Although the following letter was not in the yizkor book, I felt it was important enough to be included with the translation of the book.
Rabbi Oscar M. Lifshutz was a U.S. Army colonel and his chaplaincy included much direct involvement with freed concentration camp inmates after W.W. II. His mother was born in Maytchet and this letter was written to his parents when Oscar was stationed in Vienna, Austria 1946 and had a chance meeting with a member of his mother's family, Sholom Romanofsky, survivor from Maytchet. It was at this time he wrote the following letter to his mother.
Coincidentally when my husband Shael Siegel was stationed in Salzburg, Austria 1954, he met Rabbi Lifshutz and worked closely with him helping Jews who were living in a nearby D.P. camp. at that time my husband had no idea he would marry someone with Maytchet roots and have still another bond with Rabbi Lifshutz!
Sholom Romanofsky married his wife Yehudis in1948 in the D.P. camp in Austria where this letter was written. Sholom passed away in 1968—as of the year 2000 there are 55 direct descendants from the one Maytchet Jewish life that was fortunately saved during the Holocaust.
This is the letter as written:
June 9, 1946
My Dear Father and Mother,
I am writing this letter to tell you the story that Sholom Romanofsky gave me when I saw him in Salzburg and Linz.
On July 15, 1942 (Rosh Chodesh Av) the people of Maytchet ran away into the woods. Terror had already broken loose. On the 16th of July the Romanofsky family was murdered. Malke and Judel Chorobrowicki and the children were also murdered. That included Bashka as well. This continued from the 16th until the 18th of July. The Romanofsky family on the 16th and the Chorobrowicki on the 18th. Nechamya alone was left alive.
Things were in a turmoil until December 18, 1942. The people still hid in the woods. Then the tragic blow fell again. Workers were needed in the village of Dvoritz. Israel Chaim believed the Germans. Romanofsky pleaded with him not to go. But he decided to go and he and the family were wiped out. (Nechamya too.) They were buried two kilometers outside of Dvoritz on the road to the cloister. Two thousand Jews were murdered there, and buried in one large grave.
Judel and the family were buried near the Bahnhof of Maytchet in a large grave where 3,500 other Jews were placed.
Of the 500 people that ran away, only 15 were left. The first were murdered by the quislings and the later ones by the Germans.
The only ones he knows to alive today are:
Shmuel Schiff family
Yoseph Yudel and his wife
Rosa, her husband and child
Meyer's two childrenHe also located-------of the family Moshe, Channa and Mottel. They claim to have an aunt in America and are looking for her.
This is all he told me. Sholom was wounded a couple of times and joined the partisans. He caught several of the murderers and finished them off. Today he is waiting in Bindermichel (D.P. Camp) near Linz to go to America. He has a relative¾ Epstein in New York¾ who is helping him out. He is also the representative of Agudah of Linz.
That is the complete report he gave me. It reads like an unbelievable novel. That people could be so cruel is hard to imagine. But the stories are true. I saw a grave of 1,000 Jews. Houses with chains where they burned Jews. Only a couple of years ago they did all this.
What is gone is lost. The souls of these people will not be unavenged. Innocent blood must be paid for before a world forgets. I can reach Sholom at all times. Please write.
With love, your son,
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