For one survivor, Holocaust memories live on only in faded photos

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - For some survivors of the Holocaust, the vow to 'never forget' takes on a special meaning when they have only faded memories, or none at all, of parents they lost as young children. Leah Nebenzahl was a baby when her parents, Pipha and Zvi Herschman, were murdered in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Jewish infant, rescued by a priest who placed her in an orphanage run by nuns, survived World War Two as the adopted daughter of a Christian couple.

Reuters January 28, 2021 00:14:28 IST
For one survivor, Holocaust memories live on only in faded photos

For one survivor Holocaust memories live on only in faded photos

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - For some survivors of the Holocaust, the vow to "never forget" takes on a special meaning when they have only faded memories, or none at all, of parents they lost as young children.

Leah Nebenzahl was a baby when her parents, Pipha and Zvi Herschman, were murdered in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The Jewish infant, rescued by a priest who placed her in an orphanage run by nuns, survived World War Two as the adopted daughter of a Christian couple.

On Wednesday, Holocaust survivors mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops.

The stories and photos of Jewish youngsters, some of them orphans like Leah who were placed in seven children's homes for survivors in Europe after the war, are part of a new online exhibition - "My Lost Childhood" - by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Many were reunited with relatives and went on to live their lives in Israel, the United States, Canada, Latin America and other places.

In her home in Jerusalem, Nebenzahl held up a photograph of herself as a baby. Her mother had sent it to the infant's grandmother after her birth in 1942.

"She signs as if she was me: 'Leah Herschman' - and that's how I learned my name that was given to me by my parents. This is the only source. That's why this is a historic photograph," she said.

Another photograph shows a woman clutching a baby.

"There is no doubt that I am the baby, and I assume that the woman who holds me is my mother, but it's not very clear because nothing was written (on the back of the photo)," she said.

After the war, Leah's aunt learned that her sister had given birth.

The aunt won a court custody battle against the adoptive parents in Poland and brought the child to Israel in 1949 after Leah was housed temporarily in one of the children's homes featured in the Yad Vashem exhibit.

Now a great-grandmother, Nebenzahl faces new risks from a coronavirus pandemic that has put the elderly particularly in danger.

But she said she still held fast to her life's motto - "to turn darkness into light and bitter into sweet".

(Reporting by Eli Berlzon, Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.