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Personal Memoirs, Testimonies and Diaries

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

RG-01.01, Irena Lusky Collection

RG-01.02, Nika Fleissig papers

RG-01.03, Collection of Dachau diaries and letters

RG-01.04, Anna Przeworska-Pratt papers

RG-01.05, Siegfried Halbreich papers

RG-01.06, Barry Ziff papers

RG-01.07, Erica Leon Testimony

RG-01.08, Anna Lipszyc papers

RG-01.09, Betti Gerard papers

RG-01.10, Marta Mitdank testimony

RG-01.11, Dawid Gertler papers

RG-01.12, Ludwik Hirshfeld memoir

RG-01.13, Josef Broide papers

RG-01.14, Henryk Gliksman papers

RG-01.15, Alice Schragai memoir

RG-01.16, Central Committee of Liberated Jews in U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany papers

RG-01.17, Otto Herskovic memoir

RG-01.18, John van Huzun wartime diary the Netherlands

RG-01.19, Rysia Edelman, Wartime Memoir, Poland

RG-01.20, Ernest (Jacob) Lorant memoir, Hungary



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Personal Memoirs, Testimonies and Diaries, 1918 -- 1996 | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

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Collection Overview

Title: Personal Memoirs, Testimonies and Diaries, 1918 -- 1996Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1920s -- 1950s

ID: RG-01/RG-01

Primary Creator: Lusky, Irena (ca. 1925-)

Other Creators: Broide, Josef, Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the US zone of occupation in Germany (1945 -- 1952), Epstein, Estera, Fleissig, Nika (1919-), Gerard, Betti (1934-), Gertler, Dawid, Gliksman, Henryk, Halbreich, Siegfried (1909-), Herskovic, Otto, Hirszfeld, Ludwik (1884-1954), Jonski, Jozef (1912-), Legal Department of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the US Zone of Occupation in Germany, Leon, Erica, Lipszyc, Anna (1918-), Mitdank, Marta, Schragai, Alice, van Huzun, John, Ziff, Barry

Extent: 0.0

Arrangement:

The arrangement scheme for the record group was imposed during processing in the absence of an original order. Materials are arranged by creator, then by identifier, as assigned by the processor.

Record group is comprised of thirteen collections and five items, the collections of which are: 1. Nika Fleissig papers; 2. Collection of Dachau diaries and letters; 3. Anna Przeworska-Pratt papers; 4. Siegfried Halbreich papers; 5. Barry Ziff papers; 8. Anna Lipszyc papers; 9. Betty Gerard papers; 10. Dawid Gertler papers; 11. Josef Brojde papers; 12. Henryk Gliksman papers; 13. Central Committee of Liberated Jews in U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany papers.

Subjects: Accusation and suspicion of collaboration in the Holocaust, Allied Military and Civil administration in Germany, Collaboration in ghettos, collaboration in the Holocaust, Collaboration of Jewish Administration in the Holocaust, Immigration to Israel, Immigration to United States, Jewish-Gentile relations, Jewish courts of honor, Jewish courts of honor--Munich (Germany), Legal defense in the Jewish courts of Honor, Means of adaptation and survival in concentration camps, Means of adaptation and survival in the ghettos, personal diaries, postwar life in Europe, survival tactics

Forms of Material: Diaries--Wartime, Memoirs, Memoirs--Post-WWII, Personal memoirs and recollections, Personal testimonies

Languages: English, German, Polish, Yiddish

Abstract

This Record Group is composed of 18 sub-record groups, all devoted to personal and collective memoirs and testimonies, recorded soon after the Second World War. There a few narratives narrated during the wartime.

They reflect various aspects of prewar life, survival under Nazi occupation: ghetto and camp experience, hiding, false identity, resistance activity, liberation, and immigration to the countries of current residence. There are several diaries kept in the camp, ghetto, and in the partisan unit. The original records are in English, German, Polish, and Yiddish. Largely, the documents are partially or fully translated in English. Sub-groups or individual collections within this record group comprise original documents, photographs, artifacts, as well as non-original copies and secondary publications.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The record group contains memoirs, testimonies, and other recollections written before, during, and after the war. They reflect various aspects of prewar life, survival under Nazi occupation--ghetto and camp experience, hiding, false identity, resistance activity--liberation, and immigration. There are several diaries kept in the camp, ghetto, and in the partisan unit. The collections also comprise of original documents, photographs, artifacts, digitized materials, as well as non-original copies and secondary source publications.

Largely, the documents are partially or fully translated in English, but there are also original documents in German, Polish, and Yiddish.

Collection Historical Note

This macro Record Group comprises archival narratives, photodocuments, correspondences and other form of wartime recollections. It is subdivided into 18 sub-record groups. Largely, it is unified by the common theme, that is, reflections on the Holocaust. These narrated reflections vary content and form. Overall, they describe, personal, family and community experience during and after the Holocaust. These narratives are penned by Jewish, non-Jewish authors, as well as by the Jewish organizations and officials. All 18 sub-record groups are unified by a common denominator, namely the analysis and insight of the personally experienced tragedy of the Holocaust, War and postwar difficulties.

Biographical Note

Irena Lusky, née Deuel, was born ca. 1925 in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania in an upper middle-class, well educated, and assimilated Jewish family. She describes her childhood experiences in the well-off family focusing on the interfamily relations between herself, her parents, her grandparents, and her sister. Further, Irena Lusky’s narrative depicts a certain strata of Jewish intelligentsia of interwar Lithuania.

The period of 1940-1941, during the Soviet annexation of Lithuania, is reflected through the prism of a young adult’s comprehension of social and political changes taking place in mundane life, as well as of the events jeopardizing the very existence of their family. The latter is related to their arrest and initial stage of deportation, and their release from the transport to Siberia at the last moment. The Deuel family was freed due to the influential intervention of Dr. Finkelstein, an old family friend, who was in high esteem by the new Communist government of Lithuania.

The Deuel family was exposed to the war hardships from the first day, June 22, 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. After a failed flight attempt, they returned to German-occupied Vilnius (Vilna). While en route to Vilnius, they were arrested several times. Although, at that initial stage of German occupation, it was still possible for them to be released from jail either with the help of bribery or simply appealing to “a good German.”

Irena Lusky describes the life in the Vilna ghetto from two perspectives: first and foremost as a young adult experiencing all ghetto hardships and second, to a lesser extent, as a memoir writer of late 1970s. This latter perspective shows the post-Holocaust interpretations together with the author’s personal reckoning. Overall, this combination of two uncorrelated perspectives culminates in the authentic and independent account with regard to the various sides of ghetto life. Ghetto inhabitants, Judenrat members, resistance activities, German authorities, and numerous existential situations are reflected in the narrative. The reader will find among other such reflections, the author’s insights on Jewish leadership as a whole and specifically on such controversial figure as Jacob Gens, the head of the Judenrat and the Jewish Police Force in the ghetto.  The Wittenberg Affair is also accounted as the author’s first-hand experience.

Irena was also only indirectly involved in the FPO (Fareinikte Partizaner Organizatsie—United Partisan Organization) and therefore did not join its members in escaping from the ghetto into the forest to continue the partisan struggle. The FPO decided to leave the ghetto before it was liquidated. The Deuel family survived the liquidation of the ghetto only to face German selection. In September 1943, the remaining ghetto inhabitants were taken outside the city into an open field called Rossa for the selection. The first stage of selection separated male and female family members. Irena would never see again her Father, Dr. Finkelstein, and her boyfriend Gamek Sturman. The next stage of selection resulted in the separation of Irena and Tamara from their mother. The Germans directed the daughters to the right, while their mother was sent to the left.  The sisters sensed that “right” meant life and some hope, while the people sent on the left were doomed. Irena remembers how her mother was calmed and pleased by seeing the daughters on the life side. Irena and Tamar Deuel were deported to the Kaiserwald concentration camp near Riga, Latvia.

After a ten-week imprisonment in Kaiserwald, Irena and Tamara were transferred to the AEG factory in Riga, a labor camp officially referred as Riga-Strasdenhof camp, where they lived at worked. The conditions there were slightly better than in the Kaiserwald camp. In 1944, with the Soviet Army nearing Riga, the Germans evacuated AEG labor camp to Toruń (Thorn), Poland. Here, another underground factory was to be set up in the former castle, designated as “Fort 13.” Irena Deuel (Lusky) remained in Thorn-AEG, the official camp name, through December 1944. At the end of December 1944, the female prisoners of the Thorn-AEG camp were forced to march west, in the direction of Germany. Being badly wearied and ultimately starved, the prisoners were compelled to keep pace under German command.

Irena Deuel managed to escape from the forced march when the column was passing the city of Bydgoszcz (Bromberg), Poland. She ran up to a house and begged for shelter. Only after the long persuasion, a Polish woman let Irena in. After a week of hiding, in January 1945, the entering Soviet Army liberated Irena and the other girls at their hideout. Wandering through the streets of Bydgoszcz, Irena met her sister Tamara and other girls from the camp. Soon after their group left Bydgoszcz for central Poland and headed for Lublin, then a Polish provisional capital. In Lublin Irena learned that her Mother, Father, and Gamek had not survived. Her father was killed in the Klooga concentration camp, Estonia. Her mother was gassed in Majdanek concentration camp, and Gamek died of typhus.

It was in Lublin that Irena, Tamara, and a few other Jewish girls joined the Bricha Movement (an organized Jewish illegal immigration movement from East-Central Europe through the allied-occupied zones to the British-Mandate Palestine). Eventually Irena met the former Vilna Jewish partisan commander Abba Kovner, who was in charge of Bricha operations in East-Central Europe. This meeting played a decisive role in her future when she made a commitment to Palestine, her eventual Jewish home. In total, Irena’s journey to Palestine lasted from March 1945 to January 1946. After a year and a half of wandering through Romania, Hungary, Austria, and Italy, their group finally arrived in the British-mandated Palestine in January 1946. She, as thousands of others at that time, was an illegal Jewish immigrant brought there by the means of another clandestine Jewish movement-- Aliyah Bet, under the patronization of the Jewish Brigade. Upon their arrival to Haifa, the British authorities interned all the repatriates from their ship in the Atlit internment camp.

Eventually the Jewish Agency provided the internees with appropriate papers, and the British set them free. Her first encounter with fellow Jews in a kibbutz was a disappointment to Irena’s expectations and visions for a free and peaceful life in her Jewish state. Irena highly resented the indifference the locals showed to the newcomers in particular, and to the fate of European Jewry during the Holocaust in general.

It was not until Irena Deuel met Maikel Levin in the summer of 1946 that she began to feel differently about herself and the people around her.  Confidence, sympathy, and hope had again filled her life. Having met Maikel at the party, she moved to the Beit Zera kibbutz, on the bank of the Jordan River, near the Sea of Galilee, to be with him. Maikel was a real pioneer and a patriot of the Land. His love helped Irena to appreciate the land and people of Israel. She soon married Maikel and for a while, the couple continued to live at the kibbutz. Irena did not fit into kibbutz work and although she tried her best, kibbutzniks were not satisfied with her. Eventually, it was Maikel’s decision to leave the kibbutz and settle down in a town.

They settled in Givatayim and with the help of a friend Maikel found a job and an apartment. Although they lacked money and situation of the country worsened with every day, they were happy. Adding to this happiness, she became pregnant and looked with hope to the future. On 14 May 1948, independence and establishment of the Jewish State in Eretz-Israel was proclaimed. The war for independence had begun. As a Haganah soldier, Maikel was called up for service. He had to arrive to the Recruitment Center on 18 May 1948. He left home in the morning heading first for work and then, after the workday, to the Recruitment Center. The war between the Israelis and Arabs had already begun, with Jerusalem under siege and local skirmishes beginning to erupt in many places. On that day, 18 May 1948, an explosion at the Central Bus Station, perpetrated by the terrorists, killed Maikel Levin. Irena remained unaware of his fate until the next morning. She was then eight-month pregnant.

In a month Irena gave birth to a girl, but was going through an extremely hard time and suffered mentally and physically. As she recalls, “I was hardly alive, little I comprehended what was going around me.” She could not even take care of her daughter Michal. Eventually time cured her wounds; she remarried to Shimon Lusky, and gave birth to another child, a son. In the 1970s, she was still living in Israel, her past never having left her. She took up this writing with the intention to separate herself from this burden and to place her personal vision, recollections, and reflections in a literary, truthful, and intimate account of her and her time.

Subject/Index Terms

Accusation and suspicion of collaboration in the Holocaust
Allied Military and Civil administration in Germany
Collaboration in ghettos
collaboration in the Holocaust
Collaboration of Jewish Administration in the Holocaust
Immigration to Israel
Immigration to United States
Jewish-Gentile relations
Jewish courts of honor
Jewish courts of honor--Munich (Germany)
Legal defense in the Jewish courts of Honor
Means of adaptation and survival in concentration camps
Means of adaptation and survival in the ghettos
personal diaries
postwar life in Europe
survival tactics

Administrative Information

Repository: Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Access Restrictions: No restrictions

Use Restrictions:

Copyrighted materials, credits to and references to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust are required

Digital copies might be available upon request

Preferred Citation: RG-01, Personal Memoirs, Testimonies and Diaries. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Archive.

Processing Information: Materials are primarily described using the local descriptive standards of the LA Museum of the Holocaust.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: RG-01.01, Irena Lusky Collection, 1976 -- 1977],
[Sub-Collection 2: RG-01.02, Nika Fleissig papers, ca. 1920-1989],
[Sub-Collection 3: RG-01.03, Collection of Dachau diaries and letters, 1933-1945],
[Sub-Collection 4: RG-01.04, Anna Przeworska-Pratt papers, 1939 -1973],
[Sub-Collection 5: RG-01.05, Siegfried Halbreich papers, 1939 -- 1970s],
[Sub-Collection 6: RG-01.06, Barry Ziff papers, 1944-1945],
[Sub-Collection 7: RG-01.07, Erica Leon Testimony],
[Sub-Collection 8: RG-01.08, Anna Lipszyc papers, 1939 -- 1946],
[Sub-Collection 9: RG-01.09, Betti Gerard papers, 1936-1949],
[Sub-Collection 10: RG-01.10, Marta Mitdank testimony, 15 October 1946],
[Sub-Collection 11: RG-01.11, Dawid Gertler papers, 1948-1949],
[Sub-Collection 12: RG-01.12, Ludwik Hirshfeld memoir, 1946],
[Sub-Collection 13: RG-01.13, Josef Broide papers, 1979],
[Sub-Collection 14: RG-01.14, Henryk Gliksman papers, 1948-1949],
[Sub-Collection 15: RG-01.15, Alice Schragai memoir, 21 January 1982],
[Sub-Collection 16: RG-01.16, Central Committee of Liberated Jews in U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany papers, 1946-1949],
[Sub-Collection 17: RG-01.17, Otto Herskovic memoir, 1946],
[Sub-Collection 18: RG-01.18, John van Huzun wartime diary the Netherlands, 1944-1945],
[Sub-Collection 19: RG-01.19, Rysia Edelman, Wartime Memoir, Poland],
[Sub-Collection 20: RG-01.20, Ernest (Jacob) Lorant memoir, Hungary, 1944-1946],
[All]

Sub-Collection 3: RG-01.03, Collection of Dachau diaries and letters, 1933-1945Add to your cart.
This collection is comprised of secondary publications and photocopies of reports and personal papers related to the concentration camp, Dachau. Also included in this collection are letters from Jozef Jonski, while in Dachau concentration camp where he was incarcerated, to his aunt in Lodz. Four letters were written in German in compliance with camp regulations, and the last letter was written in Polish after liberation.
Language of Materials: German, Polish, and English
Subject/Index Terms:
Nazi concentration camps in Germany
CIC Detachment
Dachau (Concentration camp)
International Prisoners' Committee
Jewish history
OSS Section (Intelligence Services)
Prisoner diaries
Prisoners in the camps
Prisoner letters
Prisoner testimonies
PWB Section
Second World War
Seventh U.S. Army
Lodz (Poland)
Jonski, Jozef
Political prisoners, Polish
Nowak, Bronislawa
Civilians, Polish
Quinn, Colonel William W.
U.S. Military Personnel
Jonski, Regina
Liberation of concentration camps
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
United States. Army Air Forces. Air Force, 7th. (1945)
Collection of Folder-Level 1: RG-01.03.01, Dachau Diaries and Testimonies, 1940 -- 1945Add to your cart.

These reports were compiled by the following special units of the Seventh US Army in 1945: OSS Section, PWB Section, and CIC Detachment. Initially the reports were published in 1945, and then reprinted in 1970s and 1980s. The Reports comprise a fragment of a personal Diary of E.K., a prisoner of Dachau Concentration Camp and a Testimony of E.H. with regard to her Auschwitz experience. The Reports conclude with the Special Case Reports (the cases of interrogated Nazi officials) and a Miscellaneous Section with statistics on the prisoner population and the list of the members of the International Prisoners’ Committee.

Colonel William W. Quinn of the 7th US Army, a general compiler, wrote in the introduction to these Reports: “The Reports remain substantially as they were submitted in the belief that to consolidate this material in a single literary style would seriously weaken its realism.” These reports together with the included photographs address multifaceted themes in respect to the functions of the camp and the townspeople’s reaction to everything related to its existence.

Subject/Index Terms:
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Prisoner diaries
Prisoner recollecions
Auschwitz (Concentration camp)--Complex of concentration and extermination camps
US Military intelligence
Office of Strategic Services (OSS), United States intelligence agency formed in the Second World War
Creators:
Quinn, William W. (William Wilson) (1907-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 1: RG-01.03.01.01, Diary of E.K., 1940 --1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
A Diary kept in Dachau concentration camp by a prisoner who signed the narrative E.K. This Diary was dicovere by US military personnel and made published in 1945.
Subject/Index Terms:
Prisoner diaries
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Prisoner recollecions
interrogation technique, Nazi-German concentration camps
Relations between prisoners in Nazi-German concentration camps
Relations between prisoners-functionaries and ordinary prisoners
Administration of Nazi German concentration camps
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 2: RG-01.03.01.02, Statement of E.H., 1942 -- 1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
This testimony written under initials E.H. reflects a prisoner experience in Auschwitz and Dachau concentrationcams. The narrator exposes the structure and of the concentration camps, the interrogation technique, relations between the camp administration and prisoners, as well as relations between prisoners
Subject/Index Terms:
Administration of Nazi German concentration camps
Relations between prisoners-functionaries and ordinary prisoners
Relations between prisoners in Nazi-German concentration camps
interrogation technique, Nazi-German concentration camps
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Auschwitz (Concentration camp)--Complex of concentration and extermination camps
Prisoner diaries
Prisoner recollecions
Office of Strategic Services (OSS), United States intelligence agency formed in the Second World War
Creators:
Quinn, William W. (William Wilson) (1907-)
Collection of Folder-Level 2: RG-01.03.02, Jozef Jonski Collection, 1944 --1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Józef Jonski, a Polish prisoner, was incarcerated in Dachau Concentration Camp. He was born on July 7, 1912. Józef Jonski was incarcerated in the camp Dachau K3, in the Block 18/I. His personal camp number was 11781. This Collection comprises five letters. Four letters are written on the following dates: 18 June 1944; 16 July 1944; 3 September 1944; 1 October 1944. All are written in German, on the camp’s stationary. They passed camp’s censorship. All letters are addressed to his aunt Bronislawa Nowak. The fifth letter, also addressed to Bronislawa Nowak, is written in Polish. It is dated May 2, 1945, which was the third day after US armed forces liberated the camp.

RG-01.03.02.01: Józef Jonski, first letter from Dachau Concentration Camp to his sister Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. In German. Dated 18 June 1944.

Translation:

18 June 1944

My dear aunt,

I hoped that you would remember me, and I was very pleased when I learned that you did. I write to tell you that I received your package and I heartily thank you for it. At the same time, I report to you that I do not want anything, and if I could ask something of you, it is only for you to send me a letter from time to time to tell me how things are there. The package honestly made me so happy, as if little morsels that I still miss, were there, and I would be made even happier if I could receive from you [pl.] a letter, my loves. Four years have already gone by and I have forgotten how you [pl.] look and surely all of you at home have already forgotten me. Then from whom should I learn about it?

Regina had always written seldom and not very nicely to the point that the letters were without meaning, and for some time, she has completely stopped writing. If I could ask something of you, dearest aunt, could you go to her and learn why she does not write? Perhaps she does not want to, or she has another. If it is so, write me without nebulousness, because such occurrences do reach here often enough. I would not have been surprised if it were so, and I would just like to know what is happening to the child. The child is mine and one should not try […]

I think about you as well, what is happening to you, and if I will have leniency, I will calm myself.

I also received a letter from Kornelia and it please me that she copied (sic!) and is good with children. Please tell her that I thank her and to please write more clearly.

Greetings and kisses for Irenka and Sosia. Heartfelt thanks for aunt Ellazeseroska [?] with the children and uncle Ess. [?]

Please write me to tell me about what Stefan and Uncle are doing? And how is Irenka feeling? She was always sick…is she healthy now? And lovely aunt, you were also always sick – you must tell me everything. I kiss and hug you tight my dear aunt with your [essans?]. Your always loving Jozef.

RG-01.03.02.02: Józef Jonski, second letter from Dachau Concentration Camp to his aunt  Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. In German. Dated 16 July 1944.

16 July 1944

Dear Aunt,

I received your letter on the 3rd of July and I thank you greatly for it. This letter has greatly changed my life and has inflicted deep wounds on my heart because what I have assumed , though I was not sure and would never have believed if someone else had written to me. So, my dear Aunt, after all that I has happened to me, she does not want to go on with me and I now have contempt for her. Although I must confess to you, my dear Aunt, that I had loved her so much, that it is difficult to get an idea. She was my first and only and, apart from her, I have never had another woman. It seems that without her, it will be hard for me to carry on with my life. If she were to have died, I would not be able to live without her. But when she leaves in this manner, then I no longer want to hear anything more from her because I have already enough ambition and will to preserve. And now she has no place in my memory. Beloved Aunt, on 5th July I received another package from you that gave me the greatest joy of my life. Never in my life was I so overjoyed as now, when I saw what I would have hoped for. And long, long afterwards I cried, alone. What was that, joy or regret. I thank you my dear aunt for your remembering of me, and for what you have done for me I do not have the words to thank you. And please don’t worry about me and if you have to give up something from yourselves in order to send something to me, I do not want anything besides the letters you send me every two weeks. Nothing more. Understood.

Beloved and dear Irenka! Dear God will reward you for the joy you have brought up in me. You asked me if I would include you in a circle of my good friends, but I have none and you are the first I, with tears, have seen. You have put the radiance back in my life and refreshingly poured your soul into my woe. Greetings! You can write a few words to me because the greatest joy here is when one receives a letter and thus far I have only received two letters. Please tell Regina that I already know everything and she should give you my suit because I do not have one and will need one when I come back. You must remove everything that would remind me of her. Kisses to my beloved Wiesia [name] and tell Wiesia that Daddy will soon be home and will be with her. Kisses and hugs to you all, especially for Trenki [?]. I send greetings to Aunt …. [illegible] with children and for Kornelia. I kiss you with love, your Josef.

RG-01.03.02.03: Józef Jonski, third letter from Dachau Concentration Camp to his sister Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. In German. Dated 3 September 1944.

3 September 1944

My dear aunt,

I received your letter from 13.8 on 20.8. Throughout the entire time, I thought that you [pl.] did not want to write to me, because it was some time before I received the letter. For the second time, please write to me once every two weeks, regardless of whether I have received the last.

Please don’t assume that I’m angry since I have not written, but I -------, first I must change the address and after I have changed the address I will write the rest. And now, my dear aunt, please don’t worry about how I am doing. I don’t worry myself and about Regina and please don’t remind me of her. She is dead to me and it is a shame that I had not known about her. But it is good the way it is, I do not need a woman. When one is single one feels better and one should do what one wants.

The best thing is to be healthy and, if you could, let me know how you [pl] look and, thanks to God, I feel good and healthy, and I would like to ask the Almighty to keep me in this condition.

For my part, I wish you all the best, health, and strength until the coming reunion.

I received the package but the bread was bad and I had to throw it in the oven. When you send me a package, please do a better job of drying the bread and do not put the fruits in the middle so it does not get moldy.

Dearest Irenka, I’m waiting for the letter you promised. I only want to hear something from you. You write only about me and Regina and that is not good. I have to know something about how you live there and what you do and all that you are involved in. I thank you for a few words. I greet you and kiss you dearly, along with Aunt and Uncle. Josef.

RG-01.03.02.04: Józef Jonski, forth letter from Dachau Concentration Camp to his sister Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. In German. Dated 1 October 1944.

1 October 1944

My beloved aunt,

I was overjoyed when I received your letter because it is the nicest thing to have something from home here. I thank you for the package; it was very good and not at all spoiled and I thank you greatly for that.

It pleases me that all of you are still healthy, I only want to know about how things with Wiesia are; is she healthy? Does she still think about me? Or do you know what she is concerned about?

I am healthy but I would feel better if I could know something about my little daughter.

Please write to me about all that happens to you. It is already five years since I have seen you all and Wiesia must already be a pretty young girl; Oh! How I would like to see here, but when? And will I see her? Only almighty God knows that. Irenka, I thank you greatly for the pages which made me very happy and I would like you to always write something happy in each letter.

I thank you all for what you have done for me and please always write.

Please send heartfelt greetings to Aunt Marczewska and children, also kisses and greetings to Kornelia and children. Please send greetings to all of my acquaintances as well.

Heartfelt kisses and special hugs to my dear cousin Irenka.

Many kisses and hugs for my dearest child Wiesia. Tell her that her father always thinks about her and when he comes back he will stay with her always..

Yours always loving Josef

RG-01.03.02.05: Józef Jonski, fifth letter written after liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp to his aunt Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. In Polish. Dated 2 May 1945.

Page 1.

Dachau, 05.02.1945*

Dear Auntie!

    This is the first time I am writing to you in Polish which makes me very happy and I think  it makes you happy too. So far I am healthy despite all predictions (lit.: ”prophecies”— PH) that I was too weak to survive what we went through here, and what we went through here no one who didn’t go through it will believe. We thank God that in the last moment he sent us the saviors, Americans.

If the Americans were one day late none of us would be writing to our families ever again.

The day of our liberation will always remain in my memory (lit.: ”will remain in my memory for ages”— PH), for if one lived through such day, one will never forget it.

We were liberated on Sunday, the 29th of April at 5:25 (please, note that it’s impossible to gather from the original text whether the author meant 5:25 AM or PM—PH).

No one died on that day except for one who was killed by the bullet intended for a German and those who died of hunger. You have to know that 300 to 400 hundred people were dying of hunger here every day. There were thirty two thousands of us in the camp; most of those are walking or lying, unable to get up skeletons. Apart from that, there are about five thousand of those shot by the Germans lying in the crematorium.

Page 2.

The same fate was to meet us but their (“the Germans”—PH) time was through.

I won’t be writing much more, for I am running out of time (meaning unclear — PH).

It’s very chaotic here because of this suddenly reclaimed freedom.

So far we are still in Dachau. Once we get transported somewhere else I will write you about all the stories of this hell on Earth. As for now, I am saying „hello” to everybody, for I don’t know when

I will be back. According to the latest news no sooner than in two, three months.

Please, say “hello” to Wiesia from me; tell her that I kiss her and soon will come back to her.

Hugs and kisses to Irenka, Rozia, you Auntie and Uncle.

Same goes to Kornel and the kids and the Marczewskis.

Once again, be well and I kiss you all.

Yours,

Jozef Jonski

* Please, note that when writing the date the Poles as well as many Europeans give precedence to the day before the month. Therefore the date in Mr. Jonski’s letter (2.05.’45) is not the 5th of February but the 2nd of May.

It should be clear from the letter anyway, since he is writing the letter in the wake of liberation which he states to be the 29th of April.

Subject/Index Terms:
Prisoner letters
prisoner correspondence
correspondence to and from concentration camps
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Liberation of concentration camps
Prisoner family affairs
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 1: RG-01.03.02.01, Józef Jonski, first letter from Dachau to his aunt, Bronislawa Nowak, 18 June 1944, 18 June 1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The document contains the first letter written by Jozef Jonski from Dachau Concentration Camp to his aunt Bronislawa Nowak in Lodz. The document is in German
Subject/Index Terms:
Jonski, Jozef
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Personal correspondence
Personal memoirs and recollections
Personal testimonies
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 2: RG-01.03.02.02, Józef Jonski, second letter from Dachau to his aunt, Bronislawa Nowak, 16 July 1944, 16 July 1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The document contains the second letter from Jozef Jonski written in Dachau Concentration Camp sent to Bronislawa Nowak. The document is in German
Subject/Index Terms:
Dachau (Germany: Concentration Camp)
Jonski, Jozef
Personal correspondence
Personal memoirs and recollections
Personal testimonies
correspondence to and from concentration camps
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 3: RG-01.03.02.03, Józef Jonski, third letter from Dachau to his aunt, Bronislawa Nowak, 3 September 1944, 3 September 1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The document contains a letter from Jozef Jonski in Dachau Concentration Camp to Bronislawa Nowak. The document is in German
Subject/Index Terms:
Dachau (Germany: Concentration Camp)
Personal correspondence
Personal memoirs and recollections
Personal testimonies
Jonski, Jozef
correspondence to and from concentration camps
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 4: RG-01.03.02.04, Józef Jonski, fourth letter from Dachau to his aunt, Bronislawa Nowak, 1 October 1944, 1 October 1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The document contains the fourth letter sent from Jozef Jonski in Dachau Concentration Camp to Bronislawa Nowak. The document is in German
Subject/Index Terms:
Personal correspondence
Personal memoirs and recollections
Personal testimonies
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Jonski, Jozef
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 5: RG-01.03.02.05, Józef Jonski, fifth letter written after liberation of Dachau to his aunt Bronislawa Nowak, 2 May 1945, 2 May 1945Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The document contains the fifth letter sent from Jozef Jonski in Dachau Concentration Camp to Bronislawa Nowak. The letter is written after the Americans liberated the camp. The document is in Polish
Subject/Index Terms:
Dachau (Concentration camp)
Personal correspondence
Personal memoirs and recollections
Personal testimonies
Jonski, Jozef
Creators:
Jonski, Jozef (1912-)

Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: RG-01.01, Irena Lusky Collection, 1976 -- 1977],
[Sub-Collection 2: RG-01.02, Nika Fleissig papers, ca. 1920-1989],
[Sub-Collection 3: RG-01.03, Collection of Dachau diaries and letters, 1933-1945],
[Sub-Collection 4: RG-01.04, Anna Przeworska-Pratt papers, 1939 -1973],
[Sub-Collection 5: RG-01.05, Siegfried Halbreich papers, 1939 -- 1970s],
[Sub-Collection 6: RG-01.06, Barry Ziff papers, 1944-1945],
[Sub-Collection 7: RG-01.07, Erica Leon Testimony],
[Sub-Collection 8: RG-01.08, Anna Lipszyc papers, 1939 -- 1946],
[Sub-Collection 9: RG-01.09, Betti Gerard papers, 1936-1949],
[Sub-Collection 10: RG-01.10, Marta Mitdank testimony, 15 October 1946],
[Sub-Collection 11: RG-01.11, Dawid Gertler papers, 1948-1949],
[Sub-Collection 12: RG-01.12, Ludwik Hirshfeld memoir, 1946],
[Sub-Collection 13: RG-01.13, Josef Broide papers, 1979],
[Sub-Collection 14: RG-01.14, Henryk Gliksman papers, 1948-1949],
[Sub-Collection 15: RG-01.15, Alice Schragai memoir, 21 January 1982],
[Sub-Collection 16: RG-01.16, Central Committee of Liberated Jews in U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany papers, 1946-1949],
[Sub-Collection 17: RG-01.17, Otto Herskovic memoir, 1946],
[Sub-Collection 18: RG-01.18, John van Huzun wartime diary the Netherlands, 1944-1945],
[Sub-Collection 19: RG-01.19, Rysia Edelman, Wartime Memoir, Poland],
[Sub-Collection 20: RG-01.20, Ernest (Jacob) Lorant memoir, Hungary, 1944-1946],
[All]


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