The liquidation of the Lodz ghetto in August 1944 initiated the last large-scale deportation to Auschwitz. Among the 65,000 deportees was the 24-year-old deaf Austrian Jewish tailor Siegfried Fedrid, who had been deported from Vienna to Lodz two years earlier.
In January 1945, when the SS ordered the evacuation of Auschwitz, Siegfried Fedrid grabbed a blanket before leaving the camp. During the freezing nights of the death march, he shared this blanket with four other prisoners, saving their lives as well as his own. Fedrid ended up in the Kaufering camp, a subcamp of Dachau, where he was liberated by the Americans in May 1945. He was the sole survivor of his family.
The blanket, on view in the exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is from the collection of the Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle. Watch Paul Salmons, one of the Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. curators, discuss the story of the blanket in the video below.