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One of the young survivors of Buchenwald writes in German "Where are our parents?" on the side of a train prior to the departure of the children's transport from Buchenwald for France.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 44251

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    One of the young survivors of Buchenwald writes in German "Where are our parents?" on the side of a train prior to the departure of the children's transport from Buchenwald for France.
    One of the young survivors of Buchenwald writes in German "Where are our parents?" on the side of a train prior to the departure of the children's transport from Buchenwald for France.

The boy writing on the side of the train is Joe Dziubak from Lodz.

    Overview

    Caption
    One of the young survivors of Buchenwald writes in German "Where are our parents?" on the side of a train prior to the departure of the children's transport from Buchenwald for France.

    The boy writing on the side of the train is Joe Dziubak from Lodz.
    Date
    June 1945
    Locale
    Buchenwald, [Thuringia] Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Willy Fogel
    Event History
    The Buchenwald children were a group of approximately 1000 Jewish child survivors found by American troops when they liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Most of the children were originally from Poland, though others came from Hungary, Slovenia and Ruthenia. Unsure of what to do with the child survivors, American army chaplains, Rabbi Herschel Schacter and Rabbi Robert Marcus, contacted the offices of the OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants), the Jewish children's relief organization in Geneva. They arranged to send 427 of the children to France, 280 to Switzerland and 250 to England. [Vivette Samuels reverses the figures for England and Switzerland in her monograph, "Sauver les Enfants."] On June 2, 1945 OSE representatives arrived in Buchenwald, and together with Rabbi Marcus escorted the transport of children to France. Rabbi Schacter accompanied the second transport to Switzerland. Because of the difficulty in finding clothing for the children, the boys were clad in Hitler Youth uniforms. This created a problem, for when the train crossed into France, it was greeted by an angry populace who assumed the train was carrying Nazi youth. Thereafter the words "KZ Buchenwald orphans" were painted on the outside of the train to avoid confusion. On June 6, 1945 the French transport arrived at the Andelys station and the orphans were taken to a children's home in Ecouis (Eure). The home had been set up to accommodate young children, but in fact only 30 of the boys were below the age of 13. This was only one of the many problems faced by the OSE personnel, who were not prepared to handle a large group of demanding, rebellious teenagers who were full of anger for what they had experienced. At Ecouis the boys were given medical care, counseling and schooling until more permanent accommodations could be found. Most of the children remained only four to eight weeks at Ecouis before being moved elsewhere, and the home was closed in August 1945. Among the first to leave were a group of 173 children who had family in Palestine. They were given immigration certificates and departed from Marseilles in July aboard the British vessel, the RMS Mataroa. The remaining boys at Ecouis were soon transferred to other residences and homes. Some of the older ones were sent to the Foyer d'Etudiants located on the rue Rollin in Paris, where they boarded while attending vocational training courses or working at jobs in the city. Others were sent to the Chateau de Boucicaut home in Fontenay-aux-Roses (Hauts-de-Seine). Many of the boys came from religiously observant homes. Since the OSE could not obtain kosher food for everyone, they divided the children into religious and non-religious groups. Dr. Charly Merzbach offered OSE the use of his estate, the Chateau d'Ambloy (Loir-et-Cher) for the summer, and between 90 and 100 boys chose to go there in order to receive kosher food and live in a religious environment. In October 1945 the children and staff of Ambloy were relocated to the Chateau de Vaucelles in Taverny (Val d'Oise). About 50 of the non-religious boys were taken to the Villa Concordiale in Le Vesinet (Yvelines) near Paris that housed an equal number of French Jewish orphans. In the summer they went to the Foyer de Champigny in Champigny-sur-Marne (Val-de-Marne). In all the homes attended by the Buchenwald children vocational training as well as regular classroom instruction was offered. At the same time OSE social workers made every effort to locate surviving relatives, succeeding in about half the cases. By the end of 1948 all of the Buchenwald children who had come to France had left the OSE fold and begun new lives for themselves.

    [Sources: Hemmendinger, Judith and Krell, Robert. "The Children of Buchenwald." Gefen Publishers, 2000; Grobman, Alex. "Rekindling the Flame." Wayne State University Press, 1993; Hazan, Katy, "Chronologie de l'histoire de l'OSE L'action de l'OSE apres la guerre." (31 December 2002).]

    https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005131.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Willy Fogel

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Joe Dziubak was born either September 6, 1925 (or August 14, 1929). He had three older sisters and two older brothers. His father died before the war, when he was 11 or 12. In 1940 the Dziubak's were sent to the Lodz ghetto, where Joe worked in a saddle-making workshop. At the end of June, 1944, he and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At Birkenau he became separated from his mother and he joined a group of 100 boys in a special barracks in Auschwitz I (bldg 27, room 9). They were then parceled out to work on five different farms in groups of 20. He worked on a farm at Auschwitz for six months. Late in January, 1945, he was marched to Gleiwice and then put on train to Buchenwald, where he arrived at the end of January 1945. By then, all of his family had disappeared. At Buchenwald, Dziubak was placed in bloc 66 in the little camp. The only work he was assigned was to go out in groups to clean up after bombings. On April 10, 1945, while waiting for a work assignment, a reconnaissance plane appeared overhead. The guards became scared and ran away, and the prisoners were liberated the following day. After liberation, the boys were placed in the SS buildings outside the barbed wire, which were in poor shape. In early June 1945 Joe joined a transport of 420 boys who were sent to Ecquis, France. Two years later he was able immigrate to the United States under the sponsorship of relatives in Chattanooga, TN.

    [Source: Phone interview with Prof. Ken Waltzer, MSU]
    Record last modified:
    2010-07-14 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1140269

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