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152 THE WAR AND POSTWAR YEARS As soon as the war in Europe ended, survivors started searching frantically for their lost relatives and friends. Lists of survivors from different towns were posted in Jewish displaced persons camps, and stories as to who had been seen and where they were headed circulated widely by word of mouth. Everybody was on the move: back to their native cities and towns or away toward the West or to Israel. Most survivors were soon in touch with each other. Only the dead were not heard from, and unfortunately there were all too many of them. People caught in the Soviet Union took longer to surface . In the initial confusion after the war, some managed to reach the West through Poland, but many did not get out until the 1970s, when emigration of Jews to Israel and the United States again became possible. In Frankfurt I found and made contact with my cousin Zvi Griliches. His family (Uncle Fima and Aunt Clara Griliches, Zvi, and his younger sister Ellen) had lived in Kaunas (Kovno) when Germany overran Lithuania. In Kaunas the liquidation of the ghetto and the destruction of the Jewish community had been less precipitous, although no less ruthless or efficient, than in Riga. By 1943 there was no mistaking the nazis’ intentions . Determined to save her nine-year-old daughter, Ellen, Clara arranged to spirit her out of the ghetto and managed to get Ellen into a Lithuanian Catholic orphanage. Ellen remained successfully hidden until liberation. Clara was not so lucky. When the ghetto was liquidated in June 1944, Clara, together with her husband and son, was deported to Stutthof, where the men and women were separated. Clara died there of typhoid fever. Fima and Zvi were sent to a small camp near Munich, part of the Dachau system of camps. Weakened by malnutrition and dysentery, Fima died there in January 1945. He was buried, in Zvi’s presence, in a cemetery near the camp where a small number of other prisoners were also buried. Unlike most victims of the Holocaust, his grave site is known. After the 23 Finding Relatives  FINDING RELATIVES 153 war Zvi returned and placed a monument on the grave where, to the best of his recollection, his father had been buried. Shortly after liberation Ellen recounted these events in a Yiddish newsletter published in Munich: Once on a winter night Mama and Papa took me to the [ghetto] gate. There stood a car, and the Jewish police ordered us to push the car. While they were pushing the car, I walked out of the Ghetto with my Mama. A Christian boy waited for me there. He led me away to his place, an apartment in a street near Sabar. I stayed there for two days. While I was with the Christian, my Mama came for me and took me to the Kovno Christian Children’s home. I stayed there two or three days. They were told that I was a Russian child, because I spoke Russian well. Then a peasant came and took me away to a village Tamoshava, near Aukshte Dveris, to a children’s home. There I worked with all the children, peeled potatoes, worked in the fields. The children did not know that I was a Jewish child. However, the adults there knew that I was a Jewish child. There were also Jewish girls, younger than I. I could recognize that from their faces. They did not know that I was a Jewish child, and one did not speak about it. When the Russians came back, I still remained at the children’s home. My mother and father were deported to Germany together with all the Fima and Clara Ziv Griliches, ca. 1936. 154 THE WAR AND POSTWAR YEARS Jews from the ghetto. But one of my aunts, Leah Olitzki, escaped from the columns when the Jews were led from the ghetto to the station. After the Russians came to Kovno, my aunt asked a Jewish acquaintance, Levin, who then lived near the children’s home, to pick me up. His sisters came to get me. I lived with them for three weeks; then they brought me to Kovno. When the war ended, Jews from the KZs came back to Kovno. I learned from them that my father had died in KZ Dachau, and my Mama died in KZ Stutthof. My brother survived Dachau.51 Just before the end of the war, Zvi was returned...


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