The Holocaust |
Sora Seiler Vigorito is a survivor of the
Holocaust. Born in Germany, at the age of 4 she and her twin sister, Channah,
were confined to a cage in Dr. Josef Mengele's infamous laboratory on the second floor of
Crematoria II in Auschwitz-Birkenau. While there they both fell victim to Josef Mendele's
inhumane medical experiments. Sora walked out of Auschwitz January 1945, but
her identical twin died a few months before liberation. She is one of the few
"Mengele twins" survivors. Her mother also died in Auschwitz. Her father
survived Dachau but he died in 1957 and Sora was made a ward of the state and sent to a
Catholic orphanage. Sora met and married Frank Vigorito settling in Erie
Pennsylvania before moving to Cleveland Ohio in 1988. Frank converted to Judaism and added
Avraham to his first name. They have three children.
An excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Human Cruelty CD-ROM:
Felicity Press, PO Box 92, Islington NSW 2296 Australia.
. . . . . . Dr MENGELE, in particular, was obsessed with the value of twins to his
experimental program and many twin children were saved from the gas chamber by Mengele
only to end up as guinea-pigs in his cruel experimental program. He was also interested in
dwarfs and saved many of
these people for experimentation. A typical and especially horrifying story of
experimentation on a child involved Susan Vigorito, who managed somehow to survive all the
horrors she was put through and lived to tell the tale after the war. Little Susan was
snatched from her parents at the age of just 4 years and found herself locked inside a
cage in a terrifying room where white-coated figures moved back and forth and screams and
other horrifying sounds were heard all day, every day. Then one day she was removed from
her cage, gagged, blindfolded and strapped down on a table. Dr Mengele was operating on
one of her tiny legs - without an anaesthetic of any kind! The limb was cut open and the
flesh scraped to the bone. The operation being over, her leg was roughly bandaged and then
she was just pushed back into her cage and left in pain and anguish torecover. Nobody
comforted her, nobody gave her pain-killers. She was just another object of interest to
the experimenters .
Recently I heard Sora Sella Vigorito speak in San Francisco. A
surviving Mengele twin who had been in Auschwitz at age three, she is now 54 and lives in
Judith Schuchmann's letter in the Dec. 1 Jewish Bulletin questions the accuracy of
Vigorito's story. She implies Vigorito's age meant any "mistreatment" she might
have received at Auschwitz could have been by Russians who arrived two days after the
She wonders whether the hammer Mengele smashed her hand with could have been an orthopedic
rubber mallet used to test reflexes. Fascinating.
As I listened to Vigorito speak, my eyes kept drifting towards her mangled right hand,
which lacked part of a finger. But what stood out most was her warmth and beautiful
aliveness as she described her struggles, including looking to Christianity as the answer
before finally finding fulfillment in becoming the educated, proud, observant Jew she is
I feel privileged to have met and been inspired by Sora Vigorito.
MARCIA FISCH BERGER
(Letter to the Editor, December 1995, San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc.,
dba Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.)
Several sites mention Sora Seiler Vigorito
Mengele twin shares inspiring words of faith, courage (November 3,
1995) Jewish Bulletin of Northern California Online.
Angel of Death: Josef
Mengele Site describing the medical experiments that Mengele conducted on
children in his Death camps. Contains disturbing pictures.
Experimentation on Human Subjects by Nazi Germany and Japan
TITLE: Susan <videorecording> KSU Teleproductions; produced
by HerbertHochhauser, Saul Friedman; directed by Gordon J. Murray.
AUTHOR: Vigorito, Susan Seiler.
SUMMARY: Susan Seiler Vigorito, youngest member of CANDLES
(Children of Auschwitz Nazi's Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) tells of her childhood
experiences hiding from German soldiers and being captured with her twin Hannah and her
grandmother. After being taken to Auschwitz, the twins were selected by Dr. Josef Mengle
for medical experimentation. Hannah died. Susan was four and a half when liberated.
PUBLISHER: <Kent, Ohio : Kent State University Audio Visual
LOCATION: NMU MEDIA COLLECTION
CALL NO: D 810 .J4 V5 1987
Last updated: March 23, 2000