[Page 218] ריח
(Fallen in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)
Shimon Heller was born in Wolbrom, the son of Razie Heller, a grandson of Hendel Erlich. Later the family moved to Warsaw. He studied at the Warsaw gymnasium "Ascula" and was a member of "Hashomer Hatsier". A handsome, black-haired, tall young man, he was loved by all his friends. He gave of himself entirely to the movement. His responsibility was cultural development.
During the war he was a member and the secretary of the "Gal-On" Kibbutz in Warsaw and carried out his work with zeal. In the years 1940-41 he worked in the education-department of the Jewish office for social work.
During the organizing of the resistance, he was appointed as commander of the Landoi-Varshatn group. At the time of the uprising he was very active in the battles in around the Tevens-Shultz workshop. In a diary of Shalom Grayik he was mentioned as the best shot in his "battalion." He was good to his words, that he would not die until he killed five Germans. He fell the 22nd of April, 1943, when his group on Leshn Street had no way out, as the house was surrounded by Germans, and the fighters had to jump from a balcony and into a yard. His name is found in the list of fallen in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He was 23 years old.
Hershel was born in Wolbrom to a working family. His father was a hard-working tanner. At the public school, he excelled as a diligent student, and was thought highly of by the teacher and fellow students, alike. Later, his family moved to Lodz, and he and his brother, David, worked in a bakery shop. At 17, he joined up with the scouts for the "Liberty" movement, where he excelled and directed an educational program. Later he joined "Liberty" and became one of its important leaders, and beloved by all.
At 27, he decided to travel to take part in the Hakshera, the preparatory training for prospective agricultural emigrants to Palestine/Israel. In 1938 he went to the Bendin Kibbutz, and he became one of the central figures of the kibbutz. During the time of Nazi occupation, his character and abilities were truly revealed. He led the kibbutz until the last moment. He was not only the soul of the kibbutz, but he was the essence of the Zionist-socialist movement in Bendin. During these dark times, all of the Zionist youth organizations concentrated around him. Often he placed his life in danger in order to save or give assistance to a friend. The entire Jewish population in Bendin knew him and were drawn to him with love.
In 1942 he was one of the initiators and founders of Kibbutz "Atid" (Future), for orphans of 10 to 16 years old.
He was very active in the armed uprising. On the 22nd of June, 1943, he was taken away to Auschwitz in the cattle trains. On the way he called on the prisoners to escape. However, most of the prisoners were unwilling, and did not allow him to flee either, complaining, that this would bring misfortune to all. Just when the people in the wagons were busying themselves with something else - he, and several friends, jumped from the train. The Gestapo shot at them and several were killed.
Hershel broke a foot in the jump. However he saved himself and his companions brought him back to Bendin. He arrived in time to take part in the Bendin uprising in the final days of the liquidation.
A day earlier he wrote about what had happened to his companions to the liaison office in Geneva, and signed "Skatchek" (Szpringier in Polish, and they informed those of Warsaw of the happenings.) On the 10th of August, 1943, the Germans caught him once again, and murdered him.
The stand that was made in Bendin was quite remarkable. The "HaHalutz" fighter bunker was located here, and let us remember the fallen, religious and brave, Hershel Szpringier and the other fighters.
[Page 221] רכא
We were sent in a group of about 500 Wolbromers far from Krakow, escorted by Ukranians who took our watches, and rings off the fingers, and other items. At midnight we arrived at the place. Very early in the morning they gathered us together in one place, surrounded by Gestapo. They searched each of us. Amongst us there was a 16 year old boy, Korfeld, from Miechover Street. His father was a produce seller.
They placed a ring inside his pocket, and later accused him of hiding gold. They shot him before our eyes. And in the same evening, I and my friend, Tseshler, buried him not far from the camp.
In the morning, returning from work, we brought with us 8 dead companions who the Germans murdered at work. After a while, I was permitted to work as a shoeman, and we were designated a place to work. With me at work there was Wolf and Hendel Tseshler. Later when I arrived at the Krakow Camp, I met a number of Wolbromers who had fled from Wolbrom. Amongst others were: David Kujme with his wife and two daughters. Shlomo Dresner also came to the Krakow Camp. He had jumped from the transport, which was carrying Wolbromers to Belzec. He explained that in the wagons there were hundreds of dead, who suffocated from the stifling overcrowdedness.
A day before the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto, they concentrated the children and elders at the Zigoide Plaza, in a four story house. The rest of the Jews were concentrated in a big plaza near the house. At the plaza were about 100 Wolbromers. Before our very eyes, the Germans through the elderly people and the children out the window. All lay on the plaza dead. Amongst them, David Kuzner with his wife, Yenkel Locks and yet others whose names I can no longer remember - altogether, twenty from Wolbrom. I and others, eight in all, were sent to Auschwitz.
I recall that it was said that Moshe Yosef Kruk was hidden by Christians in Wolbrom; he gave up all his possessions for it. The name of the Christian was Geide. And three weeks before the liberation they turned him in, and he was shot.
On the Krakow Ghetto it was also said that Naftali Tarla was the liaison for those of Bendin and other underground movements with the Warsaw Ghetto. He was caught and shot.
In "Radimne" Camp, at Sandomierz, there were 500 Wolbromers. From there escaped Shmuel Yenkel Marimont and he came to the Krakow Ghetto. He explained that in Radimne every day Wolbromers were shot. The conditions there were very harsh, sleeping in a stable, hard labor, and strong hunger.
A pair of words about the end of the Wolbrom Jewish government:
With the second deportation even the Jewish police and government officials were sent. Some were shot in Wolbrom, some were sent to labor camps. Waltsinski, Magar, and Maneta the shoeman, were sent by the Gestapo to the border, at Olkusz. From there they arrived in Zaglembie, and with the cleansing of the Ghetto in Bendin they arrived in Auschwitz. Magar was forced onto the electrical fence, Waltsinski died in great pain, his entire body was swollen.
In Auschwitz I met Shlomo Dresner who saved himself by fleeing from a transport which was headed for Belzec with women, children, and elderly. He went with his wife as she was pregnant. He said that on the way half of the people died, and in Belzec, many bodies were burnt together in a compartment in the forest, and the flame could be seen from thirty kilometers away.
My number in Auschwitz was 108483.
I want to mention a pair of names of Wolbromers who were murdered in Auschwitz:
Moshe Tsigler (Ziegler) came to Auschwitz in August, 1943. I had set him up with the underground movement, and he was a leader of a cell. He was very strongly loved for his enthusiasm. In the explosion that took place in the crematorium, Moshe was involved. In September 1944, he broke a finger and was unable to work. He was taken to the infirmary, and he never came back from there.
Wolf Tseshler (the Black Wolf) and his son, Leibel, came with me to Auschwitz in March of 1943, and in July of 1943, Wolf died of hunger, his son, Leibel, went to procure a bit of bread and fell in with the "es-ko", this was the punishment commando, and from there he was assigned to the sondercommando. He refused. As punishment he was hung up by the hands, then made to work by the dead. He became a joke for a kapo - the kapo gave him a watch that he should carry it in the camp. He was immediately searched, and the watch was found. He was taken out of line and stood off to a side. The murderer poured benzene over him and set him on fire causing him to run to the electrical fence. This is how he ended his life, 16 year old Leibel Tseshler. Honor his memory!
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