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[Page 306]

The Liquidation of the Large Ghetto
August 16-17, 1942

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

After the “resettlement” of the Glinice ghetto, the Jews in the large ghetto lived in constant panic as they feared their own deportation will be next in the following days: described by


Dina Zelikowska:

--When the Glinice deportation took place I lost my aunts Greenbaum and Sheluvska and my uncle Melech Teitlebaum, who was shot in his home.

The Jewish policeman, Leonek Goldberg, arrived at our office, who screamed like a crazed person: “I don't want to continue [live]! I can no longer endure! leave me alone!”

He had just arrived from Glinice where he spent the entire night burying the dead.

My father and I had “work-papers,” but my mother didn't. With money or gold, you could still manage [bribe] to find a suitable “workplace”. But we didn't have any money. My father, after a bout of typhus, was weakened and said that “he will put his life in God's hands.”

People were running wild through the streets seeking advise, one from another. They carried their last possessions [valises and parcels] to the ghetto gates where they sold their goods to the Poles for next to nothing. They sold literally everything or they gave their belongings to their Christian friends to hide, in case one managed to survive. Some buried or sealed valuables in their basements and other hiding places. Our relationship with the Jewish policeman gave us better opportunities to save ourselves.

Around the 10th of August the Jewish police, with their wives and children, on the order given by the Gestapo, were sent to the house on Pretz Street #5.

Poles who accompanied the transport of “deported”, related that they went as far as Treblinka. What does “Treblinka” mean? Perhaps they will send the skilled workers to work camps on the eastern frontier or perhaps to Russia? But what will they do with the elderly and children?---

Eleven days passed with wild speculations as to the fate of the deportees and of those who remained at the ghetto. The day finally came when they were no more illusions.

Sunday August 16th a crew of Polish electricians arrived in the ghetto to install powerful spotlights on the street corners. At midnight the lights went on and the usually dark ghetto streets were light as day.

Although it was Sunday, the “Work-Office” passed out work cards for women, according to lists sent from “work-places”. Men had received theirs earlier. Even though the Work Office worked until 9 pm, many working women were without work-passes.

Polish policemen, at [8 pm] surrounded all the ghetto exits. The S.D. Oberbansturmfuhrer, Zeber [Tzeber], from the arms-factory, came and took his workers. He chose his own group of talented men and took them to the factory.

The entire ghetto was sealed off hermetically with units of Polish and German police.


Dina Zelikowska describes that Sunday as follows:

--One thought haunted me: not saying goodbye to my parents. We were in the process of packing bread, water and other necessities. I remember my terrible premonition, when I threw my arms around my mother's neck, crying, that I am scared to remain alone and my fear of loneliness. And my mother promised to calm me down. In the evening, I went to the Work Office with my father to obtain my work-pass and we received it.

My cousin, Gustav Familiar, worked in the Housing-Office, where he and my mother prepared “to take refuge”, as we were assured that the workers of this workplace will not be touched. (they were all deported). We promised to remain calm, about 9 in the evening, we prepared for bed and I still remember, I even read Flaubert's “Art of Living”.


Shlomo Rakatch tells:

--There had been rumors all day of a deportation plan for Sunday night. The chief of the Jewish Police had inquired from the German authorities, and was assured that none would take place. But 10 minutes later the same German officer who gave the solemn assurances arrived in the ghetto to alert the Jewish police force of the impending operation. SS officer Voight demanded complete cooperation by the Jewish Police. His exchange for his promise was that there would be no bloodshed. Lists were handed out and the assembly point was the Square in the Old-Town. All valuables, workers' tools, and food for a day or two, needed to be brought and nothing will be taken from them.

That started the most tragic event in the history of the Jews in Radom. The streets were lit with reflectors and lamps. For three nights and two days men, women and children were systematically rounded up, block after block, building after building, and mercilessly herded into freight cars. Complete units of battle-ready SS troops, Gestapo, gendarmes, Ukrainian detachments in SS uniforms, roamed through the streets of the ghetto, killing anyone who would not keep up with the others. Escape was impossible. In addition to the belt of police around the ghetto, all imaginable exits were guarded by machine guns from rooftops. A few tried to escape, but were mowed down by shots from different directions.

Many families attempted to hide in cellars or attics, but were found sooner or later, by the Germans or their bloodhounds, and killed on the spot. several families committed suicide.

On Walowa, corner Grotzka, the entire Rappaport family committed suicide. Rochel Shchavinska was found on Swarlikowska Street.

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Rochel Rotenberg, one of the lucky ones who avoided deportation, describes:

--“Sunday at noon, I met Dr. Fastman, who warned me that the deportation will take place that evening. The relatives of the policemen arrived at the police station on Pretz Street with all their possessions. Another group returned from Kromolovsky's at 5 in the afternoon, where there sent away from their work. Everyone was home at 10 in the evening. We packed our rucksacks not knowing what would be more valuable. The mood was of complete resignation, and without hysteria we awaited our fate. The streets were quiet. I lay on the sofa and thought about death. I took a larger dose of heart medicine, which I also gave my mother. Others drank whiskey, to obscure their thoughts. Others, ate, to strengthen their nerves. Our neighbour, Moishe Zuckerman, for his departure, was selecting photographs, their daughter Elka was packing the rucksacks.

Exactly 12 midnight, the reflectors and lamps lit up the Old-Town Square which had an extraordinary appearance, like an arena, where a horrible scenario was to take place. Machine guns were positioned from all the rooftops. The tension grew.

We heard the loud clicking of the soldiers' footsteps.

Two heavily armed German guards entered and told us to go to the Old-Town Square with our documents. We departed. Out of habit, my mother locked the door with her key. The German called after her: “do not close the door! you are returning soon”, as he is smiling.

The streets are quiet. From a distance, the Germans screaming voices shout: “Raus, raus!” and rows of people with their bundles and rucksacks are herded in the direction of the Square in the Old Town, huddled in groups, families, neighbors. Several shots are heard.

Voight sends about ten Jewish policemen from the Gestapo. Boards were brought to the station and the people were herded towards the train. At the Meryvil station, freight trains with many wagons were waiting-without end. The boards were placed to make bridges to board the wagons.

Jews filled the Old Town Square. Their moist eyes were filled heartache and fear.

It was 1:30 in the morning, the square was full, the first group came unaccompanied. The others were escorted by police. It was bright and quiet. Suddenly an order breaks the silence: “those with work cards go to the “Insane Hospital”, without work cards go to the Jewish police station!”

Shootings start again. From a distance people are wandering in a daze, those that got lost.

Shmuel Zhvikelski lost a child. He is shouting for him but there is no answer amongst the thousands of people gathered. Most of the people were gathered at the police station. These were mainly women, children and old people. Those with the work cards stood at the hospital, and in the middle, between the two groups, a wall of heavily armed Germans. The shootings become more frequent.

In front of the gate of the Gelka factory three Germans were standing in front of a group of Jews presenting their work cards. Their documents were scrutinized and the “lucky ones” were lead, 20 at a time, into a lit-up factory. Other cards were torn up and they [the unlucky ones] were led to the police station.

The Germans reeked of whiskey. They beat and chased. The shootings were coming from Penz's Garden, with muffled cries. The Germans shot at the people who were disrupting “their order”. Many fell, dead and wounded. There was grunting, sobbing and crying. Soon it became quiet, then the shooting began all over again- sometimes closer, sometimes further.

We were getting closer to the selections. My mother, first, I, behind her. She presented her card from the “shops” with a trembling hand. She waited in her place. Left- GELKA. She joins the awaiting group. Now I present my work card, but it seems I am missing the stamp of the “workplace”. I show him the booklet, plead until he tells me “left.” We are already 20 in my group when I notice my mother standing in another group of twenty and is looking around for me….

The same SS man also allowed the wife of the lawyer Taub with two small children to pass through….


Dina Zelikowska describes:

--“The gendarmes ridicule and chase us with their whips. It is extremely bright outside. We place ourselves in rows and promise myself to remain close to my parents. Next to us are the Sanitkis and the Tatars. The Germans are screaming: “quickly!” and we run to the Old Town Square. The shootings continue. We meld with the masses near the Insane Asylum. My mother is out of breath and refreshes herself with a little water from a flask. The crowd is hysterical. In the rush people are stepping over each other. The order arrives- with work, left; without work cards- right. my mother does not have a work card, we all go to the right, but my mother begs me, that I should save myself. With my quick instinct I run back to the other place and get in line for the selection. Next to me, Luba Zigman is standing. I didn't know what I was thinking. I threw down my heavy rucksack.

I saw how they were chasing the people without work cards from the Square and I saw my parents among them! I also saw how my parents were holding hands and how my mother lost her rucksack. I threw myself on my knees in front of the commander, he should save my parents, but he didn't hear me. They were chased to the train….

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At the last minute they brought Makowsky and Leslov with their families. They hid themselves during the night and the Gestapo found them and brought them here. Makowsky held a child in his hands and showed his “pass”, but nothing helped, they were deported.

Three SS men took part in this selection. One of them, elderly with glasses, stood in the middle and the younger ones- on the sides. I noticed the one on the right side was tearing-up all the work cards, instinctively, I went to the one with the glasses. He read my ridiculous card from a ”mattress-factory”, looked me over and said: “yes, we need these types”. Nothing further.

I found myself on the good side. Luba Zigman who stood next to me was deported. The selection was a lottery, which depended on the “caprice” of the SS. Man in charge. There were many people at the Gelka factory. I looked everywhere for someone from my family but didn't see anyone. Only unfamiliar faces. I already knew where their destiny lies…

* * *

At the time when the selections took place at the Square, the ghetto was still carrying out “actions”. The Germans continued their hooliganism, beating and shooting. Many Jews hid themselves in buildings and cellars. Many remained in their homes, stubborn not to leave. “Shoot us!” We are not leaving this spot!” And the Germans shot them dead.

2:00 o'clock in the morning, the selections still continue. Thousands of torn work cards are on the ground.

The bandit Hauf doesn't bother to look at any of the cards and continues to send the people to their deportation. However, the Stormtrooper Semke allows several of his Jewish friends to pass.


Simcha Binyamin Katzman tells:

--“I already heard what had happened to the Jews of Lublin. I thought to myself, I will hide with my parents, but it didn't help. The SD, which received our building-materials, remembered me and took me away from my parents and sent me to the able-bodied workers.

Fewer number of “lucky-ones” arrive at the “Gelka-Square”. The numbers continued to grow outside the police-station. They are heavily guarded.

In the Old Town Square dead corpses littered the square, as well the ghetto streets. Shootings pierced the night sky. Daytime arrives. Rows of thousands form in front of the police station and head in the direction of Pshekhodnye, to the train at the Meryvil ramp.


Chaim Mandelbaum tells:

--When we returned from Mlodzyanov, where we carried boards to make bridges to the wagons, it was already four in the morning. On Pshekhodnye we encountered the masses heading towards the train. Thousands of Jews, young and old men, women and children, were led by the SS. Those lagging behind were beaten to death. The streets through which they passed were covered in blood, littered with previous victims. Early morning a group of 100, a group that survived, were sent to collect the bodies, load them onto trucks and bring them to Pentz' Garden, where another group dug a grave 3 meters by 10 meters. Here the bodies were undressed and searched for gold and other valuables. Part of the Jews stood in the grave and laid the bodies in layers, head to foot, foot to head. I saw the Germans chase a group of 20 crippled in wagons, pushed by other Jews; when the reached the edge of the open pit, the SS shot them together with those that helped bring them. They were undressed and thrown into the pit.


Zelig Lifschitz gives his eyewitness report:

-- at Meryvil they loaded the Jews into the freight cars under the watchful eye of the SS officers Boetcher, Blum, Schippers, Voight, Shiegal and Krause. Before the Jews were loaded into the freight cars, the better clothing and shoes were ripped from the Jews, their bundles ripped from their hands. On this site, banknotes [bank accounts] and other valuables, were left behind.

There was dead silence.

On Mlodzianov, Mariatske and the factory building stood the neighbouring population [non-Jews] and looked on.


Simcha Binem Katzman tells:

--Very early in the morning, I together with 15 other young men, were brought to the wagons at the Meryvil ramp [loading point]. I heard the crying and screaming. I still managed to speak through the small window of the wagon with the leather manufacturer Eliezer Finkelstein, who lived at Natan Naiman's, and with the contributor of the “TOG” [newspaper], Yankel Kuperblum, from Zhitne 7. When we were finished with our work at the wagons they sent us to Pentz' Garden, where “the real piece of work” awaited us- the dead from the evacuation. First, I received murderous blows. They brought a woman with four children, who they found hidden in Gelka. They were ordered to kneel and then shot before my eyes. The bodies were still warm when I was ordered to drag and throw them into the grave. I couldn't do it and therefore was shoved into the pit, among the dead. I don't know how, until today, how I came out alive. I was more dead than alive. They took me to the command of the Jewish Workers Union and from there to Skvarlikovska.

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Ruchel Rotenburg tells next:

--Until early morning we stood in straight lines at the GELKA factory. It was quiet. We heard single shots from a distance. We were seven women sent to the Old Town and from there to Staromeiske. On the pavement- blood and dead bodies. On the barbed wire hung a corpse of a dead woman and next to her, the corpse of a young child with a crushed skull. From a distance we can see the deserted Walowa, where the Germans patrols were departing. A warning sign was hanging at the main gate of Walowa Street- “no entry”, with large letters. Nearby, a dead body.

We arrived at Shwarlikowska, where we were instructed to leave and find housing, as well as on Szpitalna and Zhitnia Streets, which had been emptied of its inhabitants since the first hours of the resettlement. I see, on Shwarlikowska, the dead body of Dr. Shitzer's wife. It seems, that after the resettlement, the streets hadn't all been patrolled, a few Jews remained: the tailor Rodzitzki and his wife and the old Jewish housekeeper from Szpitalna 2 with his wife. We found the dead body of Rochel Shchavinska in her house, the evening which we said our goodbyes.

This “selected” group, of 1800 Jews, found new accommodations among the homes of the new “small ghetto”, whereby the command of the Germans, where they barred the entrances with wooden boards. German patrols were always nearby.

The Old Town Square was empty. The last 2000 Jews who were counted for resettlement, were not sent to the train station. The quantity, after this evening, had already been filled. From the Square they returned us to 2 Walowa. The commander of the Jewish Police was transferred to Pretz Street, where the horrible events had taken place. Dead corpses lay around in coagulated blood. In the stillness of the late summer morning, some sounds of passing trucks were heard. The dead will soon be carried away and the blood will be covered with sand.


Chaim Mandelbaum tells:

--It was a hot day. In Pentz' Garden they continued to bury the murdered bodies. The trucks continued to arrive with more bodies. The gendarmes chased after the enslaved workers and beat them with their whips. Boetcher arrived with Blum and Voight. Boetcher saw an exhausted Jew, his arms loaded, he takes out his revolver and shoots him. Two autos arrived with Germans with movie cameras. They filmed the murdered, their undressing, placing them in the grave, etc. Someone orders them to turn the corpses with their faces to the camera. They ordered to slowly unload the corpses from the wagons and so on. Another car arrived with calcium which was used to cover each layer of dead corpses.

Among the hundreds of workers was the tailor Haberman- a fat and asthmatic man. The super-lietenant Magiera claimed he is a slow worker. He pulled out his revolver, but Haberman ran away and hid. Magiera ran after him and shot him. (This is an eyewitness account of Zelig Lifshitz.)

According to eyewitness accounts that day alone 400 people were buried in Pentz' Garden from the previous gruesome night.

Mendelbaum further relates; that evening the Jewish population deported from these streets: Old Town Square, Floriana, Staremeitzke (until #14), Zhabnia, Vatzlava, Pshechodnia, Pitorvka, Starakrokowska (the side of Pentz' Garden),Pivna, Miretzka, Zhitnia, Brudna, Shpitalna, Shwarlikowska, Grotzka, Mala, and the houses number 16, 18, 20, 22 on Walowa. 12,000 Radomers Jews were deported that night. Many of them died in their own homes, or on the pavement of their streets. They Radomer Judenrat also disappeared that night.

* * *

Mieczyslaw Buch writes his eye- witness account:

--Until August 1942, I worked in the carpentry shop in Michalav, near Radom. August 17, in the morning, the boss of a carpentry shop left for Radom, to the ghetto, to procure workers for his carpentry shop. I was “registered” in the carpentry shop, but my boss took me along with him in his car. We drove into the Jewish quarter. The quarter echoed it's “silence”. The streets and the Square of the Old Town were covered in blood. On the barbed wire fence hung a dead corpse of a woman with a cut open stomach and nearby, lay a shot child. We drove by Pentz' Garden. We saw piles of dead corpses. I recognized the fat Blum, who was standing and directing. The SS men noticed our car and ask my boss to leave the area immediately.

When our car drove into Grodzka, in the Walowa, I noticed two groups of SS men marching out of the tower gate, fully armed, with their helmets on their heads and rifles in their hands, decorated with flowers and greenery. They were marching merrily in the direction of Lubliner [St.], singing, as if they were leaving after a large celebration.

In the same day the manufacturers, suppliers and bosses of work-places [jobs] (except for the armament factory Khromalowski, Agriculture A-P-L and Sirena) received a regulation: send the Jews to Walowa, who work at these places. About 3000 Jews, under guard, were transported to the ghetto (Walowa number 7).

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Peisach Spiesman tells:

-- The working-class community, on Pretz Street, was comprised mainly of tailors, boot makers, shoemakers and mechanics, about 200 souls, together with their families. From Sunday onwards, we sat here confined. We believed that our workplace would not be disturbed, because we worked for the Werhmacht. The entire night, from Sunday to Monday, we heard shooting. Nobody slept. Whenever we heard soldiers' footsteps, we trembled.

Monday morning, a Jewish policeman arrived and he informed us that one part of the ghetto, that previous evening was deported, and we must prepare ourselves, as the remainder of the ghetto will be deported in the coming evening. We became dumbfounded and depressed.

10:00 o'clock in the morning Dr. Fastman arrived. As we didn't have anything to eat, he told us to break open the doors of the provisions-store of “Z-K-A” which was in the neighbourhood and take whatever we needed. The women cooked lunch. Some ate, others had their food “stuck in their throats”. We survived that day in great fear for the upcoming danger and awaited the evening.

Exactly 12:00 o'clock midnight the reflectors and lamps lit up the sky. It appeared that the center of the action will take place on Walowa Street, as well as Bernadinska and Grodtzka Streets. Together with the Jewish Police, Schipers arrived, who ordered the Jewish policemen to announce to the remaining Jews in the ghetto (from the left side of Walowa and neighboring streets) to exit on Walowa.


Peisach Spiezman continues his report:

--Halfway through the night, a policeman arrived and told us : “Working community,” go to eviction, in the direction of Walowa!” We left. Walowa was swarming with people. A German order was announced- “with work cards- to the left!' The Jewish police repeated the order in Polish. I stood in the column near to Pretz Street. At that moment I noticed an old Jew coming from Pretz Street with a bundle on his shoulder. One German said to another: “I am making him lighter”… He drew his pistol and shot him. The Jew straightened up and then fell over. A stream of blood from his wound soon turned into a large pool around him.

There were two columns standing on Walowa, facing Lubliner Street. Those who are on the side of Grotzka were going to the deportation; those at Pretz Street- to the selection. Both columns were surrounded by flanks of Germans. The reflectors and lamps lit up the night sky. At the corner of Bernardinska and Walowa, it was bright as day. Several shots were heard in the distance. In the rows of the selected there was dead silence. The group of elderly, women and children, waiting for deportation, were sitting on their bundles. The end result of these columns, one cannot imagine. The line stretched far-far ,until Stara- Krakowska and perhaps even further.

Around 1:00 o'clock, our column moved forward, step by step, to Bernardinska. I looked across the street and saw the SS-SD men reflected by the blueish beams By 4:00 o'clock we reach the control and the group split into two. Everyone was pushing towards “O.K. move forward!” I ran fast forward to the ghetto wall on Lubliner Street, where we formed rows of ten. We were standing in front of the exit- gate, without guards, silent and tense. Circling around us the Germans continued counting. In front of me was a Jew and was hiding something under his coat. It seemed that he was hiding his eight-year old son. What sort of a miracle happened that he was able to hide him during the selection?

The shootings continued. The streets were covered in blood. Drunk Germans were inflicting sadistic beatings and shooting with great satisfaction!

Daytime arrived The control of documents stops. The column which was in closer to Grotzka Street, turns around facing Starakrakowska and begins their journey to the Meryvil ramp [station]. Joining this column was the other group of “not -selected” and “internees”. The endless column is surrounded by armed Germans. From near and far the shooting continued. The bombardment grew louder.

Simultaneously, in the “new small” ghetto, alarms went off and selections were made from those who were the first to run into the streets. 300 condemned were driven to the Walowa and were attached to the column that went to the train.

Our column, “the fortunate ones”, at daybreak, guarded by SS and Jewish Police, were escorted to Swarlikowska. On route corpses, bundles, rucksacks littered the roads. Shooting came from the direction of Starakrakowska.

I remember, on the second night of the deportations, the Germans left behind 860 Jews, and I alone wondered about this. From 10,000 deported, I was one of those that remained.

When we passed the Work-Office, near the Presbytery [home of the Roman Catholic parish priest], a group of doctors and sanatorium personnel from the Jewish Hospital, as well as 50 people who worked in the S.D, attached themselves to our column.

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Shlomo Rakatch tells:

--3 A.M. in the morning, I saw a group of children, 4-15 years old, not far from the Presbytery. Schippers was in charge of the “honor” of sorting and counting. He was polite and assured the children they would return home shortly. I don't know where these children came from? They were sent to the deportation. Closer to Grotzka, I saw the old, blind Senator, sitting on the sidewalk. An SS man stood over him, throwing a tallis [prayer shawl]on him and ordered him to pray. The old Senator sighed [gasped?]. A short while later the SS man shot him.


Z. Lifschitz tells:

--The paupers from the “Isolation -Ward”(in the Synagogue and Beit Midrash) split up [ran off]. Most were killed in the streets. That same night, the last 7, barely-breathing elders, were dragged out and murdered on Buzhnichne by 2 SS men.

At the entrance of Swarlikowska tables were set up. The Jewish officials began the registration of the internees of the new ghetto. The names were written on the new word-cards. Devoid of strength and hope, the people lay down on the pavement, in the yards and soon fell asleep. About 10 o'clock the Germans ordered that the Swarlikowska St. doesn't belong in the boundaries of the new ghetto. The Jews that were accommodated here, were moved over to Zhitnia, Brudna, Szpitalna. Later Swarlikowska was returned.

The people were hungry and there was no food. Gypsies were loitering around the ghetto, through the barriers they sold the Jews bread [it was forbidden]. The price of bread was now 100 zlotys. Jews hid themselves from the “work of collecting and burying” the dead.

The Evacuation of the Jewish Hospital,
Orphanage and Old-Peoples' Home

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

R.Rivan and E. Volkavitch-Zabner, the former nurses in the hospital describe the evacuation of the inmates:

--to avoid eviction, families thought that by admitting their elderly and weak relatives, they would avoid deportation. Others believed, as soon as they felt somewhat healthy, it would be more advantageous to depart earlier in order to find a “work-place”.

At the eviction, there were 53 patients in the hospital. The former Judge Josef Beckerman was also in the hospital (his room was next to the morgue). He was here since 1940. Virtually the entire support staff was hidden in the hospital: the Feldsher Meir Finkelstein, the nurses Ruza Rivan, Sonia Gorin, Esther Sheinfeld, Edvarda Volkavitch, Tseshia Nashielska, Bela Friedman and the business-staff.

Since the Volkavitch nurse had “holiday” from Sunday to Monday (and they were already convinced, that an “action” was awaiting them), her mother arrived to the hospital with her, Dr. Solomea Volkavitch, who was at that time was the only doctor at the hospital. At night, divisions of the SS and German police marched into the courtyard of the hospital and designated it as their work-station. Here they send out orders and executed their plan. SS officers went into the hospital. Schippers nominated Dr. Volkavitch as the head of the hospital, who was responsible for everything. No one was allowed to leave the hospital-building.

A list with the sick was to be prepared, according to their section, and they needed to be ready to leave at 11 0'clock in the evening.

The leader of the Gestapo said, the sick together with the personnel, will be transported to another hospital. He also asked if the hospital had food for 24 hours? During the course of this Monday, the Germans ostensibly left the hospital as is. However, the sick were restless and the staff was left to maintain calm. The kitchen cooked [meals] and provided an abundance of food. Schippers arrived at night, accompanied by several officers, and ordered Dr. Volkavitch to compile a list of the sick by 3 in the morning, who can depart, and those who were seriously ill, and must be confined to a bed. The first group was ordered to dress and to prepare food for the journey. The seriously-ill, he assured, will be transported to other hospitals in cars. The personnel dressed the sick, portioned food, soap, towels and other things for their journey. The same portions

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were given to the very sick in their bed. Many of the seriously ill and crippled strengthened themselves, got out of bed and joined the group that were departing. Pain and distress dominated.

At 12 at night, a division of the German SS German and Ukrainian police marched into the hospital on Schippers orders, they locked all the sanatorium personnel into the offices and business-staff into the operating room (about 29 men total). Then they led the sick Zilber and Zilberberg into the corridor and cruelly beat them. Later they were shot in the yard-near the fountain.

Then they went into the Venereal Disease Ward where they shot 3 Jewish women. They sent the “Aryans” to another hospital.

Then they led the business staff into the bath-house where they gave them 10 minutes to hand over their money and valuables. Then Schippers ordered everyone to leave the hospital.

Seeing the personnel departing, the seriously sick, with their last ounce of strength, tried to rescue themselves, getting out of bed. This was an extraordinary picture: paralyzed, invalids with splints on their legs walked!

The 82 year-old Josef Beckerman, whose grandfather founded the hospital, managed to get dressed, but when he saw what was happening, he resigned himself to his fate and returned to his bed.

The Jewish police took over from the German guards and brought the personnel and to the Jewish work-office, where they encountered the other doctors.”

On the orders of the SD and Police Director Boetcher, the Jewish police took out 59 sick people from the hospital, only in their underwear. In Pentz' Garden they were put into a semi-circle and shot.


About the eviction of the orphanage and old-peoples home, Mania Greenvald tells:

--Early Tuesday morning, cars with armed Germans arrived at the orphanage. The children were still asleep. When they were awakened they dressed obediently and took their places in the cars. With them was their educator Dr. Zilber. At the last minute before their departure, he partitioned bread and hot milk to them. The SS men even helped the old people climb into the cars and allowed them to bring their talissim [prayer shawls] and small parcels. Together with the orphans and old folk, the following personnel were taken away: Dr. Zilber and his family, Grosfeld and his wife, Langer and his wife, Weiskol, Freilin [name or Mrs.] Kleinman, Nechama Fridman, the charge of the infant nursery, and the cook Loh[e] Yudkevitch. The old baker from the orphanage, Rivkele, who had swollen feet, remained. However, when the cars left, she along with 7 others from the Infectious-Disease Hospital were shot in the garden, behind the orphanage. According to a miracle, only one 3 year-old boy remained, who became the interest [ward] of the personnel in the Infectious Disease Hospital.”

After the Evacuation

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

Among the Jews in the Warsaw Street prison, who were evacuated the previous night, were the “ghetto elite” Joachim Geiger, Lipa Weitzhendler, Yisroel Katz and Weiner.

Thousands of Radomer Jews passed through the same streets, and in particular through the streets where many murdered victims lay. Many murdered victims were found in the abandoned homes on Walowa, Synagogue Street, Pretz Street and other streets. The remaining Jews gathered the remains of their dear brothers and brought them to their final resting place.


Peisach Spiesman tells:

- Tuesday early-morning, incredibly large graves were excavated in Pretz' Garden. They brought all the victims from all the streets and alleys. About 100 Jews took part in this work. Some were assigned to search the clothing and everything they found was handed over to the gendarmes. Others were assigned to burying the corpses in layers and then were covered with lime. When a grave was filled it was then covered with earth. Corpses were brought nonstop as many were found in hiding places, attics, basements, cellars and other places.

I remember when they brought the lame watchmaker, Strossman. The gendarme that found him was given 70,000 zlotys and watches in order he should spare his life. The gendarme not only took everything but brought Strossman to Pentz' Garden, where he himself shot him.

[Page 313]

I was caught for work and as I was a locksmith, I was given the task to open the locked doors of the apartments and workshops.

I saw dead bodies everywhere laying in pools of blood, swarming with flies. Every door I opened, a gendarme accompanied me with his pointed revolver. He searched all the drawers, behind the pictures and in every corner. He shoved everything he found into his pockets; money, gold and jewelry. After us, Jewish workers arrived to remove the remainder of the belongings into the streets. From here transports waited to collect the belongings and bring them to the Old Town Square.

When I opened a home on Voel 5, I found an old couple that were hidden. The gendarme handed them over to a passing SS man, who led them to Pentz' Garden where they were shot. I was witness to many such incidences.

I remember, early next morning after the resettlement, when a Volks-deutsche from the gendarmerie stopped me and ordered me to take a shovel and go to the Pentz' Garden with him. Together with other Jews, we had to excavate a grave half a metre deep. Next to us sat a six year-old Jewish boy who was guarded by a Polish policeman. When the latter relaxed a moment, the young boy told me since the resettlement he was on the Aryan side. He was playing with Polish children near the jail, where they caught him and brought him to the Garden. The young boy was shot before our eyes, with a bullet to his head. We had to undress the warm corpse and bury him.

According to my account and the accounts of others who worked in the Pentz' Garden, about 1500 Jewish corpses were buried from these two nights.”

* * *

August 16th and 17th 1942 more than 20,000 Jews of Radom were deported, one of them survived and returned, only one single Jew, Nathan Berkovich.


Nathan Berkovich tells us his story:

August 17

- “The 17th of August I was taken from my “work-station” and taken to the “gathering-point” on Grotzke Street. Although we showed our “work-passes” they took us to Piekle Street where all were gathered for eviction. We waited from 12 in the evening until 3 in the morning. I was among the thousands taken out of the ghetto for deportation. We were marched to the trains accompanied by flying bullets and blows of rifle butts. At the Maryvil[near the tobacco factory] railroad station there were more SS men and Ukrainian guards[from Kapke's division] than deportees. The main organizers of the Radomer SS detachment included: Boetcher, Blum, and Kapke.(I later recognized them when I worked for them). Before we approached the car, we were ordered to leave our bundles and take off our coats and shoes. To enter the freight-cars we had to pass a gantlet of club-wielding, vicious SS men and then over a gangplank, a board slimy with blood. “Beat until dead!”-they screamed, “and remove everything!”

- By now one was happy to be in the train, past the inferno. I saw many wounded women with infants in their arms, who fell off the boards and were shot. I saw an SS beast who made it a sport to smash with his club milk bottles held by infants or their mothers.

We were 200 to a car, squeezed so tightly that we could hardly breathe. The air inside was foul and unbearable. I thought we were going to a labour camp. There was no food or water. We already sensed our fate. After 24 hours traveling, only twenty were still alive, mostly those standing near the small barred windows.

I decided to escape at any price. The following night I finally succeeded in removing the bars and with the help of my friends, I squeezed through the opening and jumped from the moving train.

I ran into the woods searching frantically for water. In the ensuing hours I thought I was losing my mind from this incredible thirst. Instead of pure springs, I found muddy swamps, from which I drank.

[Page 314]

I finally encountered a farmer who gave me water and bread. I arrived in the nearby village of Kosow-Laski and there I found a group of Jews. They told me about the Treblinka camp, 8 kilometers away. They worked on the construction of barracks. They had seen trainloads of Jews arriving from Radom and other cities. All deportees found alive in the cars were gassed and cremated and they knew that the transports of Jews met their deaths in these gas chambers.

In Kosow I saw only elderly Jews. Although the Germans promised not to bother the Jews of Kosow, all the young men escaped to the forests.

I also met many Jews in Kosow who escaped from the train-wagons and Treblinka.

These were 10 Jews from Kielce, 25 from Warsaw, and 2 from Radom. One was the son of a Feldscher in Glinice. I think his name was Banker. The second was Zigman, the youngest son of Gavriel Zigman, from the Confectionary-store. We were about 50 escaped Jews.

I decided to try and get back to Radom to join my family and deliver the information on Treblinka. Near Kosow, I then met about 50 young Jewish men who had escaped from the trains and from Treblinka. Two of them were from Radom: Zigman and Bankier, who were deported from Glinice. They all confirmed in detail the existence of the extermination center in Treblinka, the terminal point of the deportation trains.

I had my hair bleached and disguised as a farmer, I arrived in Radom. By then the ghetto had been liquidated. A few 1000 remaining Jews were confined to one city block[the small ghetto] and a sign over the single heavily guarded gate read: 'Zwangs- Arbeits Lager' (Slave Labour Camp).

No one in Radom believed my story about the destination of the deportation trains, not even my own father. I gave a detailed report to the head of the Jewish Council, but he called me a liar[“do not talk nonsense!”] and chased me out of his office.

So it was not a 'deportation' or 'resettlement' or 'final solution'. It was plain cold-blooded murder.

* * *

After three years of persecution and pain came the 3 nights of: 4-5, 16-17, 17-18 August 1942, which saw the deportations of 30,000 Radomer Jews to the death camps!

The main executioners of this mass-murder and death-deportations were: SS and police leader doctor Boetcher, SS Haupt[chief]-sturmfuhrer [Stormtrooper] Voight, SS Stormtrooper Blum, SS Stormtrooper Weinrich, SS Haupt-sturmfuhrer Schippers, SS Under-sturmfuhrer Schoegel, SS Stormtrooper Neiman, SS Stormtrooper Fuchs, SS Stormtrooper Krause, SS Superintendent Kurlander.

It is impossible to remember and hold them all to account. Beyond the formations of SS Infantry SS Totenkopf (skull and cross bone), Security Service(SD), Gendarmes, Volk- Germans, many other locals who participated in these murders, like the leader of the Radomer Postal service and other local officials. (according to the eyewitness reports of M. Goldberg and other witnesses).

The number of Jews in the Radomer district
in the “General Government”

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay and Jerrold Landau

In the town 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943
Radom 30,000 30,000 32,066 32,000 4,000
Kielce 18,000 26,000 27,000 27,000 1,000
Częstochowa 28,000 40,000 45,000 48,000 4,000
Radomer Powiat:
Białobrzegi 1,814 2,700 2,006 4,000 0
Firlej 200 200 230 250 0
Garbatka 300 384 1,300 1,300 0
Głowaczów 500 640 1,500 600 0
Gniewoszów 1,580 1,800 2,700 6,580 0
Jedlińsk 1,400 1,400 1,060 2,400 0
Jedlnia 235 260 295 300 0
Janowice 250 345 370 1,200 0
Kozienice 4,780 4,208 4,435 13,000 0
Magnuszew 700 730 1,106 1,200 0
Mariampol 1,500 1,500 1,600 1,600 0
Mniszew 186 317 350 350 0
Oblasy 300 0 0 2,000 0
Pionki 168 327 0 682 0
Policzna 497 0 0 436 0
Przytyk 3,000 2,850 3,500 0 0
Ryczywół 130 135 160 160 0
Sarnów 1,580 0 0 6,580 0
Szczechowo 120 0 0 328 0
Skaryszew 993 1,192 1,271 1,800 0
Stromiec 121 0 0 312 0
Szydłowiec 7,200 8,503 10,000 12,000 5,000
Trzebin 800 0 0 3,950 0
Wielogóra 500 0 0 315 0
Wierzbica 120 0 0 160 0
Wolanów 800 600 0 0 0
Wyśmierzyce 150 170 0 500 0
Zwoleń 5,000 5,000 5,000 11,000 0
Piotrkówer Powiat:
Piotrków 10,240 13,000 14,617 16,469 2,000
Gorzkowice 650 1,640 1,400 1,511 0
Kamieńsk 834 517 524 580 0
Przygłów 52 600 2,100 2,251 0
Ręczno 175 322 377 381 0
Rozprza 582 600 735 799 0
Sroczko 119 477 575 630 0
Sulejów 1,950 1,150 1,400 1,556 0
Wola Krzysztoporska 0 0 83 76 0
Wolbórz 254 436 427 400 0
Radomsker Powiat:
Radomsko 6,500 7,000 7,195 14,000 1,200
Aurelów[1] 266 350 344 380 0
Pławno 654 0 600 600 0
Gomunice 260 800 912 1,000 0
Janów 180 0 202 200 0
Koniecpol 958 0 1,182 1,600 0
Młodzowy 81 206 300 0 0
Mstów 532 0 760 650 0
Olsztyn 135 150 190 200 0
Przyrów 715 800 780 780 0
Żarki 2,656 2,930 3,000 3,200 0
Jȩdrzejówer Powiat:
Jędrzejów 4,000 4,200 3,600 6,000 200
Brzegi 44 0 0 48 0
Lelów 678 0 355 382 0
Małogoszcz 760 400 642 1,130 0
Mierzwin 129 0 0 120 0
Nagłowice 115 0 0 177 0
Nowoszyce 193 0 0 193 0
Prząsław 136 0 0 136 0
Secemin 180 0 203 200 0
Sędziszów 523 0 453 1,000 0
Sobków 565 680 860 800 0
Szczekociny 2,590 1,254 1,400 1,500 0
Włoszczowa 2,700 4,166 4,586 5,000 0
Wodzisław 2,400 3,500 3,600 4,400 0
Busker Poviat:
Busko-Zdrój 1,300 1,700 1,728 2,000 0
Chmielnik 6,000 6,950 7,850 8,500 0
Drugnia 148 0 0 270 0
Kurozwęki 213 0 276 300 0
Nowy Korczyn 2,462 3,280 3,700 4,200 0
Pacanów 1,850 2,200 2,645 2,725 0
Pińczów 3,500 0 3,000 3,377 0
Stopnica 2,600 3,200 4,600 5,300 0
Szydłów 540 1,000 1,004 1,257 0
Wiślica 1,437 2,200 2,050 2,165 0
Kielcer Poviat:
Białogon 378 0 445 405 0
Czałczyn 273 0 375 616 0
Bodzentyn 1,000 1,400 3,625 3,625 0
Chęciny 3,100 3,400 4,600 4,000 0
Daleszyce 276 632 550 600 0
Łopuszno 625 976 976 1,077 0
SkarŻysko 2,200 2,300 2,800 2,600 0
Samsonów 100 145 190 360 0
Suchedniów 1,198 1,500 2,100 5,000 0
Nowa Słupia[2] 950 800 1,127 2,000 0
Konsker Poviat:
Końskie 6,500 7,450 6,000 9,000 300
Chlewiska 50 0 0 101 0
Gowarczów 450 0 716 1,000 0
Miedzierza 115 0 0 115 0
Mnin 130 206 0 200 0
Nieborów 200 240 223 200 0
Odrowąż 150 150 0 150 0
Przedbórz 4,500 3,100 3,150 4,500 0
Radoszyce 3,200 0 2,400 4,000 0
Stąporków 400 0 450 400 0
Tomaszów Mazowiecker Poviat:
Tomaszów Mazowiecki 13,000 16,500 15,300 15,000 250
Biała Rawska 1250 2,200 2,328 4,200 0
Białaczów 100 0 350 250 0
Drzewica 750 0 2,200 2,000 0
Gielniów 190 250 336 450 0
Inowłódz 518 0 450 500 0
Klwów 620 0 546 500 0
Koluszki 475 1,017 3,000 3,000 0
Marcinków 273 0 333 300 0
Nowe Miasto nad Pilicą 1,300 2,700 3,400 3,000 0

[Page 315]

Odrzywół 321 0 539 632 0
Opoczno 2,954 0 3,971 4,231 120
Paradyż 151 0 300 400 0
Przysucha 2,500 2,700 3,360 4,000 0
Rawa Mazowiecka 2,500 2,700 3,560 4,000 0
Szkucin 100 0 300 300 0
Ujazd 800 0 500 1,000 0
Dziarnów 1,000 0 2,300 2,200 0
Starachowitcer Poviat:
Starachowice 3,200 0 3,600 6,000 0
Bałtów 81 105 0 154 0
Księża Niwa 153 0 0 4,000 0
Chepielov 450 580 520 600 0
Iłża /Drildz 1925 0 2,070 2,000 0
Kazanów 456 630 715 800 0
Lipsko 1620 2,100 1852 3,600 0
Sienno 960 0 1104 2,000 0
Solec nad Wisłą 842 900 882 880 0
Stężyca 107 0 0 104 0
Tarłów 1,500 0 1960 10,000 0
Wąchock 450 0 420 500 0
Wierzbica 3,000 3,600 3,600 4,000 0
Opatówer Powiat:
Opatów 5200 5,000 6,000 7,000 0
Baranów Sandomierski 765 0 0 1,100 0
Bogoria 403 0 527 600 0
Częstocice 20 0 350 370 0
Chmielów 500 600 906 900 0
Denków 386 400 503 500 0
Iwaniska 1,663 0 1,574 1,900 0
Kuków 495 500 600 500 0
Klimontów 3,100 0 3746 4,000 0
Koprzywnica 810 0 1,500 2140 0
Lasocin 101 0 128 100 0
łagów 1,400 0 1805 2,000 0
Momina 5 0 30 30 0
Osiek 500 0 491 500 0
Ostrowiec 8,000 10,000 12,000 15,000 0
Ożarów 3,200 3,941 3,967 4,500 0
Połaniec 864 1,200 1,200 2,200 0
Sandomierz 1,391 0 0 5,200 400
Staszów 4,805 5,500 5,550 6,000 0
Waśniów 250 250 338 300 0
Zawichost 1,500 1,700 1,800 5,500 0


Translator's footnotes
  1. The original transliterates as Aureltow, but I believe that the t was extraneous. Return
  2. The transliteration of the above of Slomia Nowa, but I suspect a typo, with the p interchanged for an m. Return

[Page 316]

In the Little Ghetto

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

It is hard to determine, how many Jews were left after the 3 horrible nights of August 15–16–17, 1942. It is known, that about 2,000 Jews were sent to the small ghetto, whose work–cards the German murderers didn't tear up and weren't deported.

Also 300 men were brought here, policemen with their families.

Also several hundred men, who had been hidden, or had been found when the deportations began (they were left behind at their work–places when the deportations began).

The Ammunition Factory employed 2,000 men, in A.V.L. (Army Tent Camp)–several hundred–mostly women, in other places, tens of workers.

Overall, it was estimated, about 5,000. In this count–only twenty–five percent were women and very few children.

At the end 1942, together with those that returned from hiding with Gentiles, there were barely 70 children (from the entire Jewish Radom!), and perished in the later actions.

Other than those sent to the Treblinka gas–chambers, many were shot in those days in their homes and on the streets.

The small ghetto was comprised of these 4 streets: Swarlikowska, Shpitalna [Hospital], Brodna and Zitnia. In these few small streets lived the remnants of the Jews of Radom.

On the small ghetto, a sign, “Slave Labour–camp” was hung and now all the Jews of the ghetto became slave–labour.

[Page 317]

The Jewish Property

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

Alter Lifshitz recounts:

All the wealth of the Radom Jews after the great “evacuation” was gathered at the Stare–Myasta Square, where it was sorted. Expensive articles, clothing and linens, were in house number 10. After the sorting, the S.S. and police directors, reported to the press that an auction will take place on Stare–Myasta Square, in which all the Jewish furniture will be for sale for Germans and Volk–Germans.

October 1942, the liquidations take place. The prices received were 1/100 of their worth.

The money from the auction went to the S.S. and police.

Three Jews were commissioned by the Germans to count the money. It took 2 months. The sum amounted to 5 million zlotys (besides diamonds and gold), which the S.S. “put in their pockets”.

Sometimes later, we found in documents pertaining to some our friends and their portfolios. The papers were left in official envelopes of the Gestapo with the following writing: left the ghetto as Jews, escaped or shot.

The counted and sorted money was deposited in a bank, in the account of “Winter Fund for the German people”. The rest of the money, which was the money designated for the Jewish labour in the work–camps, served the S.S. and police directors to cover their “expenses” of the camp on Schwarlikovska.

After the auction, the remainder of the merchandise was sent to the warehouse “Korona”. Here they were packaged the goods and sent them to Germany.

The head of all the warehouses was the German, Ulrich, who came to the small ghetto to take the young girls to work every morning, and in the evening–return them to the small ghetto.

The young girls sorted the white linens, dresses, shoes, bedding, utensils, lamps, silver, etc.

A second German, Mittelmeier, watched the girls, one should not steal.

S.S. officers and Gestapo came every day to the warehouses and told the girls to pack the nicest things. They prepared the packages and sent them to their private addresses in Germany and Austria. 50 girls worked there almost a year, from August 1942 to July 1943. They also sorted all the “valuables” of the surrounding towns.

Later the group of girls were sent to peat– labour.

Daily Life in the Little Ghetto

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

The daily routine in the small ghetto began at 6 in the morning in the winter and 5 in the morning in the summer. We made some “tea”, drank it quickly, spread marmalade on several pieces of bread and ran to the gate, to stand in line for work.

A Jew who wanted to pray [put on his Tallis and Tefillim], got up half an hour earlier.

Only several policemen and writers of the “Judenrat”, the workers in the kitchen with the teacher Itche Green, remained behind. He strived to prepare good food for all with enough leftovers for the “witnesses” (workers from the Ammunitions–factory). Green received horse–meat twice a week, he, however, he strived to observe “kashrut” in his kitchen for those who maintained this commandment, and he provided half an egg instead of the horse–meat.

Thanks to him, there was very little hunger in the small ghetto, as everyone, from this kitchen, received enough bread and soup.

[Page 318]

A small hospital still functioned on Shwarlikowska Street, with several beds. It wasn't in our best interest to wander around the 4 small streets, as the police captured those to sweep the streets, clean the toilets, serve the policemen and carry merchandise to the warehouses and other things.

There were cart owners in the ghetto. The healthy, Shrulek Treger, who used to carry 200 kilos on his back; Abramovitch and a certain carrier Baruch, who carried provisions for the ghetto. They carried the dead to the cemetery in a special wagon, Shrulek with his helpers prepared the wagon, taking “shmates” [rags] to cover the dead bodies, taking them to the “Roietz” not far from the forest. They made a fire at the cemetery to heat the soil in order to excavate the first layer of earth and prepare a large grave for a “mass burial”, men separately, women separately.

People became stone–faced and cynical to everything and everyone. Some played cards until late at night.

Others sold various items to Christians and brought back a flask of brandy to the ghetto. The known fiddler, Kagan, used to play his fiddle. The Hazan Moishe Rontal was brought from the Armament–factory to sing some cantorial songs. The young fiddler Chaim also played from time to time.

This is how we passed the time– to forget our troubles [misery].

Not only once did we think, to connect ourselves with the partisans, but “undesirables”, spies, interrupted the activities of the group. And those, who were already in the forests, endured hunger and cold; the Germans tried to trick them to return. They stuck posters, saying that special ghettos are being prepared for those wanting to return, claiming they need workers.

Besides this, the Jewish partisans in the woods, had to endure the Polish, anti–Semitic partisan groups, like the “A.K.” who terrorized, robbed, and murdered Jews in the woods.

The Ghetto Administration

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

The small ghetto existed from August 1942 until November 1943, when it was closed and all were transferred to the Szkolna Street [camp], near the Ammunition factory. During this time new institutions were formed; from the previous administration, these city officials remained: Dr. Fastman [president], and Dr. Szenderowicz [vice–president]. In fact, the small ghetto was now a slave labour camp. The camp–council was on Shpitalna Street 10, where the registration for the inmates and their trades took place. If you weren't registered, you were not allowed to remain in this camp. The council provided food for the food–carts [besides the kitchen, in the “shops” on Brodna Street]. In 1943, another kitchen was established on Shpitalna #2. The kitchen–director on Brodna was A. Mentlik, on Shpitalna–Warchter and later–Sokolovski. Children received food from the better kitchen, which cooked for the Jewish police. The council also distributed, from time to time, clothing, which came from the warehouses collected from Jewish sources [confiscated goods].

The “power” over the camp and over all the Jews from Radomer district, was the S.S. and police–director, General Dr. Boettcher. His helpers were William [Wilhem] Blum and Weinrich. The Director Commandant of the camp was [Franz] Schipers [later; Weinrich, Rakita Kanal [Knall]. A special unit carried out the executions in and around the camp, under the leadership of [Erich] Kapke; the leader of the Jewish Department division of the S.D. [Sicherheitdienst, the intelligence agency of the S.S.], Shegel.

From time to time, the S.D. visited the Jewish police and demanded, according to a list, to arrest Jews that attempted to flee [or intended to flee] either.

This is how they arrested Moshe Margalit [ Nathan Shreck's son–in–law] and his wife; Jeremiah Den, Artur Freedman and others; they were murdered or deported.

[Page 319]

Work Places and Labour Camps

Translated by Janie Respitz

From approximately five thousand Jews which remained after the deportation, two thousand worked in concentrated work places. The rest, mainly professionals were taken to forced labour in various work places of which the most important were:

  1. The concentrated work places – which the workers were not allowed to leave and lived there in barracks, like: the weapons factory, A.P.L, T.V.L., Kromolovsky's harness makers and the workshops at Shkolna.
  2. Work places – which were under the supervision of the S.S. and police leaders: the command post “Corona”, S.S. Building Management and S.S. Standard Administration.
    The following were shot at “Corona”: the tailor Yitzkhak Fridman, Yisroel Grosfeld and Mrs. Gutman.
    Borukh Zilberberg was shot at the S.S Building Management.
  3. Work Places – which belonged to East Industry (“Osti”) the shops in Rinek, printing house and workshops on Shkolna.
  4. Concentrated work camps in the region – Wolanov, Blizhin, horse station and Votzin, factory of explosive material in Pionki, “Hasag” in Skarzhisko, camp in Ostrovietz, factory in Starkhovitz, and camps in Vsoliya, Sukha[Sucha] and Krushin.
    At the horse station in Votzin, in September 1941 33 Jews from Bobroisk brought a contingent of horses. A few days later all the Jews from Bobroisk were shot.
    The following ran away from the veterinary division to the partisans: Untershteyn, Eliyahu Turover and Yekhiel Stashevsky.
  5. Private work places – taken from Reich Germans and former Jewish ones which were now under the administration of commissars as well as Polish firms: the shoe factory “Pulka”, Rotenberg's crockery factory, tanneries, foundries, the shoe factory “Bata”, the enamel factory “Siren”.
  6. Jewish administration – office, police, kitchen, bath, guards and sanitation.
  7. S.D and H.K.F (Herescraft Park)
  8. Various other places – “Torf”. “Sonderkommando S.D” (60 men of which none survived. They had to dig up and burn the corpses in order to wash away any signs of German murder). Jews worked in these places which were rented from the police chief. The Jews were his property and he rented out his slaves to other Germans per- piece: 5 zlotys for a man and 4 zlotys for a woman.
    Four Jewish families from Radom escaped from “Torf”. As a punishment seven Jews were shot.
    Among the 60 men in the “Sonderkommando S.D” were: the medic Mendelson, the accordion player Khaim, Yosele Goldberg's middle son, Shloime Shtern, Oystrian, Moniyek Zilberberg, Blatman (Shmerl Korman's son in law), Khaim Volf Zilberberg's two sons, Tzuker and Yehoshua Nayman's two sons.

The Little Beit Midrash in the Little Ghetto

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

Until the last minute there existed a small Beit–Midrash in the small ghetto, in the house of Reb Eliezer Melech, of blessed memory, on Shpitalna 2.

The Gabbai was Mendel Steinbach, he provided the candles, the wine for the Kiddush and Havdala, a Talis and Tefillin for everyone. He opened the Beit–Midrash in the morning and called the pious ones to come for prayers to say their early morning prayers and psalms, and closed it's doors late at night.

In this same Beit Midrash, Jews used to study in the evenings a page of Gemara, among them…the well–known Lubliner wealthy Jews and Sages, from “Yeshiva of the Sages of Lublin”, Reb Shmuel Eichenboim, Reb Chaim Yosef Shotland, the Warker Rabbi, Reb Ben–Zion Freilich, Leib Boimelgreen with his sons, Aron Magid, Meir and Moshe Perel, Rafael Borenstayn, Tuvia Freedman and Leibel Rychtman. They went to work in the morning, the same time as the others. They returned in the evening to “empty walls”, without families, without friends; their best friend was the Beit–Midrash.

[Page 320]

The Beit–Midrash was full of Jews between Mincha and Maariv, who ran in to “catch a blessing”.

They collected alms for the needy and collect loaves of bread for the Jews, who worked very hard in the armament–factory and were often tortured and beaten.

Until the deportation (of August 13, 1943) the relief work, dedicated to the soul, was carried out by the well–known Zwolener merchant and donor Leibel Boimelgreen, who was expelled from the Radom ghetto together with his family. He was the lively energy of the Beit Midrash. His son escaped from the transport, hid with peasants and survived the war. He now lives in Israel.

Several Families Travel to Eretz–Israel

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

This was a rare occurrence during the Nazi–Regime:

On November 1942, the Gestapo announced, [according to a list], to a number of Jewish families, that they should be ready for a trip to Eretz–Israel [Palestine].

The extraordinary information made a terrible impression; and almost everyone interpreted this as another treacherous way of luring Jews before the firing squad, another joke by the Gestapo.

Later it appeared, that the Radomer Jews thought their relatives in Eretz–Israel had moved heaven and earth to get them out of the camp. So, for example, Moishe Margalit, Yosef Zuker (Avraham Goldberg's son–in–law), Makover, Sara Beila Rotenberg's son–in–law, Warshavski, Avramtche Perel's son–in–law, Shtarker, Korman, Ashpiz and others, along with their wives, left.

Some of the departees were no longer alive, (like Rochel Makover–Rotenberg), Tobkeh Goldberg–Zuker with her children). Another woman Goldberg went in Tobkeh's place and Eliezer Gotlieb's son went with the name of another Jew.

Many of the people named by the Gestapo had been dead by then, and the Elder of the Jews agreed to let others with the same surnames who had relatives in Eretz–Israel take their place.

As soon as they left the camp, the attitude [of the Germans] towards them changed. They took off their armbands and were permitted to walk on the sidewalk.

Some time later, news arrived, they are in Syria, on the way to Eretz Israel….

The Registration for Eretz Israel

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

Abraham Goldberg describes:

–––––––––––––“November 1942”, soon afterwards, when some fortunate Jews left for Eretz–Israel, the “Unter Sturmfuhrer” [Gestapo chief for Jewish affairs], Schoeggel, ordered the Jewish representative(Dr. Fastman, Dr. Szenderowicz and police commander advocate Synter) to register 1500 Jews who have relatives in Israel. These Jews, as he explained, will be exchanged for German soldiers which are in English captivity [British prisoner–of–war camps].

The news immediately electrified the camp and hopes ran high. Everyone wanted to be on the list. About 3500 inhabitants beleaguered the council office of the Judenrat. I was a helper at the registration office where Zamichkowski was appointed to take charge. The registration took 2 days and almost all the Jews registered, giving real or false relatives in Eretz Israel. Like this, for example, 18 strangers became brothers of the Zionist leader Yechiel Frenkel….

The small ghetto revived itself and Eretz Israel was the “heated” theme of discussions, as well as bitter words thrown [accusations of favoritism] at the Judenrat. They suspected the registration was dishonest, with accusations of deleting certain names and substituting others.

The list later was used by the Germans for other purposes: a decisive factor between life and death during the deportation of January 13, 1943.

[Page 321]

The Resettlement to Szydlowiec

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

On the third of December at 5 o'clock in the morning, the little ghetto was surrounded, and the S.S. and police drove everyone out into the street. Some people managed to hide. The S.S. beat everyone horribly as they were lined up alongside the buildings. S.S. officer Schippers conducted a selection. Gestapo employees and army installation workers were set free and remained in the ghetto. Eight hundred others were marched off on the road to Szydlowiec.

It was a cold and icy December night, and people kept on falling. Ukrainians beat and drove them on for a distance of thirty kilometers. The people ran as fast as they could, grabbing handfuls of snow and melting it in their mouths, in order to alleviate their exhaustion.

They arrived in Szydlowiec around midnight. The once happy bustling Jewish town no longer existed. The “resettlement” to Treblinka had taken place here, even before it happened in Radom.

The group from Radom joined about 6,000 Jews from the surrounding communities, who were assembled near the old cemetery. After a screening, young men and women were transported as slave laborers to the munitions plants in Skarzysko and Starachowiec. Scores of Radomers escaped that same night and returned to Radom. Children and older people were killed on the spot. The majority, however, were deported to Treblinka. January 13, 1943.

The Murder on New Year's Eve

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

To celebrate the New Year's Eve of 1943, the Germans amused themselves by murdering Jews.

On New Year's Eve the Gestapo took 5 Jews out of their houses and shot them at the ghetto gate. That night, the Elder of the Jews, Dr. Fastman, was arrested and sent to Auschwitz (he survived the war). Dr. Zabner and his wife were also arrested. Dr. Szenderowicz was appointed “Camp Elder”.

The “Action” of January 13

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay


The Deportation to Treblinka

In the early hours of January 13th, all the Jews of the little ghetto were herded into the square [Szwarlikowska 24], under the guard of 200 S.S. troops. Gestapo officers Schippers and Henschel were sitting at a table; Dr. Szenderowicz and his secretary Zameczkowski stood next to them and were assisted by 2 Jewish policemen. The latter knew every Jew by name. The policemen called out the names of the Jews and the Germans held the so called “Palestine list” and checked to see that no one sneaked through, except those called by name. Anyone who did not approach the table fast enough remained in the square. It happened that one brother ran and another arrived at the table a little later; he was beaten and sent back.

[Page 322]

Those who got past the table were lined up in rows of 5, on Szwarlikowska Street. The rows began at the house of the Jewish police [S.#10] until the end of the street. No one knew were it was better to stand.

About 1500 people were called from the list. There were signs, that the Jews, many among them “protectia” children and “good” workers at the S.S. and Gestapo, will remain in the ghetto. They were called, although they did not have relatives in Eretz Israel. And many of the registered were not called although they did have brothers and sister in Eretz Israel. At the last minute, the company “Polka” , on Schippers orders, took out Jewish shoemakers. The names did not fully correspond with the ones entered during the November registration. Many people with pull, due to their employment at Gestapo installations, were added to the list, though they did not have any relatives in Palestine. It was clear that these 1500 were destined to remain in Radom.

Also on Schippers' orders, they were joined by 50 “Korona” girls, who were to continue sorting and packing Jewish property; and by the Szkolna Street construction workers, who were building new barracks. Also Jewish policemen were pulled to the side to remain in the ghetto. In the last moment, several German officials from the weapons factory arrived and were permitted to choose 100 strong–looking men for [slave] labour in the factory and other heavy work.

The remaining 1600 persons were marched [and beaten] under heavy guard [S.S. gendarmes] to the gate, to be loaded on the trains to Treblinka.

Near the gate many attempted to escape and mix with the “Palestinian” group; they were, however, driven back and beaten by S.S. guards. Leib Rychtman (now in Israel) jumped to safety into a nearby courtyard. Samuel Kurtz [Itchele Zilberstrom's son–in–law] followed him, but was killed instantly by a shot in the head and fell in a pool of blood [ his soul exalted]. Israel Lipshitz and his 2 sons (now in Israel) escaped earlier in the day from the square, through an adjoining building, when they realized that their names were stricken from the “Palestine” list.

The deportees were driven to the train and loaded aboard freight cars bound for Treblinka. A considerable number succeeded in jumping off the train and returning to the ghetto. Many others were shot by the S.S. guards or ground to death by the train wheels.


The Execution of January 20th

Several days after the action of January 13th, in the courtyard of Szwarlikowska 18, an execution took place of the following persons: Itzkovitch, owner of the light–factory, “Metropol”, Borentein–a baker, Shlomo Yudel Gotlieb (owner of the brick factory–“Washnik”) with his wife and son. The wife was brought to the execution from her sick–bed where she was confined due to typhoid fever. It was the first and only case where the Germans announced the reason for the execution: sabotage. Actually, there were attempts to save one's life by hiding or with money.



In March 1943, an order was given, that Jews with foreign passports, should be interned in separate detention camps, in order to exchange them with captured Germans.

From the small ghetto these people were sent away: Zelig Goldberg with his wife and two sons, Rabinovitch with his wife and her parents, Zameczkowski (they all survived the war), Chaia Cemach, the tailor's wife with 3 children and her mother, who were murdered, and others.

The internees were kept for some time in the “Hotel Polski” in Warsaw and were treated well, awaiting the outcome of exchange negotiations with neutral governments. When these failed, the internees were sent to concentration camps in Germany. All but the Cemach family survived the war.


Execution for Not Going to Work

A second execution took place in the small ghetto, when Schippers declared that every tenth person in the row be shot, because “they” didn't go to work.


French Jews in Radom

On a winter day in 1943, a transport [train] of French Jews en route to Treblinka collided with another train as it was passing through Radom. Many people were killed and wounded. The wounded were brought to the ghetto hospital; the dead were turned over to the Jewish police for burial.

Jews from the ghetto were taken to clear the tracks. They spoke with some French Jews who asked naively whether it was far to the “labour camp” at Treblinka….

Several days later S.S. troops came to the hospital and shot the wounded.

[Page 323]

Massacre of Intellectuals,
Purim March 21, 1943

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

The belief that Germans were negotiating with neutral powers for an exchange of Jews was given credulity by sporadic news about the actual release of a few individuals.

This optimistic attitude had disastrous results, for when the Nazis requested Dr. Szenderowicz to prepare a list of thirty intellectuals, and that they be prepared for a long journey, it was widely interpreted as another “Palestinian” list.

The dentist Bela Tatar–Buch describes the “Purim Action”:

The order from Schippers to Dr. Szenderowicz called for professionals and other college graduates [doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers]; some people did everything humanely possible to be on the list. In an effort to save the remaining children of the camp, parents arranged to attach their children to the families slated to leave. Thus, instead of the 30 requested by the Germans, the list grew to 180, including 50 children.

It was a balmy spring day, Sunday March 21, Purim of 1943. The 4 Ghetto streets were lively, filled with excitement. The “lucky” ones, dressed in their best clothes, bid goodbye to friends, promised to give regards to their relatives in Eretz Israel, and marched toward the camp gate to the awaiting trucks. Among them were: Dr. Finkelstein and his family, Mordechai Den and his son Olek, the wife of director Horwitz with her son Pavelek, the son of Ludvig Gutstadt, the Rabbi Yeshaya Zlotnick with his wife and 3 daughters, the musician Kagan with his fiddle, Dr. Fried, Dr. Gerstein, Felix Wainapel with his son and grandson, Engineer Levine, Engineer Goldberg, Attorney W. Weisfuss with his son–in–law, Bela Tatar–Buch with her brothers (who weren't on the list and jumped into one of the trucks.

Two minutes later there was no doubt as to the fate of the “exchange” prisoners. Instead of the trucks heading for the railroad station, they completely went in another direction; through Shpatzir and Zamlina Streets, in the direction of Szydlowiec–Kielce, and were followed by a truckload of S.S. and Ukrainians, known to be executioners. The old Dr. Tzung tried to calm down the crowd. The people orientated themselves and realized they were in armored–trucks with iron bars.

Several men jumped off the first truck along the way and managed to escape; 2 were killed by bullets from the escorting guards. The ones in the second truck were not successful. The trucks reached the Szydlowiec cemetery, 30 kilometers from Radom, where mass graves were prepared. The people in the first truck were forced to undress [the German murderers didn't want the clothing to become bloodied] and, with the help of the local Polish police, were herded into the open graves. The beatings with their clubs were beyond description; the screaming and crying of the children and men have no words. The Ukrainians then threw in hand grenades. Here and there someone still moved; a few Ukrainian bullets soon put an end to this, too.

And then came the second truckload. Realizing now what happened to the first group, many men attacked the S.S. Dr. Anotol Fried, wrestled a rifle from an S.S. man and knocked him down to the ground.

Before he could make use of the weapon, he was shot in the head by a Ukrainian. Mr. Felix Wainapel put up a heroic fight with several Ukrainians before he was killed. Mr. Wladek Weisfuss and many other men, whose names have not been ascertained, fought off bravely the savage Ukrainians and ran toward the cemetery fence; they were all mowed down by a barrage of bullets.

Many, instead of crying, in a sudden stillness, starting saying their “confessions”. Men and women embraced and asked forgiveness one another. Seeing the brutality in front of their eyes was worse than the most severe beatings. The old Dr. Tzung said to the young people:

“Why are you still trying to tear down the chains and fall into the hands of the Germans? Soon we will all be annihilated and our fate will be in the direction of the Jewish cemetery, let's go to our death in a Holy manner and proudly look our enemy in the eye”.

Again the bitter mood began, people were crying. The people cut–open their suitcases, took out their belongs and ripped everything, stomped on their belongings with their feet and made a mess of everything.

The motor of the second truck roared, so the sounds of the automatic machine–guns and the explosions of the grenades will be muffled.

The second truck was opened and in the ensuing confusion Bela Friedman and her brother Tuvia approached Kapke, the S.S. officer in command, and begged to be spared on the ground that they were not on the list.

[Page 324]

Kapke agreed to let them live and ordered them to step aside, near the trucks. While the Ukrainians were busy looking through the clothing of the killed victims, searching for valuables, 30 more people, mostly women, pushed themselves through the guards and joined the Friedmans.

One hundred and fifty men, women, and children were brutally murdered on that Purim day. During the night Kapke brought the Friedmans with the group of 30 back to the ghetto. Among these were the 3 Zlotnik sisters, Bela Buch, Halina Den, and Rose Ackerman (all now in the United States), Mrs. Witonski (now in France) and Lola Mikowski (now in Australia).


Here is a partial list of the victims of that day's massacre:

Dr. Witold Tzung with his wife and daughter Genia and a friend's child, Ilyana Kaltman
Dr. W. Finkelstein with his wife, daughter Ela Bergman and her small daughter and the small daughter of Advocate Fargotenstein
Dr. Gerstein with his wife and daughter
Dr. A. Fried
The Horowitz sisters
Dr. S. Korman with his wife, and daughters Irke and Eva
Dr. Severyn Witonski with his brother–in–law Judge Jacob Zaidenweber
The wife [widow] of Dr. Rosenblum
The wife [widow] of Dr. Hertz with her child
Dentists Banker–Den with her husband Leon, daughter Ruth and son Artek
Yerachmiel Kirschenbaum's daughter with her husband
Attorney Opatowski, his wife, mother, 2 sisters and a brother
Engineer B. Goldberg, wife Bala [high school mathematics teacher] and a child from the sister [niece]
Engineer David Levine
Mordechai Den and his son, Judge Alexander Den
Wife of Advocate Taub with her 2 children
Rabbi Yeshaya Zlotnick and wife Alta
Professor Elhanan Scheutzer and wife
Attorney W. Weisfuss
Israel Rosenberg, his wife Frimet, daughter Henia, son and son–in–law
Attorney Trachter and son
Attorney Josef Weiner, his wife Yulia, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Mintz and sister Rita
Engineer Meir Korman, his wife Anna and their son Jacob and 2 children [nieces] of Advocate Salbe, Esther and Ariela Salbe
Felix Wainapel and his wife, son, Magistrate Stanislav Wainapel and his son
Magistrate Wechter and wife, her father Rosenberg and a son
Nurse Irka Schlaferman
Nurse Dina Rosenberg and her son Dudek [David]
Bacteriologist W. Stelman
Isaac Stelman, his wife and daughter and her husband Elek Kenigsberg
Mrs. Lotte, her daughter Mania and husband Marek Ginsberg
Elias Lustigman and his wife
Elias Tenenbaum
Mrs. Neuhaus
Shpatz and his wife and child
Musician, Jacob Kagan
Alterova [Helen Alter–nurse] and her daughter Dziunia
Kopmanova (the tailor's wife)
Fela Rosentzwaig (Lublin)
Dr. Ludwig Finkelstein, wife Helena and a child named Josepha Rochman
Guta Zuker
Nusia Gutstadt


The Survivors:

Bela Friedman with her brother Tuvia
Aronsohn and wife Edusia
Zabner's 2 children
Favelek Horwitz
Ali Gutstadt
Lianke Pines
? [not clear] from Lydwick
Bela Buch
Saback Borenstein
Sonia Shochna and Polia Zlotnick
Polia Weisfuss
Mila Keiler and her daughter Pola
Hanka Den (the daughter of Mordechai)
Mrs Eisenberg
Lola Lastman–Mikovski
Dr. Kestenberg
Mrs Rosa Ackerman
Vitanska and her child
The 2 doctors remained in the camp: Szenderowicz and Kleinberger, which Schippers crossed off his list. Dr Wainapel was in the Blizhin camp, next to Konsk.


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