The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/05/31

Q. What happened further to that mass of people?

A. On the third day, when there were already only a few
people on the field.

Q. Why were there few people?

A. All the time convoys passed by, convoys conveyed people
to the railway station during those days.

Q. What did they do with the Jews who were brought to the
railway station?

A. I do not know to this day.

Q. Did you see anyone of them subsequently?

A. I did not even find my parents there in the field, and
I was separated from them.

Q. Have you seen them subsequently to this day?

A. No.  My father merely expressed his wish that I should
say the Kaddish (mourner's prayer) on the first day of the
month of Elul.  This was three days before the first day
of the month of Elul, and he calculated that the journey
would possibly take two days, and he would be there one
more day.

Presiding Judge: Did you know where they were bound for?

Witness Karasik  We knew - we already had experience with

all the deportations.  We had heard of all the

deportations. Attorney General: Where to?

A. To Treblinka.

Q. Very few of you remained at the end?

A. We remained very few.  It was one transport.  Then the

Germans began to separate the men.  They assembled about

700 men and ordered them to sit on one side.  A truck came

up and some six men began to distribute bread to these

men. Q. The men who were more fit?

A. Fit men, not young or old men.

Q. What happened to them?

Presiding Judge: Only men, and what about the women?

Witness Karasik  No women.  Definitely not.  I specially

took a young girl who had arrived earlier, who had come

one day earlier from the forest.  We had a plan to break

out of the railway waggons.  I did not want to be parted

from her. I took her along, and I said that she was my

wife and that I wanted to go with her.  Then one of the

officers took a stick, placed it on my neck and dragged me

to the side where the men were standing.

Judge Halevi:  How old were you at the time?

Witness Karasik  27 - 28 years old.

Attorney General: What happened to you?

Witness Karasik  We slept in the field.  The following day
Friedel, Magel and Halbreich came once again, and called
out several names from the list.  Naturally many of these
names were not to be found amongst these men.  Then some
more Jews were added.  We were 70 in all.  They seated us
in trucks with a strong guard.  We began to move.  We
arrived at the prison in Bialystok.  The gate opened and
we were taken into the prison.

Q. Did you work for about two months?

A. We worked for two months - so those in charge of us
said - we worked on the construction of pigsties for the
SS General Halbreich.  Some of us worked in the SS offices
on Warszawska Street.

Q. What were they doing there?

A. Services.  There were a number of locksmiths, a number

of carpenters.

Q. Work of skilled artisans?

A. Work of skilled artisans.

Q. Did you sleep in the prison?

A. Yes.  In the morning they would take us by truck, and
in the evening they would bring us back to the prison.
When we arrived at the prison, the Germans told us that we
should remove the badge, for there were no more Jews in
Europe, and they marked us with a cross on our back, and
long blue stripes on our trousers.

Q. When was this?

A. About 20 August 1943.

Q. Afterwards, one day, an order was received to go out of
the gaol and to line up in rows?

A. Yes.  There was an instance where our comrades who were

working on Warszawska Street escaped, and they took us

away from our work and brought us to the gaol.  We did not

know what had happened, since it was in the middle of the

day when they took us away from work.  The prison

commandant, Knappel, told us that now we would have to pay

for the treachery of our comrades, and they kept us in

gaol.  They did not permit us to leave the gaol to go to

work.  Some of the Jews who were working on Warszawska

Street remained there to sleep.

Q. What happened to you?

A. We were in gaol until May 1944.

Q. What happened then?

A. During the eight to nine months we were in gaol, we saw
how the Germans all the time sent out groups who were
being transported to death.

They used to bring in Jews who had hidden in bunkers after
the liquidation.  At first they killed them every there or
four days, and after some time they killed them once a
fortnight.  There were also cases where they seized
Christians in the street, because of some provocation,
where they said they had killed a German doctor, and they
brought them, a thousand, one hundred and twenty people...

Q. How many, a thousand, one hundred and twenty, or one
hundred and twenty?

A. One hundred and twenty.  The following day the usual
truck came and removed them from the prison.  After an
hour or two we saw how their clothes were brought to the
stores.  We worked in the prison in services, so that we
knew everything that was going on in the prison, and we
served as a link between the cells.

Q. You mentioned the matter of clothes.  I understand that
in Bialystok there was also a textile industry, for the

A. Yes.  Most of the city's industry was textile.  At the
time of the Soviets, the Russians organized all the small
factories and concentrated them into combines.  The
Germans naturally exploited this and continued with the

Q. Mr. Karasik, please answer my questions.  Did
transports of clothing of murdered Jews arrive?

A. Yes.  After the "action" of 5 February 1943 many

waggons arrived with clothes.  The Jews who worked in the

textile industry related that they often found documents

of the Arbeitsamt (Labour Office) in the name of people

they knew. Presiding Judge: Where were these clothes

brought to? Witness Karasik  They arrived at the textile

factory. Presiding Judge: Did you work there?

Witness Karasik  No, but the Jews who did work there told
me about it.

Presiding Judge: And did they also tell you where these
clothes came from?

Witness Karasik  This they did not know, but they found
papers and they knew that these were the clothes of the
Jews of Bialystok.  First of all they found the Shield of
David on the clothes.

Attorney General: And the clothes were used by the

industry for making uniforms?

A. To make new uniforms.

Q. For whom?

A. For the Germans, for the Reich.

Q. In May 1944 you were removed from the gaol?

A. In May 1944, at the beginning of May, an officer came
to us - I worked in the locksmith's workshop of the gaol -
the officer came and ordered 40 chains with rings at the
end of two metres' length, and also a number of short and
long hooks and iron beaters.  He ordered all this and it
stood there in a side room in the workshop.

Presiding Judge: What?

Witness Karasik:  They ordered it and did not take it.  It
remained there.

In May, I don't remember the date exactly, Friedel came
once again - he was the one in charge, he was our constant
visitor.  We knew that if he came, something new was going
to happen.  And so it was.  They took us out into the
yard; he looked at us and said: "You are still looking
well.  You will go out to construction work."  They
removed ten of our men and left them for service in the
prison; and they told the remainder to go into the sewing
workshop; they tore a hole of about 10 centimetres in our
clothing and in its place sewed white cloth on our back
and on the right knee.  Thereafter they put us into the
famous truck.  They told us also to take the hooks and the
chains and we began moving.

Attorney General: Where did you go to?

A. When the doors were opened, we saw that we were in the
courtyard of the Gestapo on Siemkiewiczo Street.  There we
underwent an additional search, and they took away from us
all the things that remained from the gaol - pencil stubs,

Q. What place did they take you to?

A. We went further on and reached Augustov.  There we
found a place prepared for us, two cowsheds surrounded by
a barbed wire fence.

Q. Did they give you anything to eat?

A. They gave us as much food as we wanted: bread and honey
and pork, and they allowed us to rest for a few days.
After that they took us out to work.

Q. To what kind of work?

A. To construction work, just as they had said: They gave

us spades for digging, they brought us to a particular

place and marked out the place where we were required to


Q. Who marked out the place for digging?

A. Those who accompanied us.

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