How are you supposed to get the girl when you’re an SS officer and she’s a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz? YOU SAVE HER ONLY REMAINING FAMILY FROM THE GAS CHAMBERS, THAT’S HOW.
History Time! Back in 1944, a teenaged Slovakian girl named Helena Citronova and majority of her immediate family were loaded onto the train to Auschwitz; within hours of arrival she was the only one still alive (children, their mothers, the elderly, and the infirm were sent directly to the gas chamber after getting off the train). Helena, being young and pretty, was assigned to work detail in “Canada,” sorting through the baggage left behind by executed prisoners before sending the loot back to Berlin (called “Canada” because the inmates thought of Canada as being a land of freedom and riches, it was the best work detail in Auschwitz with slightly better clothing, food, barracks, and the perk of girls being allowed to grow their hair out).
Franz Wunsch was the SS officer assigned to Helena’s work detail, and one day slipped her a note saying he’d fallen in love with her…which she promptly DESTROYED, probably saying “NOPENOPENOPE” under her breath the entire time. Some time later, however, Helena found out that her elder sister Rozinka (her only remaining family) was on an inbound train to the concentration camp. She approached Franz, since Rozinka would have been travelling with her two infant children and therefore slated for immediate death. Franz told her that there was nothing he could do for the children, but falsified documents to assign Rozinka to his work detail and literally RAN across Auschwitz, screaming lies the entire time, and was able to pull her out of the gas chambers just before the doors shut behind her, and the sisters were reunited.
Eventually Auschwitz was liberated, and a bunch of other terrible things happened to the freed prisoners (especially the ladies), but the point is Helena, Rozinka, and Franz all survived the war; and while Helena and Franz didn’t stay together, the sisters did speak on his behalf during the Nuremberg Trials, saving his life in return.