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Number of pages: 14
Reference number: 1656/3/6/919
Catalogue ID: 105613
Subject: Anti-NazisCatholicsIllegality

During World War II the author was a member of the military government in Zloczoe/Poland. He lived with his family in a small flat, and when his rejection of the Nazi doctrine was soon found out, Poles and Jews came to him for help. Among his protégés was a Jewish lawyer, Dr. Altmann, and they frequently exchanged views and information.

In May 1943, when the situation for Jews became critical, they worked out a plan how to save Mrs Altmann. As she did not look Jewish, she was supplied with forged papers and sent, with another Jewess, in the author's official car to Lemberg. Under the guise of an “Aryan” she could buy a railway ticket there and proceed to Warsaw, where she took a domestic job. In careful and lengthy negotiations a hiding place was then arranged for Dr. Altmann, his son and his father. A small farmer nearby agreed to give them shelter, and in return the author, as a member of the Food Department of the Government, obtained the permit for him to run a snack bar. He could thus allocate extra rations for him with which to feed Dr. Altmann and his family.

On 14 July 1943 the author took leave of Dr. Altmann. A few days later a particularly brutal “aktion” took place, in the course of which fighting broke out and a few Germans were shot. Upon repeated requests of Dr. Altmann, the author went to see him one Sunday morning in August 1943. He pretended that his car had broken down and called for help at the snack bar. The farmer asked him into his own room, where he met the sadly changed Dr. Altmann. Together they went down into the stable which housed 3 cows. Under the trough was a small hole through which the men had to crawl into a tiny, windowless space. (A small drawing attached to the document explains the lay-out.)

The news that Dr. Altmann survived was given to the author by another Jew, Joseph Batisgh, whom author had taken into his house as a servant, on the recommendation of Dr. Altmann. Mr Batisgh was an accountant by profession, and friendly relations between him and the author's family were soon established. Whenever danger threatened, Mr Batisgh and other Jews spent the nights in the author's kitchen, but when Zloczow was declared “Judenfrei” in July 1943, it was decided that Mr Batisgh and his wife had to go underground

They found foster parents for their small child who, however, died 6 months later. The young couple went to stay with a Polish farmer in a village nearby. For more than a year they lived in a camouflaged potato camp, until the Russians arrived. In 1946 the author heard from Mr Batisch that they had survived. In his concluding remarks the author explains that his Catholic faith and abhorrence of the Nazi crimes made him act as he did.

Number of pages: 10
Reference number: 1656/3/7/1046
Catalogue ID: 105666
Subject: CatholicsChildrenKindertransport

The author worked at the Belgian Ministry of Labour as a welfare officer. At the beginning of the year 1943, she joined theC.D.J. (Comité de défense des Juifs), in order to hide and help Jewish children. She describes the various departments and tasks of this organization (p.1) and how the work was done in the children’s group, to which she belonged; some examples of the complicated rescue work (p.2, 5-7). Reports on the extreme difficulties which had to be overcome, in order to return a small child to his mother, after the baby’s name had to be changed twice, his mother had been known to be dead for years and the foster parents wanted to keep the child (p.3-5).

Some people at Brussels were still afraid of the “Fünfte Kolonne“ when the occupation was over (p.4). Help from Catholic nuns, Avenue Clémenceau; deportation and imprisonment for other non-Jews helping Jews; Mr and Mrs Ovart, and their daughter who had hidden Jewish children and adults, pensionnat Gaty de Gamont (p.6). The author arrested twice could get away (p.6). Help from a police-officer; the Chief of the food office at Brussels generously helped out with ration cards (p.6-7).

Repeatedly they succeeded to rescue the children under the nose of the Gestapo during the raids, whilst the parents were arrested (p.7).

Number of pages: 8
Reference number: 1656/3/9/921
Catalogue ID: 106461
Subject: CatholicsRescueResistance

The author, a Catholic journalist in Prague, was correspondent of the Berlin Film-Kurier, editor of Prager Montagsbeatt and-under the pen name “Christianus” author of Die Totengraber des Sudetendeutschen Katholizismus. After the Anschluss he helped Austrian refugees and worked at the St. Raphaelsverein. When Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, he fled with wife and child to Holland. He remarks bitterly about the bureaucratic attitude of the police who took him to a camp near Rotterdam and about the lack of understanding on the part of the camp administration in Sluis. Dr. Glaser's wife obtained a domestic post in England and took the child with her. Dr. Glaser became liaison man between the Czech National Committee in Paris and influential persons in occupied Czechoslovakia.

After Holland was invaded, Dr. Glaser fled to Belgium and was interned in Lombardzyde. Later, he lived in Middlekerke but was arrested by the Germans and after interrogations in Ghent and Allost, he was kept for weeks at the citadel of Huy under “catastrophic” conditions. After his release a fellow prisoner sent him to the monastery in Chevetogme whose prior found him a place in a refugee hostel in Brussels. Here, he earned his living by selling pictures of saints, published by the monastery. On the recommendation of the Abbe Augustin Van Roey Dr. Glaser got a room in an old men’s home in Ixelles in the winter 1940 - 1941, and was brought in contact with the Belgian resistance.

In August 1941 the Gestapo found out about Dr. Glaser’s earlier activities, and he had to report regularly at their offices in Avenue Louise. When the anti-Jewish laws were inforced, Dr. Glaser became a teacher at a Jewish school. In June 1942 he was given to understand at the Gestapo office, that it was advisable for him to disappear. With the help of Abbe Van Roey and the Resistance he reached Switzerland. He was interned at Neuenburg fortress, and during an interrogation in Berne he learned, that Dr. Jaromir Kopecky was helping Czech refugees. Dr. Glaser became Dr. Kopecky’s assistant in Geneva and tried to reach England via Spain in order to fill the post with the exiled Czech Government

Dr. Kopecky had obtained for him. But he was unsuccessful, and after his return to Switzerland he was sent to a labour camp in Mezzovico near Lugano. Upon intervention of “Caritas”, he later became secretary at the camps of Filisur and Inntertkirchen. In October 1943 he was released, and after a short period as civilian internee in Fribourg, he resumed his work for Dr. Kopecky. In March 1945 Dr. Kopecky’s office became the Embassy of the Czech Exile Goverment and was transferred to Berne, and in July Dr. Glaser was officially appointed Press Attaché. A little later he was reunited with wife and child.

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