Emanuel Litwak

Emanuel Litwak

Born: May 3, 1913

Lvov, Poland

Emanuel, often known by his nickname Manek, was one of five children born to religious Jewish parents in the industrial city of Lvov. After graduating from secondary school, he entered Lvov's polytechnic institute to study civil engineering.

1933-39: At the institute the Jewish students had to stand on the left side of the lecture hall. Once, antisemitic schoolmates broke his jaw because he put up a fight when he was insulted. Manek sued his attackers, but the case was dismissed; the judge said Manek should have been happy he had not been killed. Manek graduated in 1939. After the Soviets occupied Lvov that September, Manek became a planning engineer for the railroad.

1940-42: The Germans took Lvov from the Soviets in 1941. A family friend, Julek, who had been entrusted to help the Litwaks, was asked to ship some clothes to Manek's sister and niece living as "Polish Catholics" in a town 100 miles away. Suspiciously, the clothes never arrived. When Manek decided in September 1942 to flee Lvov to live where no one knew him, Julek came with him to the train station. On the way, Manek wondered whether he could trust Julek.

Manek was betrayed, and was arrested at the Lvov train station for not wearing the required Jewish badge. He was summarily hanged by the Germans. Manek was 29.