Birth of children

During the Nazi era (1933 to 1945), one and a half million Jewish children were murdered by the Nazis. The fate of seven children, who were born in Kaufering I concentration subcamp and survived, can be reconstructed today.

Ibolya Kovács with Agnes, Sara Grün with Jossi, Eva Fleischmannová with Marika, Magda Schwartz with Judit und Elisabeth Legmann with Georg shortly after the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Source: KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau

They were all born to Hungarian mothers in the winter 1944/1945 in camp I. These women were already pregnant when the Nazis first locked them in ghettos, deported them to concentration camps and then transferred them to Kaufering I concentration subcamp.

The pregnant women suffered from hunger, cold and were at the mercy of the SS guard’s brute force. After the pregnancies had been discovered, they were housed in a separate wooden barracks and put to work in the prisoners’ laundry.

The first child was born on 8 December 1944 – in catastrophic hygiene conditions and without medical instruments with the help of a Jewish prisoner doctor.

The newborn survived thanks to the help of the fellow prisoner. She procured a small oven to boil water, clean clothes that could be used as a nappy and additional food. The lives of mothers and infants were in constant danger. Time and again, the SS considered deporting female concentration camp prisoners who were unable to work to the Bergen-Belsen death camp.

In early April 1944, the SS began evacuating the concentration subcamp. The seven mothers were herded onto a train with other prisoners, which however came under attack. On 29 April they and their babies were liberated by US American troops at Dachau concentration camp.