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KENNKARTE #88 - GENERALGOUVERNEMENT - RADOM (issued 29 April 1942)

Kennkarte issued in the Generalgouvernement.  In addition to the obvious damage as shown in the pictures, the card itself is not joined at the spine, thus consisting of two pages. 

This ID card was issued on 29 April 1942 and was valid until 31 December 1946.  The ID holder was a 44 year old woman at the time of issue.

Im September 1939 fand im Raum Radom eine Kesselschlacht statt, in der technisch unterlegene polnische Truppen von deutschen Panzerverbänden aufgerieben wurden. Während der deutschen Besatzung betrieben die Deutschen hier ein Außenlager des KZ Majdanek, das KZ Skolna sowie ein Sammellager, das Ghetto Radom mit 30.000 Bewohnern. Zu den verantwortlichen Offizieren gehörten unter anderem Karl Oberg, Erich Kapke, Fritz Katzmann, Wilhelm Bluhm, Hermann Weinrich und Herbert Böttcher, die später als Kriegsverbrecher verurteilt wurden. Im Umfeld von Radom errichtete die Wehrmacht 1940 den Truppenübungsplatz Mitte. Hierfür wurden etliche Dörfer der Umgebung abgesiedelt. Zivilverwalter der Stadt war der Nationalsozialist Fritz Schwitzgebel aus Saarbrücken.  1939–1945 war Radom Sitz des Distrikts Radom im Generalgouvernement. Ende 1943 übernahm die DAW Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke polnische Häftlinge im Generalgouvernement sowie die Industriebetriebe in Radom. Das Ghetto Radom wurde unter deutscher Besatzung im Frühling 1941 in Radom eingerichtet und zählte etwa 30.000 Insassen.

Das Ghetto wurde im Rahmen der Aktion Reinhardt geräumt; am 4.–5. August 1942 das kleine Ghetto im Stadtteil Glinice und am 16.–18. August das große Ghetto in der Stadtmitte. Etwa 20.000 Juden wurden in das Vernichtungslager Treblinka deportiert.  Zu den verantwortlichen Offizieren im Ghetto gehörten unter anderem Karl Oberg, Erich Kapke, Fritz Katzmann, Wilhelm Bluhm, Hermann Weinrich und Herbert Böttcher, die später als Kriegsverbrecher verurteilt wurden.

Am 16. Januar 1945 wurde Radom von der Roten Armee eingenommen. Die an ihrem Wohnort gebliebenen Deutschen wurden teilweise vertrieben oder ermordet. Die Arbeitsfähigen mussten in den Industriewerken in Radom oder auch in der Landwirtschaft Zwangsarbeit verrichten. Im Frühjahr 1945 wurden die arbeitsfähigen deutschen Männer zu Trupps zusammengestellt und zur Zwangsarbeit in sowjetische Lager verbracht.

In September 1939, Polish troops near Radom were encircled by the technically superior German forces and wiped out by Panzer units.  After the Polish defeat, the city and its surrounding made up the Radom District in the Generalgouvernement.  In 1940, the Wehrmacht set up a training base outside of Radom, which necessitated the evacuation and resettlement of the residents of a number of villages. The total population was 81,000 at that time, of which 25,000 were Jews. On 30 November 1939, SS-Gruppenführer Fritz Katzmann, who led murder operations earlier in Wrocław and in Katowice, was appointed the Higher SS and Police Leader (SSPF) of occupied Radom. His arrival was followed by wonton violence and plunder for personal gain. Katzmann ordered the execution of Jewish leaders right away. Before the creation of a ghetto, many Jews were pressed into forced labor. One of their first tasks was to rebuild the prewar Polish Łucznik Arms Factory damaged during the Polish Campaign. 

The Germans forced the Jewish community to pay "contributions" and seized their valuables and businesses. Nevertheless, precious metal holdings were already depleted, because Radom's Jews had made massive donations to Polish air-force fund four months before the invasion.  

Soon after the invasion, around September–October 1939, the SS conducted surprise raids on synagogues. The worshipers were dragged out and put into labor commandos. The Radom Synagogue was desecrated by the Nazis and its furnishings destroyed.  Around December 1939 – January 1940, the Judenrat was established to serve as an intermediary organization between the German command and the local Jewish community. One thousand men were sent to labour camps in the "Lublin Reservation" in the Summer of 1940. In December, Governor-General Hans Frank ordered the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from the city. Only 1,840 were deported due to technical difficulties. In the Spring of 1941, there were about 32,000 Jews in Radom.

Radom received Jews expelled from other settlements, including Jewish inmates of the Kraków Ghetto, because Kraków was earmarked to quickly become "judenfrei". In March 1941, Governor-General Frank issued an order to create a ghetto in Radom. A week earlier, the Jewish Ghetto Police was formed by the German administration to aid with the relocations. The Jews were given ten days in which to vacate their homes and settle with their families in the designated areas. The ghetto was split in two like in many other cities. The ghetto gates were closed from the outside on 07 April 1941. About 33,000 Polish Jews were settled there:  27,000 in the main ghetto and about 5,000 in a smaller ghetto in the suburbs. Most of the ghetto area was not walled; the barriers were formed by buildings themselves and the exits were guarded by Jewish and Polish police. The "large ghetto" was set up on Wałowa street in the central Śródmieście District and the "small ghetto" in the Glinice District.

As with many other ghettos across occupied Poland, starvation was not uncommon. German-allotted rations for a resident of the ghetto were 100 grams (3.5 oz) of bread per day. Nonetheless, the conditions in the Radom Ghetto were, on average, better than in many other ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe.  In the first months of 1942, the Germans carried out several actions, arresting or summarily executing various leaders of the Jewish community. The Germans began to liquidate the Radom Ghetto in earnest, starting in August 1942 as part of Operation Reinhard. The first large deportation emptied the smaller Glinice ghetto. Later that month, many Jews from the remaining larger ghetto were deported as well; hundreds were killed during the round-up mostly by "Hiwis". By the end of August, approximately 2,000 Jews remained in Radom. The deported Jews were sent to extermination camps (primarily Treblinka and Auschwitz). The remnants of the Radom ghetto were turned into a temporary labor camp. The last Radom Jews were evicted in June 1944, when, on 26 June, the last inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz. Only a few hundred Jews from Radom survived the war.

Among the Polish rescuers of Jews, the most prominent role belonged to Dr. Jerzy Borysowicz, director of the mental hospital in Radom located aon Warszawska Street. The facility was spared by the Nazis, only because the former church building could not be turned into any war-related purpose. The Jews, including children, were receiving daily help from Borysowicz, as well as his medical staff, in total secrecy. Most dramatic was the rescue of people suffering in the ghetto from typhoid fever. Borysowicz treated Mordechai Anielewicz, leader of the Jewish Combat Organization, instrumental in engineering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Most of his patients however, did not survive the Holocaust. Borysowicz was awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations posthumously, in 1984, four years after his death on 5 June 1980.

On 16 January 1945, Radom was "liberated" by the Red Army.  Those Germans still left in Radom at the time of its capture were, eventually, either expelled or murdered.  Those Germans capable of labor were first pressed into forced labor either in the city's industrial plants or into agricultural brigades.  In the Spring of 1945, all German men capable of labor were sent to work camps in the USSR.