Gleiwitz / Gliwice

Above, photograph, Wernickestrasse, Gleiwitz, 2015. C Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

My grandparents and great-grandmother moved from Tost to Gleiwitz in on 8th August 1938, according to information located in the Centralna Biblioteka Judaistyczna (Central Jewish Library).

There are a number of sources of material on Gleiwitz during this period of its history.

I will be adding to this page over the coming months, including, I hope, some more photographs taken when we are able to travel there again.

In the meantime, some sources are relatively easy to access online.

The Jewish Virtual Library has a short history, here:

It is extracted as a PDF here in case the link is broken: JVL_Gliwice

The Leo Baeck Institute, New York, has holdings that can be viewed here:

Interestingly in our family context, Erich Schlesinger’s manuscript (held at the LB Institute), Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Gleiwitz vom 31.1.1933–21.1.1945, mentions the family Weissenberg a couple of times, although whether it is our family to which he is referring, I have no way of ascertaining: probably not, though, as they were not an established family here.

Wernickestrasse, Gleiwitz. The building my family lived in was situated just behind the black bollards, on the left-hand side: it is now a car park. Photograph, C Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

My family later had to move to one of the so-called Jew houses, which is where – as far as I have been able to work it out – people were moved a few months prior to deportation.

The first image below shows the front of the building.

Dolnych Wałów 17, Gliwice / Niederwallstrasse 17, Gleiwitz. Photograph, C Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Below is the rear of the building where access to the flats is situated.

Dolnych Wałów 17, Gliwice / Niederwallstrasse 17, Gleiwitz. Photograph, C Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

If your family was deported from Gleiwitz, it is likely their last address was in this building on Niederwallstrasse.

There was no running water to the flat in which the family lived in 1940. In a letter dated 13 March 1940, Else describes being cold and tired, and having to go to the yard for water, or to ‘the villa’.

Letter from Else Weissenberg to Werner, 13 March 1940, Gleiwitz
"Nevertheless, we haven’t heated our bedroom as much in previous winters, but we have suffered much from the cold. The house is very exposed, that is why it is so draughty, and there are no rooms that are heated below ours. Father had to stay put for five days. I just suffered with freezing hands and toes. Grandma complains much about the cold, but undoubtedly she is better off health wise than the rest of us. We had an extra special benefit since the beginning of January – a pipe in the yard; we have to fetch water from the villa – most of the time our lodger fetches it, which is most kind of him, as Father can’t carry anything so heavy."