niedziela, 10 lutego 2019

"In Ostrowiec, to stay? Oh, no". Post-War Times (3/3)

Jack Borenstein says:

It was 1945, and I was about 21. It was April and around my birthday, but not too many Jewish people knew their birthday.

What was later? After the liberation we lived in something like a camp in Feldafing for a few months. It looked like a camp, but we were free. Once you were free, you could do whatever you want. After a few days, we took a train to Munich. If we didn't have enough bread, we went to a city not far away, and there was a bakery. When they saw us, they gave us a loaf of bread. For free. Why? The Germans knew what they did. They knew we don't have any money, anyway.

Whom did I spend time with? I knew most of the people. A lot of people were from my hometown. But I had really one friend. I used to watch him, as he was smaller than I was. We lived together in Germany for a couple of years, till it appeared he had family in Brazil and he left. And I stayed in Munich for five years.

I remember how I made my first few dollars, some money. We went from Munich to another city, then we went to another, and we got some linen. I took some. You might call it stealing. And from there we went to Italy, I don't remember how, and in Italy, we sold the linen. We went back, and the second time, I took 10 cartons of cigarettes from American soldiers, and I sold them in Italy.

It was easy to go to Italy. You took a train. They asked you: where are you going? You said: to Palestine. It was a good excuse. And to get back to Germany, we walked. We had to walk through Alps. Somehow, I got back to Germany twice. That's how I made my first few dollars. In Bergen-Belsen, after the war, there were Jewish survivors and there used to be a black market there. We used to go there. We bought some stuff, took some train, all night, went to Hamburg, took a bus, and went there, sold some stuff... Well, it was a black market. You bought some marks, some dollars. That's how it started up. I made ten dollars, and it was a lot of money.

Why did I come back from Germany to Poland? No, not to search for anybody. I knew that the family was gone.

I went to Poland twice in 1945. I don't even remember if it was winter or summer. I came back to find out what I can do with my father's building. I was waiting in Ostrowiec for the paper that the house belongs to me. And it took a few weeks, at least 6 weeks.

I came back because of the house, but I did not go into it. Why? Oh, people lived there. I was really scared to go in there. (crying) I walked by a few times, but I was afraid to go in.

2018. Górzysta Street

Where did I stay? With a friend, on the Młyńska Street, close to our house, but closer to Aleja. There was another Jewish factory. One of the sons of the owner survived, he was older than I was, and I stayed with him.

I never went back to our house, so I didn't know anything about the leftovers of the factory including the machinery we bought before the war. About a month before the start of the war on, my father made up [an agreement] with a brewery not far from my house. They were supposed to supply beer in barrels and they even sent us machines, to fill the beer into the bottles. But since the war broke out, we didn't do anything with the machines.

After the war in Ostrowiec, there were hardly any Jews. Just a few. They opened the kitchen so that Jewish people could go and get a soup. There was a kitchen for the Jewish people; ladies cooked for us. They opened up a kitchen, just in case somebody come back to Poland. Anybody wanted some food once they came back.

I don't even remember what I did during these 6 weeks that I waited for the paper [about the ownership of the house on Gorzysta St.]. There was a memorial ceremony at the Jewish cemetery. I am not sure exactly when I came to Ostrowiec the second time after the war. I think it was after the Kielce pogrom. Some Jewish people were in Ostrowiec during that time. Not a lot, but some.

Why didn't I stay in Ostrowiec? In Ostrowiec, to stay? Oh no, I couldn't do it. Because of the memories? Yes, too. But I have nothing to do there. The atmosphere wasn't the same. The market... there was no market there. You didn't see anything new. I even met one Gentile, Wowrzek, I remember him as long as I lived as a child. He worked in our soda factory every day. He helped fill up the water tank that was on our roof. While I was at the marketplace in Ostrowiec after the war, I met him once but we didn’t spend a lot of time talking together.

Did I hear about the killing in the Fajga Krongold house? Yes. That's why I didn't stay there.

I am not saying that everybody was against the Jews. But the Poles didn't behave good, really. Even after they knew all the Jews were killed.

Did we get any help from the Polish people? No, no, no, I didn't need anything from them.

2018. Ostrowiec


The killing in the Fajga Krongold house - it was a murder committed in Spring 1945. Two young Polish men entered a house where Jewish people stayed and opened a fire.

Four Jewish people were killed and another four injured. These people were Holocaust survivors, all of them were young. Fajga Krongold, Leibl Lustig, Chaja Szpigiel and a 23-year-old woman from Ćmielów were killed, and Hersz Zylberberg, Leon Szpilman, Mania Szpilman and a fourth, unknown person were injured.

Young Polish men were members of a troops of so called cursed soldiers – anti-communist resistance. They entered Krongold's house because they believed she had a list of Polish people who contributed to the death of any Jews during the war and they wanted to take the list from her.

Leon Szpilman, injured, helped to identify attackers, but when he left hospital, he was threatened and intimidated. He and his wife Mania also weren't able to get back their house (a Polish person lived there), and finally they left Ostrowiec forever. (annotation: MP)

More (in Polish):


See previous parts:

niedziela, 27 stycznia 2019

I was sure that no-one survived. The Holocaust Years (2/3)

Jack Borenstein talks:

The Germans invaded Poland September 1, in 1939, and within about 10 days, they occupied Ostrowiec. I remember that during the first week they arrived, one night, we heard shooting that woke us up. We looked out the windows and saw that the Germans took out some of our Jewish neighbors from their home and shot them on the sidewalk. Some of the victims were communists.

After a little while, the Jews were forced to wear a band on the arm and a star on the front of the clothing with the word ‘Jude’ written on it. The Germans forced the Jews to live in a Ghetto on certain streets close to the Rynek marketplace.

I also remember that the Nazis rounded up 29 influential non-Jewish Poles and hung them one by one at the Rynek, after announcing to the residents that they should go to the square to witness the hangings.

2018. Between the marketplace and the nonexistent synagogue

The Liquidation of the Ostrowiec Ghetto in 1942
The Germans announced that all Jews should gather at the marketplace. Most went there, but some families decided to hide. After all the families assembled, they called out: whoever works in the steel mill Zakłady Ostrowieckie, should assemble near the police station (at the Floriana Square - MP).

The only reason I survived was that my father paid to get papers that I worked in the steel mill. I think he must have known something was going to happen. As I told you, no Jews ever worked there until the war. When the war started, they took in some Jews. I think they did it, because Jewish people worked for nothing. That's how I was separated from the majority of the Jews that were gathered at the square. After a few hours we marched down to the factory, to the Zakłady. That was the first I had ever went there.

The rest of the Jews were sent from the Rynek to a nearby field. There used to be a school. They kept them there for two days. I don't think they fed them.

2018. The field by the school

When I was in Zakłady working, well, it was not far away from the train station. So we did see that they loaded the people, all the Jews, on the train that took them away. That train took them to a death camp, really.

How was I sure that my family was killed? Two girls jumped from the train. They came back to Ostrowiec, but they had no place to stay, but at Zakłady Ostrowieckie, they found a place to stay, and they joined us. We knew that they jumped out because they found out that all the Jews from the train will go to crematorium. So we were sure that no one survived. I had no hope.

2018. Railway and Zakłady Ostrowieckie
After the selection (I call it a selection), they cleaned out Iłżecka Street. Since all the Jews left the houses, and most of them lived at Iłżecka or streets like this, we went back and we slept about 10-12 people in one room. Then they made barracks closer to the Zakłady Ostrowieckie, and that's where we lived till the war ended.

Labor Camp in the Zakłady Ostrowieckie
What was the life in the camp in the Zakłady Ostrowieckie? I'll tell you. I was really very shy, especially as a child, but in the camp, I was lucky with one thing. I met a woman who was a teacher of mine, and was in the camp. She knew me, and one time she asked me if I'd like to work – after my work in Zakłady – if I'd like to help out in the kitchen. And I said: yes. My job was just to cut the bread, and most of the bread was cut by the machine. So in there, I ate like a pig. I ate soup, I ate bread. And later, when they sent us to Auschwitz, I was really fat. I think that was what kept me going. It made me survive.

What was my work besides the kitchen in the Zakłady Ostrowieckie? I put the sand and other things from the wagons to the furnaces. Sometimes it was steel, sometimes something else. Sometimes 2 people, sometimes 3 or 4 people, unloaded a wagon. And when we finished, the day's work was finished and we went back to the barracks.

Auschwitz, Bombs and Hope
Towards the end of the war, they sent us to Auschwitz by train. At that time, they promised that nobody was going to be killed. We went to Auschwitz, and from Auschwitz—we stayed there for a couple of days—we went to Buna.

It was 1944, and I was in Buna. Luckily, I had a really good, easy job there. We, two or three people, had a job: whenever a bomb didn't explode, we had to clean the area. We had to find the bomb, dig it and dismantle it. And it was a day's work. Whenever I worked outside, it was not too far away from the camp. And another thing was that I worked with some British POW’s. They lived there, they worked there, and their food was good. They shared what they didn't eat. So I used to go in there and I helped myself. It lasted for a few weeks or months. That kept me going.

Was I afraid of the bombs? No, not at all. It was safe. I figured that if the bomb didn't explode, it's not going to explode. Our work was to find a bomb and dig it out. At the end of the day the Germans came and they took out the detonation. There was no risk.

The Germans, when they knew they were lost, they tried to move us from one place to another. We stopped in two or three places for a few days. I remember each one place exactly now, but I don't remember their names. They did not want to kill us because they needed people to work. So they wanted to take us further into Germany - and during that time, I was liberated. I was in Feldafing, close to Munich, in a cattlecar, when the war ended.

What happened after I was liberated? I wasn't dancing on the street because I could hardly walk. First what you need is to rest.

Feldafing was a camp of the Hitlerjugend. They cleaned it up, and they kept us in the cattlecars for at least more than half a day. We were sleeping on the floor of cattlecars. Till they organized the rooms, and each room had 10 mattresses on the floor, no bed, and it took time to prepare it. But after midnight we went in there, and then we were able to go to the washrooms. And the washing... I could hardly wash my hands, really. And then we went into the lounge room and they gave us soup and Melba toast. I ate the soup but put my toasts in my pocket. I went to my room. I laid down on the mattress and I slept a few hours. I woke up at night and I ate the Melba toast. I didn't really know that I shouldn't eat everything at once. I just didn't feel like. I was too tired to eat. I didn't feel hungry. But many people ate a lot, soup and toasts at once. They got sick and some of them died.


Interview with Ostrowiec Survivor Jack Borenstein conducted and transcribed by Monika Pastuszko
See previous parts:

czwartek, 24 stycznia 2019

These places in front of my eyes. Pre-war Ostrowiec (1/3)

Jack Borenstein talks:

You know something. Not that I don't want to know about Poland. I am still thinking about it. But the main thing is, whatever you want to find out from me, I can tell you. I am ready to answer you any question you will ask me. If I can answer it—I will.

First Memories: Home
My earliest memory? When I was a child, about 3-4 years old, we lived on a hill close to the river near the Church and near Górzysta. It was just an ordinary small brick house. Within walking distance was the mikveh and the Shul.

2013. The hill, Ostrowiec

I had one brother and 2 sisters. I was the second oldest. The oldest one was a sister: Perla Rosa. Then came me. Then another sister Faiga Tova and the youngest child, my brother Hersh Hillel. Who was my favourite? I can't really say. I got along with them all.

When I was older, I remember living at Górzysta 13, Górzysta trzynaście (Jack spells it in perfect Polish). We used to go to the lake, the market was close, too. I can see these places in front of my eyes.

2018. Górzysta 13

My Schools - Cheder, Mizrahi, Public School
When I was a child, I started my first school when I was 3 years old. It was a cheder. You went first of all for the lessons to the teacher in a house. In a Cheder, there was a Jewish teacher, and there were a few pupils, and the lessons were in the Rabbi’s house. They taught Jewish history there.

Later they built a Mizrachi school in Iłżecka street—it must be still there—and that's where I went for a couple years in the afternoons after I went to public school. Mizrahi school was different than the Cheder which was in a private house. It was really like a real school.

I walked to school by myself as a child, I was 7 years old. We had to walk down, it was quite far to go. Then you got to where the hospital was. You make a left turn, you go down the river. It was one floor rented in an apartment building, and the school was there.

I remember that we used to go to the public school there. You went down from the Młyńska street, at the back from our house. And if you go there on the right, there was a fire station. Then we had to go right to Zakłady Ostrowieckie. There was a big public school, the only public school I used to go. The class where I learnt, was in a rented building on the same street where the hospital was. I remember they sold bicycles in that building.

I never had any problems in the public school. Not that I was the best student, you know. But the school was ok. It was really 6 days a week, but Saturdays the Jewish people didn't go. And when you came on Monday, you had to know about what they learned on Saturday. So you had to find somebody, a friend, a Gentile, who would tell you what the lessons were. I don't remember though any names.

As for vacation—I used to have an uncle in Stopnica. My mother's brother lived there. And I used to go there in the summer as a child.

What friends did I have? Most of them were from the Mizrachi school. No Gentile friends, really.

There was no time to make friends. First you went to public school, let's say it was from eight am to four pm, and after the school, you had to go the Jewish school, then to Mizrachi. So you hardly had any time to have friends, unless you had friends from school. It's not that we didn't mix with others. It was just convenient to play with the closest neighbours.

At Górzysta street, where we lived, were mostly Jewish people. All my friends were Jewish. Those who lived downtown [at the lower part of the town] had more Polish friends, than those who lived where we lived.

My Homes in Ostrowiec 
It was common that three families would live in one house, or even in one room. I had an uncle, Shlomo Hirshman, who had seven children and they had only one room.

Before my father built a big house on Górzysta 13, we used to live in a house on the opposite side of the street. The house on Górzysta 13 was a big house, so it took a long time to build it. Each brick used to be carried by hand; so the higher you went, the more you had to carry. I remember they said: it will never get built.

There was a custom that before you start to build a building, you put a coin, and you cover it with a stone. So when they started to build the house, they made a hole for the foundations of the house. I remember they carried me down, and I put the coin underneath the stone. I must have been 7 years old.

Górzysta 13
The house had three floors and a basement and was built in the 30s. My father built it for our family and also for my mother’s sister, who was single and also to rent out. Every floor had four rooms, at the basement was the soda factory (which actually was the ground floor facing Mlynska street). We lived on the main floor on Górzysta 13, and there were 3 rooms: a kitchen, dining room/bedroom and a big bedroom. There was also another room that was a candy store, where my aunt managed it.

The Soda Water Factory—Our Family Business
What did my father do for a living? He made soft drinks (pop), soda water, lemonade, to drink. In the basement at the building at Górzysta street, there was our factory in the 30s. I was 8 or 10 years old and I helped out as much as I could. I worked downstairs; I washed the bottles. It used to be glass bottles, we didn't throw away anything like nowadays. So they took the bottles back, and I helped in washing, rinsing bottles, preparing them for the filling machines. You put the bottle to the machine and machine filled it. That's what I used to do, and I liked it better than school.

Did I like drinking lemonade? Oh, I really liked it! The main flavors were orange and lemonade. I used to take my friends on Saturdays, I had the key, so I took them to the factory and give them a drink. Everybody was happy. It was like to go out. A bottle of lemonade used to be about 10 groschy.

But most of it, what we used to sell, was large containers of soda water. It was soda water filled in a steel cylinder syphon for stores and restaurants that would sell by the glass. We used to deliver it to the stores. We had one or two guys; they carried it by hand.

Pre-war Jewish Occupations
Were Jewish people working in Zakłady Ostrowieckie during the good times? No, until the war started, they didn't hire any Jews, most likely because of anti-Semitism. No Jews worked there, that's all I know.

The only professions Jewish people had, were mainly tailors, shoemakers, stuff like that. And most of them had little stores. That was the trade for the Jewish people. There were a few doctors and dentists. In those times though, if you needed a tooth pulled, you could go to a barber.

But the stores were not like nowadays. They were really small. Jews used to also peddle with a horse and wagon. They used to drive around outside the city to sell stuff. That's how they made a living. It wasn't easy to make a living, though.

Jewish people, most of them, lived close and around the marketplace: the Rynek. The market days were on Mondays and Thursdays. The farmers from the surrounding area used to arrive by horse and wagon and sell chickens, vegetables, food, clothing, etc.

I remember the synagogue, it was really big. And it wasn't too far from us.  You would go up the hill to the synagogue.

But our family didn't go to the big synagogue everyday. During the week I went to school. My father wasn't that religious, and I was too young to go. I was still a child – when the war broke out I was only 15 years old – so I used to go always with my father. I know that the big synagogue was burned down and there is nothing left.

Instead of going to the big synagogue, we went on Saturdays and holidays to pray in a private home near the marketplace.

2017. The place where the synagogue once was

Jewish Polish Relations
I was a child when the war broke out but the church wasn't far away from our home. When there was some kind of Christian holiday, everybody was scared to pass by the church. You know the Poles, some of them didn't like Jews. It might have been because of the priests. I wasn't in the church, but we knew that.

Another thing is that before the war there was a campaign against Jewish stores. They put up signs not to buy in Jewish stores.

2013. Passage by the church


Interview with Ostrowiec Survivor Jack Borenstein. Conducted and transcribed by Monika Pastuszko. Part 1 of 3
See introduction >>>

środa, 23 stycznia 2019

Jack Borenstein, who lived at Górzysta Street. Introduction

(ENG below)

Jack Borenstein mieszka w Toronto, ale ciągle bezbłędnie wymawia swój ostrowiecki adres, wcale nieprosty: "Górzysta trzynaście". Ma ponad 94 lata. Był w Auschwitz i przeżył Holokaust. W Polsce nazywał się Jankiel po swoim dziadku Jankielu Borensteinie, który zginął w 1904 w pogromie ostrowieckim. Rozmawiałam z nim o jego historii.

Rozmawialiśmy przez Skype'a. Zadawałam pytania i słuchałam, jak opowiada po angielsku z lekkim jidyszowym akcentem. Polski i jidysz musiały być jego językami dzieciństwa. Jackowi byłoby pewnie wygodniej mówić w jidysz, którego jednak ja nie znam.

Opowieść jest długa, więc będzie w odcinkach. Będzie też po angielsku. Nie dla każdego to wygodne. Dla mnie i dla Jacka wygodne nie było. Ale to też nie jest historia o wygodnych relacjach.

Z Jackiem rozmawiałam dzięki Aviemu, synowi Jacka. Avi mieszka w Izraelu i stamtąd włączał kamerkę u Jacka w Toronto. Jeszcze o nim opowiem. Na razie jednak Jack. Tu link do nagrania, które zrobiła Danya, wnuczka Jacka. A jutro pierwsza część dłuższej opowieści.


Jack Borenstein lives in Toronto, but he still can pronounce his Ostrowiec address in perfect Polish. He is over 94 years old. He was in Auschwitz and survived the Holocaust. His grandfather, Jankiel Borenstein, was killed in a pogrom in Ostrowiec, and Jack was named after him. I've had a chance to talk to him.

We talked on Skype. I asked questions and listened to Jacek: his English is with a slight Yiddish accent. Polish and Yiddish had to be his first language. Jack would probably be more comfortable speaking in Yiddish, but I don't speak it.

Jack's story is long, so it will be in parts. It will be in English. I know it's not convenient for everyone. For Jack and me it was not. But it's not a story about anything convenient.

The talks were possible thanks to Avi, Jack's son. Avi lives in Israel and he turned on the Skype camera at Jack's home in Toronto. I will tell you more about Avi at the end. But now - Jack. That is interview made by Jack’s grandaughter, Danya. And tomorrow - first part of a longer story.

(Link and transcript also available at

poniedziałek, 19 marca 2018

Morderstwo w mieszkaniu Fajgi Krongold

19 marca 1945 w Ostrowcu zginęły cztery osoby, cztery zostały ranne. Mordercami byli wyklęci. IPN pisze, że była to „akcja likwidacyjna domniemanej konfidentki”.

Sytuacja bezmieszkaniowa
W styczniu 1945 Armia Czerwona wyzwoliła Ostrowiec i do miasta wracali ci, którzy ocaleli. 12 marca było w Ostrowcu ponad dwieście Żydów, "starców 15, dzieci 13, kobiet 66, mężczyzn 119", jak skrupulatnie zanotował komitet żydowski. Większość ocalałych nie miała co na siebie włożyć, niektórzy mieli tylko obozowe pasiaki i drewniaki. Większość potrzebowała pomocy lekarskiej.

Nie mieli też gdzie mieszkać. Część budynków została zburzona, część była zajęta. Spali więc razem, w tych domach, które ocalały i do których mogli wejść.  „Sytuację mieszkaniową tutejszej ludności żydowskiej (…) właściwie mówiąc, należy nazwać sytuacją bezmieszkaniową" – pisał Komitet Żydowski wiosną 1945 roku i wskazywał przykładowych winnych. "Obywatel J. z małżonką ogółem 3 osoby zajmują w domu [należącym do] ob. A. w Rynku 8 pokoi, wówczas gdy właścicielka domu nie ma gdzie głowy położyć. Obywatel K. zajmuje całe drugie piętro w domu żydowskim przy ul. Przechodniej 1, a posiada dom własny w Ostrowcu, dokąd może się przeprowadzić". Synagoga była zburzona, a dawniej gwarne ulice były martwe.

Wieczór w mieszkaniu Fajgi Krongold
Był wiosenny wieczór 19 marca 1945. W jednym z żydowskich domów, u Fajgi Krongold przy Radomskiej, dziś Sienkiewicza, siedziało kilka, może kilkanaście osób. Być niektóre tutaj nocowały, inne może przyszły się spotkać.

O zdarzeniu czytam w księdze pamięci – napiszą ją za kilka lat ci, którzy niedługo wyjadą z Ostrowca, bo nie zniosą dłużej tej ciągłej pustki i napięcia. Opisywali oni ludzi, którzy byli w domu Krongold tego dnia, przez związki rodzinne. Fajga Krongold to córka Jezekiela Krongolda, Leibl Lustig to wnuczek Rubena Szpilmana. Chaja Szajndel Szpigiel to córka Naftalego Szpigla. Mania Szpilman to żona Leona Szpilmana. Nawet po końcu świata, po Holokauście, wspominający widzą tych ludzi jako części sieci rodzinnych. Tych sieci, których już nie ma, bo z kilkunastu tysięcy osób wróciło: starców 15, dzieci 13, kobiet 66, mężczyzn 119.

Dowiaduję się też o wojennych losach tych, którzy tego dnia byli w domu Krongold. Fajga ukrywała się na aryjskich papierach jako Felicja Kwiatkowska. Podobnie Chaja Szajndel Szpigiel i 23-letnia dziewczyna z Ćmielowa. Leibl wrócił właśnie z Gleiwitz, z obozu, razem z ojcem. Przechytrzyli nazistów i przeżyli, to osiągnięcie, które udało się nielicznym.

O 19:20 do mieszkania Fajgi Krongold weszło dwóch mężczyzn. Chłopaków tak właściwie, młodych jak ci, do których przyszli. Jeden z nich nie miał jeszcze 19 lat. Eks-AK-owcy, czyli, mówiąc dzisiejszym językiem, wyklęci. Ci, co żyli prawem wilka i historia o nich milczy. A więc opowiadajmy.

Przyszli, żeby od Fajgi Krongold dostać listę Polaków, którzy w czasie wojny przyczynili się do śmierci Żydów. Taki dostali rozkaz od swoich przełożonych. Ale też uwierzyli, że Żydzi wrócili do Ostrowca nie po to, żeby znaleźć bliskich, tylko żeby się zemścić. Że ci wykończeni ludzie są potencjalnymi wrogami. I uwierzyli, że jak tę listę się Żydom odbierze, to zła, które się zdarzyło nie będzie, zniknie. Polacy, którzy przyczynili się do śmierci Żydów pozostaną bezimienni. Bezkarni.

Podobno ci dwaj chłopcy nie wiedzieli – nie spodziewali się – że tam będzie więcej osób. Myśleli, że idą we dwóch do jednej kobiety? Czy to sobie wyobrażali? Że przyprą ją do ściany, będą krzyczeć jej w twarz „dawaj listę” i ona da, i zapomni nazwiska, które na tej liście były?

Ale tam było więcej osób, nie sama Fajga. Otworzyli ogień.

Fajga, Leibl, Chaja i 23-latka z Ćmielowa

Zginęli Fajga Krongold, Leibl Lustig, Chaja Szpigiel i ta 23-latka z Ćmielowa, Hefler, której imienia nie znamy, a której matka miała już tylko ją, bo parę dni wcześniej zaginął jej mąż Rudolf.

Ranni zostali Hersz Zylberberg, Leon Szpilman, Mania Szpilman i jeszcze czwarta osoba, którego nazwiska nie znalazłam w żadnym źródle.

Leon, Mania i Hersz trafili do szpitala. Może ta czwarta osoba była lżej ranna?

Szpilman, leżąc w szpitalu, współpracował przy identyfikacji sprawców. Mordercy zostali złapani dość szybko, w kwietniu. Kiedy jednak Szpilman wyszedł ze szpitala, spotkał się z pogróżkami. W końcu dostał list polecający od Komitetu Żydowskiego i wyjechał. Na zawsze.

Inni Żydzi też chcieli wyjechać, gdy dowiedzieli się, co się zdarzyło. Nie czuli się w Ostrowcu bezpiecznie. Szef komitetu żydowskiego, Friedental, zdołał ich namówić, żeby zostali czekać na bliskich. I zostali, przez jakiś czas.

Wyklęci po długim śledztwie zostali skazani na śmierć. Wyrok wykonano w październiku 1946.

IPN: morderca represjonowany z powodów politycznych
Kiedy szukałam informacji o tym napadzie i wyroku, znalazłam wypowiedzi sugerujące, że to wszystko była prowokacja UB. Pełne żalu legendy o tym, jak utalentowany plastycznie był jeden ze skazanych (można znaleźć jego grafiki).

Wypowiedział się też IPN. Nazwisko jednego z morderców znajduje się w IPN na indeksie represjonowanych w PRL z powodów politycznych.

„Represjonowany z powodów politycznych”, bo działa swoista zasada domniemania niewinności osób skazanych w tamtych czasach. A trupy ich ofiar leżą.

Jeden z badaczy w publikacji IPN pisze o tym morderstwie: „z akt sprawy wynika, że miała to być akcja likwidacyjna domniemanej konfidentki, wykonana na rozkaz bliżej nieokreślonej podziemnej organizacji.” Badacz, wierny domniemaniu niewinności ofiar stalinowskich, woli nazwać morderstwo akcją likwidacyjną, a zamordowaną Żydówkę – domniemaną konfidentką. Jest konfidentką, bo mogłaby wskazać władzom tych, którzy przyczynili się śmierci Żydów? Autor woli odmówić współczucia ofiarom, niż przytaknąć stalinowskim aktom sprawy, z których wynika, że wyklęci zamordowali cztery niewinne osoby.

Zgodnie z ustawą o działaczach opozycji antykomunistycznej, osoby represjonowane w PRL dostają co miesiąc ponad 400 zł. Jaka szkoda, że ci dwaj mordercy zostali tak okrutnie zostali skazani na śmierć i nie mogą odebrać honorów finansowych. Na szczęście jest Narodowy Dzień Żołnierzy Wyklętych.

Korzystałam z następujących źródeł:
Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Polsce im. Emanuela Ringelbluma,  Komitet Żydowski w Ostrowcu Świętokrzyskim (AŻIH 359/7) – fotokopie dokumentów Komitetu Żydowskiego: notatek, pism, listów polecających.
"Ostrowiec. A Monument on the Ruins of an Annihilated Jewish Community", red. G. Silberberg, M. S. Geshuri, Tel Aviv 1971.
W. Brociek, R. Renz, A. Penkalla „Żydzi ostrowieccy. Zarys dziejów”, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski 1996.
Ryszard Śmietanka-Kruszelnicki „Podziemie antykomunistyczne wobec Żydów po 1945 roku - wstęp do problematyki (na przykładzie województwa kieleckiego)”. W: „Z przeszłości Żydów polskich. Polityka - gospodarka - kultura - społeczeństwo”. Red. Jacek Wijaczka, Grzegorz Miernik. Kraków 2005.

czwartek, 17 sierpnia 2017

Mur z macew

W Ostrowcu jest mur z nagrobków wokół cmentarza komunalnego. To trudny temat i w Ostrowcu rozmowa o tym też idzie trudno, nie w tą stronę, co potrzeba. Idzie w stronę konfliktu.

O tym jest mój tekst „Mur z macew”, opublikowany dzisiaj na Krytyce Politycznej. Jest też o rozwiązaniach.

niedziela, 2 kwietnia 2017

„Mój dziadek narodowiec, mój żydowski ojciec” – wywiad z Moniką Sznajderman

Z Moniką Sznajderman rozmawiałam o jej książce „Fałszerze pieprzu. Historia rodzinna”.Wywiad ukazał się dzisiaj na portalu „Krytyki Politycznej”.

Podobno są w wywiadzie rzeczy, których nie ma w książce ani w innych wywiadach. Tym bardziej więc polecam.