- This collection includes a memoir written by Bernard Rechnitz from 1946-1947. In the memoir Bernard records his thoughts on what happened during the Holocaust and recounts his family’s experiences from 1939-1943. Bernard writes about life before the war, moving his family from Katowice to Kraków, the German invasion, confiscation of Jewish property, and their imprisonment in the Płaszów labor camp. The collection also includes a translation of the diary.
- Collection Creator
- Bernard Rechnitz
Bernard Rechnitz (1894-1970) was raised by Jewish parents in the small southwestern Polish town of Bedzin. In 1930 Bernard moved with his wife, Ruchla (later Rachel, née Lejzerowitz), to the nearby city of Katowice, where he owned a wholesale leather business. They had two children, Genia (b.1918) and Moses (b. 1923). In 1939 Bernard became increasingly concerned for his family’s safety and decided they should immigrate to Palestine. Genia had left for Palestine three years earlier to study piano at a conservatory. Bernard sold his business and the Rechnitz family packed up their household and moved to Kraków. The war broke out before they could leave for Palestine, so they remained in Kraków. By 1942 Bernard, Ruchla, and Moses were deported to a labor camp on the site of a munitions factory in Skarżysko-Kamienn. Bernard was put to work in subcamp C where workers filled artillery shells with picric acid, a yellow, poisonous powder absorbed through the skin. One day, someone dropped a loaded artillery shell that exploded injuring several people, including Ruchla, who did not survive. Over the next three years Bernard was sent to several different camps, including Buchenwald. Moses was also sent to various camps, including Dachau. After liberation in 1945, Bernard and Moses immigrated to Palestine. Moses later immigrated to the United States in 1954.
1 book enclosure
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
- Conditions on Use
- Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.
Keywords & Subjects
- Holder of Originals
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Moses Rechnitz donated the Bernard Rechnitz memoir to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1992.
- Funding Note
- The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
- Record last modified:
- 2023-02-24 14:02:41
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