Two months ago, I visited Auschwitz, and our guide told us a story during the tour:

In Auschwitz-Birkenau, there was a place intended for the Jews to sleep that had a drawing of a few kids performing normal activities, i.e attending school and playing games. There was a little girl there that used to play selections with her friends, like as if she was a Nazi soldier selecting which of her friends would go to the gas chambers.

I am investigating this story in the context of how this kind of event can alter children's minds, and more concretely, I am trying to gather more information about this little girl and her story.

Could you please help me to find info about this little girl and her story, just with a name, a link, her elaborated story or any source?

  • 2
    Did the tour guide give you any reason to believe this individual child survived to relate this story, or is it more likely this was related anecdotally, by individuals not directly involved, but who observed this behavior?
    – justCal
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:23
  • Thanks a lot for your comment. I think she was likely to have been survived. (I think our guide said that the child herself, as a woman, was telling the story after so many years.)
    – dev
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


I have not found information relating directly to this individual child you ask about, but there is other discussion of imprisoned children coping with the horrors around them through play.

A blog site article Kids, the Holocaust, and “Inappropriate” Play discusses this topic, and brings up a couple of references you might find enlightening,


The Eisen book is not 'visible' though Amazon or Google books (for me at least), but the blog does give us some quotes from page 169 of the Grays' book describing other, very similar circumstances to those you describe:

But the children would have none of that. They played games designed to confront, not avoid, the horrors. They played games of war, of “blowing up bunkers,” of “slaughtering,” of “seizing the clothes of the dead,” and games of resistance. At Vilna, Jewish children played “Jews and Gestapomen,” in which the Jews would overpower their tormenters and beat them with their own rifles (sticks).


Even in the extermination camps, the children who were still healthy enough to move around played. In one camp they played a game called “tickling the corpse.” At Auschwitz-Birkenau they dared one another to touch the electric fence. They played “gas chamber,” a game in which they threw rocks into a pit and screamed the sounds of people dying. One game of their own devising was modeled after the camp’s daily roll call and was called klepsi-klepsi, a common term for stealing. One playmate was blindfolded; then one of the others would step forward and hit him hard on the face; and then, with blindfold removed, the one who had been hit had to guess, from facial expressions or other evidence, who had hit him. To survive at Auschwitz, one had to be an expert at bluffing — for example, about stealing bread or about knowing of someone’s escape or resistance plans. Klepsi-klepsi may have been practice for that skill.

Note that none of these tragic stories list any individuals by name. If this individual discussed by your tour guide survived to relate the specific event you are seeking, I did not uncover it yet. This does, however, shed some light on part of your question which states

how this kind of event can alter children's minds

  • Thank you so much for your impressive answer!
    – dev
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 9:25

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