Felix Goldwag's Scarf - The Only Remaining Memento from his Home
Feliks Goldwag was born in Warsaw in 1918 to David and Ydesa Goldwag. He had two sisters, Esther and Guta, and a brother Heniek.
With the outbreak of war, his father David answered the call to civilians to go out and defend Poland’s eastern border. Feliks joined him, but with the surrender of the army the two returned to Warsaw.
A month later, as the treatment of the Jews deteriorated under the Nazi occupation, Feliks joined Guta and her fiancé Josek and the three fled east. When they crossed the San river into Soviet-occupied territory, they were arrested but Guta managed to arrange for their release and they continued to Lvov. The three managed to stay in Lvov for about a year, with Feliks working at the Polish radio station in Lvov and Guta working in the Communist “Pioneer House”.
After answering in the affirmative to the question of whether they intended ultimately to return to Warsaw, they were deported separately to forced labor camps in the Soviet Union.
The Sikorski-Mayski agreement eventually brought about Feliks’ release, and he made his way to Saratowa where he was able to enlist in Anders’ Army thanks to his skills as a radio technician. At the end of 1943, Feliks got leave to visit his sister Esther in Eretz Israel, and decided to desert the army and stay. For fear that they would come looking for him, he changed his surname from Goldwag to Davidson.
After the war Feliks discovered that his parents had committed suicide in the Majdanek death camp. His brother Heniek, who had also escaped to Lvov at the beginning of the war, managed to immigrate to England at the war’s end. Guta and Josek Halpern also managed to immigrate to Eretz Israel at the end of the war.
The scarf that Feliks kept throughout the war was one that he received from his father when he escaped from Warsaw to Soviet territory. Originally the scarf was part of a set that included a hat and gloves that his sister Esther had knitted for him. While he was in the Soviet work camp, one of his fellow prisoners threatened to kill him if he refused to hand the set over. Finally the man agreed to leave Felix with the scarf as a keepsake.
For many years Feliks kept the scarf as a last memory of his home, before he decided to donate it to Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Gift of Feliks (Goldwag) Davidson, Tel Aviv, Israel