Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 1942/May 2009

Sixty-seven years ago today, Hana Katzovitz and her young daughters, Chaia and Sarah, were walking in the forest outside of Dolhinov, Poland. They had just escaped after the second massacre by the Germans and their Latvian, Polish, and Lithuanian collaborators. The rest of the family had been killed. All day they had lain hidden in some bushes, fearful that anyone--including the little shepherd boy tending his flock nearby--might turn them in.

Finally, night came and they began walking to the home of a Christian farmer they hoped--correctly as it turned out--would hide them. As they walked, Hana turned to her daughters and said:

“You see my daughters, there is so much hatred and carnage around us. If anyone stays alive, the only place for us to go is Eretz Israel.”

Much later, Chaia remembered, “We thought of that statement as a commandment.” And so all three of them did so after the war ended and they succeeded in getting out of the Soviet Union. It took them 15 years.

But you can get on a plane any time.

From my book in progress, Children of Dolhinov.

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