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Meet: The artist who survived Holocaust by fooling the Nazis!

London: An artist in Prague has claimed that she and her mother survived the Holocaust by fooling the Nazis - in fact, the then schoolgirl lied to Adolf Hitler`s henchman Josef Mengele about her age and saying she was fit to work.

London: An artist in Prague has claimed that she and her mother survived the Holocaust by fooling the Nazis - in fact, the then schoolgirl lied to Adolf Hitler`s henchman Josef Mengele about her age and saying she was fit to work.

Helga Weiss, now in her 80s, says that she and her mother escaped death at Auschwitz in 1944 by lying to Mengele, known as the "Doctor of Death".

Her mother also persuaded the Nazis under Mengele`s command that Helga was, in fact, her daughter`s older sister, and she was sent to the forced labour barracks and not the gas chamber, `The Observer` reported.

The story is one of many recorded in a concentration camp diary and is to be published in the UK for the first time next year by Viking Press.

But, before Weiss was sent to the Nazi-controlled ghetto of Terez?n as a child, she witnessed the insidious progress of Holocaust in Prague. "One thing after another was forbidden -- employees lost their jobs, we were banned from the parks, swimming pools, sports clubs.

"I was banned from going to school when I was 10. I was always asking my parents, `What`s happening?`, and became angry at them if I thought they were trying to hide something, to protect me," she was quoted as saying.

The Weiss apartment was handed over to Germans and the family were transported to Terez?n by rail. Known as Theresienstadt in German, the city on the north-west perimeter of Prague had become a transit hub where Czech Jews were put to work before being sent on to extermination camps.

"My father told me that, whatever happens, we must remain human, so that we do not die like cattle. And I think that the will to create was an expression of the will to live, and survive, as human beings," she said.

On 4 October 1944, Weiss and her mother were also transported to Auschwitz, where they faced Mengele, who was directing children and older women towards the gas chambers and fit adults towards the forced labour camp.

Thanks to her subterfuge, she was one of only 150 to 1,500 children believed to have survived of the 15,000 sent to Terez.

PTI

From Zee News

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