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Remember for Life

Holocaust Survivors' Stories of Faith and Hope

Edited by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Publication Year: 2010

Memory is about choice. We can choose to remember the past in ways that provoke pain and stir our anger, or we can remember in ways that help us create the kind of world in which we most want to live. Nowhere is this choice more important than in connection to the Holocaust. And never has it been more important than now, because we are the first generation that will live without the presence of those who can tell us in their own words what they have seen with their own eyes. These 71 first-hand stories from survivors teach us to choose to remember for life. Their words are not about hatred and death, but about ethics, decency and love. The stories are arranged to accompany the weekly Torah readings and many of the Jewish holidays, but they are just as meaningful when read on their own, in any sequence. The themes -- journey, identity, resistance, community, refuge, righteousness, and many more -- are universal, but the people are real. And their lessons about how to live more fully the life we are given shine through those dark years

Published by: Jewish Publication Society

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-v

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pp. vi-ix

I am a fourth-generation American Jew who cannot name a single relative who perished in the Shoah. That reality will be shared by more and more of us, especially as we become the first generation to live without any individuals who can share direct accounts of their personal experiences during, before, and immediately after the Holocaust. ...

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pp. 1-18

A violin was given to a 25 year old young man who couldn’t play a single note. He was shivering, and the violin song sounded like screeching. The SS mockingly said, You want me to give you food for this? And they started beating and kicking him, and the kapos kicked him to death. ...

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pp. 19-34

The headmistress at my new school in England knew my history and must have taken pity on me, taking extra special care to find what I think must have been the very best home in Kendal, that of Mr. and Mrs. Staples. I think one of the first things they did is to buy me a dog, a Chow, which is a lovely, fluffy, sheeplike animal, ...

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pp. 35-50

We did not hear about births or funerals in the ghetto. My friends and I would talk about what happens when the war is over. Do we go back to school? Do we get married? Do we have children? The only thing we could do in the ghetto is dream. And unless you would have a dream, you wouldn’t have made ...

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pp. 51-66

When I was a little boy five, six, seven years old, I used to go to my grandparents—to my father’s parents. My zeyde, Mordechai, had nine children and Friday night we used to go there and twice a year yontef, that was Shavuos and Simchas Torah, was the two holidays when we came in. Anyways, Friday night all the children ...

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pp. 67-82

I want to tell about the hanging parties. The hanging parties were where they invited everyone to come from outside the camp to see the hanging, and they made benches ready for them to sit. They came with cars, motorcycles, horses and wagons, thousands of them, and they watched. The SS man said that this group was going to be ...

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pp. 83-108

Rosh Hashoneh was the selektzia—the selection about who was next to be killed. It was in the afternoon, three o’clock, four o’clock. We heard that Mengele was the head of these selektzia. And when he came he said, Look, that’s it. Look, what’s it? That was exactly erev Rosh Hashoneh. Everybody was sent back into the barracks. ...

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pp. 109-111

CLAL gratefully acknowledges USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, University of Southern California, for allowing us to use the following testimonies: ...

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pp. 112

These values are what brought Sherman Jacobson to CLAL. He wanted to publish a book of stories from the Holocaust that could be read each Shabbat and on holidays so that as we celebrate life today, we would remember yesterday. ...


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pp. 114-116

E-ISBN-13: 9780827610163
Print-ISBN-13: 9780827608757

Publication Year: 2010