My Holocaust Revenge
I made a vow: If I survived Buchenwald, I would return and kill the mayor’s wife.
Excerpted from “Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor” (Regnery) by Martin Greenfield with Wynton Hall.
This story reminds me of another story that I heard from my mother's uncle. His sister was my grandmother and as such we used our Yeshivah years to reconnect with him. The visits to his flat in Bet HaKerem - a suburb of Jerusalem - were opportunities to learn more about the holocaust, of which he was an integral part. He went through six years of hell and suffered a cardiac arrest when at the witness stand during the famous trials in Nuremberg. The things he didn't tell us were reflected in his colourless, lifeless eyes, thirty five years after he leapt to freedom during the death march. They were being chased down a highway and at one of the turnings he - with a fellow inmate - used the opportunity to jump into the foliage, when their guards were either too far at the front of the column or beyond the bend at the back of the column to notice their dash to the woods. Walking towards what they perceived as one of the central European countries (Yugoslavia or the Czech Republic), they stumbled upon a burly German farmer, who - upon seeing walking skeletons for the first time in his life - took them in for the winter. He really saved their lives, but prickled their newly found sense of freedom when they had to hold down an oversized and fat-rich pig to be killed for the festive season of X-mas. He was sitting on the back of the animal whilst his friend sat near the throat, listening with mixed emotions to the frantic noises coming out of the panicking animals mouth. For a change, the wailing didn't come from human beings, to which they were so accustomed from their recent incarnation in the many slave, death and torture camps they passed through - and stayed alive! The last time Mylech - my uncle's Yiddish name - felt like the pig was in Auschwitz, when he was a member of the six hundred-strong Sunder Kommando. This was the squad whose grisly task it was to usher the victims into the 'shower rooms', remove their dead bodies half an hour later and carry out the most inhumane work relating to the above mentioned tasks, which are too vile to put in words. On the day this incident happened, my uncle noticed a group of super pious men, which are known as 'Chasidim' in the throng of people being shuffled into the un-dressing room. He knew what they - like the other 12,000 people that will die today - have no inkling of what awaits them and so he wanted these holy men to have a chance to perform the 'Mitzvah' of dying ''Al Kidush HaShem' with the proper preparatory rituals. he went over to one of the elder men and murmured something into his ear, after which the 'Chossid' informed his cohorts the bitter-sweet truth: we now need to say 'Viduy' and then recite the 'Brochoh' for this lofty occasion: 'LeKadesh Shemo BoRabim'! The ensuing wailing and tumult that broke out pulled along the hundreds of would be victims in the hall and as a result the 'job' of pushing them into the gas chambers became nearly impossible, so much so that the German overseers had to come in and restore order. We'll leave out the details of how this was achieved. When all was over and the human cargo was locked up in their last station, the overseer started to investigate how and who caused this unplanned disruption to the well oiled death machine and in the end it was a fellow inmate who pointed out my uncle to the commander. In a fit if rage, the two legged animal ordered my uncle outside and in full view of the others had him lie down on the floor. With his pistol drawn, he commanded my uncle to roll on the floor and then told him to get up. Easy in'nit? Not so fast... My uncle knew that he's finished - one single shot and he will be dragged into the same ovens where he had to pull his own wife and two children to, after they were gassed to death in front of his eyes! However, the German soldier had a more enjoyable pastime in his mind: let the Jewish dog live a little longer - and suffer even more. You see, the are between the gas chambers and the crematoria was was were the ashes of the dead people were lying around, mixed with burnt wood and coal. By ordering my uncle to roll on the rain-soaked floor, the ashes stuck to his clothes and face and when he stood up he was caked with black looking like a nigger. My uncle tried to shake off the abhorrent 'paint' off his clothes and washed his face clean as much as he could, so that he shouldn't be shot for going around with dirty clothing. When he told me the story, the matter of fact voice was that of a hardened survivor - he had jumped twice from a speeding train, when he was sent to Majdanek. However his voice changed drastically the moment he remembered the traitor, the man who betrayed him to the German commander who nearly killed him on the spot. He told me: "this Jew now lives in the States and is afraid that I will come after him, as I vowed to kill him at the first opportunity. What does he think, that I'm like the Germans?! Still whenever there is an event commemorating Auschwitz or any other Holocaust event, he makes sure not to bump into me". This was nearly forty years after the event and the guy was still feeling sorry for the evil that he brought his fellow inmate. The holocaust is not a thing of the past - like the free world wants us to believe - it lives in the conscience of untold victims to this day: Why did I survive, how could I have taken someone else's piece of bread or how could I have eaten my piece of bread, whilst watching my neighbour starve to death? For this, no one could request the Jewish people forgive the German Volk!!!