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Orli Wald
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    (July 1, 1914-January 1, 1962)
    Born in Bourell, France
    Birth name was Aurelia Torgau
    Member of the German Resistance
    Arrested on charges of high treason (June, 1936)
    Spent three and a half years in prison
    Sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp and held in ‘protective custody’ as a danger to the Third Reich (1940)
    Transferred to Auschwitz (1942)
    Named a Lagerälteste (camp leader) at the camp infirmary (1943)
    Married Eduard Wald (1947)
    She joined the Young Communist League.
    As Lagerälteste, she sometimes assisted in choosing the prisoners who were subjected to Josef Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments.
    She attempted suicide several times.
    She suffered a nervous breakdown and died in a psychiatric hospital.
    She smuggled educational pamphlets into Germany for the resistance movement.
    Her first husband went from Communist to Nazi, joined the SA, and denounced her to the authorities.
    At the risk of her life, she used her position as Lagerälteste to assist fellow prisoners.
    Other inmates nicknamed her ‘the Angel of Auschwitz.’
    She survived the death march from Auschwitz to Ravensbruck to Malchow (January, 1945).
    After she escaped from Malchow, she was found by Soviet soldiers, who raped her.
    She left the Communist Party over Stalinism (1948).
    Among the many lingering effects of her imprisonment was that she could no longer bear to listen to music, because it reminded her of the Auschwitz orchestra that played for incoming transports of inmates.

Credit: C. Fishel

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