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1942: Jakub Lemberg and family

March 2nd, 2012 Meaghan

(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.)

On this date in 1942, on the first day of Purim, Jakub Lemberg was executed together with his family in the Nazi ghetto in Zdunska Wola, Poland.

Lemburg, a 43-year-old internist and pediatrician, was head of the Judenrat in Zdunska Wola and thus it was his task to do the Nazis’ dirty work, such as putting together lists of his fellow-Jews for deportation.

He revealed himself to be a man of exceptional character and courage, and the circumstances of his death, as recorded in Louis Falstein’s The Martyrdom of Jewish Physicians in Poland, should not be forgotten:

The Gestapo chief ordered Dr. Lemberg to deliver ten Jews to be hanged for the ten hanged sons of Haman. Dr. Lemberg replied that he could deliver only four Jews: himself, his wife and their two children. Hans Biebow, “the Butcher of Lodz,” seized Dr. Lemberg and turned him over to the executioners, who killed him in the cemetery.

The Zdunska Wola ghetto was liquidated five months later. And in 1947, Biebow got his.

Here’s an image of Lemberg testimony (in Hebrew) from the Yad Vashem database.

Also on this date

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Doctors,Execution,Germany,Guest Writers,History,Innocent Bystanders,Jews,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Other Voices,Poland,Power,Shot,Summary Executions,Volunteers,Wartime Executions,Women

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4 Responses to “1942: Jakub Lemberg and family”

  1. 1
    Another hero of the Holocaust « The Charley Project Blog Says:

    [...] on the list of two days ago, but decided against it since he’s being profiled today on Executed Today. When Lemberg was ordered to turn over ten Jews to be hanged, he instead produced himself, his wife [...]

  2. 2
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Even after my many years of study of the Second World War, it’s still hard to believe that the German nation could have become so evil, but they did. Their success at mass murder is astounding, and it boggles the mind to think of how efficient they became with the killing on a daily basis once the war got under way. A true manifestation of evil

  3. 3
    Mark Says:

    “The Holocaust is an unparalleled example of power run wild, which is to say that once evil on this scale picks up enough momentum, once it establishes itself in a system of functioning structures, it cannot – after a certain crucial point – be stopped by any counter force within itself. The greater the concentration of power, the greater the paranoia it generates about its need to destroy everything outside itself. The worst thing that can be said of vast power is not that it inevitably corrupts its agents, but that after some point its deployment becomes greater than the will of the men who serve it. What can be destroyed, will be destroyed – a lesson the Holocaust confirms and which we, with our B-52′s and nuclear submarines, our talk of ‘death yields’ and ‘overkill,’ might wish to remember.”

    – Terrence Des Pres, introduction to Jean-Francois Steiner, “Treblinka,” New York: New American Library, 1979, p. xii

  4. 4
    ExecutedToday.com » Purim Says:

    [...] version, too; there’s even an instance where the Zdunska Wola ghetto was required to provide ten Jews to hang for the ten hanged sons of Haman. The frothing anti-Semitic propagandist Julius Streicher, being [...]

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