Moving Picture: Mundelein Holocaust survivor finds past
It took 45 years, but Adam Paluch finally found out who he was.
The Mundelein man is a Holocaust survivor who in 1942, at the age of 3, was snatched from the Sosnowiec ghetto in Poland, and spent two years in the notorious Majdanek Nazi prison camp in Poland. It was there that the Nazi's were doing medical experiments on twins, experiments on bones that he still suffers from today. After being liberated from the camp after the war, he was taken by a Polish family from a Russian orphanage, and given the name Jerzy Dolebski.
"When I was 6 years old my grandma told me I was foundling, this hurt me very much," Paluch said, "When I found my birth certificate, there was two years difference. The birth certificate was made in 1944 and was written that I was born in 1942, and that I am girl, and I knew that this is wrong birth certificate."
Although he was beginning to learn about his roots, it seemed the more he discovered, the less he understood.
"The Dolebski family that raised me said I was a Jew, this bothered me and I started to run away from home to look for my true family," Paluch said, "But I didn't know my name, I didn't know where I was born, when I was born, nothing."
That first night, Adam slept in a cemetery, and continued to run for five years, until finally being caught on a train. After finishing high school, he began again to look for his roots.
In 1995 he got a call from a woman in the United States claiming to be his twin sister. Ida Kersz of Skokie saw a picture of a man in a publication called Jewish Living that resembled her grandfather. She followed some leads, and finally contacted a man named Jerzy Dolebski living in Poland, who she thought was her long lost twin brother. "We exchanged correspondence for 3 months," he said, "When she convinced me that I was her brother she came to Poland, we met, and since then I'm here in United States."
"I received my true identity in 2001, I am Adam Paluch, I am Jew, Holocaust survivor."