Testimony of Guta Nakrycz (née Katz, 1. voto Kucyk) from Otwock:

My brothers, Ruwen Katz, age 23, and Wolf Katz, 26, were taken from Otwock to build a camp in Treblinka. During that time a young boy escaped from the railway track workplace in Treblinka camp. The Germans discovered they were missing one Jew during the evening assembly. They ordered that ten men be removed from the row and shot. My brothers were among this ten. My younger brother Ruwen then asked the Germans to leave at least one of them alive. The Germans did not even want to hear his request and they ordered the execution on the spot. It was the last day of Passover in 1942.

Then 6 o’clock in the morning on the day of August 19, 1942 came. Even from afar you can hear the singing of drunken soldiers on tanks, you can see them rushing along the Świder-Otwock road. The ghetto is besieged by Germans and Ukrainians. Whistling bullets fills the air. We are baited, hunted and chased like animals. SS men, like beasts, pounce on their victims. Shots continue all day. The ghetto is covered by the cadavers. The SS herd the miserable mothers and their children to cattle wagons at the railway ramp. The German kick, they beat them with rifle butts. Moans, screams, yelling, hell on earth. We are abandoned by God and by people. One can hear shouts for “water! water!”. It lasted until 10 o’clock in the evening. Ours were taken to Treblinka, to the gas chambers.

My husband Hirsz Kucyk, aged 37, with his mother, Ita Kucyk, aged 62, his two sisters, a few neighbors and I, hid in the attic of the villa on Warszawska Street for two days after the liquidation began. Below us, we heard the soldiers entering the house. They found a woman sick in bed there, shot her and left. The woman was seriously wounded and she moaned all day and all night. Finally, her voice silenced. She apparently died.

I met my relative and her children surreptitiously. Her ardent wish was that the Germans would shoot her first so she would not have to watch the children being shot. The Germans usually shot children in front of their mothers. This was the ongoing sincere prayer of a Jewish mother in those days. It was my fervent wish that the Germans would not catch me alive so they could not lead me to my grave to be shot down naked for their public amusement. I preferred to be shot in an escape.

The Germans brought Jews from the Karczew camp, who, assisted by the Germans, went around Jewish houses and called in that the Jews should get out of hiding. We heard their voices and saw them through the attics gaps, but we did not move. We left our hiding place after midnight two days after everything subsided.

During this nightmarish night, we hid our children (Beni, 12 and Stefanek, 8 years old) at Poles’ friends in Świder. Directly from our hiding place we went there. The Polish woman did not want to let us in. Finally, after great requests, she opened the door and, when asked, where our children were, she said that because of her fear, she told our children to leave the apartment, but she comforted us that the children are probably alive and in the area around Świder. It was then that my husband said goodbye to me and that we were both to hide in different places. I have not seen my children since then. A  familiar policeman named Nussenholz from Kołbiel told me children thrown out by a Polish woman went to the cars to look for their parents. He also said that my husband, Hirsz Kucyk, was caught by the Germans, shot and buried in the grave of his brothers between Świder and Otwock.

Germans, along with the Polish police, began to search for the remains of the Jews in the apartments, attics and basements. Whoever managed to hide himself was arrested and sent to the Jewish police station. They looked awful and inhumanly when they were pulled out of these detected corners. After a few days they were taken in secret to the grave of their brothers which had been prepared in advance and martyred on the sands between Świder and Otwock.

Our sisters and brothers were executed there. Mortally pale, terrified, in extreme despair, they stripped from the outer garments, still alive they bent over the grave, and the bullet in the back of the head knocked each one, one after another into the common grave. My mother-in-law Ita Kucyk with two daughters died there too.

Based on: Yad Vashem Archive, testimony AYV O.3.1578