On September 1, 1939, a terrible event called the Holocaust, lead by Adolf Hitler, was taking place. When the war began 1.6 million Jewish children lived where German armies were; one million of those children, along with thousands of Gypsy children and German children that were ill, mentally or physically disabled, or were too young were killed in the Holocaust.
Overall, 1.5 million children between the 0 and 18 died in the Holocaust from: starvation, illness, too much exposure to the sun, and lack of clothing and shelter. Some children were also killed because no one wanted them, they were part of dangerous groups or because of racial struggle.
Children who were 13-18 had a better chance of survival because they could be used for forced labor, but babies and younger children were taken to killing centers or gas chambers on arrival to be killed since they were not useful for anything. Most children were scared, in danger, sad and lonely because they were separated from their parents and siblings. Sometimes children were lucky and escaped from these camps with relatives or friends and would go to family camps run by Jewish partisans. Most of the children that survived the Holocaust would be orphans because their parents would have died.
One of the survivors of the Holocaust was a 16 year old boy named Jakob Blankitny. In 1941, he was captured by the German army. When he was at one of the camps he got typhus but survived; later he was transferred, with other prisoners, to a place called Mlawa ghetto, which was empty because the people that were there before were moved to Auschwitz. They stayed there for 10 days before being taken to Auschwitz.
When arriving women and men were split into two separate groups, where the women, including his mother and sister, were taken to gas chambers where they would die. Even though his mother and sister were killed, Jakob still had his father and both were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be tattooed with identification numbers. Finally in 1945, years after being captured, American soldiers liberated all of the prisoners and he survived. Out of all of his family in Poland Jakob was the only survivor.