This remarkable, never-before-told account of the Ovitz family, seven of whose ten members were dwarfs, bears witness to the best and worst of humanity and to the terrible irony of the Ovitzes’ fate: being burdened with dwarfism helped them endure the Holocaust. Through dogged research and interviews with Perla, the youngest Ovitz daughter and last surviving sibling, and other relatives, authors Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev weave the tale of a beloved and successful family of performers who were popular entertainers in Central Europe until the Nazis deported them to Auschwitz in May 1944. Descending from the transport train into the hell of the concentration camp, the Ovitz familyknown widely as the Lilliput Troupewas separated from other Jewish victims. When Dr. Josef Mengele was then notified of their arrival, he assigned them to sequestered quarters. His horrific “research” on twins and other genetically unique individuals already under way, Mengele had special plans for the Ovitzes. The authors chronicle Mengele’s loathsome experiments upon the family members, the disturbing fondness he developed for these small people, and their interminable will to make it out alive. Dozens of telling photographs are included in this horrifying yet remarkable tale of survival.
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