Avrom R., on his internment in a prison camp close to Rastenburg [Kętrzyn]


Report by Avrom R., a harvester from Łomża, about internment in a German prison camp in Rastenburg [Kętrzyn]. He highlights the bad relationship between Jews and Poles. In late September 1939, a thousand men were discharged from the camp and forced to cross over to Soviet territories.


Document Text

  1. English
  2. Yiddish
Text from page1

Protocol No. 102

2 January 1940

Avrom R.

20-years old

Harvester from Łomża

Now – Vilnius

From German airplanes during 2 bombardments on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in Łomża, Markevitsh was killed – a writer in the city hall.

I was detained by the Germans in a prison camp close to Rastenburg [Kętrzyn]. There were 13 hundred Jews there. They did not give us food. Every evening, they gave one loaf of bread to be shared by 4 persons, and this was all we had to eat.

Once Polish prisoners arrived. The Germans ordered them to take off all our clothes. They indeed undressed us until we were naked and took all of it for themselves.

During my time in the camp – 3 weeks –, 3 Jews died who could not endure the hunger, the cold and the beatings anymore.

On the second day of Sukkot, a thousand men were released from the camp who were ordered to go to the Soviet territories. I was also released. Łomża was transferred to the Soviets.

I left for Vilnius because I have a brother in America and I want to go to him.

Signed: Avrom R.

Text from page1

פּראָטאָקאָל נומער 102

דעם 2־טן יאַנואַר 1940

אבֿרהם ר.

20 יאָר אַלט

שניטער פֿון לאָמזשע

איצט – װילנע

פֿון דײַטשע אַעראָפּלאַנען 2 באָמבאַרדירונגען ערבֿ ראָש־השנה איז אין לאָמזשע דערהרגעט געװאָרן מאַרקעװיטש – אַ שרײַבער אין מאַגיסטראַט.

מיך האָבן די דײַטשן פֿאַרנומען אין אַ געפֿאַנגען־לאַגער קײן ראַסטענבורג. דאָרט זענען געװען 13 הונדערט ייִדן. מ'האָט אונדז נישט געגעבן קײן עסן. יעדן פֿאַרנאַכט האָט מען געגעבן אַ לעבל ברויט אויף 4 מענטשן, און דאָס איז געװען דאָס גאַנצע עסן.

אײנמאָל זענען געקומען פּוילישע געפֿאַנגענע. די דײַטשן האָבן זײ געהײסן אונדז אויסטאָן אַלע מלבושים. זײ האָבן טאַקע אונדז אויסגעטאָן ביז נאַקעט און אַלץ צוגענומען פֿאַר זיך.

פֿאַר מײַן צײַט אין לאַגער – 3 װאָכן – זענען געשטאָרבן 3 ייִדן, װאָס האָבן נישט געקענט איבערהאַלטן דעם הונגער, די קעלט און די קלעפּ.

דעם צװײטן טאָג סוכּות זענען באַפֿרײַט געװאָרן פֿון לאַגער טויזנט מען, װעלכע מען האָט געהײסן גײן צו די סאָװיעטישע געביטן. איך בין אויך געװאָרן באַפֿרײַט. לאָמזשע איז איבערגעגאַנגען צו די סאָװיעטן.

איך בין אַװעק קײן װילנע, װײַל אין אַמעריקע האָב איך אַ ברודער און איך װיל צו אים פֿאָרן.

אונטערגעשריבן: אבֿרהם ר.


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The United Kingdom declared war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939, after the German invasion of Poland. After the defeat of France in the spring of 1940, the British Expeditionary Force withdrew from the European Continent. Although the Channel Islands near the French coast did fall into German hands, from the summer of 1940 until 1945, mainland Britain resisted German invasion and became a refuge for many governments-in-exile and refugees of the occupied countries in Europe. At the outbrea...

Wiener Holocaust Library

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<p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Readers need to reserve a reading room terminal to access a digital version of this archive.</strong></span></p><p>This microfilm collection consists of material gathered in Vilnius, Lithuania, by a group of refugee Polish-Jewish writers and journalists, who formed a committee to collect evidence on the conditions of Jews in Poland under German occupation. For a more detailed description of the background, objectives and methodology of this project see a...