Revisiting The Horrors Of The Holocaust

Millions Of Nazi Documents Are Being Made Available To The Public

But opening the archives has taken longer than expected. Although the process began 15 months ago, it won't be completed until next fall.

But 60 Minutes brought three men to Bad Arolsen for an advance look.

Walter Feiden, Miki Schwartz and Jack Rosenthal are the first Holocaust survivors ever in the archive.

Schwartz, of San Diego, was 14 when he watched his parents herded to the gas chambers at Auschwitz and then, later, was forced to sign himself in at Buchenwald.

Schwartz came across some documents bearing his handwriting.

60 Minutes asked the Red Cross to find all the documents for these three survivors. There were plenty of surprises, including a mysterious reprieve.

"This is a transport list for prisoners leaving Buchenwald and going to a camp called 'Dora,'" Pelley remarks. "You know what Dora was?"

"Yes," says Schwartz. "Some sort of a fabrication of armaments."

The arms fabricated at Dora were the V-1 and V-2 rockets that rained on London.

"And the story of that place is, hardly anybody got out of there alive. Look at your name. It's on the transport list to go there. And somebody's drawn a line straight through the middle of it. They took you off the list. Did you know until this moment that you were headed to Dora?" Pelley asks.

"No. Never, never, never, wow," Schwartz says. He had no idea why he was taken off the list. Of 50 people named, he was one of just two with a lifeline straight through his name.

"I'm sort of, yes I'm shaking. I'm scared right now," Schwartz says.

"Right now, it makes me think back, and I'm living like there is this 14-year-old youngster and they wanted to kill him," Schwartz says. "I don't know why, I did not ever do anything, any harm to anybody. I think I should have a middle name, my middle name to be Mr. Lucky."

Walter Feiden, of New York, was 13 and a prisoner in a Nazi ghetto, where both his parents died. Later, he too signed into Buchenwald.

Among the documents was the paper Feiden signed. "Hey, you're right. I had better handwriting then than I have now, but, yes," he remarks.

"Who was the boy who signed this card?" Pelley asks.

"A young, actually, teenager who had gone through a great deal, become less trusting of what's told to him. … But glad to be alive. You got to overcome it," Feiden says.

Asked what he has to overcome, Feiden tells Pelley, "The breaking down. Because that's one thing we never did in camp. We never wanted to break down in front of some of SS men, and give them the pleasure of seeing us breaking down."

"How do you stop yourself from breaking down?" Pelley asks.

"I chew my lips. Have you noticed that the lower lip…" Feiden explains. It's what he did in the camps. "Oh, yes and you have to swallow after that. That helps also," he adds.

A card carried his barracks number, "66." That number alone opened his memory. In Block 66, Feiden says a thousand people lived.

"Oh yeah, that's correct. That's correct. Oh, oh, my God, what just popped into my mind. Between each block there was a trough you could urinate in. And I can see it now: the block manager, whatever, felt that this person is just about dead. We put these near-dead people into that trough that other people urinated into, and let them die in those things. The brutality of it, you know?" Feiden recalls.