Archive of the victims of the Nazi and the Communist terror in Kraków 1939–1956

First name: Szymszon

Last name: Dränger

Nom de guerre: Symek, Wiktor

Organization: Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (ŻOB)

  • Parent's names:
  • Arrested in: 10.1.1943
  • Date of birth:
  • Place of birth:
  • Date of death: 11.1943

Biographical entry

Szymszon [Shimshon] Dränger, d.o.b. unknown, ob. 1943, and Gusta, née Dawidsohn, d.o.b. unknown, ob. 1943, got married in 1940. In October 1939, the Gestapo arrested Szymszon. Gusta, a witness to the apprehension, demanded that she be detained as well. The couple were deported to the concentration camp at Troppau (now Opava in the Czech Republic). They were released within less than four months later, with help from relatives and friends who bribed the Drängers out of the camp. Few weeks later, they were back in the resistance, holding meetings of the underground Zionist organization Akiba in Kraków. A draughtsman and engraver by avocation, Szymszon took to forging documents. At first he worked at the Kraków Ghetto, which soon brought him so much popularity that he had to go into hiding on the Aryan side. The documents produced by the Drängers were distributed among their colleagues from the Akiba free of charge; the non-members had to pay, and the organization was spending the proceeds on arms. Following the assault on the German Cyganeria Café on 10 January 1943, Szymszon, who had already joined forces with the Jewish Fighting Organization (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB) by then, was arrested by the police and detained at the prison on Montelupich St. Having found out that her husband had been apprehended, Gusta voluntarily reported at the Gestapo, so that the two could see each other again before death – and die together. She was jailed at the women’s section of the prison, set up at the Helcels’ Poorhouse. They stayed in touch by means of kites, thus making a decision to attempt an escape. On 29 April 1943, Szymszon run away while being transported for execution; Gusta broke out when she was escorted with a group of other women inmates into the street. The two stayed in hiding near Bochnia for several months. Szymszon got arrested in Wieliczka on 8 November 1943. He voluntarily revealed Gusta’s whereabouts to the Gestapo, because the couple had earlier decided that if either of them were arrested, he or she would expose the other one’s location. Detailed circumstances of their death have been unknown.