Herzog family collection
Document | Accession Number: 2001.347.1
The Herzog family collection consists of 46 letters written by Henry Herzog, Szymek Herzog, and Natek Herzog in the ghetto in Rzeszow, Poland, to their sister, Fela Herzog, who was in hiding under the assumed name Felicja Zwolinski.
- Document Creator
- Herzog family
Emil Herzog was born in 1884 in Jaroslaw, Poland. He married Antonia Biern Herzog, who was born in 1890 in Spiska Stara Ves in Slovakia. Emil was a traveling salesman, selling chocolate. The couple had four children: Henry Armin Herzog (b. April 27, 1917); Fela Herzog (b. July 13, 1919); Szymek Herzog (b. 1920); and Natan Herzog (b. 1924). They settled in Krakow in 1920 and lived on 11 Kolataja Street. Henry Herzog attended a commercial academy and Fela Herzog was a student in a Jewish high school. Henry and his two younger brothers were very active in the “Maccabi” Jewish sports club, participating in different sports activities like soccer, ice-skating and mountain climbing. Their home was a traditional Jewish home and the family kept kosher. Emil Herzog always returned home for Shabbat. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 the Herzog family remained in Krakow but in March 1941, the Germans expelled forty thousand Jews. The Herzog family moved to Rzeszow and joined Emil’s brother.
In December 1941 a closed ghetto was established in Rzeszow. On July 7–13, 1942, the first mass deportation took place: about 22,000 Jews from the entire district of Rzeszow were concentrated in the ghetto and immediately deported from the city to the Belzec death camp. In late September 1942, Emil and Antonia Herzog were deported and murdered on arrival in Belzec. Henry, Szymek and Natan decided to seek a hiding place for their sister, Fela, as rumors about the Germans using young Jewish women for prostitution spread. Mr. Tytus Zwolinski and his wife, Luiza, took Fela in. Tytus Zwolinski, a member of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) worked for the German Ostbahn (German Eastern railroad System) and was a direct supervisor of the three Herzog brothers. The three brothers wrote letters to their sister. The letters were delivered to her via Jozef Magrys, a good friend of Tytus Zwolinski and via Leon Horn, a neighbor, who worked outside the ghetto and had opportunities to give the letters to Mr. Zwolinski. On Aug. 8, 1942, about 1,000 women and children were deported from the ghetto to the Peikinia concentration camp, where all of them were murdered shortly afterward. In November 1942 only about 3,000 Jews still remained in the ghetto, which was transformed into a forced-labor camp and divided into two isolated parts: "A" for slave laborers, and "B" for members of their families. In September 1943 part "A" was transferred to the forced-labor camp of Szebnia, where the majority of the inmates met their death; part "B" was liquidated in November 1943, when all the inmates were deported to Auschwitz and exterminated. In November 1943 Fela who still lived in Rzeszow with Tytus and Luiza Zwolinski under an assumed name of Felicja Zwolinski, contacted Mr. Wladyslaw Lopatowski, another PPS activist to help and arrange for her brothers to escape the camp. Wladyslaw Lopatowski arranged for false papers and together with his son accompanied Fela and her three brothers to Krakow. During the Gestapo raid, that very night, Szymek and Natek were captured and executed. Henry and Fela continued on their escape journey. They were arrested in Hungary, but Fela was taken for a non-Jewish Polish woman was released. During her imprisonment she met Emanuel Feiger, who posed as a Red Cross emissary. Fela was released from jail in March 1944, married Emanuel in August 1944 and the two of them managed to get to Romania. Emanuel Feiger was seriously wounded during this journey. Henry Herzog managed to escape his detention and joined the Russian partisans in Slovakia. He fought in the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944. Henry saved the life of Gideon Frieder, the seven-year-old son of the Chief Rabbi of Slovakia. After the liberation Henry located his sister Fela in Bucharest.
Wladyslaw Lopatowski was denounced to the Gestapo for harboring Jews and executed. All correspondence and photographs left by Fela with Mr. and Mrs. Zwolinski was preserved by them and returned to Fela in 1946. Fela and her husband Meny Feiger settled in Dallas, TX. They have three children: Robert Emil, b. 1949; Toni Francis Wulwick, b. 1955 and Marcie Gerard, b. 1958 as well as six grandchildren. Henry and his wife Bibi Herzog settled in New York and recently moved to Boca Raton, FL. Henry published a book “And Heaven Shed no Tears” based on his and his family’s experiences.
- System of Arrangement
- The Herzog family collection is arranged in a single series.
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Felicia Herzog Feiger and Henry Herzog donated the Herzog family collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2001.
- Funding Note
- The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
- 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.
Record last modified: 2021-11-10 13:01:51
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