"My brother, Bronislaw Honig, from Cracow, Poland, was given away by my parents when he was 8 and they were taken into the concentration camp at Plaszow. He was never seen again. In my search for my brother, I have met many people who have tried to help me - people from all over the world. This site is a chilling account of a horrible period in world history. It stole my family from me and I live in the U.S. instead of Poland because of it. My parents did survive, one of the few married couples who both survived. They have now passed on, but I continue to look for my brother." - Barbara Honig, Los Angeles, California

 

 

Barbara Honig from Los Angeles, California, added a message to my guestbook - and this is the story of her missing brother, Bronislaw Honig, caught up in the Holocaust as a little boy.

Prior to World War Two, Rose and David Honig led a happy life in Cracow, the third largest city in Poland with 60,000 Jewish citizens. David worked as a salesman in a hardware store and Rose was a dressmaker. Their life was highlighted by the birth of Bronislaw on October 8, 1935. 

The Honig family's feelings of security collapsed, however, when the Nazis stormed into the country and took control of Cracow, on September 6, 1939. Extremely harsh anti-Jewish measures were immediately put into action. The Nazis forced the Jews into the newly established ghetto and brutality accelerated with murder, violence and terror. The Nazis enacted their usual pattern of confiscation of Jewish property, personal humiliations and deprivations of every sort, forced labor, and deportation to KZ camps. In late 1941, eighteen thousand Jews were imprisoned in the ghetto and many died from starvation, disease, and exposure.

Bronislaw Honig was a well-mannered, handsome little boy and 7 years old, when the Nazis finally liquidated the Cracow ghetto March, 1943. 

Oscar Schindler, who saved 1200 Cracow Jews from the Nazi deathcamps, viewed the murder and brutality of the liquidation of the Cracow ghetto from atop an adjacent hill - on horseback. He witnessed the madness and chaos in the street. Men, women and children machine-gunned. It was at that moment that Oscar Schindler vowed that he would do everything within his power to protect his Jews and destroy the Nazi Regime. 

Rose and David Honig were sent to the workcamp Plaszow after the liquidation of the Cracow ghetto and they miraculously managed to smuggle little Bronislaw into Plaszow with them, hidden in a suitcase, piled onto a cart filled with clothes. 

With the help of other inmates they managed to hide the child from the Nazis, but when other Jewish children were being discovered and shot, they arranged for Bronislaw to be smuggled out of the camp. A young non-Jewish woman, Jarosh, offered to take the child. With a stern warning to keep absolutely quiet Bronislaw was hidden in a backpack and given to the woman, who waited outside the camp.

This woman would take Bronislaw to a street corner to allow the parents to see their son on their way between their workplace and the Plaszow camp. The last time they saw him was in September, 1943. 

Rose and David Honig survived the Holocaust and went back to Cracow to search for their son. The apartment was empty - seven year-old Bronislaw and the young woman were never found ...

 

 

 

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sources:

Thomas Keneally - Schindler's Ark

The Museum of Tolerance - A Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum

www.auschwitz.dk   www.oskarschindler.com   www.shoah.dk

Louis Bülow  Privacy. ©2007-09.