Compilation of Memories (Memoirs)
Plan to Visit Family in USA
I had a great need to meet my son Nathan and his family whom I have not seen for 33 years as well as my only living brother who I have not seen for over 50 years. I wrote my son several times asking him to visit. He promised me last year that he would come by plane but he did not. He said it was difficult to get a British Visa but even more difficult for him to leave his business and a factory where there were 200 workers.
I decided to fulfill my son’s wishes and come to visit him in America for several months. I hoped that I could do some good deeds on this trip, to help the daughters of my sisters, Tova Flintenstein and Chana Shterberg, who were down on their luck. I would try to get help from relatives or some relief institutions.
The leaders of the Tel Aviv Zablotov organization, the city of my birth, asked and advised me to go and try to get help from “Relief Zablotov”, a big organization in New York. I would also look for backing in order to publish the book written by several writers, born in Zablotov. The young writer, Getzel Kressel, a relative, was one of the initiators and writers of this book. I also participated in writing about fifty pages describing five generations from our town. The people of Stanislau are also putting out a collection of memories that will cost about 1,500 lei and ask me to try to raise some money in America from the people of their town.
My son David is trying to get the necessary visa for me from the American Consul. There are many difficulties but I hope to get it. On Oct. 5, 1947, I was examined by a specialist, Dr. Shtrumwasser. I was found well enough to travel this distance. I was healthy, blood pressure 155 and good, heartbeat satisfactory. On Nov. 5, 1947, I received a letter from the American Council asking me questions about the trip and to send 3 pictures. This was a good sign to get a visa.
On כט תישרי 1947 there was a memorial service for those killed from Stanislau that was held in the Nathan Strauss Hall on Rechov Balfour, Tel Aviv. The main eulogy was given by Rabbi Dr.Mordechai Brody who now lives in Jerusalem. He was a Rabbi in Stanislau from 1900-1910. He moved to Lodz as an enlightened Rabbi and was chosen to be a representative from his party, the General Zionists, in the Polish Senate. He fought all his life in this against anti-Semitism.
The second speaker was Dr. Gelber from Brody who spoke about the history of the town Stanislau. He spoke about their writers, wise men and Rabbis. The last eulogy was given by Mr. Menachim Glatter, who had been a teacher in the school “שפה ברורה” (Clear Language) in Stanislau. He demanded that we raise the money needed to publish the book about Stanislau. He and Dr. Brody and several writers, wrote about the town and its inhabitants. The book would be extensive and cost about 1,500 lei. After I said Kaddish, the memorial service ended at 11:00 at night.
In the month of Cheshvan, 1947, my brother-in-law R’Chaim Meltzer returned from military captivity from some desolate island in Russia. Since he was an Austrian citizen, the Russians liberated him to Vienna where he had lived. After he was there several months, he met people from Stanislau and he found out what happened to my family during the Nazi occupation of the town. One of those he met was a friend of my son Aaron, who had given him a letter for me, where he describes the tragedy that is befalling them.
The man’s name was Max Fogel who was together with my son Aaron in the service of the Nazis in the Judenrat. Several hundred or a thousand Jews in the town participated in the Judenrat from the time the Russians retreated from Stanislau at the end of 1940 or early1941. One day in August 1942, thousands of the Judenrat were sentenced to jail. They were forcibly brought by the murderers to the area between the Talmud Torah and the Yeshiva and the Beit HaKnesset Weisshaus. They were shot and killed on the spot. According to an eye witness, my son Aaron and his family were among them. Before being killed, they dug a huge trench in which they were then buried. When the first slaughter was completed they brought about another two thousand victims to the killing field. After several days, there was again another group of two thousand. Six thousand men, women and children, the best people, Rabbis, Doctors, writers spilled their blood at the end of אלול 1942 or the beginning of the days of Rosh HaShanah of 1943 and were buried in the same killing field. These holy bloody voices are screaming from the graves. May God take a bloody revenge!
(*Note from Grandfather: In the second letter from Max Fogel he writes that he didn’t see Aaron killed but only heard about it. The notice from Max Hellman about the killing was based on the list and the number 153.) (Note* This Max Hellman is not previously mentioned. R&DK)
On the 30th of November 1947, a day of joy and celebration for Jews, was the day that the United Nations at Lake Success, New York, voted to recognize the Jewish State of Israel. 33 countries voted for the establishment of the Jewish State and 13 countries, among them 7 Arab countries, voted against. The majority decided and it was approved. At this moment of joy and celebration for us, all the Arab countries said they would forcibly cancel this decision. On the following morning, December 1st, the Arabs began their attacks on Jews by shooting and burning houses. The Jews returned the attacks with amazing bravery. Every day there were casualties on both sides with Israel having the upper hand. From this day on, all roads are dangerous. There was no going from city to city, town to town. Basic supplies were difficult to bring from the farms and expensive.
The British did nothing and betrayed us. Instead of stopping these attacks, they encouraged and helped the Arabs. We are facing war and for seventy days, the old city of Jerusalem was blockaded. The Jewish people are in danger and God will rescue us.
After the destruction of the land, the nation and the 2nd Temple, by the Romans, by order of Titus, may his named be wiped from the book of life, the Jewish People with their strength continued to survive after the year 70. In 1897, at the first Zionist Congress, Dr. Herzl proclaimed the right of the Jewish People to establish a national home in its own land. This right was recognized by the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917. It was confirmed by the forming a Mandate by the League of Nations in 1922 that was assigned to Britain.
Content last updated Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM Mountain Standard Time