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Vladek Spiegelman

By mlukes
  • Vladek Spiegelman

    Vladek Spiegelman
    Vladek Spiegelman was born in Czestochowa, a town in Souther Poland. His wife Anja was born six years later.
  • Hitler

    Adolf Hitler is appointed as the Chancellor of Germany.
  • Reichstag Fire,

    Reichstag Fire,
    The Enabling Act is passed and Germany becomes legally a dictatorship.
  • Dachau

    Dachau, the first concentration camp, was built. Tens of thousands of people were murdered there between 1933 and 1945.
  • Night of the Long Knives

    Night of the Long Knives
    Hitler murders his opponents within the Nazi movement.
  • Hitler Becomes Führer

    Hitler Becomes  Führer
    On this day Adolf Hitler became the Führer and Reichs Chancellor of Germany. From now on he ruled the country completely on his own.
  • Germany Rejects the Treaty of Versailles

    Germany Rejects the Treaty of Versailles
    The Treaty of Versailles severely limited the size of the German military forces. After Hitler had rejected it, The Third Reich started re-arming openly.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    Nuremberg Laws
    The Nuremberg Laws were passed in 1935. These laws severely discriminated against anyone who was Jewish and established anti-Semitism as the official doctrine of The Third Reich. All German Jews lost their citizenship, and ultimately, their legal rights.
  • Remilitarization of the Rhineland

    Remilitarization of the Rhineland
    Under the terms of Versailles, Germany was not allowed to keep any military personnel along the border with France. The remilitarization of Rhineland was a serious escalation of the crisis in Europe.
  • Anja and Vladek become engaged

    Anja and Vladek become engaged
    At the end of 1936, the two became engaged. Vladek moved from Czechostowa to Sosnowiec.
  • Anja and Vladek Marry.

    Anja and Vladek  Marry.
    Anja and Vladek married in 1937.
  • Richieu

    Richieu, Vladek and Anja's first son was born.
  • Nazi Flag

    Nazi Flag
    When on the train to a Sanitarium in Czechoslovakia, Vladek and Anja see for the first time a Nazi flag flying in the center of a town.
  • The Anschluß

    The Anschluß
    Hitler occupied Austria and made it part of the Third Reich.
  • The Munich Agreement

    The Munich Agreement
    Representatives of Great Britain, France, and Italy met with Adolf Hitler in Munich. They agreed to transfer parts of Czechoslovak territory to the Third Reich. This encouraged Hitler in his war plans.
  • Kristallnacht

    Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass. The homes and shops of Jewish families were destroyed throughout the Third Reich. Many Jews were killed or wounded.
  • Three months later...

    Three months later...
    Three months after Anja and Vladek went to the Sanitarium, they returned to Sosnowiec to find that the Bielsko factory had been destroyed by robbers.
  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

    Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
    The German foriegn minister, Ribbentrop, signed an agreement in Moscow under the terms of which the Nazis and the Soviet Union divided Eastern Europe. They agreed together to invade Poland.
  • Germany Invades

    Germany Invades
    Adolf Hitler attacked Poland on the first of September in Danzig. By the end of the month, Germany was victorious.
  • Polish Army

    Polish Army
    Vladek is called into the army in 1939. He was to fight on the frontier against the Germans. He as a Polish soldier killed a Nazi soldier and was taken a prisoner of war.
  • POW

    The Germans bring him to a prisoner of war camp. To escape this camp he volunteers to work in Germany. The conditions there were very cruel. Eventually he is released and sent back to Poland on a Red Cross train. On the train he thought he was going to be taken home to Sosnowiec, but the train took him to Lublin. He was taken to the home of a family friend, Orbach.
  • World War Two Begins

    World War Two Begins
    Great Britain and France declare war on the Third Reich. World War Two officialy begins.
  • The Soviet Union Invades Poland

    The Soviet Union Invades Poland
    On this day, acting on his agreement with Hitler, Joseph Stalin invaded Poland. It made further defense of the country impossible. In the cartoon, the corpse represents Poland.
  • Vladek Returns to Sosnowiec

    Vladek returned after at least five months to Sosnowiec. He discovers that his textile factory had been taken over by "Aryan managers."
  • Hitler invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France

    Hitler invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France
    On this occassion, Germany swept through the four countries, moving very fast; the so-called Blitzkrieg.
  • The Luftwaffe Bombs London

    The Luftwaffe Bombs London
    This was the beginning of the Battle of Britain.
  • Vladek has a close call

    Vladek has a close call
    For the first time, Vladek sees Jews being stopped on the streets. If they did not have the proper papers, they were arrested.
  • Stara Sosnowiec

    Stara Sosnowiec
    The German authorities ordered all Jews of Sosnowiec to move to Stara Sosnowiec. Non-Jews took over the abandoned houses.
  • Wannsee Conference

    Wannsee Conference
    Reinhard Heydrich prosides over a conference at Wannsee (Berlin) where the final decision was made to murder all Jews in Europe.
  • Nahum Cohn

    Nahum Cohn
    Nahum Cohn and his son as well as two others were hanged by the Nazis. Jews were frightened to go outside.
  • Theresienstadt

    All Jews from Sosnowiec over seventy years of age were sent to Teresienstadt, Czechoslovakia (Terezin).
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    In violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.
  • Germany Declares War on the United States

    Germany Declares War on the United States
    Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hitler declared war on the United States.
  • Auschwitz

    Vladek, Anja, and her parents were arrested. Vladek and Anja were able to escape but the Grandparents were sent to Auschwitz. They were murdered there.
  • Hiding

    Vladek and Anja go into hiding. They first hide in a barn but then move to Ms. Kawka's farmhouse.
  • Srodula

    All the Jews of Sosnowiec were moved to a ghetto in Srodula. These ghettos were overcrowded and dirty. The members of the Judenrat and the wealthy were treated significantly better than the lower class families who lived there. Vladek remained there for about a year.
  • Vladek and Anja Send Richieu to Zawiercie

    Vladek and Anja Send Richieu to Zawiercie
    Richieu is sent to Zawierce in the hope he would be safe there. This was not the case. He was poisoned by his caregivers who refused to go to Auschwitz.
  • Every Wednesday

    Every Wednesday
    Every Wednesday more and more Jews were taken by vans from Srodula to Auschwitz. Very few were left behind.
  • Tunnel

    Vladek discovers a tunnel that was made by Jews hoping to escape from the ghetto.
  • The Ghetto is Emptied

    The Ghetto is Emptied
    By the end of 1943, the ghetto in Srodula is completely emptied. Vladek and Anja and a few others are the only surviving Jews from the ghetto in Srodula.
  • D-Day

    Great Britain, the United States, and Poland land in Normandy.
  • Attempt to Assassinate Hitler

    Attempt to Assassinate Hitler
    Claus Count von Stauffenberg and his collegues attempted to assassinate Hitler, to overthrow the Nazis, and to negotiate with the Allies. The attempt failed.
  • Leaving Srodula.

    Leaving Srodula.
    Vladek and his wife Anja leave the Srodula ghetto.
  • Gross Rosen

    Gross Rosen
    Vladek was marched from Auschwitz to Gross Rosen. At this time, Anja was being trasnferred to Ravensbrück.
  • Dachau

    Vladek was taken to Dachau, where he got typhus and nearly died.
  • Leaving Dachau

    Leaving Dachau
    Vladek and the other prisoners were told they were being sent to Switzerland by train. They never reached Switzerland. Eventually, Vladek and his friends were saved by the US Army. Several prisoners were employed by the Americans and received good food for the first time in many years. Meanwhile, Anja was liberated by the Red Army.
  • Hitler Comits Suicide

    Hitler Comits Suicide
    On this day, with the Red Army outside his bunker, Hitler and his wife of two days, Eva Braun, took their lives. Their bodies were taken out, doused with gasoline, and cremated.
  • Vladek in a DP camp

    Vladek in a DP camp
    After the war, Vladek was sent to a camp for displaced persons (DP) where he experienced a relapse of typhus. He then discovered that Anja was alive and living in Sosnowiec. Vladek walked there and they reunited. Subsequently, they moved to the United States.
  • Anja Dies

    Unable to come to terms with the loss of her son, Richieu, and other members of her family during the war, Anja commited suicide.
  • Vladek Dies

    After he had moved to the United States, Vladek met Mala, his old friend from Poland. He passed away in 1982 in his sleep.