Simon Sigmund Zollmann (Alex Colman) was born in April 1906, in what was then the Austrian town of Bielitz. There was no Poland then. Poland did not exist on the map for 150 year prior to 1918. When in 1918 Bielitz became the Polish town of Bielsko, he was twelve and was allowed to finish his schooling using the German language. Simon was one of four children: Josephine, born 1901: Laura Lola, born 1905 and his identical twin brother Leopold, called Leo for short.
Simon’s father, Julius, owned a general store in the small coalmining town of Dziedzice. His mother, Francisca, was born in Vienna. She died when Simon was ten. After he finished high school, Simone studied the textile trade at Karl Jankowski & Son, a company established in 1826. Bielitz was then world famous for its textiles.
In 1926 Simon was sent by his employer to Warsaw, where he was working when war broke out in 1939.