Oral history
History witnesses

Artur Citrin

Interlocutor name:
Interlocutor surname:
Interlocutor alias:
Artur Cytryniarz
Klara Jackl
Przemysław Jaczewski
Catalogue number:
Recording date:
14th August 2014
Recording location:
Recording duration:
Recording language:
Recording copyright:
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN
Holocaust Survivors

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Interlocutor biogram

Artur Citrin was born in 1930 in Warsaw as Artur Cytryniarz. His parents, Mosze and Chan, were traders. Before the war, Artur Citrin lived with his parents, his brother Bronek and sister Felicja in Warsaw at ul. Ogrodowa. He studied in a Polish school and had mostly Polish friends. The family, except the grandmother, was not religious and did not maintain close relationships with other Jews.

After the outbreak of the WWII, the family home of Artur Citrin ended up within the boundaries of the Warsaw ghetto. The deteriorating financial situation and hunger resulted in the family making the decision to separate. Artur Citrin, together with his mother and sister, escaped from the Ghetto to nearby Adamów by bribing the police patrols. His father, grandmother and brother, who all had Jewish appearance, remained in the Ghetto.

While in Adamów, Artur Citrin found out that his father and brother were incarcerated in a camp in Rembertów. From there they were probably sent to the death camp in Treblinka, similarly to the grandmother, who was deported during one of deportation actions in the Warsaw Ghetto. After an unsuccessful attempt to return to Warsaw and after deportations from Adamów began, Artur Citrin, together with his mother and sister, hid for some time in the nearby area. He found a permanent hideout at the house of Latoszyńscy family, who after separating him from his mother employed him as a shepherd. Artur Citrin managed to survive the war residing at the farm of the Latoszyńscy family, despite the fact that they had realised that he was Jewish.

After the end of the war, Artur Citrin managed to locate his mother who survived the occupation in Łódź. In 1949, the family emigrated to the USA, via Czechoslovakia and Germany. While in the USA, Artur Citrin restarted his education and for two years served in the army during the Korean war. After the return to the USA, he completed technical studies. In 2003, he came back to Poland and established contact with the surviving members of the Latoszyńcy family.


Recording summary

  1. Childhood, parents, trading activities of the parents, change of name, 00:23
  2. Religiousness of the family, education in the Polish language, celebrating holidays in the family home, 02:26
  3. Polish friends, hard work of the parents, antisemitic remarks of his friends, reaction of the father to information in the press, 03:55
  4. Living conditions of the family - childhood toys, buying ham by the mother, 08:27
  5. Outbreak of the war, bombing of Warsaw, entry of the Germans and first anti-Jewish repressions, creation of the ghetto and construction of the wall, 10:19
  6. Life in the ghetto, attempts to smuggle food and an assault on his brother, hunger in the ghetto, 19:45
  7. Escape from the ghetto with his mother and sister, arrival in Adamów and working as a shepherd, deportations from the ghetto and his mother's seeing her husband in the camp in Rembertów, death of the grandmother, illness of the brother, death of the brother and father, 23:12
  8. Liquidation of the ghetto in Adamów, purchasing fake papers, hiding in the forest, 30:05
  9. Return to Warsaw, his mother is recognised by an acquaintance, another escape from Warsaw, hiding on a farm belonging to a female owner, leaving the village home, 33:31
  10. Working and hiding at the house of the Latoszyńscy family, entry of the Russians and finding his mother, the Latoszyńscy family members, 41:37
  11. Studying at an orphanage, leaving for Germany, leaving for the USA and army service during the war in Korea, university studies, 52:23
  12. Getting together with his mother, his marriage and his mother's departure to live in Silesia, his stay at an orphanage in Warsaw, 53:37
  13. Attempt to return to Poland, getting in touch with the Latoszyńscy family, awarding the title “Righteous Among the Nations” to the Latoszyńscy family, 56:43
  14. Memories of Poland, his mood during the trip to Poland, 01:04:24
  15. Reading books while hiding at the Latoszyńscy family house, 01:10:04
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