About Kurt Broniatowski
Kurt Broniatowski was a commercial artist in the fashion industry who was born in Laurahutte, Germany (now Siemianowice, Poland) and later lived in Breslau. He immigrated with his brother Hans to the Phillipines, arriving in 1939. Per the account of Lotte Wiener, Kurt and Hans left Breslau in for New York City, USA in 1938. He arrived in New York on the S.S. Volendam which sailed from Rotterdam on August 18, 1938. The manifest has him listed as a “commercial employee”. Although no family members were living in the Philippines at the time, Kurt and Hans had visas for the Philippines in their passports for an unknown reason. These visas were issued in Breslau on June 28, 1938. Although the brothers wanted to immigrated to the USA, they were told that they needed to first go to Canada to effect their immigration. They did not want to bother and instead left for the Philippines.
Kurt was tragically killed by a Filipino guerilla during the Battle for Manila, when American and Japanese troops were fighting for the island. Kurt's death is described by author Frank Ephraim in his book Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror as follows: "...a young man by the name of Kurt Broniatowski, who lived with his mother a few blocks away and had stored his [extensive] stamp collection with Albert Welisch, ventured towards the Welisch home. He did not know that the Welisch family was not safely behind the battle lines. As he entered the back porch, a guerilla dressed in an American army uniform came out of the kitchen that led to the porch and shot him. A short time later, two physicians, residents of Manila, entered the house and asked them what was going on. Broniatowski, who was bleeding from his mouth tried to explain what happened, but before he could do so, the guerilla fired two more shots into him to prevent him from talking. Confronted with the rifle held by the guerilla, and noting that others were in the house with the obvious intent to loot the premises, the two doctors retreated." Kurt Broniatowski died from his wounds.