Holocaust Child Survivor Stories in PBS Frontline report

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As many as 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust. Young children, along with the elderly, ill and disabled, whom German authorities could not deploy in forced labor, were often the first to be sent to extermination camps. Others died from starvation and exposure in Jewish ghettos.

But some children managed to survive, at times because they hid with their families, or because relatives sacrificed themselves to protect them, or because they pretended not to be Jewish.

In My Tainted Blood the author, a Holocaust child survivor, hides to avoid capture during WWII. The novel is based on his life story.

In My Tainted Blood the author, a Holocaust child survivor, hides to avoid capture during WWII. The novel is based on his life story.

One of those survivors was Krystyna Kohn, pictured above in 1937 at 5-years-old with her mother Janina Kohn and her uncle Marek Mersyk in Warsaw. Janina and Marek both graduated from Warsaw University Law School and were practicing lawyers. During the war, while trying join the Polish underground resistance and hiding from the Nazis, Marek was fooled by criminals who collected bounty for captured Jews.

He was separated from his family and never seen again. Krystyna, her mother, and her cousin Edward were luckier. They survived through luck, deliberate planning and pretending to be Catholic. Krystyna and Edward would later study at Warsaw University and become doctors, but immigrated to Detroit, Michigan in 1969 to escape the anti-Semitism of the Communists.

Never Forget to Lie filmmaker Marian Marzynski visited more of these child survivors, now aging and spread across the globe, to explore their life paths, identities and memories.

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