Name of deponent: Dawid Fischer
Born: Chrzanow 1910
Recorded by: Bauminger
The Murder of the Plaszow children
From the testimony of my friend who is now living in Germany
(about 1945), I know some details about the Aktion concerning
the children in Plaszow. It was seen during the building
of a guard tower.
On a board placed over a dug grave were placed 4 to 5 children.
Then, struck by rifle shots, they fell into the grave. If
any were crying, a soldier beat them with a spade. It happened
that children fell into the grave though they were neither
killed nor wounded. They were then buried alive. The grave
was filled with lime by seven Jewish gravediggers.
An eye-witness was also the Polish person, Stanislaw Pietruszka,
who was watched the executions from an observation tower.
He says that even several hours later, the ground moved.
The Ghetto of Sosnowiec (Srodula).
I was in the Sosnowiec ghetto. Jews from Sosnowiec were
driven to Srodula (working men’s district). The poor people
there lived in terrible conditions. Rich people and officials
from "Judenrat" had comfortable apartments and
they didn't work. They lived in very good conditions while
poor people were dying of hunger. If a Gestapo man came
into the ghetto, panic resulted.
All the people hid in bunkers. There was an appointed guard
day and night, who watched if there the Gestapo soldiers
came. If there were in the ghetto noise from an engine or
light in a shed of the military school in Srodula, all the
people went into hiding. During Aktions mothers with children
hid in cellars. After an Aktion, sometimes there were 20
children found dead who had been strangled either because
of lack of air or if the child were crying then people in
the cellar strangled the child fearing that the crying of
the child would bring the Germans. It was necessary only
to put a pillow or comforter over the child to strangle
There were five similar Aktions until the final liquidation.
Even before creating the ghetto in Sosnowiec all the Jews
of Sosnowiec to the number of 18,000 were gathered in a
sports-field. Here began the selection of "rechts",
"links"! Ruffians directed the selection by whim.
Often young and healthy people were directed to deportation.
For this selcection even mothers with children had to appear.
Terrible incidents of separating families occurred.
6,000 to 8,000 victims were deported. The people were left
without food on the field for three days and 3 nights while
there was heavy rain, As a result, many dead bodies were
loaded on the transport to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). On the
rail cars was written: "Judische Verbrecher" (Jewish
Criminals). After each deportation to death, the president
of the Centrale Judenrat, Merin, had to sign a list of victims
stating that they were "Judische Verbrecher" (Jewish
criminals). Among the victims were pregnant mothers, babies,
After completing the ghetto in Srodula, there were transports
every second and fourth weeks to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). I
remember that among one of the transports numbering 3,000
was the Rabbi of Oswiecim. Jews went weeping into the wagons.
Then the Rabbi shouted: "Juden dawnen Minche"
(Jews we must now recite the evening prayer) There was silence
for a moment. Then the people began to pray and quietly,
with upraised heads, they went to death.
There was also among the Jews the desire for resistance.
There were voices saying repeatedly it was worthy to sacrifice
one’s life to kill several Germans. However, Merin paralyzed
every effort. He had his own agents who informed him of
everything. Indeed, once he had suspected resistance planners
sent to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). He said that he wouldn’t not
allow a tragedy such as occurred in Warsaw to happen.
In practice, he wanted to save only himself. He organized
revels with the Gestapo. They promised that he would certainly
survive the war. His secretary, Mrs. Czarna, a very intelligent
woman, degraded herself for the price of an easy life and
worked together with him. After liquidation of the ghetto,
the Germans kidnapped her and Merin, taking them to an unknown
destination. No trace of them is known. Merin said that
to save 10 Jews (he thought about himself and his family)
it was worth-while to sacrifice the rest. He was a low-life
person, a lady's man, a gambler who was good-for-nothing.
The final liquidation of Srodula took place at the end of
July 1943. The Germans surrounded the ghetto and shot from
roofs at those attempting to escape. Together with officials
from the Centrale Judenrat, they went into apartments and
gathered victims to the Assembly Point. Those found in a
hiding-place were shot on the spot.
I, together with my wife and six-year old child (the 16
months-old baby was strangled several weeks earlier in a
bunker) were in a neighboring ghetto at my sister's room.
Because people believed that the purpose of the Aktion was
to capture men capable of working and that the women and
children would be safe. I hid in an attic and my wife remained
in the apartment. She was taken to the transport.
Nearby, in the attic, was a wounded boy who had leaned from
a window and was hit by a shot. I carried him on my shoulders
and escaped to a forest. I remained a long time in the forest.
Finally, I was able to get Aryan documents and, living as
a Pole, I survived the war.