|Catalog No.||6389||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Zelig Wajner: his testimony on Oshmyany||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||20791ר"מ||Similar Items|
|Donor||Eilati Shalom||Similar Items|
|File name||עדותו של זליג ויינר על אושמאנה||Similar Items|
|Collection||Kaplan Israel||Similar Items|
|Period||During World War II||Similar Items|
|Author||ויינר זליג||Similar Items|
|databank||Collections Section||Similar Items|
From the Israel Kaplan collection:
Zelig Wajner, born in 1903: his testimony on Oshmyany, Vilnius (Vilna) district. Undated; 7 pages, handwritten, in Yiddish.
On June 25, 1941, the Germans conquered this town of 8,000 Jews. After two weeks, according to Wajner’s testimony, the local physician, a German named Legert, called in a special storm trooper unit from Vilna that went among the houses and took out all males 12 years old and over. The elderly and sick who were unable to walk, among them Chaim Barman, were dragged along by force. All the men were taken outside the town and shot. On the way they were abused.
A ghetto was set up in Oshmyany, in which were interned Jews from the following towns: Golshany (Holszany), Smorgon, Kreve, and Zuprany. There were over 14,000 people in the ghetto. Jews were taken from there and sent to forced labor. The Germans ordered that 1,500 of the elderly be turned over to them, and through bargaining with [Jakov] Gens, chairman of the Vilna ghetto Judenrat, that number was reduced to 900.* As 900 elderly were not found, some young people were also taken. They were executed in the adjacent village. According to Szlomo [surname not indicated] of Kreve, who succeeded in escaping, the policemen of the ghetto Jewish police force who aided in getting Jews out of their homes, promised the victims that if they’d hand over the valuables in their possession, they’d be saved - but the booty remained in the hands of the Jewish policemen and all those who were taken away were murdered - by Lithuanians. After the massacre the Jewish policemen and their commander** went to the synagogue and explained that they were to thank God that the number of victims wasn’t greater. Upon the liquidation of the ghetto, Wajner, his wife, son, and daughter were deported to the Ziezmariai camp and put to work surfacing roads. After two months they were transferred to Staraya Russa and also there worked at forced labor in dreadful conditions. After that they were transferred to camps in Latvia: Kurdupe [? identification not established], Kaiserwald, Dundaga, and Libau. The next station in their trail of tears was the Stutthof camp. Wajner’s wife and their daughter, age 12, were put to death in the camp’s gas chambers, and Wajner and his son, age 14, were sent to the Buchenwald camp. After a brief stay there the two were transferred to the Dachau camp, where they worked in a munitions plant. Upon the approach of the American army, they were sent back to Buchenwald and kept in an open field without food for 18 days. The 1,200 Jews who remained alive, among them Wajner and his son, were sent to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) ghetto, where they were liberated.
When this testimony was taken, Wajner and his son were in a DP camp in Ulm, Germany.
*According to other testimonies, the number was even lower.
** The chief of the Jewish police force was Salek - David Dessler, though according to other testimonies, Gans, he who spoke before the crowd. Close