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Concentration Camps: The Chelmno Testaments

The two following testaments were written by Jewish prisoners in the Chelmno death camp and found there after the war.

These are the Jews who have worked in Kulmhof (Chelmno) between Kolo and Dabie in the death camp:

Herszkowicz, Josef of Kutno
Plocker, Mojsze of Kutno
Plocker, Fajwel of Kutno
Szlamowicz, Szyje of Grabow near Lodz
Radkiezicz, Nojech-Wolf of Lodz
Charach, Chaskel of Leczyca
Wachtel, Simche of Leczyca
Wachtel, Jisroel-Chaim of Leczyca
Jastrzebski, Beniek of Leczyca
Sztrasburg, Ojser of Lutomiersk
Stajer, Gecl of Turek

These are the last Jews who worked for the Gestapo in Chelmno, which is situated between Dabie and Kolo. These are the last days of our lives so we give a signal maybe there still will be relatives or acquaintances of these persons. So you shall know all Jews who were sent away from Litzmannstadt (Lodz) were killed in a very cruel manner they were tortured and burnt goodbye if you survive you must take revenge.

2 April 1943

This note is written by people who will live for only a few more hours. The person who will read this note will hardly be able to believe that this is true. Still, this is the tragic truth, since place your brothers and sisters stayed, and they, too, died the same death! The name of this locality is Kolo. At a distance of 12 km from this town [Chelmno] there is a 'slaughterhouse' for human beings. We have worked here as craftsmen there [illegible word], I can give you their names.

Pinkus Grun of Wloclawek
Jonas Lew of Brzeziny
Szama Ika of Brzeziny
Zemach Szumiraj of Wloclawek
Jesyp Majer of Kalisz
Wachtel Symcha of Leczyca
Wachtel Srulek of Leczyca
Beniek Jastrzebski of Leczyca
Nusbaum Aron of Skepe
Ojser Strasburg of Lutomiersk
Mosiek Plocker of Kutno
Felek Plocker of Kutno
Josef Herszkowicvz Plocker of Kutno
Chaskel Zerach of Leczyca
Wolf Szlamowicfz of Kalisz
Gecel of Turek

These are, then, the persons' names which I give here. These are only a few people from among the hundreds of thousands who died here!

From: Kleinman, Yehudit and Dafni, Reuven (Eds.). Final Letters – From the Yad Vashem Archive, London, 1991.

Sources: Yad Vashem - Eclipse of Humanity