Jacqueline Morgenstern

Born 1932 - Czernowitz, Rumania

Jacqueline was the daughter of Suzanne and Karl Morganstern. She moved to Paris with her parents as a tiny child to escape the oppressive antisemitism of Rumania. Jacqueline's father and uncle owned a beauty shop in the center of the city. When the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, Jacqueline was an eight year-old schoolgirl. Her parents were forced to give their shop to a non-Jewish Frenchman.

Jacqueline and her parents fled to Marseilles, a city in southern France not occupied by the Germans. They carried forged papers identifying them as non-Jews. They were discovered, however, and denounced to the Gestapo.

On June 20, 1944, Jacqueline and her parents were deported to the Auschwitz death camp. For the time being, Jacqueline and her parents were spared. Jacqueline and her mother were sent to the women's camp. Jacqueline's mother became weak because she gave most of her food to her daughter. After she fell ill, her mother was murdered in the gas chamber.

Upon her mother's death, Jacqueline was sent to a special children's barracks. The 20 children in these barracks were being held for use in experiments. The barracks were heated and the children were provided with decent food. The staff sang songs to the children, taught them games and distracted them from the horrible smells of the crematoria. Most of the children spoke only Polish, but Jacqueline found one child who spoke French, and they became close friends.

In the fall of 1944, Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer, the doctor who had requested the children for experimentation, had them transferred to the Neuengamme concentration camp. Jacqueline and the rest of the children were injected with tuberculosis cultures. Shortly before the end of December 1944, they became extremely ill. In January 1945, Dr. Heissmeyer decided to operate on the children. He wanted to find out how their glands had reacted to the TB infection.

On April 20, 1945, when the British were less than three miles from the camp, all 20 children were brought to a school in Hamburg. They were injected with morphine and fell asleep. Thirteen year-old Jacqueline and her friends were then hanged one by one.

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