HIDING IN POLAND
If, like Jane Seymour’s great aunt Jadwiga Temerson, your ancestor managed to slip out of the ghetto and navigate the gang-lined city streets to a friend’s house, then they had a chance of survival. It was a lonely and precarious existence, since Poland was the only occupied country in which hiding Jews was an offence punishable by death, and neighbours could also be held accountable.
The Ghetto Fighters House Museum and Archives in Israel holds the Adolf Berman Collection ( gfh.org.il/ Eng/? CategoryID= 87), which documents underground rescue operations after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, including handwritten lists of people in hiding who received secret financial support from ‘Zegota’, the Polish Council to Aid Jews.
After the war, the Central Committee for Polish Jews collected information about survivors and helped them connect with lost relatives. The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw ( jhi.pl/en) now holds the Committee’s archive, including Jadwiga’s Survivor’s Card. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, founded in Poland and relocated to New York in 1940, holds
The Black Book of Polish Jewry: An Account of the Martyrdom of Polish Jewry Under the Nazi Occupation by Jacob Apenszlak, which is held at the British Library.