If you want a long career as a creative person, be type who can write that, and then also crank out The Princess Bride.
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Dec 7: The Holocaust Survivor Who Led A Rebellion, Found Love
Selma Engel, born Saartje Wynberg, was 18 when the Nazis rolled through the Netherlands in 1940. After hiding for two years (a good idea, as she was Jewish), they finally found her and shipped her to the notorious Sobibor extermination camp, in which 167,000 people were eventually murdered.
In the camp, Selma was tasked with the gruesome job of sorting through the clothing of the ones who had been gassed. Some time later, she met another prisoner named was Chaim Engel, and during a mock dance party that the SS officers put on for a joke to make fun of the prisoners, he took her hand and asked Selma to join him. That dance would lead to them becoming a couple and, after the war and camp liberation, marrying each other.
But that was later, and while they were in the camp, they were sure that their days were numbered. So, they decided to fuck up some Nazis and revolt. On October 14, 1943, the couple joined a group of other prisoners who lured several camp officers out of sight in the woods nearby, and killed them with axes and knives. Selma and her future husband joined about 300 other prisoners, ducking gunfire and avoiding minefields on their way out of there (their experiences at the camp were recanted in the movie classic Escape from Sobibor). A Polish family hid the two in their barn until word got out the war finally ended over a year later.
They made a family, and after suffering the displacement and alienation so many Jews faced after the war, moved to the U.S. in 1959. The couple would testify in Nazi war crime trials, and would travel far and wide to talk about their experiences, in the hope that something like that would never happen again.
Justin writes more on his site here. He's also got two albums on Apple Music and most other streaming platforms.
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