Evading the Nazis

Krakow, Poland

In 1936, the Knoblauch family including Uncle Adolph were given visas, so that they were able to immigrate to Poland. Oskar’s parents had relatives in Poland that they were able to live with and they settled down in the city of Krakow. The only problem for Oskar and his siblings was that they spoke German and not Polish. In the next couple of months, the children were given Polish lessons and eventually they started to enjoy their new Polish surroundings. Unfortunately, the Knoblauch family thought they would be able to escape their problems in Germany by moving to Poland, but in 1939 the Nazis would catch up to them again.

On September 1, 1939, German armies invaded Poland, signaling the start of World War II. After the invasion, new laws were put in place, one being that all Jewish citizens would have to wear the Star of David on their right arm. This would let all of the Polish people know that they were Jewish and could not be helped. For Oskar, wearing the star made him a target for regular beatings by the Polish thugs. Oskar’s father was still able to get some work after the invasion refurbishing furs because it was a highly skilled profession. Life continued to go on in Krakow until 1941, the Nazis required all Jewish citizens of Krakow to move into the designated area known as the Krakow Ghetto.