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“Threads of life” is a project developed by students of Janusz Korczak High School No. 5 in Tarnów, under the direction of their English teacher, Marcin Zaród. The project stems from the previous initiative of the students of this school - “Permeation” , in which the character of Julius Madritsch appeared in the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor of pre-war Tarnów - Ron Unger, who currently lives in the USA. While the first project was a multimedia exhibition devoted to the Tarnów Jewish community, the new project focuses on the character of Julius Madritsch, "Tarnow’s Schindler" and the Jews he saved, including the inhabitants of Tarnow. Like Schindler, Madritsch ran several factories (including Bochnia, Cracow, Tarnów), where he employed Jews. He gave them employment and thereby helped to save their lives. Thanks to this, Germans perceived Madritsche’s workers as important to the war effort, and they were less likely to be deported to Belzec Death Camp like many of other Tarnow’s Jews. What is more, when several hundred Tarnow Jews had been sent to the camp in Płaszów during the liquidation of the Tarnow Ghetto, they were still able to continue working for Madritsch. Some of them, like Mrs. Margot Schlesinger, interviewed by project students, who first worked for Madritsch in Tarnow and then in Plaszow, went on to be included on the famous Schindler’s List.

Our project "Threads of Life" is a commemoration of a hero about whom so few people have heard and so many should hear. Surprisingly enough, even in Tarnów, where two factories of Madritsch  were functioning, nobody had remembered Madritsch’s name before the beginning of our search. Instead, almost everyone has  heard Schindler’s name, with whom Julius Madritsch worked closely.

The project team: Agata Głuszak, Agnieszka Zbylut, Kasia Nowak, Patrycja Chwałek and Izabela Wiśniowska, collected and read several books and numerous memoirs in which Julius Madritsch appears.
The students involved in the project created summaries of how Madritsch is presented in these materials. The Janusz Korczak High School team also reached out to an interview with Madritsch, which they translated and posted on the official website of the project. The website, available at, also features exclusive interviews of Ron Unger and Margot Schlesinger. Ron Unger describes how he worked with his father at the Madritsch factory on Lwowska street in Tarnow as a teenage boy. And Margot Schlesinger describes how she perceived both Madritsch and his close collaborator, Raimund Titsch.

The students also created an entry on Wikipedia about Julius Madritsch in the Polish version, because previously there had only been English, German and Hebrew versions of this entry. The project also aimed at reminding the world about Raimund Titsch, a close collaborator of Julius Madritsch, about whom Margot Schlesinger told in the interview given to students during the project, and whose character is also described in other materials found within the project. The great achievement of the students is the creation an entry in Wikipedia about Raimund Titsch both Polish and English version in Wikipedia.

While developing the project, students gave interviews in Radio Cracow and also for journalists of Gazeta Krakowska (a regional daily newspaper)  and in the local weekly TEMI, in which they announced their search for people who were in the possession of any materials about Madritsch. A similar call was also published online, e.g. on the Jewish Tarnow group, whose members were very active and provided their assistance for the project. As a result of the calls for materials, the project team was contacted by Mr. Dariusz Czechowski, who not only was in the possession of the originals of employee list forms from the factory Madritsch, but also he had two original sewing machines from these factories.

Students from Janusz Korczak High School No. 5 also made contact with the Holocaust Museum in Washington, which gave the project team its consent to use photographs featuring Julius Madritsch factories. The students are in contact with the Yad Vashem Institute, which also has photographic documentation related to the topic of the project.

The launch of the website of the project “Threads of Life” and the presentation of the discoveries that studens made took place on 18th June 2017 within Galicianer Stetl, Tarnow’s Jews Remembrance Days, organized by the Tarnów Regional Museum and the Committee for the Preservation of the Monuments of Jewish Heritage under the patronage of the President of the City Tarnów Mr. Roman Ciepiela.

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