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Number of pages: 10
Reference number: 1656/3/4/895
Catalogue ID: 105374
Subject: EscapeesMass killingsRescue
Summary:

An account in the first person of the author and her family’s experiences during the last year of war in Hungary. In March 1944, on arrival of German troops to occupy Hungary, the persecution of Jews intensified. Her husband was called up for forced labour and the author and her child, aged four, were left alone. In October 1944, when the Fascists (Arrow-Cross Movement) took over the government, the author made use of false papers (p.4), procured in the preceding February (p.1), and for some weeks lived as “Aryan” refugee. Later she and her husband procured Swedish Schutzpaesse's (p. 8) and lived with other Jews in the so-called Swedish Schutzhaus (p.8) until the Russians conquered this part of the city in January 1945. A vivid account of experiences, particularly of the period when the author lived an “illegal” life.

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.

Number of pages: 8
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1127
Catalogue ID: 106293
Subject: ChildrenDeportationsEscapees
Summary:

A report on ill-treatment of the worst kind, atrocities, horrible conditions of life in camps and during transports; mass-murders. Also includes information on the author's deportation from Frankfurt am Main to Minsk where he arrived in 22 November 1941; unbelievably bad conditions; vermin (p.1, 4, 6). The Robert Ley-House (p.1). Wehrmacht and SS (p.1). When a gun was found at the Loot-Commando, left there by Russian workmen, every seventh of the Jewish detainees was shot including a former reserve officer who held both Iron Crosses.

High death-rate because of starvation (p.2, 6, 8) and mass-murder (p.2-5). Unteroffizier Peter Greven late of Cologne, saved the lives of five men of the Heeresbaudienst Stelle on occasion of the massacre of 60 internees. In July 1942, 8,000 Jews were murdered during one Aktion (p.2). Heeresverpflecmagazin: Oberzahlmeister Heinrich (p.2-3) ordered the Yellow Star not to be worn in the Office, his successor did not object, but Oberscharführer Rübe (on 13 March 1943) had the 12 girls and 4 women of the Office led to the cemetery by sixteen Russians to be shot there, including the author's twenty-year-old daughter, his only child. On 26 May 1943, Gestapo-men shot dead every living being at the sick-bay, patients, nurses, children and visitors alike. On this occasion, the author lost his wife who had fallen ill when she learned of her young daughter's fate.

In September 1943, all bachelors and girls were taken to the SS-labour camp in Minsk; the married people and children were never heard of again. In vans said to be transporting 120 men each to the labour-places, the passengers were being killed by burnt gas (p.3).

The author was transferred to the Heinkel-Flugzeugwerke in Budztn, Poland (p.3-4). Ill-treatment by the German foremen; wretched conditions of life; vermin and epidemics (p.4). Loudspeakers recording music during the mass-murder of twenty thousand Jews, on 23 November 1943 (p.4). At Heinkels’ at Milec, a Hauptwachtmeister, late of a police-station at Frankfurt am Main, shot the Baracken-Älteste Zimmermann, because he found the place not clean enough; he was also responsible for cruel punishments and atrocities.

In July 1944, the author was transported to Welicka and in September was sent on a horrible transport to Mauthausen (p.4-6) which turned out to be worse than any of the dreadful places before. Doing incredibly heavy work in the quarry, rushed and beaten up constantly. Mass-murders. After three months, he was transported to the Hermann-Goring Works at the Camp of Linz of about two thousand men. Cruel ill-treatment. Public execution of three Russians who had tried to escape. Air-raid; a bomb killing 110 detainees at Block 13 (p.5). Starvation (p.6); frost; vermin. On 5 May 1945, the author was liberated by the Americans. The Spanish Legion. The Hermann-Goring-Lazarett (p.6).

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