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“In the morning we woke up and the house was empty,”


Siegler said. “T e Russians had come through and we never heard anything. T ey must have leſt us for dead.” T e sisters leſt and came across a Russian soldier who noticed


they were refugees and took them to a Jewish soldier. When the Russian soldiers leſt the farm, the girls stayed alone at the farm for a few days. Siegler said they had a razorblade and had contemplated


taking their lives in the farmhouse. T e thought of family members who had possibly survived kept the girls alive. T e girls were found and taken to a hospital where Siegler


said she was treated for various ailments, including typhoid fever and an infected wound.


Aſt er gaining strength in the hospital for


over a month, the girls fl ed to a railroad station in Krakow, Poland and boarded a coal train to Prague. “T e self-preservation, it’s something,” she


said. “Your mind works only to survive, to stay alive.” In Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, the sisters found


the Dutch Army who sent them to Bamberg, Germany, to get proper identifi cation so they could return to the Netherlands. When the girls arrived in Utrecht in the Netherlands, they were able to fi nd their


A fl ower marks the place where barracks once stood at Sach- senhausen con- centration camp near Berlin. Flowers can be found through- out the camp, from medical examination beds to the gas chambers.


ALPINE LIVING 2011 | 25


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