My name is Avraham Harshalom (E-mail: avraham.harshalom@ariel.co.il) and I was born in 1925 in Pruzany, then Poland, today Belarus, son of Mozes Frydberg and Cyra (Tzira) Frydberg (maiden name: Galpern). I had one brother, Sioma.


We lived at Szereszewska 7. As I have been told today the name of the street is Pormasov.


My father Mozes Frydberg came to Pruzany from a nearby village called Oliszewiche. To the best of my knowledge he was born between 1895-1900. His mother, my grandmother, Esther Frydberg lived in Pruzany. She was a widow and as far as I know in addition to my father she had two sons who emigrated to the United States. I never met them. After the war and until his demise I was in contact with one of them, Josef David Frydberg.


My mother, Cyra (Tzira) Frydberg (maiden name: Galpern) moved to Pruzany with her parents from a village in the Bakuny region. I remember only my grandmother. My grandfather passed away at a younger age.


My grandmother, Haya, had a grocery store which was part of the house where we lived.


My brother, Sioma was older than me and to the best of my knowledge he was born in Pruzany in the year 1921. He studied at the "Yavne" school and the "Tarbut" high school. During the years 1939-1941 under the Soviet regime he was a notary in Pruzany.


I was born in 1925. As my brother I studied at "Yavne" and "Tarbut". During the years 1939-1941 I studied at a Russian-Yiddish school, which had 10 grades and graduation from this school was equivalent to high school graduation.


During the years 1939-1941 under the communist rule we lived at the same address in Pruzany and my father worked at the Vojentorg company, one of the suppliers to the Red Army.


My mother was a house-wife and my grandmother (my mother's mother) had already passed away.


With the invasion of the German army all Jews were gathered within a ghetto. Our house was located in the area of the ghetto and therefore we could stay there.


By the end of January 1943 all Jews of the ghetto, about 9200 people, were gathered and sent in four transports from the train station of Linowo next to Pruzany to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.


Our family, i.e. my father, my mother, my brother, my grandmother (my father's mother) and myself, was in the fourth transport which left Pruzany on 1 February 1943 and arrived at Birkenau on 2 Februay 1943. The number of the train was PJ105.


Out of the approx. 9200 people who were on the transports 1183 men and 592 women were sent to the concentration camp. All the others were sent directly to the gas chambers. From our transport 1265 people entered the camp, 294 men and 105 women. All the others were sent directly to the gas chambers which were at that time in a farm house called the "White House". Afterwards the corpses were cremated at the ditches since the crematorium wasn't in use yet (still under construction).


My parents and grandmother were sent directly to the gas chambers. My brother and me came to the concentration camp. In spite of my encouragement and support my brother got depressed and went to the hospital. Then we didn't know that a few days afterwards most of them were sent to the gas chambers instead of getting health care at the hospital.


At the age of 18 I stayed in Auschwitz alone until the end of the war.


(Written in year 2004)


To read his book "Alive from the Ashes" , click here



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