Hey there! Mallory and Jessica here. Although you've already been introduced to Mallory, Jessica is a senior nursing major who enjoys spending her time reading, hanging out with friends and running.
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to tour the Jewish quarter of Berlin, Germany. Amongst the historically significant sites, we visited the location of the very first synagogue, Otto Weidt's factory for the Blind, The Abandoned Room, and many Jewish courtyards.
One of the most moving stories that we heard on the tour was about Otto Weidt's Factory for the Blind. At this factory, Otto employed deaf and blind Jews to help produce brushes and brooms. Because the making of brushes and brooms did not require the precise vision, Otto saw the opportunity to save the Jewish employees from deportation. Otto would even negotiate with the Nazis, trying to gain even more Jewish employees that he could hide. We were even able to view a "hidden room" that some of his employees stayed in during the night that was behind a wardrobe. By Otto doing this, he was able to save over half of his Jewish employees lives. Truly inspiring.
Our tour guide also told us about a woman whom was nicknamed "The Spider". Even though she was Jewish, she would trick Jewish men into trying to help hide her, along with themselves. Once she found out where these Jews were hiding, "The Spider" would relay the location to the Nazis. We were both wondering why a Jewish woman would do such a horrible thing, until we found out that the Nazis promised her that if she complied, they would not send her family to the death camps. Tragically, they did not keep their promise and both of her parents died in the death camps later in the war. Interestingly enough, that same woman had a daughter who wanted to make up for all of the bad things that her mother had done. The daughter decided to go through nursing school and become an Army nurse, helping save lives every single day.
We're sorry for not posting right away. We have had some pretty scattered Internet in Berlin.
Until next time!