Written by Eva Floersheim
Adam (“ Taras ”) Klonicki, born July 8th 1942 in Buczacz, Poland / Buchach, Ukraine.
Our website features child survivors of Holocaust who are searching for information about their past.
In this case, we hope that one day, this man, now in his early sixties, will contact us to find information about his past. If he does – the information is already ready.
In the summer of 2005, while accompanying Irit Lapidot at the Yad Vashem archives – by coincidence – I read part of a diary written in the Hebrew language, in the fields of Buczacz (then Poland , now Buchach , Ukraine ) during the month of July 1943.
The microfilm of this diary at Yad Vashem did not give me the name of the writer and neither did the catalogue itself.
Some weeks later, by another coincidence, I discovered through Eyal Ziffer, that the diary had been published in 1969. I purchased it by mail from Beth Lochamei Haghettaot. It is called “Yoman Avi Adam” – The Diary of Adam’s Father. It was prepared for publication by Meir Chovav.
For contacting Beth Lochamei Haghettaot and ordering the book in Hebrew , click on http://www.gfh.org.il/Index.asp?CategoryID=117
If you read Hebrew, please read this little book. (According to the internet, an English version was printed in 1973, translated by Avner Tomaschoff).
Personally, I feel that reading the printouts from the microfilm with the handwriting and with the marks of rain and mold, is a much stronger experience than getting it printed out neatly in a book.
In my inner eye I see a new edition with the original text on one page and an exact printout of that text on the opposite page.
The writer of the diary is Adam’s father Aryeh Leon Klonicki (Klonymus), born 1906 in Kowel, who writes in Hebrew. Towards the end Adam’s mother Malwina Klonicki nee Hercman also writes some pages in Polish.
The parents had worked as teachers in Pinsk . In the summer of 1941 they had come to Malwina’s hometown Buczacz for the summer holiday. As the German Army attacked the USSR in the end of June 1941, they were stuck in Buczacz.
Buczacz was declared Judenrein in June 1943.
Now from July 4th 1943 they lived in the open fields near Buczacz, during the 16 days the diary was written, but also into the autumn, as I later read in another testimony.
Occasionally the father had to stop writing in the diary “because of the rain”.
Sitting in the middle of a field with a one year old little son, hunted.
One can only try to imagine their desperate situation.
The parents did not survive the Holocaust, but little Adam, despite having been circumcised, was saved.
Tragically, when the war was over, the relatives were not able to locate Adam. In 1962 according to the correspondence cited in the book, he lived in the Ukraine under the given Ukrainian name Taras, not wanting to have any contact with his Jewish relatives nor wanting to know about his own Jewish identity.
Perhaps Adam will one day want to meet his living relatives?
Perhaps Adam will one day want to hear about his parents?
Perhaps he will one day want to read his father’s diary?
In 1962 a series of letters (writer not stated in the book) tells that the child Taras (Adam) during the war was brought from Buczacz to Sambor with the nuns and stayed there for some time.
In 1962 Taras supposedly lived in the area of Lwow, but was not interested in contact with anybody, because he did not want it to be known that he was Jewish. He saw himself as Ukrainian and was ashamed of having an uncle in Israel .
In 1962 Adam was 20 years old.
Now in 2005 Adam is 63 years old.
Will he one day have the courage to know the truth?
Perhaps his children, suspecting that their father is not Ukrainian, would like to know about their Jewish roots?
We are waiting…….
Adam’s relatives are waiting….
October 14th 2005
written by Claudia Hercman, June 04, 2007
I read the story and it sounds familiar to me. In Argentina, where I live and was born, there were 30000 missing people during the military government. Some of the children taken away from their families reject the idea of learning about their biological parents.
But Í´m writing because I read that Adam´s mother surname was Hercman, and so is mine. I would like to contact this Hercman family. Can anybody help me? Thank you.
written by Pat Cain, December 20, 2006
I just read your posting,today,December20th,2006,the 6th day of the festival of lights.I find it quite sad that Adam,isn’t interested in his family.I too was a child orphan raised by a well meaning catholic family. My aproximate birth date was July 4,1943,although I can’t be sure of the date.If I was to find out that I was from ajewish family,and a hollocost survivor,I would be thrilled just to know that one fact. I wish you God’s speed,in your quest,and pray that Adam will awake one day to a acceptence of himself and his path from that day in the field and befor,sincerely Patrick J. Cain