Pincus Vogel

Pincus Vogel – Kosov, The Town From Which They Fled

Vogel.Photo.A2.WEB Vogel.PhotoA1.WEBPichus Vogel, was born March 23, 1883 in Austria. His wife Gustie Vogel was born April 8, 1899 in Kosov, Poland. They lived in the small town of Kosov, population of around 200. They had two daughters, Sally was born November 11, and Adele was born February 6, 1932. Pincus, who was a US naturalized citizen from many years before, hastily arranged American passports for just the 4 of them, giving the relatives the entire real estate and business he had owned, despite pleading with his extended family to leave Kosov, Poland. He left behind 12 cousins and aunts and uncles and learned later that there was not a single known family survivor of Auschwitz. This is the story of Kosov during the war:

When the war between Germany and the Soviet Union broke out in June 1941, small groups of young Jews joined the retreating Soviet army and later fought against the Germans. Kosov was captured by the Hungarian Axis forces in early July. A local Jewish emergency committee was set up comprising the community leaders who had been active before September 1939. Acting under and in conjunction with the Hungarian military administration, it prevented groups of Ukrainian nationalists from attacking Jews and Jewish property. Jewish refugees from Subcarpathian Ruthenia, recently annexed by Hungary, who were not recognized as Hungarian citizens, sought shelter in Kosov, and the committee, with the cooperation of the local Jews, gave them assistance and medical care.

In September 1941 the Germans took over the town’s administration. In an Aktion on Oct. 16–17, 2,200 Jews, about half of the community, were taken to the hill behind the Moskalowka bridge and murdered.


The Vogel Family, 1969

That winter the Jews struggled against starvation and epidemics. The Judenrat established soup kitchens and other aid. On April 24, 1942, 600 Jews without working papers were sent to Kolomyya. As the extermination campaign heightened, more attempts were made by Jews to cross the border to Romania.

In early May 1942 a ghetto was established. On Sept. 7, 1942, another Aktion was carried out. The Jews were rounded up in the square and the German and Ukrainian police searched the houses and killed about 150 persons who had disobeyed the order to assemble. About 600 Jews were marched to Kolomyya and from there sent to *Belzec death camp. A number of able-bodied men were sent to the Janowska Street camp in Lvov. Only a few persons managed to go into hiding.

On Sept. 28, 1942, the Germans announced that persons in hiding could now come out and remain, but all those who appeared were killed. On Nov. 4, 1942, the last survivors of the Kosov community were sent to Kolomyya and the city was declared judenrein. In the following months the Germans and Ukrainians continued to track down and murder Jews who had taken refuge in the forests and in the city.


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