Born in Belchatow in 1923, Jack Glucksman (formerly Yankel Gliksman) died on October 10, 2012. He grew up in Belchatow, where he lived with his parents (Abraham and Udel Lipka Gliksman) and eight siblings (five brothers and three sisters). Jack was sixteen years old on September 2, 1939 when the war reached Belchatow. He relates his story of life in Belchatow before and during the Holocaust, and of his experiences after the war, in the video below.
Besides surviving through more than five years of the Holocaust, including time in Auschwitz, Jack was one of 350 men out of 7,000 who survived the mistaken bombing of the ship, the Cap Arcona, by the British on the Baltic Sea at the end of the death march on May 3rd, 1945, when he was finally liberated. His friend and fellow Belchatower, Meyer Abramczyk, was on the Cap Arcona with him. They, along with many other Belchatowers, reunited in 1946 at the Fohrenwald DP camp and Freising, Germany. [Click here to see photos of Jack and his Belchatower friends in 1946 in the Fohrenwald DP Camp and click here to see a photo of Jack with many other Belchatowers, including one of his sisters and two cousins, in the summer of 1946 in Freising.] Of the nine children born to Abraham and Udel Lipka Glicksman, only Jack and his sister Rachel survived the Holocaust.
After five years in concentration camps, five years in post-war Germany, and twelve years in Canada, Jack had given up hope of ever having a family. But, while on vacation in New Jersey in July 1961, he met Roberta Yellen and married her in January 1962. Their union produced three children -- Debra, Sherill, and Adam -- and seven grandchildren. Before he died, he and Roberta lived together in Toms River, NJ.
Roberta told us that their son wanted to share Jack's experience with as many people as possible. So he arranged for the professional video below, completed in 2010 and compiled from videotaped interviews with Jack in 1995 and 2009, and placed it on You Tube. Roberta wrote, "Although everyone who visits the Belchatow web site has some Holocaust connection, I know that his story will be appreciated. I think his love of their hometown is palpable in the video. We were part of the group that went on the pilgrimage there to dedicate the memorial. He never forgot."
Sheer Luck - A Story of Survival
A documentary film (25 minutes) providing an account of Jack Glucksman's life in pre-war Poland, the five years he spent in various concentration camps (including Auschwitz), the Death March, and his survival in the waters of the Baltic Sea after the Cap Arcona, the ship destined to take him to safety, was bombarded and sunk.
Jack and Roberta with their family
Jack and Roberta with family at their
50th Wedding Anniversary (2012)
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