Phil was born in 1929 in Czeladz, Poland. Aware of impending danger, Phil’s parents sent him and his brother to relatives in Wolbrom, Poland. When the war started in September 1939, the Jews of Wolbrom were attacked in the streets. Afraid for their safety and for their parents, Phil and his brother secretly took a train back to Czeladz. Phil soon found a job working as an apprentice in a furniture factory that had been taken over by Germans. In 1942, he was sent to a prison, and then to the city of Sosnowiec. In Sosnowiec, the Nazi authorities selected Jews to be deported to concentration camps.
Phil was deported to Markstadt, a subcamp of the Gross Rosen complex in Germany, where he worked in a munitions factory. He was then transferred to Fünfteichen, another subcamp of Gross Rosen. As the Russians approached Germany from the East, the camp authorities ordered all inmates to evacuate. Phil hid and stayed in the camp until liberation. After liberation, he returned to Poland and reunited with his sister and uncle. They illegally smuggled out to Munich, and Phil settled in the United States in 1950.
Surviving the Holocaust: Stories of Life
An ongoing project of KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles
and Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park