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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Name of deponent: Dawid Pinkus
Born on 1 April 1904 in Czeladz
Residence: Since 1915 in Siemianowice,
a son of Paltyel and Chawa (maiden name Ropensztejn)

Siemianowice

The pre-war population of Siemianowice numbered 55,000, mostly Silesian, with several thousand Poles and 10,000 Germans. There were also 700 Jewish people. The Jews worked mostly in trade though about 50 worked in the local mines and some earned a living in the crafts. The Jewish populace lived in very good financial conditions een though 90% consisted of newcomers from the surrounding towns of Zaglebie: that is, from Chrzanow, Czeladz, Bedzin, Sosnowiec.

German Jews, those born and brought up there, numbered 30 persons. In Siemianowice, there was a pretty synagogue which was famous in the whole region, a Jewish kindergarten and Community Center. However, there wasn’t a cemetery. The dead had to be transported to neighboring the area of the Karol Steelworks.

Interest-free loans helped incoming Jews to settle down in the town. Young people were taught in the local high school. Cultural life was not on a very high level. There were a few Zionists and a few Revisionists who, from time to time, prepared lectures and thereby gathering all the community’s Jews to attend. Several days before outbreak of the war, most of the Jews left Siemianowice left and went to larger groupings of Jews such as Bedzin, Sosnowiec, Chrzanow.

On Monday, 4 September 1939 when the Germans occupied the town, there were only 35 German Jews. After some time, when Nazi terror raged in all neighboring towns, there returned to Siemianowice about 100 Jews, who earlier had abandoned their properties. The German authorities sought them out and forced them to work on the public works. Jewish women had to appear on the streets with brooms and rags to clean public toilets. Those who didn't have a broom had to clean by hand.

When the rest of Jews left Siemianowice, there remained only the German Jews. These were under the illusion that they would not be affected. After a short time, the Jews wee required to wear yellow Star of David emblems although in neighboring towns Jews were wearing already armbands at this time. They were forced to work in the heaviest and most disagreeable tasks.

When a Jew wanted to open his shop, he was sent to concentration camp Dachau. Some days later, his remains were returned as a box of ashes. At the end of 1940, the small number of remaining Jews was resettled to Jaworzno, where they were admitted into the local Jewish Community. Thereafter, the Jews of Siemianowice subsequently shared the fate of all Zaglebie Jews.

It is unknown how many Jews from Siemianowice remained alive post-war.
At present (1946) about 10 Jews, former inhabitants of Chrzanow, reside in Siemianowice.





 
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