TIL Rudolf Vrba & another man escaped from Auschwitz by noting that after prisoners went missing, searching only lasted for 3 days. They hid in a hole for 3 days outside the inner perimeter fence, & on the 4th day got away.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Vrba

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  1. >Wearing suits, overcoats, and boots, at 14:00 on Friday, 7 April 1944—the eve of Passover—the men climbed inside a hollowed-out space they had prepared in a pile of wood stacked between Auschwitz-Birkenau’s inner and outer perimeter fences, in section BIII in a construction area known as “Meksyk” (“Mexico”). They sprinkled the area with Russian tobacco soaked in gasoline, as advised by Dmitri Volkov, the Russian captain.[93] Bolek and Adamek, both Polish prisoners, moved the planks back in place once they were hidden.[94]

    >Kárný writes that at 20:33 on 7 April SS-Sturmbannführer Fritz Hartjenstein, the Birkenau commander, learned by teleprinter that two Jews were missing.[95] On 8 April the Gestapo at Auschwitz sent telegrams with descriptions to the Reich Security Head Office in Berlin, the SS in Oranienburg, district commanders, and others.[96] The men hid in the wood pile for three nights and throughout the fourth day.[97] Soaking wet, with strips of flannel tightened across their mouths to muffle coughing, Wetzel wrote that they lay there counting: “[N]early eighty hours. Four thousand eight hundred minutes. Two hundred and eighty-eight thousand seconds.”[98] On Sunday morning, 9 April, Adamek urinated against the pile and whistled to signal that all was well.[99] At 9 pm on 10 April, they crawled out of the wood pile. “Their circulation returns only slowly,” Wetzel wrote. “They both have the sensation of ants running along in their veins, that their bodies have been transformed into big, very slowly warming ant-heaps. … The onset of weakness is so fierce that they have to support themselves on the inner edges of the panels.”[100] Using a map they’d taken from “Kanada”, the men headed south toward Slovakia 130 kilometres (81 mi) away, walking parallel to the Soła river

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