The Froehlich Family

enlarge map

Story of the Froehlich family

During World War II, Katarzyna Froehlich and her daughter Dorota Kuc lived in the village of Wilcze (Śląskie Voivodeship). They helped the Lindenbaum family, prisoners of Auschwitz, the German Nazi concentration camp and the extermination center. With the Froehlich family's help, the Lindenbaums escaped from the Death March.


The winter in January 1945 was very severe. Since the Red Army was taking over the lands occupied by Germany, the Nazis started moving the prisoners from concentration camps to Germany. Józef Lindenbaum and his son Szlomo (Shalom after the war) were in one of the groups evacuated  from Auschwitz. On the way many of the evacuated prisoners died of starvation and exhaustion. When the Nazis decided to shoot all the people who remained alive, the Lindenbaums decided to run away.

“It was a real chaos. People were running in all directions”, says Shalom years later. The Lindenbaums, hungry and exhausted, reached the village of Wilcza near Gliwice. Here they had met a woman who took them to Katarzyna Froehlich and her daughter Dorota Kuc, who in the interview for POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, recalled:

It was winter, January, it was freezing. It was Monday, the day was very sunny but the cold was unbearable. They were wearing the camp’s striped uniforms when they came in […]. They had tied some towels over their ears in order not to get frostbite. There were icicles hanging all over them; it was a real miracle that they had survived.

The Lindenbaums received food and warm clothes. They spent two days in hay in the attic. Then they started to live with the rest of the household. They were helping with the farm work, Shalom was feeding the cattle. They had managed to survive until the Red Army marched in. After the war they emigrated to Israel. For many years Shalom Lindenbaum had been maintaining a close contact with Ms Dorota.

On 18 November 1992, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem honoured Katarzyna Froehlich and her daughter Dorota Kuc with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

More

Bibliography

  • Ignacy Jóźwiak, The interwiev with Dorota Kuc née Froehlich, Wilcza 12.05.2009
  • Karolina Dzięciołowska, Janina Goldhar, Joanna Król, Jadwiga Rytlowa, The interview with Shalom Lindenbaum, Ramat Gan 12.08.2010