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Steven Galezewski collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0089

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    The collection consists of a memoir containing information describing the liquidation of the Minsk-Mazowiecki ghetto and a copy of an arrest warrant dated 30 August 1941.
    Collection Creator
    Steven Galezewski
    Steven Galezewski (neeĢ Eligiusz Zbigniew Galezewski) was born on May 11, 1923, in Chelmno, Poland. When he was a young child, his family moved to Inowroclaw, Poland. During World War II, Steven joined the Polish underground in Minsk-Mazowiecki, Poland. Steven recalls that, in 1940, the Nazis ordered all the Jews to wear an armband with the Star of David. Signs in the town read, "Jews, Poles, and dogs -- entrance forbidden." The large Jewish community in Minsk was relocated into the ghetto at the end of 1940. Five hundred of the Jews were selected to work for the German Army. On July 24, 1942, 218 of the 500 were shot. On Aug. 21, 1942, the Minsk ghetto was liquidated; the only survivors were 282 tradesmen still useful to the Nazi war effort. During this time, Steven was working in the underground, engaged in sabotage. Sabotage often involved blowing up buildings or means of transportation. For example, Steven was involved in blowing up a leather factory which made boots for Germans, movie theaters showing German propaganda films, as well as trains carrying troops and/or supplies. As a cover, Steven worked as a fireman in the Rudszki factory, a position which allowed him to be out after curfew. On Jan. 6, 1943, the firefighters raced towards smoke in town. When they arrived on the scene, Steven realized the Copernicus school, where the remaining Jews were working, was on fire. The German, Ukranian, and Polish police stood by and watched the building burn. The firefighters were ordered to stand back. Steven witnessed a German officer shoot a little girl. Steven recalls that, after the fire, the bodies of the victims were looted by bystanders. In 1944, Steven's resistance unit was sent under Soviet command to provide security for the public hanging of five SS officers in the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland. From Mar. until July 1945, Steven was in Soviet hands. As he supported the Polish government in exile, rather than the Communist government, he was perceived by the Soviet Union as a potentially subversive element. Steven was sentenced to prison by the Soviet Union. He was being transported to Siberia when he was freed by Polish guerrillas. Steven then went into the American zone. From there he joined the Polish Army in Italy. In 1947, when he came back from Italy, Steven joined the British Army rather than return to Communist Poland. In Feb. 1951, Steven immigrated to the United States. In 1956, he joined the United States Army

    Physical Details

    English Polish German
    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1997 by Steven Galezewski
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:19:20
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