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Name of Deponent: Artur Markowicz
Birth Date: June 30, 1894
Birth Place: Biala (Cracow province)
Parents: Markus and Sala (maiden name: Lermer)
War-time Residence: Biala, Andrychow and later in the camps
Present Residence: Bielsko, ul. Mickiewicza 43
Occupation: Director of the Jewish Religious Congregation in Bielsko

At the end of October 1939, I came to Andrychow from Biala. At this time, in Andrychow there lived about 700 Jews out of a total of 6,000 inhabitants. Before the outbreak of the war, there had lived in Andrychow about 1,000 to 1,200 Jews. Some of them had escaped when the war started and didn't return. When I came to Andrychow, there wasn’t yet any organized Jewish Community. The Jewish Community was organized in Andrychow at the beginning of 1940.

A dozen or so days after my arrival in Andrychow, on a Friday midnight, I was awakened by shouts of neighbours that the synagogue burned. I looked out of our window and saw the synagogue in flames. I lived across from the synagogue, on "SA Strasse". From all sides, there emerged a cordon of "SchuPos" with weapons in hand, forbidding anyone to approach closer. The Jews wanted to put out the fire, but Germans wouldn’t didn't permit this. The synagogue burnt until morning; the entire interior had been burned. I worked later with a group of several dozen Jews who, by order of the German authorities razed the remaining ruins of the synagogue to the ground. In this period - November 1939 - Jews still lived in various parts of the city.

At the beginning of 1940, an Ältestenrat was organized in Andrychow. Until this time, there hadn’t been a Jewish Community Council. Now, the City Hall required this be established. As head of the Äeltestenrat in Andrychow, Mr. Arnold Weinsaft, pre-war president of the “Kahal”, was appointed.

Daily, the "SchuPos" entered Jewish apartments at will and took whatever they liked. In the summer of 1940, the Germans formed a Jewish district, situated in a suburb of the city in an area called "on the banks of Wieprzowka". I remember clearly that a "SchuPo" group leader, a Leutenant Haase, came to the Ältestenrat and announced that it was an order that Jews must leave the town. Then he took me and a certain Mr. Krumholz. We drove with him in an auto and wrote down the houses selected by him. He selected the worst houses for the occupation of Jews. The Polish population, which lived in the selected houses, were to be displaced to the Jewish apartments in Andrychow or neighboring villages. Jews were allowed to take their furniture by wagons. From the time of the creation of the (Jewish) district, it was forbidden to all Jews to enter the town without a pass.

In 1940, there was brought into being the requirement that a white armband with a Star of David on it be worn by all Jews on their left arm. Later, it was ordered that a yellow star with the inscription "Jude" be worn instead of the armband. We were to wear the yellow stars on the left breast and on the back of our outer garment. The Star was not to be sewn on our garment, but instead, our clothing was to be cut out in the shape of a star. In this hole, the Star was to be sewn. This requirement was done by order of the German authorities.

The first Arbeitseinsatz in Andrychow took place in the autumn (Sukoth) of 1940. The entire male Jewish population had to appear before a medical board in Andryshow at the inn on SA Street opposite the (former) synagogue. Dr. Better from Bielsko and a second doctor, Dr. Sternberg from Oswiecim, performed the examinations. Young people, numbering some 50 to 60 and considered to be healthy, were immediately taken to a forced labor camp. There was present, during the examinations, a representative of the German authorities who sat next to the examining commission. Even before creation of the Jewish district, about 150 to 200 Jewish persons from Biala had been displaced. I remember that these persons arrived in Andychow in more than a dozen wagons with their baggage.
The second Arbeitseinsatz took place on Pesach, 1941. "SchuPos" came to the Ältestenrat in the evening and announced that, at 8 a.m. the following day, all Jewish men must appear at the inn near the Town Hall to undergo a medical examination. This time, the men were examined by a German doctor with SS-men from the Sonderbeauftragte Dienststelle in Sosnowiec present. We undressed half-way and the doctor examined us.

I was released, but my son was taken for forced labor. People designated as qualified for working weren’t released. They were deported that evening, in a vehicle, to the Sosnowiec Dulager. At this time, about 80 to 100 young men were taken. My son was deported to the Wisau Forced Labor Camp.

There was also an Arbeitseinsatz for young women, but I can't remember exactly when it was. The remainder of the Jewish population capable of working remained in the district and worked for the City, performing work for them. There was no factory established.

On July 3, 1942, there took place an Aktion in Andrychow. We knew that, in different towns, deportation Aktions had taken place so that we waited until our time would come. Most of the Jewish people at this time were employed in the regulation of the flow of the Wieprzowka and Sola rivers. Our work area extended to Podlesie where the river Sola crossed. We worked for the Wasseramt (Water Office) in Bielsko. On the morning of July 3, Germans came and woke the president of the Ältestenrat, Mr. Krumholz, and took from him the census of the Jewish population.

On every house where in which Jews lived, a Star of David had to be placed. The Germans then divided into groups and went from house to house, shouting the order that all Jews must depart their homes. The Jews were to immediately place a package of personal effects (knapsack or valise) in front of their homes. Next, the Germans forced the entire Jewish population into the garden square of the firm "Czeczowiczka". Then, they brought Jewish persons, one by one into a room where each person’s money and valuables were taken from him. In this room, stood SS-men with guns in their hands. These persons shouted orders at us and beat us with riding whips. On tables before us, were set valises into which we were required to throw such valuables as we possessed. After passing through this room, the victims were gathered in a huge factory hall.

There were, at this time, about 600-650 of us. We waited in the hall for the arrival of Rolle from the Sonderbeauftragte’s Dienststelle in Sosnowiec. About noon, SS-men ordered us to move forward with our families. Rolle stood before us and, with a stick held in his hand, pointed each of us either to the left or the right. He selected us into three groups: one group was destined for transport, the second group would remain for work in the community and the third group was destined for Arbeitseinsatz through the Dulager and then to the forced labor camps.
I was deported to the Dulager. Later, I was released from the Dulager and returned to Andrychow. In that Aktion, about 400 persons, mostly elderly, incapable of working persons were deported (to Auschwitz). About 120-150 persons were sent to the DuLager. There now were left in the Jewish District about 100-120 men and women. There were even a few children remaining. During the deportation, Jewish Constabulary from Sosnowiec were involved. In Andrychow, there was only one constable employed.

Before the displacement, there were still about 100 women from Andrychow working in the tailoring factory in Wadowice. Some of these were taken away and deported. After deportation, there was formed in the Andrychow district a work camp at the Bielsko Water Office. The camp was fenced by barbed wire and Germans guarded us all the time, even escorting us to work and back. We men lived separately from the women. My wife was held in the camp; she took care of the prisoners’ children. One day, Lindner arrived from Sosnowiec and held an assembly. He had all the children and their mothers taken away in vehicles.
I worked until June 29, 1943 in connection with regulating the flow of the river. On that day, all men were taken by Hauschild by train to camp "Bismarkhütte". Only a few women remained in the camp which still worked with regulating the river’s flow. My wife remained with our daughter; I received one further letter from them from Andrychow. There had remained about 60 women there who stayed until November 1, 1943.

I learned, only after liberation, from a Polish supervisor that the women were deported at that time in trucks to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). The Ältestenrat in Andrychow came under the control of SS Inspector Rotter who was in charge of Biala, Bielsko, Kety, Andrychow, Wadowice, Sucha, Zator, Cieszyn and Dziedzice.
During the deportation of July 3, 1942, there was present from the Sosnowitz Jewish Centrale Mrs. Franya Czarna. Merin visited Andrychow once, though I don't remember the date. There wasn’t a Jewish doctor in Andrychow.