MORE than 150 people recently gathered at the Jewish Holocaust Centre for the 75th commemoration of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto.
As is customary, Lodz Ghetto survivors lit the six memorial candles, honouring those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. They were accompanied by their grandchildren and, for the very first time, some, even with great-grandchildren.
Officiated by Ellie Freeman, the audience heard from keynote speaker Guta Goldstein. In the Lodz Ghetto, Guta was placed in the Marysin orphanage and was rescued from there by her aunt just prior to its liquidation. Guta was later deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She also survived Bergen-Belsen and the labour camp Mehltheuer, where she was eventually liberated.
Later in the commemoration, Sholem Aleichem’s year 6 students performed two Yiddish songs, followed by second generation descendant Charlie Goldberg reciting a poem by the late Jacob Rosenberg.
Tobcia Blicblau was a Lodz survivor who passed away last year. During her lifetime she said little about her experiences during the war. In recent times, it was revealed to Tobcia’s family that she had given an official testimony to YIVO chroniclers, not long after the war ended.
Tobcia’s nephew, David Blicblau and her great-niece, Netta Shmerling, read excerpts from her testimony.
At the end of August 1944, the Lodz Ghetto – the last existing ghetto in all of Europe – was liquidated and its inmates deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
“This is a most honourable tribute to our survivors and to those of our people who did not survive,” a member of the Lodz Commemoration Committee told The AJN.
“Unfortunately, each year we have fewer and fewer survivors in attendance. Nevertheless, the number of attendees has steadily grown from year to year.
“It seems that second, third and now even fourth generation Lodz descendants, have committed themselves to learning about and remembering prewar Jewish Lodz and the experiences of those who were incarcerated in the Lodz Ghetto.”