A number of people have responded to our survey about “The Tomato Story.” This is helping us plan what to include in the exhibit that will go with these first-person videos. We want to briefly answer some of the questions people had. We’ll go into more depth with the official release of the video and exhibit, so stay tuned!
How old was Jack at the time they were in the attic?
Jack was 18–the oldest of five children–when his home was bombarded September 1, 1939. When they went into hiding in the attic around September 22, 1942, Jack was 21 years old. His brothers Morris and Henry were 18 and 16 respectively.
How long were they in the attic?
They hid in two different attics. The first was very small and cramped. They were in there for three weeks. Then they moved to a larger attic with a few additional people for six or seven weeks.
Where did they go when they came out of hiding?
Once the large ghetto had been “evacuated,” they decided it would be safer to smuggle themselves into the smaller Jewish ghetto that had formed while they were hiding. They feared that they would eventually be discovered in the empty large ghetto. Soon after, they became slave laborers in an ammunition factory in Czestochowa.
How did the others come to be in the attic?
Some of the others in the attic were living in the same building the Jacobs men had moved into when they got to Czestochowa from Wielun. The superintendent of the building and his family were among them.
Who else survived from that group?
We know there were survivors but don’t have the details about their names and experiences. We do know about the tragic death of one of the young children and an older man who were in the attic.
Where did they go after the war?
The story of the Liberation is a complex one. We will tell you more about it in the future. But briefly, the Jacobs men survived the war and went back to their hometown. They eventually lived for a few years in Germany as they awaited paperwork that allowed them to settle in the United States. This happened in 1951.
If you have questions after you’ve watched the video, I encourage you to complete our survey. We will do our best to address your questions in our exhibit and educational materials. Thank you.
Survey Link: The Tomato Story Survey