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Morris Kornberg

Przedborz, Poland

Morris was the youngest of six children born to a religious Jewish family in Przedborz, a south central Polish town with a large Jewish population. Morris' family owned a business that supplied nearby factories with raw metal materials.

1933-39: When Germany invaded Poland in early September 1939 my family fled to the woods. We returned a few days later; most of the town had been burned down. The Nazis set up a ghetto and ordered everyone age 13 to 50 to report for work details. My family was better off than most. The more metal our business supplied to the war effort, the more privileges we received. I got a special armband so I could exit the ghetto and work across town.

1940-41: There were no SS men in town. Once a month they came from Radom and took care of any cases that required their attention. In mid-1941 they came for me. During questioning about our business, an SS officer mercilessly beat me. I passed out several times but they revived me by putting my head under a water pump, and beat me again. My body was black from the blows. Afterwards, they put me in a small prison. One of the Polish guards knew me and asked if I wanted to write to my family. "Just forget about me," I wrote.

Morris was deported to Auschwitz in 1941 and then to several other camps. He was eventually liberated in Theresienstadtwhen it was turned over to the Red Cross on May 3, 1945.

 

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