Batia and Avraham Shafat: Visiting Poland

Translated from Hebrew by Mr. Yuval Romano.


A visit to Poland raises many thoughts. The visit to Poland took place as part of the Congress of the Association of Jewish Lawyers, entitled “Remember Warsaw”. The personal reason is searching for Batia’s roots in Siedlce, visiting her family’s ashes in Treblinka and visiting Gabi’s family’s ashes in Birkenau. The visit shared mixed emotions of Israel Lovers, on the one Hand, and Anti-Semitism, on the other Hand; between a fancy past, and a somber present, in a pathetic attempt to resurrect past memories. 

Visiting Poland isn’t easy. The country, that was one the greatest  centers of the Jewish world, since Kazimir the Great in the 14th century, and which, before the 2nd World War – even after the  great immigration to all parts of the world at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century – concentrated no less than 20% of the world’s Jews.

The name “Poland” was pronounced by the Jews in various ways: Po-Lin (meaning: we had live here), or Po-Lan-Ya (meaning: even God lives here). This isn’t an exaggeration. Poland was a huge cultural center for Torah and Judaism, and replaced the centers Babylon and Spain, and thus preceded America Eretz-Israel. Apparently there is a pendulum in the life of the Jewish people that swings eastward, once again to the west, east again, west again, and nowadays it is returning to Eretz-Israel.

Poland is empty, or almost empty, of Jews nowadays. For five years, 1940 to 1945, the evil forces have managed to empty it of its Jews. And not only Poland, but almost all of occupied Europe. In the country where Judaism flourished in all colors: Hasidim, morality, Zionism, and even The “Bund”, there concentrated the majority of Death Camps.

It is difficult to visit Poland, the background weighs heavily on the heart, and yet there was an attraction of curiosity, memories and childhood stories about family history. In addition, Batya thought that as a Sabra she had to visit Poland in her parents’ town and the killing place of all her relatives.

Gabi, the Holocaust survivor, has passed the Holocaust in relatively good conditions. He was not in the camps and every day he had something to eat – a rare thing in those days – and yet as a remnant of the Holocaust he sometimes has reservations about films, books and places connected with the Holocaust. For example, he took all our children, and even began to take our grandchildren to Budapest, to show them his origin and the ways he saved himself in those days, but he still did not want to go to the extermination camps. Batya has been longing for this for years. Batya is a Sabra, her parents luckily immigrated in 1935/6, but she belives, for many years already, that Poland, especially Siedlce, Treblinka, Birkenau and Auschwitz must be visited.

Shedliceis a mid-sized town located between Warsaw and Brisk (Breslitovsk), about 100 KM east of Warsaw. An ordinary town numbering 30,000 – 40,000 residents. In the 19th century 65% percent the residents were Jews, and even before 2nd World War – 40% were Jews.

Batya’s father has a cousin, David Canaani, who now lives in Ma’agan Michael. He published a book containing a description of Siedlce ‘s Jewish community in the 1930s[1]. Most of the Jews were poor, some of them – the affluent and middle class, as is customary throughout the world. They were divided into Hasidim and opponents, and had dozens of synagogues and Shtiblach as was customary in Poland. The wealthy and middle class families lived in nice two-floored houses on the main street of town (later Pilsudski Street), and engaged in Jewish traditional Professions. The town was full of Jewish institutes and organizations. Israel Isser, Batya’s father, was very active in “Ha’Shomer Ha’Dati” and in “Ha’Poel Ha’Mizrahi”. Siedlce ‘s veterans who survived the war published a thick memory book with hundreds of pages, some in Hebrew and mostly in Yiddish[2]. The book gave the reader the most detailed description of the life of the town.

Prior to their marriage, Batya’s parents lived in the two-story houses near the city clock on the main street. To illustrate the passage of time, it should be noted that in the 1930s there was no running water in the houses. Water was purchased from the water-peddler (“Wasser Trager”). In the center of town was a beautiful park, quite large, with tall green trees and a lake in its center. According to the stories, white swans dwelled in the lake. Batya’s mother – Tova, used to hang out at the park with her brother and friends. Photos of the park were found in the family’s photo albums. These were common stories at home and in the memories’ books on the shelf.

Gabi is a member of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Lawmen. In recent years, this organization has been holding conferences in various cities in the world where Jewish jurists lived and worked before the Holocaust. Such a meeting was held in Salonika, Berlin, and this time in Warsaw. When we received the invitation we decided that this time we were going to Poland. We knew that we wanted to be in three places: Shedlice, Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The congress took place in Warsaw. We made plans, while still in Israel that we’ll dedicate one of the congress’ days to visit Siedlce.

First stop – Warsaw

When we arrived in Warsaw, we were surprised to discover green Poland. We were expecting grayness, but the sun was shining and the trees were green. We found a modern, vibrant, western city with flowing traffic. The cars were new, and even seeing the remote monstrous “Cultural Center” downtown, a gift of the Soviets to the Polish people, still – new modern buildings, of glass and metal were all around. Such a building of glass and metal stands today where the Central Synagogue of Warsaw, which was destroyed in the days of Holocaust, used to stand.

We settled in one of the best hotels in the city, Sheraton Hotel. It is typical that the hotel is located in the Three Crosses Square, which is familiar to us from the match-sellers’ stories of the ghetto period. The three hundred and fifty thousand Jews of Warsaw left almost no trace. It is true that there are tours of Jewish sites, but most of the tour is focused on the Warsaw Ghetto. These tours show first and foremost the Rapaport monument, which was copied at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. There are those who love it and others who are not enthusiastic about the “socialist realism” embodied in the monument, but they all go there. They are also going to 18 Millo Street, the headquarters of the uprising, which, as it turned out, had previously served as the Ghetto’s bakery headquarters, and had been given to the command headquarters only at the last stages. The visitor also arrives to the Umschlagplatz (from where the Jews were sent to their destruction) or whatever is left of it. All in all, a single marble monument next to the only remaining house left of the Ghetto which was also used as a hospital and SS headquarters.

It is true that the street leading to the Umschlagplatz is called Anielewicz Street. It is also true that there are 21 monuments with names of important Jews in the ghetto and rebellion between Milo Street and The Umschlagplatz, and also a fact that you get to see a small part of the Ghetto’s wall. But other than that, except for some street names – there’s no trace of Jews in Warsaw. One synagogue – Nożyk, is still active, but what is this compared to 300 synagogues that existed in Warsaw at the time? The rabbi at the synagogue is from the United-States; the director of the Jewish Center named after Lauder is a Chabad’nik from the United-States; the Hebrew teacher is from Israel. On the Saturday we prayed at the synagogue some of the worshipers were from our congress, some belonged to an American group who brought a “Sefer Tora” as a gift to the new Jewish synagogue, and we also saw a few local Jews. There is a “Jewish” theater In Warsaw. The plays are in Yiddish but the actors are Gentiles, and the audience, in general, uses simultaneous translation to Polish.

The most impressive relic of Jewish Warsaw is the cemetery (which was not destroyed by the Germans). It illustrates the glorious past, but we felt strange sensations when on the main avenue of the cemetery, the burial place of the city’s wealthy and spiritually rich, most of the headstones on graves in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century had Polish, Russian and even German writings. Only a solitary Hebrew writing could be seen here and there. Our escorts told us that 95% of the cemetery’s tombstones are in Hebrew, but we didn’t see it. We were shown the gravestone of Y”L Peretz, the actress Ida Kaminska, and the glory of Polish Jewry – Zamenhof, who aspired to unite the world with the language he had invented – Esperanto. He didn’t gain much success and as far as we know if there is a universal language – it’s English, and brotherhood between men is far from us. So the fact that the central place to visit In Jewish Warsaw is the cemetery is very symbolic.


The day after our arrival to Warsaw we went to visit Siedlce. We drove along rout No. 2, and gradually left the big city, and as we increased our distance the stylish houses changed to wooden ragged huts. Some chickens, a horse or two and a few cows in the meadow, and everything is green. Suddenly a road sign reads: Siedlce – 66 kilometers. We approach the city, the surrounding houses are quite new, and suddenly we find ourselves in the main street – Philoszkyago Street. Two-floored houses, same as in the stories. The street hasn’t changed much, but the town center – where the city clock was, was bombed at the beginning of the war by the Germans, and was replaced by the magnificent city hall. We are looking for the family’s houses; not sure whether we find them or not. We know that Batya’s mother’s family, the Temkins, lived at number 46. We located number 44 (assuming house numbers hasn’t been changed) and next to it a numberless two-floored house under renovations, probably number 46. Rosenberg family, Batya’s father’s family, lived in number 30. Only few houses and the city clock separated the two families. The street hasn’t changed, only the people. Not one Jew is left in Siedlce. We walked along the street twice and Batya desired to see the park. Every such visit has a meaningful special moment, a point at which all emotions reveal themselves. For Batya it happened at the park. Maybe when We saw the beautiful trees, the benches and the well-groomed paths and especially the lake in which a white swan swam. It must have been the swan waiting for Batya since her mother left town; It seems that tradition has been handed down from generation to generation in the swans family as well.

Leaving town we passed next to the old Jewish cemetery. It was impossible to enter because there was a high red brick wall around it and the iron gate was locked with a chain. Through the iron gate we saw tall weeds growing among the almost invisible gravestones. This cemetery isn’t visited often. Not even a path was visible in the tall grass.

On the way back we hardly uttered a word (“Va’idom Aharon”).


The next day we boarded our car again through No. 2 towards Siedlce. About thirty kilometers before town we turned left to Treblinka. The road turned bad. The sky got dark, grayness took over the Landscape. We drive through a forest. The road is winding and potholed make us feel as if we’re on a train. Here is the railroad, which led the sons and daughters of Siedlce, with Mother seven hundred thousand Jews from ten countries, from seventeen towns, to annihilation.

There is no trace of the original extermination camp. The cursed Nazi’s has left nothing, andwhat is left to be seen is an artistic memorial site with the main elements of the extermination: something resembling a railway, something resembling a ramp, where people were taken off the trains, and a paved path to the place of extermination. At the beginning of the road is a row of large stones. Each stone carrying the name of the land from which people were brought to the camp. All along the way, large stones are placed to mark their last path. A monument was erected on the hill. According to the explanation, it contains the image of the Western Wall, with a statue of human parts on one side and the seven-branched candelabrum on the other. Around the monument are whole fields of stones. Small stones, large stones and medium-sized stones. Stones with names of communities and stones without names. Stones – Stones. Seventeen thousand stones. From seventeen thousand places Jews were brought here for extermination. We arrived at the monument, held a memorial service, “El Male Rachamim” and “Kaddish” in public. As we say “Kaddish” loudly with the audience, someone shouts “Am Yisrael Chai !!!”, and the shout cuts through the silence. Then came “I Believe”, “The Song of the Partisans” and “Ha’Tikva”. We walk around and look for the stone for Siedlce – an almost impossible task.

The stones are not arranged in alphabetical order or any logical order, and it is really better that way, who seeks logic in the unthinkable madness of our time. We searched, we walked around a field after field, and then Batya said, “It really fits not to find the stone, as they were murdered anonymously”. Still, we continued to look for the stone with increasing despair, and suddenly Gabi Shouts: “Here it is! Here is Siedlce! “. Indeed, the stone was there, an unpolished stone, black as the fate of Siedlce ‘s Jews. We stood there for many hours, crying and saying Psalms, putting small stones on the stone as if in a cemetery. Slowly and with broken hearts we left the place and returned, in their last path from which they couldn’t return. A sort of closure for our visit to Siedlce. May their memory be blessed.


As part of the congress’ agenda a tour to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau took place. We took the train from Warsaw to Krakow and again we noticed how flat Poland country is, with few hills here and there, and how green it is. Arriving to Krakow the instructor has informed us that Warsaw is the formal capital of Poland but Krakow is the cultural capital of the country, and in her opinion this is also true about the Jews.

The most important Jew who ever lived in Krakow was Rabbi Moses Isserlis, the Rama. Indeed he is an important personality locally to this day. The only synagogue that still holds regular prayers is the Rama synagogue, and the cemetery next to it is the resting place of the greatest of Israel. We are thankful to our friend Yehezkel Lavie for writing the book “Poland for the Jewish traveler”, thanks to which we succeeded to arrive to the graves of  great Jews buried at this small yet important cemetery. First we found the resting place of the writer of “Megale Amukot”, Rabbi Nathan Netta Shapira RIP, and not far from him – the grave of Rabbi Yoel Barbie Shmuel Syracuse RIP, a.k.a. “New Home”, and finally, at the end of the row, the grave of Rabbi Yomtov Lipman Heller RIP who wrote “Tosafot Yom Tov “. But above and beyond all – the graves of the Rema and his family. It was strange to listen to the gentile tourguide’s lecture about Rabbi Yosef Caro, the “Shulchan Aruch “and his decision not to write his own “Shulchan Aruch ” but a “map on the table”, all this is a part of a general tourist track in Krakow, not necessarily a Jewish one. All these things are actually not a part of long gone Krakow, but of a different town called Kz’imias. The city was established by king Kazimierz the Great, and was given to the Jews for residency under self-regulation. Legend claims that king Kazimierz has a Jewish woman friend named Esther, and he built a palace for her which was granted to the Jewish community after her death. Legends are only legends, but the central square of Kazimierz houses a hotel and a restaurant called “Esther”. The whole area is full of synagogues:  The Ancient synagogue (di Alte Scholl) dated in the 13th century; Isaac synagogue, housing a primitive Jewish exhibition and showing historical films about Jewish life combined with sections from “Schindler’s list”; The High synagogue (di Hoiche Scholl), on which signs tell of renovations in 1849 and also in 1901, and which housed a great “Talmud Tora”. Today it houses various workshops. The whole area has various reminders of Jews. Once the Jewish market was here, and Yehezkel Lavie’s book mentions that “Kosher  poultry” signs in Hebrew can be seen(we didn’t see any). There is, of course, the “Kupa” synagogue built thanks to the community’s treasury, and the assimilated “Tempel” synagogue. All these synagogues aren’t used anymore because the 300 remaining Jews of Krakow don’t need more than one active synagogue, which is “The RAMA”. As in all place, community life  is limited, and out of the great Jewish community, of more than 65,000 Krakow Jews before War (representing about a third of the city’s population) only 300 remained today (out of 750,000 inhabitants of the city today).

Krakow isn’t the intellectual capital of Poland only, but was also the intellectual capital of Poland Judaism for a long time. The city is beautiful, with Wisla river surrounding the old city at the tip of which are the palace and the church named after Maria – one of the most beautiful and ancient churches in Poland. The city square is compared to the square in old Prague. In our opinion the square in Prague is more beautiful, but the fact that Krakow is compared to Prague is great compliment greatness to the city of Krakow. The view from the other river bank in the direction of the old city is overwhelming. We were not particularly impressed with the modern parts of the city, many of them built in Secesia style, typical to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with houses looking exactly the same as all the three floors city houses in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

Lucky for Krakow, the Germans has classified it as an ancient German city, so they didn’t demolish it (the historical fact is that during the Middle Ages German burgers together With The Jews constituted the social and economical layers of vendors, services providers, guild owners and culture in all territories). 

Kazimierz the Great, which as we have learned, is mentioned in Polish history as the king Who brought the Jews to Poland, has founded the Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Krakow, one of the first universities in the world and the first one in Poland. It was always claimed that a real intellectual will prefer residing in superior Krakow rather that common Warsaw. Incidentally, the Communist government has tried to diminish these elitist feelings which had severe political Implications. The city of Krakow was the only one to oppose, in the 1950’s referendum, the Polish constitutional Change enabling Communist regime in Poland. For that purpose the Communists has flooded the city with factories that didn’t require skilled labor, and even founded Polytechnic school in order to educate engineers for these factories. As we are told, the exercise hasn’t succeeded. Noble Krakow has swallowed the new residents and shaped them in its character. 

Our non-Jewish Polish guide tried hard, not without success, to convince us that the Jewish past of the city was important to her and that she had a special affection for this city and for Judaism in general; When she told us that until the 1930s, the Isaac synagogue had to pay a special tax because it was taller than the local church, she said that there are absurdities that are unacceptable. She added apologetically, “Believe me, I’m not against Poland, but it’s impossible.” In our opinion there were many more unacceptable things. Incidentally, in her efforts to please us, she went out of her way to show us the sites of the film “Schindler’s List”. A large part of the movie was filmed in Krakow instead of the actual locations. We saw the factory and even Plaszow camp which doesn’t exist anymore with only a monument atop a green hill as a reminder of the place. For tourists the film is what illustrates You Holocaust; we don’t need it.

Auschwitz – Birkenau

We were afraid of visiting Auschwitz. Even though almost all of the important sites are familiar to us from books, movies, visits to Yad Vashem and the Museum in Washington. It is strange to say that with great effort, the Poles succeeded in turning Auschwitz into a museum and to perhaps moderate the difficult impression that the visitor expected. 

The big gate with the “ARBEIT MACHT FREI” slogan still exists and is still shocking. The two-floored red houses that used to be the barracks of the Polish army are still standing, but with green trees and grass between the houses which weren’t there in the past, giving it the look of a country-club from the 1950s. Inside the blocks is the “museum”, the Reception areas, screening, work transport areas, a photograph of the Auschwitz  orchestra  which played marches in the morning and in the evening, although its members had to work all day like all others. The museum’s exhibits are supposed to shock, but perhaps due to our previous acquaintance with them, the impression was rather vague. We saw piles of eyeglasses, piles of men and women shoes, piles upon piles of women hair, prayer shawls, bags and suitcases, limbs prostheses, pots and house utensils by the thousands, and finally we saw two items that shocked us most – the small children shoes and babies’ clothes. We passed the exhibitions and arrived to cursed Block 11, with the execution wall in its yard. We went through the “El Male Rahamim” ceremony routine, two chapters Psalms and “Kaddish”, said by many, women and men alike, which was the most impressive part. At the end we laid a wreath -“Goy practice”, we used to call it – but in this place among many dozens of “Nerot Neshama” and stones it seemed appropriate. We passed by Block No. 11, with its cells of torture which taught us that the twisted brain of mankind doesn’t change and is always successful at invent different ways from generation to generation.

We entered the first and “primitives” gas chambers of Auschwitz, since the more advanced ones of Birkenau were destroyed. Some were destroyed by the Jewish Sonderkommando and some – by the retreating Germans trying to hide all traces of their crimes. As an anti-climax we stepped out to the plaza in which souvenirs were sold, books, tapes, Coke Lite and cold water. A fleeting thought: “What would the prisoners of Auschwitz give for a bottle of Coke in the hot summer of Poland’s planes  or for a hot cup of coffee in the freezing winter?”.

From there we went to Birkenau. We learned that the railroad tracks extended into Birkenau camp in order to improve the murder of Hungarian Jews in the summer of 1944. They were indeed very effective. Within seven weeks they managed to liquidate some four hundred thousand people. We stood on the ramp where Mengele and his cronies carried out the initial selection as soon as the trains arrived.

We heard about what happened there firsthand. Our two cousins ​​Aggie and Vera survived, and they told us, after 30 years of silence, what happened on this ramp we are now standing on. Gabi came here to visit relatives. On this ramp grandmother Rosa was separated from the two aunts, aunt Caroline and aunt Bella, and uncle Isaac, and were led directly to the gas chambers on “Gimel Sivan TS’D” (25/05/1944). Their train was among the last trains arriving. Cousin Tibi was sent to work. Tibi is also named “Abraham Joseph”, just like Gabi. Tibi met his sister, Aggie, a few months later but didn’t make it to liberation. He was bitten to death later that fall.

We both stood on the ramp, and just like the stone in Treblinka symbolized Batya’s “visit to the relatives,” this ramp was “Gabi’s next of kin visit.” In bitter tears we said together said Kaddish by ourselves for the first time in life, bitterly crying for our relatives, and then we went to see the remains of the camp. That is how we learned what happened to those who were killed immediately and how those who had time to live lived. We saw blocks of sanitation, the dwelling blocks, heard the stories about the counting orders that sometimes were more difficult than the work in the fields. It wasn’t clear to us how surviving this terrible place was possible at all. Our aunt Aggie was 14-year-old and our aunt Vera was 17 when they arrived here. A third friend, from the town Rakushcheva From which they were also taken, was their shield and savior. Their survival stories are hair-raising, and we will not tell them here.

In quiet depression, yet with strange relief, we left the place and returned to Krakow. We thought lucky we are for not being part of the one million and six hundred thousand of our brothers who didn’t return from this terrible place. Why us? Why them?

After so many years we still have no answers and doubt is gnawing, and even if we sing again and again “I believe” and “Ha’Tikva,” the questions scream to the sky.

The Congress

The reason for our visit to Poland was the Congress, where some of the lectures focused on the glorious past and on the coexistence of centuries between the two peoples. This congress was attended by all the “who and who” of the Polish legal community: the representative of the Bar Association, the representative of the judges’ organization, the representative of the Association of Jurists in the Service of the State, the Deputy Minister of Justice, and all this in the framework of countless receptions and even more speeches . Formal organization was lovely; they went out of their way to show us warmth but also reflected the embarrassment in Poland due to the discovery of the murder of Iidoabnah.

Iidoabnah is a village in which, in 1941, 1,600 poles, not Germans nor S.S., killed their Jewish Polish neighbors. It was discovered not long before our visit and has been a regular subject of discussion.  We haven’t heard the story before we came to Poland, but since we came back the story was also published in Israel. “Ha’Tzofe”, in its article dated “T Sivan ” (31/05/2001) wrote about graves being opened in order to investigate what happened there, and on 22/05/2001 “Ha’Tzofe” wrote about the refusal of the chief rabbi of Poland to participate in joint prayer with priests in memory of the victims at Shavuot.

“Maariv” also published an article on 29/05/2001, about the Catholic Church’s apologizes for the massacre of Iidoabnah. The issue has been raised in most of the Congress’ lectures in a very critical way, especially by young non-Jewish scholars researching the history of the Holocaust, a new trend, seemingly. The official delegates took every opportunity to apologize, as well. One evening we exited a reception, and Gabi was wearing a “Kippa”, as he always does. Suddenly a young man, twenty years old perhaps, said to us in English: “Six million Jews were not murdered”. In other words, there is official Poland and there are the popular feelings as expressed in comments in the streets, attacking old cemeteries and painting swastikas. What good are the nice speeches if the young generation is still infested by anti-Semitism, even when almost no Jews live there?

One outstanding lecture in the congress was by by Dr. Marian Tberski about Ghetto Warsaw, focusing mainly on the question of why the rebellion broke out so late. It turns out the revolt broke after the young participants were left alone and didn’t need to worry about their parents, younger brothers and sisters or small children. Incidentally, the number of participants in the uprising was over 500 people from all organizations plus 250 Beitar members which weren’t under the general command, of course. Bund members were included in the count but not Beitar members. One must remember that at a certain time Ghetto Warsaw totaled more than four hundred thousand people, and few tens of thousands during the uprising. The numbers evoke thoughts.

Another lecture which aroused great interest was a lecture by Mr. Konsntin Gebhardt, a Jewish Journalist in his 40’s. He was a “Solidarity” activist and now he is “Hozer Be’Teshuva” concerned with the reestablishment of the Warsaw Community. He and his friends started by establishment a Jewish kindergarten, a Jewish elementary school and a Jewish junior highschool. Now they are dreaming of establishing a Jewish high school to complete the chain. There are about 30,000 Jews in all of Poland today, less than one percent of the number of Jews who lived there once, most of them in Warsaw. Jewish organizations has seven thousands Jews listed today.

Friday night’s prayer in the Nożyk synagogue had no more than a few dozen local Jews. A big question arises: what are they doing in Poland and is there a future for the community? This question applies not only to Warsaw, but to some other places in Europe after the Holocaust. There are marks of Jewish organization in Vienna, even some Jewish cultural revival in Budapest, and to our amazement, communities are organizing even in Germany. One could think all these places have no taste, purpose or benefit in Jewish life, although history teaches us that Jews kept returning to their communities, from which they were deported, only to be deported again later. It seemed that this pattern will cease with the establishment of the State of Israel, but this isn’t the case. Just recently we heard the heretical  sounds  claiming that it might be better to have Jews in all parts of the world, as since the exile to Babel  Jews never had one center. Perhaps this weird habit hasn’t stopped till today?

On the last day of the congress we were honored by the 80 years old Polish Foreign Minister Oldislb Brtosbskison. This “Hasid Umot Ha’Olam” for saving Jews during the Holocaust, an honorary citizen of the State of Israel, honorary citizen of Jerusalem and a former Auschwitz inmate. In his speech, full of love for Israel, he told us of the time when asked where he’ll retire to, he answered “I haven’t decided yet, either Krakow or Jerusalem”.

True. There are also some like him. Most of “Hasid Umot Ha’Olam” in “Yad Vashem” are Poles, approximately 16,000 of them, indeed – out of the thirty-five million, but nevertheless an impressive number. This causes mixed feelings. It was difficult to decide go to this place, it was worth it to go there, and ultimately good we went rather than not.

On Shavuot this year most of our children and grandchildren gathered at our house. We have the feeling that the extended table, surrounded by our “Olive seedlings”, is the appropriate answer to that oppressor.

[1] D. Canaanite, Sieldce anchorage Michael , published by the author , pp 9 – 11. 

[2] A Hiaasen , a Memory book for the community of Shedlice , Buenos Aires : Publishing organizations of Former Shedlice Israel and Argentina , Htst”z .