Zelik Sztuden and Rosalie Luxberg

Zelik Sztuden and Rosalie Luxberg were deported from the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen to Auschwitz-Birkenau where they were murdered. Both their children survived the war.

Zelik Sztuden and Rosalie Luxberg
Zelik Sztuden

Zelik Sztuden was born in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, on October 15, 1915. He moved away from the European continent, presumably with his parents, to Pichincha in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of twelve, the Polish Embassy in Buenos Aires issued a passport for Zelik to come and live with his uncle Gaston Kowalski in Belgium. On October 15, 1927, Zelik arrived in Belgium and went to live in Anderlecht. The Polish glove maker moved quite a lot among which in Anderlecht, Vorst and Sint-Gillis.

Meanwhile, Zelik got to know Rosalie Luxberg who was born in Anderlecht on November 10, 1916. Rosalie already lived in Sint-Gillis at Montenegrostraat 55 but went to live with Zelik at Théodore Verhaegenstraat 87 in 1937. A year earlier, on September 3, 1936, they had a daughter together: Fanny. For five years the family consisted of father, mother and daughter until Rosalie was admitted to St. Peter’s Hospital in Brussels on June 1, 1942. Two days later she gave birth to a son: Simon.

Through her marriage to Zelik, Rosalie lost her Belgian nationality and became Polish. This made her vulnerable to an arrest and deportation. Zelik Sztuden was the first of the family, with identity number 141 on transport IV, from the Dossin Barracks to Auschwitz. The convoy that departed on August 18, 1942 was mainly packed with Jews arrested in the first major raid in Antwerp on the night of August 15-16, 1942, which heralded the mass deportation of children. In addition, there were 124 people who had been summoned. However, Zelik lived in Brussels and was one of the 172 victims of a targeted arrest that completed transport IV. 824 of the 999 deportees of transport IV were gassed immediately upon arrival: the immediate extermination rate was the highest of all transports from Mechelen. Zelik was murdered, as was everyone on transport IV, the only train from Mechelen with no survivors.

After going into hiding for a year, Rosalie was also arrested and transported on September 20, 1943 with transport XXIIA from the Dossin Barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The “A” stood for ‘Ausländisch’, the German word for ‘foreign’. Like the previous 21 transports, they all included foreign Jews. Together with transport XXIIB, the transport that contained Jews with Belgian identity, transport XXIIA headed for Auschwitz, where Rosalie’s trail ends. Both of her children survived the war.


Publication info:
ADRIAENS Ward, STEINBERG Maxime (et al.), Mecheln-Auschwitz, 1942-1944. The destruction of Jews and gypsies from Belgium, 4 volumes (volume 1), Brussels, 2009.

Dieter Porton