Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Basia Garfinkel Lemel photographs

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2007.478.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Eight original vintage photographs documenting Basia Garfinkel, Sala and Heniek Garfinkel, and Gitl Beitner before the war in Będzin and after the war in Sosnowiec and Piotrolesie, Poland.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Basia Lemel
    Collection Creator
    Basia Lemel
    Basia Garfinkel was born in Będzin, Poland, on November 2, 1927 to Josef Garfinkel (b. 1889) and Jochewed Beitner (b. 1886). Josef owned a general store and a workshop where holiday frocks were sewn. He was a very observant man and follower of the Radomsk Rabbi. The family spoke Yiddish at home and lived at Modrzejewska 44, a building where most of the residents were Jewish, including the Weinstein, Golensztajn, Klajman, and Gutman families. Basia was one of ten children, all of whom except Hela, the married eldest sibling, were living at home at the time the family was forced into the ghetto established by the Germans after their occupation of Poland in September 1939. Her siblings were Hela Chaya (b. 1912), Esta Jentl (Jadzia, b. 1915), Natan Nachman (b. 1917, the eldest son, attended a yeshiva), Sala Szajndla (b. 1918), Fajgla Fela (b. 1922), Ruchla (b. 1922), Perla (b. 1923), Lejb Tojwe (Yehuda Arie Lejb, b. 1925), and Salek (Shaul Dawid, b. 1931).
    In March 1943, Basia was arrested and put in the Dulag transit camp in Sosnowiec and then transferred to Gellenau, a slave labor sub-camp of Gross Rosen. She received a few postcards from her family in Będzin, but heard nothing more after August 1943. In March 1944, Basia was transferred to the Langenbielau slave labor camp where she worked in the Christian Dierig textile factory. She befriended Regina Renia Gesundheit from Mysłowice. They became camp-sisters, and Renia helped Basia learn to ration her bread portions to make them last for 3 days.
    In January 1945, the Germans ordered the evacuation of Langenbielau. During the first night’s rest, Renia and Basia escaped from the death march. They found refuge in a stranger's house where the sight of a baby sleeping in a cradle made Basia feel that she was returning to life. It took six months for Renia and Basia to reach Będzin. Basia tried to return to her home, but the strangers who lived there would not let her enter. There did not seem to be any other Jews in Będzin, so Basia made her way to the neighboring town of Sosnowiec, where she met other returning Jews. She found her surviving sister, Sala, and started attending school. She was told that in August 1943 all of her family had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Everyone was murdered upon arrival, except for Sala, and one brother, Nachman. Sala married and became pregnant. In 1946, she died while giving birth and Basia took care of her niece. Basia's brother, Nachman, emigrated to Palestine after liberation. His fiancé had perished in Auschwitz and he claimed that Basia was his fiancé in order to get her into the country. In 1947, Basia arrived in Palestine with their niece.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The Museum is in the process of determining the possible use restrictions that may apply to material(s) in this collection.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007 by Basia Lemel
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 17:50:03
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us