Five Chimneys: The Story of Auschwitz Short Essay - Answer Key

Olga Lengyel
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1. Why did Olga blame herself for the deaths of her parents and children?

Olga blamed herself for the deaths of her parents and her children because she made the decision to bring them to the concentration camps. When her husband was arrested by the S.S., she had only one hour to decide whether to go with him or to stay behind. She decided to join him, bringing along the rest of the family, because she decided that staying together was the best choice. She reasoned that as long as they were all together, they could survive the challenges ahead of them. Instead, they were separated at the camps anyway and her children and mother were taken away to the gas chambers to die. She blamed herself because if she had not decided to follow her husband, the rest of her family may have survived.

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