Zichronot fon Widerstand Auschwitz-Birkenau
Edited by: David Szmulewski
Book Committee: Samuel Pisar, Karen Scharl, Darty Natan,
Gutman Simon, Skalka Yurek and Liberty Maxim
Published in Paris, 1984
Ada Holtzman zl
This is a translation from: Zichronot fon Widerstand Auschwitz-Birkenau;
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.
When I was in Paris in 1994, visiting my cousins whose father Max (Mordka) Zawiercucha died a year before, I first saw David Szmulewski book. In this book, the only place in the world, Max's name is mentioned, his sufferings is recorded, his life during three years of abuse and slavery is described, his dreams and daily fight to survive are told. It cannot be left in Yiddish, a language that second generation hardly speak anymore.
My cousin Mordka Zawierucha, the young friend of David Szmulewski is mentioned in the book. The book has an index of more than 335 (!) names, (not all the names are included, so this is but a partial index. AH.) but without the page numbers. I don't understand Yiddish, but I can read its Hebrew (my mother's tongue) writing. For a whole night back than, I was scanning the book and on the following morning I gave to my cousin 12 bookmarks which the photocopied for me. Coming back to Israel, my father, Meir Holtzman of blessed memory, translated those 12 pages.
The family Zawierucha originated from Wyszogrod and Gombin Poland and immigrated like thousands of other Polish Jews to France, during the first years of the 30s. The family was expelled to Drancy and from there transported to Auschwitz. They were gassed to death upon arrival at Auschwitz from Drancy, on July 1942. Max (Mordka Zawierucha) was the only survivor. He survived three years in the ghenna (hell) Auschwitz. Father Zajnwil, mother Perla neé Gostynska and two sisters Ryfka and Fajga perished. One family wiped off the earth. One out of millions. Perla Zawierucha nee' Gostinska was my grandfather Jakob's sister. The end of the Gostinski family is already known, tens of descendants from Gombin, Zychlin, Gostynin, Zakroczym, Lodz, Wyszogrod: extermination...
But being so comprehensive and a first sight testimony of the concentration and death camp Auschwitz, I got very interested and looked for the book in Yad Vashem where I found it in their extensive collection. I photocopied it all and decided such a document should be translated to Hebrew and English later (if any financing institute found), otherwise, the book is doomed for oblivion.
It highlights the heroism of the victims in that other planet Auschwitz. It proofs that whenever it was possible, even against all odds, the Jews fought and resisted the Nazi German oppressors, and the Jews didn't go as sheep to the slaughter. It also describes the horrible Nazi mechanism of extermination, abuse, oppression and humiliation, which killed the spirit of the victims, not only their bodies. The organization of resistance in its own was already a victory over evil.
It is also a breathtaking account of the day-to-day life near the crematoria, in the mist of the ashes...
My late father was willing to continue with the translation, but life is cruel and he died unexpectedly last September, before project could be materialized.
I recently found another Yiddish speaking High School director in pension, Mr. Haim Avi Mor who agreed to do this for a modest symbolic sum, yet to be paid to him. I commissioned him the work and paid an advance from my own pocket.
I start fund-raising through the Internet for this project, aiming to translate and publish the book in Hebrew at the first stage, as no resources to do also the English translation.
Haim Avi Mor (original name was Piekarz) is a retired Gymnasium director and felt close to the subject, having lost also all his family in the Holocaust. He is from the small town of Zelachow. He translated already the whole book!
I hope anyone will recognize the importance of this project and will help me so that the chapter of the resistance in Auschwitz, the chapter of survival, heroism and fight will not be forgotten. It is also the story of the anonymous Jewish inmates who found the courage and strength to resist their oppressors in the other planet Auschwitz; Their stories were never told as most of them did not see the light of liberation; or were silent about the tragic past, taking their testimony with them to their graves.
Dawid Szmulewski was their voice! His book should be translated and published!
Tel Aviv 1.12.1999
|Introduction by Samuel Pisar||9|
|In the Streets of Kolo||13|
|Three Years in Eretz Israel||19|
|In the Botwin Group||24|
|The Establishment of Auschwitz||29|
|1. Why Auschwitz?||29|
|2. The First Jewish Prisoners (Kaczetniks) in Auschwitz||31|
|3. The List of Crimes||32|
|A Parade (Appell) in the Death Camp||37|
|The Beginning of the Resistance||51|
|The Tragedy and the Heroism of the Greek Jewry||65|
|The Factory for Shoes Paste Erdal||83|
|Kol Nidreiin the Camp||89|
|The Spanish Traditions of Botwin in the Camp||102|
|1. The Organization||104|
|2. The Organization' Activities||105|
|1. The Hiding Place||113|
|2. The Strategic Plan of the Revolt||116|
|3. The Free Balicki||117|
|A Funeral in Auschwitz||122|
|Good People in the Women Camp||127|
|1. The Women Camp||127|
|2. Orly Rejchrat||128|
|3. The Meeting||129|
|4. Receiving Water||130|
|5. A Birthday Present||131|
|6. Dr. Adeliada Hotwal||132|
|7. Dr. Monci Szwalwowa||133|
|8. Dr. Olga Nikiticzna||135|
|9. The Women Heroines||137|
|10. Block of the Leprosy Sick||137|
|The Second Commando of the Roof-Covering Workers||142|
|2. The Commando of the Roof Covering Workers and their Role in the Resistance.||144|
|3. How to remove a bad Kapo?||149|
|4. Our Contacts with the Doctors||152|
|5. Philipek becomes a Merchant||155|
|6. Szimon Gutland - the Expert||147|
|7. Melinka and Baretzki||159|
|The Escapee's from the Camp||163|
|1. Kostek and Tomek||163|
|2. They Were Three...||170|
|3. The Informer - Provocateur: Doroszewicz and his Victim||174|
|4. 24 Days in a Bunker||176|
|5. The First Swallows Leave the Camp||181|
|6. Two Jews visit the Nuncio of the Pope||187|
|The Revolt of the Sonderkommando||197|
|The Long March from Auschwitz to Berlin||232|
|1. the last Days in the Camp||232|
|2. In the Starving Transport||235|
|From Berlin to Dachau and Kaufering||241|
|2. Dimitri Korbishev||242|
|4. Russian Partisans in Chains||244|
|5. Privileged Prisoners (Kateczniks)||244|
|6. Continue in the Wandering Roads||245|
|7. To Dachau||248|
|8. Dachau - Allach||250|
|9. Kaufering near Landsberg||250|
|The Trial of Dr. Wladislav Dering against the Writer Leon Yuris||253|
|Official Letters and Documents with Commentaries||268|
|1. First Steps||270|
|2. Frankfurt for the Second Time||275|
|3. Dix Visits Auschwitz||277|
|4. The Pleasure Trip of the Provocateurs||279|
|5. The Nazi Archive||281|
|6. The Interrogation||283|
|7. The Viennese Meetings||284|
|8. On the Eve of the Process||286|
|9. The First Impression||287|
|10. The Role of the Diplomats||288|
|11. The Pre-History of the Local Vision||293|
|12. Again in Auschwitz||294|
|13. The Verdict||296|
|14. The Jackals||297|
|15. A Messenger from the General Motzar||299|
|16. The Last Road of Professor Jan Sehan||300|
|From Slavery to Freedom||319|
|1. Wood for Bread||319|
|2. The March - First Day, One Day||325|
|3. The Death March (Todesmarsche) - Second day||326|
|4. ...And the Evening and the Morning were the Third Day||327|
|5. On the Eve of Redemption (Geula)||329|
|With the Wanderer's Staff in Hand...||334|
|From Vienna to Paris||339|
|Partial List of Names||340|
|List of Photographs and Documents||347|
Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright © 1999-2023 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 24 Jun 2017 by LA