This article originally appeared in the February - March 2001 issue of "Voice of Piotrkow Survivors" and is reprinted here courtesy of Ben Giladi.
This complete list contained originally over 700 names of Polish and Jewish boys also some (Polish only) girls, all in alphabetical order. About one-third (234 boys) have the word "Zyd" (Jew) near their names. The following record contains only these. To the best of my knowledge, at least 92 of these boys survived the war and 67 are alive today. Of the other 142, about half did not survive. Some of the names I could not identify or had to classify their status as "fate unknown." In order to arrange this selective record, I had to painstakingly cut out the Jewish subjects guided by name, address and the date of birth.
One thing is certain: this is not a complete list. Some of the names I still remember are missing. Furthermore, there are many 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old boys on the list and not only 15-year-olds, as the caption states. Some of the boys were later transferred to the Kara factory and to the Bugai woodworks. Some other merely registered and hardly worked. They were sent to Treblinka or went into hiding, The older workers do not appear on the list.
All this represents the statistical segment of the analysis. The emotional, human impact of this record is another story.
Yes, I remember it well. In the spring of 1942, when the sense of urgency and panic compelled us all to secure employment in order to avoid deportation, I passed the mean-looking Hortensia "portiers" Ferster and Zehman and walked straight into the office of the manager Kuczamer. He interrogated me politely and then gave me a small Hortensia stationery form. On it he wrote: "Gelade Berek - Odnaszacz" (in Polish, "glass carrier"). "Take this note to the Arbeitsamt Office down the street," he instructed me, "and then come back." In the Arbeitsamt I was handled by Radke, the manager himself. He promptly prepared an official Swastika-stamped document with the words "In Arbeit - Hortensia" and handed it to me. This was the key to my survival. I was then sixteen years old. A few hundred other Jewish boys, some of them as young as twelve, went the same route. Then we all had to endure the heartbreaking reality of harsh, eight-hour shifts of labor and cruel treatment. We all had to pay a heavy price for being allowed to live.
Ben Giladi, New York
Original pages from the list
The original list of Jewish slave laborers, including date of birth and ghetto address; names are in alphabetical order by surname. Click on any image for a larger view.
Page 1: A-C
Page 2: C - K
Page 3: K - R
Page 4: R - Z
Images courtesy of Ben Giladi (who appears on the list as "Berek Gelade").