Today at 3:30: ‘Passover: Preparing to leave Egypt as an ‘angel of death’ flies overhead . . . ‘a fly zone in a time of life renewed
כג וְעָבַר יְהוָה, לִנְגֹּף אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, וְרָאָה אֶת-הַדָּם עַל-הַמַּשְׁקוֹף, וְעַל שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזֹת; וּפָסַח יְהוָה, עַל-הַפֶּתַח, וְלֹא יִתֵּן הַמַּשְׁחִית, לָבֹא אֶל-בָּתֵּיכֶם לִנְגֹּף.
Exodus 12: 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
3:30 PM today . . . A Tale of Suffering and Horology Skills (NYT April 3, 2022)
“He wanted people to understand, to make sure that something like this never happened again to anybody else.”
What inspired you to finally write this book?
I had been hearing these stories from my father since my earliest childhood and was always inspired by them. There are many Holocaust survivors who couldn’t talk about what happened, but he was the opposite. If he was here, he would tell you that at every stage of the war he trained his mind to remember every detail about what was happening in the German concentration camps. He wanted people to understand, to make sure that something like this never happened again to anybody else.
When you listened to those tapes of your father’s stories again, was there one that really stood out?
The most difficult story to write, the one that really tore me up inside, was that heart-wrenching scene when the brothers were leaving their home in the ghetto in Kozhnitz [the Yiddish name of Kozienice, Poland] and their father gave them all of his watchmaking tools and told them that where he was going, he wouldn’t need them. Everybody was crying, and they wanted my grandfather to go with them because death was imminent, but he couldn’t because he wouldn’t leave his wife, and his wife wouldn’t leave her mother and her sister. Everybody felt they needed to stay there to support each other, but they all agreed that my father and his brothers had to leave that same night.
A night in defiance of the “Angel of Death”
on the road of the ‘death march . . . ‘
But instead, my father said, ‘There’s enough room for 200 boys; quietly go and bring people so they can come and spend the night and survive.’ They packed that cellar to standing room capacity, to where they literally fell asleep standing up, leaning one against the other. That was, I think, my father’s finest hour. (time)