wtorek, 17 stycznia 2017

Julius Madritsch in Martin Spett's book "Reflections of The Soul"

In his book entitled “Reflections of the Soul" Martin Spett tells a history of his life but also the history of the Jewish community in Poland before World War II and during the Holocaust. In the part of his book which describes thea life in the Tarnow's Ghetto, he is also writing about the factory in Tarnow owned by Julius Madritsch.
           The plot of the book starts when Martin, as a little boy living in a Tarnow, attended a private religious primary school. Also, he mentioned his relations with his friends with whom he loved to explore the city. His family was very big, but they loved each other very much. His mother, Sara Leisten, was an American citizen, but his father, Arthur Spett, was a Polish citizen. He also had a sister called Rózia, now Roselyn.
According to the author, the Jews who lived in Tarnow cultivated their own religion in synagogues, sat in the city council, had their own shops and workshops and could move freely in a city. This situation changed in 1937, when the Polish Government passed laws which had some features of anti-semitism. When that happened, all the Jews working for the administration were replaced by non-Jews. The situation changed dramatically in September 1939, when The World War II broke out. Martin relates that he, as an eleven-years boy, watched the German troops marching into Tarnow. Even though he was very young, he felt the increasing tension which got hold of the inhabitants of Tarnow.
The author describe the brutality of the German soldiers. In one of the examples he describes their new "sport". The sport consisted of pulling out old Jewish men and making  them clear  horse manure on knees with their bare hands. German soldiers also would cut Jewish beards with knives and scissors. Later they became more and more brutal. Martin Spett describes the situations, when Germans cut bellies of pregnant women, and  murdered little babies in front of their mothers. The hate against the Jews spreaded from day to day. The German administration harassed the Jews. According to the author, Polish people also took part in this, for example they painted murals with negative slogans about the Jews.
Also Martin Spett mentions how he worked with his mother in Julius Madritsch’s manufactory. Madritsch was Oskar Schindler's friend. Martin worked as a finisher - his job was to prepare clothes for the ironing. One day, when he was carrying heavy coats on his shoulders in the factory, he was stopped by a group of people. As he was stooped over, he couldn't see their faces. It turned out, that it was a group of inspectors from Berlin. Among them was Madritsch's wife, who took pity on the little Spett. Later Martin was called for a  conversation to his boss’s office. He thought that he would be fired but nothing like that happened.  Madritsch asked him if he was hungry and after that he told him that if he needed anything, he should come to see Madritsch. Martin did exactly that when one of the German officers told that his mother was too old to work for Madritsch. He found the courage to approach his boss and explained the situation to him. As a result Madritsch ordered the Gestapo officer to register Martin’s mother in the registration book. This ensured her safety and work.

Martin Spett remembers this period as a very difficult for him but also for his family and for the Jewish community.  A person like Julius Madritsch demonstrated that even in difficult times somebody could show a human face and disagree with generally prevailing terror, helping as many people as possible.

0 komentarze:

Prześlij komentarz

Łączna liczba wyświetleń

Obsługiwane przez usługę Blogger.

Unordered List

Theme Support

Unordered List