Name of deponent: Fela Katz
Birth date: May 10, 1923
Birth place: Sosnowiec
Parents: Lejzor and Blima (maiden name: Gendzelow)
Present Residence: Sosnowiec, ul. Malachowskiego 2
Cwi Dunski was born 20 May 1922 in Sosnowiec to a poor family.
His father worked hard to feed the family and to give an
education to the children. Dunski's family were simple and
honest people, always ready to help weaker people. They
brought up the children with an inward devotion to their
fellow men. Cwi Dunski finished public school and studied
in the Trade School. At the age of 15, he joined the organization
"Haszomer-Hacair", where he took an active part
in the organization’s life as a devoted member. He was very
popular and thanks to his energy became, in a short time
manager of the movement.
In 1939 because of outbreak of the war he was forced to
interrupt his studies and to devote all his time to the
work of the organization. In 1940 this organizational work
became illegal. Many of the members became fearful of persecutions
and sanctions, not from the authorities, but from Merin’s
Judenrat and the Jewish police. Cwi Dunski, with small group
of his closest co-workers namely: Kalman Tencer, Lipek Minc,
Zwi Zilserson, Samuel Rosenzwejg, Jona Gelbardt, Hela (Kasia)
Szancer and the deponent of this affidavit, Fela Katz, discussed
the issue of saving Jewish young persons from total extermination.
They thought and discussed ways and means. One issue was:
Was it better to go to the labor camps as volunteer or to
agitate against this?
In 1941, the Judenrat requested all young Jewish people
to volunteer to work to local workshops. Cwi Dunski with
his group were against this venture by the Judenrat, considering
that in the factories people worked for the German Army
and that by increasing German war production they would
be helping the Germans to win the war.
There then began an open fight with the Judenrat which had
ordered the Jews to work for the German war production.
The Judenrat, at all costs wanted to attract the young revolutionary
people to this program, but the activists didn't agree.
Dunski with his group met in conspiracy in different places
each time to divert attention.
In May 1942 one member of group, Kalman Tencer died. All
the young people took part in his funeral and laid a wreath
of flowers on his grave. When participants of the funeral
went away there remained only a small group of conspirators
to talk about urgent affairs in connection with starting
deportation actions. Suddenly there appeared the notorious
informer Tadek Hilewicz - a Jew who collaborated with the
Gestapo. Hilewicz took all 11 young people with him to the
Judenrat and there checked and recorded their papers, all
the while making written notations. In this manner, the
Judenrat knew exactly who fought against it and exactly
who were those from the conspiracy.
In June 1942, Mordechaj Anielewicz visited the conspiracy
group and told them what was happening to the Jewish population
in the General Gouvernement area. Anielewicz told the group
that Jews are being sent to gas chambers and crematoria.
It was necessary to take immediate steps to save as quickly
as possible the Jewish youth and to find for them counterfeit
Aryan papers. There also took place a meeting with Merin's
secretary, Franya Czarna. She was asked to help in this
matter. But she opposed this effort, considering it to be
an uncertain program. She proposed cooperation with the
Judenrat pointing out that, after deportation (to their
deaths) of the sick, the elderly and those incapable of
working, there will be saved those persons capable of working
(and who therefore would not be murdered by the Germans).
Mordechaj Anielewicz left Sosnowiec depressed. He saw clearly
that the only salvation lay in finding weapons, arming the
youth and beginning fighting because there was nothing to
lose. Cwi Dunski made contact with groups in Bedzin, Chrzanow
and Warszawa Various plans were put forward for the fabrication
of false documents to facilitate the sending of Jewish youth
to Polish labor camps. Ina Gelbardt and Hela Szancer went
to Warsaw and Chrzanow without wearing the Star of David
in these matters. However, they encountered many difficulties
and it was necessary to still wait.
In the meantime, on 12 August 1942, there took place a terrible
spectacle. All the Jews of Sosnowiec were gathered on one
sports (Union) field. There, terrible scenes took place.
People changed into animals, selfishly fighting for each
one’s life. The horror reached its culmination as mothers
threw away their own children to save themselves.
During the continuous shooting, many victims were killed,
especially children. Eight thousand 8,000 Jewish residents
of the city were deported (to Birkenau) from Sosnowiec.
After this event, Cwi Dunski began playing a double game
with the Judenrat. Secretly he had printed a proclamation
addressed to the Jewish society asking them not to report
for Arbeitseinsatz and requesting them not to comply with
the orders of the Judenrat, which was cooperating with Gestapo
to the end of deporting Jews (to their deaths) like sheep.
Suddenly proclamations were found in Gorecki's workshop
where shoes were made shoes for the Wehrmacht. Secret hands
had put into each finished shoe a proclamation written in
German to the soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front urging
that they not fight against those who wanted to liberate
humanity from German-Nazi oppression. It was a waste of
life of Soviet soldiers as well as their own. The German
soldiers should go en masse to slavery. In this manner,
they would save themselves because Germany had already lost
In the factory there was great consternation and panic.
Merin ran about like crazy threatening to apply severe sanctions
against Dunski and his group. However, it appeared in reality
that the leaflets weren’t the work of Dunski’s group, but
had been done by the organization "Gordonia".
One of the members of "Gordonia" worked in the
factory and had the possibility to do this deed. Naturally
the Judenrat didn't know of this and believed that this
action was the work of Dunski and his group.
On 17 October 1942, all the Jews of Sosnowiec received a
second leaflet asking them to oppose the Judenrat the German
authorities which had murdered thousands of Jews. The Jewish
population was called upon to have each person find by his
own effort a weapon and in the proper moment to use it.
These proclamations were signed: "The Black Hand".
By using telephone directories, the conspirators found the
addresses of factories in Germany which produced weapons
and ammunition. To these factories were sent letters with
threats demanding a halt to farther production of military
materials which were to be used against the Soviets because
the Germans had already lost the war.
Cwi Dunski and his group of co-workers no longer slept in
their homes, but every night in a different place. Then
a plot against Merin was prepared. Cwi Dunski with two comrades
undertook to do this on Glowackiego street. They intended
to kill Merin with brass knuckles and hydrochloric acid.
They waited for him at a gate for more than two hours. Finally
he appeared, but surrounded by 20 policemen. The assassination
plot wasn’t carried out. At the last moment they aborted
the effort because it would certainly fail.
Cwi Dunski was harassed and persecuted. He wanted to leave
the area as quickly as possible.To accomplish this he needed
Aryan papers which had to be sent to him from Chrzanow.
Thereafter, he wanted to join the partisans in the forests.
In December 1942, the Jewish police conducted an intensive
search of Dunski's apartment. Since he wasn’t found at home,
the police arrested his mother and 14 year-old sister sending
them to the Bedzin Orphanage Du_Lager. From there, they
were to be sent to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) should Dunski not
surrender. Dunski's mother and sister sent letters from
the Orphanage saying they were willing to go to Oswiecim
(Auschwitz) so long as Cwi would continue his work and not
Persecutions by the Jewish police didn't cease, however.
In January 1943, the police arrested about 60 persons, some
members of Dunski's family and some members of families
of his co-workers. The victims were imprisoned in prison
cells where they were kept for several days while being
interrogated for information concerning the hiding places
of their co-workers of the Resistance. Those arrested refused
to reveal the information concerning other conspiracy members.
At the beginning of February 1943, Dunski was hidden in
the attic of Hela Szancer’s dwelling. The house was surrounded
by the Jewish police. Hela Szancer was arrested, but Dunski
escaped from the attic to the roof. A policeman saw him
and after a long struggle in which his clothes were ripped
from him, he was captured. He, too, was sent to the Bedzin
Orphanage from where the collaborators of the Judenrat handed
him over to the Gestapo in Sosnowiec. There, he was held
together with Lipek Minc for several weeks.
In this prison, terrible events occurred daily. They pair
were bloodily beaten, they were pricked by needles, their
hair was pulled out, red-hot irons burned their backs. In
spite of these tortures Dunski didn't break down. He was
so strong that he helped and cheered his fellow prisoners.
He ground teeth, held on and wrote to their comrades calling
upon them to continue the battle to the death. He asked
them, insofar as was possible, to furnish him a revolver,
with which he would end his life.
His comrades wanted to free him from the prison, but it
wasn’t possible since he was held in a specially-guarded
cell. In April 1943, Dunski was transported to Katowice
where he was sentenced to death by beheading for organizing
the Resistance and uprising against Greater Germany. Lipek
Minc was deported to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) where he was murdered.
Thus died at age 21, the brave fighter Cwi Dunski. He was
like "bone in the throat" of the Judenrat. He
wouldn’t tolerate its criminal work in which thousands of
Jews were thrown to the lion's jaws, without even an opportunity
to scream in pain.
May Dunski be remembered.