You searched for: world war I

world war I

  • Zofia Rapaport

    ID Card

    Zofia was born to a Jewish family in Warsaw. Zofia's father, a self-made man who had put himself through university, was a successful banker. The Rapaports lived on a street of single-family homes with gardens. Zofia's room was decorated with yellow lacquered furniture. 1933-39: As a young child, Zofia loved to play with her dog, Chapek. Sometimes she got to go shopping with her mother downtown. Each year during the Jewish holiday of Passover her family visited Zofia's grandparents in Lvov. In late August…

    Zofia Rapaport
  • Helene Herta Katz Wohlfarth

    ID Card

    Helene, called Herta, was born to a Russian-Jewish father and a German-Jewish mother in a town on the Main River, near Frankfurt. Her father had immigrated to Germany from Russia in 1890. Her mother had automatically taken on her husband's Russian citizenship when she married. In 1914 Russia and Germany went to war, and Russians living in Germany were considered "enemy aliens." 1933-39: Herta married Siegfried Wohlfarth in 1933 and could change from being "stateless" to taking on his German citizenship.…

    Helene Herta Katz Wohlfarth
  • Chava Cherniak Biber

    ID Card

    Chava's mother died when she was 2, and Chava went to live with her grandfather, who was a rabbi in the village of Matsiov. Her grandfather's second wife welcomed Chava. After first studying at a Polish public school, Chava attended a Jewish day school. When Chava was a teenager her adopted grandmother died, and Chava took over managing her grandfather's household until he remarried. 1933-39: Chava's grandfather's third wife was an unsympathetic woman. After she came to their home, Chava wanted to be…

    Chava Cherniak Biber
  • Dora Eiger

    ID Card

    Dora grew up in the industrial city of Radom, known for its armaments industry. Though fervently Jewish, her Yiddish-speaking parents differed from each other in that her mother was deeply religious while her father was not religious and was an ardent member of the Zionist Labor Party. Also known by her Jewish name D'vora, Dora attended Jewish schools and joined a Zionist youth organization. 1933-39: When Dora visited her uncle near the German border in 1936, she first noticed anti-Jewish placards and…

    Dora Eiger
  • Maria Justyna

    ID Card

    Maria was born to Roman Catholic parents in the industrial town of Piotrkow Trybunalski in central Poland. Her father and mother were school teachers. Maria attended grade school and secondary school in Piotrkow. She and her older sister, Danuta, became friends with two Jewish girls, Sabina and Helena Szwarc. Although their houses were more than a mile apart, the girls often played together. 1933-39: The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and occupied Piotrkow four days later. Most schooling for…

    Maria Justyna
  • Stefania (Fusia) Podgorska

    ID Card

    Stefania was born to a Catholic family in a village near Przemysl. They lived on a large farm and cultivated several different crops. While her father worked with the farmhands in the fields, Stefania's mother, a trained midwife, managed the house and cared for her eight children. 1933-39: Stefania's father died in 1938 after an illness. With her mother's approval, she joined her sister in Przemysl in 1939. At 14 she worked in a grocery store owned by the Diamants, a Jewish family. They treated her like…

    Stefania (Fusia) Podgorska
  • Simone Weil

    ID Card

    Simone was the oldest of two children born to a Jewish family in the small village of Ringendorf. When she was 3 her family moved to Strasbourg. Her father made his living breeding sheep. Simone and her younger brother were both active in a Jewish scouting organization, Les Eclaireurs Israelites de France (EIF). Simone attended a public secondary school in Strasbourg. 1933-39: In addition to attending secondary school for five days of the week, Simone also went to a Jewish religious school on the other…

    Simone Weil
  • Abraham Bergman

    ID Card

    Abraham was born to a Jewish family in Krasnik, a town in the Lublin district of Poland. The town had a large Jewish population. Abraham's father was a tailor. When Abraham was 2, his mother died and he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of 7, Abraham started public school. 1933-39: Abraham liked school but found it difficult. The Christian children often yelled at the Jews, "You killed our God." One year, on the day before Christmas break, some kids brought ropes tied to iron weights to school.…

    Tags: Lublin
    Abraham Bergman
  • Eugeniusz Rozenblum

    ID Card

    Eugeniusz's parents married in 1922 in the Soviet Union, where his father owned a textile mill. Fearing arrest by the Soviets for being "bourgeois," Eugeniusz's parents fled to Poland, where Eugeniusz was born. 1933-39: Eugeniusz was a secondary school student and was preparing to enter university, either in Poland or at the Hebrew University in Palestine. The German occupation of Lodz in September 1939 interrupted his schooling. One month after the occupation, a German soldier came to his family's door…

    Tags: Lodz Dachau
    Eugeniusz Rozenblum
  • David Bayer

    ID Card

    David was the second of four children born to religious Jewish parents in Kozienice, a town in southeastern Poland. His father, Manes, owned a shoe factory that supplied stores throughout the country. His mother, Sarah, took care of the home and children, and helped in the factory. Kozienice had a thriving Jewish community that constituted over half of the town's population. 1933–39: For most of the 1930s, David spent his days going to school, playing sports, and working in his father's shoe factory.…

    David Bayer
  • Ruth Elisabeth Dahl

    ID Card

    Ruth was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Geilenkirchen, a rural German town near the Dutch border. Her father, Isidor, was a respected cattle dealer in the area and her mother, Sophia, took care of the home. Ruth had two older siblings, Edith and Carl. 1933–39: When the Nazis came to power in Germany, life changed in Geilenkirchen. The townspeople supported the new regime and nobody helped their Jewish neighbors. Excluded from public institutions, Ruth attended a private Catholic school. In 1938,…

    Ruth Elisabeth Dahl
  • Werner Katzenstein

    ID Card

    Werner was raised in the rural German town of Herleshausen, where his family owned a farming supply business. His father sold seeds to local farmers and purchased their grain, while his mother ran the office. After several years of public schooling in Herleshausen, Werner began attending a high school in Eisenach, some 12 miles from their home. The Katzensteins were one of about two dozen Jewish families living in the area. 1933–39: When the Nazis came to power in January 1933, the Katzensteins' lives…

    Tags: Germany
    Werner Katzenstein
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Elzbieta Lusthaus

    ID Card

    Elzbieta grew up in Iwonicz, a resort town in southwestern Poland noted for its mineral water. Her father, Edmund, was a respected physician and Helena, her mother, had studied pharmacology. At home, they spoke Polish and were among the few Jewish families who lived in Iwonicz. 1933–39: When German troops invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Elzbieta's father was drafted into the Polish army. Seventeen days later, the Soviet army drove in from the east and Edmund was captured. He was transported to a…

    Elzbieta Lusthaus
  • Lisa Nussbaum

    ID Card

    Lisa was born to a Jewish family who lived in a town about three miles from the German border. Her family had lived there for generations. Lisa's father exported geese to Germany, and her mother owned a fabric store. The family lived with Lisa's grandmother in a large, single-level, gray stucco house. Lisa attended a small Hebrew school in Raczki. 1933-39: In 1937 Lisa transferred to a public school. One day, in fifth grade during recess, some boys grabbed her long blonde hair. Others joined in and pinned…

    Lisa Nussbaum
  • Emanuel (Manny) Mandel

    ID Card

    Manny was born to a religious Jewish family in the port city of Riga, Latvia. Shortly after Manny's birth, his father accepted a post as one of the four chief cantors in Budapest and the family returned to Hungary, where they had lived before 1933. Manny's father was based at the renowned Rombach Street synagogue. Between the wars, Budapest was an important Jewish center in Europe. 1933-39: Manny's father wouldn't let him have a bicycle. He thought someone might take it away from him because he was…

    Emanuel (Manny) Mandel
  • Chaim Frenkiel

    ID Card

    Chaim was the third of seven boys born to religious Jewish parents. They lived in a town near Warsaw called Gabin, where Chaim's father worked as a cap maker. Gabin had one of Poland's oldest synagogues, built of wood in 1710. Like most of Gabin's Jews, Chaim's family lived close to the synagogue. The family of nine occupied a one-room apartment on the top floor of a three-story building. 1933-39: In September 1939, two months before Chaim was 12, Germany invaded Poland. In Gabin 10 people were shot in…

    Chaim Frenkiel
  • Jakob Frenkiel

    ID Card

    Jakob was one of seven boys in a religious Jewish family. They lived in a town 50 miles west of Warsaw called Gabin, where Jakob's father worked as a cap maker. Gabin had one of Poland's oldest synagogues, built of wood in 1710. Like most of Gabin's Jews, Jakob's family lived close to the synagogue. The family of nine occupied a one-room apartment on the top floor of a three-story building. 1933-39: On September 1, 1939, just a few months before Jakob turned 10, the Germans started a war with Poland.…

    Tags: Auschwitz
    Jakob Frenkiel
  • Raszka (Roza) Galek

    ID Card

    Roza was born to a Jewish family in a predominately Catholic village near Warsaw. Her father owned a prosperous pearl button factory that employed some 100 people. They shared a large home with Roza's grandmother who ran a general store and bakery in the village. Roza and her three sisters attended Polish schools and took Hebrew lessons at the towns' synagogue. 1933-39: Roza's father frequently did business in Warsaw so the family moved there in 1934. They loved the city, and often went to concerts and…

    Raszka (Roza) Galek
  • Claude Brunswic

    ID Card

    Claude was one of five children born to Jewish parents in the university city of Heidelberg. His father, a physician specializing in internal medicine, had his practice on the first floor of the apartment building in which the family lived. Claude was an avid swimmer until November 1932, when local Nazi party edicts forbad Jews to use the city pool where he swam. 1933-39: In January 1933, just after Hitler became chancellor of Germany, hoodlums attacked Jewish-owned businesses in Heidelberg. They broke…

    Claude Brunswic
  • Samson Reichstein

    ID Card

    Samson was raised by Jewish parents in Tarnopol. His father died when Samson was 13, and Samson went to work to help support his mother and four brothers and sisters. In October 1918 Samson married Kaethe Ert, and the couple moved to Hanover, Germany, where Samson worked as a traveling salesman. Their son Herbert was born in 1920. 1933-39: In 1938 Samson and Kaethe got their son an exit visa on America's Polish quota (since they were Polish citizens). Later that year, the Gestapo came to their door with…

    Samson Reichstein
  • Rojske Kisielnicki Sadowsky

    ID Card

    The second of three children, Rojske was born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Rojske's mother was a housewife and her father was a merchant who often traveled, by horse and wagon, to Warsaw on business. When Rojske was in her twenties, she married Welwel Sadowsky, a fruit dealer. 1933-39: After war broke out last week, German forces fought Polish troops in a battle right here in Kaluszyn. Half the town has been flattened by shelling, and…

    Tags: Poland ghettos
    Rojske Kisielnicki Sadowsky
  • Mikulas Diamant

    ID Card

    Mikulas and his German-speaking Jewish family lived in the town of Hlohovec. His family owned a large farm and his father was a rancher. In 1932, due to declining economic conditions, Mikulas's father began to sell all of his property. Then the family moved to the city of Bratislava, where they had many relatives. 1933-39: Mikulas's father worked with his uncle in the wholesale paper business. Mikulas worked part-time in a workshop as an electrician and he went to high school. In 1938 his family began to…

    Mikulas Diamant
  • David Morgensztern

    ID Card

    The second of four children, David, or Duvid as he was called by his family, was born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. David's mother and grandmother ran a newspaper kiosk in town, and his father worked as a clerk in the town hall. David attended public elementary school. 1933-39: War has broken out between Poland and Germany. Many people are afraid of what might happen if the Germans occupy Poland and have decided to flee to the Soviet…

    David Morgensztern
  • Morris Zaidband

    ID Card

    Morris was one of five children born to a Jewish family in the Polish town of Oswiecim, 33 miles west of Cracow [Krakow]. Morris' father sold ladies' undergarments. Morris worked as a jeweler. 1933-39: In September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Morris's family started to flee eastward but two weeks later the Germans overtook them and they were sent home. When they returned, the Germans were already beating Jews who didn't show them "respect." One day, when German guards came to their house to deport…

    Morris Zaidband
  • Dawid Szpiro

    ID Card

    Dawid was the older of two sons born to Jewish parents in Warsaw. His mother supported the family by selling women's clothing. Dawid's father wrote for the Yiddish newspaper Haynt and the journal Literarishe Bleter. The Szpiros lived in the heart of Warsaw's Jewish district, where Dawid and his brother, Shlomo, attended Jewish schools. 1933-39: Dawid graduated from a trade school at the age of 17 and began working as a mechanic. When his father took a job in Argentina in 1937, Dawid and his brother sent…

    Tags: ghettos
    Dawid Szpiro
  • Frederick R. Wohl

    ID Card

    Frederick was born to a Jewish family in the resort city of Baden-Baden, located in Germany's Black Forest region. His father owned a pharmacy there. His parents were proud German citizens and Frederick's upbringing was not religious. He was sent to Switzerland on a student exchange program just before the Nazis came to power in 1933. 1933-39: Back in Germany Frederick worked in a machine factory for two years but was fired for being Jewish. In Frankfurt to look for work, he went to a Mardi Gras festival.…

    Tags: Cyprus Germany
    Frederick R. Wohl
  • Yakov Biber

    ID Card

    Yakov was the youngest of four children born to a poor religious Jewish family in the village of Matsiov in Ukraine. Six years after Yakov was born, Matsiov was ceded to Poland. When Yakov was 14 his mother died and he had to quit school in order to work. Yakov was a Zionist and hoped to settle in Palestine [Yishuv]. 1933-39: In the Young Pioneers, a Zionist group, Yakov directed the dramatic productions the group put on to raise money for the Zionist cause. It was in the Young Pioneers that he met Chava,…

    Tags: Ukraine
    Yakov Biber
  • 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
  • Helen Lebowitz

    ID Card

    Helen was one of seven children born to a Jewish family in Volosyanka, a town in Trans-Carpathian Ruthenia. Nestled in the Carpathian mountains, Volosyanka was a small town with a sizable Jewish community. Jewish life revolved around the town's synagogue. Helen grew up in a close-knit family; many relatives lived nearby. Her father owned a shoe store in the town. 1933-39: When Helen was 11 years old, Hungary occupied the Transcarpathian region. At once, Jews were prohibited from holding government…

    Helen Lebowitz
  • Masza Tenenbaum

    ID Card

    The youngest of three children, Masza was born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Her father owned a shop where he sold cosmetics and non-prescription medicines. Masza was close friends with a group of Jewish teenagers who went to the same public school and who spent much of their free time and vacations together. 1933-39: Majlich, Sara, and the rest of Masza's group have always liked discussing politics as they strolled down the main…

    Masza Tenenbaum
  • Maria Terez Halpert Katz

    ID Card

    Also known by her Yiddish name, Tobe, Terez was raised in a religious Jewish family. Her father and two brothers were rabbis. Though Terez was a promising student, she didn't pursue an advanced education because her traditional family wanted her to marry. So Terez married Menyhert Katz and moved to the town of Kisvarda [in Hungary]. There, she raised five daughters and one son; two other sons died. 1933-39: Terez's twin sons died when they were 8 months old, and she was convinced that their death was a…

    Maria Terez Halpert Katz
  • Izabella Katz

    ID Card

    Izabella was one of eight children raised in a religious Jewish family in the small town of Kisvarda in northeastern Hungary. Every Friday Izabella and her brother and four younger sisters went to the library to borrow the maximum number of books for their mother. Izabella attended public schools and longed to move to a big city. 1933-39: Antisemitism was prevalent. Izabella can't count the number of times she was called "smelly Jew." Her family cringed at "Heil Hitler" speeches from Germany on the radio…

    Tags: Auschwitz
    Izabella Katz
  • Leo Schneiderman describes conditions in the Lodz ghetto

    Oral History

    The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. Leo and his family were confined to a ghetto in Lodz. Leo was forced to work as a tailor in a uniform factory. The Lodz ghetto was liquidated in 1944, and Leo was deported to Auschwitz. He was then sent to the Gross-Rosen camp system for forced labor. As the Soviet army advanced, the prisoners were transferred to the Ebensee camp in Austria. The Ebensee camp was liberated in 1945.

    Tags: Lodz ghettos
    Leo Schneiderman describes conditions in the Lodz ghetto
  • Leo Kutner describes forced labor in Stutthof

    Oral History

    Leo was arrested on the first day of the war, and assigned to forced labor in a shipyard, then on a farm. In 1940, like other Jews, he was deported to Stutthof. There, he upholstered furniture for the SS. The following year, he was sent to Auschwitz, where he cleaned the streets and dug ditches. As the Allies neared, Leo was evacuated to a series of camps. On a death march from Flossenbürg, the Nazis dispersed, allowing Leo and other prisoners to get away. He was liberated by US forces in April 1945.

    Leo Kutner describes forced labor in Stutthof
  • Alice Lok Cahana describes arrival at Bergen-Belsen

    Oral History

    Germany occupied Hungary in 1944. Alice was deported to Auschwitz in the same year. At one time she was selected for the gas chamber, but survived because of a malfunction. As Allied forces approached the camp, Alice and other inmates were evacuated to the Guben labor camp. Alice, her sister, and another girl escaped during a forced march from the camp but were found and sent on to Bergen-Belsen. Alice's sister was taken to a Red Cross hospital, but Alice never saw her again. After the war, Alice…

    Alice Lok Cahana describes arrival at Bergen-Belsen
  • Tomasz (Toivi) Blatt describes the Izbica Jewish council (Judenrat) and German attacks (Aktionen) there

    Oral History

    After war began in September 1939, the Germans established a ghetto and Jewish council in Izbica. Tomasz's work in a garage initially protected him from roundups in the ghetto. In 1942 he tried to escape to Hungary, using false papers. He was caught but managed to return to Izbica. In April 1943 he and his family were deported to the Sobibor killing center. Tomasz escaped during the Sobibor uprising. He went into hiding, and worked as a courier in the Polish underground.

    Tomasz (Toivi) Blatt describes the Izbica Jewish council (Judenrat) and German attacks (Aktionen) there
  • Steven Springfield describes a massacre in the Rumbula forest near Riga, Latvia

    Oral History

    The Germans occupied Riga in 1941, and confined the Jews to a ghetto. In late 1941, at least 25,000 Jews from the ghetto were massacred at the Rumbula forest, near Riga. Steven and his brother were sent to a small ghetto for able-bodied men. In 1943 Steven was deported to the Kaiserwald camp and sent to a nearby work camp. In 1944 he was transferred to Stutthof and forced to work in a shipbuilding firm. In 1945, Steven and his brother survived a death march and were liberated by Soviet forces.

    Steven Springfield describes a massacre in the Rumbula forest near Riga, Latvia
  • Fred Deutsch describes some of the risks involved in hiding

    Oral History

    Fred was born in Czechoslovakia in a town near the Polish border. Fred and his family were forced by the Germans to relocate east to a town bordering Slovakia. At the end of 1942, they escaped from the town and went into hiding. The family hid in bunkers in the forest until the end of the war. They moved every few weeks to avoid detection by the Germans or Slovak authorities. While the family was in hiding, Fred's grandfather made arrangements for Fred to attend school under an assumed name and religion. A…

    Tags: hiding
    Fred Deutsch describes some of the risks involved in hiding
  • Thomas Buergenthal describes the impact of the Nuremberg trials on the development of international law

    Oral History

    Judge Thomas Buergenthal was one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. Judge Buergenthal has devoted his life to international and human rights law. A former chairman of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience, he is currently the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School and served for a decade as the American judge at the International Court of…

    Thomas Buergenthal describes the impact of the Nuremberg trials on the development of international law
  • Laura Litwak

    ID Card

    Laura was the second of five children born to religious Jewish parents in the industrial city of Lvov. She was often called affectionately by her nickname, Lorka. Coming from an educated family living in a multi-ethnic part of Poland, she grew up speaking Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish. As a young woman, she earned a humanities degree from St. Nicholas University in Lvov. 1933-39: In April 1935 Laura became Mrs. Daniel Schwarzwald. Her husband was a successful lumber exporter, and they lived in a…

    Laura Litwak
  • Raizel Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    Raizel lived with her husband, Mojsze, and their three children in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, which was 35 miles east of Warsaw. By the 1930s, Mojsze owned a grocery store, a restaurant, and a gas station, all of which were located together on the heavily traveled main road. The family lived in rooms in the same building as their business. 1933-39: Every day Raizel prepares the roast goose served in the family's restaurant. They have a bustling business, as many truck drivers stop…

    Tags: Poland
    Raizel Kisielnicki
  • Idzia Pienknawiesz

    ID Card

    Idzia was the older of two girls born to Jewish parents who lived 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Idzia's father owned a liquor store and her mother was a housewife. Idzia was close friends with a group of Jewish teenagers who went to the same public school and spent much of their free time and vacations together. 1933-39: Normally, Idzia goes out with her friends on pleasant summer evenings. They like to stroll down the main street together and visit the sweets…

    Tags: Poland
    Idzia Pienknawiesz
  • Frederic Bernard

    ID Card

    Frederic was born to a Jewish family in Czernowitz (Chernovtsy). His father was head clerk in a lawyer's office and his mother was a pianist. Frederic's parents were active in Czernowitz's sizable Jewish community. In 1930 Frederic began medical studies at the German University in Prague, Czechoslovakia. 1933-39: Frederic left Prague in 1933. He went to France and then Italy to finish his studies and graduated in 1936. He wanted to leave Europe to escape Hitler and tried to do so by applying to the…

    Frederic Bernard
  • Sandor Alexander Bokshorn

    ID Card

    Sandor grew up in Budapest where his father was a furrier. Sandor attended a Jewish school until he was 14 and then entered a business school run by the chamber of commerce. After he graduated in 1929, he entered his father's business. Sandor then spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris before entering university in Budapest to study economics. 1933-39: As a Jew, Sandor was in the minority at the university because anti-Jewish laws enacted in the 1920s had set quotas that limited Jewish applicants.…

    Sandor Alexander Bokshorn
  • Frieda Altman Felman

    ID Card

    Frieda grew up in a crowded one-room house in Sokolow Podlaski, a small manufacturing center in central Poland. Frieda's father had died when she was two years old, and her mother had then moved back to her hometown of Sokolow Podlaski, where she opened a poultry shop. The Altmans were a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family, and Frieda was the youngest of four children. 1933-39: German troops entered Frieda's town on September 20, 1939. She was huddling, frightened, with family and friends in a…

    Frieda Altman Felman
  • Ida Szczupakiewicz

    ID Card

    Ida was the oldest of three children born to a Jewish family in northeastern Poland in Malkinia, a town situated on the right bank of the Bug River. Ida's father was a grain merchant and her family lived in the same house that her grandfather had owned. 1933-39: Ida was 9 when Germany invaded Poland. At once her family hid on some nearby farms but a few weeks later they returned home. When their neighbor, her father's best friend, became a Nazi informant, her father had them each pack a small bag--they…

    Ida Szczupakiewicz
  • Leon Kusmirek

    ID Card

    Leon was the oldest of two boys born to a Jewish family in Zgierz, a central Polish town in the heart of Poland's textile producing region. The family lived at 15 Konstantynowska Street. Leon's father worked at a textile factory. At age 7, Leon began attending public school in the morning and religious school in the afternoon. 1933-39: On Friday, September 1, 1939, Leon's mother had just returned from the market when the family saw German planes. On Sunday they flew over again, lower, panicking the city.…

    Leon Kusmirek

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