On July 11, 1944, at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Vilma Grunwald, quickly wrote a note to her husband, Dr. Kurt Grunwald, before she was put onto a truck headed for the gas chamber. Vilma knew her fate and wrote 10 sentences to comfort her husband and youngest son who were being held elsewhere at Auschwitz. Vilma, along with her oldest, handicapped son, and hundreds of others Jews would never be heard from again.
Vilma took a chance, and after folding the letter, wrote her husbands name and "F Lager" on the outside. She then gave the letter to a Nazi guard. As a prisoner and a doctor, her husband was at the camp treating other prisoners so they could return to work. "F Lager" would tell the guard the barracks where her husband was imprisoned.
One can only imagine the sense of panic Vilma must have been feeling at that moment, but her extraordinary letter shows none of that. Instead it is a letter of love and concern for her husband and son. Miraculously, the guard delivered the letter and now 74 years later the letter is housed at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.