Fates of Relatives

The applicants were also asked to report on the fate of relatives, "required evidence" was: "Fate of persecution of close relatives (wife, parents, children, etc.)", which is why many files also contain corresponding information: the applicants report on how relatives were

  • were murdered immediately after the occupation
  • died of illnesses in ghettos
  • starved to death in ghettos
  • were murdered in ghettos
  • were killed in mass shootings during the liquidation of ghettos
  • were deported from ghettos to death camps the applicants  "never saw them again"
  • were murdered after arrival in Auschwitz
  • perished in camps

In more than 250 files, statements by the applicants were found regarding the fate of their relatives; they lost more than 1150 relatives.

Statements about fate of relatives

Israel Korngold lost his wife and two children:

When I escaped from Belzec and was hidden in the woods around Tarnogrod, I later heard that my wife Golda and my two children (Josef, Mendel) were shot by German SS in the Christian cemetery of Tarnogrod with a large group of other Jews. (1961)

Salomon Lazar lost two sons, a daughter and six siblings. One son was in Auschwitz with him:

After a few months ... another selection was carried out and my son was placed with the group that was to be sent to the gas chambers. I ran after him. A guard then came up to me and hit me on the head with a rifle butt in the most cruel way. When I regained consciousness, I was lying in the infirmary

Chanka Reichmann lost seven family members: her parents, two sisters and three brothers. Towards the end of the war, she was in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with one sister:

It was a terrible shock for me when my younger sister, with whom I had been together the whole time, died 10 days before the liberation.

Max Minkowitz lost three family members, his parents and a sister:

In 1942 the ghetto was liquidated and my beloved mother and sister were killed [...] One day before the escape my beloved father was shot in front of my eyes

Note: The ghetto mentioned is the Baranowicze ghetto

Lilly Mynarski lost five family members, her parents, two brothers and a sister:

Then we were dragged on a cattle train to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Here my parents, my 2 brothers and a sister were torn away from me. The next day I learnt that they had been sent to the gas chambers.

Esther Retkinski lost eight family members, her parents, four brothers and two sisters:

In 1942, her mother, aged about 44, died of starvation in the patient's arms; her father, aged 50, and a sister, aged 14, both died of starvation in 1942; all died within seven weeks, the patient was present at the deaths of the three [...] Her sister, aged 15, was torn away from the patient and she never saw her again [...] In August 1944, she and her brothers [...] were taken to Auschwitz concentration camp [...] She was separated from her brothers and never saw them again [...]. ...] In August 1944 she and her brothers [...] were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp [...] She was separated from her brothers and never saw them again.

Note: The family was in the Lodz ghetto.

Charles Russak lost six family members, his parents, three sisters and a brother:

The first major deportation took place in 1942. My beloved father was dragged away during the so-called "blockade". My brother was also taken away. [...] When the ghetto was dissolved, I was taken to Auschwitz. My mother and three sisters were sent to the gas chambers.

Note: the ghetto mentioned is the Lodz ghetto

Bronka Stern lost her mother:

My mother was shot in the Christianstadt camp, and after a long search I recognised her body by her clothes. I went into shock at the sight of my mother, fainted on the floor and fell into a permanent state of depression.

Becalel Wisniewski lost six relatives, his parents, three brothers and a sister:

His brother Motil, who had helped build the barracks in Treblinka, died in the uprising of the Jews in Treblinka; his father and his mother, who had taken her youngest son with her, managed to escape from the ghetto; after the ghetto was liquidated, however, they were rounded up and sent to Stoczek prison; they never left alive; Leibl's brother met his end in Treblinka; his sister managed to hide with a Pole named Gaba at the far end of Stoczek; Gaba hid her and gradually four other young Jewish girls in a bunker-like cellar compartment of a still unfinished house until about two months before the liberation, when they were betrayed to the Germans and shot by them.

Note: According to the file, the information on the death of the relatives comes from the Jewish community of Munich and is quoted from an expert report.

Sara Sucholowski lost her mother and brother in a mass execution:

We were all taken into the forest in autumn 1942 and the Germans started shooting at us. I grabbed my sister by the hand and we ran away, hiding in the bushes and escaping with our lives. When it got dark, we crawled back and found my mother and brother robbed and shot. We got a shovel and buried them.

Note: This was an "Aktion" in the Parczew ghetto.

Morris Szuch lost his father, brother and young daughter in the Vladimir-Volynsk ghetto:

In 1942, my little daughter died of hunger at the age of nine months. The same fate befell my father and my brother. I had to watch them wither away.

Note: Morris Szuch was in the Vladimir-Volynsk ghetto with his wife Basia and other family members.

Israel Katz lost nine relatives in the Jaryczow-Novy ghetto: his wife, four children, his parents and two brothers:

He and his wife travelled from the Lviv ghetto to the Jaryczow-Novy ghetto. At the beginning of 1943, an Aktion took place there in which more than 5000 people were killed. While the Aktion was taking place, he was at work outside the ghetto with his workmates, and when he returned to the ghetto, he heard about what had happened. 110 people remained. During the night they had to throw the bodies into graves and cover them up. His wife and children, apart from his eldest son David-Markus, also died in this Aktion. The client believes he remembers that the action was carried out on 14 or 15 January 1943. In any case, he always says Kaddish after his relatives on 15 January.