Some of the claimants were able to escape from ghettos and labour camps in were living in the woods or were hidden by farmers. This was called by Kittl and Landesentschädigungsämter as "living in illegality".  They described  their experiences.

Abraham Diller

Born on 13 September 1925 in Sanok/poland. Statement made in 1964.

Biography: November 1939 Star of David, forced labour; February 1941 to summer 1944living in illegality; 1945 from Poland via Hungary, Austria to Italy, 1948 USA.

I then tried to escape from the camp. I succeeded and was able to hide with a good farmer in Plowce. He hid me in a bunker, where I lived in inhumane conditions until I was liberated. The farmer brought me something to eat once a day, late in the evening, and sometimes not even that, because when he had guests at home, he didn't dare go into the bunker. In 1942, when I was still living in hiding with the farmer in the bunker, he once told me that during the last action my family were caught by the Germans and were shot on the spot when they tried to save themselves and ran into the forest.

Zelman Weinstock (Wassermann)

born on 5. 12. 1914 in Bialystok, died on 24.8.1982. Statement dated 10 May 1961.

Biography: until 1941 Kleszczele, co-owner of the chemical oil factory "Olearna", June 1941 forced labour in Kleszcele, July 1941 to November 1942 ghetto Kleszcele Berkajoselewicza Street; November 1942 to August 1944 escape and hiding.

I lived in eternal fear for my whole family. I constantly saw people being waggoned in at the station, heard them crying and screaming, saw people being shot in the square and knew that my relatives would be there too. My wife, my child, my parents and 2 sisters were also taken away and they were never heard from again.

I fled in November 1942 and lived in the forest until the liberation in August 1944, hunted like an animal and pursued by German patrols. Once I was shot, I took three bullets in the back, my lungs were injured and the wounds began to fester. A fellow sufferer primitively took the bullets out of me.

Krusa Peschkin

born 15.10.1922 in Ostrow as Krusa Abramcik. Statement dated 23 January 1963.

Biography: 1941 Slonim ghetto, December 1942 escape during liquidation of the ghetto, Israel.

When the Germans occupied my home, we fled to Slonim. The Germans occupied the area there in 1941 and soon after the occupation I had to do extremely hard forced labour. When the ghetto was liquidated in December 1942, I fled with a group of young people. My parents and four siblings had also managed to escape and we met up with a farmer, where we lived in hiding for a while. The farmer threatened to report us to the police, we had to look for another hiding place and my parents and siblings were caught and shot by a German patrol.

Anm.: Das Verstecken von Flüchtlingen wurde mit dem Tode bestraft.

Sarah Sucholowski

born  1922 in Parczew/Poland as Sarah Korn. Statement from 10 December 1962.

Biography:1936 to 1939 Parczew Commercial School. 1939 to autumn 1942 Parczew/Ghetto Parczew, survived mass shooting in autumn 1942, escape, Israel.

When the Germans occupied my home, I had to do extremely hard forced labour in all weathers, like digging potatoes and other field work ... 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 ourselves a shovel and buried them. My father was not among the dead, we found him alive later.

Note: Police Battalion 101 was in the area at the time.

Zipora Zohar

born 29 February 1928 in Wlodzimierc as Zipora Weinstock. Statement made in 1964.

She describes an action in the ghetto:

In September 1941 I was sent to the Wolinsk ghetto with my parents and it was in 1942 that my parents and my brother were deported from the ghetto and they perished.

In 1962 she described her experiences to a doctor, here is an extract:

During the conversations with her, she talked about her experiences during the persecution, how she lost her parents and her brother in 1942. She herself managed to escape the pogrom and stay in the ghetto with only her sister and older brother. They were forced into forced labour on the orders of the Nazis. At the end of 1942, the Germans made another selection and sent the weak outside the city, including the patient. They were taken in open lorries and covered with heavy objects to prevent them from escaping. When they arrived at the extermination centre, they were ordered to undress, so they stood naked in rows by the ditch. They were shot at and fell into the ditch. The patient was one of the last, together with her sister. They were also shot at. After the slaughter, the Nazis left the site without closing the trench. The girl lay unconscious the whole time, and when she woke up, she found her sister dead. She was wounded and with great difficulty she ran away and hid with a Christian family. There she also received surgical treatment from a Polish surgeon who treated her illegally.

Hedy Sebag

born on  24 June 1931 in Frankturt/Main as Hedy Schächter.

Biography: 1936 to 1938 school attendance, 1939 escape to Antwerp, 18 January 1941 to 28 July 1941 imprisonment in Zonhofen (Zonhoven)/Limbourg,  Antwerp, 1942 escape to Brussels, from early 1943 to January 1945 hiding  in  Wiers convent/Namur as Yvette Peeters. Jewish children's home in Brussels, 1946 England, 1949 Israel, 1955 USA.

I am making this affidavit in connection with my application for compensation for damage to body and health.

Before the outbreak of the persecution measures, I lived with my family in Frankfurt/M in Ostendstrasse 3. When we fled to Belgium, I was a seven to eight year old child. As a result, I don't have too many memories of that time. But I know that we lived well. Of course, it was no longer possible for me to go to school after 1939. I was always healthy. As a child, I didn't experience too much of the persecution that began; we fled headlong to Antwerp when they were looking for my father. As we had fled without any means, we lived in poor conditions.

In 1940 the Nazi occupation took place and we lived in fear and terror again. Only now I could already understand things.

In January 1941, my family was dragged off to the concentration camp. The conditions here were appalling. We hardly got anything to eat in the Zonhofen camp, we were harassed every day and everyone trembled before the deportations. My mother became very ill. My father had to go to hard labour every day. I sat around alone in the barracks. I constantly had sore throats and fevers. I didn't get any medical help.

However, my family managed to escape from the camp after eight months. We lived in Antwerp for a short time. We had to stay at different addresses all the time and hide. Then my family fled to Brussels. I was given to a Christian family who hid me. When the situation became increasingly untenable, I was given false papers and was sent to a monastery near Namur. I have terrible memories of this convent. They had to hide me all the time when I was searched. Some of the children knew I was Jewish and harassed me. I was an outcast and felt very hurt.

When I was liberated, it took me weeks to be able to speak to other people at all. When I was liberated, I learnt about the death of my parents and my sister. That was another shock for me.

My brother, who had already come to England in 1938, took me in. I stayed in England until I moved to Israel. I have lived in the USA since 1955.

Salomon Rothenberg

born on  7 January 1924 in Stryj/Poland.

Biography: June 1941 forced labour; July 1941 Star of David, 9/1941 Stryj ghetto closed, May 1943 liquidation of the ghetto, escape, August 1944 liberation, 1950 Canada.


The resettlement of the Jews took place in May 1943. To save my life, I hid in a bunker with a Polish man called Kazsik Starko, along with 35 other people.
We were so close together that none of us could ever stretch out. We sat in the dark because we didn't even have a candle. We had no soap or water to wash ourselves with and we had to relieve ourselves in the bunker. Starko the Pole gave us very little to eat, although we paid him well for everything. We lived like animals, filthy, dirty, overgrown, in constant fear of death. Finally, in August 1944, we were liberated by the Russian army.

Sprinza Zwillich

born 1891 in Woslowitz/Poland.

Biography: from November 1939 to April 1942 Lublin/Lublin ghetto, April 1942 to November 1942 Lublin/Majdanek ("Maidan-Tatarsk"), November 1942 to July 1944 illegality, Berlin, Israel.

In November 1942, this ghetto (note: Majdan-Tatarsk/Lublin) was also liquidated and I managed to escape with my daughter. We found other refugees and always walked at night, deep into the woods, as the Germans were carrying out raids. We lived on what we could steal from the farmers. Sometimes we were so hungry that we ate tree bark. Things got a little easier in the summer because at least we didn't freeze so much and we found turnips and the like in the fields. Then the winter of 1943/44 began and we froze miserably, exposed to the cold and snow without warm clothes. My little daughter fell ill and began to run a high fever, without a doctor or medication, and as I feared for her life, I asked the farmers for mercy. Some took pity on us and hid us for a few days in the barn, cellar etc., but as they were afraid of being discovered, I had to keep on walking. Then, in the spring, we had to wander into the forest again, where we were liberated by the Red Army in July 1944

Lola Olmer

born on 1 April 1907 in Dzialoszyce.

Biography: Dzialoszyce, 1939 to end of September 1942 (?)  Dzialoszyce ghetto, 15 November 1942 to 15 January 1945 living in hiding with Maciej Koniecznya, 1945 to 1947 Gliwice, DP Bensheim, Germany, 4 December 1947 USA.

During the great resettlement my parents, my two brothers and my sister were murdered. (Affidavit by Lola Olmer, Dzialowicze ghetto)

When the Jewish population was exterminated in September 1942, I fled to the Polish farmer Maciej Konieczny out of fear for my life. My husband and son fled with me. My daughter Halma, who was hiding with another Polish farmer, was found there and shot. The farmer Konieczny gave a confirmation for me and my family. I would like to add that this farmer constantly risked his life. (Affidavit of Lola Olmer, Dzialowicze ghetto)