Archive for the 'Holocaust' Category

28
Apr
13

My Uncle Henry…


Yesterday, the 17th of Iyar, was the shloshim of the ptirah of my mother’s baby brother – Henry Moss (Yechiel Leib ben Nochum, a”h) from Richmond, VA. He was niftar 6 months short of his 101st birthday. He had always said that all he wanted was to live to be a 100, his wish was certainly granted! He passed on the evening of March 28, at the onset of the second day of chol hamo’ed Pessach (18th of Nissan).

Henry Moss, a Holocaust survivor, left behind neither a wife nor children. I, his nephew, and my children and grandchildren are his only relatives left.

Yechiel Leib ben Nochum Moszkowicz - Henry Moss a"h Photo courtesy of the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

Yechiel Leib ben Nochum Moszkowicz – Henry Moss, a”h
Photo courtesy of the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

Before WWII, he managed the family’s successful sweater factory in Lodz, Poland. Ten days before his wedding day, his intended was shot point blank by a Nazi murderer in front of his eyes. Since then, though popular, he never found another; no one ever measured up to the girl he had grown up with as neighbors in their native Stopnica. Always cheerful in company, he would have nightmares every night. He relived  the scenes of the shooting, of the concentration camps, of the slave labor, of the beatings… He never got over what he lost, but through it all he showed a remarkable will to live, never allowing his spirit to break, never giving in to the murderers without. That was his revenge!

YchMoss2Shortly before Hanukka 2006, as he was working in his bedroom, a heavy bookshelf somehow fell on him. For three days, he was under it, unable to move. When they finally found him he was rushed to the Medical College of Virginia Hospital. My sons and I came down as soon as we were contacted, we arrived at around 4:30am and immediately went to his hospital bed. He woke up shortly after, he saw us and smiled; against medical expectation he recovered enough after a couple of weeks where he could go to a rehab home. Before leaving they inserted a feeding tube, since he had lost the ability to swallow, he was told it was only a temporary measure but the doctor told me that he would need it for the rest of his life. The learned physician, who had had already performed over 15,000 such insertions, underestimated my uncle. Three months later the tube was removed, because Henry Moss loved life, and would not admit defeat!

The day before he left the hospital, one of his doctors called me outside of the room and said: “When he came in, he was unconscious, had suffered a minor heart attack, had not eaten for three days, was so swollen we had to cut his clothes off. We never expected him to survive.” My uncle, had obviously overheard and chimed in, “Come on doctor, the Nazis couldn’t finish me! You think a piece of wood would do the job?”

Since the ’60s he blew the shofar, at his congregation and – in his last years – at the assisted living home where he lived until a few months ago  (when he switched to a new place). Last year, mere weeks before his hundredth birthday (although the Rabbi originally had misgivings because of his age), he did so again, leaving no one in attendance at the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, with a dry eye. I was told, his tekiyos managed to reach the deepest recesses of the heart, as everyone felt the sounds reverberate within them.

The Richmond Times Dispatch (April 2, 2013 issue) devoted a half page to uncle Henry, recounting some events he lived through during the WWII:

[...]He was 29  when Germany invaded Poland and the Nazis forced his family into the Lodz Ghetto.

[The day before the Nazis sealed the Lodz ghetto, he fled to Kielce with his brothers and parents, but without his sister and her husband, my parents] [...] Eventually three-quarters of the ghetto residents, including most of his family, were shipped in cattle cars to Auschwitz, where they died. Only Mr. Moss and his twin brother, Mendel, remained.

Before the Kielce ghetto was liquidated, there was a selection. Mr. Moss told the Germans, “I am a mechanic!” and he was sent to Pionsky to make parts for guns. His brother was shipped to Auschwitz where he perished.

In Pionsky, where they needed bricklayers, Mr. Moss announced “”I am a bricklayer.” An SS man held a gun to his head as he attempted to lay bricks for the first time in his life. Although his work was very poor and the SS man saw it, the SS man told Mr. Moss “you are going to survive, you are a bricklayer.”

After the Pionsky Ghetto was liquidated, the “mechanic” walked to work in wooden shoes and helped build parts of airplanes near the Ratanoff Ghetto. About a year later, he was sent to Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg camp.

He recalled standing in all kinds of weather during the interminable morning head counts. He and his fellow prisoners were forced on several occasions top watch the Nazis hang prisoners who had tried to flee the camp.

He remembered that once , when three men who did not have shoes improvised pairs from the wood of their bunk beds, the Nazis forced the entire group of prisoners to stand barefoot in the snow for morning count for three days. Everyone’s feet froze, and Mr. Moss was hospitalized several time during his life because of his damaged feet and legs.

in 1945, when they knew the Russians were close and the SS had destroyed the watchtowers, Mr. Moss, who weighed only 80 pounds, and two friends commandeered three bikes from passing Germans. They somehow summoned the strength to ride into nearby American lines. “they gave us food, and we were liberated! God bless America!” he said in the interview.

Returning to Lodz after the war he went looking for family. He reunited with his sister Sophie [Zoshie, my mom..] in a displaced persons camp. He registered to go to America, Israel or Australia.

In 1950, he made his way by ship to New York, where a Jewish agency [HIAS] sent him to Richmond. He went to North Carolina to work at a sweater factory, but there was no kosher butcher and the only synagogue was not observant enough for him.

Mr. Moss returned to Richmond to board in a kosher home [...] and to work at a 5-and-10 cent store [...]. He eventually retired as top salesman for American Parts, an auto parts business.

His sister eventually moved to Israel. Mr. Moss recalled going twice to visit her and her husband’s graves – the only members of his family who had graves…

YchMoss3When I was a child, growing up in Uruguay, I looked forward to my uncle Henry’s monthly packages filled with toys that became the envy of all my friends. Later, as I got older he would send clothes and books. Though we all dressed well, and far more formally than people do today, I always stood out from the crowd because of my Uncle Henry, because of  “Tio,” as I called him (“uncle” in Spanish)

My three sons and two daughters knew him since they were very little, he often visited us whether we lived in Israel, in Detroit, in Albany, or in Monsey (none of the weddings could go on until we all saw his blue eyes, his smiling face!). Many of my grandchildren were privileged to meet Uncle Henry, as well, and our whole clan – without exception – loved him dearly.

His levayah, which took place in Richmond, on the 31st of of March (20th of Nissan), was well attended in spite of the heavy, non-stop rainy weather. Well over 100 people of all ages, of all walks of life, of all ethnic backgrounds were there. Some were his friends for close to 60 years, some had only known him for a few months; there were those who provided him invaluable help in his last years, by taking him shopping, helping him write when his hands were barely responding and more; all had been touched by his caring, his humor, his zest for life!

Fetter, taierer, we all miss you!

CS

//

22
Sep
11

Last Eve’s Wine Tasting, this Evening’s Show


Last evening there was a superb wine tasting at the West Side Synagogue’s Zanger Hall (347 West 34th Street) in Manhattan. The Kosher Wine Society presented New Wines for the New Year. I’ve been to many a wine tasting in my lifetime, but this one was truly different; unlike most kosher tastings, it included a cookbook author, food products, painters and a musical trio.

June Hersh, author of Recipes Remembered – featuring recipes and incredible stories from 80 Holocaust survivors – and the brand new Kosher Carnivore was our first interviewee of the evening. You must hear the eloquent words with which describe her passion for Jews and her love of food.

Bass, violin and tsimbl

From nostalgic old shtetl tunes to Hungarian czardasz we were regaled with klezmer sound that meshed Jewish nigunnim with Gipsy soul!

Aleks Veyg's Natural Flavored Honey

I tasted Veyg’s Natural Wild Flower, Lemon Zest and Peanut Butter honey flavors. All three were great, but, the Lemon Zest was my personal favorite!

A small sampling of Arianna Santoriello's paintings...

Arianna Santoriello, whom we interviewed, is a young mixed media artist who markedly shows the growing fires of inspiration

Rabbi Mikhael Cohen of the French Jewish Cultural Center of New York (67 Wall Street; Phone: 212.202.1448 – Cell: 917.796.0680), was instrumental in bringing the artists and musician to the tasting, thereby, greatly enhancing this event.

Aron Ritter and his father

Aron Ritter, President and Founder of the Kosher Wine Society, and his staff made it a superb evening so different, so delicious. SYR and I met old friends and made new ones, so many wines, so many fascinating people, so little time… truly a tasting to remember!

This evening at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) on our internet radio show, we will feature some of the pre-taped interviews. Meanwhile, if you missed our two broadcasts last week, you can listen to our delightful talk with David Mintz – CEO of Tofutti Brands, Inc. and our conversation with Geila Hocherman, the French trained Chef/author of Kosher Revolution, a beautifully executed cookbook which we’ll review on these very pages.

CS

11
Sep
11

Elul Reflections, 9/11- Despair and Hope


Usually when Elul – the month signifying the beginning of Jewish New Year – cycles round I find myself absorbed with feelings of contriteness for all the things I could have/should have improved upon during the year. My bucket list includes everything from switching the early childhood imprinted critical j’ accuse confrontational rules of engagement with saner problem solving language and mannerisms, to not giving in to anger, to doing more for those I love and those I don’t, to praying better, to all the ways I could/should have been a better parent, child, sister, friend, person, etc.  This year however, my whole being feels beyond inconsolable…

The familiar paths toward repentance feel distant, out of my reach; I am like a devastated body transfigured by unrelenting pain and shame from which there is no easy peace or solace. I feel partly to blame Leiby’s heinous death. I feel that even though so many of us joined together to look for him, if only I had been better, if only we were a better klal- group – this could never would never have happened. I feel that somehow, collectively, we’ve reached an all-time low that facilitated someone from our own midst perpetrating such a horrendously inhuman deed. I cannot help but feel that somehow we all are answerable for the actions of this one individual, and that we are obligated to repair the sickness within us that enabled such monstrous measures in our midst.

I try to bite back other thoughts that race at train wreck speeds with increasing velocity propelled by unaskable questions. You steer the world, nothing happens lest You allow it! There were so many moments when You could have saved Leiby, made a good hearted pedestrian appear that would steer him back on path to his waiting mom, a self-correcting moment in time that would have taken a happier turn, or a change of choice or happenstance while waiting for the predator – disguised as one of us – as he descended deeper and deeper into unspeakable depravity.
You, who changed Pharaoh’s thoughts, could You not have changed this dark malicious abducting heart, to contritely return the child? So many moments of possibilities to choose life especially once the predator saw the posters and all-out campaign to locate our lost child? The whys don’t stop! And  once you take the lid off of the vaulted why thought-bank, the outpouring of unanswerables becomes a flood gate incapable of resealing. The essence of my Elul endeavor to become closer to Him, is falling apart. The whole Elul concept of Ani leDodi veDodi liI am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me (Song of Songs 6:3) -  is slipping from my grasp as I find myself sinking into the rabbit hole of despair.

Down the rabbit hole of despair... Photo from: http://lucasknisely.blogspot.com/2011/02/despair.html

Childhood memories filled with stories of death, survival, Hashem‘s seeming absence, His miracles, Divine Providence, good and bad, return with a sickening familiar spewing. Any child of Holocaust survivors, will tell you how powerless,  unfixably frustrated and burdened they feel with the historical back-pack they are obliged to carry forward as a living testament to our Diaspora’s deepest  abyss.  And if that were not enough for a midsummer’s night nighmare, then Irene stormed in with two more stories. The story of a brave Monsey rabbi who lost his life saving a young boy from electrocution and got electrocuted himself; or the one of the 90 year old vacationing survivor swept away and drowned in her cabin during the storm. Why? Why?!?!?

Couldn’t You have made that Rabbi a living hero? We certainly could use more present day heroes in Klal Yisrael. And this poor woman, who merited survival from the fires of Hitler’s WWII gehinnom only to be drowned in a vacation box terminating her old age? Where were Your waters back then when You could have extinguished the raging fires that ashed a million, nay two, nay three, nay four, nay five, nay six million of Your beloved ones?  All actions, we are taught, are clearly Yad-Hashem, His role, His actions, His will, perfect; no consolation to be drawn from the evil actions of man versus G-d argument.
The bile of injustice rising within me this year was compelling and not so good for the state of my desolate, inconsolable, soul.  There were the countless stories of miraculous moments where we felt touched by Hakadosh Baruch Hu, assisted by angels watching over us or our loved ones, where Divine Providence - hashgacha pratit - was palpable, (I fully acknowledge them, I don’t want Hashem to strike me down for not appreciating each and every one of those moments of celebration and victory over defeat). And then… and then… as my mind uncontrollably, feverishly, delved upon all these heart searing whys, I chanced upon the 9/11 story of stairway B that put me back on track somewhat, with its powerful implications.

Fireman Bill Butler - Photo by: The New York Times

Sixteen people – most of them firefighters carrying 100 pound packs on their backs – were trying to make it down stairway B of the north tower from the 22nd floor and doing so at a hopeful pace. The building’s shaking, debris flying everywhere, the south tower had just collapsed, the stairway itself buckling… On the 15nth floor they meet up with a 59 year old bookkeeper, Josephine Harris.  who had miraculously made it down 50 flights with an injured braced leg from a car accident sustained several months earlier.  She had stopped unable to go further without some help. The firefighters were faced with a dilemma; they were progressing well, and if they kept pace they might escape alive, should they stop and take her or not?  Survival adrenaline, waiting loved ones, a building collapsing over and around them… Jonas, a 43 year old firefighter didn’t hesitate. “Grab her, let’s go!” “If somebody needs help, we got to give it a shot. It wasn’t a difficult decision.” “We got to bring her with us,”  Butler, the fire company’s strongest man put her arm around his shoulder and helped carry her down; it was a slow process her legs were giving out; slowing the group’s progress significantly.  When they reached the fifth floor, the injured woman could not  go on, and she told the fire fighters to leave her. The clock was ticking away their deaths seemed imminent. Foreceful rushes of air hit the group, blowing some of them down to the first floor, the floors above them were collaspping like stacked dominos. Floor upon floor, upon floor, quickened to collapse on top of them and ten seconds later, the building gave fell. All were sure they were about to die. They hoped it would be fast. Instead, they were enclosed within a small pocket of debris, bubbled in a cavity of stairway B, all surviving to tell their stories.

Had Josephine not slowed him down, Lim later said, he’d have been dead. The consegrity of their righteous, courageous, choice and good action saved them. Obviously the Boreh Olam went along with the plan. There have been times, many have experienced, where they are so focused on the task of good  action that it feels like the universe and shamayim synchronically move in unison with their movements to achieve a good outcome.  This story resonated within me, it brought me back a hopeful sense of rhyme and reason to a world I so often don’t comprehend.

Sometimes we are not saved, it’s true.  We claw at shamayim’s gates with our cries, our protests, our prayers, knowing full well we are but lowly creatures unable to fathom His ways. Yet sometimes in the course of our hishtadlut, the wings of His nesharimsurround us and and carry us into the palms of His hands, rushing with us joyfully toward the accomplishments of our right and good actions.

Kotel at sunrise - Photo from: http://www.askabba.com/gen123.html

As we travel through this final leg of our millennia old galut, as we approach this holy time of the year, the grieving Shechina again pours out her heart right  beside us. This year her presence is almost palpable. We are a sister to her tears, her pain, her sense of loss for Yerushalayim, as never before, knowing that our tefilot, our actions, have the power to imprint the outcome of our fates. May all our tefilot be answered letova- for the good. G-d give us the strength to be the best that we can be, to make the right choices and hasten the bringing of Mashiach tzidkenu, bimhera beyamenu. Amen!

SYR
02
May
11

Yom Hashoa – Holocaust Remembrance Day


I’ve always had mixed feelings about Yom Hashoa, on the one hand it would have been preferable to honor our martyrs on the individual anniversaries if only these were known, on the other hand not only are most death anniversaries unknown, many of the 6,000,000 left no one to even remember them. No one to remember, nothing more than the indelible blood stains on the souls of their murderers, on the souls of those who publicly and privately rejoiced, on the souls of those who turned a blind eye, on the souls of those who perhaps winced and forgot it, on the souls of those who deny history…

As I reread my last year’s post (The Proper Way to Die), my eyes swell up, though I’ve read and heard this story many a time, I doubt I could say anything new here so forgive me for posting it again…

In a world where there are Holocaust deniers, where European cities (in deference to Muslims living there) have decided to do away with Holocaust commemorations, in a world where schools in the UK find it expedient (in the interest of a misguided, pernicious, “Political Correctness”) to ignore important historical facts (such as the Holocaust), I thought I should tell a simple story today Yom Hasho’a – the day that commemorates the Holocaust.

There are 6,000,000 stories of those that died, I cannot tell them all! Many of these are known, some (most, like their protagonists and their families) have totally vanished from the human mind, from any surviving record. Some are stories of unbelievable strength, others are more mundane but all unequivocally show an unconquerable spirit. A spirit that no Nazi power could break, no enemy before, no enemy after can destroy.

This is the Story of Rabbi Zvi Michelson, one of Warsaw’s oldest rabbi’s who at the age of 79, became just another of the 700,000 Jews killed in the death camps of Treblinka.

Early in 1942 the Germans first began their systematic raids in the Warsaw ghetto, snatching Jewish men, women and children from the warrens in which they had been “resettled” and transporting them to the extermination camps.

In the very first of these raids, the Germans aided by Ukrainian soldiers surrounded the house in which Rabbi Michelson lived, shouting through the megaphones that all those inside were to come out into the courtyard. All the Jews in the building obeyed the German command – except for Rabbi Michelson, who refused to budge. Those who would remain in their rooms, he reasoned, would soon be routed out by the German soldiers. Their travail would not last long; they would be gunned down on the spot, and their bodies would be flung into the street. There, chances were that other Jews would find them, pile them upon the carts that creaked through the ghetto alleys to collect the dead and bury them in accordance with Jewish law. Those who would go to the Germans in the courtyard, on the other hand, would be loaded by the storm troopers onto trucks and taken to the death camps. There they would die, too, but not without suffering. Even worse, from what the rabbi had heard, they would not be buried at all but cremated, in violation of the Torah. And so Rabbi Michelson prepared himself to meet death as he felt befitted a man of age and tradition. He put on his phylacteries, draped his tallith (prayer shawl) around his spare body, bolted the door of his room and waited for the Germans to come.

...to be murdered at Treblinka...

But things did not happen the way the rabbi had expected. Yes, the Germans, accompanied by a Jewish ghetto policeman, kicked open the door and burst into Rabbi Michelson’s room. But when the storm troopers saw the old man with the long flowing white beard standing upright before them, stern of countenance and draped from shoulders to feet in his snowy-white, silver -bordered prayer robe, they were immobilized by awe, indeed by a fear, such as they probably never knew before. Years later, the ghetto policeman, who survived the war, was to tell the end of the story. “Why, it is Moses himself!” the policeman heard one of the Germans mutter. With that, the German silently turned and led the others out of the room, slamming the door and leaving Rabbi Michelson untouched.

Alone in his little room, the rabbi could hear the babble of the crowd in the courtyard below, mingled with the raucous shouts of the German soldiers. From his tiny window, he could see the others from his house being shoved into onto huge German army trucks. And a thought far more frightening than death came to Rabbi Michelson. True, he had been granted a a miraculous reprieve. But for how long? When the Germans would recover from their surprise, they would return and shoot him. That is how he would die, and he would die alone. In effect, by refusing to leave his room he had run away like a coward; he had deserted his brethren. Which, he asked himself, was the proper alternative – to die alone, with the chance that he alone might be found by some survivors outside and be given proper burial, or go out to his brethren and be with them on their last journey? Which was the proper way to die?

It did not take Rabbi Michelson more than a moment to make his decision. He turned from the window, adjusted his tallith, and strode from the room. With firm steps, he descended the stairs and marched out into the courtyard. There he joined the others on their way to the Umschlagplatz, the assembly point from where they all were to be taken to Treblinka. He remained a source of comfort and inspiration to his brethren, and when the end came, he shared their fate. He is among the millions who have no graves, but he has a lasting memorial in the annals of valor and uprightness.

(from The Unconquerable Spirit – by Simon Zucker and Gertrude Hirschler)

Being the son of Holocaust survivors (the younger sibling of a brother I never got to meet, killed at age 3 for the heinous crime of having been born a Jew), I’ve heard hundreds of stories of unbearable horrors and indescribable courage, stories that show the greatness and the baseness of human beings, stories that reveal deep character flaws and hidden jewels but… neither can I retell them all here nor would you, gentle reader, bear to read them all. Therefore I chose one story to stand as a monument to all the known ones and all those that shall forever remain buried… like the people who lived them…

Perhaps a better title would have been a Proper Way to Live….

CS

11
Apr
10

The Proper Way to Die


[On April 16, 2007, I posted what follows here. Today being Holocaust Day I thought it appropriate to repost it on The Kosher Scene. CS.]

In a world where there are Holocaust deniers, where European cities (in deference to Muslims living there) have decided to do away with Holocaust commemorations, in a world where schools in the UK find it expedient (in the interest of a misguided, pernicious, “Political Correctness”) to ignore important historical facts (such as the Holocaust), I thought I should tell a simple story today Yom Hasho’a – the day that commemorates the Holocaust.

There are 6,000,000 stories of those that died, I cannot tell them all! Many of these are known, some (most, like their protagonists and their families) have totally vanished from the human mind, from any surviving record. Some are stories of unbelievable strength, others are more mundane but all unequivocally show an unconquerable spirit. A spirit that no Nazi power could break, no enemy before, no enemy after can destroy.

Nazi German extermination camps in occupied Poland (marked with black and white skulls)

This is the Story of Rabbi Zvi Michelson, one of Warsaw’s oldest rabbi’s who at the age of 79, became just another of the 700,000 Jews killed in the death camps of Treblinka.

Early in 1942 the Germans first began their systematic raids in the Warsaw ghetto, snatching Jewish men, women and children from the warrens in which they had been “resettled” and transporting them to the extermination camps.

In the very first of these raids, the Germans aided by Ukrainian soldiers surrounded the house in which Rabbi Michelson lived, shouting through the megaphones that all those inside were to come out into the courtyard. All the Jews in the building obeyed the German command – except for Rabbi Michelson, who refused to budge. Those who would remain in their rooms, he reasoned, would soon be routed out by the German soldiers. Their travail would not last long; they would be gunned down on the spot, and their bodies would be flung into the street. There, chances were that other Jews would find them, pile them upon the carts that creaked through the ghetto alleys to collect the dead and bury them in accordance with Jewish law. Those who would go to the Germans in the courtyard, on the other hand, would be loaded by the storm troopers onto trucks and taken to the death camps. There they would die, too, but not without suffering. Even worse, from what the rabbi had heard, they would not be buried at all but cremated, in violation of the Torah. And so Rabbi Michelson prepared himself to meet death as he felt befitted a man of age and tradition. He put on his phylacteries, draped his tallith (prayer shawl) around his spare body, bolted the door of his room and waited for the Germans to come.

But things did not happen the way the rabbi had expected. Yes, the Germans, accompanied by a Jewish ghetto policeman, kicked open the door and burst into Rabbi Michelson’s room. But when the storm troopers saw the old man with the long flowing white beard standing upright before them, stern of countenance and draped from shoulders to feet in his snowy-white, silver -bordered prayer robe, they were immobilized by awe, indeed by a fear, such as they probably never knew before. Years later, the ghetto policeman, who survived the war, was to tell the end of the story. “Why, it is Moses himself!” the policeman heard one of the Germans mutter. With that, the German silently turned and led the others out of the room, slamming the door and leaving Rabbi Michelson untouched.

Alone in his little room, the rabbi could hear the babble of the crowd in the courtyard below, mingled with the raucous shouts of the German soldiers. From his tiny window, he could see the others from his house being shoved into onto huge German army trucks. And a thought far more frightening than death came to Rabbi Michelson. True, he had been granted a a miraculous reprieve. But for how long? When the Germans would recover from their surprise, they would return and shoot him. That is how he would die, and he would die alone. In effect, by refusing to leave his room he had run away like a coward; he had deserted his brethren. Which, he asked himself, was the proper alternative – to die alone, with the chance that he alone might be found by some survivors outside and be given proper burial, or go out to his brethren and be with them on their last journey? Which was the proper way to die?

It did not take Rabbi Michelson more than a moment to make his decision. He turned from the window, adjusted his tallith, and strode from the room. With firm steps, he descended the stairs and marched out into the courtyard. There he joined the others on their way to the Umschlagplatz, the assembly point from where they all were to be taken to Treblinka. He remained a source of comfort and inspiration to his brethren, and when the end came, he shared their fate. He is among the millions who have no graves, but he has a lasting memorial in the annals of valor and uprightness.

(from The Unconquerable Spirit – by Simon Zucker and Gertrude Hirschler)

Being the son of Holocaust survivors (the younger sibling of a brother I never got to meet, killed at age 3 for the heinous crime of having been born a Jew), I’ve heard hundreds of stories of unbearable horrors and indescribable courage, stories that show the greatness and the baseness of human beings, stories that reveal deep character flaws and hidden jewels but… neither can I retell them all here nor would you, gentle reader, bear to read them all. Therefore I chose one story to stand as a monument to all the known ones and all those that shall forever remain buried… like the people who lived them…

CS




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