Alfred Rossner was given ownership of a tailoring workshop located near Będzin. Rossner, born of German descent in 1906, was not a member of the Nazi Party. In Rossner’s tailoring workshops, Będzin Jews produced German army uniforms.
When deportations to Auschwitz began from Będzin, those working in Rossner’s factory were given special identity cards that protected them and two of their family members. Although Rossner profited from the labor of the Jewish workers, he attempted to protect as many as he could from deportation. Rossner was eventually arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and died in 1944 in prison by hanging.
Alfred Rossner was recognized in 1995 as one of “The Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum).
Historical film footage from Jews in the ghettos of Dabrowa Gornicza and Będzin includes scenes of Alfred Rossner’s factory:
For more information:
Mary Fulbrook, A Small Town Near Auschwitz (Oxford University Press, 2012)