Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day 2014 (Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority)
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 28, 2014)
Each year six torches are lit at Israel’s central memorial ceremony held at Yad Vashem on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. These are the torchlighters in 2014:
Asher Aud was born in 1928 in Poland. He was 14 when his mother and brother were murdered at the Chelmno extermination camp. In August 1944 Asher was deported to Auschwitz, where he found his brother Berl who helped him survive. In January 1945, Asher was sent on a death march. He survived Mauthausen and Gunskirchen. In November 1945, Asher immigrated to Israel and took part in the War of Independence. Asher and Chaya Aud have three children and 13 grandchildren.
Itzchak Biran was born in 1935 in Romania. In June 1941, Itzchak was staying with his uncle in the town of Bobivtsi. The night after the Soviet troops retreated, the locals murdered all of the Jews in the village. The next day his uncle Zelick was also captured and murdered. Itzchak joined up with a group of Jews hiding in the forests. After the war he attempted to immigrate to Israel in 1947 on the famous Exodusship, eventually arriving in April 1948. He became a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. Itzchak and Zlila Biran have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Chayim Herzl was born in 1937 in Budapest, Hungary. When Ferenc Szalasi came to power in Hungary in October 1944, gangs of Arrow Cross militias began murdering thousands of Jews in the streets of Budapest. One night, Arrow Cross men came to their house and took his mother away. Chayim hid under the bed. He never saw his mother again. Later, he lived in one of the homes that enjoyed Swiss diplomatic protection through the efforts of Raul Wallenberg and other diplomats. In January 1945, some of the Jews living in these protected homes were murdered. In 1947, Chayim immigrated to Israel. He became a rabbi and settled in Kibbutz Sa’ad. Chayim and Dvora have six children and 19 grandchildren.
Dita Kraus was born in 1929 in Prague. In November 1942, Dita and her parents were deported to Terezin. In December 1943, they were sent to Auschwitz. In March 1944, half of the children living at the children’s block where she stayed were murdered. In May, Dita and her mother were sent to labor camps in Germany, and then in March 1945 to Bergen-Belsen. She married Otto Kraus whom she met at Auschwitz and in 1949 immigrated to Israel. For 30 years, both Otto and Dita taught at the Hadassim Youth Village. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Zvi Michaeli was born in Salonika, Greece, in 1917. On April 7, 1943, Zvi’s family was deported to Auschwitz. His parents and two older sisters, Myriam and Eleonora, were murdered that day. His sister Julie was killed four months later. In January 1945, Zvi was sent on a death march to Germany, arriving in Bergen-Belsen in a state of severe malnutrition. After the camp was liberated, Zvi was taken to Sweden for rehabilitation. On the ship he met his future wife, Elvira, a fellow Auschwitz survivor. In November 1949, the couple arrived in Israel. Zvi and Elvira raised a daughter and have three grandchildren.
Hinda Tasman was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1929. In July 1941 the Jews of Minsk were incarcerated in a ghetto. Almost every night Germans entered and murdered entire families. In November, German soldiers entered her home and shot every member of the family. Hinda survived because her father concealed her with his body. In April 1943, Hinda escaped from the ghetto and was recruited by a partisan unit which operated in the nearby forests. Hinda returned to the ghetto and smuggled entire families out to the partisans’ camp. After the war, Hinda returned to Minsk, then immigrated to Israel in 1959. Hinda and Boris have two sons and five grandchildren.
The Holocaust’s Foremost Unsung Hero – Emily Amrousi (Israel Hayom)
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 28, 2014)
Moshe Kraus, who died in Jerusalem in 1986, is responsible for the largest rescue operation during the Holocaust.
In 1944, Kraus orchestrated the granting of extraterritorial status to houses and factories in Budapest, Hungary, under the auspices of Switzerland, barring entry to Germans and the local Hungarian authorities, and housing thousands of Jews.
The Swiss embassy granted 40,000 Jews certificates making them foreign Swiss nationals. Tens of thousands of additional documents were forged while the Swiss turned a blind eye.
Young, brave Jews disguised as Nazi officers roamed the streets handing out these documents to Jews.