Jack Pludwinski

"Learn about the Holocaust and never forget what happened to our people and others during those times."

Name at birth
Jacob Pludwinski
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Lodz, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Henach, Owned fish market
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Frieda, Homemaker and worked in fish market
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and six children: Shee'a, Ruchal, Golda, Yitzik, Chaim and me
How many in entire extended family?
Who survived the Holocaust?
Only me
I was in the Lodz Ghetto for four years.  The Germans rounded up my family members. Only my mother and I were left in our apartment on Piepzowa #4 when they liquidated the ghetto in 1944.  The Lodz Ghetto was horrible.  I saw Germans killing babies, I saw people dying from hunger.  If they ran out of bread in the bread line, you didn’t eat that day.  I was very lucky.  One time, when my mother was away, the Germans pulled up to round up Jews in our area.  I was 14 years old.  I locked the door and hid behind the stove.  A German soldier broke down the door and came into our apartment. I was so scared.  The German looked right at me and said to his partner in the hall, “nobody’s here.”  
My mother and I were taken to Birkenau.  When they opened the door of the train, they pushed me to the right, and my mother to the left.  I didn’t see her anymore. At Birkenau, I saw sparks at night coming from the crematorium; the chimney was going day and night.  I saw a lot of people being beaten in the concentrations camps.  I was lucky, I was never hit.  Someone was watching over me.  I was one of the lucky ones; I was picked to go from Birkenau to Auschwitz.  They picked 75 boys to become bricklayers.  That’s when I got the tattoo, B 8049.
On the death march, we stopped over for a couple of days; there was a big tent they had set up in advance.  One time, we were bombed by a German plane; a lot of people were killed.  The next day I saw some people eating “meat.”  I was liberated in Gunskirchen outside of Linz, Austria.
In the DP camp, we still had to stay in a line to wait for food.  I signed up to go to Israel, Australia, or America and went with the first country that would take me.  America came through the first so in 1947, I left for New York.  The United States Committee helped.  When I came to New York, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) helped me.  They sent me first to an orphan’s home in Cleveland and then to Detroit
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Yes, in Linz Bindemichl, Austria DP camp
When did you come to the United States?
Occupation after the war
Upholsterer at Famous Furniture
When and where were you married?
1956 in Detroit
Rachel Diem Pludwinski
Susan Simons
What do you think helped you to survive?
I was young, tough, and never gave up plus luck. I always try to think of the future, I always try to not think about the past. I try to forget it and keep going. You can’t live with the past. I saw people jump on the electric wires.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Learn about the Holocaust and never forget what happened to our people and others during those times.
Charles Silow
Interview date:
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