Elisabeth Mann must still forgive herself daily for one of those tragic “what if” situations she was thrust into when she was so young.
When her family arrived in Auschwitz, they stood before armed guards who asked her how old her brother was. She told them that he was thirteen. She said proudly that according to the Jewish tradition, he was not a bar mitzvah, a man.
After realizing that most young children and often their mothers were immediately sent to the gas chambers while the others were spared, she feared that her comment had marked her brother for death.
“Maybe if I hadn’t said his real age, he would be alive; maybe if I hadn’t said anything, he would have survived. I often feel like I sent him to his death.”
To this day, Elisabeth misses her little brother and wonders “what if.”
She must continue to find forgiveness in her heart from the misplaced sense of responsibility.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross: Life Lessons Page 204
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