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David Tennenbaum was  born on March 11, 1931, the son of Jozef and Fanny Tennenbaum. The family led a happy life in Lvov, Poland, where his father owned a fruit import/export business.

The Tennenbaum family's feelings of security collapsed, however, following the Nazi occupation of Lvov in the summer of 1941. In August 1942 the family was herded into the Kleparow ghetto on the outskirts of Lvov. A few months later eleven-year-old David and his mother escaped from the ghetto. 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tells how a Ukrainian professor - a family friend - assisted in their escape and found them a temporary hiding place at the home of an ethnic German in Lvov. Ironically, the son of the professor was a member of the Ukrainian SS then serving on the eastern front. The professor secured false papers for David and his mother and found them a long term hiding place in December 1942 in the village of Zimna Woda.

They were taken in by an elderly, retired, schoolteacher named Mrs. Sokolinska. The timing of their move to Zimna Woda was very fortunate - shortly after they left their first hiding place it was raided and those living there were arrested.

Fanny hid under name of Franciszka Maria Wieczorkowska, while David, who had grown his hair long, passed as her daughter, Teresa Marja Wieczorkowska. He also pretended to be retarded so as to avoid having to take the required physical examination to attend school. David passed his time playing by himself and reading among the many books in the house. 

In September 1944 David and his mother were liberated by the Soviet army. His father had disappeared - presumably he was deported to the Janowska KZ camp and murdered.

 


 

 

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