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Kuechel, Alexander, 1924-


Alexander Kuelchel, a survivor of the Holocaust, was born in Berlin, Germany to parents who originally came from Poland. He attended a Christian school until Adolf Hitler came into power, then he was moved to a private school that had a synagogue in the back.

Kuechel was fourteen years old on November 9, 1938, The Night of Broken Glass, or the Kristallnacht. His father was arrested and sent to back to Poland. His sister and her fiancée escaped to Belgium and then Brussels, but he later found out that they, along with their baby, perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In February of 1939 Kuechel was packed to leave Germany and go to Palestine with the Youth Aliyah when a local Zionist leader asked his mother if he would give up his certificate so someone who had been arrested during the Kristallnacht could get out of a concentration camp. Kuechel and his mother agreed and were promised another certificate for him or a place on a Kindertransport to England. In June of 1939 the Gestapo came to Kuechel and his mother and told them to leave Germany. They went to Poland and reunited with Kuechel's father. While in Poland the war broke out and Kuechel and his family got sent to concentration camps.

Alex Kuechel survived seven concentration camps before being liberated by Soviet troops in 1945. He was the sole survivor of his family.