[Cz-L] History

From: Lucca Ginsburg <lucca99_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 15:30:18 EST
To: czernowitz czernowitz <Czernowitz-L_at_cornell.edu>
Reply-To: lucca99_at_netvision.net.il

<x-charset windows-1255>German troupes in strong collaboration with local Rumanians, ruled
our city from 5th July 1941 up to 22nd March 1944.
The war against Russia had started.
In Poland the situation for the jewish people became desperate and
many refugees arrived illegally to Czernowitz and her surroundings.
This was done at great risk, because as soon as the polish jews were
caught, they were immediately sent back to Poland where - in most
cases - they were imprisoned or just killed.

My grandfather lived in a house which stood by itself, surrounded by
a bit of garden and a yard. He had no neighbors. Once very late at
night, there was a knock on his door, he opened it just a bit and saw
three young men standing there. They looked exhausted and hardly able
to stand on their feet.
-"We are Polish students and we've been running for days now, we had
no food, no sleep and as we looked into your window, we saw a bearded
jew who may be wiiling to help. Please help us, at least let us stay
for a short while and have a rest! My grandfather let them into the
house, gave them some food, whatever was available. At the same time
he knew that if the Germans would find those young men, it would be
their end as well as the end of the one who is harboring them.
Nevertheless, my grandfather could not send them away. His was a dark
house with many corners, a garret and a small cellar. The boys hid
where they could. No one, not my parents, my aunts and uncles knew
they were there...
The oldest of them, his name was David, said to my grandfather:
_"You will soon have the same bad time like we had in Poland. You
must prepare as good as you can!"
-"How can I prepare?"
-"We wil help you. We will expand the small cellar and transform it
into a shelter. We will dig there only at night and as quiet as
possible. Such a shelter was called in Poland a "Skhron!" When real
danger comes, you will call your family and we will all go
underground until the Germans have left the city. At that time there
were rumors that the Russians will be back, but the Germans would
never leave our city without causing it maximum damage.

The three boys dug and dug and the small cellar became a shelter for
15 people at least. On the critical day - and jews always know when a
crticial day arrives - my grandfather called us, my aunt, uncle,
cousin, some close friends, and we all went underground.
David grabbed a piece of wood and covered the hole and the ladder
which we had climbed down. There is much to tell about the few days
and nights which we spent there, there was also much to learn about
human nature! We had only one small petroleum lamp and I sat next to
it and wrote what is happening.
"Stop it, said my mother, you'll ruin your eyes with this light!"
So..isn't it strange that up to now I don't need glasses? Not for
reading, looking, TV watching, my eyes have remained very young.

I don't know how we knew that all was over, but suddenly we were
allowed to leave the hole. we emerged to sunlight, to fresh air and
to a completely changed city. Many buildings were still up in flames,
also our magnificent temple, a great work of architecture. There were
rumors that our Rabbi, Dr. Mark, burned to death inside, but this was
not true. The Rabbi was killed along with 450 other jews, right next
to the river Bruth. We visited this mass grave during our stay in
Czernowitz...Red flags were waving, Russian military musiccame from
different directions, this was such a drastic change the sense of a
new but would it be a better beginning?
I will give an answer, or rather answers, next time!
Please have a nice Shabat all of you!

Received on 2004-02-20 15:52:49

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