Some people say they've had enough of hearing about the Holocaust. Do they know all these testimonies?
73. Chaim Zajdenberg and his family:
Could this place have been my father's grave?
His name was Chaim Zajdenberg and he gave his birthplace as Lublin in southeast Poland. As a young man, he moved to Paris, became a portrait photographer with a glamorous clientele of theater people and signed his pictures Studio Charles. My mother, Ruchla, was born in Warsaw at the turn of the last century. She emigrated in her late twenties and in France was called Rachel. Charles and Rachel met and married and I was born two years later. A curly haired sister was born when I was six, two days before the Nazis entered Paris. No longer the center of attention, I was devastated.
Family life came to an end in 1942. My mother and sister were arrested in November by French police and sent to the French camp of Drancy, then on to Auschwitz. That winter, I later read, turned bitter cold, especially in the East. They were never heard from again.
Meanwhile my father knocked on the doors of some of his well connected French clients to get his wife and child located and freed. To no avail. In April 1943, after trundling through one or another hiding place in Paris, we were both arrested in a small hotel in the Latin Quarter. As a French citizen, I was let go in the care of a relative.
Around the same time, in Warsaw, the Ghetto uprising started but within two months it was crushed and the Nazis carpet bombed the whole Jewish district in North Warsaw. Afterwards, they brought in forced labor crews from the nearby concentration camps to clean up the rubble. According to Bernard Zajdenberg, a relative who worked on one of those crews, my father was sent to Warsaw where Bernard saw him collapse of exhaustion and shortly thereafter die from typhus.
74. Jakub Gutenbaum:
These fighters [of the Warsaw Ghetto] "knew that they had to die, but they wanted to leave a trace of their existence, hence those acts of heroism, a testimony to honor," Jakub Gutenbaum, an 83-year-old survivor of the uprising, told news agency AP on Thursday.
Gutenbaum lost his mother and brother to the gas chambers of the Majdanek concentration camp, but he managed to survive and was eventually liberated by the Soviet Red Army at another camp.
"The fact that I survived is a matter of luck... Maybe I was at the wrong places, or rather at the right places at the right times."
75. Simcha Applebaum.
'They took my mother right away... My mother was 43 years old.'
76. The figure 13:
Of the 13 musicians driven out of the orchestra [the Vienna Philharmonic] for being Jewish or married to Jews, five died in concentration camps, others were deported, but none returned...
A French town where dozens of residents saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust will open a museum to commemorate the rescuers' actions.
The Memory of Chambon museum is scheduled to open its doors on June 5 in Chambon-sur-Lignon, 70 miles south of Lyon in southern France...
The new museum will... commemorate the actions of at least 35 residents who, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, prevented French authorities under the pro-Nazi Vichy government from deporting and murdering approximately 5,000 Jews.
The rescue was initiated and led by the town's pastor, Andre Trocme, and his wife Magda. The couple and another 33 townsfolk have been recognized as Righteous among the Nations, a title conferred by Yad Vashem to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Trocme hid Jews in his parish and smuggled many others into neutral Switzerland.
According to Yad Vashem, the Vichy authorities became aware of his activities and cautioned him to cease. His response was: "These people came here for help and for shelter. I am their shepherd. A shepherd does not forsake his flock... I do not know what a Jew is. I know only human beings."
Andre Trocme was arrested but released. His cousin, Daniel Trocme, died in the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he was sent for rescuing Jewish children in his capacity as director of a local children's home.
(For an index to the whole series, see here)