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  • Hinda Chilewicz

    ID Card

    Hinda was the eldest of three children in a comfortable middle class Jewish family. Her father owned a textile business in Sosnowiec and her mother attended to the home. Sosnowiec in southwestern Poland had a growing Jewish community of almost 30,000 people. There was a Jewish hospital as well as religious schools. 1933–39: Hinda was just 13 years old when German troops invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Three days later, they occupied Sosnowiec and terrorized the Jewish community, killing over a…

    Hinda Chilewicz
  • Gisella Renate Berg

    ID Card

    Gisella lived with her parents, grandparents, uncle, and older sister, Inge, in Lechenich, a small village outside of Cologne. The Bergs were an observant Jewish family. Gisella's grandfather was the president of the local synagogue association and her uncle was the cantor. Her father, Josef was a respected cattle dealer, who had many business and personal contacts with their Jewish and non-Jewish neighbors. 1933–39: Gisella was born several months after the Nazis came to power. Her parents feared for…

    Gisella Renate Berg
  • Kurt Pauly

    ID Card

    Kurt was born to Jewish parents in the city of Aachen, where his mother's family had resided since the 18th century. His father, though trained as a chef, worked as a butcher and also managed several stores for his father-in-law. The Paulys lived over one of those shops in the nearby suburb of Eilendorf. Kurt enjoyed large family gatherings, where he would play with his cousins, Anne and Margot Frank. 1933–39: When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the situation drastically changed for the Paulys.…

    Kurt Pauly
  • Peter Philipps

    ID Card

    Pete grew up in Essen, a major industrial city on Germany's Ruhr River. His father worked as a cattle hide dealer for an international trading company in nearby Muehlheim. His mother was a designer for a fashionable women's dress shop. Pete, his younger twin brothers, and parents lived together in an apartment. 1933–39: Pete had barely passed his first birthday when the Nazis came to power. His father realized the danger that now faced Jews in Germany, and the family left for Prague, Czechoslovakia, in…

    Peter Philipps
  • György (George) Pick

    ID Card

    György was the only child of middle class Jewish parents living in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. His father, Istvan, was an engineer responsible for producing hydraulic grape presses for wineries. His mother, Margit, worked as a legal secretary.  1933–39: In 1938 and 1939, Hungary’s authoritarian government passed the first in a series of major anti-Jewish laws. The legislation severely restricted the participation of Jews in the economy and defined them in racial terms, much like the Nuremberg…

    György (George) Pick
  • Moniek Rozen

    ID Card

    One of 12 children, Moniek grew up in Dabrowa Gornicza, an industrial town in western Poland. His father, Jacob, owned a general store, which he was forced to close in 1938 as the result of a boycott by local antisemites. Moniek attended both public and Jewish schools, and his father hoped that one day he would become a rabbi. 1933–39: On September 1, 1939, Moniek was awakened by the sounds of airplanes flying overhead as German forces invaded Poland. As the war drew closer, Moniek fled eastward, but…

    Moniek Rozen
  • Tania Marcus

    ID Card

    Tania grew up in Smorgonie, a Polish town where Jews constituted more than half of the population. Her father was a successful businessman who sold farming equipment and purchased flax for export. Her grandfather, an affluent merchant, traveled frequently and brought the first truck to Smorgonie. The Marcuses took part in the town's vibrant Jewish culture, attended the theater, and hosted discussions about art in their home. 1933–39: On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland, triggering World…

    Tania Marcus
  • Hans (John) Sachs

    ID Card

    Hans was born to a Jewish family in the Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia that had a large German population. In 1922 the Sachs family moved to Vienna, Austria, where they purchased a dry goods store. Hans attended public school and had many non-Jewish friends. 1933–39: By 1936 many of Hans' friends and their families supported the Nazi movement. In March 1938, German troops entered Austria and incorporated it into the Reich. Hans watched as large crowds in Vienna cheered Hitler when he visited…

    Hans (John) Sachs
  • Regina Gutman

    ID Card

    Regina was born in Radom, a city that had 120,000 inhabitants. Her father worked as a leather cutter for a large shoe manufacturer and her mother took care of their six children. The Gutmans were very religious and Regina attended Hebrew school in the afternoons. Radom had a vibrant Jewish community of some 30,000 people, several Yiddish daily newspapers, and beautiful synagogues. 1933–39: On September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland, and seven days later, Radom was occupied. Soon afterward, the…

    Regina Gutman
  • Sam Spiegel

    ID Card

    Sam was the eldest of five children born to Jewish parents in Kozienice, a town in east central Poland. His father owned a shoe factory and his mother cared for the children and the home. Kozienice had a thriving Jewish community that made up about half of the town's population. 1933–39: On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland. That morning the Spiegels heard an air raid siren blaring and quickly left their house. Fifteen minutes later a bomb struck the building. Sam was just 17 years old.…

    Sam Spiegel

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