Irek - From the Underground "Irek" was his code name. But most people knew him as Tadeusz Borowski. Only the Polish resistance fighters knew him by his pseudonym.
1067 - Diary
Kidnaped and Deported - ...in Occupied Poland. Later, the Germans applied forced deportation for work. They kidnaped young men and women in the street, in the marketplace, and in front of churches on Sundays. [read more]
My Hands: Memories of
a student nurse who rescued Jews.
Eva Choma Pencak
- Catholic Survivor
French survivor describes his months of hell in concentration camp Mittelbau Dora in Nordhausen April 4, 1945: "We smelled an odor. ....there was a rumor that the Nazis were keeping prisoners in a labor camp. Something was telling me that the odor had something to do with the prisoners...
American in Poland During the Holocaust
My Father: American Holocaust Survivor
By: Susan Ostrowski-Perrone
I have never written about this subject before. I have hardly even talked about it. I guess I never felt that we, non-Jews, also "owned" the tragedies of the Holocaust. This Internet site (www.holocaustforgotten.com) enlightened me to realize that it wasn't just Jews that were treated horribly. Until I visited this site, I had always thought that it was just a miserable mistake that my family got caught up in an atrocity that was happening to the Jews.
My father, until I recently asked him, never talked about how his family was torn apart by the holocaust in Poland. I only knew bits and pieces of stories I had heard when my parents talked quietly. After visiting this site on the non-Jewish victims and survivors, I was inspired to talk to my father and ask him more specific questions.
My father, George T. Ost, (formerly Ostrowski) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1918, just after his parents emigrated from Poland. George was the youngest of seven children. Sometime soon after George was born, his mother returned to Poland with the children. His father continued to live in the United States to support the family. George and his brother, Edward were U.S. Citizens, but the rest of the family members were Polish Citizens. All the children were educated and raised as Catholics in Gdynia, Poland.
Living in Poland when Germany invaded in 1939, George was drafted into the Polish Army although he was an American citizen. Being college-educated, the Polish army offered him immediate officership. A few weeks later his entire troop was captured by the Nazi's. George was beat unconscious with a rifle butt. His teeth were knocked out. He awoke on a truck, bleeding and bruised, thinking he was headed for the forest to be executed. Instead, he and 32 other Polish soldiers were taken to a nearby concentration camp. When the Germans learned he was a Lieutenant he was treated a little better, but they did not believe he was a U.S. Citizen.
When George's mother learned of his capture, she immediately began searching for him. Mrs. Ostrowski found her youngest son in a concentration camp, 14 miles from Gdynia. She talked to the Nazi officers and was able to convince them that he was an American citizen. He was released along with four other young men from his troop six weeks before the United States' involvement in the war. George was lucky. Unfortunately not everyone is his family was so lucky.
A few weeks later, George and his brother, Edward, who had just returned from fighting in the Polish Army at the Russian border, were walking into town to register Edward's return to Gdynia. The Nazis required all Polish citizens to be registered. George and the other members of his family had already registered. While waiting in the long slow-moving line with Edward, George decided to leave to buy some cigarettes. Unfortunately, when he returned, the entire line of people, along with his brother was gone. No one knows exactly what happened.
Edward was 24 years old. They never saw him alive again. In 1944 or 1945, George's two sisters, Sophia and Hatti, identified Edward's' remains in a mass grave in the woods not far from Gdynia. He was traced by tattooed numbers.
After the United States became involved in the war it was necessary for George to leave Poland. He headed for Marseilles, France where he embarked on a boat to the United States. George tried to get settled in the U.S. but was soon drafted into the United States Army. He was part of the Army Air Corp., which later was to become the Air Force. George was almost court martialed for being a spy because he spoke fluent German. After that was straightened out, the Army sent George back to Europe to fight the Germans.
Fortunately, he was not captured this time and returned home after the war to marry and start a family.
Ost passed away in March 2004 surrounded by his family. He was very
touched to think that anybody cared about his story.
By: Susan Ostrowski-Perrone - Scottsdale, Arizona