Historical Events from the Holocaust
(Excerpted from Ostrowiec; A Monument on the Ruins of an Annihilated Jewish Community (Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland, translation of Sefer Ostrovtsah: le-zikaron ule-'edut, Editor: Gershon Silberberg, Meir Shimon Geshuri, Tel Aviv 1971
The Suffering of the Survivors
Week of 18 October 1942
After a week's work at the factory, all the 700 Jews were assembled at the exit gate, everyone with his belongings, as they were ordered to do. At the gate we were received by the notoriously well-known murderers, Peter and Brune, the Factory chief, Stabskapitan Zwierzyna, and several armed Ukrainians, and as soon as we assembled, they started rushing us with shots in the direction of the sugar factory at Czenstoszyce. Those who were unable to run, had thrown their belongings away. Along the way to the factory we were beaten with butt-ends. Once there, the Stabskapitan Zwierzyna ordered us to hand over to him all valuables. All were made to undress entirely and undergo a thorough check of their naked bodies. To avoid any attempt at hiding anything valuable, he shot 3 Jews, justifying the act with the explanation that they tried to hide money, and at the same threatening that he would shoot any Jew who would attempt to hide anything. At once – and not surprisingly – money started to pour from every side. Some have even torn the notes to pieces to prevent them from falling into the murderous hands. But the Ukrainians who saw it all have told that tearing banknotes to pieces is punishable with death. It is difficult to describe the desperate situation of the Jews: everything was taken from them, even their shoes were taken off their feet. This inhuman check-up lasted for the whole afternoon, then we were conducted back to the factory, while the dead were buried on the spot. Exactly the same punctilious control was executed and accompanied by the robbing of valuables at the Elin works and Jeger factory in Bodzechow. The remaining Jewish laborers in all the workshops were left without clothes and without any means of livelihood.