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Orin Kerr @OrinKerr
, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, also known as Yom HaShoah. In honor of this day, I'd like to tell you about the photograph below. It was taken in 1938, in a small town in Suwalki, Poland. Everyone in the photo is a Jew. See the boy front row center? That's my dad.
2/ My dad was was 10 years old. The two adults flanking my dad are his parents – my grandparents -- Osher & Riva Kierzkowski. Next to them are my dad’s brothers, his older brother David (on the right with the patch) and younger brother Max (in the sweater).
3/ Riva was pregnant with a fourth son, Isaac. Others in the picture are my dad’s uncle (holding Max) plus some employees of my grandfather’s business. The picture was taken to celebrate the departure for America of the man standing behind my dad, who worked for my grandfather.
4/ Almost everyone in the picture was murdered in the Holocaust. Only two of the sixteen people in the picture survived the war. The first was the man who left for America in 1938. The second was my dad, who survived the concentration camps.
5/ That’s pretty representative of what happened to Polish Jews in World War II. Of about 3.3 million Jews in Poland when the war began, only about 380,000 survived. That's around 12%.…
6/ The story of how my family was split up, and how my father was the only one to survive, is pretty harrowing. I wrote up an overview and posted it here five years if you’re interested:…
7/ My dad died in 2012. We have several incredible videos, and an audio recording, in which he tells his Holocaust story in great depth. Someday I’ll edit and post a video. His extraordinary story needs to be heard, in his own words.
8/8 In the meantime, my dad’s experience has been written up in a few places. This book from 2000 spends a chapter or two on him:… And this 2014 book covers his experience (among many) as a student in Germany after the war.… /end
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