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18.05.2020

Rudolf Reder’s testimony about the mechanisms of crime

The film presents Rudolf Reder's account of the extermination mechanism.

Rudolf Reder was born on 4 April 1881 in Dębica, he was the son of Herman and Fredericka née Jortner. He was married to Feige (Fanny) née Felsenfeld from Sokołów Małopolski. The couple had three children: Boruch Rubin (Bronisław), Frieda (Zofia) and Maria. Around 1910 the Reder family settled in Lviv, where Rudolf founded a soap factory. The outbreak of World War II irreversibly changed their lives. In unknown circumstances, the wife and husband of the older daughter, Leonard Schenker, died. The fate of the youngest daughter, Maria, is even more mysterious. Bronisław his son was most probably murdered in the camp in Bełżec. This was a few days before his father was deported to the camp in mid-August 1942. Rudolf Reder was selected to work in the camp. At the end of November, he was sent under escort to Lviv to buy some sheet metal. There he managed to escape. He lived to see the end of the war with the help of two women: Anastasia Hawrylak (Hawryluch), who worked for him before the war, and Janina (Joanna) Borkowska, a Lviv restorer. After the war he moved to Krakow. In 1949 Rudolf Reder changed his surname to Roman Robak and married J. Borkowska. In the early 1950s, he and his wife left Poland. Initially, they settled in Haifa, then they went to Canada. R. Reder/Robak died at the age of 96 in October 1977 in Toronto.

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