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Monday, April 20, 2009

B-14594, B-14595, B-14596 and B-14597; UPDATED with video

The story of two former concentration camp inmates who met in Israel this month comes to us from a surprising source: Al-AP (Hat Tip: Hot Air - not a surprising source).
As terrified teenagers 65 years ago, Menachem Sholowicz and Anshel Sieradzki stood in line together in Auschwitz, having serial numbers tattooed on their arms. Sholowicz was B-14594; Sieradzki was B-14595.

The two Polish Jews had never met, they never spoke and they were quickly separated. Each survived the Nazi death camp, moved to Israel, married, and became grandfathers. They didn't meet again until a few weeks ago, having stumbled upon each other through the Internet. Late in life, the two men speak daily, suddenly partners who share their darkest traumas.


The unlikely reconnection began when Sholowicz's daughter found a Web site that detailed Sieradzki's odyssey from Auschwitz to Israel. It struck her as eerily similar to her father's.

All the same elements were there — being separated from parents and siblings and never seeing them again, searching for scraps of bread to eat in the Polish ghettos, surviving the selection process of Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Auschwitz camp doctor who decided who would live and who would die. They endured Nazi death marches to two other camps in which any emaciated prisoner who fell behind was shot in the head.

Later, both moved to Israel, fought in its 1948 war of independence, and made careers in its military industry.

Still, the two men never met and the name Sieradzki on the Web site didn't ring a bell. Then Sholowicz, 80, saw the man's number and he froze.

"I rolled up my sleeve and sure enough — I stood exactly ahead of him in line at Auschwitz," he said. The discovery "was a moment of great emotion, great excitement. We went through it all together. We are like two parallel lines that never met."

He called Sieradzki the next day. They recently met halfway between their homes in Haifa and Jerusalem, and a photo of them and their tattoos appeared in an Israeli newspaper.
For the rest of their story and the story of the other two numbers, read the whole thing.


I now have video of this story, so let's go to the videotape.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Man may tear asunder but G-d remembers and brings back together. Nothing in this world is by coincidence. The Holy One never leaves a Jew's business unfinished when it doesn't have to be. That is by any definition a miracle and if it happened for the first one is obliged to recite shehecheyanu for it and thank G-d as in this instance for bringing such a reunion about.

Here He reunited the tapestry of two lives broken and seemingly lost forever. Menachem Sholocwicz and and Anshel Sieradzki are in His debt - which He has now repaid.


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