« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 68]


Yordanov's location near the Slovakian border led to an early occupation of the area by the Germans, the patrons of the new Slovakia. The Luftwaffe bombed the town, and the small Polish units stationed there fled in confusion. As homes went up in flames, their residents sought shelter in the cellars. A grenade killed Town Secretary Dankovski, at which the other officials took flight. Before the German tanks shelled the buildings, the soldiers pillaged the shops.

All the Jews were bidden by the Judenrat to register for labor. The young people were sent to work quarrying stone, building bridges and serving the estates in the area. Women were set to sweep the streets and clear the wreckage, in return for which they were paid enough to buy half a pound of bread a day. Once the Jews had nothing left with which to buy food from the Poles, they were always on the borderline of starvation. In 1940 the Jewish quarter was placed under curfew, and the Jews had to wear an armband with the Shield of David sewn to the sleeve. Travel by train was forbidden. In 1941 all Jewish property was confiscated. The Nazis sent Jews from Sluptza to Yordanov, in order to clear the Posnan district of all Jews. They were quartered in shacks and assigned to forced labor.

The methodical Germans kept compiling lists of the Jewish inhabitants, for labor or slaughter. All along they levied ransom quotas on the Judenrat. Unable to meet these demands, the heads of the Judenrat went to other communities for help. Their own people contributed their gold teeth. The campaign was still on when the roundup began. The Gestapo went from house to house, dragged out the occupants, and shot them. After them came the farmers with their wagons to collect the corpses and take them to the horse cemetery in Ushlatz.

On the same day (30.8.42) that disaster struck the Nowy-Targ community, it also came to Yordanov. The Jews were ordered to assemble in the town square: some, aware of what was ahead, stayed away. Later in the day another contingent of Gestapo men arrived from Nowy-Targ, where the slaughter was over. The Jews were taken to the lawn bordering the square and murdered. Their corpses were taken to pits dug by Poles, who removed the shoes from the corpses before throwing them into the pits.

On checking the lists, the Germans discovered that some Jews

[Page 69]

were still at large. They searched all the houses in the town and the surrounding villages, ferreting out those they could find. Some escaped into the nearby forests and tried to cross into Slovakia; the Germans didn't have enough men to watch every inch of the border. Their path was barred by the peasants, who hunted them down and extorted from them whatever they still possessed - then turned them over to the Gestapo or killed them on the spot.

In the Cemetery

No Jew has survived to tell the story of what took place in the Yordanov cemetery. This was done by a Polish woman, Maria Richlik. Her house was near the cemetery, and she witnessed the unbelievable atrocities committed there by the Nazis: Two Jewish families were ordered to strip, in the January cold; when nothing was found on them, they were brutally beaten to death... the Starkenberg family was murdered and laid out in order, the father holding his little children by the hand... If Jews showed signs of life under the soil spread over them, the Germans trampled them with their boots until nothing moved.


In July, 1942 the Gestapo spread a rumor that the Jews of Shchavnitza were sabotaging the regime by throwing their valuables into outhouses or hiding them. Since it was easier to kill Jews on the spot than to transport them elsewhere, the Gestapo under Richard Samish took 39 Jews to the abbatoir and murdered them. The others were sent to Nowy-Targ. Those who wished to take their belongings with them were jailed then shot, by order of Scherner, head of the Generalgubernament.

A Polish physician, Dr. Zbigniev Kulachkovski, testified at the Freiburg trial that Jewish corpses and valises were strewn along the roads.


Here, too, Richard Samish was in charge of operations, and he ran true to form. Ignacy Goldman, placed in a nearby labor camp, managed to get to his family's home. In the morning he heard shots in the next room; his parents had been shot. He and his sister were ordered taken to Nowy-Targ. Samish took another Jew with him in his car, and as the Jew attempted to escape he was shot down.

[Page 70]

A girl of 6, found by the Nazis after the roundup by an SS man, was ordered to pick flowers in front of the town hall. As she bent down, he shot her in the back. This was the final story told to the jury at the Freiburg trial by the prosecutor, as proof of the Nazi bestiality and perversion. No less shocking was the story of Hans Franck, Governor-General of Cracow; after overseeing the slaughter of thousands of Jews, he retired to his parlor in the Wavall Palace, seated himself at the piano, and played the works of Bach, Beethoven and other musical advocates of humanism.


Early on the morning of September 1, 1939 the sounds of explosion rocked the town. The mayor ordered to bring trees and build barricades, but it soon became clear that this wouldn't stop the German invasion. The people, Jews and others, put their belongings on carts and headed for Nowy-Targ. The Germans quickly overtook the refugees and fired on them, in retaliation for the shots fired on them by the retreating Polish forces.

At the end of December all Jews except artisans were ordered to leave the town; the Germans wanted to make the area Judenrein because it was a resort and recreation center. The young artisans were retained to do forced labor, but in time they were sent to the Plashov camp.

The headstones in the Jewish cemetery were removed and the walls surrounding it were torn down. After the war, the Jewish community in Cracow put up a fence to keep the cattle from trampling the graves.


After the outbreak of the war, the 400-500 Jews in Makov were joined by Jews from other areas, in the wake of the Nazi Judenrein program. Most of the newcomers were from Vienna, and many attempted to return to the Austrian capital by crossing the border secretly. Despite the heavy guard along both sides of the border the Germans and the Poles, it so happened that a Jewish family by the name of Schechter was living in an isolated house a few yards away from the border, at the edge of a forest which stretched clear to Makov. The house became the way station for the refugees. Yaacov Schechter, though only a boy, undertook the dangerous mission of guiding them through the forest.

[Page 71]

Only 160 Jews remained in Makov when the roundup took place. Ninety-two fled into the forests, but due to the hostility of the Poles they could find no hiding places. They were trapped by the Nazis and taken to Gestapo headquarters in the Marishia Hotel. After weeks of inhuman torture by cadets from the SS officers academy there were taken to the courtyard, one by one, and used by the Germans for target practice...

After the war, an attempt was made by Meir Yacobovitz, head of the Cracow Jewish community, to exhume the dead from the hotel area, which eventually became a rest home for workers in the chemical plants in Auschwitz. The burial procession was held on February 26, 1964, with the participation of the Polish Army, school children and the general citizenry, in protest against Nazi barbarism.

Happenings in Nowy-Targ After the Liberation

The few Jewish townspeople of Nowy-Targ and Zakopane who survived the massacres and lived to see the liberation went back home, hoping to find someone in the family still alive. They were bitterly disappointed. Their families were gone, their homes were occupied by their non-Jewish neighbors, their stores and shops now run by people from eastern Poland.

A local Jewish committee was formed, sponsored by the Central Committee in Cracow. The JDC reopened the children's home in Zakopane and made ready to receive orphaned children from all over the country. The JDC also financed another Jewish children's home in Rabka.

Within several months the Rabka home was attacked three times by the NSZ (national armed forces). This group opposed the Polish Government; it also specialized in seeking out surviving Jews and murdering them. They threw grenades into the children's rooms. The home was closed, and the children were taken to the home in Zakopane or to Cracow,

In Zakopana the streets were plastered with posters telling the Jews to get out of town. Mrs. B. Lena Kichler, the manager of the children's home, asked the chief of police for protection, He set up a machine gun on the terrace, which the children covered with tarpaulin and hid among the chairs. A siren and searchlight were also installed for protection.
In November, 1945 an NSZ group attacked the children's home, firing into the courtyard, but the older children, having gone through

[Page 72]

the war, replied with hand grenade and small arms fire, holding the attackers at bay until the police arrived. Mrs. Kichler decided to leave Zakopana, with the children, and after many tribulations she succeeded in getting them to Israel.
In Nowy-Targ, Chairman Klinger of the local Jewish committee and six young Jews were given 24 hours to get out of town but were shot during the night, before the appointed hour.

David Grassgreen, who had escaped from the cemetery on the bloody 30th of August, wrote to the Ministry of the Interior, asking that the synagogue, which had been converted into a movie house, should be returned to the Jews. The Minister so ordered the municipality, but the authorities refused. Grassgreen persisted in his efforts. On February 10, 1946, men of the Armeia Krajowa broke into his home and murdered him.

A tragic fate overtook two groups of young survivors, on their way to Eretz-lsrael. In the first group were Ludwik Hertz and Lunek Lindenberg, the teacher Ruth Joachimsman, Benjamin Russo, and Henrik Unterbruch. Not far from the Slovakian border they were shot by an NSZ gang. The bodies were brought for burial to Cracow. The episode shocked the Jews and even the general community, as thousands walked in the funeral procession in protest against the Polish successors to the Nazis.

[Page 73]

The second group, numbering 19 young people, was also ambushed by an NSZ band on May 2, 1946. Thirteen were killed.

In Zakopane, a highly respected elderly Jew by the name of Oppenheim, a botanist noted for his research of mountain vegetation, was killed by the NSZ. He was found dead in his home, his pipe still between his teeth, and nearby was a note saying that he had been condemned to die because he was a Jew.

These acts and others convinced the returning Jews that Nowy-Targ no longer had any room for Jews in its midst.


Avraham Rieger (Ramat Gan)


I had just completed primary school when the war broke out. We fled Nowy-Targ but returned after a few weeks, to find our home broken into and despoiled. The Judenrat assigned me to work for the Germans, then dispatched me to the quarries in Zakopane.

The first roundup in Nowy-Targ, in May 1940, was followed by an influx of Jews from surrounding localities. I remember that two elderly women from Shchavnitza were put up in our home. A week later the Germans came in, shot them in front of us, and the bodies were taken to the cemetery. The bloodstains were left.

Around Rosh Hashana, many boxcars were brought in by train. The Germans ordered us to turn in our valuables and leave the house at once. In the street we were prodded by the Nazis in the direction of the football field. The young people were set apart and later taken to forced labor. We, in Charni Dunaietz, spent nine months in hard labor. In 1943, just before Passover, Yanek Schneider and I were accused of stealing potatoes intended as fodder for pigs. We were beaten and let go, but three days later we were taken to the Gestapo commandant. His crude snarls are still ringing in my ears.

After Passover we were transferred to Plashov. Daily we saw smoke rising from the pits, corpses being burned after the massacres. On one occasion we were amazed to see about a hundred Christians, in chains, being pushed toward a pit. All were shot,

[Page 74]

and we were ordered to unshoe the corpses and search them for gold teeth. This done, we had to gather them into one pile and set fire to them. For a long time I couldn't get over this example of German bestiality.

Late in the summer of 1944 1 was among 3,000 sent to the Mathausen camp. We were set to bore tunnels through the mountains, using air hammers and explosives - a difficult task on an almost empty stomach. Gypsies set to oversee us beat us constantly, Jews and Christians alike. I became ill, as did many, and "hospitalized" in a shack where suffocation was as much of a threat as diseases. When the American army came into the camp, we remained wherever we were lying, without the strength to move. The Americans took me to a field hospital - beds, doctors, nurses. Four weeks later we returned to Mathausen. Corpses were strewn about everywhere; the Germans didn't have time to dispose of them.

In July 1945 1 reached Cracow, then went to Nowy-Targ. I was there when Grassgreen was murdered; when the funeral procession reached the cemetery, I saw that the tombstones had been uprooted and taken away. In December I miraculously evaded an attack by the Armeia Krajowa gang. I went to Cracow and joined a kibbutz, but not for long.

Polish "intellectuals" provoked a pogrom, and Jewish homes and synagogues were looted. On Passover 1948, 25 of us boarded a covered truck which took us to the snowy Slovakian border, which we crossed on foot. We pushed on to Austria, then to Italy, where we boarded a small vessel to Eretz-lsrael. After a week at sea, the ship's machinery broke down, and we had to return to Italy. We remained there, in tents, until February, then boarded the Haim Arlozoroff. On February 15, 1947, the boat and its 1,500 passengers were attacked by five British warships. After a fierce half-day battle, we were transferred to two of the British ships and taken to Cyprus. We were allowed to enter Eretz-lsrael exactly one year later. We were taken to a camp in Kiryat-Chaim. Later my wife and I moved to Kibbutz Neve-Eitan. in the Bet Shean valley.

[Page 75]

Alexander Ben-Ami (Ramat-Gan)


Some 200 documents relating to the three years of the activity of the Judenrat in Zakopane have survived (1940-1942).
The 30 documents from 1940 deal with forms, in Polish and German, for information to be provided by the Jews regarding bank deposits, accounts receivable (plus claims to legacies abroad), real estate, stocks of merchandize, food stocks, securities, gold and silver ornaments, watches, paintings, carpets and clothing, especially furs.

On June 26, 1940, the Judenrat advised the Jews that all of them must be out of Zakopane by the end of the year. They were not to appear in the streets or in public places; only those who worked for the Germans and Judenrat members on duty were exempt. However, the Germans were in no hurry to expel the Jews; the latter kept bribing the authorities to let them stay.

In 1941 the work of the Judenrat consisted mainly of keeping the lists of the Jews still in the town up to date. Three documents deal with two sisters who tried to masquerade as non-Jews. When the Gestapo sought them out, they were sent to the Judenrat to obtain proper certificates. One was expelled, and her sister, unable to bear the pressure of martyrology, took her own life.

In 1942 there were only 93 Jews left in Zakopane. The Germans were satisfied with longer intervals between lists. The Judenrat was now engaged with the laborers who were brought from Nowy-Targ, Yordanov, Limanov and Lower Shana to work in the local "Stuag" quarry. The laborers were in terrible straits, working long hours and receiving little food. The sick were not allowed to go to their families - if any remained - for medicines. The families sent packages of food and clothing to the laborers. This was not enough, as indicated in a letter by the chairman of the Judenrat, Dr. Statter, to the Judenrat in Nowy-Targ. Moreover, the Germans issued an edict forbidding such parcels, but here they ran into some opposition by the foremen and operators of the quarry; sick men were of no use to them. The Germans relented to the point that the operators were allowed to provide the workers with shoes, but in order to demonstrate their

[Page 76]

authority, they ordered that only an Aryan should deliver the parcels from the surrounding towns to the Zakopane Judenrat for distribution.

Some documents deal in detail with this help. A list dated in April 1942 itemizing the help from Nowy-Targ mentions 1.40 kilogram bread for each laborer, plus 14 kilograms jam given by the Zakopane community. Nowy-Targ men in the quarry were sent 32 items of underwear; 55 items of clothing were for the others. The Judenrat kept pressing the home towns of the workers to continue with the shipments.

Many documents contain applications to the authorities for the release of the workers, for reasons of health. Everything required a permit - even for summoning a doctor. The Judenrat toiled ceaselessly to process these applications and obtain the permits.

Among the members of the Judenrat were some of the towns most respected residents of "those days". However, only one of them was truly effective, so that the others filled only secondary roles. Dr. Statter, the chairman, a prosperous lawyer and merchant before the war, displayed rare human traits in the course of that tragic period. His energy and perseverance, diligence, healthy judgment and complete fairness, and, above all, extraordinary courage -all these gained him a certain status which even the Germans appeared to recognize. This explains the numerous letters of personal thanks to him, among the documents.

The final document is dated August 14, 1942, and it notes the final action of the Judenrat. On that day the last act of the tragedy occurred - the deportation of the survivors to the death camps. Only two or three escaped and remained alive.

[Page 77]

Nahum Bek


The rumors flew thick and fast. People talked about the boxcars on the railroad siding. No one was allowed to approach them.

We were supposedly to be taken to work, somewhere. Knapsacks, burlap bags, sacks of all kinds became scarce, as everyone began packing his belongings, work tools. The Poles exploited the occasion to acquire valuables in return for a few potatoes or loaves of bread.

At dawn we were awakened by wild outcries. The SS men were breaking into the homes, shouting "Everybody out and on to the stadium". The streets were seething with confusion. The Poles were watching and grinning from ear to ear; the Germans were finally putting the Jews in their places.

In the stadium the Germans were sifting the Jews into groups, the old, the young, the invalids, the children and their mothers. No words were exchanged, as brothers and sisters said farewell to each other with a nod of the head and a last look of longing and despair.

Moshe Sinai


We got to Lemberg, but found no rest. The NKVD put us into closed boxcars and sent us to work in Finland's primeval forests, in a 50' below zero temperature. Living conditions in the camp were horrible. This went on for three years, until I was released by the Sikorski Agreement. In 1944 1 was recruited by the Polish army. After my discharge I returned to Nowy-Targ, at the time that Grassgreen, Lindenberg and Hertz were murdered, We Jews were alone. I made may way to Cracow and thence to Eretz Israel.

[Page 78]

Moshe Rand (Tel-Aviv)

We were among the Nowy-Targ Jews who fled to Soviet-held Lemberg, in the hope of evading the Germans (also, my older brother Josef was living there), but the NKVD, pretending to repatriate us, locked us into box cars and sent us to Siberia.

The inmates of Minor, the camp to which we were assigned, were hardened criminals sentenced to penal labor in the gold mines in the locality. I was lucky to be placed in the bakery. I kept trying to slip a loaf of bread, now and then, to the woodcutters working next to the bakery, risking the punishment of 10 years in prison.

Conditions in the camp were unbearable. Four families lived in one shack. With no privacy, people were reduced to the level of animals. For six weeks there was darkness outside, and the cold registered 70' below zero. During the first year, half the number of prisoners died of cold and hunger. Whole families disappeared. Digging graves in the frozen earth took days.

I was transferred from one camp to another, again as a baker. I was in the camp at Ostmai when the Polish government in London entered into diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and opened an embassy in Kubishev. The Polish government asked me to distribute money among the needy Poles in my area. The diplomatic relations were soon severed. I myself was arrested on charges of espionage and sentenced to death, but 31 days later, one day after Passover, we were released, thanks to the diplomatic relations established between the Soviet Union and Wanda Wasilewska, a Communist authoress. We were taken to the Kharkov area. In 1915 1 was able to escape and reach Lemberg.

[Page 79]

Herta Greenspan-Natowitz


We were young, 18 to 20 years old, when disaster came to Nowy-Targ, in August of 1942. 1 remember particularly the 9th of Ab. The Gestapo men went from house to house, searching; if they found nothing, they would shoot one or more of the family. They killed my aunt Rutka and my two young cousins and left their bodies in the yard.

My grandfather arose early - it was his 70th birthday - and stood in prayer. "Just as I have lived through this night," I heard him say, "so may all the people of Israel live to be redeemed." At that moment, the Gestapo men, led by the infamous Robert Weissmann, broke into the house and ordered my mother to go to the Judenrat and have it arrange for the removal of the corpses from the yard. Then they saw my grandfather, in his traditional garb. "Still alive, Jew?'' Weissmann drew his pistol and aimed it at my grandfather. "This bullet is for you, Jew." My grandfather quietly told the Gestapo man that he had reached a ripe age, and began reciting the Confessional. The Gestapo men took him to the door and shot him, as he was saying "Shmah Yisrael".

Then they took my grandmother outside. "Be strong, my little girl," she said to me, walking proud and erect to her death. We were frozen with what our eyes were beholding. It occurred to me to be thankful that my mother was not there to witness the murder of her parents.

In the terrible days that followed, in the deadly struggle for survival, I kept wondering: would this story, if made known to the world. cause it to react?

[Page 80]

Frania Tiger (Netzer)


We Jews of Rabka were only 130 souls, in a population of 10,000. Relations were good, until the Nazis arrived. In August 1940 they set themselves up in the Frankel summer camp for Jewish children. The Jews were put to work cleaning public buildings. In the winter of 1941 Jews arrived from the Cracow ghetto. Jews could be out one hour a day.

I was put to work in a tailoring shop. On the eve of Rosh Hashana we asked the Germans to be freed from work. Instead, they found more degrading work for us.

In February 1942, we were ordered to turn over to the Germans winter coats and shoes. Four Jews who tried to hide the attire were shot. In further roundups, a whole family was exterminated because it bore the name Rosenbaum - the name of the Gestapo commander.

On August 31 all the Jews were rounded up and sent to their death in Belsetz. The Poles were warned not to help Jaws nor conceal information about them, under pain of death. Jews were shot wherever they were found. Those who tried to escape were hanged in public. The common graves dug for the victims in time contained seven times as many corpses as there were Jewish inhabitants in Rabka before the war.

Eight days before the deportation, my mother and I hid in an attic. My father was working for a German concern in Nowy-Targ. Our hiding place was not discovered because the attic had a secret access. Once a week, in the night, I crept down and went to a neighbor, Mrs. Wagner, and got food in return for clothing.

A shell hit the building; this was on January 25, 1945. We left our hiding place, but I was too weak to walk. I recovered thanks to Dr. Maievski, a good friend of my father's. Later a camp was set up for children saved in Auschwitz. When the Polish "patriots", the Armeia Krajowa, threw a bomb into the camp, we decided that Poland was no place for Jews any more.

I reached the State of Israel in 1949.

[Page 81]

Yehuda Kestenbaum (Ramat-Gan)


Even though he didn't have enough time, after it became obvious that Germany was losing the war, to destroy the evidence of his crime, he was not arrested and put on trial at once. He settled in Hamburg, where, until 1961, he operated a thriving wholesale business in sweets and lived in a home filled with valuable paintings and art. He was a respected member of the Merchants Association and often went to Holland to visit his friend Menten, the notorious Nazi criminal, who was also untouched for many years.

The Rosenbaum file came into being inadvertently. Naftali Dershowitz gave testimony before the Israel Police against Heinrich Hamann. Incidentally, he also reported the deeds of Wilhelm Rosenbaum. This information reached the German authorities. A file was opened and a request was sent to the Israel Police to obtain testimony against him from all Rabka survivors living in Israel.

Rosenbaum was at that time vacationing in the Tyrol. He pooh-pooed the whole thing, claiming that he had merely followed the instructions of his superior, SS Brigadenfuehrer Dr. Erhardt Schengart, whom a British Court had executed in 1946. Rosenbaum was arrested as soon as he returned to Hamburg and put on trial.

The trial lasted seven years. Testimony was given by 130 people from all over the world, among them 18 from Israel: Zelig Appel, Michael and Henryk Ettinger, Emanuel Blatt, Joel Bar-Sadeh, Roman Dattner, Naftali Dershowitz, Mendel and Alexander Lustig, Shimon Fistreich, Roman Charnovsky, Yehuda Kestenbaum, Henrik Kolber, Zvi Shifldrin, Sarah Shain-Goldfinger, Eliahu Stamberger and Shlomo Steiner.

The witnesses often broke down and wept. One of them Rosenbaum claimed he had never seen. The witness, a meat market owner, grabbed a chair and, shouting: "You don't recognize me?", rushed toward Rosenbaum. He was stopped before he wreaked vengeance on the murderer.

Rosenbaum was sentenced to life imprisonment. His comment was that the Jews had conspired against him. He had only done

[Page 82]

what he was told to do. In 1942 he, 25 years old, held the fate of thousands of Jews in his hands.

From his solitary cell, while awaiting trial, Rosenbaum appealed to the European Committee for Human Rights to speed up the proceedings. The appeal was denied.


On December 18, 1976, 1 was stunned to read, in Ha'aretz, that Wilhelm Rosenbaum had been released from prison, due to poor health. On the 27th I published an article in the newspaper: "The Nazi Criminal Must Be Returned to His Cell". The same day I went to the German embassy in Tel-Aviv and was received by the Ambassador's aide, and I registered the protest of the Rabka survivors living in Israel. I was promised that the protest would be sent on to Bonn.
On January 10, 1977, Ha'aretz published photographs and a description of Rosenbaum's dwelling in Hamburg, taken from the periodical Bild (the six-room dwelling had a floor of white marble). The Rabka townspeople sent an official letter of protest to the Hamburg court prosecutor, the city's Senate, and the newspaper Die Welt.

Rosenbaum's release created a storm of protest in Germany. The Christian Democratic Party, in the Opposition, demanded the resignation of the Minister of Justice. Most embarrassed was Hamburg's Mayor Hans Liebes, who received the news of the release precisely when he was on a visit to Israel.

On January 19 1 published an article in the German-language newspaper in Tel-Aviv. Were the naked Jews standing in the winter cold at the brink of the pit, waiting for Rosenbaum's bullets, in better health? I asked.

On January 27 the Rabka townspeople received a reply from the German Embassy: Rosenbaum had already spent 15 years in prison; also, his release was for six months only, for health reasons (he was never examined by the prison medical staff).
After several stormy months, which witnessed also the resignation of Minister of Justice Klug, I was informed by the office of Israel's State Attorney that Rosenbaum had been returned to prison.
Mr. Haviv Canaan, the veteran journalist, was of great help to us in the matter.

[Page 85]

Hirsch Schiffeldrin


Toward the end of 1939, our town Zhevietz was taken into the boundaries of the Third Reich and was made Judenrein, and we returned to my birthplace, Rabka-Zdroi. We were lucky to get quarters from the Judenrat, and all winter I worked with my father and two brothers, clearing the snow away from the streets; later we paved roads, worked in the quarries and coal pits, and set up the target practice ranges for the SS troopers.

The food we received was just enough to keep us from starving, One evening, after work, my father took the risk of buying a calf in one of the villages. He slaughtered the animal, cut it up, and sold it to the hungry.

In 1941 1 was sent to the quarry in Zakopane. Once in two months we were given leave to visit our families. On one such occasion my mother told me a strange tale:

"in one of the roundups, an SS man and a Judenrat worker came to the house at 4 in the morning, My name was on his list, I asked the man, in his native German, whether I was to be punished because I contributed four men to work for the Germans and I was the one who managed the household for them. At this, the SS man turned to the Judenrat worker and said: 'Why is her name on this list?' This is why I am still alive to greet you."

But there was to be no way out. The Gestapo was making ready to deport the Jews. I had to return to the labor camp. At the railway station I presented my travel pass, but the Polish policemen ignored it and took me to the gathering area in Rabka. I saw my family there. Along with the others, it was being divided by Untersturmfuehrer Wilhelm Rosenbaum. I found myself in a special group of four: a man named Shaut, a tinsmith; Yehiel Tirk, a mechanic; Finkelstein, a locksmith. 1, an electrician, was the fourth. We were put to work on maintenance of the target practice range.

On Yom Kippur Eve, 1942, the four of us were taken to a spot where 30 Jews were to be executed for failing to report for the deportation. The Germans shot them down: among them was my

[Page 86]

13-year-old nephew. Next to the pit stood a barrel of lime. The four of us were ordered to pour the lime on the corpses and cover the pit with earth.

All the possessions of the Jews were transferred to a large warehouse for sorting and refurbishing. I worked on the electrical appliances. Many a time we saw the Germans stealing items and selling them to the Polish police.

[Page 87]

Yehuda Beldegrün


Our Association had its beginnings in the terrible disaster which overtook the Jewish community of Europe. Survivors of the Holocaust returned to Poland, seeking the remnants of their families and friends, not expecting to find that none of them remained alive.

Some of the survivors managed to get to Eretz-lsrael, and here too they looked for other townspeople who had made their aliya years earlier and were now living in kibbutzim, moshavim, or in the urban centers. We, in turn, asked the "Lost Family and Friends" department in the Kol Israel broadcasting system, to announce, in Yiddish, that all the townspeople of Nowy-Targ, Zakopane and the vicinity should get in touch with us at a given address. Several townspeople residing in Tel-Aviv met in the home of Mordecai Levenberg, then the owner of a barbershop on King George Street. We received more addresses and appointed a committee to set up an organizational format. We kept up correspondence with our townspeople and even published a bulletin about our activities, one of which was an annual meeting held in memory of our dear departed families and friends.

The first meeting, held in ''Bet Hachalutzot", was well-attended and highly emotional, The memorial program was opened by Dr. Yaacov Mikenbrun, with a review of what had happened to our towns. Representatives of these towns lit memorial candles. The cantor recited "El Malei Rachamim" and the audience joined in the ''Kaddish". A film was shown about the Holocaust. Rabbi Y.Y. Frenkel spoke about the Holocaust and its lessons for future generations.

The ceremony was followed by a report on the committee's activities. The new committee consisted of Dr. Yaacov Mikenbrun, Mordecai Levenberg, Dr. Hammershlag, Dr. Zvi Kolber, Dagan,

[Page 88]

Gutfreund, Beldegrun, and Bruner. A fund was established to help townspeople in need, as well as to expand the program of the Association.

Through our publication, which we sent to townspeople in Israel and abroad, we were able to gather 1 000 pounds - a sizable sum in those days. Our free loan department received help from the Association of Polish Jews. We also undertook to plant trees in the "Martyrs' Forest" of the Jewish National Fund, allocating 1,000 pounds to the project. Every organization which paid in a minimum amount was assigned a piece of land in the hills of Jerusalem on which a monument was erected bearing the names of all the towns represented in the Association. We gathered there, planted trees and recited "Kaddish". In the Cellar of the Holocaust on Mt. Zion, in Jerusalem, we set up a tablet for our Association, and we come together around it every year.

Regrettably, the number of townspeople attending the memorial meetings has been dropping. On the other hand, new members have been added: Olek and Shoshana Ben-Ami, Grey, Ehrlich, Tiger, Wanderer, Moshe Shapiro, Baruch Remer and Zvi Gerstner (Nir). We have been coming together for picnics and on Purim and Hanukka.

After considerable deliberations and internal discussions we decided to undertake the publication of a memorial volume to our departed in the towns. We entrusted the editorial work to the veteran editor Michael Walzer-Fass.
The work is now completed. We trust that our townspeople will find it worthy of our martyrs.


ADLER, Viktor, Dr.17
APFEN, Naftali11
APPEL, Zelig81
BALDINGER, Moshe (Munek)50
BAUMAN, Hela86 (photo)
BECHER, Shmuel14
BEN AMI, Henek32
BEN-AMI, Olek88
BEN-AMI, Shoshana88
BIRAN, Yuzek30
BLATT, Emanuel81
BOIMEL, Yehoshua, Rabbi46
BOIMEL, Yoel Moshe, Rabbi41
BOIMEL, Yosef Mordecai, Rabbi46
COHEN, Bernard, Dr.17
DAGAN, David28
DAGAN, Hayim Yitzhak20
DATTNER, Roman81
DOVID, Yisroel, Rabbi45-46
DRALICH, Marian59, 60
DRANGER, Shimon26
ERNST, David65
ERNST, Robert65
ETTINGER, Henryk81
ETTINGER, Michael81
FABER, David10
FASS, Berthold (Baruch), Dr.52
FASS, Eliezer39
FASS, Rivka39
FEINER, Sarah27
FELLER, Ada86 (photo)
FERTIG, Hayyim48
FISHER, Bluma, Dr.11
FISHGRUND, Heinrich19, 20
FISHGRUND, Salomia15
FOLKMAN, Amalia53
FOLKMAN, Josef [Yosef]20, 52
FOLKMAN, Zigmunt53
FRAUWIRT, Heinrich36
FREI, Shlomo30
FRENKEL, Y.Y., Rabbi87
GERSTNER, R. Aharon20
GERSTNER, Zvi28, 88
GINSBERG, Marcus11
GINSBERG, Meir20, 57
GNEVICH, Hananiah59
GNEVISH, Hanina11
GOLDFINGER, Jacob10, 13
GOLDFINGER, Lusha [SCHAIN]86 (photo)
GOLDMAN, Ignacy69
GOLDNER, Leontyna11
GOLDNER, Zecharaiah, Dr.20
GRASSGREEN, David60, 72
GRASGRUN, Hanoch33
GROSS, Guzia31
GRUNSPAN, Shlomo11
GUTTER, Berek33
GUZIK, Josef65
HALBERSTAM, Hayyim, Rabbi43, 45, 46
HALPERIN, Efraim41
HAMMERSCHLAG, Israel, Dr.19-20
HERTZ, Ludwik72
HERZ, Dr.29
HERZ, Josef10
HERZ, Stefan, Dr.29
HIRSCH, Yaacov Yokil, Rabbi45
HOROVITZ, Nahum, Rabbi56
HUTMAN, Yanek33
KAHAN, Dr.19
KATZ, Zeev48
KAUFMAN, Peretz20
KELLER, Shlomo56
KICHLER, B. Lena, Mrs.71-72
KLEINZAHLER, Arye-Leibish43
KOLBER, David10
KOLBER, Henrik81
KOLBER, Menashe29
KOLBER, Zvi, Dr.87
KOPITO, Avrohom Moshe48
KORNGUT, Bertha28
KRUMHOLZ, Feivish46
LEIBLER, David14
LENIN, Krupskaya17
LENIN, Vladimir-Ulianov17
LEVENBERG, Mordecai87
LUSTIG, Alexander81
LUSTIG, Mendel81
MARK, Zygmont17
MEISELS, R. Hershl20
MEK, Dr.49
MINDELGREEN, Henrik, Dr.11
MUND, General40
NOIMEL, Yehoshua42
ORNSTEIN, Yehuda, Dr.27
PACENOVER, Shimon, Dr.40
PAPIER, Avraham29
PAPIER, Mauricy10, 29
PAPIER, Muniek30
POLLAK, Anna52
PERLMAN, Moshe10
RADEK, Karl39
RAND, Arye Yitzhak48
RAND, Devora48
RAND, Gina26
RAND, Yosef [Josef]48, 78
REMER, Baruch88
RIEGELHAUPT, Shlomo, Dr.41
ROSENBLATT, Yossele15,20
RUBIN, Ernst11
RUSSO, Benjamin72
SCHIFF, Yaacov48
SCHIPER, Yitzhak, Dr.10
SCHNEIDER, Yankele44
SHAPIRO, Moshe88
SHEIN, Avrohom Yehoshua41
SHEIN, Yehiel Ichel41
SHTURM, Moshe56
SINGER, Moshe27
SOBELSON, Zusiya39
SOFER, Mrs.49
SPITZ, Yitzhak65
STAMLER, Shlomo, Dr.11
STAMLER, Yeshayahu29
STAMLER, Zalman, Dr.29
STATTER, Dr.75-76
STEINER, Shlomo81
STERN, Norbert15
STORCH, Hayyim Dov Berish, Rabbi48
STOTTER, Lunek33
SYRUP, Lazar10
SYRUP, Mrs.10
THON, Yehoshua, Dr.52
TIRK, Yehiel85
TURKOW, Yonas29
VULCAN, Marcel32 - 33
VULCAN, Milek33
WAGNER, Mrs.80
WALZER-FASS, Michael88
WEIL, Rachel43
ZIEGLER, Meir Refoel46
ZINGER, Henek33
ZOLMAN, Berek30
ZOLMAN, Eheskel30
ZYSKIND, Joseph41

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
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.

  Nowy Targ, Poland     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Lance Ackerfeld

Copyright © 1999-2023 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 7 May 2006 by MGH