I noticed too many posts on the tragedies of families of the Holocaust. In particular, my friend Michael Brecher posted the above photograph of his father. Here is what he writes:
This is my father’s family, who because of one man who could command many willing minds and the silence by the majority (but by NO means all) of the gentile people living in Europe; the majority were “silent bystanders…” because of them, I never knew 2/3 of my father’s family’.
The photo was sent to my father’s uncle who had emigrated to The States. My father is at the center of this picture, his one surviving sister, my Aunt Lucy to his right, next to the bubbe I never knew, Pesha OBM z”l…My zaide’s a”h, z”l expression made me think of the irony of the feature on my camera, “searching for a smile,” but I thought, maybe they knew something was coming…
The photo was accompanied with the following description:
Today (or yesterday, by the time this is published) is Yom HaShoa (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day).
More on the Brecher family: “They lived in a small village (Tluste) at the Polish Russian border at the southern-most tip of Poland…My dad lived in four regimes (Nazi Germany twice) by the time he was 12…Polish; (occupied) Nazi Germany; Stalin’s Russia and back to Nazi Germany…Their village was turned into a work camp to produce this material called “kahk-sagEE??” which my dad believed was just a way to keep the officer in charge away from the “front…” My grandfather and one aunt aunts (z”l) died of typhus; my other aunt was shot to death; how my grandmother (z”l) died is a matter of (unspoken) debate between my one surviving aunt and my father: Either way my dad claims to have had to bury her in a field at the age of 12.
My aunt emigrated to Canada immediately after the war, but my dad waited two years in Europe, because he wanted to go to the US (to meet his “bashert”). My dad really never talked much about ANY of his experiences, and in fact when we visited the Holocaust Museum in DC, he didn’t say a word. Their childhood home is still standing as I understand it. My aunt accepted reparations, but my dad wanted none of that “[blood money].”
Other posts on tragedies of families of the Holocaust
- The Last Night before the Hurban of Ozerow (Hannah Katsman’s father)
- Family of grandfather of Mrs. S.
- Avital Chizhik’s Grandmother: Her Family and Babi Yar
- Blechner Family Story
- My Lithuanian Relatives
Other posts for Yom Hashoa
- Elinka: a collection of Holocaust memorials in Europe
- Royallieu-Compiègne Internment Camp (Ilana-Davita)
- Lorri on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day
Notes on terms:
OBM – of blessed memory
z”l – zichrono l’bracha – of blessed memory
a”h – alav hashalom – rest in peace or peace upon him/her