David (Dusia) Katz
a Remembrance, by Maya Katz Golan
My name is Maya Katz Golan, from Israel, and I am the daughter of David (Dawid in Polish) Katz, (was called by his family and friends: Dusia) who lived in Kremeniec 12 years, between 1929-1941.
My dad was a Professional Electrical Engineer and he worked in Kremeniec in industrial undertakings and plants on the Estates. He was in charge of 12 small Power Stations and from 1935 worked in counseling and installation on own account.
After the Soviet occupation of Kremeniec in 1941, and receiving an evacuation order from the Soviets, he managed to take with him some friends (Pesach Gorenstein, the Shumski family - parents and daughter Ella - and maybe someone else), and they all went by truck to the Polish-Russian border.
To make a very long story short, after many troubles, including an arrest by the Soviets on suspicion of espionage, David Katz arrived to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and worked there under the Soviet authorities 7 months, as an X-Ray Engineer, in 20 large scale hospitals that probably were full with Soviet wounded soldiers.
But that was no way to pass the war for David, as he wanted to fight and defeat Hitler. He looked for a way to contribute his share in fighting, for the sake of humanity, as well as for the Jewish honor - and after many difficulties managed to volunteer: first to Gen. Anders Polish Army, and then volunteered again to the British RAF in the UK.
He was assigned to a Fighter Squadron in the 2nd Tactical Air Force and participated in the D-Day - Invasion of Normandy, the crucial battled that opened the way to defeat the Nazi regime. In addition, he was also assigned to the French Resistance Movement, that facilitate the Allies' advance through France.
He took part in the liberation of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, during which he also liberated Concentration and Death Camps. The sight of his tortured people was engraved in his heart and guided him further on in a later stage in his life. After the war was over he was decorated by the Polish government in London (the government in exile) with 2 medals and by the British government with 3 medals. In 1967 he was decorated in Israel with the Fighter Against the Nazis Decoration and last year, in 2008, I received for him the Fighter Against the Nazis Decoration and Fighter Against the Nazis Medal, and the Fighters' for the Sake of Israel - ALEH Decoration, as dedicated in the attached letter: "for his part in the Struggle For The Revival of Israel".
After the war, there was still a British Mandate in the land of Israel that was still called then "Palestine" . Although he served in the RAF for 6 long exhausting years and fought for Britain, The British Government didn't let him immigrate to Israel, and he was forced to find another place to settle in on the planet. He arrived to Australia one week after the Declaration of the State of Israel, and I can only imagine his feelings in such situation. As the distance was long and the money was short, he stayed there for a while. That took 3 years, until he was announced of the death of his brother in Israel. He hurried to arrive to Israel to take care of the sick parents who survived the Holocaust for whom he managed to get a Certificate of Immigration to Palestine after the war.
On his arrival David Katz was invited to fill a national scaled one-of-a-kind position: Chief Electrical Engineer and Head of the Electrical Department of the General Health care System: Kupat-Holim Clalit of the Histadrut - organization known today as Sherutei Briyut Clalit - General Health Services, - the largest health insurance institution in the country.
He filled this position during 24 years, until he passed away, in 1974. Electrical Eng. David Katz established, designed and build the whole electrical infra-structure of a network of health centers and hospitals throughout the country.
His drive was those sights of the Holocaust survivors that he liberated a few years earlier. The State of Israel hurried to build hospitals and health resorts for the survivors and for the rest of the immigrants - about a million people - that came from more than a100 countries to Israel, after persecutions, tortures and general suffering. His unique contribution: Designing and constructing automated Power Stations throughout the country, for emergency needs, within hospitalís domain. That fact determined in Israel a new standard for saving human life.
David Katz is the evidence that the Jewish Spirit is invincible.
David represents the victory of the Jewish Spirit over Anti-Semitism: He took part in fighting the Nazi Beast, he built the ancient Jewish homeland, he raised a loving family - and has 8 descendants; among them, two are named after him, one of them follows his footsteps and studies Professional Engineering.
This is, in very short, my story of David Katz, my beloved father. I would appreciate if you could publish this story on your site. Please find attached 2 photos of my dad's. I have some more photos of his Kremeniec times, which I would be happy to pass on to you after receiving your response.
David Katz never forgot his friends and acquaintances from Kremeniec and filled Yizkor pages for those who were murdered in the Shoah - in the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem.
After his death in 1974, Mr. Shika Goldberg, who knew my dad from Kremeniec, wrote an article of him the the Kol Yotzei Kremeniec in Hebrew.
Looking forward to your response,
Maya Katz Golan
P.O.Box 145, Tzoran 42823 ISRAEL
David Katz, Kremenets Power Station, 1930s
David Katz, RAF, WW2