Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poland #1 - Oct 24, 2006 - Tiktin - Tykocin

Today we went to Tiktin. A small town that use to have 5000 residents of which about half were Jewish. It was a Shtetl with a big Shul that was built in 1640. There are lots of pictures of the residents from the early 1900's. There was a big Shomer Hadati community. Our guide was surprised to learn that my father and uncles were active in Shomer Hadati in the states. According to him, it was a very eastern European organization.

The town was ceded to the Russians in 1939 and then captured by the Germans in 1941. The Jewish population was collected one morning and walked and driven to a forest about 4 miles away. It was a place where they used to play and where they gathered wood.

The Germans took groups of 50 deeper into the forest and had them strip next to a large pit. The people were then shot and fell dead and dying into the pit. No Jew survived the killing that day and the searches that the Germans made over the following weeks.

It is hard to understand the Germans. Why play with your victims? Do we play with a cow before we kill it? Even if you believe that Jews are not humans, what benefit is there to humiliate them?

We visited the forest and the mass grave. It is quiet and peaceful. I was saddened by the useless deaths and by the loss of continuous tradition. What rules did the rabbi's of Tiktin follow? None of the pictures show women with covered hair. Were they all wearing wigs?

We sung Hatikva at the graves. A witness says that the victims were asked by the Germans to sing this song as they left the town. I can see already that Israel was built on anger and conviction that this kind of activity shall never happen again. This message was never verbalized to or by the boys that I am with. I wonder if and when its going to hit them.

We are on our way to treblinka. It cannot be any better.


Post a Comment

<< Home