Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Eternity in an Instant

My good friend Lurker pointed me to a post on DovBear. It's not political or hashkafa related as some of his posts are...it's pure education (yes, some of his Dvar Torah posts are educational as well, but this one is truly exceptional)

This post is so eye opening and educational, it's one of the best reasons the blogosphere exists -- to spread important knowledge around. DovBear read a fabulous article in the current print edition of The New Republic about the Oyneg Shabes archive -- "a collection of some 35,000 pages of documents written in Polish and Yiddish about life in the Warsaw Ghetto. The archive was hidden in tin boxes and milk cans before the ghetto was liquidated, and uncovered after the war."

The quote from his post that understandably grabbed me was:
On August 3, 1942, with the Germans only a block away from the building at 68 Nowolipki Street, under which he was to bury the first cache of the archive, Israel Lichtenstein hurriedly deposited his testament -- and in that instant gained his eternity. "I do not ask for any thanks, for any memorial, for any praise. I only wish to be remembered.... I wish my wife to be remembered, Gele Sekstein.... I wish my little daughter to be remembered. Margalit is 20 months old today.... She too deserves to be remembered." Working with him were two teenagers, David Graber and Nahum Grzywacz. They, too, left little reminders of themselves in the archive that they were burying. Grzywacz was eighteen years old, and when he heard that the Germans had blockaded his parents' building, he wrote, "I am going to run to my parents and see if they are all right. I don't know what's going to happen to me. Remember, my name is Nahum Grzywacz." The emphasis is in the original.
Set aside some time to read it here and it's accompanying links; you won't be disappointed.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

3 comments:

Rafi G said...

chilling

shira0607 said...

There is a book called The Wall by John Hersey which is about this astounding archive and the people who conceived of it. It highlights the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Michael said...

I only wish to be remembered.... I wish my wife to be remembered, Gele Sekstein.... I wish my little daughter to be remembered. Margalit is 20 months old today.... She too deserves to be remembered.

Wow. That's powerful stuff.

And they are remembered; we remember them, and we tell their stories, and we will not let them be forgotten.

But who remembers those German soldiers from two blocks away?

There's a victory, in remembrance, even when it's bitter.

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