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  • Jan Komski

    ID Card

    Jan was born to a Catholic family in the small Polish town of Bircza. His father, a World War I veteran, moved the family to Brzozow shortly after the war. Brzozow was a small manufacturing town in southeastern Poland. After graduating from secondary school, Jan enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. 1933-39: Cracow was a beautiful old city; Jan studied its remarkable churches and synagogues in his classes. By September 1939, however, the war engulfed the beauty of Cracow. He left to escape the…

    Jan Komski
  • Sarah Rivka Felman

    ID Card

    One of seven children, Sarah was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish home in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of some 5,000. Sarah's parents ran a grain business. In 1930, Sarah began attending public elementary school in Sokolow Podlaski. 1933-39: After graduating from middle school in 1937 at the age of 14, Sarah helped out her now widowed mother in the family's grain business. Two years later, Germany attacked Poland. German aircraft…

    Sarah Rivka Felman
  • Fischel Felman

    ID Card

    Fischel was the oldest of seven children in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family. When he was a small child, his parents moved the family to Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of about 5,000. Fischel was sent to study at a religious school. In 1932, when he was 21 years old, Fischel was inducted into the Polish army. 1933-39: After two years in the Polish cavalry, Fischel returned to Sokolow Podlaski, where he apprenticed to become a carpenter…

    Fischel Felman
  • Chaim Werzbe

    ID Card

    Chaim was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish community of about 5,000. The economic activities of most of the townspeople were closely tied to those of nearby Warsaw and surrounding farming communities. As a young man, Chaim liked to play chess and was active in a local Zionist organization. 1933-39: Chaim made a living in the grain business. After settling down, he married a widow who was older than he and…

    Chaim Werzbe
  • Maria Schimek Dicker

    ID Card

    Maria's Jewish family lived in a Slovakian manufacturing town. When her father's match factory failed, the family of seven moved to Budapest. In her early twenties, Maria opened a flower shop, but she gave it up when she married and moved to Ujpest, outside Budapest. Maria then stayed at home to raise her five children. Her husband owned a large furniture store, and she often gave him business advice. 1933-39: Maria loves having all her grown children gathered around her at the dinner table, enjoying her…

    Tags: Hungary
    Maria Schimek Dicker
  • Mendel Felman

    ID Card

    One of seven children, Mendel was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish home in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of about 5,000. Mendel's parents ran a grain business. As a teenager, Mendel liked to play chess, and he completed his public schooling in Sokolow Podlaski in 1931. 1933-39: After finishing middle school, Mendel went to work in his parents' business. When he was 18, he fell in love with Frieda Altman who was in the same Zionist…

    Tags: Poland
    Mendel Felman
  • Neuengamme


    Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 44,000 camps and other incarceration sites (including ghettos). The perpetrators used these locations for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people dee...

    Tags: camps
  • Leo Nitschke

    ID Card

    Leo was one of two children born to Jewish parents in the Moravian capital of Brno. When Leo was a child his father died, and Leo and his sister, Edita, were raised by their German-born mother. On November 27, 1931, Leo graduated with a law degree from Brno University. 1933-39: After courting Hilda Krakauerova, a dental technician, Leo married her on December 23, 1935. Leo served as a district judge in Brno and in the town of Postejov, and in 1938 he was appointed judge and secretary to the Moravian…

    Leo Nitschke
  • Alexander Bernstein

    ID Card

    Alexander was one of six children born to a Jewish family in the Lithuanian village of Karchai. His father was a farmer. In nearby Janova, Alexander attended public school and also studied Hebrew and Jewish history in a religious school. In 1925 Alexander moved to Siauliai to attend secondary school. He lived there with his older sister. 1933-39: Alexander enrolled in university in Kovno, and entered the pharmacology department. After completing his degree, he returned to Siauliai and took a job in a…

    Tags: Lithuania
    Alexander Bernstein
  • Nikola Mrvos

    ID Card

    The oldest of five children, Nikola was born in a small village in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia. Like his parents, Nikola was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox faith. After receiving his medical degree from Prague University, he married, and in 1912 moved with his wife to Serbia. During World War I he served in the Serbian army, and then settled in Novi Sad where he co-owned a medical clinic. 1933-39: Nikola and his wife raised three children in Novi Sad. Then difficult times brought on by the 1930s…

    Tags: Yugoslavia
    Nikola Mrvos

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