Jakob Orlean, born 5.10.1903 in Zawiercie
Oesterholzstr. 87, Do-Nord
The Orlean family lived in Dortmund from 1914 at the latest, initially at Schlosserstrasse 4, then at Oesterholzstr. 91, and later at no. 87.
Together with his brother Heinrich, Jakob kept a textile and clothing store at Oesterholzstr. 87. In preparation, he had completed a commercial apprenticeship in Chemnitz and Cologne.
After the shop of his brother-in-law and sister in a Castrop-Rauxel was raided during the boycott of Jewish businesses on 28 March 1933 and they fled abroad, Jakob Orlean handled the winding-up of the business in Castrop-Rauxel. A short time later, he himself was arrested and maltreated by SA men. He was probably taken to an SA barracks. After his release, Jakob Orlean fled from the German Reich and met up with his sister and brother-in-law in Paris once more, where they jointly carried on a textile and clothing business.
After the start of the war, the textile firm was temporarily moved to Rouen military district, and then to the Département of Lot-et-Garonne. On completion of the German invasion of France, Jakob Orlean joined the Résistance, did not register as a Jew, and regularly moved from one address to another so as not to be discovered.
In 1941, Jakob Orlean was denounced to the Gestapo and detained in various labour camps. On 24 February 1943, he was sent to Gurs internment camp, and then transferred from there to Drancy transit camp. Jakob Orlean was deported on Transport No. 51.
Orlean managed to escape from the transport train on 8 March 1943 in the vicinity of Worms, Germany. When picked up by the local police, he claimed to be a French foreign worker named Jacques Orleans. In Worms, Jakob Orlean lived in a workers’ hostel in Römerstrasse and worked as a foreign worker in a clothing factory until his true identity was discovered two months later.
He succeeded in fleeing once more and made his way to Alsace, where he was arrested in Mulhouse. From there, he was sent to the police jail in Mainz, where he was held in custody for eight months. On 12 January 1944, he was transferred to the police jail in Frankfurt-Bockenheim and deported from there a few days later to Auschwitz.
In Auschwitz, Jakob Orlean was given prisoner number 172856 and was assigned to the “Tailoring Squad”. On 26 October 1944, on the request of the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office (“SS-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt”), Group D, Jakob Orlean was sent on a passenger train to Stutthof concentration camp, and then three weeks later from there to Natzweiler concentration camp near Echterdingen. The transport reached its destination on 21 November 1944, and Jakob Orlean was registered as prisoner number 43285. He was deployed for two weeks on repair work at Stuttgart aerodrome, and then dispatched to Ohrdruf camp near Gotha, a satellite camp of Buchenwald concentration camp. Here, he was given the prisoner number 86371 and deployed in tunnel construction work until April 1945. Jakob Orlean had to join one of the evacuation marches to the main Buchenwald camp, but this camp was already in a state of dissolution. The column of prisoners therefore continued to march, first to Flossenbürg camp, and then in the direction of Dachau. On 26 April 1945, Jakob Orlean was liberated by the US army on the road from Nuremberg.