Final Entries

On 3 May 1945, the 34-year-old Isidoor Mols of Antwerp was still in the hands of the SS. They had crowded him and thousands of other Buchenwald inmates into dirty, open coal cars on 10 April. More than three weeks later, the transport still hadn’t reached its intended destination: Terezín.

Mols kept a diary in the form of letters to his wife Isabella. They testify to fear, hunger, thirst, hope, death and physical deterioration. On this day he wrote the following in his little notebook: “Those of us who survive will be worse off than we were before. My two friends are dead. The mortality rate is reaching incredible heights at the moment. I’ve been feeling better for the past several hours, even though we get practically nothing to eat. Yesterday three raw potatoes, today – it’s already five o’clock – again nothing.”

The train reached Terezín three days later. Mols, who was ill with typhus, was beyond help. He died on 11 May 1945. Friends rescued his diary and turned it over to his widow.

(Michael Löffelsender)

Source: Isidor Mols, “Letzte Notizen: Tagebuch auf dem Evakuierungstransport von Buchenwald nach Theresienstadt”, with an introduction by Katrin Greiser, in: Dachauer Hefte 22 (2006), pp. 99–105.

Reference: Katrin Greiser, Die Todesmärsche von Buchenwald: Räumung, Befreiung und Spuren der Erinnerung, Göttingen 2008.