Jan Kac-Kaczyński, born in 1933
Ten-year-old boy in a German death camp
I was born in the small town of Bełz (Sokal district, Lwów province). I attended the second grade of elementary school in Bełz. My mother, Este Kac, née Slomer, was a housewife. My father, Józef Kac, finished high school in Sokal (together with Golda Meir). He was fluent in three languages and was universally held in high esteem. By profession, he was a businessman, dealing in food products.
Golda Meir – Prime minister of Israel from 1969-71.
In 1940, my family changed its name to Kaczyński, fearing persecution of our nationality by the Nazis and biological extinction which German fascism expounded, setting up ghettos and gas chambers. On the ninth of January, 1943, my family was arrested by the Gestapo. I myself was shipped, via Sipo in Lublin, to Camp Koner in Flossenburg, where I stayed until September 29, 1945. After liberation by the American Army, on account of the extreme exhaustion of our bodies, we were left in a hospital on the grounds of the camp in order to be fed and treated. In this camp were Jewish and Gypsy youth from almost all of Europe but mostly from Poland, Russia, and Romania.
Sipo – Sicherheitspolizei – security police.
After we were treated and nourished, the Red Cross Commission sent us, in groups, back to the countries from which we came. I found myself in a transport going to Poland. I came to Warsaw, and from there, I was sent by the Red Cross Commission to a place in Lublin (a child-care shelter). There, my family discovered me.
My father, after his arrest, had stayed in Nowe Miasto near Przemyśl. There, in a palace on a former estate, a strict prison had been set up. When the front line was approaching, the Germans were preparing a transport to deport the prisoners into the depths of the Reich. But they did not succeed in time, because the Red Army caught them by surprise. In this way, my father was saved. He lived to the age of ninety-seven. He passed away on October 10, 1991.
My mother had worked at forced labor on an estate in the town of Moszków in the Sokal district. The ghetto was located in Sokal, but some of the people, because of overflow, were placed on this estate where food was grown for the Reich. In July, Soviet partisans defeated the Germans in Moszków, and thanks to that, my mother survived the war. Today, she is ninety-three years old.
I finished elementary school in 1948 and then, after we were resettled in the Western Territories, a lyceum for health practitioners. I worked in medical care, and at present, am retired.
Wrocław, June 22, 1992