I was born in Poland in 1925. Till 1939 I had a usual life in Cracow My youth was stopped by second war world when life of Jewish people was turned to nightmare. I spent years in concentration camps. Passion for music helped me lot to survive.
After liberation by american army I spend a few years in Italy and then I moved to US. I met there my wife and I started my business.
Now I’m over 90 but stolen youth is still in me. As Founder of Holocaust Survivor Band I run concerts and speaks among the World.
I was born as a son of Franciszka and Zygmunt 29th April 1925 in Cracow in Poland. I had a sister Helena. Our surnames, Dreier, comes from my mother family thanks to very religious grandfather. I remember that my primary school was named after Tadeusz Kościuszko and it was located at Legionów street. I don’t think that there is still same school.
Additionally I participated in Jewish school classes which had a place at Rękawka street in Podgórze (part of Cracow). I recall that thanks to very liberal teacher together with friends apart from learning of Jewish history we played sports.
Idyllic life of a child ended in 1939.
Start of war
In 1939 second world war started and life of Jewish people was torn upside down. Just after war started I left as a one man in family. My father was an officer in Polish army and he was taken to prison after one of the battle against German army. I saw him one year and the half later.
In General Government, as part of Poland under Nazi German occupation, Jewish people had to wear a bands with Star of David. But that was only a beginning of oppressions for my nation.
It wasn’t matter that I was a teenager. I had to work as an adult at snow and ice clearance. And food portions for Jewish were minor than for Polish. After the worked I worked as delivery boy for one of the bakeries. I remember that for work I used a bike which I received on bar Mitzvah from my aunt.
“Life” in ghetto
After an order for Jewish people separation in ghetto together with my mom and sister I moved to my grandma house who lived at ghetto border. It was 1941 and I was 16 years old.
Life in ghetto is difficult to describe as “life”. Dozens of people in one apartment, no food, no work for majority of people. I had a work. It was labour work. I worked on segregation of all Jewish people belongings which were taken from my nations: clothes, furniture, everything what was take during resettlement.
One day, when I was coming back home from work, I noticed that German force people to go to Płaszów train station. I saw my mom in group of those people. I saw like they were taking her to concentration camp and I couldn’t do anything. Only sister, grandma and uncles left from my family.
One day, on a street, a man came to me and said “I’m your father’. I didn’t recognize him. He was very thin. Je joined us and we lived together. He said he escaped from a prison.
Common life didn’t took long. Some time after soldiers took my mom grandma and uncle’s. She was a disable person, couldn’t move, so they shoot her at Zgody Square. I saw it, being in a pharmacy close to that place, and again, I couldn’t do anything.
Force labour camp and concentration camp
A few weeks after I was taken to Płaszów labour camp where I met people from Poland and other countries. Women sewed uniforms and suites, men-built barracks.
After around a year I was relocated to Schindler factory at Zabłocie, small work subcamp of Płaszów camp. I started to work in NKF Factory, where we was repairing radiators for Germans aeroplanes. The factory was located next to schindler factory. (a work for military equipment production, with ammunition included.)
We were guarded by German and Ukrainian soldiers. In the camp was separately baraks for men and woman.
Relocations and work at concentrations camps
In July 1944 I was taken to the Jews transport to Auschwitz. That was the same transport from which Oscar Schindler rescued members of “his list”. I remember that the whole train was standing at the station for a long time, probably a few hours. When the door was opened instead of Auschwitz I realised I’m in Mauthausen where I was for a 3-4 weeks. After I was taken to Mauthausen – Gusen. From Mauthausen I was taken to concentration camp Linz in Austria. I worked there in Haubwergstate Factory as a welder.
Later a factory was bomb and I was transfer to repairing the railroads trucks.
At one day works was stopped due to bombing. Several people were dead. I was injured but I managed to return to the camp.
End of war was close.
American army arrived and I was liberated. Then I went to another big city Salzburg in Austria over there I was staying with other young people. We were taken on army trucks to south Italy to DP Camp. I was recuperating in Italy for five years. Later I went to USA.
I arrived to America in November 1949 by the ship- Marina Jumper to New York City. At the pierre my uncle and cousin were waiting for me and I was taking to Brooklyn to Cony Island. I was working as a welder in Brooklyn Factory. My cousin passed away and I was very devastated. I went to friend of main to Elisabeth New Jersey. I joined him in business. In 1957 I met my future wife. Her husband past away and she was lest over with 2 years old child and I did adopt him.
We get married in November 17th 1957. I had with my wife 3 children. We bought a beautiful house with swimming pool. We ware leaving there with 4 children. Eventually a friend of main was building gardens apartments and I joined his business. My wife took sick in 1980 and I had an occasion to relocated to Florida to the same business. The whole family moved to Florida.