Vladek's Life

By Enwit
  • Who is Vladek?

    Who is Vladek?
    Before the holocaust, Vladek lived in a small city named Czestochowa which was near the German boarder. His job was a textile buyer and seller. Vladek was a very handsome and nice man. He also claims to be a man that was sought after by woman.
  • Vladek meets his love

    Vladek meets his love
    Every December during the holidays Vladek would go to visit his family in Sosnowiec. His cousin introduces him to a girl named Anja. Anja and Vladek grew to love each other more and more. Though they lived far, Anja would send letters that Vladek admired. At home, Vladek hangs a picture of Anja though his previous "girlfriend," Lucia, didn't approve. Lucia since the beginning was a hassle for Vladek, as he didn't actually love her.
  • Almost losing Anja

    Almost losing Anja
    One day Lucia shows up at his house as Vladek is leaving. Lucia falls on the floor while holding on to Vladek's legs, begging to not leave her. Since Vladek doesn't really love her he breaks her grip and runs away, leaving Lucia crying on the floor. In response, Lucia sends a letter to Anja that says be cautious of Vladek as he has lots of girlfriends and a bad reputation in Czestochowa. Later, Anja confronts Vladek with the letter but he luckily convinces her that the rumors are false.
  • Richieu is born

    Richieu is born
    Vladek's first son, Richieu, is born.
  • Dreaming in the labor camp

    Dreaming in the labor camp
    One night Vladek has a surreal dream. Vladek hears the voice of his dead grandfather saying that he will "survive this place" and be free on Parashas Truma. Parashas Truma is a week in a year where the section "Parashas Truma" was read.
  • Letter from the Goverment

    Letter from the Goverment
    It had been peaceful the past year until the letter from the government came. It was a draft notice, meaning that since Vladek was in the Polish Reserves, he was called to action. Anha and Richeu and their nanny also leave Sosnowiec out of fear for war.
  • Becoming a war prisoner

    Becoming a war prisoner
    Vladek is on the frontline shotting the Germans. He sees a "moving tree" and shoots it multiple times until it fell. Though he shot him many times, he didn't finish him off as it is a military practice to not finish a helpless target. After 2 hours of fighting the Nazis find Vladek and take him as a prisoner.
  • Free from Lublin Camp

    Free from Lublin Camp
    Vladek meets other Jews who have a plan to escape. Their plan was to claim themselves of be relatives to another Jew who was free, thus allowing one to escape. Orbach helps Vladek escape. To get back home, Vladek talks cleverly to a Polish trainman by using the Pole's anger on the Germans as a way to bribe himself onto the train back to Sosnowiec.
  • Taken to Poland

    Taken to Poland
    On Parshas Truma, all the prisoners of the labor camp are loaded onto a train. Before going on, everyone is lined up and asked for name, rank and destination. Everyone including Vladek thinks they are actually free, but the reality is that they are sent to Lublin, a city in Poland, to work again.
  • Vladek returns home

    Vladek returns home
    After bribing the Polish trainman, Vladek returns to Sosnowiec to see his parents. Vladek notices that his parents have changed a lot. His parents warn him about how dangerous the streets have gotten and that he should be careful. After visiting his parents, he returns to his house to see Anja. Richieu is two and a half at this point.
  • Ordered to leave Sosnowiec

    Ordered to leave Sosnowiec
    Nearing the end of 1941 the Germans put an order to all Jews to relocate into the Stara Sosnowiec quarter by January 1, 1942. In the new location, all 12 of the household were only given 2 and a half small rooms to live in.
  • Richieu dies

    Richieu dies
    After Vladek sends Richieu to Zawierce, the Germans decide to wipe the whole ghetto. Everyone was going to be sent to Auschwitz. To prevent the horrors, Tosha, Vladek's aunt, poisened Richieu and herself as dying would be better than being alive to witness Auschwitz.
  • Hiding in Bunkers #1

    Hiding in Bunkers #1
    As time went on the Germans became incresingly agressive towards Jews. Now even Jews WITH papers were grabbed. Vladek created multiple bunkers to hide from the Germans. His first bunker was in a coal bin. For days Germans with dogs searched for them buy they were unable to find them.
  • Hiding in Bunkers #2

    Hiding in Bunkers #2
    In June Vladek moved to another bunker to stay concealed. His second bunker was in the attic of a house. It was a good hiding spot until a one night when searching for a food a stranger showed up. The stranger claimed to have a starving family. Vladek took on him pity but the stranger ended up reporting them to the Gestapo. They were sent to the fenced in part aof the ghetto.
  • The potential escape to Hungary

    The potential escape to Hungary
    After hiding in multiple houses, Vladek goes to see Kawka and two smugglers. The smugglers claim that they can help Vladek and Anja escape German territory by going to Hungary. To verify that this plan would work, Abraham, a big member of the Jewish Council, went first. If Abraham made it to the other side, he would write a letter confirming this, and that it was safe. A few days later Vladek returned and saw the letter written in Yiddish and signed by Abraham. Vladek was ready to leave
  • Set-up

    Due to the letter from Abraham, Vladek thinks that it is safe to follow the smuggler's plan. Before Vladek and Anja get on the train they pay the rest of the money. After less than an hour the smugglers disappear and the Gestapo storm in and capture them. After a couple days a truck came and moved them along with around 100 other Jews to Auschwitz
  • Lucky man

    Lucky man
    While sitting down one day a man approached Vladek. The man was a priest and observed Vladek's numbers. The priest said that his numbers starting with 17 meant "K'Minyan Tov" in Hebrew, a good omen. He also added that all the numbers added to 18, a Hebrew number of life. In other words, Vladek will survive Auschtiwts and come out alive.
  • Teaching English

    Teaching English
    In Auschwitz Vladek's Kapo wanted to learn English. During an appel, the Kapo separated the Polish and English speaking Jews set aside from the rest. Luckily, Vladek was chosen and the Kapo brought him to his house where he feasted on foods that he used to dream about. Not only that but the Kapo also provided new clothes and shoes for Vladek. Being the good friend Vladek is, he brought extra clothes to Mandelbaum so he could have clothes that would actaually fit
  • Meeting Mancie

    Meeting Mancie
    Mancie was a beautiful, tall, blonde-haired Hungarian. When working in Birkenau on roofs, Vladek met Mancie. Vladek told her Anja's name and number and asked her to find Anja. Days later Mancie came back with news that Anja was alive but frail. Mancie was Vladek's and Anja's only way to communicate until they could see each other in person
  • Shoemaker Job

    Shoemaker Job
    Since the old shoemaker was taken away by the S.S, a job spot opened up. Vladek volunteers for the job and proves his skills by repairing a shoe. The Kapo was impressed by his repair and Vladek was hired. One day an Official gave Vladek a shoe to fix. But, the shoe was different, the heel was ripped. With his job at stake, Vladek went to a real shoemaker who fixed it for him. Vladek was rewarded by the Gestapo with a whole sausage.
  • A Chance to be closer to Anja

    A Chance to be closer to Anja
    Recently there had been some new Barracks built in where Vladek lived. There was a possibility that if Vladek bribed the Kapo that he could get Anja into the new Barracks. Attempting to save up for the bribe, Vladek kept a box under his mattress with the items, but they got stolen. Vladek tried saving up again and finally got enough to bribe Anja into the new barracks.
  • Tinman Job

    Tinman Job
    Not only did Vladek work as shoemaker, but also a tinman. As a tinman, they had the job of deconstructing the gas cremation buildings. The buildings were disguised as big bakeries and were elaborately built. Everything looked natural and safe but it was really a gas chamber with an underground furnace to burn bodies.
  • Auschwitz is evacuated

    Auschwitz is evacuated
    Vladek and a friend found an attic to hide in the camp until the Russians would come and save them but when there are rumors that the camp will be bombed and set aflame, they ditch the plan. Vladek is evacuated to Gross-Rosen in Breslau.
  • Moving again

    Moving again
    After staying in Gross-Rosen for one day Vladek is forced onto a train. To survive in the cramped environment of the train Vladek skillfully pushed himself into the corner and used the blanket given to him to make a hammock. Becuase of this and eating snow off the roof of the train, Vladek was able to be one of the few to survive. Only around 25 of 200 came out alive.
  • Hand Infection

    Hand Infection
    Vladek arrives in Dachau. In Dachau, Vladek got an infection on his hand. Though this sounds bad, it was good since Vladek could stay in the infirmary until he was healed and ready to work. To stay longer in the infirmary Vladek irritated his hand every day.
  • Catching Typhus

    Catching Typhus
    After a couple weeks in Dachau Vladek caught Typhus. Vladek was so sick he couldn't even eat or sleep. Every night he would have to go to the bathroom and walk ontop of dead bodies. Seeing this Vladek lost hope in surviving.
    Link Text
    Link above shows the magnitude of the Jew death count at the end of the war. Skip to 7:30 for the Jewish lives, Start from beginning for total number of sacrifices made in World War 2.
  • Sent to the Switzerland

    Sent to the Switzerland
    After Dachau the healthy prisoners were sent to the Swiss Border by train. Vladek was able to go by giving his bread that he saved from being sick to two friends. His friends carried him to the train, without them Vladek would fall.
  • Saved

    At the Swiss Border there is an on and off of German presence. Everytime everyone thinks that the Germans have left there is another group of them capturing them. This happens multiples times until a couple days later the Americans come and save them.