Unexpected Help

On 23 January 1945, after arriving in Buchenwald from Auschwitz, the 16-year-old Jewish inmate Robert Büchler experienced a hitherto unknown act of solidarity.

He was starving. The clearance transport had taken days and he had received nothing to eat along the way. When he registered in the Buchenwald inmate records department, a political inmate functionary – like Büchler a Czech – slipped him a bit of food. Büchler later wrote: “I’ll never forget that incident, which was unique in my experience as a Jewish concentration camp inmate until then.

Thanks to help from other fellow inmates, he survived the weeks that followed in the children’s block 66. On a death march from Buchenwald he finally managed to flee. In 1948 he emigrated to Israel and started a family in the Lehavot Haviva kibbutz.

(Stefan Lochner)

Source: “Erinnerungsbericht von Robert J. Büchler, Kinderblock 66 im KL Buchenwald”, 1978 (Buchenwald Memorial).