Name at birth
Joachim (Chaim) Nachbar
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Stanislawow, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Jacob Nachbar, Bank executive
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Anna Greif, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and four children: Jacob Nachbar, born 1893; Anna Greif Nachbar, 1896; Lusia Nachbar, 1923; Joachim Nachbar, 1920
How many in entire extended family?
Who survived the Holocaust?
Seven survived: one great aunt, one great uncle, four cousins, and myself
From September, 1939 until June, 1941, I lived in Russian-occupied Poland.  I studied in Lwow, Poland.  

From July, 1941 until November, 1942, I lived in German-occupied Stanislawow.  

In September, 1941, we were forced into the Stanislawow ghetto.  

In October, 1941, the Einsatzgruppen shot 10,000 Jews, including my paternal grandfather.  

In the summer of 1942, I got a job and work certificate at a German Army auto repair shop.  

In August 23, 1942, the Schutzpolizei (German police) murdered my parents and sister.  

In September, 1942, my grandparents, aunts and cousins were deported to Belzec.

From November, 1942 to July, 1944, I fled to Lwow to pass as an Aryan with false documents.

I lived as Mieczysław Borkowski on documents purchased in Warsaw.  I lived and worked in a convent-run restaurant that provided inexpensive meals for the poor.  I escaped arrest, but lost the false documents to a Ukrainian militiaman on May 13, 1943.

After that, I lived as Jozef Wachlarz, on another set of forged documents.  I worked for the German Railroad Office.

In July 1944, I was liberated by the Russian army.

Name of Ghetto(s)
Where were you in hiding?
Passed as an Aryan using false documents
Where did you go after being liberated?
I went to Lublin, Krakow, and Munich
When did you come to the United States?
May 21, 1948
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
How is it that you came to Michigan?
I had three cousins who lived in Michigan
Occupation after the war
Mechanical engineer
When and where were you married?
February 3, 1951
Rae Wygoda, Math teacher, high school guidance counselor
Ann Dorothy Nachbar, Dr. James George Nachbar
Danny, Sam and Rachel Frenkel; Leslie, Danielle and Jordan Nachbar
What do you think helped you to survive?
• Luck. In the end, survival was a matter of luck – and continuous luck at that. • Idiomatic and unaccented command of the Polish language • Appearance that was not distinctively Jewish • Presence of mind, power of concentration, and the ability to adapt to unforeseen situations • Ability to assess options, weigh risks and then act – with courage, but without recklessness • Low-key, unobtrusive personality • Observant – and able to mimic unfamiliar cultural and religious practices • Tenacious, almost primitive will for self-preservation
Charles Silow
Interview date:


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