Menu JTA Search

Nest of 1,000 Children at Buchenwald Orphaned; Agency Asked to Take Them to Palestine

Of the 1,000 children who have been found among the 4,500 Jewish survivors in this camp, only four of them are with their fathers. Many lost their fathers when nearly 5,000 Jews were evacuated from Buchenwald shortly before its liberation.

A secret school for the children in Buchenwald was run by Mordecai Stricgler, a Warsaw writer, with the assistance of six Polish teachers. The school was in operation for six months, but was finally halted when Striegler was warned that it was becoming too dangerous.

A committee, which was formed here today, consisting of Striegler, Max Munk, (##)Czech Jow, Tydor Heine from Frankfurt and Willi Jelliarch from Vienna, appealed to the Jewish Agency to socure Palostino immigration cortificatos for the children.

A typical, although almost unbolicvable, story of how these youngsters were saved from the Germans was told to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent by Yisrcaol Slaffstoin, who formerly lived in a small village in the province of Sandomierz in Poland, For almost four years he has been hiding his son, Josai, in one concentration camp after another to provent him being killed by the Nazis.

When he was first arrested, Slaffstein said, his wife was sent to a death camp, but he was spared because he was an export leather worker and was needed by the Germans, He bribed a Nazi officer with the entire stock of his small business to allow him to take his baby to the conoontration camp with him. For a year-and-a-half that he spent in this small camp, Slaffstoin saved the child by paying a weekly bribe to the camp commandant, a 55-year-old major from Loipsig. The bribe, consisting usually of coffce, tea or cigars, was collected by the 500 Jews in the camp.

After a year-and-a-half the inmatos were sent to the Hassag munitions factory, because a radio had been found in the camp. Slaffstoin and two other workers brought along children. The other children were shot, but Slaffstoin saved his son by having him listed as an adult, through the cooperation of a trusty in command of the barracks.

When the Russians approached, the camp was ovacuated and Slaffstein painfully carried the child to still another camp where the Jews were used to dig antitank tronchos, When the Red Army also closed in on this camp, all the slave laborers Were leaded into open freight cars and sent to Buchenwald. Slaffstein hid young Yosai in a sack, and, again, with the aid of a trusty, had him listed as an adult, The S.S. men infrequently entered the camp, leaving the administration to the trusties, and he was able to keep the child’s presence hidden until the camp was freed.

NEXT STORY