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[Pages 199-226]

CHAPTER VIII

Destruction of Żmigród

Testimony of Shimon Lang at Yad Vashem in Hebrew

Translation prepared by William Leibner. He also enclosed
some pictures and documents to help understand events.

 

now199.jpg
First page of original interview of Shimon Lang at Yad Vashem

 

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Shimon Lang, a native of Zmigrod who survived the Shoah

 

Document 03/9105

033C 4052

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem

Name of interviewee: Shimon Lang

Name of Interviewer: Elkana Matra

Date of interview: 5 October 1995

Typist: Ronit Mintz

Names of places that appear in the interview:

Zmigrod: near Jaslo, Galicia, Poland

Biezanow: village near Zmigrod

Pressburg: presently Bratislava, capital of Slovakia

Krakow: main city of Polish Galicia

Jaslo: Galician city east of Krakow

Plaszow: labor camp and then concentration camp near Krakow

Treblinka: deathcamp during World War II

Skarzysko–Kamienna: slave labor camp in Poland

Buchenwald: German concentration camp

Theresienstadt: German concentration camp located near Prague, Czechoslovakia

 

Question: I am interviewing Shimon Lang who was born in Zmigrod, Poland, in 1910. Please tell us something about yourself.

Answer: I was born in Zmigrod to a merchant family who owned a clothing store and tailor shop that employed two tailors. The shop operated from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II. On Friday, September 1, 1939, the tailors were working. We went to the synagogue to pray and returned to resume our work loads. Suddenly planes flew over the hamlet, a rare sight in Zmigrod. The non–Jews said that these were Polish planes.

Question: Did you know that the war started?

Answer: No. We knew nothing at 5:30 in the morning. At 8 in the morning the German planes began to bomb the nearby rail lines. We then understood that the war started.

Question: Are you a native of the city?

Answer: My family are natives of Zmigrod. We have been Zmigroder for at least three generations.

Question: Both sides of the family?

Answer: Yes, both sides of the family. My family name is Lang. There are rumors in the family that my paternal great grandfather visited Zmigrod and fell in love with a local maiden. He married her and remained in Zmigrod.

Question: How many children were in the family?

Answer: There were three brothers and a sister. The sister was married with children and lived in the village of Biezanow.

Question: Please tell us something about your childhood, the local school, and life in general?

Answer: Zmigrod was a small place that consisted of about 350 Jewish families. Most were Hasidic families. There were also non–Hasidic Jews but religious.

Question: Were there non–Jews in Zmigrod?

Answer: Yes, the gentiles lived mostly outside of the city. There were a few gentile families in the city.

Question: How many synagogues were there in Zmigrod?

Answer: There was a big synagogue and a big study hall. At the entrance to the synagogue, there were wooden arms built into the wall where a condemned man was tied up for some time in public under the jurisdiction of the Jewish Committee of Four Lands that ruled Jewish community life between 1520–1764 in Poland. This committee not only collected taxes but also had legal power to impose corporal punishment. The Zmigroder synagogue was already in existence during the period. The thick walls and the steps leading down to the entrance of the synagogue indicated that it was a very old structure. The synagogue was used mainly for Sabbath services. The study center was used for services and for study. The study center was built when my father was a child.

Question: The study center was more modern?

Answer: The study center was more modern and taller. It had a few floors.

Question: Did people from the area come to the study center? Did youngsters visit the center?

Answer: Most of the people attending the services at the study center were Zmigroder. The same can be said for the people who studied there. The busy time for study occurred in the summer and the winter. Some Jews from the vicinity of Zmigrod attended the study centers.

Question: Did the study center also provide sleeping accommodations?

Answer: No. It was not the custom to sleep in the synagogue.

Question: Were there religious and non–religious Jews in Zmigrod?

Answer: No, nothing like today in Israel. I remember that one educated person did not wear a hat in Zmigrod. He also did not attend services.

Question: Only one person did not observe the religious laws?

Answer: Most of the population attended services. I do not know to what extent the Jews observed all the religious commandments but in public there was general acceptance of the Jewish religious tradition. Maybe there were Jews who ate pork in secret in the woods or smoked in secret on Sabbath, but in the home and certainly in public most Jews observed the Jewish tradition that was carried on for 2,000 years.

Question: How was your home?

Answer: My father was religious, even very religious. I was sent to “heder” or parochial school, then to the elementary Polish school. When I finished heder, I started to study the Talmud with the former head of the Pressburger yeshiva. We worked very hard at home. We had to learn a trade. We could not attend trade schools since they were open on Sabbath. Some Jewish students continued their studies despite Sabbath.

Question: Were there Jewish doctors or lawyers in Zmigrod?

Answer: There was a Jewish doctor but he studied in Vienna, Austria. Jews had a difficult time to be admitted to Polish universities that were very anti–Semitic. There was a gentile doctor in Zmigrod. I used him once at night. He came and did not ask whether we had money or not but attended to the sick. There were Jewish lawyers. We were always busy working in the store or in the workshop.

Question: What happened outside of school?

Answer: Outside of school and my religious studies, I was busy working.

Question: Did you play with other children?

Answer: Yes, some children played outside, but I did not have the time to play for there was so much work. Sometimes, other children went to the river to swim in the summer. I merely went swimming once, perhaps twice in my entire youth.

Question: Was there anti–Semitism in Zmigrod?

Answer: There was no lack of it. We lived near gentiles and there were hardly any ties; the gentiles had no love for us Jews.

Question: Did you have gentile friends?

Answer: Yes, I went with them to school. I had some friends. I can tell you that during the war there was an ad in the German paper that Jews would be sent to forced labor camps except those who worked in agriculture. My mother went to the one in charge and I was assigned to agricultural work.

Question: Where did you go to work?

Answer: I went to work near some village.

Question: Was it a gentile farm?

Answer: Yes. It was a gentile woman who had no husband. She had two small children and a baby daughter. My mother spoke to her and she accepted me as a worker. I worked there daily.

Question: How old were you?

Answer: I was about 26 or 27 years old. I was going to work with the wheel barrel next to the school. My Polish friend saw me and told me to stop the charade of working. This is not real. That's how the Poles reacted to Jewish workers and he was a friend who lived near my house. It pained him that I was working and maybe able to avoid being sent to a forced labor camp.

Question: Where was the labor camp next to Krakow?

Answer: Zmigrod is 140 kilometers east of Krakow. We worked very hard. My mother kept us very busy and did not permit us to waste time. She, of course, fed us well so that we had the energy to work. I can now say that this training perhaps helped me to survive the very difficult conditions in the concentration camps.

I had a sister who was about 18 or 19 years old who helped in the house. Then there was a brother aged 25 and another brother aged 17. Then my sister married and I had more work at home. I was the oldest child in the household. We always worked. There were rich Jews in Zmigrod, there were middle class Jews in Zmigrod and there were also Jews who did not have a slice of bread on Sabbath.

Question: Did the community help them?

Answer: The community did not help them, the community helped the rabbi, the cantor but not the poor Jews. Ordinary Jews made collections to help the poor Jews. Money or bread was collected and distributed. I remember collecting wood in the winter and then distributing the wood to poor Jewish homes so that they could have some heat. This was not a permanent solution but it helped for a time.

Question: The help was not organized?

Answer: Not in the modern way of a welfare organization.

Question: Were there youth movements in Zmigrod? Emissaries from Palestine?

Answer: The contacts with Palestine were very weak. Following the death of Marshal Pilsudski in 1935, a wave of anti–Semitism swept the country. Young Jews came to the “Hachshara,׆ or training farm, to acquire agricultural skills that they would be able to use in Palestine. As the anti–Semitic ideology enveloped Poland, more and more Jews came to the training farm in Zmigrod. The young Jews were not only from Zmigrod but also from the vicinity. They spread the idea of Zionism. Youth movements like the Bnei Akiva, or religious Zionist youth group, began to appear and call the Jewish youth to join the movement.

Question: Did it occur to you to join such a training farm?

Answer: I was very busy at home and did not have the time to be involved. Furthermore, I belonged to the party known as Agudat Israel, or very religious anti–Zionist party, that was not interested in Zionism.

Question: Please tell what happened in 1939.

Answer: We lived until 1939. Those who were poor remained poor, those who were rich were rich and the middle class remained in the middle. The day of the outbreak of the war we knew that Jewish life that had existed in Europe ended. Some Jews hoped that the Germans would not kill all Jews as later happened. Some poor people even hoped that perhaps their poor economic situation would improve.

Question: They really thought that Hitler was going to save the poor people?

Answer: Nobody thought that Hitler would slaughter Jews en masse. It is easy to speculate after the fact, but the truth of the matter was that nobody believed that Hitler would kill Jews en masse. The Jews knew that they would not have it easy under Hitler but did not expect what happened. The rich Jews knew that times would be hard and the poor Jews who did not have a slice of bread for Sabbath hoped that maybe conditions would improve slightly.

Question: What happened September 1, 1939?

Answer: On September the first, the gentiles started to act up since the war caught them by surprise.

Question: Weren't they drafted?

Answer: Yes, they were drafted in the morning and returned home in the evening by truck. They drafted about 40 or 50 and sometimes 100 men and took them to the border. Zmigrod was about 4–5 kilometers from the border with Czechoslovakia that was already occupied by German forces. The Polish soldiers were drafted in August and traveled back and forth. The Polish soldiers looked at the German soldiers and vice–versa.

Question: Was this area of Czechoslovakia part of the Sudetenland?

Answer: No, this area was not part of the Sudetenland.

Question: Did the German soldiers recognize the Polish soldiers?

Answer: Yes, the German soldiers were placed along the Czech–Polish border prior to the beginning of the war. Even we could see the German soldiers at the border. With the outbreak of hostilities, the local Polish drafted soldiers abandoned their posts, changed to civilian clothing and came home.

Question: So the Polish soldiers were no longer in uniform?

Answer: Yes, they were already in civilian clothes. Besides, what could they do against a powerful German army equipped with tanks? It took them about a week to overrun Poland. During this week we made preparations. First, we took 40 Torahs from the synagogue and buried them at the Jewish cemetery in a big crate. We already felt sad but never anticipated what was to come. Friday morning about 10 A.M., I was standing by the window and noticed the first German soldiers had entered the city. The Jews were all at home behind locked doors. Nobody was on the street. The soldiers probably returned and reported that the city was clean of Polish soldiers. Then thousands of soldiers started to stream into Zmigrod. The stream continued to 10 in the evening. Most of the soldiers continued to move onward but some soldiers remained in Zmigrod. Jews and gentiles started to leave their homes and began to talk to the German soldiers and some even began to trade with the soldiers. Then the Germans shot a Pole. We soon realized that you could not do business with the Germans. The shooting took place one week prior to the Jewish New Year. The Germans continued to move.

Question: Through Zmigrod?

Answer: As long the German soldiers crossed Zmigrod, there were no disturbances. Problems started when they stayed in the city.

Question: What problems?

Answer: The problems started on Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. Jews began to walk to the synagogue to pray. We were about 50 or 60 Jews at the synagogue. Two German soldiers entered the place and began to scream: “Out!” Of course, we started to leave and received slaps and kicks as we passed the soldiers on the way out. I reached home and told the family what had happened at the synagogue. There was then a house facing Main Street that was completely enclosed. Within the house there was a courtyard. Many Jews assembled there to pray. Suddenly, we were told that the Germans were looking for Jews to work. We started to run in all directions. The Germans spotted the Jews and entered the courtyard through the windows that they broke. They grabbed me, my brother and my father. A German took us and as we passed our home, he saw my mother with a “machsor,” or a book with High Holiday prayers in her hands. He grabbed the book and threw it at the wall. He told her that in Austria they took care of the Jews by cutting their tongues and she still had the audacity to pray here. He took all three of us, beat us mercilessly along the road.

Question: Where did he lead you?

Answer: He led us to the estate to work.

Question: Was that a big estate?

Answer: Yes, the estate belonged to a rich Pole. The place had many German soldiers who slept on hay that was scattered along the floor. We saw many Jews at the estate. Our job was to assemble the hay and carry it to the fire where it was burned. This was our job. Every time I approached the fire with a bundle of hay, the German guard tried to push me toward the fire. We worked at this job the entire first day of the New Year. In the evening the Germans sent us home. Walking was difficult since the streets were full of German soldiers. Finally we reached home and made the blessing that we had survived the ordeal of the day. We managed to keep going until the Day of Atonement. We attempted to assemble and pray on the holiest of days for Jews, but again the Germans appeared and hunted the Jews to work. There was no rest from the manhunt. In November we had serious problems; every day the Germans came to look for Jewish workers and we worked every day.

Question: Did you work every day?

Answer: Yes, we worked daily. There was no organization like the “Judenrat” that would be created later. We dealt with German soldiers or, rather, they dealt with us.

Question: Did the Germans grab Jews off the street?

Answer: The Germans grabbed Jews wherever they found them. Since the houses of Zmigrod were low, they would break the entrance doors or the windows and appear in the homes and grab Jews. This continued until November. On November 20, I think, a pogrom took place.

Question: Who started the pogrom?

Answer: The pogrom started in the morning. In Zmigrod it was the custom to make public announcements by sending the town crier with a big drum who publicized the proclamation. The present order was that all Jews must open their stores and surrender their merchandise. Failing to do this would result in the death penalty. Jews who had stockpiles of merchandise were told to expose it. A half hour after the announcer was finished, gendarmes appeared.

Question: Were the gendarmes Germans?

Answer: Yes. The German gendarmes went from house to house and arrested all Jewish menfolk. They broke all household closets and chests. We were a bit naïve and took out everything we had.

Question: Did they look for merchandise or other things?

Answer: They took everything. There were no haulers so they took the Jews who they apprehended, young and old, and ordered them to take everything outside the house and load it aboard trucks. They took all our possessions and left.

Question: Did they carry out everything?

Answer: They took apart entire rooms. Some Jews were left shirtless that day. This took place on November 20.

Question: Did they harm Jewish women?

Answer: They did not respect Jewish women. They took some Jewish women who separated the items they found. They kept them all day at this job.

Question: Were you also affected by the removal of merchandise?

Answer: We managed to hide some merchandise in the attic.

Question: What kind of merchandise?

Answer: We had some tissues but not too much.

Question: Did they also seize food items?

Answer: The Germans took everything.

Question: Did they take everything from you?

Answer: They took everything they saw. Some people were lucky that they did not see everything.

Question: Did the local population join the grabbing of material goods?

Answer: No. This was a purely German show. Tuesday evening they took all the plunder and drove it to the city of Jaslo, district headquarters. They returned on Friday and continued with the same searches. All the stores were then closed. The Germans then burned the Talmud books, the bible.

Question: How about the Torahs?

Answer: All Jews were ordered to take all their books out of the houses. I did not let my younger brother take the books, but I took them and delivered them to a German officer. He asked me if we had more books. I was afraid that they may search the house and answered in the affirmative. The German escorted me to the attic where I had some books. I took the books and left the house and followed the German. He led me to a square where a German officer took one book and opened the pages. He then told me to take the book and roll on the ground with the book to the fireplace where another German soldier told me to stand up and took the book from my hands and heaved it to the fire. I was then told to head home. I did not go home but went to the synagogue and took a small Torah from the Holy Ark. The Torah was very small but it was used in services. I took the Torah and left the synagogue. I decided to hide the small Torah with all our belongings. Later, we used the small Torah in a service we organized in the afternoon of the Day of Atonement, when things settled down a bit. After the service, I returned the small Torah to the hiding place at the house.

Question: Where did you hide the small Torah? In the attic?

Answer: No. Under one of the beds there was a hole in the ground that was dug up during World War I. The hole was covered with wood as though it was part of the floor, but it was accessible. It was used in emergencies. It was a small hole where we could put some merchandise, jewelry and other small valuables.

Question: Was this sort of a vault?

Answer: Yes. I thought I would be able to take the Torah out of the hiding place and use it for the services on“Simchat Torah,” or the festival of the Torah holiday. Indeed, we organized a private service and I brought the Torah from hiding. While our service was taking place, the wife of one of the people praying with us entered the room and said,“Pray, for the Germans are burning the study hall!” I left the room and went to the next room that led to the store. I approached the window with hesitation and saw people with jerry cans of gas spraying the area and setting it on fire. Our house was situated between the synagogue and the local church.

Question: Were the torchers Germans?

Answer: I said to myself, if they are burning the synagogue then our house would also burn. I returned to the room with the hole in the floor and took a few things and also the Torah and headed to the courtyard of the neighboring church and buried all the items. I went back to the house to repeat the action but the Germans were all over the place looking for the so–called Jewish torchers.

Question: Did the Germans accuse the Jews of having torched their own synagogue?

Answer: Yes, the Germans kept looking for Jews and those found were roughed up.

Question: In your house?

Answer: No, I was in the churchyard returning to the house when the Germans entered our place. I waited until they left. I gave up the idea of carrying more stuff to the hiding place in the churchyard; instead I went to the attic. In the attic there was a niche. I went directly to the niche and found there a few people hiding. The niche had a slit that gave a view of the synagogue. The sight was beyond description. Jews were forced to carry buckets of water to the fire site where the flames were raging. The Jews were beaten mercilessly going and coming with the water buckets. The show lasted the entire night. The synagogue and the study hall were torched and only smoke columns could be seen from the place.

In the morning I left my hiding place. The Germans soldiers left Zmigrod. They were replaced by the German police who remained permanently stationed in the city. The German police began daily searches and seizures at Jewish homes. Some Jews were arrested and sent to jail if there was the slightest suspicion against them. These activities continued for some time. Somewhat later, the Germans decided to form a“Judenrat,” or Jewish council. They selected a party who was far from any involvement in community affairs. He was a crude man. The Germans were sure that he would do their bidding and they were not wrong. One cannot say that he did specifically bad things to the Jews of Zmigrod, but he certainly helped the Germans.

Question: Was he the middleman between the Jews and the Germans?

Answer: Yes, he was the go–between. This situation continued to 1942.

Question: What did you do in the meantime? You and your family?

Answer: My father did not work although he was not old. All Jews had to work at all kinds of local projects like shoveling snow, building roads, at the Steinbruch quarry. I decided to go to work at the quarry of Emil Ludwig Steinbruch. It was very hard work. This was not a labor. We went each morning and returned home each evening.

Question: Was this forced labor?

Answer: Yes, this was forced labor. Steinbruch paid a measly salary at the end of the month.

Question: Did they provide food at the work site?

Answer: We were not fed. At the end of the month we received a loaf of bread with jam. This continued until 1942.

Question: Did the family have food?

Answer: Hardly. We lived very economically. If you had a slice of bread, you knew that you cannot have another one. The food that I brought from Steinbruch was not only for myself but for the entire family.

Question: You were the sole worker in the family?

Answer: I was the only worker in the family who worked outside of Zmigrod. There was lots of work along the roads and shoveling snow.

Question: And your father?

Answer: My father worked but I worked outside the city and managed to get small quantities of food that I brought home.

Question: Did your father do any tailoring?

Answer: It was impossible to work since the gentiles did not dare to come to the center of the city. They were afraid for their lives. There was an occasional farmer who brought something to repair or bought a piece of merchandise, but fear prevailed everywhere.

Question: Did you know what was taking place in nearby communities; was there a newspaper or a radio?

Answer: We knew nothing. There was no newspaper nor radio. Slowly all communications with the outside were closed. We could not even reach the district city of Jaslo that was about 10 kilometers from Zmigrod. Only the head of the Judenrat had a valid pass that enabled him to travel to Jaslo in 1942.

Question: Did he travel in the spring or summer of 1942?

Answer: He traveled in the Hebrew month of Tamuz or July. The Germans demanded that the Jews make a contribution to Germany of 100,000 Polish zlotys. The Judenrat collected money and goods but could not reach the sum demanded by the Germans. The Judenrat managed to assemble 50,000 zlotys and the head of the Judenrat took the money to Jaslo. He told the Gestapo that this was all the money that could be collected from Zmigrod. This was on Friday. On Saturday a unit of the Gestapo visited a large pit in the area of Zmigrod. I think that the Germans already knew that the Jews would be killed.

Question: How did you know?

Answer: I was outside when the inspection commando returned from the site and was about to return to Jaslo. One of them made a sign.

Question: What kind of sign?

Answer: A sign that signified the end. (Probably a hand motion across the throat.) Then I understood that the pit was destined for us. On Sunday, Polish workers who used to work for the Polish arrived with heavy equipment in Zmigrod and continued to travel in the upper levels of the city in the direction of the pit.

Question: What happened then?

Answer: Sunday afternoon the Gestapo chief requested the list of Jewish residents of Zmigrod and their pictures from the head of the Judenrat. The Gestapo took these items and told him that all Jews must be ready on Tuesday morning at the meadow that was outside Zmigrod. On Monday morning, the Gestapo chief called on the head of the Judenrat again and told him that all Jews must assemble at the meadow at 8 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday. Nobody was to be exempted.

Question: Everybody?

Answer: Everybody. Old people, young people, sick people, disabled people. We all started to walk to the meadow on Tuesday morning.

Question: You also joined the march?

Answer: Yes. We knew that things looked bad, but we did not realize that the Germans would take about 1,500 Jews to the meadow and select 1,200 of them to be killed. We all walked to the meadow. The Gestapo chief and his entourage soon arrived and proceeded to establish order. First they ordered all Jews aged 40 and over to head to a spot.

Question: Was this a selection?

Answer: Yes. Then the Jews themselves carried out another selection; many Jews were certain that Jews aged 40 would be sent home. So many younger Jews stepped over to the area. The Germans then drew a line between the aged–40 group and the rest of the Jewish population. No one was permitted to leave this group but any one could join the group. A Gestapo man with a big wooden club that ended in a hook began to walk among the Jews and placed the hook on the neck of Jews. Once the hook was placed on a Jew, he was ordered to join the aged group. This tedious process was going on and on. He then selected entire families with four children and sent them to the aged group. Also families with three children were doomed.

Question: And you?

Answer: I was standing with my father and brothers and my sister with her children. He ordered the sister with her two children to move to the aged group. I remained with my father and brothers.

Question: Was not your father supposed to join the aged group?

Answer: Yes, but he used his brains and was one of the few elderly people to survive that day.

Question: What about your mother?

Answer: My mother was next to my father. We all stood a certain distance away and huddled ourselves together after our sister and her children were removed. Then the real selection started among the remainder of the Jews of Zmigrod. The Gestapo chief sat himself down at a table and all the remaining Jews had to pass in front of him one at a time. He decided who returned home and who joined the aged group. My middle brother was the first to appear before the Gestapo men and he sent him to the aged group. Then I went and received a signed card that permitted me to go home. My younger brother also received a signed card. My father also received a signed card. Other people, younger than him, were however sent to the aged group. Once father received the signed card he edged over to mother and took her arm and they walked over to the site where people with cards were seated. They were soon sent home and my mother never received a card.

Question: He saved your mother?

Answer: Yes, he saved her that day. She, of course, died in the shoah as he did. But on this day he saved her. We returned home, my father, my mother, myself and my younger brother.

Question: What happened to the others?

Answer: Tuesday morning, the head of the Judenrat urged all Jews to make contributions to the Germans. He brought a sack and asked Jews to give everything they could. He said that maybe the contribution would lighten the German treatment of the Jews. The sack was half–full when the Jews reached the meadow. The Judenrat chief gave the sack to the Gestapo men. The Gestapo men told him:“You said that the Jews had no more money on Friday, yet now you suddenly found more money.” He clubbed the Judenrat head on his head. Blood began to stream. He was forced to stand in the sun. The Gestapo chief told him that he would be the last Jew to be killed. Blood kept streaming from the open head wounds. Thus ended the saga of the Jews of Zmigrod onTuesday, July 7, 1942, or 22 days in the month of Tamuz, when about 1,300 Jews were killed, When we reached our home in Zmigrod we already knew that most of the Zmigroder Jews were dead. No sooner did

 

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Halbow near Zmigrod where most of the Jews of Zmigrod were killed on July 7, 1942.

 

we arrive home when someone knocked at the door. We opened the door and saw a little girl of six or seven years. She was wrapped in a sheet and carried only a box with shoes in it. Her parents had a shoe store. She asked to be permitted to enter the house. Apparently, her parents, seeing what was going on, told the girl to go to the river and hide. Nobody noticed her disappearance. She took advantage of the river that was flowing near the meadow to hide there.

Question: Just the little girl survived?

Answer: Her parents and brothers aged 16 or 17 all were killed. Nobody remained alive. Her father was a Talmudic scholar and the girl brought with her box with the shoes.

Question: You took her in?

Answer: Yes, she remained with us to the end. On Friday we received orders to assemble at the same meadow. On Sunday about 200 people appeared including 50 people who worked for the Germans. The Germans selected about 150 people and sent them to Plaszow near Krakow.

Question: And you were among the transport to Plaszow?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And your brother?

Answer: He remained at home on Sunday. We were taken to the ghetto of Jaslo and then sent to the labor camp of Plaszow where we started to work.

Question: Was this a camp? Where did you live?

Answer: We lived in a barrack. Plaszow was a labor camp in 1942. I started to build a railway.

Question: Was this a new railway?

Answer: Actually we were building two parallel lines to circumvent the main railway station of Krakow that was jammed with traffic heading to the Russian front. Our group of 38 workers built the railway. Next to us was a German group that also worked along the railway line but they were paid in full. We received nothing, no food, no money. We built about 60 kilometers of track that enabled German trains to bypass the Krakow main railway station. We encountered there a huge amount of tools that served the railway.

A month after we left Zmigrod, the Gestapo chief wanted to complete his mission of erasing all the Jews from Zmigrod. He wanted to search every Jewish home.

Question: He wanted to search the homes?

Answer: He wanted to assemble all the goods and distribute them among the local population.

Question: Who was Dr. Gentz?

Answer: He sent all the good stuff to Germany and the rest was given to the local population. He cleared all the Jewish homes.

Question: What did they do with the rest of the Jews in Zmigrod?

Answer: After the transport left for Plaszow, very few Jews remained in Zmigrod, perhaps 10 people.

 

now203.jpg
German record of Shimon Lang's activities during World War II. Lang was arrested on April 1, 1940 and was assigned to forced labor. On July 1, 1942 he was sent to Plaszow labor camp.
(The date is incorrect since the selection in Zmigrod took place on July 7, 1942. Lang was sent to Plaszow shortly thereafter.)
From Plaszow, he was sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp on May 10, 1943. He was liberated on May 9, 1945.
(The index card failed to mention two concentration camps where Lang was, namely Skarzysko–Kamienna and Buchenwald.)
At the end of the war, Lang resided at the Landzberg D.P. camp.

 

Question: Did your family also stay?

Answer: The Germans began to implement their policy of“Judenrein” or free of Jews in Zmigrod following our departure for Plaszow. My father stated that he was not willing to leave his house come what may. He preferred to die in his own bed if it came to it. The Germans brought carts drawn by horses and moved all the rest of the Jews to Jaslo. My father, mother and younger brother went to the niche in the attic where they met other Jews. The Ukrainians and Germans began a house–to–house search for Jews. The family was saved for the day. The searchers did not find the niche. They stayed while the rest were moved out of the city and sent to the death camp of Treblinka where they all perished.

Question: And your family?

Answer: My family consisting of my father, mother and younger brother remained hidden in the attic. Later on I met my father once more and he told me the story. According to him, my brother decided that he had enough of the attic and left the hiding place. A shot was heard. My father knew that they killed his son. They were left in the attic. There were no Jews left in Zmigrod. There was only one Jew left who worked for the Germans. He cleared the Jewish apartments and the merchandise was sent to Jaslo. This party had a relative in the niche. He brought her bread.

Question: Did she share the bread with the others?

Answer: Yes. She was the sister of the cleaner. She had a baby with her. Every day the brother brought a bread that was shared among the people. There were about 10 people in hiding. One day, the brother announced to the sister that they were finishing the clearing operations and he did not know what would happen. He appeared the last day and brought a loaf of bread. He never showed again. The people started to ration the bread that they had. Each day they received smaller portions.

The great problem was water. These were summer days and the heat was unbearable in the niche. To wet their lips they resorted to their own urine for lack of water. Following two months in the attic, the rains started. Someone went downstairs to look for pots or pans to collect the rainwater. They had to be very careful not to be spotted. They finally collected some pots and placed them with the right inclination and the correct camouflage to gather some water.

Their misfortune was the marauding Ukrainians who were constantly lurking and searching the Jewish homes for goods. They noticed the pots and called the Gestapo. The latter came and at first saw nothing. Then they took apart the house and found the hiding place. Some people were killed instantly, others were taken away to the prison in Jaslo. My father's brother was shot. My father and mother they took to Jaslo. There they met other hidden Jews who were discovered in Zmigrod. One morning they decided to make a selection and sent a transport of Jews to Ostbahn near Plaszow. I was about one kilometer way from Ostbahn. During the selection, a Gestapo man pointed to my father and said,“This dog could go to work.” Father was sent with the transport to Ostbahn.

Question: And your mother?

Answer: She was left in prison at Jaslo. She was then sent to the ghetto of Rzeszow. What happened later, I do not know. I later met people who were in the ghetto of Rzeszow and talked about a woman who resembled my mother. They even knew how to pronounce her name. Thus, I knew that they were talking about my mother. Father arrived at the Ostbahn camp that was near Plaszow. A Zmigroder Jew saw him. When I was returning from a work detail, the Jew yelled out to me that he saw my father. For the moment I could not believe my ears. But the man was an honest man and I took his word. In the evening we got our supper.

Question: What did it consist of?

Answer: They gave us soup. I then approached Odelman and I told him that I had nothing to give him but I promised him that I would repay him for the favor that I was about to ask of him. He was wearing a special hat and riding breaches that gave him the authority to walk freely within the Plaszow camp. He took to me to the fence that separated the Plaszow camp from the Ostbahn camp. There were about 500 Jews or more there, and at first I did not recognize my father. He did see me. I had not seen my father since I said goodbye to him in the attic on that Sunday when I left for the transport to Plaszow. He wore pants and a jacket. Now he was barely dressed. A prison guard along the way demanded his clothing. He had no choice but to give them. He was left with rags. He had not eaten for days. I barely recognized him. He told me hello. I told my father that I had nothing with me but I would see if I could arrange something in my camp.

In our camp, Obersharfuhrer Muller walked around from the morning to the evening with a rifle and stopped people and searched them. If he found any food or other things on them, he took them to the fence and shot them. I managed to get to the fence and collected some clothes from the dead bodies. I knew that my father was an excellent tailor and would be able to fix the clothing so that he would have something to wear.

The next day, I asked Odelman again to walk me to the fence and I gave my father the clothes. Of course, I did not have a needle and thread to give him. My father approached the supervisor of the tailor shop at the Ostbahn camp and asked him for needles and thread in exchange for repairing cloth for him. The German supervisor agreed. My father fixed his clothes and worked for the German, who fed him. The work was extra, since during the day he worked at hauling big boulders that weighed about 100 kilos.

One day they selected 18 people in my father's camp and brought them to Plaszow. My father was among them. He remained in Plaszow about a month, during which time he told me exactly what happened in the attic from my departure to their being discovered by the Germans. This is how I know what happened after my departure from Zmigrod. At the end of the month, the 18 people were returned to the Ostbahn camp, among them my father. I do not know how long he was there. One day, someone told me that my father was killed. With him17 people were killed. After the war, the German that ordered the killing was later found guilty by a Polish court and hanged on the same area.

Question: The 18 people did something wrong?

Answer: No. There was a selection and they selected 18 people and my father was among them. This was in April or May. A serious epidemic of stomach typhus began. There was pressure on our supervisor to send us to work or to kill us. We hardly went to work. The entire camp population was infected. We were busy digging burial holes. Each day more holes. There seemed no end to it.

Question: Were you sick?

Answer: I was also sick. On this day, Muller told us that we must go to work or we would be shot. We went to work but soon the entire camp came down with the disease. Still, Muller insisted that we must work.

I dragged my feet for about 14 or 15 hours a day since we had to unload two rail cars. We were laying the rails on top of gravel. There were two rail cars with wood. The German supervisor told me to get on top of the cars and start unloading. I could barely stand on my feet. But blows were coming and finally I managed to climb the ladder to the top of the car. We were four people on top of the rail car. We formed two teams of two. Each team unloaded the wood on each side. My partner begged me to start working since he feared that the Germans would shoot him and me for slacking. I began to lift the wood and throw it down. We managed to finish the task that day.

I told my children later, that if I lived another 50 years I could not finish to tell about the events that took place. However, I must tell you this story.

When I arrived at Plaszow, it was still a labor camp and not a concentration camp. The camp demanded a payment of 150 zlotys and in order to get the money, you could work in the camp for it and with the money you received, you could pay for the half a liter of soup and bread that you received.

We were paid at the end of the month and paid for the food that we received.

Every Monday we received a loaf of bread for the entire week. We had to divide the bread so that it would last for the entire week. I did not have money and begged a relative to have pity on me and grant me a loan of 150 zlotys. I told him that all my belongings were stolen and I had nothing left. He gave me a loan. I decided to write a letter home to Zmigrod. This was still possible.

Question: You asked the family to send you some money?

Answer: Yes. They sent me money and I paid back the loan. I got an extra job to clean the barbershop. I was paid and given bread. My problem was now how to save my bread from being stolen.

Question: What did you do?

Answer: I tied the bread to myself and carried it wherever I went. I could it even wash myself while the bread remained attached. I received my pay of 150 zlotys at the end of the month and a kilo of bread. I soon realized that I would not be able to survive on a kilo of bread and work so hard. Some workers could not resist the temptation and finished the kilo of bread and then starved of hunger.

I decided to buy and sell salami, as many other workers did in the camp. Gentiles used to come near the camp and sell bread and salami. The salami consisted of horse meat. Old horses were slaughtered and used to produce salami. I figured that I would earn some money and buy bread that would enable me to continue to live another day. I knew that this was not an ideal solution but I had to survive. I bought a salami from a female farmer and paid her. The transaction took place a small distance from the group of workers. They finished working and returned their tools to the tool shed.

They then crossed the rail line. I tried to catch up with them when a huge transport train loaded with soldiers and artillery blocked my passage. The train seemed never to end. Then the train stopped. I tried to crawl under a train car when I was spotted by a guard. He ordered me to stand and clear everything that I had. He saw the salami and asked to break it up in crumbs. Possibly he thought that it contained explosives. I executed the order. The guard was very nervous and took several steps backward. He loaded the rifle and misfired. He repeated the attempt twice more and gave up in disgust. He looked at me with unbelieving eyes. He asked me if I was protected by G–d. Then he told me to get my stuff and disappear. I said to myself, this soldier is going to fight the Russians. I crossed the track and joined my working crew that was waiting on the other side of the track

Question: Was that a miracle?

Answer: A miracle or luck. I had a hernia and dragged about while working on the rail lines. We were eight people. The Germans who worked with us were also eight people, but they had eight workers on each side while we were eight people who lifted the rail and put it on our shoulders. Once I decided to stand in the middle, but the German supervisor Schultz came over to me and told me never to do this again. He took me and placed me at the head of the crew that was lifting the rails. He even screamed at me to raise my shoulder so that the rail was evenly balanced.

Question: How long were you at this camp?

Answer: About a year, perhaps a year and a quarter. Then we left Plaszow and were shipped to Skarzysko–Kamienna.

Question: What was Skarzysko?

Answer: It was a camp where ammunition was produced.

Question: Where was it located?

Answer: It was in Southern Poland.

Question: Was it far from Plaszow?

Answer: I do not remember.

Question: Was this new place also a labor camp?

Answer: Yes, it was a labor camp and camp of death. There was less brutality and less shootings, but there were more dead people. They worked with acids and explosives.

Question: What did you do with these materials?

Answer: I did not work with ammunition. Anybody assigned to work with the ammunition soon turned greenish. Everything they touched turned green. Their clothing was shredded due to the acids. Even their bread turned green when they touched it.

Question: Was it poison?

Answer: Yes, it was poison.

Question: What work did you do?

Answer: I worked in the transport department. Our shift worked from six in the morning to ten o'clock in the evening.

Question: What exactly did you do?

Answer: We loaded and unloaded ammunition. Raw materials arrived and were unloaded. The finished ammunition was loaded. We started to work with a crew of 15 Jews and were soon reduced to 10. The work was hard and the watery soup and the slice of bread was not enough to sustain people. We worked in all kinds of weather, snow or rain. I had no clothing, certainly not for outside work. I was hungry, cold and tired. I returned from work exhausted and fell into bed. The beds were three stories high. No mattress. I slept on sawdust.

Question: You slept on sawdust?

Answer: Yes, we slept on sawdust without blankets, summer and winter. This was a typical labor camp that you do not see on TV.

Question: How long were you there?

Answer: I was there until 1944.

Question: Were you at camp with relatives or friends?

Answer: I had acquaintances.

Question: How close were they?

Answer: These two acquaintances were from Zmigrod. They survived the war and reside today in Canada. Our relationship was very limited since we had no time to talk. And what could I ask them? What would happen? We just did not have the time and the patience. The breaks at work were limited. People died right and left. Within a short time, we were 10 people then nine people and so on. Many were killed and some died. We knew when someone died when he did not join the group that was going to work. Then we knew that he was dead.

Question: When did you leave the place?

Answer: We knew already in 1944 that the Germans wanted to ship us out since the Russians had already crossed the Wisla River.

Question: Due to the Russian military advances?

Answer: We were a few Jews at Skarzysko and then a selection took place where they eliminated a third of the inmates. I survived the selection but I was almost naked. I did not know what would happen to me. Being a religious person, I believed that help would arrive since that was my destiny. That day, I was sent to bring the food from the main kitchen. I wheeled the barrel of soup that stood on a small trolley and was very careful not to spill it. I was very careful since I had to bring the soup to our group of workers.

Suddenly, there was an order to return to the camp immediately. The camp was dark and the selection was taking place among the Russians. I was permitted to cross the gate since I was bringing the food and I was naked. The other people were not permitted to cross the entrance gate. They decided to select the people at the entrance gate. Mass killings were taking place. I continued to walk with the food and did not dare to take some food, since I knew that this was the food for the entire group.

A new order was given to leave everything and proceed to the appel platz, or assembly mall. I opened the cover and took one portion and another portion of food. I swallowed everything very fast and ran to the assembly place. I realized that I was naked, so I ran to the barrack where there was a tailor. This tailor did repair work and always had some clothing. I begged him for some clothing and I managed to put on some clothes. The tailor survived the war. I ran to the assembly place and passed the selection. A small group of inmates was sent to Czestochowa, Poland, where we built anti–tank ditches. We arrived at the place and found a barn of straw that could provide shelter for about 100 people. We were about 500. Most of us had to stay outside and spend the night on the ground. We huddled together to keep warm. In the morning we went to work. This lasted for about a month.

Question: What did you eat?

Answer: We ate what they gave us, nothing in particular. We remained there for about one or two months. Then they took us to Buchenwald concentration camp. When we arrived at Buchenwald, we had to undergo a disinfection process. Two S.S. stood and watched as everybody undressed and had to immerse himself in a bath full of disinfectant material. This, of course, was also an occasion to examine all prisoners to see if they had hidden items on their bodies or in the body apertures. At the end of 1944, there were no longer shootings in the camps.

Question: What did you do in Buchenwald?

Answer: We were in Buchenwald for a short period of time.

Question: What did you do?

Answer: We went to work each day. We cleared the debris of the Allied bombings.

Question: Where next?

 

now204.jpg
Shimon Lang reached the Buchenwald concentration camp on September 9, 1944

 

Answer: From Buchenwald they took us to Schliben in Germany, where there was a munitions factory that produced panzerfaust or anti–tank rockets. I did not work with ammunition. I was a construction worker.

Question: What did you build?

Answer: We did not build. We dug the ground. We worked there until the big explosion.

Question: The explosion occurred as a result of an air attack?

Answer: No. There was a tremendous explosion during the night shift.

Question: Did the inmates blow up the factory?

Answer: Rumors had it that the man in charge of the factory set up the explosion, since the Russians were approaching the place rapidly. The first explosion occurred about 10 in the evening. I was sitting on my bed when the tremendous explosion shook me up. The second explosion followed and the debris hit our barrack. The place had so much ammunition that explosions continued to be heard throughout the night.

Question: Were people killed?

Answer: Next to our camp was a camp for women. When the explosions started, the women abandoned the barracks and headed to the gate of the camp. The guards refused to let them out. But the rush was so strong that the women pushed their way through the guards and walked out of their camp. We saw what happened and we also headed to the gate and broke out of our compound.

Question: Were these camps forced labor camps?

Answer: These were concentration camps. We ran in the opposite direction of the explosions. We gathered a small group and awaited news. We soon learned that the entire night work shift, with a few exceptions, was killed in the explosions. About 2,000 workers were killed. All the rail cars were loaded with ammunition. Nothing was left standing.

Question: Who remained alive?

Answer: Those who were not in the area, a handful survived. There were, of course, workers in deep bunkers who survived. We remained outside our compound in the large camp until the next day. Then a German came and led us back to our regular camp within the large concentration camp..

Question: What happened to the site of the explosion?

Answer: The site was a junkyard. We started to reconstruct the barracks. The Germans also took us out to other areas to clean the areas. The devastation was so huge that we barely managed to make a dent in the area. The area of destruction was immense and contained huge bunkers, rail lines and buildings that contained huge amounts of explosives. We had to clean the area. The Germans sent S.S soldiers each day to supervise the clearing of the areas.

Question: How long did you stay there?

Answer: We remained there for about two weeks. Then they took us to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Question: When in 1945?

Answer: In April 1945, we reached Theresienstadt. Along the way there was a cemetery.

Question: Did you walk?

Answer: No, we traveled by train but we received no food. Each railroad car had an assigned soldier. This soldier took from everybody whatever they had and shared it with the entire car. On occasion the soldier managed to get some food outside like cabbage, and brought it to us. Nothing substantial.

Question: Did you get to Theresienstadt?

Answer: When we arrived at the camp we received a slice of bread and I felt that was like eating sweetened bread. We remained in Theresienstadt for two weeks. Life was not easy. There was there an old winery where the food was dished out in cups. We arrived and were hungry like wolves, we pushed and shoved to get to the food. The hail of beatings did not stop us from trying to get to the food. Some people got food, others did not get any due to the pandemonium. The food situation did not change until the day we were liberated.

Question: How long did this last?

Answer: About two or three weeks.

Question: That means that you were liberated in May of 1945?

Answer: I was liberated May 10, 1945.

Question: Do you remember the day of liberation?

Answer: I remember. I was liberated on Saturday, May 10, 1945. Some inmates who were strong left the camp and started to enter German homes. Around the Theresienstadt concentration camp there was a large population that provided the logistical support for the camp. These homes were attacked by the camp inmates. They took whatever food or goods they saw. They brought the stuff back to the camp. I was too weak to move, but I decided that I must get something or I would starve. So next morning, I left the camp that was surrounded by Russian soldiers with rifles. I saw a German carrying a sack and I grabbed a corner of the sack. There began a tug of war. The German finally let go and left. I dragged the sack with all my energy to the road. I opened the sack and saw pictures of the man's wife. I left the sack and went to a few houses where I found a small bag of sugar, a loaf of bread and a can of meat. I had no opener but banged the can until it split at the top. I made a sandwich and sprinkled the sugar on top of it. I did not eat too much and started to walk back to the camp, but I did not feel good. I continued to walk and reached my barrack, whereupon I collapsed. I do not know what happened nor how long I was unconscious.

Question: Were you unconscious?

Answer: After a few days, I returned to my bed. Most of the inmates were gone. I rested on my bed. Two male nurses came and they were looking for me. Outside were dead bodies all over the place. Many of them died of dysentery. One of them brought me a glass of water with a biscuit. I remained in bed. Then the Russians entered the camp and began to make order. They separated the sick from the dead. They spread sheets on the beds like in a hospital. No food was given except for tea. A few days later they began to distribute biscuits that were hardened.

Question: Sort of dried toast?

Answer: Precisely. At first I could not do a thing since I was naked. But slowly as the kitchen was being organized, I got a job in the kitchen and things started to arrange themselves.

Question: Did you get clothes?

Answer: Yes. Some clothing. In the kitchen I received larger portions so I saved some of the food and managed to procure some clothing in exchange. We remained in Theresienstadt about a month and a half. There was one Jew in the camp who began to organize a group of Jewish survivors that would go to Palestine. The camp administration had a policy of urging all the survivors to return to their native lands. The camp administration told us that we must return home and then we can go to Palestine. But we knew what it meant to return to Poland. When I worked in Plaszow along the rail lines, we saw the transports of Jews that were heading to Treblinka.

Question: Did you know that these Jews would not return?

Answer: In Plaszow, when I worked along the rail lines, we were told not to look at the transports. Some transports stopped for some time. We were ordered to keep our noses to the ground. Anyone caught looking was removed and sent on the next transport or selection to the camps from where nobody returned. I remember an incident of a Jew who was begging for some water in exchange for all his possessions; his pleas were ignored and he was sent on a transport to the death camp.

Question: Who told you about the crematories or the gas chambers?

Answer: No. This we did not know.

Question: You did not want to go back to Poland?

Answer: I did not want to return to Poland and I did not return. There were 50 Jews who cleaned the ghetto of Zmigrod for the Germans. Only one person, named Adelman, survived. He was transported to the death camp but jumped the train. The Germans fired at him but it was night time and he lay on the ground until the train passed by. He managed to reach the city of Krakow, where he had a relative. Obviously the man had some money that he found while clearing the Jewish houses. He paid his way and reached his relative. But all the Jews of Krakow were in the ghetto or in Plaszow. He had to pay to get into the camp because on the outside he had no papers and no possibility of existence. It was difficult to get into the camp since they counted us in the morning when we left for work and repeated the counting when we returned to the Plaszow camp.

Question: Why did he want to go into the camp?

Answer: He had to go into the camp because there was no other place for a Jew. He had to pay to enter the camp and he must have paid a nice sum. Adelman had means and became an authority in the camp. He never hit people, but imposed himself on them. He was a practical man yet gentle enough, similar to his mother's family. He led the workers to their work place. He survived the war and is presently a multimillionaire in the USA. When he reached the USA, he met his mother and two brothers. He did not reach the USA empty–handed and became very rich in the USA. I never met him or talked to him, despite the fact that we were neighbors in Zmigrod. I went to cheder and he did not go to cheder nor to the public school. Yet he graduated university in the USA. He maintained contacts but not with me.

Question: When did you get to Israel?

Answer: I reached Palestine from Theresienstadt. I tried to influence all the Jewish survivors not to return to Poland where they would be killed. We were about 12 survivors. We decided not to return to Poland. I knew of a case where a survivor went to Poland and was killed by the neighbors. The Russians decided to close the camp. We were placed aboard a truck and started to travel. We traveled for hours and reached the Italian border. To enter Palestine, we needed certificates that we did not have. We therefore traveled back to Vienna, Austria, where there were many Ukrainians. We continued to travel until we reached the city of Landsberg in the American military zone of Germany. There we met Dr. Greengrass, who assigned us to rooms. We were six men in a room with bunk beds. We arrived at the Landsberg D.P. camp in June 1945.

Question: How long did you stay there?

Answer: When we arrived at Landsberg, the kitchen was already established. Each block received a food allotment that was then divided between the individuals. I felt very weak and barely walked.

Question: Did they operate on you in Landsberg?

Answer: In Landsberg there was a Jewish Polish hospital that had several good professors. One of them examined me and told me to return on a particular day. The professor made all the preparations. I appeared before the surgeons and they told me that they were doubtful whether the surgery would succeed. I told them that I was a sole survivor and nobody would shed tears if I did not emerge from the operation. They proceeded with the surgery and I remained bedridden for a long time. A German nurse nursed me for a month. I remained in the hospital for about eight or nine months. I could have left the hospital earlier, but the place where I lived was not to my liking so I stayed at the hospital. I left the hospital and started working in a tailor shop. I never learned how to sew. I asked my father years ago to let me attend a tailor training program but he never permitted it so I never learned sewing. This perhaps saved me, for in Plaszow the Gestapo came around looking for tailors. I later discovered they wanted to shoot Jews and were not interested in tailors. Lucky break for me that I did not know tailoring and could not volunteer for the work details. It seems my destiny protected me more than my intelligence.

Following the surgery I was very weak and it took me many months to recuperate. I continued to work at the shop and learned to become a good worker. In 1946 I met my wife and were married. We gave birth to a son.

Question: In Landsberg?

Answer: Yes, in Landsberg. He is today head of a department. He was born in 1947. I wanted to go to Palestine but my wife was busy looking for her relatives. Nobody of her family was left. She had five brothers and sisters. She kept saying,“How can I leave without them?” She also became pregnant and we had to postpone our planned trip to Palestine.

Interviewer: Thank you for the interview.

 

now205.jpg
A group of Zmigrod survivors meet in Landsberg D.P. (Displaced Persons) camp in the American Zone of Occupation of Germany to memorialize the slaughter of the Jewish communities of Zmigrod and Osiek Jasielski.
(The picture was contributed by Selig Eisenberg)

The following survivors have helped to identify the survivors in the picture:
William Leibner, Zvi Keren, Max Findling and Shimon Lang. (The Names have been updated as of June, 2000!)
Seated (Bottom line), left to right: Hanina Eisenberg/Stein, Lea Bronfeld, Baruch Krebs, Berish Krebs, Naftali Bronfeld and his wife, Jehshua Engel.
Second line, left to right: Malka Eisenberg, Shimon Lang, Lea Bronfeld's daughter, Jakob Leibner, Jechzkel/Chaskel Bobker
Third line, left to right: unknown, unknown, Reisel Kornfeld with her baby (Shimon), Heniek [Henoch] Krebs [Brish Krebs' son] standing, Izak Shaul/Szol Krisher standing
Fourth Row, Standing: Jechezkel Krisher, Selig Eisenberg and Chaim Kornfeld

 

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