The Invincible Group of 10 Women Who Survived the Holocaust Together

Ten women risked their lives to keep each other safe from Nazi ‘selections,’ endured three concentration camps together and held each other up during death marches. Writer Michal Govrin only discovered this amazing story after her mother died. It was thanks to them that she survived the Holocaust

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A photo smuggled into Auschwitz in a piece of soap, of young Haredi women including two from the Zehnnerschaft – standing, upper right, Pearl Benisch, and Rivka Horowitz, second from left.
A photo smuggled into Auschwitz in a piece of soap, of young Haredi women including two from the Zehnnerschaft – standing, upper right, Pearl Benisch, and Rivka Horowitz, second from left. Credit: From “To Vanquish the Dragon” by Pearl Benisch
מיכל אהרוני
Michal Aharony
מיכל אהרוני
Michal Aharony

Michal Govrin didn’t understand what drew her parents to Bnei Brak. She knew her mother had friends there, because her parents sometimes celebrated social occasions with them, but she couldn’t figure out what the connection was between her secular parents, who lived in Tel Aviv, and their Haredi – ultra-Orthodox – friends in the neighboring city. For her, it was the most puzzling thing in the world. “I was a snobby Tel Aviv kid, anti-religious by definition,” she recalls, “and that was a whole other world for me. Like they were traveling to another country.” Her mother didn’t really explain it. Indeed, there were a great many things her mother didn’t explain.

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