We Survived: Survivor Spotlight on Arek Hersh

“I survived the selection. I was saved from the gas chambers. Fate, luck, or both, kept me alive.”

Arek Hersh, 95, Prisoner No. B7608, lives in Leeds, England

“I was born in Sieradz, Poland in 1928. When the war broke out, we had to flee to Lodz. Shortly thereafter, I was first sent to the Otosno camp. I spent 18 damned months there. Of 2500 men, only 11 survived, including me. The Lodz Ghetto was liquidated in 1942 and my family was sent to the Chelmno death camp, where they were murdered. I was deported to Auschwitz along with 185 orphans. I was 14 years old. Against all odds, I survived the selection. I was saved from the gas chambers. Only 40 of the 5000 people from my town survived the horrors. Somehow fate, luck, or both, kept me alive. My granddaughter works in the White House. We Jews will continue to reach everywhere and we won’t let anyone persecute us. The Holocaust must never happen again!”

Arek participated in a special project aimed at documenting the 2023 March of the Living survivors, which was spearheaded by the International March of the Living, renown photographer Ziv Koren, and the Yedioth Achronot newspaper.