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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Name of deponent: Gertruda Goldstein
Birth date: June 4, 1909
Birth place: Wroclaw
Parents: Gustaw and Elzbieta (maiden name: Krebs)
War-time residence: Bedzin
Current residence: Katowice, ul. Mlynska 17/2
Occupation: Magister Farmacji (Master of Science in pharmacy)


I lived in Bedzin from September 15, 1939 until June 22, 1943. Before the war, I lived in Piotrowice, 7 km from Katowice. On September 1, 1939, the entire population of Piotrowice was evacuated. We went by freight train from Sosnowiec to Wolbrom. When the Germans occupied Wolbrom we wanted to return home, but the Germans wouldn't allow us to return to Piotrowice. At the border near Szopienice, the Germans asked if I were Jewish. When I replied “Yes”, the German said: "Kein Jüdische Fuss wird Oberschlesien mehr betreten". I settled then, together with my sister, in Bedzin. In Bedzin, I had to change our apartment four times because the Germans each time removed Jews from various streets.
In January 1940, I lived on Pilsudskiego street. In the afternoon, at 3 o'clock, civilian Germans came and inspected our apartment. They ordered us to move from there within three hours. All our furniture had to remain in the apartment. In the same fashion, the Germans evicted many people from other apartments.

At the end of July 1942, a company named "Werkstätte für Verarbeitung von Filz und Lederabfälle, R. Braune” was organized in Bedzin. During the assembly-deportation of August 12, 1942, I had a certificate of work from Braune's workshop. I worked in the office as a shorthand typist. At this time, the factory was the property of the German man named Braune who stemmed from Wroclaw. In this factory, the workers repaired military shoes and manufactured children’s shoes, boots and sandals made from felt. The felt items were all made from waste materials. The second in command of the Braune Company was a Pole. The office-boy, to, wasn’t Jewish. All the remaining specialist positions in the factory and office were occupied by Jews. Men and women from the age of 14 worked in the factory. There was even in the factory a 12-year old boy working.

The main office of Braune's factory was located in Bedzin. Braune had three divisions: one in Sosnowiec, one in Bedzin and the third in Dabrowa Gornicza. The biggest factory of the firm was located in Sosnowiec. In all the divisions of the firm, there were employed about 2,000-2,500 Jews. Of this number, about 500-600 were in Bedzin and a lesser number in Dabrowa Gornicza.

A month after the large assembly and deportation, there was a roundup in our factory. Our management knew of it in advance. As a proof of this was the fact that our manager, Szerszewski, told me in advance to go home. Representatives of the "Sonderbeauftragte" arrived and gathered all the workers in the factory yard. They took several young girls and boys (for forced labor in Germany ). I earned 80 Reich Marks monthly (gross earnings). Unskilled men and women earned, on the average, 11-15 Reich Marks weekly (gross). Specialists earned more. There was one shift in our work -- from 7 to 4 o'clock. We didn’t work on Sundays.

On June 22, 1943, the Germans surrounded the Kamionka ghetto. They ordered all the residents to leave their homes and go onto the street. The Germans assembled us onto Robert Koch Street and later took us in front of the Judenrat. The Germans then made a selection. Rossner's workers were set aside as a separate group. From the rest, they accepted childless women who appeared voluntarily for Arbeitseinsatz and men up to the age of 40. I applied, together with my sister. I was taken with a group of 200 persons - mostly women - by the Germans via tram to the Sosnowiec Dulag. The men were taken to Bedzin to train.
The men among us were taken to Trzyniec - among them was my brother. I spent three days in the Dulag and then the Germans took me, with group of 40 women, to the Klettendorf camp near Wroclaw for work in a cement mill. The remaining women were taken away to the Grünberg labor camp.

Following the sending of our group to the Dulag, the Germans had taken the remaining people, those who weren’t working in Rossner's factory, as a transport to Oswiecim (Auschwitz).




 
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