Julian Wagner

"Never let this happen again and be cautious. I wish no one would go through what I did."

Name at birth
Julek Wagczewski
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Czestochowa, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Zajwel H. Wagczewski, Tool and die maker
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Jadzia Davidocz, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and five brothers and sisters: Felak who died in Blitzen, a satellite camp of Majdenek concentration camp system, Yosef, Julian (myself), Laya, Renee
Who survived the Holocaust?
No one, just me
 In 1943, I was taken to the Czestochowa Ghetto, a large Ghetto.  In 1944, I was taken to a small ghetto in Rakov.  I worked in a steel mill and made railroad tracks, platinum for bullet casings and wire.  
In January 15, 1945, I was on the last train to Buchenwald before the Russians came.  I was in Buchenwald for one week when I overheard some Germans speaking that they need men to work.  I volunteered and was transferred to the Strasbourg salt mine until the end of April, 1945.
The Americans and Russians were closing in on both sides so the Germans marched us towards the Americans, American soldiers ask questions first then shoot, the Russians shoot and then ask questions.  If a prisoner fell down, they were shot.   
On May 8th at 3 pm, we were resting on the edge of a forest near a German town.  The townspeople came out and told the German soldiers “What are you doing here; the town has already been taken.”  So the Germans ran into the woods, changed into civilian clothes, and ran away.
I went back to Czestochowa in October/November, 1945 to see if anyone was still there.  “Are you still alive?” was the greeting that I got from my former neighbors.  No one was there so I registered with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and headed to Germany. 
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Zeilsheim, Germany
Where did you go after being liberated?
United States
When did you come to the United States?
September 4th 1949
Where did you settle?
Memphis, Tennessee for 9 months and then to Detroit
Occupation after the war
Tool and Die maker, tailor, then real estate developer
When and where were you married?
Zeilsheim, Germany
Rose Srebrnogora, Homemaker
Lew, real estate developer; Judy anesthesiologist, Renee works in office
What do you think helped you to survive?
I carried the luggage of an SS man and whenever we would stop for a break, he would give me bread or sausage or other food.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Never let this happen again and be cautious. I wish no one would go through what I did.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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