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January 17, 1986 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-01-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ZS
24 Friday, January 17, 1986

;

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

If you are not wearing it ...sell it!

You can't enjoy jewelry if it's sitting in your safe
deposit box. Sell it for immediate cash. We pur-
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A SERVICE TO PRIVATE
OWNERS BANKS & ESTATES

GEM/DIAMOND
SPECIALISTS

AWARDED CERTIFICATE BY GIA IN GRADING & EVALUATION

30400 Telegraph Rd.,
Suite 134
Birmingham 642-5575

Fine Jewelers

IF YOU KNOW THE
WHEREABOUTS OF

JOSEPH or FRED
SCHULMEISTER

formerly of Blaine Ave.,
(near Clairmount) in
Detroit, please contact:

PROFILE

Nightmares

Continued from preceding page

D. McIntosh
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Farmington Hills, MI
48018
or call 855-2984

Any information would
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Leo Goldberg, left, and David Burdowski have a friendship and
partnership that dates to the Displaced Persons camp.

the memories privately, in his
nightmares, in his dreams. But
West Germany changed that in
1980.
Identified by depositions given
after the war, which were re-
quired in order to receive repa-
rations, West Germany asked
Burdowski in 1980 to testify
against two Jaworzno camp
guards. In January 1945, they
were among the Nazis who
forced 7,000 Jews to walk 21/2
months in winter • from
Jaworzno, Poland, across
Czechoslovakia to Dachau in
Germany. Of the 7,000 who
started, Burdowski was one of
200-300 who survived the
march. He estimates he weighed
80 pounds when he walked into
Dachau.
"It wasn't easy to go back,"
Burdowski recalls. "I didn't
know myself if I should go or
not. I postpoined it twice, but fi-
nally decided I have to go. If I
don't go, who will?,
"I have a cousin in New York.
He was in the same camp. They
asked him but he couldn't
(wouldn't) go."
Outwardly, David Burdowski
talks freely about his experi-
ences, as if he were unaffected.
But inwardly, "I still lose many
nights' sleep." Nightmares?
"Hahi ... Many times you wake
up and you're right back in
camp. For many years I couldn't
talk about it. But since I was
back (in 1980) it's been a little
easier."
Burdowski electrified a Ger-
man courtroom in 1980. He
picked defendant Ewald Panseg:
rau out of a courtroom crowd of
spectators, after not having seen
the man in 35 years. Asked by
Pansegrau's attorney how he
could recognize him after all
those years, Burdowski testified,
"How could I forget him? He
had the gun to my head three
times. Anyone who couldn't
walk anymore (on the death
march); he took out the gun and
killed."
Burdowski did not recognize

the other guard, Hans Stefan
Olejak, but testified how the two
beat and killed people on the
march.
The 1980 trip was riot easy for
Burdowski, nor for his oldest
daughter, Sarah, who accom-
panied him . in place of her ill
mother, also a survivor. "I was
apprehensive," she told The
Jewish News. "I was upset that
my husband could not go with
us. I was afraid my father might
not be able to hold it together. It
was depressing — the reason for
going — and I didn't know how
much of the language I would
understand. And I was afraid
that father would break down.
But he went through it very
well."
Sarah, a bookkeeper at Tem-
ple Israel,. recalls sitting in the
back of ,the courtroom "with a
bunch of old men" when her
father identified Pansegrau —
sitting near. her. As in Czer-
winski's case, the defendants
were free to live - at home during
the trial.
The trip had many highs and
lows for Sarah. She remembers
Germany as a beautiful country,
with friendly people. On the
other hand, a question in court
about Dachau gave Burdowski
the urge to visit that camp dur-
ing a two-day break in the trial.
"That was hard," Sarah recalls.
"I didn't want to go, but now I'm
glad we did."
She said many of the specifics
asked of her father in court
were a blur. The survivors
"really didn't know dates. How
could they?"
For herself, Sarah said, "I
don't really want to know what
my parents went through. Just
thinking about it is bad enough.
I don't want to know specifics
I don't think my mother
could have gone back (for the
trial) —. even , if she had been
well. She would have found it
harder than my father to go
back."
Sarah said her father hid the
aftereffects of the holocaust

'

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