Only 8 % of the population of Wieliczka was Jewish. Up until 1917, Jews weren’t allowed to live there. My grandfather built the only synagogue in Wieliczka. I ended up going to a Jewish school in Krakow, about seven kilometers from Wieliczka.
My mother died when I was only seven years old. My mother was from Vienna. My father ran away from the Russians and ended up in Vienna where he met my mother. After marrying, they both came back to Poland in 1919. My father worked in the building materials business in Wieliczka, Poland. The business was started by my grandfather.
My father was killed in 1941 on Rosh Hashanah in Krakow. He was taken to the woods and shot along with several hundred other Jews. I only found out about this after the war from relatives living in Israel.
When I arrived in Budzyn, the Nazis asked a group of us if we could speak German and typed. I raised my hand and to let them know that I could. As a result, I was the only Polish Jew that went to the factory to work along with twelve German Jews.
From Budzyn, I was then taken to Flossenburg concentration camp where the Germans built planes. I worked as a timekeeper from 6:00 AM to 7:00 pm everyday in the office. In 1945, I was liberated from Flossenburg by the Swedish Red Cross and taken to Sweden along with 300 other people.
In Sweden that I met and married my wife, Eva Lewkowicz. We had three children, Jack, Rose and Shirley. Jack and Rose were born in Sweden; Shirley was born in the United States.