Re: Siemiatycze #poland

David P Cohen <davidpcohen@...>

Re: Siemiatycze in Robert Strumwasser's post 4, NOV 2000.

. . . I recently received >from NARA a copy of a cousin's letter to
the US State Dept. enquiring about the welfare of her relatives in
Poland, dated Oct. 16, 1939. To give some vague sense as to how
terrifying it must have been for everyone involved, the State Dept.
noted on the original letter that while Siedlce and Biala Podlaska were
under German control, Siemiatycze, less than 30 miles away, was
controlled by the Soviets.
Please note: The Germans initially occupied Siemiatycze on 10 September
1939. This was ten days after the invasion of Poland. Rosh Hashana, that
year, fell on 14 September. They stayed for twelve days, until they ceded
control to the Soviets on Succoth 15 Tishri/Thursday, 28 September. In
June, 1940 Germany violated the alliance treaty with USSR. They bombarded
Siemiatycze and retook the entire area. By 1942, Siemiatycze Jews along
with others >from the district were in the deportation ghetto established
near the cemetery ("intambrik" hinter dem brik/across the bridge) on the
east bank of the Kamianka River that runs through the town. It took only
two days with trains running 24 hours daily to transport virtually all of
the ghetto Jews to Treblinka. There were two camps there - an
extermination center and a smaller labor camp with fewer than a thousand
guarded by Germans and Ukrainians. No one escaped >from the death camp. A
few Jews escaped >from the labor camp (among them Sol Kuperhand who, with
his wife Miriam, has written of their wartime experience). A dozen or
more are known to have jumped off the inbound trains. Most of these
escapees survived in the forests with others who had avoided being sent to
the ghetto. Over the years, I've met some of the fewer than four dozen who
survived the war. They endured with the aid of righteous gentiles and
their own wits. They had to fight off hostile Poles as well as the Polish
Home (underground) Army who were not friends to the Jews in that area.

Miriam STRONGWATER [dob 1886] enquired about the following people:
2) her sister, Chaia GEIBER, her husband Josel, and their children:
Siemiatycze, Pow. Bielsk Ratusz 56, Poland
Of those killed by the Germans at Treblinka, the Semyatitsher Yizkorbuch
lists only Feygeh Gayber.

David Cohen

Join to automatically receive all group messages.