.) The Ring leader behind all of this was a guy named Adolph Hitler. He didn’t like Jews or anyone who was different from him. He killed gypsies, homosexuals, and everyone else that he thought was impure. He ended up killing 6 million Jews and all together 20 million people. Adolph Hitler was a dictator that forced people to work for him or he would kill them.
Shelly Weiner, a woman who survived the Holocaust wrote “Spared by the kindness of Strangers.” Her story starts off in Rovno where she and her mom were placed in a Ghetto. There was news that the Nazi was going to come and kill everyone. Shelly was asleep when her mom told her that they had to leave the Ghetto. They manage to escape to a nearby village where Shell’s aunt happened to live. The next day they heard news that 25,900 Jews in Rovno had died.
The Nazi wouldn’t stop there. They came to the village where Shelly’s aunt lived. Shelly, her mom, her cousin, and her aunt all left the village in which the stayed. They ran into a gentile man that said they could hide in the hayloft above there barn. Shelly says that they couldn’t go out side very often. She recalls “To keep us busy, our mothers would talk to us. We would make small animals out of straw. It was better than a ghetto or a death camp.” (Weiner) One time wanted to go outside but her mother said that she couldn’t. Shelly started to cry and the next day they had to leave because the crying almost gave them away. The group had to move to the farmer’s attic. When the farmer told them that they could come down Shelly didn’t have a pulse. Shelly remembers them rubbing snow on her to revive her. Shelly’s family returned to the hayloft for safety.
In the summer of 1943 Shelly’s family was forced to move because someone tipped off the Nazi. The Nazi came for them at the hayloft. The mothers were about to give up but the girls said that we did all this work for nothing. They ran into the forest to se f they had a chance. Shelly remembers “We could hear dogs in the forest and people calling for us. By some miracle, something diverted their attention” (Weiner). Once the Nazi left Shelly and her family went back to the farmer and ask him if they could stay in the hayloft. Again the Farmer said that they could.
Shelly remembers that they hid in a hole where the farmer had stored grains to hide from the Germans. “We were there for eight months. I remember it being very dark. To this day, I still enjoy the sun very much” (Weiner). Shelly moms and her aunt went to town one day to see if the war was over, and it was. Shelly and her mother met up with her father and tried to get out of the country. Her father typed 500 or 600 letters to see who would sponsor them to go the U.S.A. Her Uncle wrote back and said he would sponsor them. Shelly and her family arrived in New York City on Columbus Day 1949. Shelly later married a guy named Frank Weiner. They had three kids that grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. “We have to do so much more than others to make up for lost lives. We can only start with the people around us” (Weiner) Shelly is grateful for everything the farmer and his family did. She will never forget what the farmer did for them.

Ever since they got out of hiding Shelly and her mom have been sending gifts o the farmer and his family. The farmer died but Shelly still sends gift to his daughter. Shelly feels guilty because she survived when a lot of other people died. “We have to do so much more than others to make up for lost lives. We can only start with the people around us” (Weiner) Shelly is grateful for everything the farmer and his family did