Friday, November 17, 2006

A small part of 6 million

I was looking through the pictures in the Przemysl Yizkor (holocaust remembrance written by survivors in Hebrew and Yiddish) book the other day when I came across a photo that caught my eye. After a few moments racking my brain, it dawned on me; this is the same photo that my grandmother Fannie had in her album - the one that no one in the family could identify. A funeral, but for who? And where?

Now we know: It turns out that the photo is from the dedication of a memorial stone to those lost in Shoah, taken in 1946 in the cemetery in Przemysl.

My mother thinks that it may have been given to my grandfather Emil who spent every Saturday down at the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) office in New York, trying to find out what became of his brother Elia (his photo to the right), last seen crossing the San river in 1939 to join the Red Army when the Nazis took over Przemysl. To this day, we do not know his fate. It also may have been sent by my grandmother’s brother Isaac (Edward) who did return to Przemysl from Russia after the war only to find his wife and four children gone, but that’s another story altogether.

In any case, I’m glad we have this photo, and I can now appreciate what it meant to my grandparents – this little ceremony really was a mass funeral for all those who didn’t make it back home to Przemysl after the Shoah, including Elia Silberman, Leah Metzger and four children with names unknown to us. Never again.

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