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
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
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
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.