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Jakub Müller


Jakub Müller, born in 1920, in Nowy Sącz.

Before 1939 Jakub felt at home, in his Hasidic Nowy Sącz, one of almost 10,000 Novosidecki Jews whose history dates back to the Middle Ages.

After the war, Jakub remained almost the only survivor. He stayed in Sącz and became the Jewish guardian of the memory of his city. Jakub kept his deep faith as he nurtured the memory of the dead. He cared for Jewish monuments, restored tombstones stolen during the occupation and sought the living and the dead in his daily struggle against the denial of the Holocaust. He strongly opposed the denial that came about in the post-war decades of communist Poland.

Jakub remained alive as the embodiment of a world that was no longer there. In the 1960s he testified at the trial of the German executioner Heinrich Hamann once again standing up to politics of denial.

This is how he described the murder in the tenement house at  Franciszkańska Street:
“I lived in the neighborhood at Berka Joselewicz Street at the time. Heinrich Hamann, the head of the Gestapo, came in with his entourage and shot people who were still in their beds and didn’t expect anything. It was an ordinary cruel murder. I should have said prayer for the dead, but how, when I was all alone?”