Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fate of the Lejbzon Family of Biala Podlaska - New Information

I received a copy of this record from a cousin (not a blood relation) still living in Biala Podlaska, Poland. This is one of those important records that you know is shocking to read but you have to read it anyway. See my translation to English below the image. Out of respect for the privacy of the men who made these statements I am not listing their full names in the translation.

We the undersigned residents of the city of Bialej Podlaskiej Województwa Lubelkiego
1. Julian A., son of Mariana, living in Biala Podlaski at Garncaskiej Street No. 10
2. Antoni O., son of Karola, living in Biala Podlaski
aware of the criminal liability for providing false data affirm as follows:
The persons listed below, known to us and having lived next to us, were murdered by the Nazis in 1942. We do not remember the exact date. Near the end of 1940 they were expelled from their house on Garncaskiej Street to the Ghetto and in 1942 were taken by the Gestapo officers under strong guard of armed thugs and uniformed Nazi Gestapo to pits previously prepared by Jewish men at New Market Square. At the pits they were murdered with machine guns and by hand weapons in front of hundreds of city residents.
  1. Haja Lejbzon, daughter of Moszek, born in 1892
  2. Aron Lejbzon, son of Haja, born in 1912
  3. Idel Lejbzon, son of Haja, born in 1923
  4. Welwel Lejbzon, son of Haja, born in 1933
We note again that the above-mentioned were murdered and buried in a common grave. We were witness to the murder and backfilling.

Report No. 1638, Sixteenth day of March, 1957.
(followed by certification by notary)

Discussion and Questions:
  1. See the 1939 census card for this family (click link). Haja, known as Hulke to the family, is listed as Chwalysz on the census card. She is the sister of my great-grandmother. Aron is not living at home anymore (see his census card) but Idel, aka Jehuda, and Welwel, aka Wolf, are listed. (sons Lejb and Jakow had escaped to Russia and emigrated to Israel after the war). There is a discrepancy in Welwel's date of birth. Husband/Father Szaja Wigdor is not listed above. I wonder if he was one of the Jewish men who dug the pits mentioned above. According to the census card, the family lived at Garncarska Street No. 8 from 20 April 1932 thru 20 August 1940. The move from Garncarska Street to Prosta Street is the move to the Ghetto mentioned above. Here is the link for all of Lejbzon family 1939 census cards.
  2. See the Biala Podlaska Ghetto page on the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team (H.E.A.R.T.) website, the paragraphs near the map of Biala Podlaska. The notarized statements may refer to the 26 September 1942 Aktion. The Jews were gathered at the Rynek, New Market Square, for removal to Miedzyrzec. On the way, many were murdered in the Woronica Forest. If this was the case though, how could the murders have taken place "in front of hundreds of city residents" as stated above? There were smaller aktions before this date so I still don't know for sure if this is when they were killed. Having possession of this report now makes me wonder about that post-war exhumation photo on the H.E.A.R.T. website...are my family members in that pile of bodies?
  3. What organization/agency was gathering these statements? Were the statements coerced in any way? How reliable are they?
  4. Where are the original statements stored? Has JewishGen or JRI-Poland gotten access to them?
Other resources:
IAJGS Cemetery Project:

1 comment:

Joe said...

I realy like thise post