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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Name of deponent: Rozia Felczer
Birth Date: 30 October 1924
Birth Place: Sosnowiec
Parents: Icek and Sara (maiden name: Weiss)
Present residence: Chorzow, in Orphanage, ul. Katowicka 21
Occupation: Nurse


The Jewish hospital in Sosnowiec was one of the most useful institution not only in Sosnowiec, but for Jews of whole Zaglebie and was by all supported. After outbreak of the war there remained in the hospital only seriously ill persons. With coming Nazi's occupation there took management of the hospital Dr. Liberman, Drs. Tencer, Sztulman, Mamloch, Plawner and others.

When the Front moved to the East, persons who had fled returned. Among them were many wounded or seriously ill. The staff of the hospital was too small to service the increased numbers. To increase qualified personnel there was organized a 3-month nurse training course. The Jewish hospital in Sosnowiec was thereby supplied with 30 new nurses. Sick persons in the hospital were fed at the cost of the Judenrat. Poor persons received free medical treatment. The food was usually poor so that those who were able to eat only what they got from the Judenrat were constantly hungry.

In 1940 when the Arbeitseinsatz (forced labor) began and many persons were sent to the "Lagers" (labor camps), there was an increase in the number of persons entering the hospital. Many tried to obtain certificates stating that they weren’t capable of working because of the poor state of their health. Often, for a small sum of money, they were designated as incapable of working. The hospital was overcrowded and sick persons lay two in one bed. The passageways were full of patients.

In 1941, people returning from the labor camps arrived at the hospital, sick and exhausted by hard work, swollen or emaciated from hunger, with broken hands, ill with respiratory problems. They remained in the hospital until they recovered and were ready to return to the "Lager". Persons who were incapable of working were released. There also worked in the Jewish hospital at this time two non-Jewish doctors: Drs. Pienkowski and Sokolowski.

At the end of 1941, the number of sick persons increased due to those returning from the forced labor camps. They were mostly ill of tuberculosis. In the hospital, sick persons were guarded by Jewish police, so that those from the labor camps wouldn’t escape. People from the labor camps who didn't have money for bribes had to return to the camps after treatment. Those who had money were released by the Polish doctor Dr. Zarzecki, who had the deciding voice in this matter.
In 1942, the Judenrat brought from Krakow the famous surgeon Dr. Frischer, who worked in the Jewish hospital. The number of sick persons increased constantly, women, too, also returned from the labor camps. The mortality in the hospital was high. There were many days when the number of dead people rose to 8.

In June 1942, the hospital was suddenly attacked by the Gestapo with the assistance of Jewish police and they removed sick persons. There occurred terrible, tragic scenes. Sick people escaped in hospital clothes, many jumped from windows and those who weren’t able to escape were thrown from the hospital and taken on stretcher and beds and they were taken by truck to trains and deported together with other Jews of Sosnowiec to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) for extermination.
This act shows the dishonorable, infamous, bestial behavior of the Nazi torturers who didn't respect seriously-ill people even in a hospital. For this reason there spread panic among the community. Now, sick persons were afraid to return to the hospital. However, after some time had passed, the hospital was again crowded with sick persons returning from the "Lagers".

But then German policy changed. People who were incurably ill weren’t released as was the case until now, but were sent directly to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) for extermination. It became known to everyone that seriously-ill people returning from the camps were destined for the crematoria. On that date which is unforgettable for Zaglebie Jews….12 August 1942…. all sick persons had to appear at the sports field. Only the most seriously-ill remained in the hospital and an exact list had to be given the German authorities. After finishing the inspection and deportation, the hospital was filled with injured and wounded people from Nazi bullets from the sports field.

In 1943 when the ghetto was formed in Srodula, the hospital was also moved and re-organized in a building formerly used as an elementary school. However, the most important equipment and X-ray machines had to remain in the former hospital. because the Germans wouldn’t allow us to move it. Dr. Frischer was no longer with us. Surgeries were done by the Polish doctors Stoch and Pienkowski who had special permission to enter the ghetto.

On 22 June 1943, during deportation from the ghetto, many sick persons were taken from the hospital and thrown into rail cars. Many of them died before arriving to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). During the deportation of 1 August 1943, the hospital was filled with people wounded during the Aktion. There was a lack of drugs and the screaming and groaning of the suffering persons who couldn't be helped was heard not only in the hospital, but throughout the whole closed area.
However, this didn't last long because, on 6 August 1943 when the ghetto had been liquidated, all sick persons together with hospital personnel were taken and loaded into rail cars and deported to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) to the crematoria.
There remained only 6 nurses in the newly-created camp. The hospital was changed into a prison where Jews taken from bunkers were held. From there, there were deported every week transports by truck of 70-80 Jews to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). When the number of persons was too small, the Nazi executioners filled the transports with people taken from the Lager.

On August 13, when the number of camp people increased due to the people taken from bunkers, a selection was done again and about 500 persons were deported to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). The same thing occurred in September 1943. This time about 3,000 persons were victims of deportation.

On December 17 there were deported about 1,000 persons, among them the person making this report, as well as those who had been sent from the camp to work in Rosner’s factory in Bedzin and from there to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). From this transport about 170 persons went to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) camp and the rest went straight away to the gas chambers.


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