WagnerSubmitted by Yossi Wagner, son of Yitzhak z”l, Jerusalem
The Wagner family lived at 109 Zielinskiego street in the Wolanka neighborhood of Boryslaw. The house was across the street from the Szpeichers. The father, Josef Wagner was born in Boryslaw. He was a “Melamed” – a religious teacher and also owned a fabrics store. Together with the mother, Jenta Chawa, they maintained a religious home. Josef and Jenta Chawa had four children: Chaya Feiga, Moshe (a dealer of “Singer” sewing machines and fabrics), Jonah (Jones) and Yitzhak (Simcha Isaac).
Yitzhak z”l submitted the following testimony to Yad VaShem:
The Russians occupied the Boryslaw area in September 1939. At the beginning of 1941 the three brothers were drafted to the Red Army. Following the German invasion of the area, the Ukrainians carried out a pogrom in which the father, Josef was murdered.
Yitzhak was captured by the Germans in 1941 in the Estonia forests. While a POW, his Jewish identity was kept secret allowing his survival. He was on a train transporting prisoners to Poland. While the train was in the Lublin area, it was raining very hard and the guards were staying inside. Yitzhak took advantage of the situation and jumped from the train and was not captured. He made his way to Drohobycz to the house of his brother Moshe. There he met his pregnant sister in law (Moshe who away in the Red army did not know of the pregnancy). Her fate after that meeting is unknown. From there Yitzhak continued to his parents’ house in Boryslaw, meeting his mother and sister.
His sister, Chaya Feiga left for Drohobycz to her husband’s family. Her fate as well as that of her husband and the baby is unknown.
Yitzhak built a hiding place in the house for his mother and the neighbors. In the fifth Aktion at the end of 1942, his mother was captured, taken to the Colosseum theatre and from there to either an extermination camp or the forest. During his time in the in Boryslaw ghetto Yitzhak was assigned to work under the watch of the Ukrainian police. In his testimony he noted that he was a witness to the murder of Jews in the Slaughterhouse in Boryslaw. In 1943 he was sent to a series of forced labor camps among them: Plaszow, Wieliczka, Mauthausen and Guzen 2 where he worked as an aircraft electrician for the Messerschmitt plant.
In 1946 he was on the ship “Palmach” captured by the British and was deported to a camp in Cyprus and finally in 1947 he immigrated to Israel.
The other brothers joined Yitzhak in Israel after finding an ad in the newspaper looking for relatives.
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Three brothers from Wagner family: Itzhak, Yona and Moshe (From right to left)