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A Letter to the Editor from David Meir Appel

Greetings and best wishes to my dear, honorable relative Reb Yehuda Schwartz and his family, may they live a life of peace until 120 years.

With respect to your request, after some efforts, I have succeeded in obtaining a picture of the memorial tablet in the Zichron Meir Talmud Torah in Bnei Brak. I am also sending you a photo of the students who study in that cheder, who are survivors of the pernicious inferno, for the benefit and the perpetuation of our martyrs from Halmeu-Turcz and the district.

I must state that we must be clear about the purpose of the booklet and its photographs. The survivors should not look at it as a rear-view mirror, but should rather take lessons from it so that they will know how to act properly between man and G-d, and between man and man. One thing that we must agree upon after the years of the Holocaust is that the words of the wisest of men, King Solomon, are indeed true, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”[1]. We must not forget the commandment of “Remember that which Amalek did to you,” Amalek being the Germans, who spilled our innocent blood with its gangs and annihilated a third of our nation.

From one side, we see that Israel has granted honorary citizenship to the six million Jews who were murdered, and on the other side, we are agonized by the cultural exchanges between Israel and Germany even though not even a half century has passed[2]. Official delegations from city councils and government educational institutions go to visit Germany and receive visitors from there. We hear about the desire to set up an Israel-German friendship organization. Israeli actors appear on their stages, and there are even mixed marriages, may G-d protect us. All of this is taking place during the rise of neo-Nazism there, during the time that the “Deutsche National Un Soldatn Zeitung” (German National And Soldier's Newspaper) once again spouts anti-Semitic venom in present-day Germany.

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How is it possible to so quickly forget the “Thou shalt not forget”?!

We forget about our holy martyrs whose blood screams to us to their descendents from the accursed ground do not defile our memory and honor!

I will mention a chapter from the history book of Rabbi Braun, may he live, the student of the author of the “Atzei Chaim” may his memory protect us, who raises his voice in weeping over the children of Israel who were brought by the accursed wicked people to the Auschwitz Death Camp, may G-d avenge their blood. I will also pour out my heart over their deaths, and for generation to generation, I will call out, “Would my head be full of water”[3].

Rava says, women from the city of Netziv lament as follows “Woe to the one who has gone, woe to the surety” (Moed Katan 28)[4]. As Rashi explains, woe to this type of going away that is never to return. We can expound that which is written woe to the one that has gone away, etc. they carry away the dead and the dead do not go themselves; and that which is written, woe to the surety can be explained by the eulogizer (Jeremiah 22), do not weep for the dead, etc. Weep for he who has gone and will not return to again see his birthplace. It can also be questioned regarding “the one who goes” does the dead go. The double language of “surely weep”[5] is also a question. However, the question is only for those who die a natural death, because eventually a person dies. However in our time, the cruel wicked people, may their names be blotted out, cheated their victims, who went to the terrible inferno themselves. We do not have any trace of them, and do not know of their deaths. The only thing we know is that they are no longer alive. That which the prophet wrote, “Do not weep for the dead” refers to a person who died a natural death in the way of all people, and was taken to his burial; for this is the end of every person, and this is what we are prepared for. Our sages instituted limits on weeping[6]. However, “We should surely weep for the one who has gone” refers to one who went to his death alone, without anyone knowing what happened to him, other than that he has not returned. We know that such a person has been killed and burned in sanctification of the Divine Name by the accursed murderers. This is what “You shall surely weep” with the double wording means. There is no limit to how much one should weep, and there is no comforter. One must weep incessantly until those that sleep in the dust are resurrected. This is what the aforementioned Gemara refers to when it states that these righteous women saw with their holy spirit what this cruel nation would do to the people of Israel in the latter days, and how these martyrs would go themselves to the terrible slaughter in crowds of thousands and myriads. They would be asphyxiated[7] immediately upon arrival, and they would be burned. Those who survived did not know of any trace of them. That which is written, “Woe to the one who has gone” woe to such a journey that has no return. Those that had the energy to work were taken to hard labor, with tortures and injuries, and they said even more so, woe to those who have been wounded.

With regards to raising children in Torah, I heard an explanation from the Admor Maharam Shik[8], may his merits protect us, that it is appropriate to take care that the effort be conducted along the straight path. This is hinted to in the words of King David of blessed memory: Happy is the man who fears G-d, and who desires his commandments “very much”. This refers to one's belongings, as it says, “with all your wealth.” Then he can be sure that a mighty man in the Land will

 

Students of the Zichron Meir Talmud torah in Bnei Brak. Rabbi Shlomo Staub is in the center, and the teachers are at the sides.
The cheder was founded to perpetuate the holy community of Halmeu Turcz and the environs.

 

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raise a righteous and blessed generation.

We have seen the weeping of our righteous mothers at the time of the lighting of the Sabbath candles, and we have heard their requests that the merits of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, may his memory protect us, shall stand in their stead. They also gave charity in private and fulfilled the commandment of hosting guests. We too should arouse our like minded people of the Holocaust survivors to continue to follow the paths of our holy fathers, whether with regard to the commandment of keeping the holy Sabbath and adding to it[9], as well as with respect to the commandments of performing benevolent deeds and giving charity. They should walk in the path of G-d like their fathers. With this merit, we should all succeed in raising the stature of Torah and the nation, to have contentment from our children, and to build a home that is in accordance with the spirit of our holy fathers. Amen, may it be His will.


Translator's Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) 1:2. Return
  2. The opening of diplomatic relations between Israel and West Germany in the 1960s was regarded as controversial by many Israelis and Jews at the time. Return
  3. Jeremiah 8: 23. The full verse is “Would my head be full of water, and my eyes a source of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain ones of my people.” Incidentally, this verse is part of the prophetic reading of Tisha Be'Av morning. Return
  4. This section of the Moed Katan Talmudic tractate describes the wording of various eulogies uttered by women after a death. The ‘surety’ or ‘pledge’ refers to something that is given with the intention of eventually being taken back (here, meaning the human soul). The ensuing convoluted commentary can be summed up by stating there are temporal limits to the period of mourning for people who die a natural death, there are/should be no such limits for people who are murdered. Return
  5. The Hebrew here is “He shall weep, weep”. Return
  6. Referring to the set periods of mourning, the seven day Shiva period, the thirty day Shloshim period, and the full year for parents. Return
  7. The Hebrew word here is ‘choked’ or ‘strangled’, evidently referring to the gassing. Return
  8. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Shik Return
  9. The Sabbath is to be extended by starting it a bit before sunset on Friday, and continuing it until after nightfall on Saturday. Return


An Important Jewish City

by David Glick

Halmeu was a town small in size and great in content. In order to portray a picture of its residents and the Jewish life therein, it is sufficient to state that every person had the adage on their lips “Halmeu is a miniature Jerusalem”… The situation was as follows: All 400 families, consisting of approximately 2,500 souls, who lived there, carried themselves in the spirit of Torah and tradition. Even a wagon driver who carried the reins in one hand would carry a book of Psalms in the other hand, and recite the Psalm of David with a pure heart.

There were also sublime people who attained high levels of spirituality expert scholarly Jews, pious and G-d fearing, who were a symbol and example for all the Jews throughout the Land. There were only very few of these people, especially by the measure of benevolent actions and distribution of charity. They would extend help and a trustworthy brotherly hand to anyone who asked, and gave of their advice and wisdom in a modest, private fashion. With my eyes, I saw that the Hassid Reb Yosef Heimfeld of blessed memory placed a sizable sum of money in the Tallis bag of one of the Hassidim during the prayers, in a way that would not be noticed.

Institutions of charity and benevolence were organized in the community, such as Chevra Sandek Avot whose role was to cover the expenses of those in need from the time of childbirth until after the circumcision. This type of assistance was unique at that time. The Chevra Kadisha was also operative, concerning itself with sick indigent people. The society would cover the expenses of the physician and medication. It also extended all types of assistance to those in need and those suffering, without worrying about large expenditures. Other organizations worked for the benefit of the poor. Halmeu thereby became a fine, pious community filled with scholars and scribes G-d fearing and wholesome. May G-d avenge their blood!

We do not know exactly the year that Jews began to settle there,

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However, we have found gravestones from the year 5504 1704[1] in the cemetery. It was surprising that despite its age, the monument was not sunk in the earth, and appeared as new.

The first rabbi, Rabbi Shalom of holy blessed memory, served in the rabbinate for only one year. He was known as a Gaon [rabbinic genius] and observant of the word of G-d. Following him, Rabbi Eliahu Klein of holy blessed memory, the son of the author of “Tzror Hachaim” of Selish, was accepted to serve in the glory of the rabbinate. He was a holy, pious man. During his sermons, there was no person who did not shed tears or who was not aroused to repentance, especially on Kol Nidre night. The weeping reached the point of “pouring out of the soul”. The rabbi of holy blessed memory served as a leader with a high hand for fifty years, until the year 5683 (1923). After him, the Admor and great Gaon, Rabbi Yaakov Shalom of holy blessed memory, was appointed.

He studied all his days in holiness and purity. He led his large, high level, Yeshiva with wisdom and special love. He treated his students as a father would treat a son, and he was especially fond of the diligent students.

Reb Moshe Ulman of Grosswardein (Oradea) told me that when he was a Yeshiva student, he studied with Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz of holy blessed memory, who was known by everyone as the rabbinical judge from Kosów, one of the leaders of the generation. He studied together with our rabbi the Admor of holy blessed memory in the same class every morning, and told Reb Moshe the following: Not a day passed when I did not learn some good trait from him, for all of his actions were conducted in a modest fashion between himself and his Creator.

Fortunate is the town whose community merited his pure light, and fortunate are his students who benefited from his words of Torah and wisdom. Fortunate is the eye that merited seeing his countenance, and fortunate is the ear that merited hearing words of Torah and deep didactical study of Torah from him.

The love of Torah was one of his main character traits, in the spirit of “and you should live by them”[2]. His holy merit shall stand for us, especially for the natives of Halmeu who were connected to him with all the strands of their heart, and to all of those who perpetuate his holy memory.

The space is too short to describe in detail his greatness in Torah, Talmud and rabbinical decisions. Literally, no secret was hidden from him. His memory shall not depart from us for all the days of our lives.


Translator's Footnotes

  1. 5504 is actually 1744, so either the Hebrew or English date is in error here. Return
  2. “Them” refers to the words of Torah. Return


The Holy Community of Turcz

Transcribed from the words of Reb Moshe Fish, Akko

I wish to bring to the fore the memory of this holy community, which throughout the generations

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lived among the village gentiles and struggled for its existence and essence. Eras changed, regimes changed, decrees and persecutions often came, but the small Jewish community of approximately 100 families[1] overcame everything with the power of its Judaism.

The community of Turcz ran institutions and also organized effective supervision of all facets of Jewish spiritual, educational and cultural life during the era of the Rabbi from Homona, who served in Turcz in a glorious fashion as the rabbi and head of the rabbinical court. However, communal life was conducted with greater strength and glory when the former rabbinical judge of the city of Tasnád, the rabbi and Gaon Rabbi Avraham Shalom Yerucham Friedman of holy blessed memory, ascended the rabbinical seat after him.

Here too, the primary goal of the rabbi of the city was to expand and strengthen Torah by establishing a Yeshiva in the style of the praiseworthy Yeshiva of Tasnád. His blessed activities bore fruit, and within a short time, the sounds of Torah burst forth from the Yeshiva lads in the Yeshiva hall. His name became well known as a genius, expert in all facets of Torah and renown in his broad and deep knowledge of Talmud and its commentaries, in books of morality. People came from the entire area to learn from him. The level of the Yeshiva rose particularly after his son-in-law Rabbi Moshe Zeev took an active role in the Yeshiva leadership. He also served as the rabbinical judge and rabbi in Szinérváralja.

The forty students who studied there left the Yeshiva not only with Torah knowledge, but with a treasury of good traits and a good appreciation of Hungarian Jewry, with a blend of Talmudic logic and traditional Jewish religious aptitude.

The rabbi of holy blessed memory was crowned with the most sublime of traits. He was graced with the talents of a leader, and despite his Hassidic spark and that he himself worshipped according to the Sephardic rite, he dedicated himself with his full heart and soulful energy to the establishment of a splendid, central Ashkenazic synagogue. In order to prevent a schism, he requested the local Hassidim to cancel their plans of building a separate Beis Midrash for Hassidim.

Their stubbornness was only broken when the walls of the Beis Midrash were badly broken, and they regarded this as an omen from Heaven that they were thwarted… Only then did they decide to transfer all the remaining building materials to the building of a central Ashkenazic synagogue. Thus was peace and unity restored to its primacy. The community members regarded their rabbi as a great man.

They spoke a great deal about an incident with Reb Mordechai Neuhaus, an elderly man who worshipped in the synagogue every evening and morning, despite the great distance. When he reached a ripe old age and no longer had the energy to come to the services, the rabbi went to visit him.

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Reb Mordechai said to him, “Rabbi, I have to go on a far journey. What about the costs of travel?” he asked. “I am poor and destitute,” he said. “If you do not have the expenses for the journey, do not travel!” the rabbi said to him[2].

To the surprise of the entire congregation, Reb Mordechai came to the Sabbath services on his own. The rabbi of holy blessed memory immediately pointed out, “It is to my good fortune that I am not a Rebbe[3], otherwise you would suspect that I am a miracle worker… ”

He had a warm, sensitive heart. He wept over the exile of the nation and the Divine presence, as if he foresaw the terrible Holocaust with the eyes of his spirit. I can never forget the words of farewell that he said to those going out to the labor camp during the time of the deportation, or his moving Selichot prayer that he recited in an elongated fashion and with weeping that penetrated the depths of the soul “Do not cast me away from before You, and do not remove Your holy spirit from me.” Similarly, I cannot forget the enthusiasm with which he sang “Next year in Jerusalem,” even though he never merited such. May his soul be bound in the bonds of eternal life.

 

The Shochtim [Ritual Slaughterers]

Reb Aharon Matityahu and Reb Zeev Wolf of blessed memory worked in Turcz as shochtim, and were known as expert scholars, G-d fearing and wholesome individuals, who fulfilled their role with dedication and faith.

Two other organized communities, Kis Gércz [Klein Gertz] and Nagy Gércz {Gross Gertz} also functioned under the supervision of the rabbi of holy blessed memory. The final shochet of those communities, Reb Avigdor Berger, fulfilled the very responsible and important role as shochet in Akko.

 

The Melamdim [Teachers of Children]

Reb Yankel the Melamed studied and taught. His entire aim was to aggrandize and add splendor to Torah. He was blessed with special pedagogic talents and he succeeded with his holy work in raising the level of his students who came from the entire area to study with him. He excelled in his new style of education with respect to teaching Bible and reading. All of those who reached the level of continuing on with Yeshiva studies passed through him. His family was murdered in its entirety, with no trace remaining.

Reb Yehoshua Farkas was a beloved, G-d fearing teacher of Jewish children. He died of old age in Turcz. Some of his grandchildren live in Israel.

My Father Reb Natan Nota Fish of blessed memory

He was dedicated to the education of his children with his full heart, and his entire aim was to educate them in the path of Torah and fear of Heaven. His five sons studied in well-known Yeshivas in Transylvania in Margareten, Silgi Tz'H[4], Banya, Turcz, and Halmeu. For many years, he headed

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the community. He was pleasant in his interpersonal relations. He organized the Talmud Torah so that all strata of the people studied there, even those who were not able to pay tuition. He worked hard, but with his diligence, talents, and honesty, he succeeded in becoming established from an economic perspective. Aside from owning properties, he was a trustworthy partner in the flourmill and the oil press in the village. His house, which stood in the middle of the town, was a gathering place for scholars, and opened wide for the poor. A government school also existed in his house, and later, the Talmud Torah cheder for students who studied Gemara was also located there.

My Mother Chaya Sara Fish of blessed memory

She was widowed from my father for 12 years prior to the Holocaust. Despite having the yoke of the household upon her, she continued to run the household as previously. Even after that time, the Yeshiva students ate with us twice a week. She prepared fine food even though the economic situation became more difficult from day to day.

From among her five sons, three of them, Avraham David, Yitzchak, and Moshe survived with the grace of G-d. They all live in Akko. We passed through the seven levels of Hell in the labor camp and also in the Selish Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Landsberg. From there we were transferred to Dachau with the clear intent of murdering us but we miraculously survived. We were liberated with the help of G-d by American paratroopers. Those who survived regarded this as the finger of G-d.

I wish to note that an underground movement operated in the Selish Ghetto to expedite the escape of people to the forests in the manner of the partisans in Russia with the help of weapons and armaments that we had in our possession. This was known to Mother of blessed memory. She opposed my participation. In accordance with her request, I accompanied her to Auschwitz, at which point she disappeared from me. Moshe Fish has a son who is a scholar, a genius, and a Fearer of Heaven, who completed the Ponovitch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak with success. Today, he serves in the Israel Defense Forces. His father Reb Moshe plays an active role in the religious and communal life in Akko, and serves as the chairman of the merchants' organization and as a member of the local religious council.

My sister Malka of blessed memory perished in Auschwitz. Her husband Reb Zelig Friedman lives in Rishon Letzion.

Shlomo Fish was burnt alive in a most cruel fashion in the Doroshitz Labor Camp and in Y. Ch.[5] in Ukraine.

The second son, Mordechai Fish, fell victim due to his dedication to his family. When he found out that his family was located in the Satmar Ghetto, he escaped from the labor camp to the Ghetto in order to help them. He reached Camp 4 of Kaufering[6], which was infamous for its typhus epidemic. Despite the fact that he was treated well, he claimed that there was no value to his life without

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his family, and he died with Shema Yisrael on his lips.

The following were also partners in the flour mill and the oil press of the village:

Reb Tzvi Hershel Farkas, who was active in religious and communal life, despite his young age. He was a member of the communal leadership and served as gabbai [trustee] of the synagogue on account of his great talents, personal charisma, and dedication to the public welfare.

Reb Shmuel Chaim Meir, was a partner in the flourmill. He was a dear man, filled with good, sublime traits and good deeds. His son who survived lives in Ein Eila. One of his two daughters lives in Ashdod, and the other in Ramat Hasharon.

 

Communal Activists and Heads of the Community

The following were successful, well-to-do Jews, known for their talents and communal activism. They took turns in serving as heads of the community, and generously supported many charitable and benevolent institutions.

Izik Katz served as the head of the community for years. He pursued charity and righteousness on a large scale. He supported the Talmud Torah. His great generosity knew no bounds. He respected the rabbis, and conducted his business honestly. Not only did he pledge large sums for communal needs, but he also dedicated his soul to that end. His family perished in Auschwitz.

Reb Eliezer Farkas served as the head of the community in the post-Holocaust era. He reorganized religious and communal life in the town, and gave his best energies to instill a new spirit and offer heartfelt support to those who returned downtrodden from the Holocaust. Today, he owns a kosher restaurant in Haifa, and continues to follow the path of Torah and fear of Heaven.

Reb Efraim Izrael was among the most honorable Jews of the town. He served as head of the community for years, and was one of the most active leaders in communal and religious life. He was talented, had a clear intellect, and supported every successful endeavor. His sons live in Keren Ben Zimra and Ramataim, and his daughters live in Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva.

Staub was a man of many actions, crowned with sublime traits and characteristics. Through his communal endeavors, he earned for himself great acclaim and a good name from all of those who appreciated him. He maintained good relations with the authorities, and as chairman of the activists, he helped with unusual dedication those Jewish refugees who remained without Hungarian citizenship. His son-in-law Reb Shlomo Staub lives in Bnei Brak and continues to follow the trodden path of Torah and fear of Heaven.

Antel Gross was the final head of the community during the pre-Holocaust era.

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He dedicated himself to his community. His son lives in the vicinity of Bnei Brak.

Yosef Solomon was a talented, good-hearted man. As a worker of the town council, people turned to him with all specific Jewish problems that arose in town, and he attempted to help to the best of his ability. His sons Meir and Eliahu and his daughter Chaya Sara who live in the United States continue to follow the path of their father, both with respect to the commandments between man and G-d as well as the commandments between man and his fellow.

David Fisher had a quick grasp and sublime talents. He was diligent and pleasant. He was one of the leaders of “Tiferet Bachurim” in the town, and one of the leaders of the community, despite his young age. He organized the Purim plays and ensured a high level of religious joy, especially during Simchat Torah. He continued along his path when he returned from the Holocaust and did a great deal to reestablish religious and social life to their former state. He served as the vice secretary of the town. Thanks to his talents, he reached the level of general secretary of the town of Bătr?na.

Yaakov Izrael was a talented cantor and prayer leader. He was the director of Chevra Tehillim [the Society for the recital of Psalms] and the Chevra Kadisha [Burial Society]. He worked very effectively at preparing the program for the Chevra Kadisha feast on the 7th of Adar, as well as for all problems related to that important institution.

Lea (Neni) Solomon. Before my eyes is a moving image, testifying to her piety and her soulful connection to the Holy Land, the Land of Israel. When we were already sitting in the wagons, prepared and forced to go on the journey to the Selish Ghetto, Aunt Leah suddenly jumped from the wagon, ran quickly to the cemetery, and brought from there some of the “earth of the Land of Israel” (there was a special section with earth of the Land of Israel)[7] for her house was nearby. She was known for her fulfillment of the commandment of tending to guests. He sons Avraham Wolf, Shlomo, and Shalom Meir are fine, G-d fearing people, who walk in the paths of Torah in the manner of those who died in the Sanctification of G-d's name.

Reb Mordechai Kish was a dear Jew, a scholar and a fearer of Heaven. Half of his twelve children live in the Land and follow the path of Torah.

Reb David Levi was known for his broad knowledge of Talmud and halachic decisions as well as for his observance of the commandments and his traditional behavior. He observed the commandment of “and you shall toil in it day and night.” His economic situation was good and well established. His three sons live in America.

Reb Mordechai Levi was deeply diligent in his study of Torah, and was graced with a quick, deep grasp. He had a house filled with children. All of them were educated in the spirit of Torah, and continue along that path. His daughter Rivka the wife of Tzvi Grosinger of Turcz

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lives in Bnei Brak, and his daughter Basha the wife of Yosef Solomon lives in Yavniel. Reb Mordechai had a grocery store, and his home was known for entertaining guests.

The following people were known as honest merchants and grocery store owners:

Susel Fish. Her grocery store was at the edge of the town, and every passer-by was received pleasantly. Not only did she fulfill the commandment of entertaining guests appropriately, but she also gave charity in a generous and private manner.

Wolf Zeev Levi possessed lands aside from his grocery store. His son Moshe Avraham has made aliya recently.

Avraham Wolf Staub was one of the few survivors. Today, he lives in Ashdod.

There were many Hassidim and men of good deeds, not only among the upper class, but also among the general strata, including the tradesmen and simple folk.

Berl Neuhaus was a smith by trade. He had a beard, a splendid countenance, and was tall and thin. Despite his hard physical labor, we saw him early every morning adorned in his Tallis and Tefillin, worshipping with devotion. His words of pleading to Mengele in Auschwitz still ring through my ears, as he arranged his family in a row and showed him his certificate of excellence that he had received for his excellent service in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War. Dr. Mengele asked him, “What do you want?” He answered, “Help us,” and Mengele answered “then go to the left!!”[8]

Yisrael Shimon Grosinger was one of the most respected butchers in the town. He also occupied himself faithfully with communal affairs and served as a dedicated trustee of the Chevra Kadisha. All of his four children excelled in their good behavior and their unusual talents.

Reb Zeev Wolf Solomon was a tall, thin Jew. Two of his sons returned. Aharon lives in Bnei Brak and follows his father's path as a charitable person. He is known as a faithful partner in the solution of all Jewish problems that arise. He is dedicated to religious matters. He has returned to Jewish observance through the influence of the miracles of the Six Day War.

Yeshaya Gross the Potter. His trade did not guarantee him an ample livelihood, but he nevertheless made efforts to educate his children in the spirit of faithful Judaism. One of his two children lives in the United States, and the other in Rosh Pina. The later, is a scholar and a fearer of Heaven.

Reb Pinchas also earned his income from pot making, and his income was

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quite restricted.

Nathan Berkovich was a tanner. He worked hard and earned little. His entire family perished in Auschwitz.

Shmuel Tzvi Hirsch Fried earned his livelihood from the toil of his hands and his profession of tailor. He observed both the easy and difficult commandments in the same fashion. His two children live in Israel.

Avraham the Tailor was pleasant in his interactions with his fellow. He was a pleasant man, dedicated to his family. He was among the first to arrive for the minyan in the synagogue, and worshipped with unusual devotion.

Yaakov Fish the Shoemaker was an expert tradesman who made shoes in an exemplary fashion. He also served as an example in his religious conduct. One of his two sons survived David who lives in Haifa.

Reb Simon Shalom was dedicated to his family and sustained them in an honorable fashion as a shoemaker. He educated his children in the spirit of Torah and the ways of the world. His brothers Ezri and Shimon (Shamale) went to the United States after the liberation. The entire family loved Judaism with all their hearts and souls.

Mordechai Wolbovich survived in a miraculous fashion with his daughter. Today he lives in Ashdod.

Yona Grosinger was a well-known G-d fearing Jew. He perished along with his wife and four children.

Leibu Aryeh was an active Jew. He owned a soda water factory. He perished in sanctification of the Divine name along with his three children.

David Solomon was a pure, observant Jew. His daughter returned from the Holocaust and died in Turcz from physical weakness.

Zeev Wolf Farkas. Only his son returned home. He currently lives in Kiryat Gat and serves as an example to others with his fine conduct in a religious and nationalist perspective.

Shalom Fried also went through all the terrible tribulations, and his family perished. He currently lives in Zarnoga, where he is economically successful. He has five children.

Shlomo Zalman Grosman. Two sons survive of his wide-branched family. One

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lives in Bnei Brak and the other in Belgium.

Eliezer Grosinger was burned in sanctification of the Divine Name in Doroshitz, Among the thousands of Jews of the labor camp in Ukraine.

Tzvi Hershel Grosinger. He first lived in Kfar Gidon (a settlement of Hungarian Jews) when he arrived in the Land. He moved to Bnei Brak after he got married. He died a day before his daughter's wedding.

Sheindel Koko. The girl who miraculously survived lived in Holon.

Yehoshua Shmaya died in Auschwitz, and his son Chaim David died in Camp 4 of Kaufering. His two sons who survived live full religious lives. One lives in Vienna, and the other in Canada.

Chaim Grinfeld. They already paid attention to him in the Selish Camp, and he was suspected by the gentiles. He was separated from his family and tortured badly. His sons Shalom Moshe Aharon and Mordechai (Pitio) live in the United States.

Shmuel Haimovich was dedicated to his religion and people. He did a great deal for religious Zionism, and his son Aryeh (Leibi-Kam) who lives in Ramat Hasharon follows his path. Reb Yankel the son of Simcha Bunim Meir-Kam is a G-d fearing man, dedicated to the entire religious community. His son lives in Safed, Yona and Moshe live in Ashdod, and behave like their father. One of his grandchildren is an excellent student in the Ponovitch Yeshiva of Bnei Brak.

Shlomo Mordechai Solomon. Despite his difficult situation, he played an active role in communal life and gave charity in a generous fashion. They baked matzo for Passover in his home.

Chaya Porajoles was a woman of valor. Her sons Efraim and Yankel transported merchandise from Halmeu to Turcz in a wagon. Their economic situation improved, and they loved to give charity and act benevolently. Some of her children live in America today.

Nota Gross. His son Yitzchak lives in Canada, and Moshe in Bnei Brak. His daughter married Meir Farkas of Halmeu. His second daughter married Avraham Wolf Staub and his third daughter married Daskel.

Yisrael Levin was also called Reb Yisrael Lekincha. He was an honorable Jew with a splendid countenance, who was active in communal life and educated his children to Torah and the ways of the world.

[Page 87]

Zlata Fish was a modest, righteous woman. She perished in sanctification of the Divine name along with her sons Shimon and Michael.

Mordechai Neuhaus walked kilometers on foot in order attend the services at the synagogue every evening and morning. His son-in-law was Rabbi Shmuel Tzvi Hirsch, a rabbinical teacher in Cămărăzana.

Shmuel Farkas, Eliezer Grosinger, and Michael Fish were fine, committed Jews. They perished in sanctification of the Divine name in Auschwitz along with their families.

Thus did the holy community of Turcz live and function for hundreds of years through the power of faith, fear of Heaven, and Hassidic devotion. This was a path of great splendor for a complete Jewish community. Every previous generation, in accordance with its own way, believed in and hoped for a better future, until the hour of destruction came, bringing destruction to everything.

How many times did they recite “Next Year in Jerusalem”[9], and how many of them merited to make aliya to the Land?!

We will remember the pure souls. Woe over those who have been lost; remember what became of us!!

  1. The term used here is very interesting -- of about 100 tallises. A tallis [prayer shawl] is generally worn by a married man, and would refer to a male head of a household. Return
  2. The journey is evidently referring to the journey to the next world, and the expenses refer to Torah and commandments. Return
  3. A Rebbe refers to a Hassidic master. Return
  4. I am uncertain of the identity of Silgi Tz'H Return
  5. I am uncertain of the identify of Y.Ch. Return
  6. Kaufering was a series of sub-camps of Dachau. Return
  7. There is a custom to put a bit of the earth of the Land of Israel into the coffin. A cemetery would have a supply on hand. Return
  8. This means that he sent them all to their immediate deaths. Return
  9. The conclusion of the Passover Seder as well as the Yom Kippur service. Return

 

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