Kalman Goldberg

Kalman Goldberg

Born: May 25, 1923

Tarnow, Poland

Kalman was one of seven children born to religious Jewish parents in the town of Tarnow. He attended public school in the morning and religious school in the afternoon. Kalman's father owned a factory that manufactured kosher soap, sabbath candles and candles for church altars. The Goldbergs lived above their factory, which was located in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.

1933-39: The Germans occupied Tarnow on September 8, 1939. The next day, they burned the synagogues. One synagogue, built of stone from Palestine, was blown up with dynamite. The Goldberg family's factory remained open; at that point, the raw materials they needed were still available. They were ordered to make soap for the German army, and they supplied the orphanage and hospitals. Once a month the Goldbergs distributed soap to the public. They came right to the factory for their ration.

1940-45: In 1942 Kalman was deported to the Plaszow labor camp where he worked as a mechanic. When the electrical system on a truck they'd repaired broke down, the mechanics, including Kalman, were accused of sabotage and sentenced to death by firing squad. They were taken to the camp prison, where they prayed and waited to die. Our foreman, Mr. Warenhaupt, appealed to the camp authorities, arguing that their skills were needed for the camp to function. Their death sentence was repealed. Instead, they were each whipped 100 times on their backs and buttocks.

Kalman was deported to two other camps before the end of the war, and survived. The foreman who saved his life joined the partisans and was killed. Kalman immigrated to the United States in 1946.