Members of the Jewish police were not the only ones who served the Germans; some Jews acted



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Only a few members of the Ordnungsdiesnt did not have shameful deeds on their conscience. …

Over and above the uniformed portion of the Ordnungsdienst, who openly assisted the occupier, there existed during the occupation a broad network of confidants, commonly called informers, who were connected to individual German bureaus such as Zollfahndungsstelle, the Gestapo, Wirtschaftsamt. These confidants spied on Jews in hiding especially members of the Jewish Fighting Organization, searched for hidden Jewish property and that given over [to Poles] for safekeeping, and listened in on conversations. Often the denunciations were trumped up and were the result of personal conflicts. Because of these denunciations hundreds of people were imprisoned or deported to Auschwitz where they died in gas chambers. …

… The number of confidants was elusive, although it probably exceeded significantly the number of official OD workers. …

On instructions from the Gestapo Spira [Symche Spira, the head of the Jewish police] organized the so-called Zivilabteilung, the most ominous part of the OD, which reported directly to the Gestapo. Its workers were: Julian Appel, Blodek, Michał Pacanower, Ignacy Pacanower, Artur Löffler, Natan Schleifer and Wertal. These persons hand ed over to the Germans, without scruples, Jews who had displeased them for whatever reason. … Artur Löffler … made up lists of Jews for deportation, and denounced Jews who hid. Natan Schleifer searched for hideouts of Jews, informed about political conversations, and thought nothing of blackmailing people for bribes. …

The confidants were commonly called informers. This was the most dangerous element, bereft of all scruples and human feelings. … Depending on their assignment they tracked down Jews in hiding, members of the Jewish Fighting Organization, hidden Jewish property, people with party affiliation, etc. The confidants blackmailed their victims and extorted money from them, and once deprived of their money and valuables, they handed them over without the slightest scruple. There were many confidants living both inside and outside the ghetto who were not known at all and consequently were very dangerous.1155
The activities of a Jewish Gestapo agent in Kraków are described by Zvi Helmut Steintiz:
Uncle Jurek had connections to a man whom he claimed would be able to get us residence permits from the Gestapo against payment … Mother’s brother handled negotiations with the mystery man …

Gestapo members were happy to do business with the Jews that they despised, so that they could line their own pockets with east money earned at their victims’ expense. When I saw the agent I couldn’t understand how this man—“typically Jewish” in appearance and not especially likeable—had managed to win the trust of several Gestapo men. The agent was known back then as a “Macher” (doer, maker), as were other people who had connections to the Gestapo and got things done. … I don’t know the price he demanded. Having noted down our personal data, he promised to get the papers to us within ten days, and certainly before the deadline date [of the “resettlement”]. Ten long days passed and we neither saw nor heard from the agent.1156


The activities of a Jewish policeman in Kraków are described by Bertha Ferderber-Salz:
One of the ghetto policemen was a low creature who had been friendly with one of the leaders of the underground during their university days. The police had prepared a satanic plan. This man met his friend frequently and gained his confidence through lies and hypocrisy. The member of the underground movement would rebuke him for serving the Germans. The policeman gradually convinced him that he was in the force not by choice, that he wanted to help the underground, and that in effect they both desired the same end. In order to prove his good intentions he would supply the underground with items of information from time to time, until he was trusted by them. Then, when he knew where the leaders of the underground met he arrived with a group of policemen, surrounded the building, and attempted to arrest its occupants. The policemen, however, were unarmed, whereas the members of the underground had arms in their possession. With their arms at the ready, they prevented the traitors from implementing their foul plan and made their way through the ghetto’s alleys and streets to the “Aryan” side. But the game was up. The traitor knew the addresses of the members of the underground inside the ghetto and outside it. Some of the fighters managed to escape to Warsaw, where they continued the battle. Others fled to the forests, but most of them were caught and flung into the infamous Cracow prison, Montelupich. They were executed after being tortured sadistically.1157
The ghetto walls were not a barrier for Jewish collaborators, whose activities were directed at both Jews and the Polish underground. Jews escaping from the ghetto by way of the sewers were betrayed by Jewish informers.1158 There were also cases of Poles who agreed to take in Jewish property for safekeeping being arrested and sent to concentration camps because of betrayals by Jewish agents.1159 As one Jewish witness noted,
Most of them did not conclude their dirty work with the annihilation of the ghetto but continued collaborating with the Germans on the “Aryan” side, helping them to expose Jews who had tried to save themselves through “Aryan” certificates.1160
Many of the numerous collaborators active in Kraków (some of whom were members of the Jewish order police or Judenrat) have been identified by name and their activities detailed. Not only were they were responsible for scores of Jews living outside the ghetto losing their lives, often they also took over their victims’ property and extorted money from them. The list1161 includes: Julian Appel, the boxer Anders, Behavier, Białobroda, Leopold Blodek, Stefania (Stefa) Brandstätter, Broda (who was executed by the Jewish underground), Samuel Brodman (who worked for the Foreign Exchange Control Office and informed on Jews who traded illegally in currency), Brzeziński (executed by the Home Army on February 26, 1943), Solomon Desler, Maurycy Diamand (or Diamant), Esterowicz, Josef Erlich (code name “Josele Kapota”), Szuje Fastak, who betrayed both Poles (such as Home Army members Antoni Szczygielski and Witold Jernik) as well as Jews to the Gestapo (Fastak was executed by the Home Army), Feiler, Aleksander Ferster, Israel First, Albin Fleischman, Förster or Forster, Szymon Friedman, Wilek Giemski, Marcel Goldberg, Zamek Grajek, Marceli Grüner (who tracked down Jews in hiding and members of the Jewish Fighting Organization; he immigrated to South America after the war), David Gutter (executed by the Home Army), Gurman, the Hand brothers, Heller, Marian Handel or Händel (originally from Lwów, after the war he lived in Caracas, Venezuela, under the name of Klinowski but disappeared when detected by fellow Jews), Hochwald (who informed the Germans about wealthy Jews and, after the liquidation of the ghetto, denounced those still in hiding), Regina Judt (a cabaret owner and prostitute), Katz, Meir (Majer) Kerner, Kohn, Leser or Lejzer Landau (who later immigrated to Israel), Leinberger, Willi Leitgeber (executed by the Home Army), Lejtkin, Lewin, the Lichtenbaum brothers, Lisman, Artur Loffler or Löffler, Markowicz (executed by the Home Army), Mendl, Mojsie Müller, Mynis, Bobi Nebel, Alfred Nossig, the brothers Israel or Ignacy and Michał Pacanower or Patzanower, Peschel (executed by the Home Army), Marta Puretz (who was also active in Budapest under the name of Maria Panecka and later became Marta Hercz), Michael Poretz or Purec, Alfred Reich (from Bochnia), Dr. Szymon Rosen (from Bochnia, who was arrested after the war and tried), Marian Rotkopf or Raskof (from Bochnia), Roth (from Rzeszów, who left a trail of arrests after each stay in Kraków), Rozencwajg, Jakob Schindler or Szindler (who milked his charges before betraying them), Natan Schleifer, Schomburg, Mojżesz Sellinger or Selinger and his wife (not only did they denounce Jews on “Aryan” papers but also Poles who accepted Jewish property for safekeeping), Silberstein, Symche Spira or Simcha Shapira (the commander of the Jewish police, executed by the Home Army), Szymon Spitz or Spic, Stein, Steinfeld, Professor Sterling (executed by the Home Army), Świeca, Süsser, Szejn, Szmerling, Szymanowicz, Ignacy Taubman or Traubman (who also went by the name of Gołębiowski), Hersz Waga, Ark Wajntraub, Warszawiak (code name “Parszawiak”), Salo Weininger (Weininger denounced Irena Goldwasser and he and another agent apprehended Leibek Haffner after recognizing him on a streetcar), Natan Weisman or Wiessmann, Weitz, Wertal, Witkowski, and many others. Some of the informers were not agents or confidants at all, as in the case of a well-to-Jew who informed on Shimek Drenger in revenge for an “expropriation” carried out by Drenger on behalf of a Jewish underground organization, thus leading to the arrest of Drenger and Gusta Davidson in January 1943.1162 Some of these Jewish Gestapo agents also ventured outside Kraków, especially to Bochnia.1163 Szymon Spitz even made his way to Pilica, where he was followed by Gestapo members from Kraków and Miechów who carried out arrests and executions of Poles and Jews.1164

The memoirs of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a “Righteous” Pole who ran a pharmacy in the ghetto and was intimately acquainted with it affairs, provide a number of examples of the activities of Jewish collaborators who endangered both Jews and Poles:


From time to time people would disappear from the Ghetto in this fashion: a list was prepared by a Jewish Gestapo agent, Szymon Szpic, in cooperation with the OD Commander Spira; using this list the suspects were pulled from their homes, usually at night, and delivered to the OD so that they could be transported early in the morning by German cars under heavy police guard, either to Pomorska Street or in an unknown direction where all traces of them disappeared. There were many such cases. Jews disappeared and, also at the outset, some Poles who operated various enterprises in the Ghetto. Even I was included on one of those lists. … The charge against me was that during the night many of the Ghetto inhabitants constantly gathered in my pharmacy. …

Aside from Szpic, I should mention some other informers who carried on their activities both in the Ghetto and beyond its walls, and to whom the Germans assigned various functions. Among them were Julek Appel, … Bialobroda, Stefania Brandstatter or Poklewska, [Wilek or Wilhelm] Chilowicz and his wife [Maria], [Mietek] Finkelstein, Forster, Marcel Gruner, Marcel Goldberg, Kleinberger, [Maier] Kerner, Michal Pacanower, Szymon Rosen, Marian Rotkopf, Ignacy Traubmann, Weininger, Weismann, and many others about whom we did not have positive proof. These informers infiltrated all the institutions of the Ghetto, including the Customs House. … Brodman and Steinfeld were particularly useful to the Germans there. We kept the names of the informers on prescription blanks which I kept hidden during the occupation. Virtually all of them perished at the hands of the Gestapo or Polish underground organizations.

A very dangerous couple in the service of the Gestapo was the Selingers. … They collaborated with the Obersturmfuhrer [Obersturmführer], Theodore Heinemayer, who was counselor of the Gestapo for political affairs. In the cafes she would eavesdrop on the conversations of the Germans; he would not slight any task assigned to him by the Gestapo. He [Mojżesz Selinger] denounced Jews who had Aryan papers and Poles who were in contact with the Jews.1165
Abraham Brand was one of the Jews passing as an Aryan in Kraków who was recognized and apprehended by Mojżesz Selinger and his colleague Brajtowicz.1166 Fortunately, Brand was able to escape. Another Jew apprehended and denounced by Sellinger was Henryk Wachtel.1167

After the liquidation of the ghetto, several groups of Jews continued to be employed by the Germans. One group consisting of about 20 (or even as many as 42 according to another report) former Jewish policemen, headed by a Jew named Leopold Blodek, became Gestapo confidants. Spread throughout the city, their primary, but not their only task, was to ferret out Jews in hiding, at which they excelled. Another group consisted of about a score of Jews from the Płaszów concentration camp who, in exchange for their freedom, undertook to infiltrate Polish underground organizations and to expose Jews in hiding. The leaders of these groups (Diamand and Förster, respectively), as well as some of their members (Julek Appel, Natan Weissman, Stefa Brandstätter, Symche Spira, Mr. and Mrs. Chilowicz, and Białobroda), were eventually exposed in the Polish underground press. Having thus been rendered useless and expendable, most of them were done away with by the Gestapo.1168

As a result of a grenade assault on the Cyganeria café, carried out in cooperation with the communist People’s Guard on December 22, 1942, according to Jewish sources, or December 24, 1942, according to the official plaque marking the event, the Jewish underground in Kraków basically ceased to exist. The action was part of a gun heist intended to arm the fledgling Jewish Fighting Organization (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa–ŻOB). Its Warsaw members, Yitzhak Zuckerman and Havka Folman, were enlisted in the operation. The plan was to shift the blame for the attack onto the Home Army, avoid reprisals against Jews and divert them toward Poles. (A similar strategy, i.e., directing anticipated German retaliations onto Christian Poles rather than Jews, was behind the alleged derailment of a train by the Wilno United Partisans Organization near Nowa Wilejka, sometime between May and July 1942, which resulted in the execution of scores of Polish villagers,1169 and the decision of the Jewish underground in Częstochowa to kill a German soldier near the Jasna Góra monastery, which resulted in the execution of twelve Christian Poles.1170)
Disguised as Germans, members of the Jewish Fighting Organization’s Krakow [Kraków] branch were told to launch diversionary attacks on drinking establishments frequented by off-duty German officials: the Esplanade, the Bohemian [Cyganeria] Café (a favored haunt of the businessman Oskar Schindler), and several other locales. The idea was to seize as many weapons as possible and then raid an armory in the ensuing chaos.

The attack was coordinated by local ZOB leader Abraham Leibowicz [known as Laban], a General Zionist from the youth group Akiva. …

At the appointed hour, when Christmas parties were in full swing, Laban’s partisans struck. They lobbed grenades into the bars and restaurants and stormed in, firing pistols. Isaac [Zuckerman] was part of the team that hit the upscale Bohemian Café, where several Mausers were pried from the hands of a tableful of dead Gestapo agents.

The Germans were so stunned by the brazen assault—the first major rebellion in their otherwise tranquil stronghold—that all the assailants got away safely. … Thirteen Germans [11 according to other counts] were dead and a dozen more were in the hospital. It was revenge, pure and simple, and unburdened by moral dilemmas. There were no bystanders in a place like the Bohemian Café—from the waiters to the women of loose virtue who trolled for German clients, everyone there was complicit in the Occupation in one way or another. [This statement is simply ludicrous. Staff working in such establishments were no more complicit than Jews employed in German ammunition factories. M.P.]

To throw the vengeful Gestapo off track in the aftermath, the ZOB raiders left behind leaflets implicating the Home Army. This, they hoped, would prevent reprisals by the angry SS on innocent Jewish residents of the Krakow ghetto. The shirking of responsibility was a risky gambit that [justifiably] could have provoked the wrath of the Polish Resistance had the Germans retaliated against the Gentile population instead. The Nazis, however, knew full well who was behind the “terrorist” actions because they had two informants in the Krakow branch of the ZOB. The collaborators tipped off the Gestapo to the location of a deserted hospital where Zuckerman was supposed to rendezvous with Leibowicz the following day. The SS was waiting for him when he arrived. … He was hit. Havka Folman and Abraham Leibovicz had been caught. Their capture allowed Isaac to slip away …1171
Havka Folman Raban, who was a courier between the different branches of the Jewish Fighting Organization and the Dror Youth Movement throughout occupied Poland, recalled how she ended up in prison as a result of the betrayal:
By nine o’clock everyone but Menachem had returned [to the secret base on the Aryan side]. … Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door. We knew that behind the stoves were weapons, ammunition and banners. One of the guys got up to hide them, but at the same moment a freezing call sliced the air: “Hands up?” Germans burst through the door with guns drawn. We froze on the spot. There were many people: officers, Gestapo men and civilians. They shoved us into the hallway with our hands raised. It wasn’t hard to sense their exalted mood. “We caught a gang of Jews!”

The outside of the building was surrounded by tens, perhaps hundreds, of Germans. It seemed they had received information about us; it looked like an ambush. Guards were stationed beside the doors. There was no chance of escape. … They found the supply of weapons and the banners. …

… Two vehicles were parked in front of the gate. They pushed us inside and laid us down one on top of the other. By the light of the moon we could see Menachem. He was lying in a corner of the vehicle covered in blood. … When we reached the prison we learned that the two informers were (Julian Appel and Natan Weissman) young men who worked with our people in Krakow.

… The vehicle stopped beside one of the buildings. I knew that one of our people lived there with the Polish gatekeeper. After a few minutes, the gatekeeper’s entire family was dragged into the vehicle. On the way the car stopped a few more times, dragging in additional prisoners. Eventually there were about twenty of us. …

We reached the Gestapo headquarters on Pomorska Street. … There were many weeks of interrogations, beatings, pain and blood. …

Meanwhile the Germans continued searching for the “bandits”. … They went through the city and surroundings. … The Germans succeeded in arresting tens of underground activists, Jews and Poles. Every day prison cells were filled with additional prisoners.1172


When a number of Poles and Jews from the Polish Communist People’s Guard made their way from Kraków to Klimontów and Prądnik Biały, they were betrayed by Birner (“Mietek”), one of the Jewish members of the underground group.1173

As in Warsaw, Jewish agents played a crucial role in ferreting out Jews passing and hiding in Kraków and its vicinity after the liquidation of the ghetto. According to Aleksander Biberstein, the “greatest threat” facing Jews with “Aryan” papers, i.e., passing as Poles, was “confidants in the service of the Germans, who most often were Jewish betrayers. … Many cases of denunciation are known to me where Polish rescuers lost their lives along with the Jews they hid.” Biberstein mentions the following victims of Jewish betrayal by way of example: Dr. Michał Schnell, Dr. Wilhelm Porański, Dr. Izydor Fischhab, Dr. Zygmunt Thur, Dr. Regina Thurowa, Dr. Maria Hirschtal, Dr. Leopold Jakobsohn, Dr. Adolf Engel, Dr. Maria Englowa, Dr. Helen Fisch.1174 Sometimes fate smiled on near victims and they managed to avoid falling into the hands of the Germans. A Polish “Blue” policeman in Kraków rescued a Jewish family from a Jewish informer named Ignacy Taubman:


Members of the clandestine Organization to Assist Jews [Żegota] secured us an apartment at 30 Sebastian Street. However, this was the apartment of a policeman named Pitera, and Mama was afraid to stay there. Then, it turned out that this Polish policeman was one of the most decent men Mama encountered during the war. …

We were spied on all this time by a certain Jew, Ignacy Taubman, who was a Gestapo informer and wanted to denounce us. Policeman Pitera relocated us to Józefińska Street, because Germans used to drop in on him, and this was dangerous for us. There, we saw Taubman again snooping under our windows.1175


The activities of a Jewish woman identified as Stella (perhaps Stefania Brandstätter), who became the mistress of a high-ranking Gestapo officer, are described by her friend Samuel Honig:
Nobody in the ghetto knew or would ever suspect that Stella, moving freely in Krakow, would be a denouncer, nor the Jewish people hiding their identity in the free Aryan part of the city. On one occasion she met a school friend on the street. … She whispered to him that she was also hiding on Aryan papers and she assumed so was he. … She … proposed to meet him in the same café the next day. … He came on time, but Stella wasn’t there. Instead two Gestapos in civilian clothes suddenly appeared and took him away. Stella did this not once, but often, denouncing friends and mothers with children. … a person like Stella is called a “muser”, a denouncer, and people that she denounced faced certain death.1176
Ada Kessler-Pawlak confirms that Jews in hiding had to be on guard constantly because of the large number of Jewish spies seeking out fellow Jews whom they often knew.1177 Maria Stecko reported that the Gestapo employed Jews at the railway station to detect Jews leaving or arriving in Kraków.1178 One such agent was Salo Weininger, who made travel for Jews extremely hazardous. Weininger also patrolled streetcars looking for Jews passing as Poles. One of the Jews he apprehended and brought to the police station was Leibek Haffner. Weininger was also involved in a scam, orchestrated by the German authorities, in which some 80 Jews were lured out of hiding on false promises of passage to a safe country; these Jews were taken to the former Jewish cemetery on Jerozolimska Street and shot in 1943.1179

Janina Ekier recalls that her brother, who was passing as a Christian, was denounced by a Jewish Gestapo agent at the train station in Kraków and taken to Płaszów (he later perished in Auschwitz): “Jews from the ghetto had to turn in every day ten people hiding on Aryan papers.”1180 Izydor Landesdorfer is another Jew who testifies to the activities of Jewish Gestapo agents operating in Kraków. Groups of Jews—consisting of men, women and children, who had been ferreted out of their hiding places on the Aryan side by these agents—were brought to the concentration camp at Płaszów and executed.1181 The Jewish informers Julek Appel and Natan Weissman discovered and betrayed Jews hiding in a bunker in the nearby town of Bochnia.1182 Informers and agents active in Bochnia included Mojsze Müller and Szymon Friedman, both from Kraków, and a teenager from Wiśnicz named Fichtner or Wertheimer. Müller travelled with the Gestapo throughout the Kraków district. After the liquidation of the ghetto in Bochnia, the Jewish police, among them Cukerman, ferreted out several hundred Jews hidden in bunkers. One of the Jews found in a bunker, Kalfus from Wiśnicz, betrayed the Jews who had smuggled his brother out of the Kraków ghetto, hoping thereby to save his own life.1183

A Jew by the name of Jakob Szindler (or Schindler), who passed as a Pole, took in dozens of wealthy Jewish escapees from the Kraków ghetto for large sums. Once the charges ran out of cash, they paid their rent with valuables. After running out of any means of support the Jewish fugitives were handed over to the

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