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Jakub's World

A Boy's Story of Loss and Survival in the Holocaust

Alicia Nitecki, Jack Terry

Publication Year: 2005

A boy's world is shattered by the Holocaust. When German troops come to the small village of BeÂzŒyce, Poland, in 1939, nine-year-old Jakub Szabmacher’s world is forever changed. At first the humiliations inflicted by the Germans seem small, but the conditions worsen until eventually Jakub’s family and much of his village are murdered, and he is sent to various concentration camps in Poland and Germany, where he struggles to survive the terrible conditions of camp life. Finally liberated in 1945 from the concentration camp in Flossenbürg, Germany, Jakub is befriended by American troops and with their help brought to the United States, where he takes the name Jack Terry. Coauthor Alicia Nitecki, whose grandfather was also imprisoned at Flossenbürg, uses Terry’s personal memories to tell young Jakub’s story, as well as unpublished memoirs, private letters, and interviews with former inmates of the Flossenbürg concentration camp and the townspeople of BeÂzŒyce and Flossenbürg. Part history, part autobiography, Jakub’s World offers an anguished young boy’s perspective on the Holocaust.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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p. vii

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p. ix

The title essay, “Jakub’s World,” appeared in the Massachusetts Review 38 (4) (Winter, 1997–98). We owe a special debt of gratitude to Maj. Samuel S. Gray, Jr. (d. March 22, 2003), and his family for giving us ...

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Jakub’s World [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 1-33

Five-year-old Jakub Szabmacher sits on the floor in the center of the front row of a group of children posing for a photograph. He wears a Little Lord Fauntleroy velvet suit and lace collar and he looks very sulky. ...

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pp. 35-47

Now standing in wooden wagons pulled by horses, now walking holding the wheels of empty wagons to steady them on hills, the remaining Jews of Bełźyce move south down familiar dirt roads through a familiar countryside past ...

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In Transit

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pp. 49-52

The men from the Warsaw Ghetto and eastern Poland, who had been incarcertated for months in the desolate camps of Płaszów, Mielec, and Wieliczka, branded, beaten, broken, worked without rest, now crouch, lie, sit jostling each ...

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Both Sides of the Wire

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pp. 53-62


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pp. 63-73

Block 19, to which Jakub had been assigned, stood to the right of the gate on one side of the Appellplatz between the double-high tension fence surrounding the camp and the taller, more solidly built laundry, whose cavernous basement ...

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pp. 75-85

Winter and early spring of 1945, are busy in Flossenb

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A Child Again [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 87-107

A photograph taken on May 1945 by the Signal Corps of the 97th Division of the U.S. Third Army shows two horses pulling a farmwagon with coffins out of Flossenb

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A New World

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pp. 109-113

Despite being told by the Combined Displaced Persons Executive that “under existing policy there is no possibility for Lieutenant Colonel Leland to take action to send the boy to US”; and that “in due course, when Consular ...

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pp. 115-120

Chaim Szabmacher perished in Lublin-Majdanek. Eyewitnesses to Feix’s massacre of the Jews of Bełźyce report that the pit into which the people had been shot was covered with less than two feet of earth; that quicklime ...

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Afterword: Flossenbürg? Never Heard of It

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pp. 121-154

Auschwitz, Majdanek, Dachau, Buchenwald, Theresienstadt. Mentioning these places summons up familiar images and elicits a variety of associations in both individual and communal conceptions of history. They represent the system of ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780791483497
E-ISBN-10: 0791483495
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791464076
Print-ISBN-10: 0791464075

Page Count: 164
Illustrations: 19 b/w photographs
Publication Year: 2005

OCLC Number: 62734706
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Jakub's World

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Subject Headings

  • Kazimierz Dolny (Poland) -- Biography.
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Kazimierz Dolny -- Biography.
  • Szabmacher, Jakub.
  • Jews -- Poland -- Kazimierz Dolny -- Biography.
  • Jewish children in the Holocaust -- Biography.
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