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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Name of deponent: Roza Kozak
Date of birth: 1919
Birth place: Sosnowiec
Parents: Moszek and Chana
Occupation: Bookkeeper
Residence: Sosnowiec, ul. Dekerta 14
At present (1947): chairwoman of the Jewish Committee in Sosnowiec



The first Aktion for Arbeitseinsatz in Sosnowiec took place during the "Sukoth" holiday in 1941. About 200 men, bachelors as well as married men -- even those who had children - were taken for forced labor. The victims were solely poor people. There wasn’t among them even a single wealthy person.

The procedure was that the Judenrat sent each of them a summons to appear at the Dulag in a few days. Those who resisted were arrested by the Jewish police. At this time, there were no Jews working in the Kripo’s Dienststelle. Jews began to work there as officials only from 1942, usually appointed to the task by the Judenrat. Lists of those selected for Arbeitseinsatz were prepared by the Judenrat.

Transports of those men went to ZAL Johannesdorf. From our apartment building, several hundred persons were taken … even married persons and persons who had families.

Wives received tragic letters. The camp inmates wrote that they worked hard in water, often without shoes and always hungry. There was a high mortality among them. From those camp inmates only a very small number ever returned. One of the persons taken from our house, a Mr. Eisenstein - a transport worker - left a wife and three children without means of living. She received tragic letters from her husband. Although he was accustomed to hard work, still he died in the camp from starvation and disease of the legs.

In January 1942, there began Arbeitseinsatz (slave labor) for women. The Judenrat sent summonses to report to work in Germany. The Assembly Point was the Police Station on Targowa Street Nr. 15. Again, at this time the victims were the daughters of the poor population, the working population, daughters of workers, craftsmen and officials. There were on the list also women from wealthy families, but they were released because of backing and mostly because of ransom. At this time there were deported about 300 girls, aged 17 to 24. All the girls were held in the Dulag and from there were transported by train to camps in the Sudetenland.

In the ghetto in Srodula, from February until April 1943, the demands for Arbeitseinsatz (slave labor) didn't stop. During this period, over 2,000 persons were taken, though I don't remember the exact number. In point of fact, the requirement for Arbeitseinsatz (forced labor) began in 1941 and continued without break. The roundups were prepared by Schmelt’s Dienststelle and Jewish police helped the Germans. The Jewish police’s work was generally more accurate and diligently carried out than was the Germans’.

I know that the Judenrat organized winter charity, but the poor people availed themselves of this only to a minimal degree. The first president of the Judenrat in Sosnowiec was Moniek Merin. At the beginning of 1940, a Centrale of Jewish Communities for whole of Ostoberschlesien was created. Moniek Merin was appointed the "Leiter" (Leader). On the board of the Centrale were Moniek Merin, Frania Czarna, Dr. Löwenstein, Wladek Böhm, Lewartowski and later also Chaim Merin and Borensztejn.

At the end of 1939, there was organized a series of Jewosh police formations ("Ordnergruppen"). The Ordners wore special armbands bearing the letters “ OD” (“Ordnungsdienst” i.e.“police duty”). Later they wore special hats, white with blue border. The first Chief of Police was Mr. Langer, a merchant. Later, he was removed because he wasn’t suitable for the position. He couldn’t carry out all the orders of Merin -- he was a relatively gentle man. After him, there was in this position a Mr. Mittleman (a merchant) and at the end there was Mr. Lehrhaft.





 
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