Name of deponent: Klajman Izaak
Date of birth: 10 June 1934
Father's name: Bencion (occupation: an official)
Mother's name: Chana, born Süskind
Pre-war residence: Bedzin, ul. Malachowskiego 38
Education: Schoolboy in 5th grade, General School #3 (Szkola
Powszechna nr 3), Bedzin
We lived in the ghetto. There we built, together with some
neighbors, a bunker in the building’s cellar. On 1 August
1943, when we learned that the Germans had surrounded the
ghetto, we went down into the bunker That is: we and all
our neighbors being a total of 50 persons. The bunker was
large: 5x5x3 meters. (16’x16’x10’) We remained there from
12 at night to 12 at noon. Germans soldiers continually
passed close to us, but we were undetected. However, with
us in the bunker was small one year-old child. The child
cried and the crying was heard passing Germans who thereupon
shouted: "Juden heraus!".
Because entry to our bunker was covered by with large stones,
we weren’t able to exit quickly. As a result, the Germans
shot and killed one of us. Finally some of our men were
able to remove the stones. When we were finally able to
leave, the last to exit was my grandmamma. One of the Gestapo
beat her terribly with a rubber baton.
The Germans ordered us to stand facing a wall. My fourteen-year
old sister asked one of the helmeted Germans to let her
go. Instead, he threatened to shoot her. After this, they
ordered us to draw together. They demanded to know how many
there were of us. We answered that there had been 50, but
one had been shot so that now there were 49 persons. The
Germans then ordered us to go to Umschlagplatz, the Gathering
Place. They drove us in that direction, beating us badly
The Germans gathered together a great many other Jews from
different bunkers and formed us into a large column. They
drove us toward the rail station. Near the building, they
ordered us to remain in column. My sister detached the Jewish
star from her dress and left her group of prisoners. She
and a friend, who did the same, approached a Gestapo soldier
and said that they were Christian women who had been in
the ghetto with some dairy products when the raid had begun.
They should be released on that account. The Gestapo man
believed them and released them. In this manner, my sister
When my mother saw this, she turned to me and ordered me
also to escape. There was a change of guards at this moment
and I pushed by some riflemen in helmets. An S.A. man, in
yellow uniform, noticed me and struck me with long bayonet.
He wanted to kill me, but I dodged and that’s why he only
wounded me. I escaped and soon came to some nearby apartment
buildings. Within these apartments there lived a person
friendly with my father. I knocked on his apartment door,
but unfortunately no one was at home. I waited a long there
until this person finally came.
He took me into his apartment, tended my wound, and allowed
me to remain and go to sleep. As I lay down to sleep, the
man went into the city to get clothes for me since I was
wearing only a brief bathing trunk. It had been very hot
in the bunker and I had dressed accordingly.
That evening, my sister came to the apartment. She was extremely
nervous, as if half-mad. She kept asking me where our mother
was. I replied that Mother had been deported. All night
long, she didn’t sleep and kept waking me.
In the morning, we ate breakfast. The friendly man ordered
me to go to the Malobadz meadows. He gave me a large scout's
jacket belonging to his own 18 year-old son. He gave me
some food and coffee in a bottle. He said I should await
him there until he comes. I went as directed and I sat down
on a small rise. At noon, my sister joined me. I drank all
the coffee as I had a terrible thirst from the strong heat.
I was so thirsty that I went to a dirty pool where frogs
and worms were to found. I drank a little of this dirty
water and cured my thirst.
My sister didn't speak to me at all and in a short time,
she left. I waited until evening and at 6 pm the man returned.
I asked him to give me something to drink. He had bought
for me a bottle of beer. He took me to a second pond and
washed me with soap, He gave me bread with a spread.
He took me to a small sheaf of wheat in the field and covered
me with straw. In this fashion, I slept through all night.
In the morning, just as the sun rose I awoke and left the
small sheaf. I wandered over to the meadow because I didn’t
want to sit in one place. About 9 in the morning the daughter
of this friendly man came and brought me food and a blanket.
She tried to reassure me and told me to be careful.
I wandered so all that day and in the evening, I again went
to the small sheaf and fell asleep. That night some Germans
came and searched among the sheaves, but didn’t find me.
Finally, they left. I was now terribly afraid and dozed
on and off the whole night.
In the morning I saw from afar a policeman with a dog. I
understood that the dog would locate me so I jumped into
a small brook nearby. I knew that, in water, the dog wouldn’t
scent me. After the policeman had gone, I left the water.
I had hardly held out under the water. Once again, the day
had passed. I had had nothing to eat that day because of
fear and excitement I wasn’t able to eat. Again that night,
I entered the small sheaf to sleep.
In the morning the friendly man came again and brought me
food. He promised that he would take me there as soon as
things would quiet down. He told me to wash in the river
so as to keep clean.
When he left, I went to the river. Just as I stood on the
bank, some boys came. Somehow they recognized me as a Jew.
In order to be certain of this, the three bounders ran to
me, pulled down my pants and began to shout aloud: "Jew,
Jew, Jew!" Thereupon, they grabbed me, bent my arms behind
me and began to discuss whether to drown me or hand me over
to the German police. I profited from moment when one from
them loosened his grip a little. I kicked him strongly,
tore myself free and escaped. I ran to the Malobadz road
and on to the Czeladz bridge. In this way, I disappeared
from their sight.
Nearby, I saw some destroyed buildings. I sat in one of
them about two hours and again returned on meadows because
there I had to wait for this friendly man. When I came there
a Christian woman saw me and called to me. As soon as she
found out who I was, she said she knew my dad. Thereupon
she went to the parents of the boys who had beaten me and
told them of the situation. As a result, the boys received
a hiding and left me now in peace.
The woman took me to her home where I slept the night. At
this woman’s house, I recognized a boy, Leszek - a Polish
boy. He was very smart, knew all about me. We quickly became
friends. We played together near the houses. At night they
ordered to sleep me in a summer-house. There, it was very
cold, gnats bit me terribly, I no longer had blanket or
jacket because I had lost them when those bounders threw
me into the water.
I slept only in a little shirt. For the next nights I slept
in the small sheaf. Then the friendly man came and took
me to his home. I stayed with him one day. He gave me underwear,
clothes, boots and took me by train to his female cousin
in the village of Pustkowie near Klobuck.
He agreed to pay her 50 marks a week. He paid one week in
advance and I remained with her. He hadn’t confided to this
cousin that I was a Jew. He merely said to her that I was
the son of a professor friend of his whom the Germans had
taken away to Dachau and that my mother had died before
the war. Because of these circumstances, I didn’t have a
place to live. As the lady was a naive country-woman she
didn’t imagine that she was deceived..
I remained with this women in the village for 9 months.
I did all kinds of work there. At five in the morning I
had to get up, I drove the cows to the pasture, cleared
out the dung. All that is necessary on a farm I did as a
farmhand. There, I was called “Jasio”. For food, they gave
me the same as they ate.
There were just so much lice, bed-bugs and fleas which bit
terribly. I was full of lice even though every Saturday
afternoon the housekeeper woman washed my sole undershirt,
so as to have it clean for Sunday. Several weeks later,
the man from Bedzin brought me an undershirt so that now
I had more underwear. Thus, time passed for me in the country.
After nine months, the man took me to his own daughter who
lived in a large house in a village. She accepted me gladly.
Here, too, I worked for her as a farmhand. At her home,
I had to arise very early to feed the chickens and to feel
the hens so as to learn how many eggs there will be on this
day. She gave me very little food and I was often hungry,
but this woman did clear me of lice, bathed me often so
that I was clean.
I was there for 4 months. After those four months, the woman
moved to her parents in Bedzin and I came there with her.
Since I was already at home on a farm, I worked in the place
of a servant. I lit the fire in the kitchen, washed the
dishes and floor, swept…. I did everything. They even gave
me enough food. Here I remained until I was liberated by
I didn’t leave the apartment to go out to the public the
whole time I was there. None of the neighbors saw me. When
some friends of theirs visited, I hid under a bed or behind
I was very glad and I wept when, on the first day of liberation,
my cousin came to learn if, by chance, there was some one
alive from my family. I heard in the second room the voice
of my cousin. I sprang out and fell in his arms.