The cattle car pulled up to the Auschwitz platform. As the doors opened, German soldiers with guns and barking dogs began pushing out the more than 100 Jews arriving from the Lodz Ghetto.
"Abe, go. You’re young. You’re not afraid to work.” Bronia Rosenstein, Abe’s older sister, urged him to answer a call for strong, healthy men to work outside the Lodz ghetto. It was November 1940. Abe was 21 and for nine months he had been living in one small room with his parents, two sisters and one brother. Abe signed up to work. Living conditions in the ghetto were deteriorating, and people were dying from hunger on the street daily. On the day he reported for work, he spotted his mother standing behind a barbed-wire fence, crying. “It was the last time I saw her,” he said.
Between 1939 and 1944, when the Lodz ghetto was the largest and most notorious Nazi slave labor camp, a bourgeois Austrian named Walter Genewein, the ghetto's chief accountant, procured a Movex 12 camera that was confiscated from a Jewish prisoner.