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Abram Shnapeer narrowly escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in 1944, and dedicated his life to telling the story so that what he experienced might never happen again.In 2007, he told the Jewish Exponent newspaper that the Jewish people would be safe only if future generations remembered the Holocaust and remained vigilant."This is what we still have to do," he said. "The children and grandchildren have to help us - to stay and watch."
Born in Lodz, Poland, he grew up in Vilnius, now the capital of Lithuania. During World War II, he was shuttled among seven labour camps, including the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, Stutthof, and Bergen-Belsen. In 1944, Mr. Shnaper, then in his 20s, escaped with his cousin from the Klooga concentration camp in Estonia just as Nazi soldiers shot a group of Jews and burned their bodies on wooden pyres. The two men were rescued when the Soviets liberated the area. They were among only 100 to survive out of 3,500 prisoners incarcerated at Klooga, he told the newspaper. The first thing he did after being liberated was to write down his experiences in a black-and-white notebook. He said that it felt crazy, but he simply had to get everything on paper.
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