Personal Stories

Concentration Camps

Rescuers Heroes and

Books Videos, and DVDs

Men With the Pink Triangle The True, Life-And-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps
(Paperback - October 1994)

List of over 700 Names of Polish men, women and children killed while helping Jews.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem Rescuers Honored

Women & Children of Courage

About Poland Geography, Climate, Travel, Currency, Government

Jan Karski - One man who tried to stop the Holocaust

Irek - Warsaw Ghetto Underground Fighter

Dutch Teenager Three years hard labor for listening to a radio station.

Eva Pencak - Forced Laborer

American Citizen in Poland  He faced the Germans twice

Mittelbau Dora in Nordhausen French survivor - months of hell in concentration camp

Number 1067 - Diary Cold and Naked...

Washington Post Artist and Non-Jewish Survivor of 5 Concentration Camps

Wiktor - The Art of Survival "Opening the envelope, Julian Siminski felt a chill."

Kidnaped and Deported   - ...kidnaped young men and women in the street...

Just wanted to say thanks for reminding the world about the 5 mil. "others". Their existence has seemingly been forgotten against the many voices speaking to Jewish losses. I don't have any connection to WW2 or Poland and am not Jewish, but have known for a long time that Jews were not the only ones to die in the Holocaust. I hope your message about the many others that suffered directly and indirectly at the hands of the Third Reich in the Holocaust reaches as many as possible. I read about the handicapped and sick that Hitler had no use for. It is frightening how tolerant we are becoming of the faces of evil, even in this post-Holocaust age.
Marcia Ward

Dear Mrs. Schwartz,
Thank you very much for this wonderful documentation. My parents and grandparents also suffered under both the Nazis and Stalin's forces. My mother's family was taken to Siberia. From there, my grandparents went with the reformed Polish forces through the Near East, concluding their journey, and the war, in Italy. Both were army personnel, my grandmother a nurse, my grandfather a soldier. My father's father was a colonel with the Polish army, barely escaping Stalin's massacres and burial in the Katyn forests. He was finally captured in France by Hitler's forces. The fact that thousands of Polish officers lost their lives through the rounding up and murder by Stalinist forces is the one major piece missing from your beautiful essay. These people did not die while fighting, but were slaughtered mercilessly by Russian troops under the orders of Stalin who was afraid of their power as he and Hitler were afraid of the power of the intelligentsia.

The pre-war Polish army was not, as you have written, weak, but a well-organized and well-trained force inspiring fear in both Hitler and Stalin, thus the destruction of the officers. One somewhat depressing piece of trivia - did you know that Stalin was, before coming to Russia, a would-be poet in his homeland of Georgia?
Thank you once again,
Jadwiga Dunin-Borkowska

It's been a long time finding someone who seems to care what happened and is willing to talk about it. I visited my family in Poland and asked questions and they didn't seem interested in talking about it.
Kazimierz Gonsowski

Thank you for the information and the emotions of your page. I recently have been reading books on the Warsaw Ghetto and Polish History and appreciate learning more about the Non-Jewish victims. My grandfather is a POW and this page made me connect the fact that in his stories he speaks of the Poles in the camps being the majority he saw. Hopefully from people like my grandfather and pages like this one people will *not* forget.

Gardelegen -Site of Holocaust MassacreHello:
This site helped me a great deal in a project I had for college. Thanks. I lost my grand parents during the war and the Holocaust.
Valerie Lockheart

This web site was very informative. It is a great resource I hope to use for my project.
Jesica in Cleveland.

I really enjoyed this page. I'm an 18 yr old college student in Michigan that needed information on the Holocaust for a research paper of my choice. The info on these pages helped gather the information I needed. Thank you so much.

Wszyscy ludzie sa rowni.
pawel jakubas

10/26/1999 7:44:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time
I too, am a child of a Holocaust survivor and get the same questions as you did about being Jewish. My father, Richard, was in Auschwitz, Buchenwald and was in a small camp called (Toychentowl) [I'm not sure of the spelling] before he was liberated in April 25th 1945. We are a small group that tries to educate the public that there were others that were murdered in W.W.II. Thank you for the website and it will stay in my favorites.

10/19/1999 11:45:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Thank you for such a wonderful site. I have been studying the Holocaust for some time, trying to understand how it could have happened. A site like this is very important to keep the memory alive so it will not happen again. If it is forgotten we will let it happen again.
Again thank you and best regards,

Ms. Schwartz,
My professional compliments on your Website and my sincere thanks for telling a story that needs to be told. As an American who grew up in a small Midwestern town during the 1950's, I thought " holocaust" was a Jewish word. In college I met and immediately fell in love with a young woman with a family name I had trouble pronouncing even with the American spelling - Kostushko. Like you, my Irina was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany. She opened my eyes to a whole new chapter of history - a chapter that remains closed to many Americans even today.

I am a documentary filmmaker and in September we will re-trace the route of Polish POWs captured by the Soviets in 1939, through Russia to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan into Iran. If you go on the web to you can read one of the stories that will be part of this new documentary. If you like I will send you photographs and an up-dated version of the story with permission to put it on your Website. The project has taken 6 years to pull together and I am very grateful to Poles around the world who have shared their memories with me. Keep up the good work and let me know what I can do to help.
With best Wishes,
Robert D. Burgener

From: (Marcin Szuberla)
To: Pencak
That is a great site. I am Polish and my grandfather was a prisoner in a German work camp. Marcin GROSS-ROSEN CAMP Hello, I am writing a term paper on the Non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust for a history class I am taking at my college. I had a non-Jewish relative who died at the Gross-Rosen camp during the Holocaust. I would very much like to receive a copy of your newsletter. Please let me know if there are any charges. Thank you very much.
Michael Odahowski
Marquette University
Mashuda Hall Room # 633
1926 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

To: Teresa Pencak Schwartz:
I'm so sorry, so my English is not correct. My name Daniel Bockowski. I'm 30 years old. I'm historian of Polish-Soviet relations and citizen of II Republic of Poland in the USSR during World War II. I live in Poland, in Bialystok, Zwyciestwa. I'm working in Institute of History Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, in study The Russia and the USSR history. My interest that Polish-Soviet relations during World War II, mass terror in the USSR, deportation of all nations East Europe, Stalinist system and Soviet machine of total unification, Polish children in the USRR (especially orphans and half-orphans). I can edit everything, what you want, in Polish language, but I can't translate it. My English is too shallow. I can send you more information about Polish children in USRR, about deportation Polish citizen and about them life in the USRR. I have dokuments from soviet archives and original photos (~ 100) about life deportations people in Siberia and Kazakhstan. If you want I send you something. One very shortly text, about children, I have in English, second, about Polish citizens in the USRR, in Polish.
Daniel Bockowski

From: Pawel Szuszkieiwcz


Dear Ms. Pencak Schwartz:
I would like to use your message on the site. I knew about the forced labor of Polish citizens in Germany during the WW2 but your message is very moving. As you say, there were millions of non-Jewish victims who are forgotten today: citizen of occupied countries kidnapped for forced labor, executed as hostages, all these minorities exterminated by the nazis (gypsies, homosexual, etc..). "The Forgotten Camps" is not site about the Shoah or a remembrance about one type of victims. It is a just a site trying to show how far fanaticism can lead. Recent news (Rwanda, Yugoslavia, etc.?) shows that there is still a lot to do...
Best to you,
Vincent Chatel
"The Forgotten Camps - Les camps oubliés" Fr

Dear Terese,
I have looked at your site again and read some of the pages. The list of respondents to your site and their comments are a testimony in itself for the value of your efforts. I too am in touch with students from the US who study the Holocaust and need all the information they can get. For years I also participated in Holocaust symposia we hold hear annually for about 2,000 students of Social Studies 12th grade. In March I attended the 27th Scholar's Conference on the Holocaust in Tampa, FL, with hundreds of speakers and recently one in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. More and more details are discovered and communicated by scholars in a vast number of fields and some scholars have to make revisions on their earlier books on the Holocaust. Raul Hilberg is the one that comes to mind. I made a link to your site on my Links page under Holocaust. I hope the wording is OK with you. If you would like to have it changed, please let me know. I hope we can stay in touch at least by mutually visiting our little Web villages from time to time.
My best wishes to you.

Dear Mrs. Pencak Schwartz,
Thank you very much for writing and pointing me to your site. I have taken a quick look at its first page and I like very much what I see. I will explore the site a bit more later and probably establish a link on my Links page. As you will have seen, my site is concerned with Christian theology and its inherent anti-Judaism and the Jewish response to Christian re-thinking. The Holocaust as culmination of the history of anti-Semitism is of course the dark background on which this re-thinking takes place. And it is for this reason alone that references to the Shoah must appear on the site. As much as I personally as a Christian and a German live under the dark shadow of German and Christian guilt for the Shoah, I have to limit the site to only the above topic, otherwise I would not be able to handle the work involved. I will probably write again after looking around and reading your site.
Thanks again and best wishes.
Fritz Voll

I am researching my family history. My ancestors came from Poland around 1900 but others stayed and lived around Warsaw. I was wondering if there are lists that the Germans kept that are available for such research. Thank you for such a wonderful Website.
Tom Woznicki
San Jose, CA

Dominik Thomeyer School Of EECS at Washington State University

I have just finished adding a whole new section to my web site called, "the Polish 2nd Corps" web site, which chronicles the preliminary situation, the German defences, and the day by day events of the Second Polish Corps during the Battle of Monte Cassino. Please check it out and let me know what you think of it. The URL is:
From: rberezni@thor.accessweb.

Dear Mrs. Schwartz,
I think you'll be interested in this book. Details below but feel free to get in touch with me if you'd like further information.
Irene Tomaszewski

"I Am First a Human Being -- The Prison Letters of Krystyna Wituska" has just been published. Translated and edited by Irene Tomaszewski. Excellent reviews, academic interest in departments of history, literature, women's studies and Holocaust studies. Czeslaw Milosz said, "The letters of Krystyna wituska are an unforgettable testimony of human dignity and courage."

Dear Mrs. Schwartz:
Books should be read, and, because most of the world can read in English, it would be good to translate it into English with the permission of the publishers (Fundacja "Archiwum Pomorskie Armii Krajowej"). I am sure Fundacja would agree because they are short of funds and would like to see their important work publicised abroad. We may easily help them in doing it. I am working collecting data on my family. I will fill out soon several of the forms prepared by you (I am sure I received my copy of it from Mrs. Jarosz).
Czeslaw Kentzer

I came across your forgotten holocaust site again, and wondered if I ever sent you a copy of a little book of poems, Language of Mules, that I published last year about my parents' experience as slave laborers in Nazi Germany and displaced persons after the war? I think you might be especially interested in one of the last poems in the book. It's about my mother's recollections of the liberation of the camp she was in, and the period immediately following the liberation. Let me know and I would be pleased to send you the poem.
John Z. Guzlowski
English Department Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL 61920

Ms. Schwartz:
When I was 10 years old we moved from Norway to Surrey, B.C. Canada. We had with us a diary that was published in Norwegian documenting the years 1942-1945. As far as I know there were only a few copies of the diary circulated among the Norwegian prisoners. I believe there were 32 in all. Unfortunately, we lost the diary during one of our many moves and I am determined to find a copy somewhere. Of the 32 Norwegians my dad was the last to die. Some of the stories I can still remember were the hanging of a Russian soldier by the Nazis to celebrate Christmas Eve 1942.

There was an interesting incident relating to a soccer match that was played to celebrate Hitler's birthday. The prisoners team was made of mostly Scandinavians and most of those were part of the soccer team that played in Kristiansund Norway where my dad was from. In 1938 my father joined the military in Norway. He showed an exceptional aptitude for mathematics and won a scholarship to go to Technical High School in Hanover, Germany. His study was jet engines, but specializing in jet fuel. When Norway was conquered in 1941, he decided to go back to Norway, he no longer could work in an area that would prove beneficial to the Nazi regime. When he went back to Norway he became a police officer in Kristiansund. He tried once to escape to England to join the war front there, but a storm forced them back. He was not found out, but was suspicious that one of the fellow escapees was a traitor. He also refused collaborate with the Nazis and was deemed uncooperative. In August of 1942 he was arrested and sent to a camp in western Norway. In December 1942 he was shipped to Oslo where he and other Norwegian prisoners were march through the street with chains around their wrist and ankles in the snow with summer clothes on. They were sent Northern Germany, I believe Bremmen, where they were herded into train cars and shipped to Stutthof.

He witnessed the execution of Jews and Polish civilians, which left a mark on him that, he carried for the rest of his life. He would tell us that he could still hear the Jewish chants for decades after the war. He was freed by English soldiers right before he boarded a boat in 1945 when the Nazis tried to eliminate the prisoners in front of the advancing Allied forces. My dad lived with the sights and sounds of his experience in Stutthof for the rest of his life. He refused to talk about it and would turn off TV programs dealing with concentration camps. It explains a lot about our growing up period, why dad was the way he was. My goal is to find the diary and write his story, to hand it down to my children that they will never forget, and to instill in them the dignity of every human being whatever race, religion, sex or physical or mental condition.

If you could help me get in touch with some Stutthof survivors as I try to put the pieces together, I would really appreciate it. Thanking you in advance for your help.
Best regards,
Tore Jorgensen

Thank you for your site on the five million souls who were lost to the Germans during the war. I was beginning to think I was the only one who remembered that there were 11 mill. not just 6 that were lost. It would be a great injustice to them if they had been forgotten. Again I say thank you!!!
Name Withheld

Hi Terese,
I would like to receive your newsletter. The project that my 4th graders have been working on for the last four years is to collect 11 million of the pop tops tabs that are on soda cans, fruit cups, cat food cans, etc.. one pop-top to represent each victim. When I got the original idea, after seeing Schindler's List, I was only going to collect 6 million, but as I started reading more about it, I knew I had to collect one to represent everyone who died.

Ms. Terese,
Attached are photos and comments from my father, a Lieutenant. with the 548th AAA, which stumbled on the atrocity at Gardelegen, Germany. According to his account, many non-Jewish Poles were killed in this incident. I'm trying to find out more about this incident, and understand that this may be a case of where the German civilian population even pitched in to help round up the prisoners, who were slave laborers on a death march, and herded them in a huge barn to be burned alive. Anything you can [do to] direct me to concerning this incident would be appreciated.
[See these dramatic photos on the Photo Page]
Dwane Powell
Raleigh, NC.

I _still_ cannot get over the depth and breadth of Hitler's hatred. AS far as I can tell, he hated just about everyone. Do you happen to know if there were any African victims in the Holocaust? I've not found any references to black Holocaust victims, and my African American students always ask. I tell them that I'm not sure, but I _think_ that they wouldn't have done too well under the Nazi regime. We have 2.5 million pop tops stacked in boxes in our school lobby, and last month the local chapter of B'nai B'rith voted to underwrite our project, for which I am grateful. They've said that they want to build a big Plexiglas container to display them in when I am done (which would be a lot more interesting to look at than boxes!). Sadly, our school doesn't have Internet access yet, which infuriates me to no end, because there are so many interesting things out here. If I have to, I'll take my students down to the Cyber Cafe on the weekends so that they can see the web page, and get a feel for what else is out here.
Kelly Green

Dear Holocaust Forgotten-
Please forward us a copy of your newsletter, we would like to give further publicity to your excellent work.
Dr. David Szuba, Editor
East-European Book Review

Dr. Thomas Miller

I just received a letter from American veteran of Persian Gulf Command (see related story "Bridge to Victory" on same Website) He knows some of the Polish women who came through Iran and now live here in the USA. Will let you know what stories develop. Thanks again for your interest. If you run the story, please include my email address.
Subj: Re: Polish POW's taken to Central Asia by Soviets From: (Robert D. Burgener)

Just a note to let you know that I appreciate your delicately reminding the world of the fact that the Holocaust engulfed non-Jews as well as Jews. Please keep up the good work.
Robert Brodkin
Lubbock, TX

Dear Terese:
My grandparents, father and uncle were part of the first wave of Polish persons who were kidnapped from their farm with their whole village (just outside of Lvov) and transported on cattle cars to Siberia in the winter of 1939. It took my father fifty years to recount this horrific incident to me (his only child) through which he, his family and fellow villagers (Catholics and Jews) suffered inhuman conditions, faced starvation and cruelty by the hand of the Russian Government. Knowing what I know now, I have great difficulty reconciling the gap of disparity that exists between the volumes that have been written, spoken, virtually shouted from the rooftops concerning the Jewish holocaust, and the silence that has persisted concerning non-Jews, and particularly for those who were victimized by the Russians.

Through my research I have found that not much has been written about the Siberian camps. Always these victims are overshadowed by the Nazi terror. I do not presume to measure or compare atrocities relative to death camps and labor camps. As a child of a survivor of this kind of terror, I find that I have much in common with children of Jewish holocaust survivors. And yet, I have felt marginalized all of my life. I and others like me have not had the platform that Jewish survivors have had to heal and to memorialize the victims. I have not had the support that serves to rally those to remember never to forget. I have felt almost as repressed as my father had felt for those 50 years. I am grateful for this forum, the Holocaust Forgotten. I would like to find a way to include the stories of these victims. Among them Catholics and Jews. Thank you for listening. I would be grateful for a reply.

Judi (Jusczyczyn) Justin-Schmidt

Well, about 500,000 Serbs and gypsies were murdered in the Balkans by the Ustashi, Nazi's, Hungarians, Albanian S.S. and Bosnian Moslem S.S. the Jasenovac death camp was in many respects the most brutal of all of the death camps. 20,000 Jews died there also.
Be well,

my name is Kim Poligala and I am in the 8th grade. We are currently doing a major project on the Holocaust and Anne Frank.

Talking to my parents about things like this, I learned that my family immigrated to America when the Nazis took over Poland. I think that plays a major role in me wanting to learn more about this subject and event. It is unbelievable that someone could actually treat other people the way the Nazis/Germans treat the Jewish, Polish and other ethnic groups. I have seen pictures, read stories, diaries, listened to songs, watched movies and film documentaries, and researched on Holocaust terms so that I have I much better understanding of things that was going on during this period of time.

I was wondering if you could provide me with any powerful quotes or poems pertaining to the Holocaust. Anything having to do with a "theme" from the Holocaust (courage, survival, FAITH, pain, torture, etc.) Also, anything that could help me with my project and encouraging people to really think all of this over and get involved in knowing about the Holocaust. Thank you for you time and I look forward to talking to you again.
Kim Poligala

Hello. I am an 8th grade student; I am doing a report for school on the Holocaust. We needed to find articles about it and yours was helpful! Thank you! The whole class thought your story was very touching. My teacher even cried. Well, thanks again.

I was doing a project for school and your site helped a lot.

Thank you so much for putting your articles on the Internet. I was able to get information that I haven't found yet for a research paper I was doing for my English Lit class. I just wanted to say 'thank you'.
Charli Ehle

I am a student in a webmastery class at Andrews High School. As part of a project, we are designing a website around a Holocaust theme for a web design contest sponsored by TCEA ( I would like permission to use a variety of survivor's stories from your website. I will include a link to your page and will send you the address of my Website as soon as it is finished. If you have questions about our program, please email me or my teacher, Mr. Fleming.
Thank you
Jacinto Banda

My father was born in Zabludow Poland (about 25 kilometers Southeast of Bialystok) in 1913. He left for America with his mother in 1921, but many family members remained in Zabludow and were murdered in the Holocaust. They where from a very long line of blacksmiths in Zabludow. I have a comprehensive Zabludow Memorial Webpage. I recently was able to get all the survivor testimony from Zabludow translated from Yiddish to English and I have all 70 or so pages published on my website. It was very interesting in it to read of the role of the Poles and the nature of the relationship they had with the Jews in the town. If you're interested in taking a look at my website the full URL is

My primary interest is in building bridges between people. Even between people where there has historically been great troubles. From my research my impression is that there were more rescue and kind acts by Poles towards Jews than I had previously thought. Some Poles did just very small things, and some did very risky things that put their own lives at risk. I have learned that the only surviving member of my grandmother's family, Palter Lopata, was hidden by a Polish family. I have found a relative in Chicago who has his written testimony in Yiddish from 1946. He has never translated it and has no idea what it says. He promises me he is going to scan it soon and send it to me. I will get it translated. If you look at my website I'd be most interested in any feedback from you.
Most Sincerely,
Tilford Bartman

Hello Therese,
I read on Internet about the Newsletter for Students and Educators, which I understand, is available from you. We, in the Washington DC area, would like to embark on a campaign to spread the word at the local schools and libraries about Polish Holocaust and deportations to Siberia during WWII. I think that your Newsletter could be useful in our work - please send me a copy.
Romuald E Lipinski

I am Katrina Ewing; I am of German descent. I am currently writing a book on the millions killed in the Nazi camps. I am, of course, researching and researching all the information I can find. In my search I have stumbled upon your sight, and I feel it was by the grace of God that it was what I was looking for. Although, I would like to talk to you sometime... somehow... this book will be from both sides of the story. I want everything known, from the millions killed whom were not Jews, to the reasons of hate by the Germans. I myself am sometimes ashamed of my heritage, but I want it to be known that there is peace where there is knowledge. If you could help me in anyway please let me know. Thank you so much, I would be more than happy to receive mail from anyone with a story to share. This book centers my life right now, and I just want both sides told. Everything I am finding is horrifying, and I feel that, as a German, it is my duty to get the truth out. Anyone you could have write, or call me. I have an 800 number that they could reach me at. I am only 19, and in college.
Katrina Ewing