Abraham Seif Hay"d of Gostynin, Poland

Konin 12.8.1943

Abraham Seif:

Last Will and Testament

I ask to inform 1) My brother Azriel Seif, a professor in the gymnasium of Tel Aviv 2) My sister Miriam, who is married to Heinrich Balach in Jerusalem 3) My sister-in-law, Doctor Celina Szteter, nee' Motyl, a dentist in Haifa.

My dear ones and beloved,
I wish you to know the disasters, which befell upon my family and me. On March 9th. I was torn apart from my home in Gostynin and was sent here, together with other forced labour prisoners. More than half of them were tortured to death and died while working. Many were shot for stealing potatoes.

On the night of April 16-17, my beloved wife Minia with my little 4 years old daughter, Illa Noami, and my mother-in-law, Salia Motyl, were transported to death, together with all the Jewish population of Gostynin. We surly know they were transported to Kresznowice and from there, we assume they were butchered in Chelmno death camp, near the town of Kolo.

I have never heard of them again. My dear children Emanuel and Shulamit run one day from Gostynin and reached Dawid and Ryfka in Warsaw. The father of my mother-in-law, Neta Motyl, died in Warsaw on 4.11.1941.

By the end of July 1942 started the catastrophe in Warsaw. Ryfka was kidnapped to death on 6.8.1942. Dawid was transported on 19.1.1943 but he managed to return alive to the Warsaw ghetto after 3 days. As he wished so much to save my dear children, he gave them to a Pole, where they lived until July 1943. David himself managed to go out of the Ghetto, on March 1943 and hid himself. His last letter was in the beginning of May, in which he tells me in details about the revolt of our brothers in Warsaw, on Passover 1943.

On 14.7.1943 I received all of a sudden a notice form my children that they are staying in a hotel in Warsaw together with foreign citizens and soon they are about to go to Eretz Israel. With them stayed Bunim Motyl and his wife, and Tasza Bressler.

Beside all this, on 16.7.1943 I received the last postcard from my beloved daughter Shulamit who wrote from Frankfurt that she is going to Berlin without my son, and that Emmanuel will arrive on the next transport. I have not heard from them ever since. Who knows if they are alive. If those words will even be read I wish you to know that until my last breath, I lived for them only.

Here in this camp we were 867 men, and only 60 remained. Our future is sealed, tomorrow in the morning will come the Gestapo men to lead us to death.

We have decided to sell our lives for a very high price, we have decided to make a revolt!

Earth do not conceal my blood, take revenge!


1) The Testament of Abraham Seif was given to a Pole before the revolt in the Konin Concentration Camp (Czarkow) - August 1943. These were amongst the hidden papers, now in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House in Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot, Israel.

It appears in the Memorial Book of Konin & Gostynin (page 308) and in the book "Alei Merorot" of Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Aaronson.

Translated from Hebrew by Ada Holtzman, May 1999.



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