Dec 302011
 
My father, Sergeant Norman Fisher of the 134th Mobile Gun Battalion of the U.S. Army, wrote hundreds of letters to his sweetheart back home when he served overseas during World War II. That sweetheart became my mother and recently I read for the first time the collection of letters my father wrote to her.
In April of 1945, my father wrote that in Gotha, Germany, 3 Jewish Polish refugee teenagers had attached themselves to his unit.  The officers were so taken with these boys that they gave them U.S. Army uniforms and jobs doing K.P. The youngest, 14 at the time, was named Maurice and my father thought the world of him. He, Maurice, had been in 11 concentration camps during the five previous years, including Buchenwald, and both his parents had died in concentration camps.
In a letter five months later, my father reported that Maurice was still in their unit. They were now stationed in Kassel, Germany, and the troops were about to be sent home to the U.S. My father, who had a truck and a driver at his disposal since he was now in charge of supplies, was given the assignment of taking Maurice to the boy’s aunt and uncle who lived outside of Paris, for they had agreed to take care of him until he could be reunited with an older brother living in Brooklyn, New York.
When my father arrived at the home of this aunt and uncle, he discovered that they were old, in ill health, lived in a hovel and could barely fend for themselves no less take on the care of another. And Maurice had no official papers which meant that he had no legitimate right to rations. In all conscience, my father could not leave Maurice here. So there began for him a frantic weekend, trying to find a suitable place to leave the boy. He was advised to leave him at the Polish Refugee Center in Paris, but others told him that this was a terrible place. Finally, at the eleventh hour, my dad discovered a chateau outside of Paris that was said to care for Jewish refugee children. Thus on Sunday, September 16, 1945 he took Maurice to this chateau where he learned that he would be fed, clothed, given papers and where he would find the fellowship of others in his situation. My father agreed to leave Maurice there. They saluted each other in farewell.
Sadly, my father did not provide Maurice’s last name in his letters, nor the name of the chateau outside of Paris where he left him on that date. Most likely there was further correspondence between him and the boy, but it has not survived. If Maurice is still alive, it is likely that he is living in New York, in my own city, which is where he so fervently wished to be with his brother. It is one of my dearest wishes to find him. Any help that you can offer in this quest will be so greatly appreciated.
Maxine Fisher;  email: sylviebix@aol.com
Dec 272010
 
JRI-Poland

For information on Jewish genealogical and records research in Poland, how to access documents, find family members, etc.. please see Jewish Records Indexing – Poland.

Holocaust survivors may be unaware that a remarkable number of Jewish records of Poland have survived the upheavals of history and the ravages of war. Jewish Records Indexing – Poland (JRI-Poland) has created indices to more than 4 million Jewish birth, marriage and death records from current and former territories of Poland that are housed in Poland today.

Indices to vital records more than 100-years old are available on the JRI-Poland online database: jri-poland.org/index.htm. Finding aids to another 600,000 records, less than 100-years old, are also available but are not online in order to comply with privacy issues of Polish law. They can be searched by special arrangements with JRI-Poland and are treated sensitively on a case-bycase humanitarian basis

To read more, click here: Jewish Records Indexing–Poland

Dec 182000
 

Friends,

We have just seen that it’s not too late to find loved ones; please help.

Looking for: Betti Herzberg, born 1933 in Duisberg, Germany , but parents were Polish Citizens.  Father: Schimon Herzberg.  Mother: Mala Herzberg. Sister: Miriam. The mother and two children were deported through Zbaszyn to Warsaw in 1939;the father was sent to Ravensbrueck. The mother sent the older daughter to Israel in 1942; has anyone any knowledge of the younger daughter, Betti?

Please respond to me a.s.a.p. if you might have come across Betti at any time.

Stefanie Seltzer (please use Contact form)

Dec 182000
 

On 15 May 1944, the convoy #73 left Drancy (France) with 878 Jews (only men in the prime of life, able to work, no women, no children, no elderly, no ill persons). They were supposed to go and work for the Todt organization. In reality, the train arrived in Kovno (Lithuania, today Kaunas) where it was cut into two parts, the first one remaining in Lithuania, the second part going to Reval (Estonia, today Tallinn).My own father was in that transport.

Almost all these men were killed and there were only 22 survivors in 1945.

That transport is the only one (out of about 80) which was sent to the Baltic States.

During fifty years, nobody (families and historians) heard of the fate of that transport. A few people could read the few lines written in the “Memorial of the deportation of French Jews” by S. Klarsfeld (which contains several errors). Some families received documents saying that their deportee went to Auschwitz. Most of the families didn’t know anything.

Since 1994, because of several events and coincidences which would be too long to tell here, a few persons met, whose father, spouse or brother were in that transport. A memory trip was organized, then a second one three years later, then a book was written with testimonies of 48 families of these deportees and with all the information we could find concerning the fate of that transport, then other families made contact with us and a second and third book had to be published six months ago. On the whole, these books have 1100 pages together. They are non profit books, and I took them in charge from the first steps to the last sending, as a benevolent, in memory of my father and his companions.

At last, we have found the family of 195 deportees of convoy #73, we founded our association (“Families and Friends of the Deportees of Convoy 73”). We have a web site at http://www.convoi73.org/ (it’s not yet a big one since it’s a bit young).

Our goal is to gather the families of the deportees of that transport, to perpetuate and to pass on the memory of that transport, which was left in the dark during 50 years, to the next generations.

That’s why we are still searching new families all over the world, especially among the Jewish child survivors of Holocaust who had a close relative in that transport, and who should like to tell his story in the next supplement to our book. We have already found families in France (of course), Great-Britain, Belgium, Greece, USA, Israel, Australia…

Could you tell about this in your newsletter, and ask to anyone having had a relative in the transport #73 to make contact with us ? We would be very grateful to you. Here are my details :

Mrs Eve Line Blum-Cherchevsky
26 chemin du Grand Buisson
F – BESANCON (France)
Fax : (33) 3 81 80 83 07
Email : eve.line.blum@libertysurf.fr

Dec 182000
 

My father’s family sheltered a Jewish girl during the war. My father would like to locate his “sister” after these many years. I have attached a photo of her and following is all the information I have at this time.

We believe the girl’s name is Rachala (Rachel) Goldberg. She was born around 1940 in the Suwalki region of Lithuania. Her father was in the textile manufacturing industry and mother a school teacher. They were taken to the Kaunas Getto. In about 1943 the Nazis ordered the elimination of all Jewish children (this is what my father was told) from the Getto, and her father sought to hide her. My birth grandmother lived in Kaunas and apparently put bread on the fence for people walking to forced labor. The family approached her and asked her to hide Rachala. She agreed. I do not know if there was compensation involved. Rachala was taken in a sack by bus to Panevezys, Lithuania, and then to Naujamestis, a small town south-west of Panevezys, where my great-grandfather had a mill. At the time, Rachala spoke only Yiddish and/or Hebrew. Rachala was renamed Halina (Helen) and was raised with my father by my great-aunt, Apolonia Shaparis (nee Mazeika), who I refer to as my grandmother. My father was raised believing she was his mother, and Rachala his sister.

In the closing days of the war the family fled by boxcar ahead of the front. The train stopped in Poland, and they settled there, in Slupsk. My family spoke Polish, Lithuanian, as well as some German and Russian. The attached photo is of Rachala at my other great-aunt Lina’s wedding, October 23, 1946, Slupsk, Poland. My father is to her left in the full print. In Poland my family translated Shaparis as “Szaparys”, “Szaparyski” and the like. They lived on Chopin street in Slupsk.

Rachala’s father located her and took her back a short time later, in Dec. 1946 or early 1947.

I have forwaded this information to JewishGen.org, and have posted a “missing person” listing there. However, I would appreciate any further leads or assistance.

Thank you for your time.

Aneta B. Dubow

Dec 182000
 

I am looking for children-survivors, boys and girls, who were in Sachsenhausen near Oranienburg, between December 1944 and April 1945, when the camp was liberated by the Russians. We, a group of around 20 children, were living in what was called “the Revier” barracks where sick inmates where taken (possibly only women in the barrack I was staying ). Only nurses and doctors took care of us, and some people in street clothing, SS -men guarded us .

Every experiment done to us children, a nurse would take us to “another room”. Only twice did I see an inmate in the hallway of the basement. who had to clean the floor on hands and knees. I met one of them in 1995 at the reunion in Sachsenhausen.

We children (I at least) were kept in the basement, with high windows, through which one could only see legs passing by. We had to lay in bed all the time, there were three other girls in my room, we never talked to each other, but I believe two girls were French, and one was Polish.

One day I had to go to a room that was the Doctor’s Office, located in a smaller building (also one-story) that stood at right angles between the two Revier barracks. It also had rooms for experiments. Both of the Revier barracks ( Sick bay) can still be seen today at Sachsenhausen. Once there (in the doctor’s office) we had to dance to a piece of music that I believe was a Klezmer song, holding hands—one Nurse, one child. There were at least four nurses and four children in this group. Later, with this same music, we were used in experiments under hypnosis.

The Red Cross inspected the building at least twice. We children were told to be very quiet or we would die. Another time, we were sent to a fenced-in yard—the only time we were allowed to play—while watched over by SS-men. Some of the boys found ammunition shells that were at least as long as an adult arm. I was later told by my uncle that only one area produced and used such shells, nearby Oranienburg.

One day a picture was taken: I was told to get dressed, and given grey , hand knitted ‘braided’ knee socks to wear, I was taken to a courtyard with benches and told to stand on it. There came around twenty children, boys and girls, all wore these knee socks . A man in a long leather coat that almost touched the dirt at each step, was parading before us. I remember he had a club foot, and a photographer took pictures of us.

There also were individual pictures taken of several children, boys and girls, where we had to remove our clothes down to the waist. A women lifted our arm and positioned us in such a way that the scars we had on our bodies would show up on the photograph. The room had two doors. It was like an assembly line: one child would leave, one child came into the room, one was sitting on the chair and had their picture taken and another child was helped by taken off their clothes.

Around the end of March 1945, I was used in an experiment that left me paralyzed. I could not move, talk or swallow, but my hearing was good, so I heard that all the children with the nurses were to be taken “to a new place.” I was placed in a room that had several women (but I was the only child in the room).

I was found in a room all by myself. A Russian soldier took me to a group of children for a picture—I would say we were 8 or 9 children, with a woman with long blond hair standing in the middle. My recollection would place the smallest boy at 5 years and the tallest boy around 13 or 14 years of age. The oldest boy had his arms crossed at all times over his chest. I think there was one other girl around 9 years old. I was 8-1/2 years old.

After the picture was taken they took us to the Russian General, who asked his advisers “what to do with us ?” We then had to go to a building that had 8 showers in a row, upstairs, and we all had to take a shower to “remove the dirt of the camp.” We stayed together for several days after liberation, and several pictures were taken of us.

There was also a Dutch doctor after liberation who took care of us. We took walks in the camp where he also took pictures of us.

I know that every survivor has different memories—I hope that this helps to jog memories others may have. If anyone can remember being in Sachsenhausen, the camp was near Berlin-Oranienburg. In the background past the camp, you could see very tall trees that had limbs of pine needles only on the top like a bush, in someway like palm trees , and also a tall, red brick chimney—now part of the emblem for the camp.

If you know of any pictures or anyone that was one of us children (there were only a few), please have them contact me through the email address:

Holocaustchild@comcast.net.