He was Born in Tarnopol, and he worked in import and export. His wife was called Neta. Their son was Khaim. He was murdered, aged 57 in the ghetto in Kupczynce, because he was a Jew. Neta was 45. I don’t know how old Khaim was. They’re recorded in Yad Vashem’s database by their cousin, Lea Shteinvurztel, along with 29 other members of Lea’s family.
In 2013, Eff and I went to a lecture at the Jewish Cultural Centre, in which Professor Yehuda Bauer explained the origins of World War II in terms of Hitler’s crackpot ideology: that if they didn’t exterminate the Jews, the Nazis themselves would be killed by the international Jeiwsh-Bolshevik conspiracy. That all of Germany was permeated by this ideology owing to some very persuasive speakers. As good little Marxist Historians, we felt that he was slightly underplaying the social and economic role played in Germany’s advance to war (the good professor suggested we go back to our Engels), at the same time, the idea that, while the 6 million were being exterminated, another 29 million also died because a bunch of lunatics somehow got in charge, was perturbing.
And in the meantime, on National Holocaust Memorial Day, I light my candle, and decide to be more proactive about ensuring that it never happens again. And to keep being proactive. Regardless of how scary it is.