Jewish Forced Labourers in Radom's 'Bata' Footwear Factory (1941-1943)
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The Radom branch of 'Polska Spolka Obuwia 'Bata' S.A.' footwear manufacturer of Kraków came on stream several months before the outbreak of World War II. During the Nazi occupation it was significantly expanded, becoming the largest footwear factory in the General Gouvernement. In early 1942, it employed 2400 people, of whom some 30% were Jewish forced labourers, marched to the plant from the Radom ghetto. The Jews were chiefly craftsmen (tailors, shoemakers, leather stitchers, furriers), who received a small amount of cash and a bowl of soup for their work. In August 1942, when the Nazis liquidated the ghetto in Radom, the majority of Jewish labourers were taken to Treblinka death camp. At that time a small commando was formed out of the Jews left in Radom, who were marched daily to the factory where they got no pay whatsoever. However, the number of members of the commando was steadily shrinking, and the last Jewish labourers appeared here in June 1943.
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