Herbert Tombowski

27 Years

Herbert was born on 8 March 1919 in Berlin. He became a typesetter in a printing house. In the autumn of 1939 he flees Germany and finds a place in the Werkdorp. He received agricultural training there. He belongs to the Werkdorp people who are preparing themselves for emigration to the Dominican Republic. In the course of 1940 it becomes clear that this will not happen. Herbert was among the 60 people who stayed when the work village was evacuated on 20 March 1941. After the final evacuation of the labour village in August 1941, he found a place with the Glas-Pijper family in Gouw.

His future wife Herta Stern could also stay there. Hoogwoud is where Herbert and Herta got married on 11 October 1941. In April 1942 they had to leave there because of the proclamation of the German occupier that the coastal region had to be cleared of Jews. They moved with a large group of pioneers to Deventer from where they looked for work and a place to live with farmers in the neighbourhood. Herbert and Herta settled with a group of at least 20 pioneers in Almelo. From there, they went looking for farmers where they could work. In September 1942, a number of Werkdorpers in Almelo received the order to report for a labour camp in Nunspeet. A few of them complied; Herbert and Herta stayed in Almelo and hid.

By the end of 1942 they decided to return to Amsterdam, where they joined the other workforces in the youth centre of the Jewish Council. Not safe there either, they found a place for the two of them but by the end of May 1943 they were rounded up and transported to camp Westerbork. Early in April 1944 they were transported to Theresienstadt. Six months later they were transported to Auschwitz, still together. They had known each other for five years and had been together for three. Then their paths separated.

Early December 1944 Herbert was put on transport to Gross-Rosen and from there to camp Flossenburg. It was the end of December then. He died there just before liberation as a result of the murderous forced labour he had to perform in the underground weapons factories. He died on 3 April 1945. His wife Herta is said to have lived through the liberation in Bergen-Belsen, but by then she was so emaciated and weakened by her illness that any help arrived too late.



Son of

  • Martha Tombowsky-Schulz * 21-06-1877 in Liza and
  • Jacob Tombowsky * 23-12-1882 in Berlin

Last address

Berlin (Prenzlauerberg)

Last known residences in The Netherlands

  • 07-09-1939
    Werkdorp Wieringen, Nieuwesluizerweg 42, Slootdorp (Wieringen)
  • 28-07-1941
    Gouw (gem.Hoogwoud) fam. Glas-Pijper
  • 09-04-1942
    Deventer, Papenstraat 45
  • 24-05-1942
    Almelo, Werfstraat 11
  • 22-12-1942
    Amsterdam, Plantage Franschelaan 13
  • 11-05-1943
    Amsterdam, Nieuwe Keizersgracht 39-I
  • 26-05-1943
    Deportation to Camp Westerbork Barrack 61
  • 05-04-1944
    Deportation to Theresienstadt
  • 12-10-1944
    Deportation to Auschwitz
  • 06-12-1944
    Deportation to Camp Friedland (Gross Rosen)
  • 15-12-1944
    Deportation to Camp Hersbruck (Flossenburg)