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HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES


Deponent: Ajbeszyc Grzegorz
Bith Date: March 16, 1900
Birth Place: Warszawa
Parents: Fajwel and Estera (maiden name Wafel)
War-time Residence: 1939-1943 in Sosnowiec
Current Address (in 1946): Katowice, ul. Slowackiego 14/25


During the Jewish holidays (the first day) Passover in 1941, I was in Warszawa (Warsaw), since, together with over dozen persons, we transported mentally ill Jews from Town Hospital in Bedzin (Bendzin, Bendin). Gestapo from Katowice ordered liquidation of the hospital for mentally ill people in Bedzin. They ordered the Community to transport the sick Jews to Otwock and to Zofiowka. I wanted to meet my family in Warszaw and tried to get among people, who accompanied the transport. We went in sealed railcars to Otwock and there we delivered the sick persons to the hospital.
From Otwock, we went to the Warszaw ghetto and there we met Moniek Merin, Wolf Smietana and Mrs. Czarna. They were in Warszawa for "Joint" American Joint Distribution Committee, a major Jewish international charity) work. They were on the conference in Institute of Judaism on Tlomackie street, where was "Joint" office was located. In 1941 Merin brought to Sosnowiec a Joint worker from before the war time who had been in Czestochowa at that time. His name was Mr. Borensztajn. He later managed work of Joint in Sosnowiec.

The first president of Committee of Jewish Community in Sosnowiec during the German occupation was Moniek Merin. The Committee was organized during the first days of the German occupation. In the first Committee were: Moniek Merin, Grynblatt, Motek Birman, Lewartowski, Wladek Bohm, Uszer Klajnberg, Langer and Lejzerowicz (former president of the Jewish Community in Sosnowiec before the war).

The Gestapo, immediately after organizing Commissioner Committee, appointed a manager who was a local teacher, Olszewski (a Pole) and his second in charge was the Volksdeutsch Milke. All certificates and passes at this time were signed by Commissioner Olszewski. In November 1939, I received the office of Commander of Displacement, signed by Olszewski as Commissioner of the Committee. There were at this time about 300 of us. After Merin, the president of the Community (Judenrat) in Sosnowiec was Wladek Bohm and after him Chaim Merin - brother of Moniek.

The first constabulary (police) officer in Sosnowiec was Langer and after him Kronenberg and then Barenblatt. In Srodula, the Ordnergruppe officer was Goldminc. The main constabulary officer in the Centrale was Sobol and later Lehrhaft.

Ordners wore white armbands with a number and white caps with blue edging and, in the front, a Star of David. Around was a light-blue belt. On the bands was embroidered: "Ordnungsdienst No...". Officers (commanders) wore caps and around was a narrow velvet dark-blue belt, They didnít wear uniforms. Jews and Poles couldnít possess phones in their own apartment. In 1940 the telephone was removed from my post office.

The Grossverteilerstelle was organized in 1941. It became a class lottery as remunerative business for the Centrale. This lottery printed lottery tickets on which were printed a signature of Moniek Merin. The site of the lottery was located in the offices of Grossverteilerstelle in Sosnowiec on Modrzejowska 20 street. The lottery tickets were distributed with agency of Grossverteilerstelle shops and the Communities in all Zaglebie (Zaglembie). The initiator of this scheme was Chaim Wajnberg.

Jews couldnít travel by train from the time when Germans came in 1939. Jews remained in their own shops at the beginning as workers under management of Treuhanders and received a salary. The managers of Treuhandstelle in Sosnowiec were Schubert and Neugebauer in uniforms of the S.A. The Treuhändlerstelle in Sosnowiec was located on Sienkiewicza 17 street.
In Bedzin, Jewish shops were liquidated later. I worked in Brauneís shoe manufacturing workshop. The Centrale of this workshop was located in Bedzin. In Bedzin, about 800 persons were employed in this factory.

In Dabrowa Gornicza, about 600 persons and, in Sosnowiec, about 1,400 persons worked in newly-established workshops. Workers paid 3% of their wages (Lohnabgabe) to the Community. It was paid by the workshop, which took the money from that owing the workers and the owners usually didnít pay this for time. In each workshop was a kitchen. Goods we got from Grossverteilerstelle and we paid for this.

After deportation of the Jews from Srodula in August 1943, the Stadtverwaltung (city administration) carried out the liquidation of Jewish property left behind. From groups of Jews who were closed in a liquidation camp in Brauneís workshop on Piotrkowska street, there were separated groups of people for collecting and sorting goods - that is: furniture, kitchen things, clothes, beddings etc. Every day Germans came by car and vehicles and took the best of the sorted items.

In 1943, when Brauneís workshop was still operating in town in Sosnowiec on Modrzejowska 16 street, the management of the workshop bought in Vienna used things, rags to produce "morning shoes". There arrived whole bales by railcar and, after unpacking, we saw that there were clothes from murdered Jews because on the overcoats and dresses were sewn yellow Stars of David. We thought that this came from Theresienstadt (Terezin).

In October 1943, there arrived in our camp in Srodula a German motorcycle with side-car from Oswiecim (Auschwitz). We were ordered to exhume all Jewish corpses which they took away. In November 1943, there arrived in our camp in Srodula a Sturmbannfuhrer and Scharfuhrer SS from Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and wrote down how many machines we had. They stated that they had to move us to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and there create a shoemaker workshop.



 
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