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ABRAHAM BERGMAN

Krasnik, Poland

 

Abraham was born to a Jewish family in Krasnik, a town in the Lublin district of Poland. The town had a large Jewish population. Abraham's father was a tailor. When Abraham was 2, his mother died and he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of 7, Abraham started public school.

1933-39: I liked school but it was difficult. The Christian children often yelled at the Jews, "You killed our God." One year, on the day before Christmas break, some kids brought ropes tied to iron weights to school. They waited until after school, so no one could tell the teacher, and then beat up the Jewish kids. Many went home covered in blood. In 1938 I finished public school. The invading Germans reached Krasnik in September 1939.

 

 

 

1940-45: In 1942 I was deported to the Budzyn, Majdanek and Auschwitz camps in Poland, and then Oranienburg and Flossenbürg in Germany. By spring 1945 I was in a group of 500 taken to a farm area in Bavaria. Only 3 SS guards policed 30 of us. When one guard went to the kitchen and the other took men to look for food, I seized my chance. Pushing through the farmhouse gates, I ran into the woods. Shots were fired; I threw myself down. Two escapees fell next to me. We got to the village of Gern just as a U.S. tank appeared.

After the war Abraham lived in Bavaria for three years. He emigrated to Canada in 1949 and then moved to the United States in 1959.

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