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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Name of deponent: Lejzor Kac (Katz)
Birth date: January 5, 1893
Birth place: Dzialoszyce
Parents: Josek and Perla (maiden name: Glodna)
War-time residence: Sosnowiec, ul. Pilsudskiego 25
Current residence: Sosnowiec, ul. Bieruta 23/18
Occupation: Bookkeeper



On August 2, 1943 during the final deportation, I was sent, together with a group of 150-160 people to the DuLag in Sosnowiec. This group was then sent to Annaberg. I remained in the DuLag for fourteen days, though others were sent out after 7 days. Our transport was organized by the office of the Sonderbeauftragte. (Schmelt Organization). In the DuLag, Kuczynski, with his band, performed a selection and a part of us (about 160 people) was sent away. During my 14-day stay in the Dulager, Kuczynski, together with (Messner?) used valises as packing boxes and stole items belonging to the deported Jews. I packed silver-fox furs, textile materials, etc in boxes and addressed the packages. They were all sent to private addresses in Germany.

Items which were less valuable such as pots, worn shoes, etc., we packed and sent to Annaberg. We packed for the entire 14 days and still didn't have enough time to pack everything. We loaded by ourselves the merchandise onto the rail cars. We loaded over a dozen rail cars to go to Annaberg.

When I arrived in Annaberg, there were about 300 persons, mostly men, there. About 100 worked in the tailoring and shoemaking workshops. The remainder worked at hard labor in the quarries. I was in Annaberg three months. During those three months, 96 persons died of starvation , according to the Judenälteste, a Mr. Glaftnian, who kept the records. Together with our transport, there were in Annaberg about 500 persons, Jews from Zaglebie, Holland and France.

The Jews from the West (Holland and France) told us that they had been selected, en route, (at Cosel) and a certain part of the transport had been sent on to camps for forced labor. Dead Jews were buried by fellow prisoners in a cemetery which they had prepared by themselves near the camp. They buried the dead people with their clothes and blankets. From Annaberg, Lindner sent us as a group of 100-120 men, to Landeshut (24 km from Jelena Gora). Landeshut was, at that time, a Zwangarbeitslager (Forced Labor Camp).

Later, there were 600-800 men in the camp. In this camp, were Jews from Zagrzelice and a small group of Jews from France and Holland. The prisoners in Landeshut worked in quarries and others in the demolition of a weaving factory, Kuhl et Sohne. On the grounds of the demolished factory, we constructed aircraft and ammunition factories.

In Landeshut, apart from our Jewish camp, there was a Polish labor camp. Our camp was located in a brick building about 12 meters high. This building was located on a hill and access to it was gained by 120 stone stairs. The quarries were located a distance of 5 km from the camp while the factories were closer (about 1.5 km) from the camp. We slept on beds of boards set in four tiers. We were covered by blankets.

In the camp, there was a terrible amount of dirt. Fleas and lice devoured us. The "Waschraum" was very small, 2x3 meters. Every Saturday, we were forced into this dirty "Waschraum", entering ten persons at the same time. We had to pump water ourselves or bring it up the height of the 120 stairs. Because of this dirt, typhus began. People, sick with typhus, lay together with the healthy people. The typhus epidemic lasted some 2 months. Every day, people died.

When I came to Landeshut, there wasn’t yet a Jewish camp. There were already 20 Jews from Zaglebie working, as well as living, in the prison there. The camp in Landeshut was founded at the same time our group arrived. Our fellow prisoners had come from other camps in Lower Silesia. Our camp was fenced with barbed wire, though the Polish camp wasn’t so enclosed. In the winter, during snow-storms and frost, we had to work at night, cleaning access to the camp and stairs. People died from exhaustion and heart disease. Some fell dead on the steps. The Germans deliberately set dogs upon us on the stairs as we returned from work. We had to arrive at our workplace before 5 a.m. while it was still dark (in the winter). Those who couldn’t descend the stairs quickly enough were thrown down the stairs by the Germans. Many people died on those stairs. We worked from 6 until 5 o'clock. Even on Sunday, those who worked loading and unloading freight wagons went to work.

We received 200 grams of bread and a liter of black bitter coffee daily. For dinner (after work) one liter of bitter soup made of leaves, sometimes with a spoon of marmalade. The camp guard beat us with riding-whips. Sometimes the Germans searched us after our return from work. Several times, they found a few potatoes in the possession of a prisoner. As punishment, they were hung by their hands for some hours or had poured on them…. cold, dirty water.

In April 1944, Lindner liquidated the camp in Landeshut because of its dirt and the prevalent epidemic of typhus. The prisoners were sent to various camps. I was in a group of about 200 persons sent to Annaberg. I remained, the second time, in Annaberg until September 1944. In Annaberg, I worked as hospital orderly for the camp. The doctor, (Dr. Prace) was a Jew from Vienna.

The camp numbered, at this time, about 1,000 Jewish men. Women numbered less than 100. The prisoners worked at clearing the ruins of a large bombed factory in Oderthal, ten km from our camp. The prisoners worked there in two shifts. They went to work by bus, though sometimes they had to go on foot. During this work, there were many injuries because of the repeated bombings.

Because of the starvation and lack of hygiene, there began again an epidemic of typhus in the camp. A special Krankenstube (sick barrack) was constructed in the camp. It was always filled with people sick with typhus, dysentery, phlegm, etc. In the camp’s drug storage, there were no drugs except for aspirin and charcoal. Every day, dead bodies were removed from the Krankenstube.

Lindner inspected our camp several times daily. If someone weren’t healthy, Lindner set his dog on this person and beat him with a riding-whip. Othertimes, he ordered his chauffeur (Tschammer), or the Jewish Gruppenführer, to beat the victim.

In the first days of September 1944, on a Saturday morning at 11.50, Lindner ordered all prisoners, healthy or sick, to report to the rollcall square. There, he told us that, in the next ten minutes, we must prepare to leave the place. He told us we were going to a new camp where we will have everything (we could want). Punctually at 12 o'clock, we were loaded onto vehicles and taken away. About 50-60 persons were left behind in the camp. Lindner escorted us from Annaberg. We went via Oderthal where we joined other prisoners working there. They took nothing with them because they hadn't expected this departure. The Germans took the whole group to a nearby railway station. There, we waited five hours, lying on the ground and surrounded by Germans. Later, they loaded us on the train and took us away, in a group of about 600 persons, to Birkenau.

I remained in KL Birkenau until January 18, 1945 when I was evacuated to Oranienburg. From there, we were to be sent to KL Flossenbürg.

On April 23, 1945, I was liberated by the American Army in Amberg in the course of this evacuation.





 
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