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Transcript of Janek Mandelbaum
the legendary, award winning presentation on... Jack lived with his father, mother, older sister and younger brother in beautiful Poland. More specifically Jack lived in Gdynia (now Gdansk). Jack was raised and he liked to call his home the pride of poland. Afraid Gydnia would be bombed Mejloch Mandelbaum sent the family inland to Dzialoszyce, Poland, where he had been raised in a Hasidic home. A month later, the family received notice that father was in a concentration camp. At 12 years old, in 1939, Hitler took over. At 14 Jack helped support his family by substituting for people who paid for him to take their place in forced labor. In June of 1942, the Nazi's deported the Jews from Jack's city, and he was separated from his mother and brother forever. His sister had been already separated due to leaving to help family, Jacks family promised food for her. Jack's mother, brother, and sister were all unfortunate and died in the gas chambers. The group he was in were taken to the forced labor camp at Blechhammer. After 6 months in Blechhammer, Jack was moved to a another camp. The worst camp Jack had been to was Gross-Rosen. Janek "Jack" Mandelbaum was 18 when the war finally ended. There was a a raid, of bombs. The Nazi soldiered fleed from the camp Jack was in. Soon Jack would be liberated from Dornhau in May of 1945. Food became an issue and many said Americans had the food they searched for and needed so greatly. Many of the survivors went to Frankfurt in the American zone, and found a displaced persons' camp where they were checked over by a doctor. Jack did the same, finding he was 5' 7" and weighed 80 lbs. A document that verified Jack's work as the mayor’s electrician saved him from death in the chamber. Janek "Jack" Mandelbaum chose to begin a new life in America. He and his Uncle Sigmund Mandelbaum traveled with eachother to American in June 1946, where he settled in Kansas City. With his close friend Isak Federman, Jack founded the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education located in Overland Park, Kansas in 1993. Years later, Jack learned that his father had been arrested on Sept. 14, 1939, with about 400 Polish intelligentsia – many of them non-Jews – and survived almost to the end of the war, dying unfortunately in Stutthof in 1944.