Saturday, June 1, 2013

Korczak - Dom Sierot and Nasz Dom


Nasz Dom - Our Home, Bielany, Warszawa before World War II. The Our Home, Nasz Dom, Warsaw, Bielany. The home was planned especially for the Orphanage. The home was planned and build 1927-1928 by architect Z. Tarasin. Nasz Dom was built due to the initiative Maryna Falska and Janusz Korczak. They got a strong support from Aleksandra Pilsudska (wife of marsal Jozef Pilsudski) that helped to raise the funds from different charity organizations. Nasz Dom was run by Maryna Falska together with J. Korczak during 1928-1935. Children that moved to Nasz Dom came from an orphanage in Pruszkow that was run by Falska in cooperation with Korczak and Podwysocka.


From right, 3nd row -Maria Podwysocka, Maryna Falska and Janusz Korczak during 1925. Children that moved to Nasz Dom came from an orphanage in Pruszków  (picture).



Janusz Korczak and children from Nasz Dom



Nasz Dom, Bielany

Nasz Dom in Pruszkow

Korczak was serving as principal of Dom Sierot and at another orphanage, Nasz Dom aimed for Christian children. Korczak was also a doctor and author, worked at a Polish radio station, was a principal of an experimental school, published a children’s newspaper and was a docent at a Polish university. Korczak served as an expert witness in a district court for minors. He became well-known in Polish society and received many awards. 

More pictures on my old home page AD 1996
http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/korczak/photos/naszdom/default.htm

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm III - Cemeteries


Holocaust and WWII traces are found at cemeteries in Stockholm and in Jewish and Christian cemeteries in other cities of this country.

There are numerous graves from former prisoners from concentration camps that came to Sweden after WWII and Holocaust ended (or just 3 weeks before). In Sweden they received medical care but numerous died almost directly during 1945-1946, very young. This type of graves are at many places in Sweden where former camp prisoners received medical treatment.

The evacuations known as "White buses" started on March 15, just 7 weeks before WWII ended. The first trips of the buses were aimed for Nazi wives and children (approx. 1500) and thereafter for non-Jewish, Scandinavian inmates of the concentration camps.


Jewish, former prisoners from concentration camps, most of them came to Sweden by Red Cross ships. It was the Swedish Red Cross and UNRRA action. Swedish Red Cross ships sailed from Lübeck to several Swedish cities along the coastline. The former prisoners from concentration camps were taken to the special hospitals belonging to the Swedish Military organization (Beredskapssjukhus). Many patients survived just a few days or weeks. Most of the patients were female and came from the Bergen-Belsen camp.


Picture taken on May 29th 1945 at Bergen-Belsen Camp.

Frimetta Einhorn was 16 when she was liberated at Bergen-Belsen camp. She came to Stockholm by the Red Cross ship on June 5th, 1945. She died in Sigtuna hospital on August 7th, 1945. Her grave is at K-section of Norra begravningsplatsen (cemetery) in Stockholm. Her name is misspelled after it has been changed at the Sigtuna hospital.



6 THOUSAND OF 6 MILLION: A REQUIEM / Romuald Wróblewski, editor

Authorship 
Wroblewski, Romuald.
Edition:
2nd     Year: 1995
Description:
207 p. [name lists: p. 67-166] : ill., facsims., map, tab ; 23 cm.
Number of Names or Other Entries-- Approx. 6,000 Names.


The book 6 TUSEN AV 6 MILJONER: ETT REQUIEM by Romuald Wróblewskiet. al. includes a register of 6,000 Jews who perished during the Holocaust (p. 67-166). The names listed are relatives of Holocaust survivors living in Sweden. This list was gathered by Wroblewski during 1994-1995 and includes 6,000 names of Holocaust victims. Holocaust survivors and their families, now living in Sweden provided testimony to compile the list. The list includes the name, birth year, birth place, death year, death place, and the name of the group or individual who submitted the entry (eg Holocaust survivor or Second Generation). The names come from Holocaust survivors born throughout Europe. The only connecting feature of the 6000 is that their names were provided by individuals residing in Sweden as of 1995. The resulting listing of Holocaust victims was first prepared in electronic form, published in this book, and was thereafter inscribed on the Stockholm Holocaust Name Monument (memorial) itself. 
Besides this list provided by survivors, the book includes a register of Jewish refugees (Like Frimetta Einhorn) who died in Sweden in 1945-1946 and the list of Jewish refugees who died while being transported to Sweden. The lists were obtained from Red Cross and other organizations.





Holocaust survivors that are listed were from12 countries in Europe and there are several with "unknown nationality", and/or "unknown country of origin".




Two stone memorials dedicated to the victims of Nazi persecution. Both atthe Stockholm Jewish cemetery Norra.The monument on the right with two wings, was designed by Mrs. R. Hedemann, a sculptress who was herself a refugee.



IMPORTANT  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 

Above mentioned "Name list section" is in Survivors Registry Collection as a computer file in MS Word document format, at S:\DATA\Reglists\Ab0018\Wrklist.doc [Available to authorized Survivors Registry staff only].



Please check also:


Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm I - The Stockholm Holocaust Monument - Memorial


Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm II - The Adas Jeschurun synagogue that survived the Kristallnacht destruction of November 8, 1938

Friday, May 31, 2013

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm II - The Adas Jeschurun synagogue that survived the Kristallnacht destruction of November 8, 1938


Before the Kristallnacht, the night of the shattered glass, there had been 12 or 13 synagogues in Hamburg. Of these, one had been seized and converted to a radio station, the rest had been burned to the ground and two remained. One was overlooked (no. 5 Heinrich-Barth-Straße) as it was in the ordinary building. 

The second "shul" that remained was old and large. It was built one hundred years earlier in the rear of a row of high apartment houses so that it would not be visible from the street. A narrow alley led from the street to the entrance of the "shul." Burning it would have endangered the apartment houses and so it was left intact. For the last Yom Kippur, (September 23rd 1939) there was therefore only one synagogue left in Hamburg. Here the Chief Rabbi of Hamburg, Dr. Joseph Carlebach began his last sermon to his people. Suddenly, without warning the rabbi stopped speaking. Two uniformed Nazi troopers appeared at the front of the "shul" and in stentorian voices announced that all Jews were to go home, get their radios and their silverware and deliver them promptly at the nearest police precinct.

Below is the picture of no. 5 Heinrich-Barth-Straße in Hamb
urg. In this 
ordinary residential building two storeys, the lower- and upper ground floors,  were combined to a shul. Especially raised platform contained places for women. The synagogue held 80 places for men and 45 places for women.

The synagogue "survived" the Kristallnacht and it was decided to place it outside Nazi Germany. The choice was Sweden.

The Chief Rabbi of Hamburg, Dr. Joseph Carlebach, looked for an opportunity to save the synagogue that survived the Kristallnacht. He contacted his old friend, Hans Lehmann, a Jew from Hamburg who had moved to Stockholm, and asked if he was willing to take over all effects from the Heinrich-Barth-Strasse Synagogue. 

Licence applications for "Holz und Hausrat" = "Old furniture and wood" were submitted to the German authorities. They did not see any obstacle to let the "old junk." to be transported out of Germany. Thus, because, it was not quite clear that it was a question to transfer a synagogue.   Finally, the necessary license was granted and synagogue equipment was dismantled and taken to the free port of Hamburg along with all loose furniture and other items that were left in the synagogue as siddurim, taletim, tefillin, etc.

On October 19th, 1939 the Gestapo in the report to the Hamburg State administration informed that the synagogue at the Heinrich -Barth -Straße was not any more existing and the rooms were turned into apartments. In the Hamburg fire in 1943, the house was fully destroyed.

Former No. 5 Heinrich-Barth-Straße, Hamburg. The building was destroyed in an air-raid in 1943.

Rabbi Joseph Carlebach that saved the synagogue was later deported to the Nazi concentration camp Jungfernhof , where he was murdered on March 26, 1942 during the mass shooting of approximately 1600 Jews, mostly older people and children, that became known as the Dünamünde Action. This occurred in the Biķerniecki forest, near RigaLatvia, which was the site of numerous other shootings perpetrated by the Nazis and their Latvian collaborators.


Interior of the former synagogue housed at No. 5 Heinrich-Barth-Straße. The shul survived November 8 1938 night and was 6 month later transported by ship from Hamburg to Stockholm.


Adas Jeschurun is now situated at Riddargatan 5. The interior originally came from a synagogue in Hamburg which survived Kristallnacht in Germany 1938 and was shipped to Sweden in April 1939, just before the World War II outbrake. 


The paintings were found first when moving  Adas Jeschurun to the location Riddargatan 5. Paintings were overpainted, most probably before shipment to Sweden so German custom would not stop the export of "furniture". In the begining of 1990 the specialists uncovered Art Nouveau paintings. However, there are some benches without Art Nouveau paintings. These benches were manufactured later in Sweden when Adas Jeschurun moved to a bigger hall.



Where Have All the Flowers Gone? or Who painted over them in 1939? Picture taken in Stockholm. flowere are overpainted! There is also a kind of protection with a common iron bar on the lower part of the cabinet. One can see six protection windows for the individual parts o cabinet. First in the begining of 1990 one found "paintings and started restauration to the original state. Picture taken in Stockholm 1939-1940.


The synagogue is situated on the 2nd floor in the building housing the Hillel School.




On Saturday September, 28 2013, the last Shabbat will be celebrated in Adat Jeschuruns premises at Riddargatan 5 (5 Knight Street). On the 5th of October 2013 is the end of an era at the Riddargatan location.

Aron HaKodesh cabinet is also typical for the Art Nouveau style furniture.

Very interesting and new for me was the decorations on the pews short sides and on the Bimah and Aron HaKodesh cabinet. They were so typical of the Art Nouveau style flowers. Viewing the picture here of Aron HaKodesh cabinet you see white lilies with green stalks.

Interior of the present synagogue housed at No. 5 Riddargatan street

Blessed are those who believe without seeing
I had a stron feeling that there is more hidden artifacts in the Yeshurun Synagogue. I was just right. First I got messages that noting more was found during the move.
However after some hours and work by the Rabies wife things changed and I got a blessed message. Roman, I found it! See below!



to be saved as they are - not fully uncovered!

to be saved as they are - not fully uncovered!

Vor 75 Jahren: Wie eine Hamburger Gemeinde ihre Synagoge nach Schweden rettete


The story of the Yeshurun Synagogue as told by Bert Lehmann 

As my father and I stood on a chilly April day in 1939 at the pier in Stockholm awaiting the arrival of a freight ship, a moment of fascinating history was about to happen: The rescue of the only synagogue to have survived the barbaric Kristallnacht destruction of November 8, 1938 in Nazi Germany. 

It is hard to believe that the municipality in Hamburg gave the chief rabbi permission to ship out the complete interior of that old small shul at the Heinrich Barthstrasse to anyone outside of Germany ready to accept the untouched House of Jewish worship. The Nazi hoodlums simply bypassed the hidden synagogue inside a regular city building, making it the only synagogue to survive that fateful night. My father, Hans Lehmann, of blessed memory, without hesitation agreed to have everything saved to be shipped to Sweden. This is what we waited for at the pier. 

However, as the ship unloaded we noticed with dismay and sorrow that the Nazi-German workers evidently were eager to break everything possible. My father was told to forget the whole thing. But this was not his way. He mobilized good carpenters and people ready to fix everything to its previous beauty. 

Since that time, the rescued shul became a vision for the future of the Jewry in Sweden, and a beacon for traditional Judaism all over the world. 

В ночь с 9 на 10 ноября 1938 года с "Хрустальной ночи" начались массовые еврейские погромы в Германии. Сегодня мир отмечает международный день против фашизма и антисемитизма



Please check also:

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm I - The Stockholm Holocaust Monument - Memorial


Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm III - Cemeteries

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Korczak´s children when living at 16 Sienna street - Letter to a Priest


A Letter to a Priest

View of Sienna street. Korczaks Orphanage is marked with the arrow. Horse-drawn streetcars and rickshaw are seen on the street.

The following letter was written by the children of Janusz Korczak’s orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto to the priest, Marceli Godlewski, head of the church of the converted, who were also incarcerated in the ghetto.
Do wielebnego Księdza Plebana przy Parafii Wszystkich Świętych.

Uprzejmie prosimy Sz. Ks. Plebana o łaskawe udzielenie nam pozwolenia na kilkakrotne odwiedzenie ogrodu przy Kościele w soboty w godzinach rannych, możliwie wczesnych (6.30 – 10).
Tęsknimy trochę powietrza i zieleni. Duszno u nas i ciasno. Chcemy zapoznać się i zaprzyjaźnić z przyrodą.
Nie będziemy niszczyć zasiewów.
Gorąco prosimy o nieodmówienie naszej prośbie.
Zygmuś, Semi, Abraszka, Hanka, Aronek

To the revered priest, the head of the congregation of the All Saints Church, 
We are honored to request of His Excellency the priest who heads the congregation that he permit us, out of his abundant goodness, to visit the park next to the church a few times in the early-morning hours, if possible (6:30-10:00 AM). We yearn for a little air and greenery. It is crowded and stifling where we live. We would like to become acquainted with nature and make it our friend. We will not harm the flowerbeds. In all sincerity, we ask you not to deny our request.
Zygmuś, Semi, Abraszka, Hanka, Aronek
The area of Little ghetto in Warsaw. There were no parks or green areas in this part of the ghetto. The only green spot was at the church (marked with the cross) located between Twarda and Panska street. The location of Korczaks Orphanage is marked with an asterisk.


The only green spot in the Little Ghetto was at the church located between Twarda and Panska street and marked with an asterisk.




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm I - The Stockholm Holocaust Monument - Memorial


This is just a working copy - first draft


2013, it is 20 years since I initiated the project to build The Holocaust Memorial in Stockholm.



The idea of present Memorial arose when my mother-in-law Maria Soltan, born Kalisz (from Łódź)  traveled to Poland in the autumn of 1993 in order to visit the graves of her family members who died or were murdered during World War II. The graves were no longer there! She walked very sad around the graveyard. A caretaker of the cemetery suggested that memorial plaques be engraved "instead" on the cemetery wall close to the entrance to the cemetery.

Within the family we considered this particular idea.  I asked my mother-in-law about the names, number of persons. Every time we discussed it, the number of relatives to remember was increasing. First there were just adults! I asked her about the children, she answered: they were many, but they were just children... and now I do not remember their names!

My very first ideas for the Name Monument. The proposed monument had the form of granite slabs with engraved names, dates and places of birth and death of victims. They were supposed to be arranged as a symbolic menorah. Besides of menorah a title inscription was supposed to be in 8 languages.
Watercolor of the one of my first ideas for the Name Monument - worked and painted by architect Tadeusz Klimczak (June 1994). I attached Klimczaks watercolor to all the applications for grants that Halina Neujahr and I wrote and which gave the funds to the monument. The proposed monument had the form of 7 granite slabs arranged as a symbolic menorah, on which stone tablets with engraved names, dates and places of birth and death will be fastened. The monument look out today (see picture below) almost as MY first idea. One exchanged, however, the idea to form the menorah by stones of different hight, formed by the boulders, to menorah in bronze. The person who did it signed everything as his own idea (and took money for that). Because it could not be ruled out that no additional victim names will come after the unveiling of the Memorial, my concept gave a flexible monument format that would allow incorporation of more name-tablets in the future (to the right on the wall). The Name Memorial placed in the courtyard of the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, was suposed to cover an adjoining anonymous gray concrete fire-wall that separates the building from a Catholic church in the same city block gave such possibilities.
Present status of Name Monument or The Holocaust Memorial in Stockholm. Sivert Lindblom put his name on it as it was "his" and only his idea! However, he was involved first after Klimczaks ideas were presented to the Swedish authorities and after the first stone tablets carrying names an and short personal particulars about the victims were done!
I went to my mother and asked her the same questions, I knew that numerous members of my mothers and fathers families were murdered during the Holocaust. Personally I knew just a few names and I thought at that time that "total number" of them was around ten. Suddenly my mother started to talk about it and also started to remember. I asked her to write down "her and my fathers lists" or just the number of murdered relatives.


My mothers writings! The first request to collect the victims names I started through my and my parents network. It was in the Winter 1993/1994. At that time I just wanted to know, number of relatives. Above, my mothers notes about numbers of murdered relatives that she received from her friends.  From family Warman 40 persons, from family Szafran 30, etc. At the bottom her annotation: together with former ones 167.

I asked my parents about the children i the family and I got the same answer as previously from my mother-in-law, they were small children, and they were many. My mother added that she had her aunt and some cousins as well that lived in Paris but all of them were murdered during Holocaust!

My mother forwarded my questions to her friends, Holocaust survivors as well. We got many new lists, some with names some with numbers.

Lists with the numbers of victims, the survivors wanted to remember. Lists were long! Some of them, not 10, not 20, but hundreds of names! Together thousands.

After considering all this above I came to the conclusion that suggested memorial plaques and the names should be here, in Stockholm where the surviving members of our family live and where next generations will be raised!

The Name Monument should serve as symbolic tombstones for those who have no marked graves. They are an attempt to give the victims back their personal identity, and dignity, which the Nazis and their accomplices tried so hard to obliterate.

I wrote in one application: It is of utmost value that the Name Monument contains personal data of those remembered. These particulars will briefly identify the fate of a small group among the annihilated 6 miljons nameless Jewish victims. Every name should, therefore be followed by the date and place of birth as well as date and place of death or disappearance. One of my first printouts. Names and dates are not proper, however similar were in my own family, see below on a picture from the Name Monument.

First stone printout on the park bench. It is of utmost value that the Name Monument contains personal data of those remembered. These particulars will briefly identify the fate of a small group among the annihilated 6 milions nameless Jewish victims. Every name should, therefore be followed by the date and place of birth as well as date and place of death or disappearance. Names and dates are correct, taken from the list of my own family, see below on a picture from the Name Monument.

Present status of Name Monument or The Holocaust Memorial in Stockholm. This photo includes only 1/3 of the names of my family. The names continue below. At that time my mother knew very little about the fate of her "French" family. The date of death are indicated by time period 1939-1945. Nowadays I know exactly on which day they were deported from Paris and when they arrived to Auschwitz.
Present status of Name Monument or The Holocaust Memorial in Stockholm. This photo includes main part of the names of my family. The names of several children are ommited. Now, I also know the date of death (mureder) that are on the Monument indicated by time period 1939-1945. Nowadays I know exactly on which day they were deported from Paris, Pinsk or Warszawa and where they were murdered.

The conspiracy of silence
Of course it was the great opportunity to brake year 1993 "the conspiracy of silence" - Nobody talked about the Holocaust and nobody asked about it! An silent agreement between post-war parents and their children, second generation. Frequently, as our parents, they were the sole survivors of their previous families!



Some names are forgotten! Some names on the list are just the numbers. 
Only one person do have its own grave! Many correction can be added. 

Wójcikiewicz Sabina that died on 28th February 1941 is the only one with a grave at the Jewish Cemetery in Warszawa, Gesia Street, near the wall. Her husband Wójcikiewicz Ludwik was found "almost dead" when Bergen-Belsen was liberated in April 1945. In April 1938 Sabina marries Ludwik (Lutek) Wójcikiewicz in the Nozyk Synagogue at Twarda Street in Warszawa. 
Ludwik Wojcikiewicz become in September 1939. a POW (prisoner of war) in German oflag but returned later to Warsaw (1939). Ludwik Wójcikiewicz was deported from Warszawa ghetto in 1943 and was found in Bergen Belsen in the "Musselman" state, the point of exhaustion, in the final stage of starvation to death.
My grandfather Wasserman Borys, on the Name Monument (version of the name given by my mother), real name Baruch re-married with Dasha (born 1895) and had two more children, a girl and a boy. Nisia (born 1928) and Isaak (born 1929). Non of them three are listed! 
Date of death of Wassermans from Pinsk is 1942 on the Monument. Now we know that all the Jews of the Pinsk Ghetto were murdered between 29 to 31 October 1942 and burried in were escorted just 5 kilometers West from the town to the village of Dobra Wola where mass graves had already been prepared. They were murdered and buried there. (the translation of the village name is “Good Will”.
Noz Lola was transported on August, 3rd 1942 from Paris and murdered upon arrival in Auschwitz. Noz Albert, 10 years old, was transported on August, 17th 1942 from Paris and murdered upon arrival in Auschwitz. So date of their death, 1939-1945 has been more precise.
Children - some of them are listed as numbers, totally on "our" entire list 10. The number of the children that are not listed is probably ten folds higher.

Next steps. I knew, I have to change the numbers to the names and number of names and also the Name-monument will increase in size. I started to think about co-worker. None from 2nd generation was at that time interested or had time. Most Holocaust survivors I knew in Sweden knew just their own story but their total knowledge about the Holocaust was very limited. There was, however, one exception. Halina Neujahr. I was a bit afraid of her. I called her and she agreed to meet at my place. 
After some minutes I knew, I found the mensh, partner to work with and a new friend for life. Halina was the member of the board of the local Holocaust Survivors organization in Stockholm.

Together with Halina we wrote our first appeal, we signed it only with our names and addresses as board of survivors of the Holocaust (Föreningen Förintelsens Överlevande), especially Jakub Ringart, the chairman, disliked our idea.  They just wanted to go to schools telling their stories and they wanted to make movies about their own Holocaust experiences. Later they agreed, however on special terms. 

My very first letter about Holocaust Memorial in Stockholm to subscribers to The Holocaust Session


Date:         Tue, 31 May 1994 13:35:00 CST
Reply-To:     Holocaust List <HOLOCAUS@UICVM.BITNET>
Sender:       Holocaust List <HOLOCAUS@UICVM.BITNET>
From:         JIMMOTT@spss.com
Subject:      SWEDISH  ASSOCIATION OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

From: Romuald Wroblewski  Romuald.Wroblewski@onk.ki.se@uicvm.uic.edu

SWEDISH ASSOCIATION OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
POST OFFICE BOX 161, 101 23 Stockholm, SWEDEN.

To subscribers to The Holocaust Session

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL - A WEAPON AGAINST OBLIVION
The Swedish Association of Holocaust Survivors plans to erect a Monument in Sweden to the memory of relatives and friends, perished in the Holocaust. The Memorial is intended to provide a link to the tragic past and a place for pilgrimage of the survivors and their children, who live in Sweden.

The Swedish Association of Holocaust Survivors is a nation-wide organization of
persons having personal experience of nazi concentration camps. It also includes
members of the Second Generation. Members of the Association consider it as their duty to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive as a shield against racism, Neo-nazism and antisemitism. They are often invited to schools, churches and various organizations to tell about their Holocaust memories.

We plan the Memorial as a marble surface with Jewish symbols, the Menorah and
the Star of David, and a title inscription in Hebrew, Yiddish, Swedish, English
and possibly also some East European language. The marble surface will line a
surface styled as a brick wall covered with tablets carrying names and short personal particulars about dead or perished persons, whom the individual survivors wish to remember. The brick motif will associate to the brick walls surrounding forced Jewish ghettos in all nazi occupied Europe.
Only a minor part of the 6 millions nameless Jewish victims can regain their
identity through names and other particulars on the projected Memorial. However,
in its entirety, the Memorial will once again confirm and document the Holocaust
and mediate the knowledge about it to future generations. It may also provide an
important historic source. It is therefore of utmost value that the Memorial contains personal data of those remembered. This information will show that Jews, born in places spread over all Europe, children, young, adult and elderly, all died or were killed in places like Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen and different ghettos. Many Jewish families have been annihilated
completely. There is no one to remember their names. Many of the survivors died
already, without having left information on the fate of their families. It is therefore important to collect all the names available from all survivors living in Sweden.

Sweden has received large numbers of survivors of the concentration camps,
liberated by the Western armies. Most of these survivors were helped here to regain health and a will to live. The daring rescue of tens of thousands Hungarian Jews by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg has illuminated the entire world. Many of those rescued have later found a haven in Sweden and became well integrated into the Swedish society. Later, came large groups of younger Jews fleeing the resurgence of antisemitism in Poland and other communist countries. Most of these later immigrants, born after the war, are children of the survivors of camps liberated by the Soviet armies. They belong to the Second Generation.

The projected Memorial will constitute an important Swedish contribution to the
documentation of the Holocaust and a valuable source of material for sociological studies on uprooted ethnic communities adapting to a new environment. For this purpose, we have initiated contacts with leading sociologists with experience in Holocaust studies. We have also made an inquiry among survivors willing to become interviewed and answer questions similar to those employed in corresponding North American questionnaires.

Sweden has become a haven for persecuted people from many countries. However,
through its stout defense of the freedom of speech, it has also become something of a haven for various Neonazis and other negators of the Holocaust, such as the "revisionist" followers of Faurisson. Although these people do not settle here, they pay frequent visits and get access to mass media and various organizations, thus creating confusion among the general public, which lacks personal experience of occupation, totalitarian rule and ethnic persecution. We feel that the planned Memorial may play a vital role in our defense against these ominous occurrences.
The nation-wide character of the Monument calls for a central location in
Stockholm. One suggestion recommends the courtyard at the Great Synagogue,
situated near to the Raoul Wallenberg Square. A first informal inquiry among former Polish Jews, now settled in Sweden, met with an enthusiastic response. We estimate that the final number will amount to ca 7 000 names. Consultations with architects and craftsmen have been initiated.

We estimate the cost of the Memorial to USD. 200 000. The required
organisational and practical efforts will be delivered by our members on a non-profit basis. Most of the survivors living in Sweden are senior citizens living on very modest pensions. The Jewish Communities have rather limited means as they do not receive or receive only minor contributions from government funds for specifically Jewish functions, such as religious services, kosher food, care of Jewish graveyards, Jewish education, etc. We have therefore to secure external funds for erection of the Monument. We would greatly appreciate information on any such organization which may be able to help us, as well as give us advice towards other issues related to the Monument.

We look very much forward to having the Monument completed by Spring 1995 for
its inauguration to coincide with the celebrations 50 years after liberation of the concentration camps.


        Prof. Halina Neujahr
               and
              Assoc. Prof. Romuald (Wasserman) Wroblewski
              Romuald.Wroblewski@onk.ki.se (now: romwro@gmail.se)


Many other Holocaust families in Stockholm were in the same situation as my parents and my mother-in-law. Many of them were keeping "the conspiracy of silence" status. At the same time they wanted to have their murdered family members to be remembered. Otherwise their names will disappear for ever!  There will not be a single document or sign that they lived and that they were murdered, that they existed!

Holocaust logistics
I've been thinking about how I can start and how can I handle such a big project as to The Holocaust Memorial. I wanted the Memorial to include so much data, the names of the the victims, dates of their birth and dates and places of their death. This type of information could give the idea for school children and other visitors about the Holocaust and its terrible logistics. Places of birth were pointing out that victims were born in many different european countries while places they were killed were so few and common with well known name of places, such as Auschwitz, Treblinka or Majdanek. Dates of death could give some ideas or confirmation about Holocaust logistics. Polish Jews, like my own family from Warsaw were killed during 1942. My Hungarian friend´s, Therese Mullers family were all killed two years later, in 1944 and in Auschwitz. I wanted also to include "place unknown" to give an information that many of survivors family members just disappeared and their place of death might be a ditch or corner of a cattle wagon.


An Information Deliverer
All information, mentioned above, I wanted to be on the Monument. This time, none of the victims should be omitted! I knew it was possible only if I secured enough funds to cover the construction and the erection of the monument and for engraving the names in the stone. Number of names of relatives that were murdered during Holocaust should free, not influenced by ones economy. So, no business to make for Jewish Congregation or others. I stated that it clearly from the very beginning and called survivors for "uppgiftsinlämnare" - An Information Deliverer.


The first request for the victims names
The first request to collect the victims names I started through my and my parents network. It was in the Winter 1993/1994. At that time I just wanted to know, number of relatives. Yes, I asked about the numbers although my idea was to show that there is a person behind each number. I was astonished when I very quickly got not hundred but thousands. 100 families had more than 2300 names of relatives murdered during the Holocaust.


Year 1993/1994,  at that time I just wanted to know, number of victims for each asked family. Yes, I asked about the numbers although my idea was to show that there is a person behind each number. On the first papers the lowest number of annihilate victims started from 5 snd the highest was 30. On following requests these numbers were changed to 50 and later to 100 "and more". My hand writing is probably connected to one of many grant applications that I wrote to finance erection of the Name Monument.

After getting more than 2300 names, I realized, how big and important project I am going to start or actually, how big project I already started and now it was rolling and that nothing, nothing is going to stop me in its realization!  

I involved in the project my very close friend (Holocaust survivor) professor Halina Neujahr from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. We wrote together, as private persons information about "our" project and again asked about the number of names. The information was given to Jews in and in front of Great Synagogue in Stockholm after commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. 

My daughter and her classmates from Hillel school in Stockholm were spreading information in front of the Synagogue. The same information was also given to the parents of the children in the Jewish Hillel school in Stockholm. At that time number of victims passed several thousands.

The Swedish association of Holocaust survivors.
I asked Halina Neujahr to present my (our) project at the board meeting of The Swedish association of Holocaust survivors. She called me after the meeting and said that all of the board members especially mr. Jakob Ringart (chairman), were negative as the project was not fitting to their main  project - going to Swedish schools and telling about their personal experiences of the Holocaust. 
Halina Neujahr, succeeded, however, to get me invited to the next board meeting of the association. At the next board meeting I presented again the project and got some more acceptance for it. It was OK to use The Swedish association of Holocaust survivors name to apply for funds but not their use their own funds for stamps and copying of letters, etc. 
My project should not interfere with their main project of going to schools and sharing their own personal experiences! The most important for them was, however, to get the new member from second generation to their board and that was probably the main reason that they accepted my project.  

On the next "request for the names" or actually for the numbers of victims, I added the name of the association and increased number of victims to be remembered to 50.


Ile Hoëdic or how to secure enough funds
Ile Hoëdic is an island off the south coast of Brittany in north-western France. Actually ancestors of Holocaust survivors lived there during Summer season. I was doing it since Summer 1979. 

Summer 1994. At this little island at Atlantic, I got a fax from Birgit Friggebo that was at that time Swedish Minister of Culture that she wanted to meet me and discuss Holocaust Monument in Stockholm.  Earlier, this year, in Spring, I applied for grants for the erection of the Name Monument.

I took a ferry, train and flight from Hoedic and landed i Stockholm some hours before the meeting. 

When in Stockholm, I contacted Halina Neujahr and Ingrid Almgren and they assisted me. Halina brought with her Nina Einhorn. Birgit Friggebo (Member of Liberal party) was very nice and fully supported the idea and we got, our first governmental support and this fact was, very important.



Enclosures to Halina Neujahrs and my applications, April 1994


Moderate Party and Social Democrats
I was disappointed and sad after meeting with minister of culture, Friggebo. I was standing rather unhappy in front of Sheraton Hotel when Ingrid Almgren, a politician from City Hall approached me. Roman, You have to run home and write a new application! Remember that this application has to reach City Hall registrator office latest by noon tomorrow! She reminded me that time was very important and I jumped on my veteran bicycle, Crescent from 1949 to quickly get home to write another application, the big one, for millions of Swedish Crowns.

The Mayor of Stockholm City Council was at that time (1991-1994) Carl Cederschiöld representing Moderate Party. He and Mats Hulth (socialdemocratic party) use to exchange as Mayor almost every four years. I felt that Name Monument project might be of interest of both of them and hoped!

I got a telephone call from Ingrid Almgren. She sounded so happy.  Please bike to City Hall. I biked 2 kilometers from my home to look at the board at City Hall. There was an announcement. Almost entire sum to erect the monument was granted. All political parties supported my application according to this draft decision by Carl Cederschiöld. The summer was to its end. Happy and fruitful summer.

We were also waiting for the answers from USA as we send several applications to different USA funds.



The big collision with Jewish Community or the Three Deceased Relatives
So, at the end of the Summer 1994, we had plans for the Holocaust Name Monument, we had also financial grants. We wanted and look for the place. We found that the place we choose in our applications, in the immediate vicinity of the Great Synagogue was actually the best. The place was accepted by City Hall, by Survivors organizations and preliminary also by Stockholm Jewish Community. However, the preliminary means were not signed by 
Stockholm Jewish Community on the paper (as during WWII).

Suddenly the board of the Stockholm Jewish Congregation, its steering committee and the owner of the Synagogue, panicked! No agreement was any longer valid! I was astonished and ashamed by the situation. How to explain it to the Swedish politicians?

Major arguments that were openly discussed against the proposed placement included that the place is used as a parking lot, for Jewish Community employes and that on that fire-wall there are hooks for a frame for attaching of a Sukkah! I tried to explain that Sukkah has always been known to stand in the desert without the benefit of a supporting wall.

Other, stronger arguments were directed against my person as I was member of Survivor Association and that I was project leader for the monument and that I was not a member of the Jewish congregation

I got several direct questions like "Why are you going to have as much as 6-8 thousand names?" I tried to explain to the Stockholm Jewish Congregation representatives, the Holocaust and that Nazis wanted to murder all Jew in Europe and that only in Poland 99% of Jews were murdered during this dark period of history and that it was a miracle that there are survivors and that is "normal" that sole survivor´s entire family was murdered.

Other arguments which were not openly discussed against the proposed placement included often the word "Swedish Jews".

"Swedish Jews" felt suddenly omitted. Holocaust was never enough Jewish for them and Jews that arrived after WWII were Ostjuden. Suddenly Ostjuden wanted something! Earlier promisses were given to Survivors Organization as Jewish Community thought that we will never raise the money needed for erection of the Name Monument. It become clear that no "Swedish Jews" perished in the Holocaust.

I understood the situation directly. 

There was another reason for the strange position of the board of Stockholm Jewish Congregation - the steering committee and the owner of the Synagogue.  Their own, very silent project with single memorial plaques to be set up at the wall at the cemetery placed 10 km South of Stockholm. Plaques were of size 10 cm high and 25 cm wide. I never heard about the project until the day survivors started to call me home and scream that I do not understand what Holocaust was, that I am stupid, rude and not human. The costs of delivering names was also discussed in the telephone calls. 

Panie Romku, You promised us not to pay, and now You want to make big money on us! We have hundreds of victims in our family. Whom shell we choose? Mother, father and a third person? I had 4 sisters and 2 brothers that were murdered in Auschwitz! I had 50 close relatives, uncles, cousins! Should they be omitted? How can You write that they were deceased? They were murdered! 

After the third or forth call with the very same content I found out that Holocaust survivors that called me home just mixed up my Monument project with memorial plaques at the Jewish cemetery. 
Therefore, I wrote a very long letter to the rabbi Narrowe and to the board of the Jewish Congregation. I nactually, redirected almost all the content of the telephone calls I got, however, excluding the worse allegations. I was forced to be nice the Jewish Congregation (owner of the Synagogue and the walls around it) although I had the feeling as they were more and more foreign! Almost all the peoples that called me were the members of Congregation. 
Jews that were not "paying members" of the Congregation simply never received the letter and/or the offer to order valuable memorial plaques for three names only. The Congregation made its own selection. It has to be remembered that Jews, that are not members of Congregations may be buried at Jewish cemetery first after paying additional costs.

Jewish Congregation in Stockholm. Misunderstanding of the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors or How to make more money out of Holocaust? The Swedish Jews and other "chuchems" from Jewish Congregation in Stockholm thought that Holocaust survivors including Holocaust children that came to Sweden with "Kinder transports" had maximum 3 persons to remember. See the official letter from the Jewish Congregation above. Relatives to victims murdered in Holocaust should pay to Jewish Congregation 100 USD for brons memorial plaques and for 4 USD for each letter. So the total cost of family (means of three persons) with places of birth etc. would cost 120 USD per victim (3x120=360 USD). Totally with the name of the relative in Stockholm that remembered them = Holocaust survivor (with not to long name) 100 USD. Total cost per plaque 560 USD. Prices to be paid were given in Swedish Crowns (se above) 24 kronor per letter and 625 kronor for each plaque.   560 USD in 1994 was about how much holocaust survivor was getting as retirement pension.
Jewish Congregation in Stockholm thought that Holocaust survivors including Holocaust children that came to Sweden with "Kinder transports" had maximum 3 persons to remember. See the official letter from the Jewish Congregation above. Relatives to victims murdered in Holocaust should pay to Jewish Congregation 100 USD for bronse memorial plaques and for 4 USD for each letter. So the total cost of family (means of three persons) with places of birth etc. would cost 120 USD per victim (3x120=360 USD). Totally with the name of the relative in Stockholm that remembered them = Holocaust survivor (with not to long name) 100 USD. Total cost per plaque 560 USD. Prices to be paid were given in Swedish Crowns (se above) 24 kronor per letter and 625 kronor for each plaque.   560 USD in 1994 was about how much holocaust survivor was getting as retirement pension. Here results of Jewish Congregation in Stockholm action.

Jewish Congregation in Stockholm took part of my idea to have place of birth and place of death next to each victim. However, just a part of my idea,...., see below.
Jewish Congregation in Stockholm took part of my idea to have place of birth and place of death next to each victim. However, just a part of my idea,.... My idea was that the Memorial should contain the personal data of those remembered. This information will show that Jews, born in places spread over all Europe, children, young, adult and elderly, all died or were killed in places like Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen, different ghettos and what is very common "unknown places", okänt in Swedish. Typical plate from Polish Jews that survived Holocaust is here that of family Mlynek.  Here they have just 4 lines and no names of them, survivors. At Stanislawa Mlynek it is stated that she is okänt ?, unknown!
However, I know, that Stanislawa Mlynek was born 1925 and murdered 1942 in Treblinka. I know that the Holocaust survivor Benjamin Mlynek provided 13 names to Holocaust Monument in Stockholm. Here he could just afford 4 names and not undersign it! He died 1997.



House of the Holocaust survivors on Hoedic island (encircled) in the Bay of Biscaya. Here I wrote the very first grant applications during Summer 1994 to secure funds for the erection of the Name Monument. Applications to Swedish Government were written and send from this house. The result was a meeting with Minister of Culture and first funds. My computer is probably at the attic of this house...

Epilog - Like dogs that wants to be the last to urinate on the pee spot
Two architects did the same. They wanted absolutely to have their names connected to the Name Holocaust Monument, Memorial and added a fake railways track and some stones and the most important, their names in the area that is accessible to the public.



Like a dogs that wants to be the last to urinate on the pee spot. Two architects did the same. They wanted absolutely to have their names for ever connected to the Holocaust Name Monument and shown it to the public. They claimed that with their addition, the project was completed. The symbolic railway track is called... Isaac Aaron alley.


Connection between Raoul Wallenberg, Isaac Aaron and Hol0caust Monument in Stockholm
The main connection is that to start with, both Wallenberg and Aaron were merchants. This is the only connection! However their names are on the same stone. Aaron was born 1730 and came to Stockholm from Pommery and established Jewish Congregation. So why to mix Aaron with the Holocaust? It is likely that Jewish congregation wanted to give the name of this new  path running outside the Synagogue controlled area to a Swedish Jew. The path that is designed to remember the roads leading to destruction of Jews outside The Kingdom of Sweden. For this reason stones were brought from Budapest ghetto together a symbolic railway track.


The symbolic railway track and stones brought from Budapest ghetto, leading to the Holocaust Monument is called... Isaac Aaron alley


The symbolic railway track is called... Isaac Aaron alley

Sad story about the Judaica House in Stockholm - the Swedish Jews and Ostjuden again?
The story with urinating dogs reminded me about the Judaica House in Stockholm, the Jewish Community Center of Stockholm that offers social, sport and cultural programs. Before it hosted both Jewish school and kindergarden.

Fritz Hollander from [Baltiska Skinnkompaniet] furs. Besides furs Fritz Hollander was also active on the Board of the Jewish Claims Conference in New York who had care of the damages that German government paid for by the Nazis seized jewish property. He managed to steer a significant allocation to Sweden, due to the fact that many Holocaust survivors ended in Sweden after WWII. Funds from Claims Conference enabled (a.o) the establishment of the Stockholm Jewish Center. For this one of the big rooms is bearing his name. On contrary, no rooms were named after persons with connection to the Holocaust.


Due to the fact that many Holocaust survivors ended in Sweden after WWII (a.o. brought by White Buses", the funds from Claims Conference against Germany were given to Sweden. Funds from Claims Conference enabled, (a.o), the establishment of the Stockholm Jewish Center (Judiska Centret". No rooms in the Stockholm Jewish Center were named after persons with connection to the Holocaust. I mean not the connection of applying for the money! Non of the rooms was bearing the name of Janusz Korczak.  Some rooms were, however, bearing names of "Swedish Jews"!. 



No comments, You can read it by yourself. The Hatikva www-version is also an official Swedish Jews version, that means no to mention Holocaust or that money come due to the Holocaust an all the victims. For the same reason they dislike all my and others suggestions to name one of the bigger rooms in that building for Korczak room.





Please check also following links:

Disowning The Holocaust by L. Feldman 

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm II - The Adas Jeschurun synagogue that survived the Kristallnacht destruction of November 8, 1938

Traces of Holocaust in Stockholm III - Cemeteries