Dutchmen Send $20,000 to German for Saving Polish Jews from Nazis
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Dutchmen Send $20,000 to German for Saving Polish Jews from Nazis

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A West German pensioner who saved the lives of four Jewish residents of Kattowitz, in occupied Poland, during the war by hiding them from the Nazis has received nearly $20,000 from persons who heard about his act on a Dutch radio program, the press here reported today.

Ernst Bruno Motzko was serving as a police official in charge of air raid security in Kattowitz when, in the summer of 1942, he gave shelter in his home to a Jewish doctor and three Jewish women scheduled for deportation to a Nazi death camp. He hid them in his home for 28 months at the risk of his life, selling many of his personal belongings to keep them supplied with food from the black market.

As the Red Army approached Kattowitz, he himself took shelter. In January, 1945, when the Gestapo fled and the Russians occupied Kattowitz, he and his Jewish charges were able to emerge from hiding. The story, which has been confirmed in every detail by the Dutch Radio Statop, came to light when Motzko, now living in Essen on a pension of about $45 a month, was refused compensation by West German authorities for loss of property in Kattowitz.

The response of Dutch listeners to the program, “From the Heart,” was described as overwhelming. Former resistance fighters offered to pay for a summer holiday for Motzko. Motorists who hear the program on their car radios drove to the radio station to make contributions. A girl sent her moneybox.

The pensioner said he wanted to share the gifts with others in need but efforts were underway to persuade him to accept the money as a supplement to his pension. He contends he is entitled to compensation from the West German Government for his property loss because Kattowitz was under German administration at the time. The refusal was on grounds that the loss occurred on territory outside the area of the former Third Reich.

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