The title of this post is from a 2005 documentary produced by MTV(yes MTV) It stars a number of famous actors reading excerpts from diaries of young people who lived during the Holocaust, most of them were murdered.
The full length movies is included in this post, but I also picked out 2 excerpts of two of the diarists mentioned in the documentary.
The first one is from the diary of Dawid Rubinowicz., dated April 10,1942. The reason why I picked that day is because April 10 is my birthday. Dawid Rubinowicz was born 27 July 1927 in Krajno, Poland, and murdered in September 1942, aged 15, in the Treblinka extermination camp. He was a Polish Jewish boy. His diary was found and published after the end of World War 2.
April 10, 1942
“They’ve taken away a man and a woman from across the road, and two children are left behind. Again it’s rumored that the father of these children was shot two days ago in the evening. …The gendarmes were in Slupia and arrested three Jews. They finished them off in Bieliny (they were certainly shot). Already a lot of Jewish blood has flowed in this Bieliny, in fact a whole Jewish cemetery has already grown up there. When will this terrible bloodshed finally end? If it goes on much longer then people will drop like flies out of sheer horror. A peasant from Krajno came to tell us our former neighbor’s daughter had been shot because she’d gone out after seven o’clock. I can scarce believe it, but everything’s possible. A girl as pretty as a picture—if she could be shot, then the end of the world will be here soon.”
He was still 14 when he wrote this. What strikes me in his words is that he talks about Gendarmes. Let that sink in for a second and think of it what you like. I know what it means but if I say is I know I will be getting emails from certain organizations threatening me with legal actions, because the truth is not there to be told.
The second excerpt is from the diary of Ilya Gerber. It is dated November 27,1942, 80 years ago today.. He was 18 at the time. The excerpt is about life in the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania. Ilya was murdered on April 28, 1945, on the verge of liberation, Gerber was shot and killed while marching forcibly from Dachau to Wolfsratshausen, Germany. He was not yet 21 years old.
November 27, 1942.
“I haven’t written since the nineteenth because there was no very important Jewish news, except that brigades have lately been smuggling in [food] not in their pockets, and not in little packages, but in fact in whole bundles… Mostly, when the ghetto commandant stands by the gate, the bundles or packages are confiscated and you sometimes feel his whip. But if he is not there it costs you whatever it takes to grease the palm of the partisan [Lithuanian auxiliary serving the Germans] or the policeman and you pass through undisturbed.”
Similar to Dawid Rubinowicz’s observation Ilya makes a reference to partisan, what that means is mentioned in the excerpt too, I don’t know if it was added by Ilya or of it was added later to put it in context for the readers. But also if you read between the lines you will recognize the implication of this.
This is just my opinion and there is no scientific research done on this, at least not as far as I am aware, but I think the Holocaust can be categorized as organized randomness.
On a large scale the industrialized murder of millions was organized efficiently, however on smaller scales the treatment of mainly Jews, by the Nazis, was often quite random. There are several examples where Jews were left alone, One of those is the Jewish division in the Finnish army, Finland was one of the Axis powers.
There was even a field synagogue for these soldiers, some German soldiers sometimes even visited the synagogue and showed respect for the Jews who prayed there, despite the propaganda they had been subjected to for years.
Erhard Milch, Wilhelm Keitel, Walther von Brauchitsch, Erich Raeder, and Maximilian von Weichs were all senior officers in the Wehrmacht, and they all were of Jewish descent.
On the other hand, there were random single killings. One only has to think of Amon Göth who used to randomly shoot Jews from his balcony.
The ones in this post are also random. Just random thoughts of fear, hope, anxiety, and determination. The letter at the top of the post was a telegram from Erna and Arnold Korn from Berlin to their son Walter and his wife Chava (Chawa) on Kibbutz Matzuva, a month before the former were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz. Arnold and Erna would send Walter-who had moved in March 1939, to Eretz Israel—a letter every week. Afterward, from time to time a telegram would reach him via the Red Cross. The last sign of life from Arnold and Erna was sent in February 1943.
21 December 1942
Sender: Korn Eliyahu Matzuba Group Post Office, Nahariya
We both, all the relatives, [and] Gerda, are healthy. Expecting baby at the end of January. Hope Reni, Paula and Oskar are well. Work is good. We were happy to get your letter.
Kisses, Chava [and] Eliyahu
Sincere thanks for your words. Hope you are happy parents. We are both fine. No news of our dearest ones. Gerda is happy that you are well. Kisses.
11 February 1943
Yuri Lyubarski, a Jewish officer in the Red Army, wrote these words to his wife Rosa in Shymkent-Chimkent, Tashkent from the front in the Kharkov region.
16 May 1942 Dear Rosichka and Larichka,
Yesterday, Grisha sent you 500 rubles in a registered letter and forgot to enclose my letter, which I’m sending now. In a few days I will be getting money, and I’ll send you some. Then you’ll be able to buy yourself and Larichka everything you want. I contacted the Ministry of Finance requesting that they send the certificate to the Shymkent-Chimkent office of the Soldiers’ Association. You need to go there and check if it arrived, and to nag them. Maybe you should ask them to contact the office in Moscow. That may help you get the certificate quicker. They have your old address in Moscow. In any event, even if the document arrives late, you will receive money from May onwards. All in all, it would be better to get it on time.
There’s nothing new on my end. Please answer all the questions I asked you in previous letters down to the minutest details. Don’t think that long letters tire me out. Write as much as you can, and in as much detail as you can. I will read the good news with great pleasure. I await the arrival of a photo of you and Larichka and will try and send you writing paper. No stamps necessary.
I will end here. It’s already 1:00 in the morning and I’m going to sleep. Stay alive and in good health. Regards to Father, Mother, Masha, and the Eibinders. Kisses to you and Larichka. Your Yuri
Letter from Siegfried Bodenheimer Siegfried Bodenheimer wrote these words in his last letter to his son Ernst in the children’s home in Montintin, three months before Ernst’s Bar Mitzvah.
Siegfried Bodenheimer Les Milles camp, 18.5.42 Group 13
To Ernst Bodenheimer Chateau Montintin
My beloved Ernst, Yesterday I received your letter of 10.5 and was glad to hear that you are well. We are always very interested to hear how your Achilles tendon is faring. What I hear from you alleviates my anxiety and I see that as far as you are concerned, all is well. Let’s hope it stays that way. What do you hear from your beloved Ilse and Mother? You will always receive mail from La Chatre. Dear Ernst, although we [the family] are spread out, we have to thank God for one thing: that as of now, all of us are more or less healthy. Do you feel the same way, dear Ernst? We are now approaching Shavuot. What this means for us – I don’t need to tell you. The giving of the statutes [Torah] was a one-time event, but they will be in force for as long as the world exists. The commandments are so sacred and immutable that we must aspire to observe them under any circumstances. From this year forward, my dear son, you will have to observe them, and therefore, please act accordingly. But despite everything, always remain happy and good-hearted. Come what may, the war will still go on for a long time. The most important thing is that you learn something that will be useful. Here, nothing significant has taken place. In the last week, many people have been forced to leave and go out to work. A few friends left for the US, and on Shabbat, a few received evacuation notices [transports to Auschwitz] for mid-June. Have I already written to you that we have two beautiful dogs, called Pateraf and Conchet? I see that you can already correct my mistakes! Yes, I spelled the word Mattre wrong. The French doesn’t penetrate my old head. For example: today – Monday – I had an English lesson, and in the morning, a French lesson. Dear Ernst, observe the festival well and regards and kisses from your father. Heartfelt regards to all the children we know, especially Av Maksel. Can you read my handwriting?
Like so many other Jews from Berlin, Ilse Chotzen was deported to Riga, Latvia, with her husband Erich in January 1942. Erich died two months after their arrival in Riga, which made Ilse’s life even more difficult. She then befriended a German soldier, Adolf—whose last name she never revealed—who agreed to send letters to Ilse’s in-laws under his name using the German military’s postal service. This was an extremely bold move since soldiers’ mail was inspected by the authorities. The nature of Ilse’s relationship between Ilse and Adolf is unknown. It is also unknown what happened to Adolf and whether he survived the war.
Ilse’s father-in-law in Berlin had died shortly after she and Erich were deported to Riga, but she had no way of knowing since she did not receive letters from Berlin there. So Ilse continued to write letters addressed to both Erich’s parents, describing life in Riga and asking about their health and circumstances in Berlin.
Dated July 23, 1942, the featured letter shows the deep pain experienced by its author. It also underscores the tragic disintegration of family ties—a common experience for many Jewish families during the Holocaust.2
llse Chotzen’s exact fate is unknown, but she did not survive the war. She was only twenty or twenty-one years old at the time of her death.
23./7 [July 23, 1942]
This is the sixth time that I’ve written you, and I still haven’t received any answer. What’s going on with you? By now, of course, you know everything that I’ve been through but just think: now I’m together with A. every day.1 He’s a great guy, and I’m very happy that I have him here. Enclosed, we’re sending along a permit stamp for military postal parcels. 1 kg. Please send A. soap, he needs it badly, and I urgently need stockings and a nightgown. You need to get the parcel ready right away, please, so that the stamp doesn’t expire. I can’t describe to you how I’m doing because I never suspected that one can survive with such profound pain. The longing for all of you, my dear ones, tortures me to no end, and to this day I still can’t conceive of living without my beloved Erich. I simply don’t comprehend it, and I always think (I sit in the dark at the window for half the night) that I just have to find him or something of him in nature, but…! Are you well? Dearest Mama and Papa, you’ve never been so close to me as you are now in my immeasurable grief. I think about you so much! […] I want you all to write us, please, especially you, dearest Mama, and my dear Papa. Adolf would like to hear all your news, too. We talk a great deal about home. He’s interested in everything. […] Do send me pictures of Erich and yourselves, please. Dearest Papa, I hope your leg is alright again, I’m so worried about you and above all about Mama. I think about you so much, Papa, because Erich had such a close resemblance to you. When A. goes on leave in September, he’ll come to see you. He’ll be traveling through Berlin anyway. He’ll certainly have some stories for you! […]
The Last Letter From Aron Liwerant Aron Liwerant wrote these words on a deportation train in France to his daughter, Berthe. Aron was murdered in Majdanek. Berthe survived.
March 3, 1943
Dear Berthe, It is already day four. I am now in the railroad car. We are surely traveling to Germany. I am also certain we are going to work. We are about 700 people, 23 railroad cars. In each car, there are two gendarmes. This is a commercial railroad car, but it is neat with benches and a heater. Of course, German railroad cars. Of course, without compartments. They put a pail in it. Imagine the impression this makes. Not everyone can use it. You have to be strong in every situation. I hope, my child, that you receive all my letters. If you can, keep them for a memento. Dear Berthe, I enclose two lottery tickets. I don’t have a newspaper. I believe I will be able to write a letter to Aunt Paula. I hope, my child, that you will know how to behave as a free person, even though you are without your parents for now. Don’t forget that you must survive, and don’t forget to be a Jew and also a human being. Sharae this with Simon. Remain free people and observe everything with open eyes. Don’t be influenced by first impressions. Know that you cannot open up a person to look inside, at his concealed thoughts, if he has a serious face, or even if he laughs and is pleasant. I don’t mean one specific thing only, but everything that lives around you and everything you see. Both false thoughts and honest thoughts are often blurred, and you should watch how a person behaves in your presence. You don’t see the falsehoods or the honesty of a person in one day. You understand that my advice is for your benefit. Always remember these ideas. My dear child, I think this letter will be my last because we are nearing Paris. If I can – I will write again. My dear Bertshi, take care of your health and don’t drink cold drinks when you sweat so I will be able to see my healthy children once again. Tell Simon everything I have written you. Tell him to study and be a good student, because he is gifted. I am finishing my letter. Many kisses. I am going with the confidence that you will grow up and be a good, healthy, and smart girl.
Your Father, hoping to see you soon
This letter was thrown from a deportation train somewhere in Poland in December 1942.
It is morning. We are inside a railcar with the whole family. We left with the last departure. Płońsk has been cleared.
Please go to the [home] of the Bamóws on 6 Niska Street and give them our regards
This is from the side of those who were responsible for the Holocaust, The business-like language is probably more chilling them the words written by the victims. In a February 26, 1942 letter to Martin Luther, Reinhard Heydrich follows up on the Wannsee Conference by asking Luther for administrative assistance in the implementation of the “Endlösung der Judenfrage” (Final Solution of the Jewish Question).
15 November.1941 Reichskommissar for Ostland IIa 4 Secret To: Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories RE: Execution of Jews
…Will you please inform me whether your inquiry of 31 October should be interpreted as a directive to liquidate all the Jews in Ostland? Is this to be done regardless of age, sex, and economic requirements (for instance, the Wehrmacht’s demand for skilled workers in the armament industry)? Of course, the cleansing of Ostland of Jews is a most important task; its solution, however, must be in accord with the requirements of war production… Loshe Reichskommissar for Ostland
Letter: The Jewish Question
18 December.1941 Berlin Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories To: Reichskommissar for Ostland RE: Jewish question
The Jewish question has presumably been clarified by employing verbal discussion. In principle, economic considerations are not to be taken into account in the settlement of the problem. It is further requested that any questions that arise be settled directly with the Higher SS and Police Leader. Braeutigam
December.1941 Reichskommissar for Ostland To: Higher SS and Police Leader
…I request most emphatically that the liquidation of Jews employed as skilled workers in armament plants and repair workshops of the Wehrmacht who cannot be replaced at present by local personnel be prevented…
…Provision is to be made as quickly as possible for the training of suitable local personnel as skilled workers… Loshe Reichskommissar for Ostland
16 December 1941 Minsk Generalkommissar for Byelorussia To: Reichskommissar for Ostland
I wish to ask you personally for an official directive for the conduct of the civilian administration towards the Jews deported from Germany to Byelorussia. Among these Jews are men who fought at the Front and have the Iron Cross, First and Second Class, war invalids, half-Aryans, even three-quarter Aryans…
…These Jews will probably freeze or starve to death in the coming weeks…On my responsibility I will not give the SD any instructions with regard to the treatment of these people…
I am certainly a hard [man] and willing to help solve the Jewish question, but people who come from our cultural sphere just are not the same as the brutish hordes in this place. Is the slaughter to be carried out by the Lithuanians and Letts, who are themselves rejected by the population here? I couldn’t do it. I beg you to give clear directives [in this matter,] with due consideration for the good name of our Reich and our Party, in order that the necessary action can be taken in the most humane manner. Heil Hitler! Wilhelm Kube
What comes across quite clearly in these letters also, is the fact that it wasn’t only the Germans involved, The French gendarmerie, Lithuanians, and Latvians (referred to as Letts) are mentioned as perpetrators.
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Renowned cantors unite to give their voices to Baltic Truth premiere
This is a blog by my friend Grant Gochin who has been working tirelessly to expose the lies of the Lithuanian government about Lithuania’s part in the Holocaust.
There were very few survivors from Lithuania. In the villages, there were almost none. We know what happened in some locations because we have testimonies from some survivors.
Yakov Zak testified about the Lithuanian Holocaust: “The rabbi of Kelmė, Kalmen Benushevits, who had escaped to Vaiguva at the outbreak of the war, had been brought together with the Jews from Vaiguva. He had been forced to kneel next to the pit the entire day. He had quietly whispered a prayer, watching while the Jews were shot. After all the Jews were shot, he was shot as well.”
“The mystic religious melodies of the yeshiva students, their rabbis and leaders were eternally silenced. The town was ruined down to the foundations; the Jewish community of Kelmė was ruined forever. Peasants also related that while the yeshiva students were being taken to be shot, they did not weep. Like stone statues, they moved slowly, with their eyes raised to the sky, murmuring prayers.”
What is little known and seldom discussed is the particular cruelty and contempt that Lithuanians displayed towards observant Jews during the Holocaust. Frequently, Jews were tied by their beards to horses and dragged to their deaths as a form of public entertainment. They were beheaded, and publicly tortured. Everywhere, Torah scrolls and religious books and objects were destroyed and burnt.
My own cousin, Sheyne Beder of Birzai Lithuania, testified: One day, shortly after Dr. Levin was shot the Lithuanian murderers carried out the popular rabbi of Birzai, Rabbi Bernshteyn. He was taken to the Shirvenas Lake. There the rabbi was forced to duck underwater several times. Then the murders explained to the rabbi that he, Bernshteyn, was guilty of all the sins that Jews had committed against the world, and that he was responsible for the sins of all the Jews of Birzai. They set his beard on fire, burned his body with irons and finally shot him”.
For Lithuanians, the blood sport of torturing Jewish clergy was particularly entertaining. After starving and torturing the Jews, Lithuanians would take pleasure in murdering children in front of their parents and raping daughters in front of their fathers. By humiliating and destroying clergy in front of their congregations, spirituality and entire belief systems were upended, leaving only the human shell of the Jews left to murder.
Dvoyre Lazarsky of Ariogala Lithuania and Frida Praz of Vaiguva Lithuania, testified: “The rabbi of Raseiniai, Rabbi Katz, was not in the camp. He sat in his home and studied day and night. With a broken heart, he observed the annihilation of his congregation. But he could not help them. The heavens, to which he shouted and pleaded for mercy from the depths of his heart, remained mute. Lithuanian partisans once came to the old man’s house. They found him sitting and studying. They ordered him to get dressed and go along with them. He categorically refused to go along and announced that he knew where they were taking him, and that he was ready to be shot in his home. The murderers spared him two times, and went away. The third time, two partisans came and forced the rabbi to leave his house. Dvoyre personally saw the rabbi being taken away in the direction of Jurbarkas, to Zhuvelishkiai. The rabbi went slowly, marking his steps, his head bowed down low to the ground. The murderers took the rabbi to Zhuvelishkiai, and there they shot him”.
The government of Lithuania states “No partisan ever murdered a Jew”. The Lithuanian government has an entire government agency dedicated to Holocaust fraud. They constantly report how many Lithuanians were benevolent to Jews. A testimony from Elke Flaks, born in the town of Krazhiai is an example of Lithuanian benevolence: “When they arrived at the pit, Rabbi Kremerman held his youngest child in his arm. In his other hand he held a book, and he recited something for the children. The murderer permitted the rabbi and the children to say their confession before death, and ordered them to undress”.ADVERTISEMENT Lithuania had the highest murder rate of Jews in all of Europe. It was safer to be a Jew in Nazi Germany, than it was to be a Jew in Lithuania. The participation of local Lithuanians in the Holocaust was massive, in some places, estimates indicate that 50% of the population participated. Not a single Holocaust perpetrator has ever been punished by the Government of Lithuania. Deliberately.
Khonon Reif, born in the town of Tirkshliai testified: “The last Jew brought to the marketplace was the town rabbi, Kalmen Magid. The bandits made the men line up in rows. The director of the Lithuanian gymnasium, Miltsius, placed the rabbi in front of all the Jews, cut off his beard with a pair of scissors and cut a crucifix into the hair on his head. Rabbi Kalmen Magid stood with his head bowed, weeping. All the Jews wept with him. The Lithuanian population of the town and from the surrounding countryside had assembled to watch this show, and they enjoyed it thoroughly. When they were finished with the rabbi, the murderers pulled out the town doctor, Khayim Lipman. He was from Kaunas. His parents and brother were sent to Russia as bourgeois in the spring of 1941. The Lithuanian murderer ordered the doctor to point out the Communists among the Jews. Dr. Lipman responded that there were no Communists among the Jews of Vekshniai. The Lithuanian murderers began to entertain the Lithuanian public. They forced the Jews to dance around the rabbi and clap their hands, and to fall down and get back up. If any Jew collapsed, the Lithuanians doused him with cold water and forced him to get back up and dance again.
Reif also testified: “Finally the Lithuanian murderers forced the rabbi to get onto a horse, and then they forced the assistant rabbi, Rabbi Bloch, to pour a bucket of water on Rabbi Magid’s head. On a nearby hill next to the study house stood the entire Lithuanian 11 intelligentsia” of the town, dressed in their holiday clothes, along with simple peasants. All of them watched as their Jewish neighbors were tormented, and they enthusiastically clapped as if they were watching a circus.
The German ordered all the Jews to line up, and each one had to pass by him. The German asked the happy Lithuanian “intellectuals” as each Jew passed him by: “Communist?”ADVERTISEMENT The Lithuanians answered each time, “Yes, Communist!” At this, the German would strike the Jew with his whip. The Lithuanians would begin to applaud. The show at the marketplace and then at the synagogue yard lasted for more than three hours.
Khane Pelts testified: “In one group were the town rabbi, Rabbi Yitshok Bloch, his brother Reb Zalmen Bloch, Rabbi Azriel Rabinovitz, Rabbi Pinchas Elfand and several other pious Jews with long beards. Together with them were many students of the yeshiva. It was told that at the grave Rabbi Zalmen Bloch gave a speech to the Jews, telling them that they should die proudly for the glory of God’s name, repenting for the sins which the Jewish people had committed over the course of many years. Yitshok (Iske) Bloch (not a relative) also made a final speech. He was a Revisionist. He said to the murderers: “You are sprinkling the trees with our blood, and the floors will be washed with your blood in revenge.” Iske Bloch was sliced into pieces with knives. The rabbis’ beards were torn out along with pieces of flesh, and then they were shot”.
Malke Gilis testified about the daughter of a Rabbi: “Mrs. Elfant, born in Yelok, daughter of the rabbi in Yelok. As Mery Shlomovitz relates, Mrs. Heni Bloch (nee Blekhman) had begun to give birth at the pit. The Lithuanian murderers threw the unfortunate mother into the pit while she was still alive. The little, half-born child was dragged along after its mother as she was thrown into the pit. The Lithuanian murderers were doubled over with laughter at this tragic scene. Mery saw this incident with her own eyes, while she was standing not far from the pit”.
Yente Alter (nee Gershovitz) testified: “All day long on Thursday, June 26, 1941 the men continued to be tormented in various murderous ways. The town rabbi Shmuel Fundler and Shmuel Gershovitz had half their beards shaved off by the Germans, who chased them around the yard together with the rest of the men. The torture of the men became a daily program for the German murderers and their loyal assistants, the Lithuanian partisans.
She also testified: “There were lootings virtually every day. Any Lithuanian who wanted to, looted openly and freely. During the work the partisans tormented, bullied and mocked the Jews and their religion. They had a weakness for teasing, mocking and tormenting religious Jews. Once at work in the courtyard and park of the Polish Count Oginsky, Rabbi Shmuel Fundler was forced to get into harness instead of a horse. The rabbi could not withstand this, and suffered a heart attack. He lay dead on the spot. This was July 2 or 3 1941”.
No government has ever created and implemented such a sophisticated Holocaust revision program, as Lithuania. They are the only government in the world ever to go to court in order to defend the good reputation of someone who was a mass murderer of Jews.
Lithuania had a miniscule Jewish survival rate of 3.6%, the lowest in the world. Only 0.04% of Lithuanians have been proven to rescue Jews. Due to the intense pleasure Lithuanians derived from murdering Jewish clergy, almost none survived.
Every aspect of Jewish life became a target for dehumanization by creative Lithuanian perpetrators, and their Nazi enablers. Mass rape of young Jewish virgins was common. Rape is an act of violence and humiliation. In one well known case, it was combined with the destruction of personal identity and religion. Every component of their victims identity was stripped from them prior to their murder. JewishGen describes the events as follows:
People still talk about one particular grave in which 74 high school girls were shot. This is what happened: The Nazis and their local collaborators selected these girls from the school, used them for their own pleasure and than brought them to the mass grave sites to be killed. But then for a brief moment a miracle happened. A priest arrived and told the girls that he would convert them to Christianity, and thereby save them from being shot. Was this a sincere gesture on the part of the priest to save the girls? Or was it merely the commander’s cruel deception of the priest and the girls? These are still unanswered questions. It soon became clear to the girls that no such miracle had occurred when they saw the murderers making the preparations to execute them. And when the girls began to resist, they began shooting. One of the girls was able to grab hold of a half drunken murderer and began choking him. She was immediately fended off by another one of them who split her head open with his rifle. In this way everyone was killed on the spot and tossed into a mass grave. They say that this particular girl who put up a fight was tall and strong. Her name was Rochale Tsin. This is how all the girls were killed. Today they lie in the first grave by the entrance at the Koshan Memorial.
Jews were also incarcerated in their beautiful shuls, starved there for weeks, then often set on fire. Lithuanians did this to dehumanize us and to inspire doubt in our God, and destroy our souls, before murdering our bodies. It was a Chilllul Hashem of the worst kind, a desecration of God’s name and presence that ended 600 years of flourishing Jewish life.
Continuing Lithuanian Holocaust revisionism and their heroization of the murderers, is dehumanization of Jews. It is Holocaust triumphalism. Does this not compel us to demand justice?
On September 14, 2022, Cantor Dudu Fisher (of Lithuanian descent) will join with Cantor Daniel Singer (also of Lithuanian descent) to present the documentary, Baltic Truth. The documentary will address the massive fraudulent cover up of Lithuanian Holocaust crimes by the current government of Lithuania. Fisher and Singer are among two of the greatest Litvak Cantors in history. They will implore the heavens, as did Rabbi Katz, for mercy, from the depths of their souls. They will commemorate and memorialize our Jewish brothers and sisters, who were murdered with such delight and enthusiasm by their Lithuanian neighbors.
Reif also testified: “Rabbi Kalmen Magid ordered everyone to recite the Jewish confessional prayer, and did the same himself. Everyone sat hopelessly, recited Psalms and wept. In the second barn the women tore the hair out of their heads, kissed their small children, wept bitterly and wildly, and took leave of one another.
Cantors Fisher and Singer will recite the Confessional Prayer ordered by Rabbi Magid, since we are all that remain to give voice to our brethren.
Bizarrely enough diaries were not always used or recognized as evidence or as study material for the Holocaust. researchers tended to dismiss Jewish diaries as subjective and unreliable. Only in the last few decades the value of diaries have been acknowledged. To me there is nothing more powerful of the words of those who lived through the horrors.
Below are just some examples of diary entries.
Jacques Salamon Berenholc was a fourteen-year-old boy living in his home city of Paris when Nazi forces invaded and occupied the country in the summer of 1940. In summer 1942—both in the occupied northern part and in Vichy. French police were rounding up Jewish people and deporting them via Drancy to the killing centers
“Saturday, January 16, 1943 Things aren’t going well this morning. They made us leave the room to lead us into the corridors. There is another disinfection. It’s very unpleasant! I’m supposed to leave and I’m waiting impatiently for my release. Around 2 p.m., Joaquin comes to tell me that my release slip is at the director’s but he isn’t there yet to sign it. It would be really disagreeable to go to the disinfecting room before I leave, for my clothes would be completely ruined. Finally I arrange to go with the last persons. Just in case… Those who want to save their suits put them in my bag. I am loaded down like a donkey. […]
Toward 5 p.m., someone comes to inform me that I am free and leads me out with many shouts of “venga,” “come on.” It’s just enough time for me to say goodbye to friends. Papa and Victor are summoned to see Mama. At the prison office, I’m searched, my fingerprints are taken, I get my papers back, and I’m given my release slip.
When I saw Mama at the threshold of the door, we both burst into tears as we hugged each other.
Finally we left the place and caught the train that would take us to Caldas.
We got there around 6 p.m., and at the hotel all the women overwhelmed me with questions. Among them, I was very surprised to recognize Mlle. Henriette Weil, whom I have known since 1941. She slept in the same room as Mama, like the fiancée of Simon Gausfain’s fiancée, Mlle. Giselle Landesman.
After a good bath, I changed my clothes and ate. To eat at last with a real spoon on real plates and with a knife and fork.
After dinner, since two of the ladies were leaving the next day—one of whom, Mme. Pollock, was a friend of Mama—a young actress, a singer, gave a recital. She was wonderful and sang very well. She sang a song entitled, ‘Little Papa, when you come back.,
You can’t imagine how it depressed me.”
Dr. Aron Pik was a well-established physician living in Shavli (the Yiddish name for Šiauliai in Lithuania) with his wife and son when Nazi forces invaded the country in June 1941.
“For sixteen and a half years, I was the director of the internal and contagious diseases division of the city hospital […]
[But] despite my sympathies for [the Bolshevik regime], it suddenly created great unpleasantness for me. One of the reasons was that I had a mark on me, of which I was long unable to cleanse myself. That is: my official membership in the Zionist party and my occupying the post of Vice Chairman of the Shavli organization of general Zionists. Firstly, it was decided under the Bolshevik regime to remove me from the hospital, and the mayor had already informed me officially about the decision. After sixteen and a half years of work in the hospital, to be a “former” person, superfluous, this made a very difficult impression on me, even in this period of surprises and unexpected events. Fortunately, this decision was not immediately executed, thanks to an order from the health ministry that all doctors should for now remain at their positions. And so I remained a whole four months in the hospital, hanging between heaven and earth, and waiting each day with fear and anxiety for unpleasant news. This very matter ended in a completely unexpected fashion. One morning, I receive an official announcement from the health department that I am designated as the director of the central city policlinic—and Dr. D., who was considered a leftist because he was not a Zionist, replaced me in the hospital. And in this way, instead of being removed from public medicine and pushed into the legion of the “former people” and loafers, I received a very honorable position, with much responsibility, and I was entrusted with the supervision of the whole ambulatory-medical care of Shavli.
The arrival in Shavli of a great mass of [German] soldiers immediately affected my situation as the director of the policlinic. With no formalities, the German medical-surgical division broke into the policlinic, and their chief physician immediately began to “set up house,” as if he were at home. His first act was to make the policlinic Jew-free. At that time, Dr. B-n, Dr. V. (dentist), and nurse L-n were in the policlinic, all with typical Jewish physiognomies, with brown hair, made in the true image of God—and he went up to each of them and ordered them to make off as quickly as possible: “You are Jews, go off and disappear, I should not have to see you any more.” […]
It will not be redundant to record an episode that sheds light on the German chief physician mentioned above and illustrates the relationship between the German intellectual, if we can call him such, and the Jews—almost colleagues of his. This very “bearer of culture” did not satisfy himself with driving the Jews out of the policlinic—suddenly, he remembered the dentist V., and sent a Lithuanian nurse to his home with the accompaniment of a German soldier, in order to bring him back to the policlinic. And when the dentist V. arrived, the chief physician ordered him to go clean the street around the policlinic, to carry water, and other such “honorable” work for a whole day […]
I soon met Dr. V., the dentist, and after him Dr. B., who ran to me out of breath and very upset, in order to let me know what had happened to them and what was generally happening in the policlinic. Hearing this news, I, of course, considered it a foregone conclusion that the “noble” chief physician would “honor” me, too, with this type of welcome, and I decided to remain at home and finita la comedia.1 In this fashion, my management of the policlinic, which lasted about eight months, ended.
Now I sit at home idle, without work, and have free time, over and beyond, to write out in greater or lesser detail my unhappy memories. In any case, one is afraid to go out in the street, to distract oneself a little, unless there is an important reason to go—in order not to run up against the hatred of our propaganda-filled masters, the Lithuanians […]”
Henryk Goldszmit, a Polish Jewish doctor known for his children’s books. under the name Janusz Korczak. He was the director a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw from 1912 until his death in 1942. Korczak’s diary provide a glimpse into the doctor’s state of mind in late July 1942 as Nazi authorities began a massive wave of deportations from the ghetto. The featured entries reflect his concerns over the children’s mental health I will be doing a blog on him quite soon but for now this is an excerpt from his diary.
“Night, July 18
During the first week of our last stay at the Goclawek summer home, the result of the consumption of bread of unknown composition and make was a mass poisoning which affected the children and some of the staff.
Diarrhea. The excrements boiled over in the chamber pots. Bubbles fonned upon the surface of the pitch-like matter. Bursting they exuded a sweetish-putrid odor, which not only attacked the sense of smell but invaded the throat, eyes, ears, the brain.
Just now we have something similar, but it consists of vomiting and watery stools.
During the night, the boys lost 80 kg among them — on the average a kilogram per head. The girls — 60 kg (somewhat less).
The children’s digestive tracts worked under heavy strain. Not much was needed to precipitate a disaster. Perhaps it was the inoculation against dysentery (five days ago) or the ground pepper added pursuant to a French recipe to the stale eggs used for Friday’s pate.
The next day, not so much as a single kilogram of the losses in weight was made up.
Help for those vomiting, moaning with pain, was administered in near darkness — with limewater. (Unlimited dental chalk for whoever wanted it, jug after jug. In addition, a drug for those suffering from headaches.) Finally, for the staff, sparingly — morphine. An injection of caffeine for a hysterical new inmate following a collapse.
His mother, wasting away of ulcerated intestines, was unwilling to die until the child had been placed in the Home. The boy was unwilling to go until the mother had died. He finally yielded. The mother died propitiously, now the child has pangs of conscience. In his illness, he mimics his mother: he moans (screams), complains of pain, then gasps, then feels hot, finally is dying of thirst.
I pace the dormitory to and fro. Will there be an outbreak of mass hysteria? Might be!
But the children’s confidence in the leadership prevailed. They believed that as long as the doctor was calm there was no danger.
Actually I was not so calm. But the fact that I shouted at the troublesome patient and threatened to throw him out onto the staircase was evidence that the man at the helm had everything under control. The decisive factor: he shouts, so he knows.
The next day, that was yesterday — the play. The Post Office by Tagore. Applause, handshakes, smiles, efforts at cordial conversation. (The chairwoman looked over the house after the performance and pronounced that though we are cramped, that genius Korczak had demonstrated that he could work miracles even in a rat hole.)
This is why others have been allotted palaces.
[This reminded me of the pompous opening ceremony of a new kindergarten in the workers’ house at Gorczewska Street with the participation of Mrs. Moscicka (Wife of the prewar President of Poland) — the other one.]
How ridiculous they are.
What would have happened if the actors of yesterday were to continue in their roles today?
Jerzyk fancied himself a fakir.
Chaimek — a real doctor.
Adek — the lord mayor.
(Perhaps illusions would be a good subject for the Wednesday dormitory talk. Illusions, their role in the life of mankind. . . .)
And so to Dzielna Street.
The same day. Midnight
If I were to say that I have never written a single line unwillingly, that would be the truth. But it would also be true to say that I have written everything under compulsion.
I was a child “able to play for hours on his own,” and with me “you wouldn’t know there was a child in the house.”
I received building blocks (bricks) when I was six. I stopped playing with them when I was fourteen.
“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Such a big guy. You ought to be doing something else. Reading. But blocks — what next. …”
When I was fifteen I acquired the craze, the frenzy of reading. The world vanished, only the book existed. . . .
I talked to people a lot: to peers and to much older grownups. In Saski Park I had some really aged friends. They “admired” me. A philosopher, they said.
I conversed only with myself.
For to talk and to converse are not the same. To change one’s clothes and to undress are two different things.
I undress when alone, and I converse when alone.
A quarter of an hour ago I finished my monologue in the presence of Heniek Azrylewicz. Probably for the first time in my life I told myself positively:
“I have an analytical, not an inventive, mind.”
To analyze in order to know?
To analyze in order to find, to get to the bottom of things?
Not that either.
Rather to analyze in order to ask further and further questions.
I ask questions of men (of infants, of the aged), I question facts, events, fates. I am not so pressed for answers; I go on to other questions — not necessarily on the same subject.
My mother used to say:
“That boy has no ambition. It’s all the same to him what he wears, whether he plays with children of his own kind or with the janitor’s. He is not ashamed to play with toddlers.”
I used to ask my building blocks, children, grownups, what they were. I did not break toys, it did not interest me why the doll’s eyes closed when it was put down. It was not the mechanism but the essence of a thing, the thing for itself, in itself.
Writing a diary or a life story I am obliged to talk, not to converse.
Now back to euthanasia. The family of a suicide. Euthanasia to order.
An insane man, legally incapacitated, incapable of independent decision.
A code comprising a thousand articles is needed. Life itself will dictate them. What is important is the principle: it is pennissible, desirable.
On a beautiful remote island, serene, as in a fairy tale, in a fine hotel, boarding house, a suicide casts the die. Is living worthwhile?
How many days or weeks are necessary to decide? A life following the patterns of contemporary magnates? Perhaps work?
The hotel service. Duties in shifts. The work in the garden. The length of stay?
“Where is he?”
“He has left.”
To a neighboring island or to the bottom of the sea.
Should there be a rule:
“The death sentence will be carried out in one month, even against your will. For you have signed an agreement, a contract with an organization, a deal with temporal life. So much the worse for you if you recant too late.”
Or the death — liberation comes in sleep, in a glass of wine, while dancing, to the accompaniment of music, sudden and unexpected.
“I want to die because I’m in love.”
“I long for death because I hate.”
“Take my life because I am capable of neither love nor hate.”
All this exists, but in crazy confusion, festering, filthy.
Death for profit, for a fixed payment, for convenience, to oblige.
Most intimately connected with death are sterilization, and the prevention and interruption of pregnancy.
“In Warsaw, you are free to have one child; in a small town, two; in a village, three; in a frontier village, four. In Siberia, ten. Take your choice.” “Free to live but childless.”
“Free to live but unmarried.”
“Manage by yourself; pay the taxes exclusively for yourself.”
“Here is a mate for you. Pick one out often, out of a hundred girls.”
“You may have two males. We allow three females.” Hurrah! lots of jobs, files, agencies, offices! (An iron machine does the work, provides accommodations, furniture, food, clothing. You are concerned only with organizing.)
A new method of land cultivation or livestock breeding, or new synthetic products, or the colonization of regions today inaccessible — the equator and the North and South Pole. The total population of the earth can be increased to five billion.
Communication has been established with a new planet. There is colonization. Mars, perhaps the moon will accept new immigrants. Perhaps there will be even more efficient means of communication with a distant neighbor. The result: ten billion men like you and me. The earth has the last word as to who, where to, how many.
Today’s war is a naive, though insincere, shoot-off. What is important is the great migration of peoples.
Russia’s program is to mix and crossbreed. Germany’s is to gather together those having a similar color of skin, hair, shape of nose, dimensions of the skull or pelvis.
Today, specialists feel the stranglehold of unemployment. There is a tragic quest for a dish of work for physicians and dentists.
Not enough tonsils waiting to be cut, appendixes to be taken out, teeth for filling.
“What to do? What to do?”
There is: acetonemia, pylorospasmus. There is: angina pectoris.
What will happen if we find that tuberculosis is not only curable but cured with a single injection, intra-venal, intramuscular or subcutaneous?
Syphilis — test 606. Consumption, 2500. What will be left for doctors and nurses to do?
What will happen if alcohol is replaced by a whiff of gas? Machine No. 3. Price, ten zlotys.1 A fifty-year guarantee. The dose as prescribed on the label. Payable in installments.
If sufficient daily nourishment were contained in two .t-bion pills, what about the chefs and the restaurants?
Esperanto? One daily newspaper for all peoples and all tongues. What will the linguists do, and above all, the translators and the teachers of foreign languages?
The radio — perfected. Even the most sensitive ear will detect no difference between live music and a “canned, conserved” melody.
What’s going to happen when even today we need disasters to provide work and goals for just one generation?
We cannot go on like this, my dear friends. Because unprecedented stagnation will set in, and foul air such as no one has ever encountered, and frustration such as no one has ever experienced.
A theme for a short story.
Tomorrow begins a radio contest for the master violinist of the year, playing this or that symphony or dissonance.
The whole world is at the loudspeakers.
An unprecedented Olympic contest.
The fans of the violinist from the Isle of Parrots experience moments of terrible suspense.
Comes the final night.
Their favorite man is beaten.
They commit suicide, unable to reconcile themselves to the fall of their idol.
There is a Che kh ov story: A ten-year-old nanny is so desperate for sleep that she strangles the screaming baby.
Poor nanny — she did not know what else to do. I have found a way. I don’t hear the irritating coughing, I heartlessly ignore the aggressive and provoking behavior of the old tailor.
I don’t hear it. Two o’clock in the morning. Silence. I settle down to sleep — for five hours. The rest I shall make up in the daytime.
I would like to tidy up what I have written. A tough assignment.
July 21, 1942
Tomorrow I shall be sixty-three or sixty-four years old. For some years, my father failed to obtain my birth certificate. I suffered a few difficult moments over that. Mother called it gross negligence: being a lawyer, father should not have delayed in the matter of the birth certificate.
I was named after my grandfather, his name was Hersh (Flirsh). Father had every right to call me Henryk: he himself was given the name Jozef. And to the rest of his children grandfather had given Christian names, too: Maria, Magdalena, Ludwik, Jakub, Karol.
Yet he hesitated and procrastinated.
I ought to say a good deal about my father: I pursue in life that which he strove for and for which my grandfather tortured himself for many years.
And my mother. Later about that. I am both mother and father. That helps me to know and understand a great deal.
My great-grandfather was a glazier. I am glad: glass gives warmth and light.
It is a difficult thing to be bom and to learn to live. Ahead of me is a much easier task: to die. After death, it may be difficult again, but I am not bothering about that. The last year, month or hour.
I should like to die consciously, in possession of my faculties. I don’t know what I should say to the children by way of farewell. I should want to make clear to them only this — that the road is theirs to choose, freely.
Ten o’clock. Shots: two, several, two, one, several. Perhaps it is my own badly blacked out window.
But I do not stop writing.
On the contrary: it sharpens (a single shot) the thought.”
In general I am always careful tp put all the blame on the German when it comes to the Holocaust. There is no denying that the bulk of the responsibility lies with them, but there were many other who enabled them and actively and willingly participated in the mass murder.
I also try not to post pictures that are too graphic because it often has an opposite effect, people are too disturbed to look at them and therefor don’t read the story behind them. I know the picture at the start of the blog is quite graphic, but it comes from a compilation of pictures which has even much more graphic photographs, this one is the least graphic.
The picture are from the The Kovno Garage Massacre, the clubbing to death of Jewish Lithuanians on June 27 1941,by Lithuanian nationalists.
Lithuanian paramilitary fascists murdered sixty-nine Jews by clubbing them with iron bars in an open-air garage before scores of onlookers in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania on this date in 1941.
During the Lietūkis Garage Massacre, carried out before the invading Germans had actually set up their administration, 69 people were killed and publicly humiliated in the process. Jews were forced to gather on the afternoon in the courtyard of a garage at 43 Vitautas Avenue, in the center of the city.
Some of them were killed with shovels, iron bars, or by other barbaric methods. Lithuanian children were lifted onto the shoulder of their parents to catch a glimpse of the “Death Dealer of Kovno”,
Colonel Lothar Von Bischoffshausen gave a testimony of the massacre.
“I arrived in Kovno on the afternoon of June 27, 1941. Whilst patrolling the city I came across a crowd of people that had gathered alongside a gas station to watch what was happening in the adjacent yard.
There were women in the crowd and many of them clambered onto chairs and crates so that they and their children could get a better view of the “spectacle” taking place in the yard below. At first, I thought this must be a victory celebration or some type of sporting event because of the cheering, clapping, and laughter that kept breaking out.
However, when I asked what was happening I was told the ‘death dealer of Kovno’ is at work and he would make sure that all ‘traitors and collaborators’ received a fitting punishment for their ‘treachery.’ When I drew closer I witnessed a display of brutality that was unparalleled by anything I saw in combat during two world wars.
Standing on the tarmac in the yard was a fair haired young man of around 25. He leaned on a long iron bar as thick as human arm and around his feet lay between fifteen to twenty people who were either dying or already dead. A few feet away from him stood another group of individuals who were guarded by armed men.
Every few minutes he signaled with his hand and another person quietly stepped forward and had his skull shattered with one blow from the huge iron bar the killer held in his hand. Each blow he struck drew another round of clapping and cheering from the enthralled crowd.”
The author Silvia Foti argues that spending time in a Nazi concentration camp does not exonerate her grandfather from his role in the Holocaust in Lithuania.
As I was growing up in Chicago during the Cold War, I’d heard about how my grandfather Jonas Noreika was an honorary prisoner in the Stutthof concentration camp, how he was taken hostage with 45 other Lithuanian leaders for their anti-Nazi activity.
Read more: Granddaughter of Lithuanian Nazi collaborator: ‘I love his soul but not his sins’
To my shock, as I researched his life for my memoir The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal, I realised his time in Stutthof had been used as a cover-up by Lithuanians to hide his role in the Holocaust.
Lithuanians were led to believe he was treated just as harshly as the Jews, that his anti-Nazi activity included saving Jews, and that he was victimised by the Nazis to the same extent as Jews. Thus the designation of honorary prisoner somehow conferred an increased sanctity to my grandfather, that he was even more special than “regular” prisoners.
I can recall how, at Lithuanian Saturday school in Chicago or summer camps in Michigan in the 1970s, I was patted on the back and looked upon with admiration for having a grandfather who was an honorary prisoner at Stutthof. By association, as his only granddaughter, I too was somehow blessed to have someone in my direct lineage who suffered in a concentration camp – the Holocaust halo effect.
That all changed when my mother, on her deathbed, asked me to write the story of her heroic father, known as General Storm, who fought so bravely against the communists for Lithuania’s freedom. With much trepidation and hesitation, I slowly learned that my beloved grandfather played a crucial role in murdering 8,000 to 15,000 Jews between 1941 and 1943 in Plungė, Telšiai, and Šiauliai, that Lithuania had the highest percentage of Jews murdered in all of Europe, and that this couldn’t have been accomplished without the enthusiastic help of local collaborators………. read more
The Table of Truth September 12, 2021 10 AM Pacific | 1 PM Eastern 7 PM South Africa | 8 PM Israel About This Event
Learn about the extraordinary connection to one chess table between Faina Kukliansky, Lithuanian Jewish Community Chair, Shulamit Rabinovich, San Franciscan engineer, Dudu Fisher, Israeli world-renowned entertainer, Grant Gochin, South African Wealth Manager, and Silvia Foti, Chicagoan journalist. We will reveal recently discovered facts about the Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust denial by the Lithuanian Government, and present new paths to education about the horrors of the past. The table WILL talk. We will conclude the program with Dudu Fisher chanting Kaddish.
This is a chat show presented by Dirk de Klein. On this episode Dirk’s guests are Grant Gochin and Silvia Foti. Grant and Silvia have been campaigning against the Lithuanian government in relation to the revised history of Lithuania’s part in the Holocaust. Some of Grant’s family were murdered in Lithuania during the Holocaust. One of the men responsible was Jonas Noreika.
Jonas Noreika was the Grandfather of Silvia. While doing research on her Grandfather for a book she had promised her Mother she would write, about her Mother’s dad, she discovered disturbing facts about her Grandfather. Grant Gochin is actively involved in Jewish affairs, focusing on historical justice. He has spent the past twenty years documenting and restoring signs of Jewish life in Lithuania. He has served as the Chair of the Maceva Project in Lithuania, which mapped / inventoried / documented / restored over fifty abandoned and neglected Jewish cemeteries. He is the author of “Malice, Murder and Manipulation”, published in 2013. His book documents his family history of oppression in Lithuania. Silvia Foti, MSJ, MAT, MFA, is a journalist, creative writer, teacher, and mother. She is author of the book The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Learned My Grandfather was a War Criminal, Regnery History, coming May 2021; Mi Abuelo: El General Storm ¿Héroe o criminal nazi? Harper Collins Mexico, Spanish edition, coming August 2020.
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Grant Gochin is a honorable man and I am proud to call him a friend.
Times of Israel blog by Grant Gochin
For the past eight years I have been fighting a protracted legal battle to remove honors awarded to Lithuania’s Nazi collaborators like Jonas Noreika and prevent their glorification. I consider it my moral responsibility to be a voice – sometimes a lonely one – for truth in Lithuania with regard to the Holocaust, which devastated my family along with the families of the 200,000+ Jews that were murdered at the hands of Lithuanians like Noreika and their Nazi enablers.
As head of the country’s Šiauliai district during the Nazi occupation, after his predecessor resigned for “humanitarian reasons,” Noreika signed off on the ghettoization and dispossession of the district’s Jews. Hundreds were murdered during the round-up for no other reason than their Jewishness, making clear the ultimate intention of being placed into a ghetto. Almost all of the rest were slaughtered subsequently by Lithuanians and a small number of Nazis. Vast numbers of Lithuanians celebrated the sharing of Jewish plunder……read more by clicking on the link.
Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum was born in Lithuania but grew up in Scheveningen in the Netherlands. His story in World War 2 is remarkable, some people just have a very strong life force.
After he got married he returned, together with his wife, to his country of origin, Lithuania. When the Nazis invaded Lithuania in 1941, he managed to escape with his family.
He reached Java in the Dutch East Indies via Via Russia and Japan. In the Dutch East Indies (nowadays known as Indonesia) he became Rabbi of the Jewish communities of Batavia and Bandung.
In 1943, the Japanese occupiers of the Dutch East Indies imprisoned him in the Changi Prisoner of War Camp in Eastern Singapore.
There he was forced into slave labor on the notorious Burma Railway. Chaim also took up a role as the Rabbi for the Jewish prisoners in the camp and even established a synagogue there named Ohel Jacob.
A fellow prisoner, Bert Besser, made this tapestry, which was to function as a curtain for that synagogue’s Holy Ark, which stored the Torah scrolls.
The text on the curtain says, “The Torah is Our Life” and “House of Worship of POWs, Changi.” Chaim Nussbaum survived the war. After his liberation, he moved to Canada.
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