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Number of pages: 50
Reference number: 1656/3/4/197
Catalogue ID: 105322
Subject: RescueResistanceSynagogues
Summary:

A personal report by Heinz Landwirth, formerly from Vienna, who came with a children's transport to Holland in December 1938. He stayed first in a Children's Home, later with families. In 1941 he made Youth Aliyah to the Hachscharah-Farm Gouda. In 1942 the persecution of Jews became more and more threatening. This report includes details of an escape of a group of 25 young Zionists to Israel through Spain!. Amsterdam assumed an aspect of decay, inhibition and terror. Final razzia, including all Jews, on 20 June 1943. Mr Landwirth, meanwhile was 16-years-old, and went underground using false documents supplied by Hechaluz (Kurt Reilinger Gideon Drach) working as a farm hand with Jan Kuperus. In 1943 - via Belgium - he became known as the ‘Dutch’ boatsman John Gerrit Overbeck on one of the German Rhine barges.

Number of pages: 11
Reference number: 1656/3/8/665
Catalogue ID: 105890
Subject: ResistanceAuschwitz-Birkenau (concentration and...Austrian
Summary:

A report by Mrs Sussman, an Austrian Jewess, who had been living in Paris with her husband, an artist, since 1937. After the outbreak of war both were interned. They were not supplied with gas masks by the French as they also considered Austrian Jews as their enemies. When the Germans approached Paris the Sussman's marched together with about 2 millions French people into the so called “Free Zone”.

In 1942 Mr and Mrs Sussman decided to return behind the demarcation line in order to work against the Germans (Resistance). Seven times their identity papers had to be changed but in the end they were handed over to the Germans by the “Special Brigade” collaborating with the latter. Mr and Mrs Sussman were taken to the military prison at Fresnes. For two months Mrs Sussman was there in solitary confinement in her sixth month of pregnancy, but excluded from the care of the Red Cross. Thereafter she came to the reception camp Drancy.

In 1944 she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Nightmare transport in cattle trucks with a notice board: “8 Horses or 40 Persons” but they were about 120 in each. Mrs Sussman describes her arrival at Auschwitz and the already well-known conditions there.

All pregnant women were ordered to register ”in order to obtain a daily supply of 1/4 pint of milk”. Mrs Sussman was warned by a Polish doctor not to do so and thereupon she warned also the other pregnant women. But when almost starved one of them did register. For 3 days she received the milk whereupon the other women - with the exception of Mrs Sussman - registered too. They were all called for and never seen again. When Mrs Sussman, as a punishment, had to carry a very heavy sewing machine without help she gave premature birth to her child, a little boy, in a corner of a hut, covered with filthy rugs infected with Dysentery Bacilli. She screamed only once but this brought Dr. Mengele to her block who took the child from her and threw it in the open fire. Then a Polish doctor took her - at her own risk - to the hospital hut.

In Auschwitz Mrs Sussman became a kind of philosopher. She did not expect her co-prisoners there to behave like human beings anymore and even did not blame the nurses who stole the sick rations of their patients. On the other hand she speaks with the greatest admiration of the exceptions, the few heroic people who risked their lives in order to save others. Her fellow prisoners were women from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Greece, Austria, and Soviet Russia. She observed that none of them spoke of a future, they were all deeply concerned with the past.

After 3 months in Auschwitz, Mrs Sussman was transferred to the concentration camp Kratzau near Reichenberg-Zittau, affiliated to the Gross-Rosen camp.

Addendum :

     1) On her and her husband's Illegal Work in France : They produced and distributed illegal literature.

     2) On her pregnancy at Auschwitz : It was not conspicuous as almost every woman, because of malnutrition, had a swollen stomach.

     3) On sabotage in an SS armament factory in Kratzau : She pretended to be a good technician and succeeded, together with a Hungarian girl, in damaging the precision, mashine to such an extent that it did not work any more.

     4) On her husband's survival : He was already selected for the gas chambers when a SS-officer called for someone able to design Christmas cards and when he said he could was given back to life.

Number of pages: 6
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1156
Catalogue ID: 106298
Subject: Concentration campsDenunciationsKapo
Summary:

The author lived in Vienna as a partner and manager of the Austrian Fleischverwertungsgesellschaft (Import and export of meat). When the Nazis came, he lost his job immediately and, some wekes later, was arrested and detained in a school-building, Karajangasse, together with many other Jews, until 1 June,1938, when they - about three thousand - were sent from the Westbahnhof to München; they were horribly ill-treated, and twelve of thern died on the journey (p.2).

At Dachau, the author met some decent and even benevolent people among the SS (p.2-3); he stresses also the decency of two camp-doctors, Dr. Wohlrat and Dr. Bader, whilst the doctor-in-chief would behave beastly as well as all the other SS-men; cruel punishments; informing Blockälteste, especially Dr. Ziffer who was slain by some detainees, after the transfer to Buchenwald (p.3-4). At Buchenwald, conditions were most dreadful - typhoid fever (p.4).

The author who already at Dachau had been a patient at the sick-bay was taken to Sachsenhausen, where the camp-doctor was rightly feared as a devil. Constant bribes for Blockälteste and Kapos, corruptible and informers all of them (p.4).

When his wife sent him a sham-visa for Argentina, procured by the friendly Consul General at Vienna, the author was released and came via Italy to England (p.5).

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