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Number of pages: 6
Reference number: 1656/3/4/1195
Catalogue ID: 105384
Subject: IllegalityDeportationsEscapees
Summary:

The author was interviewed by Dr. Wolfgang Scheffler in Berlin.

He reports on antisemitismin a Berlin school in 1933. Forced labour for boys under sixteen: sixty hours a week for about 25 Pfennig an hour. In order to avoid impending deportation to Poland, at the end of 1942 (p.1,4), he went to live with a “Mischling” (p.1-3), now his brother-in-law, who was already hiding his father and sister as well.

Non-Jews helping Jews, among them Dr. George Grosscurth, Robert Koch-Krankenhaus, who was later executed for his work with a Resistance Group, liquidated, in the Autumn 1943 (p.2,4). Frightened, the three illegal guests left their hiding place which was bombed out, soon afterwards. Bombenscheine (p.2, 4). The author's sister went with her fiancé into hiding at Vienna, the other two found a little room in Karow near Bernau (p.2-3) under false pretenses and through a forged document. Arrested by the Wehrmacht, the author and his father were taken to the Jewish Sammellager Schulstrasse; ill-treatment through Gestapo (p.3-5). Deportation via Auschwitz to Sachsenhausen (p.3). In February 1945, the author was separated from his father and never saw him again. Transports to Neubrandenburg, Ravensbruck, a small camp near Ludwigslust (p.3-4). Rote Kapelle resistance group (p.4). Volksdeutsche SS (p.3-4).

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

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: 9
Reference number: 1656/3/6/942
Catalogue ID: 105618
Subject: RescueExtermination campsMass killings
Summary:

In the winter of 1940 the author - a Polish Christian - fled with her husband from the Russians to Wilno. Mr Zadarnowska who had been a forester on an estate near Lida (East Poland) became a labourer, while the author worked as stage designer at a theatre. Here she met a Jewish prompter, Masza Perewoska. After the German occupation of Wilno the Zadarnowska’s decided to return to their home, and Mrs Zadarnowska went to say farewell to the Perewoskas. She found the whole family in a state of upheaval, as the Germans had ordered all Jews to move into the ghetto. Nobody at the time knew of the subsequent mass murders in Ponary forest, but on her return home, the author felt compelled to save Masza and her daughter Lilka.

In November 1941 she returned to Wilno. Ill though she was, she faced the inclement weather and considerable danger to establish contact with Masza. Finally, she found a workman willing to take a message into the Ghetto, and the women met at the house of a mutual friend. Meanwhile the author sold Masza’s valuables in order to finance the purchase of forged papers, a certificate of baptism and travel permits. At one of the “selections” Masza and her family had been included for the transport to Ponary, and in a desperate effort to save her friend, the author prevailed upon Professor Kola Taranowski to give her shelter, so that she and her child did not have to return to the Ghetto. The next day Masza escaped to Lida.

Encouraged by this success, the author applied for her own travel paper, and at the psychological moment asked for the inclusion of “a child” and followed Masza to Lida. After days of frantic search and with the help of a parson, she located Masza and, in spite of the great dangers involved, travelled with her and the child to her home. Her husband soon agreed to keep mother and child. Dangerous, nerve-racking months followed during which the author tried to ward off the constant danger of detection by making Masza look more “Aryan”, and by teaching the child the Polish language and Christian prayers. In the following summer, frequent Russian partisans ambushes added to their anguish and finally forced the Zadarnowska’s to move to Lida.

They took Masza and Lilka with them, but a few weeks later somebody asked for Masza on the telephone by her proper name. Undeterred by the danger and the proximity of Gestapo headquarters, the author helped Masza and the child to flee to a farm, the commandant of the Polish Resistance having provided forged papers. A period of constant moves followed, and in the end, the author had to take them back, as nobody else was brave enough to shelter them. Later, Masza decided to volunteer for work in Germany (Konstanz). The Zadarnowska’s were forced by the constant Russian air attacks to move to Warsaw, where the couple got separated during the insurrection. Mrs Zadarnowska was taken to Breslau as a slave labourer; Mr Zadarnowska was sent to Dachau where he perished. Mrs Zadarnowska managed to flee to Konstanz and join Masza. Both had to work hard, and when, at the end of the war, Switzerland opened her frontiers, they went there.

Mrs Zadarnowska now works as a designer at the Polish museum in Rapperswi, - the Jewish family she saved live in Israel.

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