Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size It was the snow that helped Feliks Ash make his miraculous escape that night, the wispy, white snowflakes that drifted down over the barbed wire fences and brown brick buildings of the Janowska concentration camp in the southern part of Poland (now part of Ukraine). Just before 7pm, Feliks and another Jewish prisoner were in the woods – the barrel of a machine gun trained on them – collecting firewood for the German soldiers huddling inside their barracks in their heavy overcoats. Feliks had performed this task many times before, slowly gaining the trust of the guards. But time was running out for Feliks and the other prisoners at Janowska: the camp was to be “liquidated” (“Still too many Jews,” they’d heard the SS officers complain), and escape – however remote its likelihood of success – was their only hope. And on this evening, November 19, 1943, the guard was lazy, turning slightly away against the frigid breeze to light his cigarette. Feliks had been preparing for this moment for weeks. He and his accomplice jumped the guard, killing him with their axe, seizing his rifle and hand grenades. Taking… Read full this story
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