In Memory of the
Destroyed Jewish Community of Sokoly, Poland
Translated from the Hebrew by Laia Ben-Dov
Edited by Avigdor Ben-Dov
Hard Cover, 9 by 9,
276 pages with all original illustrations and photographs.
This book shows history in the making with the German and Soviet forces of World War II cooperating and then competing in the invasion and occupation of Sokoly Poland. The reader can understand the stages through which the Nazi rule turns the Jewish population into slaves who work in tasks designed to break their spirit and their bodies. Short of food, clothing, and shelter, the town's Jewish refugees seek refuge among their neighbors, but all doors are shut to them. Only a small number dare to help the Jews. Fear is everywhere. Thus many Jews, including Michael and Moshe Maik, flee into the forests and hide in bunkers underground. Much of the Diary tells the almost unbelievable stories of survival under such conditions which are very hard to believe today when so many of our needs are easily met and there are no shortages of food, light and air. But in the dark, damp and sometimes flooded bunkers, life is never easy . Every day is another crisis and every footstep nearby causes tremors in the hearts of those hiding. Robbers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are as much a threat to Jewish lives as German soldiers who shoot to kill anyone found hiding in the forests. Life is anything but normal. The surprise in the book is how Jewish youth in this town manage to succeed in devising and carrying out daring acts of sabotage and revenge in order to fight the enemy and thwart their plans in any way they can with very little means of support and almost no weapons. There are times when Moshe, Michael's only son, has to choose between dividing his time to help his aging father or joining his friends in raids on the Germans and so, perhaps, to obstruct their cruel plans to expel the Jews, to send them to certain death. Even dead Jews lying in the cemetery are not free to rest in peace. When Moshe and his friends learn that the Germans are planning to uproot and destroy the Jewish cemetery, action has to be taken. Plans are made but it will take a miracle to stop the Germans.So Moshe and his friends have to do anything that might work and failure or success could be at a high price. Today, with the viral resurgence of anti-Semitism, it is worth reading Michael's Diary to remind ourselves, where all this might lead to. We dare not ignore the lessons of history revealed in this eye-witness account of the lives of ordinary Jews and their Gentile neighbors and how racial and religious bigotry can destroy not just people and towns, but the very fabric of human society which must be based on trust, and faith in the goodness of man.
Sokoły, Poland is located at 52°59' N, 22°42', 9 miles NE of Wysokie Mazowieckie, 21 miles SW of Białystok, 29 miles ESE of Łomża.
Alternate names for the town of Sokoly: [Pol]; Sokoli [Yid]; Sokoly [Rus]; Sekole
Nearby Jewish Communities:
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