Eddy de Wind

Last Stop Auschwitz
  • Last Stop Auschwitz

  • 'We know that there is only one ending to this, only one liberation from this barbed wire hell: death.' Eddy de Wind

    Eddy de Wind, a Dutch doctor and psychiatrist, was shipped to Auschwitz with his wife Friedel, whom he had met and married at the Westerbork detention camp in the Netherlands. At Auschwitz, they made it through the brutal selection process and were put to work in the medical barracks. Each day, each hour became a battle for survival.

    For Eddy, this meant negotiating the volatile behaviour of the guards. For Friedel, it meant avoiding the Nazis’ medical experiments. Despite such daily stresses, love prevailed. Passing notes through the fence, sometimes stealing a brief embrace, Friedel and Eddy clung to life.

    As the end of the war approached and the Russian Army drew closer, the last Nazis fled, taking many prisoners with them, including Friedel. Eddy hid under a pile of old clothes and stayed behind. And then he began to write with furious energy about his experiences.

    Thought to be the only complete book written inside the camp itself, Last Stop Auschwitz is an extraordinary account of life as a prisoner, a near real-time record of the daily struggle to survive but also of the flickering moments of joy Eddy and Friedel found in each other. Documenting the best and the worst of humanity, this unique and timeless story reminds us there is hope, even in Hell. And it will linger with you long after the final page has been turned.

RELEASED 09/01/2020

Eddy de Wind (1916–1987) was the last Jewish doctor to graduate from Leiden University in the Netherlands during World War Two. He volunteered to work at the Westerbork labour camp under the false impression that his mother, who had been taken by the Germans, would be saved from deportation. There, he met and married his first wife, Friedel. The couple was deported to Auschwitz in 1943. In late 1944, the Russians were closing in on the camp and the Germans set about destroying it, taking with them all prisoners who were still mobile – including Friedel, who was removed in January 1945. De Wind stayed in the camp, hid under a barracks, was liberated by the Russians and became a doctor in the Red Army. While still in the camp, he found a notebook and began writing Last Stop Auschwitz. After returning to Holland in the summer of 1945, de Wind specialized as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. In 1949 he published ‘Confrontation With Death’, his famous article in which he introduced the idea of concentration-camp syndrome. Last Stop Auschwitz was published in Dutch in February 1946. As far as is known, it is the only complete book written in Auschwitz itself.