Aliza Vitis-Shomron on Thursday vividly recalled her brush with death on the eve of her liberation from the Nazis in 1945.
The survivor, who spoke on a panel at the Kibbutz Yad Mordechai Holocaust Museum the day before the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, said a rumor had spread among the group of Jewish prisoners she was part of in Poland that they were about to be murdered.
Rather than surrendering them to the Allies closing in from the east and west, the prisoners feared their captors were planning to plunge their train into the Elbe River and drown everyone.
“Panic and fear spread quickly,” recalled the Polish-born Israeli who survived the Warsaw Ghetto and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. “Just as we were at the point of despair, two American tanks came rolling down a hill and saved us.”
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