Born: ca. 1920
The youngest of three children, Israel Yitzak was born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Israel's mother was a housewife, and his father was a merchant who often traveled on business, by horse and wagon, to Warsaw. Israel attended public school and also received religious instruction.
1933-39: When Germany invaded Poland several days ago, many kids my age, afraid of what would happen if the Germans occupied Poland, fled to the USSR, 83 miles to the east. I've stayed with my parents, who have no other children left at home. We've moved to the outskirts of town because the shelling has destroyed our home in the center. German soldiers are now in Kaluszyn and have been cutting off some Jews' beards as an insult.
1940-42: Conditions in Kaluszyn have worsened. At first, after the bombardment, many Jewish families took refuge in the synagogue, the community bath house, the brewery, and the tannery. Then the Germans began "resettling" in Kaluszyn hundreds of Jews from other towns. Food and overcrowding have become a big problem. Everyone is infested with lice, and typhus has started to spread.
Israel died of typhus sometime before the Germans liquidated the ghetto in late 1942 and deported its population to the Treblinka extermination camp.