Echo their names here — an invocation if you will, know them so they can be known, so you can grasp their brutal end. Only 15, a drop in the bloody bucket.

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Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. The name “Yad Vashem” is taken from a verse in the Book of Isaiah.

Naming the Holocaust memorial “yad vashem” conveys the idea of establishing a national depository for the names of Jewish victims who have no one to carry their name after death.

The names and photographs submitted to Yad Veshem are from family and friends; each submission, from 3 to 5 sentences, is referred to as a  “Page of Testimony.”

Feel for 15, you’ll feel for 6 million

The following 15 Pages of Testimony will give you a proper feel of where the remaining other millions of souls who suffered this unfathomable agony would have taken you. That’s all you need to feel. Feel for 15, you’ll feel for 6 million. If you don’t feel you’re either a nazi and/or some sick f___k.

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1 5  P A G E S  OF  T E S T I M O N Y
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1. MARA COBLIC, daughter of Yitzhak and Bracha Coblic, was born in 1936 in Chisinau, Romania (today Moldova). Mara and her family were incarcerated in the Chisinua ghetto, where she and her mother perished. The Page of Testimony in her memory and the photograph were submitted to Yad Vashem by Malka Gipsman, Mara’s cousin.
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2. THE GRITZ FAMILY Chaya Gritz (ne Zuckerman) was born in Berezno, Poland in 1906.She married Jacob Nianje Gritz, also from Berezno, who was three years her senior. In 1933, their daughter Ettele Menucha was born. The family was incarcerated in the Berezno ghetto, where they were murdered by the Germans and their Ukrainian collaborators in August 1942. The photograph and Pages of Testimony in their memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Yishayahu Perry, Chaya Gritz’s nephew.
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3. ARTU and TRUDA RUBIN on their Wedding Day. Artur Rubin was born in 1901 in Dobris, Czechoslovakia. He was married to Truda Kaplusz, born in Dobris in 1907. Artur was a trader and Truda was a housewife. In 1944, they were deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Artur was 43 and his wife was 37. The Pages of Testimony in their memory and the photograph were submitted to Yad Vashem by Vera Karger, the Rubin’s niece, living in the United States.

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4. SARA LIVSHITZ daughter of Moshe and Riva (nee Shoikhet), was born in 1938 in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. In 1941, she was murdered in Vinnitsa, together with her parents, and her brother Daniel, age 6. She was just 3 years old. The photograph and Page of Testimony in her memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by her cousin, Dora Vernikov, who live in the Ukraine.
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jacoby5. HEINRICH and MARGARETE JACOBY  BERLIN, 1940  Heinrich Jacoby was born in Belgard, Germany on October 15, 1864. His wife Margarete was born in Eidtkonen, Germany on November 11, 1875. They were deported from Germany and perished in Theresienstadt on January 18, 1943, age 79, and Margarete on August 22, 1943, age 68. The Pages of Testimony in their memory and the photograph were submitted by their daughter, Julia Faerber Jacoby, who lives in France.
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6. FLORIKA LIEBMANN  was born in 1934 in Szeged, Hungary to Bela and Szerena (née Hortobagyi) Liebmann. She went to school in Szeged, and in 1944, at the age of 10, was deported to her death. Her mother also perished. The photograph and Page of Testimony in her memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Moshe Hortobagy.
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7. YEHIEL MINTZBERG Son of Abek (Abba) and Miriam Mintzberg, was born in Radom, Poland. He lived in Radom during the war, until October 1942, when he was deported to Treblinka, and murdered. He was ten years old. The Page of Testimony in his memory and the photograph were submitted to Yad Vashem by his aunt, Lola Politanski from Israel.
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8. KURT PECKEL FAMILY. Kurt, son of Adolf and Pauline Peckel, was born on 9 March, 1897 in Inse, Germany. He married Frania Kalter, and they had a son, Adolf. The family lived in Leipzig, Germany, and during the war they were in Southern France. On 31 August 1942, Kurt, Frania and Adolf were deported on the 26th transport from the Drancy transit camp to Auschwitz, where they all perished. The family photograph and Page of Testimony in memory of Kurt Peckel were submitted to Yad Vashem by Horace Peck (formerly Peckel), Kurt’s brother from the US.
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9. GREGORY SHEHTMAN Gregory, son of Haim and Feiga Shehtman, was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1934. In September 1941, Gregory was taken to Babi Yar, a ravine just outside Kiev, and murdered. The photograph and Page of Testimony in his memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Rachel Gorinstein, Gregory’s half-sister, who lives in the US.
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10 OLGA KRAUSZ & HER SON IMRE Olga Krausz, daugher of Lajos and Janka Blumenfeld, was born in Satoraljaujhely, Hungary in 1905. She was married to Jozsef Krausz, a doctor by profession. Olga was a teacher. In 1938 they had a son, Imre. During the war, the Krausz family lived in Pecs, Hungary. They were all murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. The photograph and Pages of Testimony in their memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Gustav Grtner, Olga’s nephew, who lives in the Czech Republic.
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11. LAURA & VILIAM SCHWARTZ Laura Schwartz, daughter of Margit and Ede Hadinger, was married to Viliam Schwartz, and was a pharmacist by profession. The couple lived in Cluj, Romania. Laura perished at the age of 28, probably in a concentration camp. Viliam’s fate is unknown. The photograph and Page of Testimony in her memory were submitted by her cousin Carol Rosenfeld, who lives in Sweden.
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12. RENEE ALBERSHEIM Renée, daughter of Fritz and Helene Albersheim, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. During the war the family lived in Lithuania, Helene’s country of origin. Rene and her parents were incarcerated in the Kovno ghetto, where they perished. The Page of Testimony in her memory and the photograph were submitted to Yad Vashem by Tamara Jawschitz-Spatz, Renes’s cousin.
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13. MARINA SMARGONSKI  Marina, daughter of Nahum and Anna-Nyuta Smargonski, was born in Riga, Latvia on 30 August 1938. During the war the family lived in Riga, and Marina perished in the Riga ghetto in December of 1941. She was 3 years old. Her father perished in a concentration camp in Germany. The photograph and Page of Testimony in her memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Anna Yarshov (formerly Smargonski), Marina’s mother.
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14. AMARA HALPERN with one of her two daughters – Lita or Ruth. Tamara Kessel was born in 1903 in Riga, Latvia, and married Abraham Halpern, also born in Riga. They had two daughters – Lita, born in 1929 and Ruth, born in 1931. The family lived in Riga during the war. None of them survived. The Pages of Testimony in their memory and the photograph were submitted by Shirley Morgenstern, Tamara’s cousin.
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15. ELISABETH GERSCH AND DAUGHTER, EVA  Eva Elisabeth Gersch (née Grunfeld) was born in 1914 in TG-Mures, Transylvania (Romania). She was married to Rudolph and they lived in Deda Bisztra, Romania where Elisabeth was a housewife. In 1936 they had a daughter whom they named Eva (in photograph). During the war, the family lived in the Regin ghetto. Elisabeth and Eva were deported to Auschwitz, where they were gassed in 1944. Elisabeth was 40 and Eva was 8 years old. The photograph and Pages of Testimony in their memory were submitted to Yad Vashem by Elisabeth’s niece Adela Ganea, herself a Holocaust survivor, living in Haifa.
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The Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project 

The Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project aims to memorialize each individual Jew murdered in the Holocaust by recording their names, biographical details and photographs on special forms created by Yad Vashem, called Pages of Testimony.

Yad VashemEternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance

Yad VashemEternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance

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Pages of Testimony

Pages of Testimony are special forms designed by Yad Vashem to restore the personal identity and brief life stories of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices.

Since its inception Yad Vashem has worked tirelessly to collect these one-page forms, containing the names, biographical details and, when available, photographs, of each individual victim. Pages of Testimony are submitted by survivors, remaining family members or friends and acquaintances in commemoration of Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

The first 800,000 names on Pages of Testimony were collected during the 1950’s, with ongoing global outreach efforts to identify the unnamed victims of the Shoah so they will always be remembered.

To date there are some 2.5 million Pages of Testimony, written in more than twenty languages, stored for perpetuity in the circular repository around the outer edge of the Hall of Names, with space for six million in total. Empty shelves bear witness to the millions of individuals who have yet to be memorialized.

The Hall of Names

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View of the Hall of Names

The Hall of Names at Yad Vashem is the Jewish People’s memorial to each and every Jew who perished in the Holocaust – a place where they may be commemorated for generations to come.

The main circular hall houses the extensive collection of “Pages of Testimony” – short biographies of each Holocaust victim. Over two million Pages are stored in the circular repository around the outer edge of the Hall, with room for six million in all.

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The ceiling of the Hall is composed of a ten-meter high cone reaching skywards, displaying 600 photographs and fragments of Pages of Testimony.

This exhibit represents a fraction of the murdered six million men, women and children from the diverse Jewish world destroyed by the Nazis and their accomplices. The victims’ portraits are reflected in water at the base of an opposing cone carved out of the mountain’s bedrock.

Aerial view of Yad Vashem

Aerial view of Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem is located on the western slope of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, 804 meters (2,638 ft) above sea level and adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest. Yad Vashem is a 180-dunam (180,000 m2; 1,900,000 sq ft) complex containing the Holocaust History Museum, memorial sites such as the Children’s Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, archives, a research institute, library, publishing house and an educational center, The International School for Holocaust Studies. Yad Vashem honors non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust, at personal risk, as the Righteous Among the Nations.

Yad Vashem is the second most-visited tourist site in Israel, after the Western Wall. It receives some one million visitors annually. Admission is free.

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Feel for 15, you’ll feel for 6 million.


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“Look into the camera meine Kinder”

Photo: Central State Archive of Film, Photo and Phonographic Documents / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

The children’s parents, family, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents the whole mishpocha upon mishpocha are taken to a ravine or pit. If there was no pit they, the Jews, had to dig one. After stripped of their clothing, naked, they line up side-by-side facing the pit where they are shot in the neck just below their skull or shot by machine gun; they collapse on top of the previously slain, body upon body, layer after layer until the pit was full to the brim and the Einsatzkommando ran out of Jews.

She is rushed to her death to stand naked before the pit she just help dig, stand naked before a sea of the naked dead swimming before her. She knows a German bullet is about to pierce her skull. Her words are lost among the barking dogs, the angry shouts, the gun blasts, the terrible cold, the chaos: “Oh God, please save my children. I love you husband, I love you father, mother, I love you, I love you, Oh God don’t take my children, let them live, mother, mother, sister, sister I love you, I love you, I love you, God save my children ….” Her words to God are lost among the 6 million lost souls who all pleaded to God during the holocaust.

The finishing touch: the Einsatzkommando bring the children to the incomprehensible, the abominable, the horror, the nightmare, the carnage and throw them onto the top of the pile. Tumbling in air or landing on the pile of bodies they are gun-down, the Germans showing off their shooting skill.  Some of the killers, laughing, toss candy to the children during their “target practice.” If the Einsatzkommando should decide to burn the stack of bodies before covering them with dirt they throw the children alive into the flames.

Mobile killing units, Einsatzkommandos are smaller units of the Einsatzgruppen, responsible for systematically killing Jews in small villages throughout the Ukraine. About 1.3 million Jews (nearly a quarter of all the Jews who died during the Holocaust) were killed, one by one, by the 3000 men who were organized into the four Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) that headed toward Russia in the summer of 1941 on the heels of the German military.

Evil? Sadist? Cruel? Twisted? Inhumane? Sub-human? What do we call them: What names do they go by: German? Einsatzgruppen? Einsatzkommando? Nazi?
 SS? Getaspo?    Did Hitler know German men had it in them to do such work? Or did he have to draw from a special breed, part of the criminal element, depraved to begin with, soulless.

It seems that Hitler had the best of the German citizens for recruitment, not the dregs but the cream of the crop, educated, bright. Einsatzgruppen officers were professional men. They included lawyers, a physician, and even a clergyman. Postwar trials brought some of them to justice. Arrested in April 1959, an officer said of himself: “I was always a person with a heightened sense of duty.” Yes nothing stood in the way of him killing children. What does this tell us? That Hitler and these professional educated Germans are of one mind, of one evil, cruel, atrocious, malignant predilection to bloodletting,  murder, genocide? It seems so.

The Ukraine people, witness to the mass killings, knew the Einsatzkommandos as Germans. For more on the Ukraine mass killings and Father Patrick Desbois a French priest who travel from village to village interviewing and documenting witnesses to the slaughter read my post: “Required Reading: subject: “Holocaust By bullets”

Required Reading: The Holocaust by Bullets

The quote taken from Father Patrick Desbois’s book
The Holocaust By Bullets
A priest’s journey to uncover the truth behind the murder of 1.5 million Jews

Patrick Desbois, a Roman Catholic priest from France, spent four years in the Ukraine hearing witnesses’ accounts of mass executions while searching for the hidden remains of the victims — 1.5 million Jews shot point-blank dead by the Nazis from 1941 to 1944.

Those witnesses he interviewed were children and teenagers during the time of the mass executions.  Their parents were forced to work as diggers of mass graves, cooks who fed Nazi soldiers, seamstresses who mended clothes stripped from the Jews before execution; some including the children were forced to participate in the slaughter of the Jews.

Photo: Guillaume Ribot/Yahad-In Unum

They live today in rural poverty, many without running water or heat, nearing the end of their lives. Patrick Desbois has been seeking them out, roaming the back roads and forgotten fields of the Ukraine. His goal: to identify and record the mass execution of Jews, Roma and other victims, so that “The Holocaust by Bullets” along with the extermination camps are an enduring, glaring record of the Holocaust, are forever a part of world consciousness and that the dead along with the very earth covering them are memorialized to acknowledge, visit, ponder and mourn.

Desbois with a small crew traveled from village to village where he usually found one senior, sometime two or three seniors a village each laden with a singular childhood experience of mass murder they finally, nearing the end of their life might purge by its telling.  They often took him to the site of carnage, the site for some being out their window, their backyard, laden not only with bones but spent German cartridges.

 A CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE

Petrivna, an elder women from the village of Ternivka, tells Desbois how she witness the Jewish children and handicapped torn from their families, children torn from their mothers, carting them off to be killed later after the Germans finished off the adults. The adults were place into a large pit — 20 by 20.  They were all naked. They had to lie down on the dead bodies from the previous shooting, then shot in the head or nape of the neck.

Petrivna tells how after each shooting she and 2 friends had to walk barefooted ­­­over the bodies to pack them down so to make room for the next group. She explains, “we were too poor for shoes, we had to walk barefooted.”

After finishing pressing they poured a layer of sand over the bodies. Many of the Jews were wounded and still moving. “You see its not easy walking on bodies,” she tells Desbois.  Petrivna saw a Jewish classmate who sat next to her in school in the pit, naked, shot in the head.  Petrivna had to step on her classmate’s body along with the others. She and her 2 friends were force to continuously press the victims flat non-stop without rest, food or water — from 10am to 4pm, 6 hours of carnage and immense suffering as the Germans continued to relieve each other for lunch. Note: she describes them as Germans, not Nazis.

At the end of the day, after all the adults were slain, the German soldiers threw the children and babies onto the top of the pile.  “They threw them in the air. They threw them any old way,” tells Petrivna.

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November 11th Remembrance Day & Post-ukraine Reflections
By Guest Blogger, Geneviève Blouin

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THOSE AMONG US

What subspecies of German citizen could enact those atrocities?  I can’t believe as Father Patrick Desbois suggest, that they were once humane citizens only to be corrupted by an aggressive inhumane ideology — once loving, caring fathers with children of their own, but corrupted so as to enjoy their role as butchers in human abattoirs. All they needed was encouragement, thank you Adolf Hitler, he gave them the final solution, that’s all they needed, no threats, no intimidation, they were raring to go from the get-go, moral equivalents to the worst our country harbors — bigoted, righteous, Ku Klux Klan look-a-likes easily convinced to kill in the glory of white or Nazi supremacy.  Rush Limbaugh ranting away over the air waves would look right at home in a Nazi uniform; there’s plenty more where he came from.

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The Holocaust by bullets – Shoah Memorial 
Hanna Antonivna Gonovaltchiouk Born in 1921
Interviewed at Berditchev, Zhytomir region on the 16th October, 2005
Eye-witness. Witness 251
© Guillaume Ribot

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Grave n. 17: the remainds of a child under 10 next
to those of an adult.  ©Guillaume Ribot

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