THE VISIT IN POLAND - AUGUST 1996
My wife and I went on a trip to Debica, Krakow,Tarnow, and Auschwitz in August 1996 .
My main goal in this visit was to find pieces of information about my family, who had
lived in Debica until the second world war , and I found...
It was a very difficult work and our limited time did not enable us to find all the information about my family.
The Polish people react very slowly and most of them know no English at all.
We had a very nice guide,Pawel Korcz,a student who spoke good English.
I received some information about him via the internet.
He and the driver waited for us in Krakow airport and helped us 12 hours a day .(we paid him 50$ per day and so was paid our driver, who knew only 2 words in English: "good morning"...).
Pawel helped us a lot and without him our trip could have been very unsuccessful.
I would like to shortly describe here what we saw in Poland:
In Debica we looked for information in old books at the town civil registration office (CRO).There weren't any records concerning the Jews. The clerks think that either the Germans destroyed all of them,or they were taken by the Russian soldiers during the war. Somebody in Tarnow CRO told us that maybe these records are in Reszow CRO which was closed in August due to a summer vacation.)
We found records in one court book that in 1948 the court of Debica confirmed a list of 20 Prekers who had been killed by the Germans during the war.
The list showed the connections among the Prekers and I found 18 new members of my unknown family (for me).
(You can see this list of the Prekres in my Debica research homepage.)
Everything in the records was written by hand in small letters and our useful guide translated it for us.
We also visited the old Jewish cemetery which is now in a good condition.
Several months ago the Nissenbaum family from Krakow contributed a new fence to the
cemetery, as well as a new gate and a memorial wall from old tombstones.
The grass in the cemetery area was nicely cut and the area was clean .
The hundreds of old tombstones are in bad condition because of their age and type of material. They were not made of strong marble.However we managed to read part of the inscriptions. There are no surnames on the tombstones ,only the first name and father`s name.
We met 2 old Poles in a street in Debica who showed us where the Jewish Getto had been
during the Second World War and told us some very sad stories about how the Germans had killed
the Jews in the streets.
Those 2 people started talking to us when they saw us taking pictures of the old synagog which is now an electronic store.
We found some information in Tarnow about Prekers in the town CRO and in the Polish state
archive.We looked at 200 years old big books containing records of births, marriages and deaths.
There was a lot of information in those books, yet it was very difficult to find what we were looking for.
We also visited the big, old Jewish cemetery. In this place there were thousands of tombstones.
The cemetery area was in a bad condition with a lot of high grass among the tombstones.Most of the tombstones were in a good condition. It seems that the Germans did not touch this place during the war.
We also visited Krakow (There are 2 big Jewish cemeteries and a number of synagogues there ) ,Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.
I have more than one hour video movie (in Pal system) and around 50 photos
from this trip.
I am sorry to tell all the people who asked me to find some information about their families from Debica that it was an impossible mission. It was very difficult and took a lot of time to find my own information.
I spent many hours trying to find something about my family and didn't even have the time to
finish it because the Poles close their offices in 14:00 and I was only 4 days in Poland.
So I had no time to do the search for other people as well.
I hope that the pictures that I put in Debica Shtetl homepage interest all the Debica`s Jews descendants.
Tel Aviv Israel