9 Jews who survived the Holocaust and became famous
The International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, one of the worst tragedies of humanity, is approaching. But we would like to remember those who survived hell in concentration camps, but in the end were able not only to stand on their feet with dignity, but also to become famous. Their stories collected by the publication Yod news, make you think about time, values and faith.
Roman Polanski, filmmaker
Perhaps the most famous of the living Jews who have gone through the horrors of the Holocaust. In 1941, 8-year-old Raymond Roman Thierry Liebling (he got this name at birth) ended up in the Krakow ghetto with his parents, who 4 years earlier, fleeing an increasing wave of anti-Semitism in France, returned to their native Poland. His pregnant mother Bella was soon taken to Auschwitz, where she died in a gas chamber. Father managed to save his son and save himself. Until the end of the war, a small Jewish boy was sheltered by Polish families.
In 2002, Polanski filmed the autobiographical story of another Jew who survived the Holocaust - Vladislav Shpilman. "Pianist" received the "Golden Palm" of the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for best direction. Polanski couldn’t get an Oscar statuette due to the ongoing criminal prosecution in the United States on charges of rape of a minor.
Vladislav Shpilman, pianist, composer
The pre-war and military life of Spielmann and the story of his salvation are well known from the film Polansky. He spent the entire war in Warsaw - first in the ghetto, from where he started to rebel, after escaping the uprising, then in the "Aryan part" of the city, where he survived the Warsaw uprising, and the complete destruction of the city.
Meanwhile, the fate of Spielman's autobiographical novel, based on which Polanski made the film, was not easy. Written in 1946, Death of the City was censored and published in Poland with a minimal circulation. It was too inconsistent with the prevailing ideology at that time - there were Polish speculators, and Ukrainian warders who committed atrocities in the Warsaw ghetto, and the "good enemy" who saved the Jewish musician - the Austrian Wehrmacht captain Wilm Hosenfeld. The full version of the book was published in Germany 55 years later - as "The Pianist". In her, Hosenfeld turned into a German.
After the war, Shpilman continued a very successful musical career. He was the director of the musical edition of Polish radio, gave concerts with a classical repertoire as a pianist. In 1960, it was he who invented the song festival in Sopot, which later became popular in the USSR. Spielman wrote about 500 pop hits. Died 6 July 2000 of the year.
Jerzy Kosinski, writer
One of the most famous writers of Polish-Jewish origin in the world, like Roman Polanski, was born in 1933 year. His parents turned out to be more discerning than the parents of Polansky, and shortly before the war, his son changed his surname from Levinkopf to Kosinski, having obtained a fake certificate of baptism. They fought the entire war, hiding in the house of Polish Catholics. After the war, the future writer went to the United States, where he wrote in English.
Almost all of Kosinsky's prose is somehow connected with the Holocaust theme. And in almost all the books he remembered his wartime childhood. Although he was repeatedly accused of plagiarism and speculation on the topic of anti-Semitism, there was no evidence of this. All major works of Kosinsky have been translated into Russian.
3 May 1991, Kosinski took a lethal dose of barbiturates and put a plastic bag over his head. In a suicide note he wrote: “I go to bed, this time I will sleep a little longer than usual. Call it eternity. ”
Paul Celan, poet
One of the most recognized German-speaking poets of the 20th century was born in 1920, in Romania. In 1940, after joining his native Bukovyna to the USSR, Celan received Soviet citizenship and learned Russian. In the Soviet regime, he became disillusioned after the start of mass deportations of "undesirable elements", but soon the power was changed. Deportations continued, but to other places. Celan's father died in a concentration camp in Transnistria, his mother was shot.
Celan himself spent the war years in the Romanian camps. After the war he managed to emigrate to France. Celan did not see the real horrors of the Holocaust, but he knew what was happening in the death camps in Poland. In his poetry, he often returned to this topic. Paul Celan committed suicide on April 20 of the year.
Abba Kovner, partisan, writer
The most desperate Jewish underground worker was born in 1918 in Sevastopol, later his family moved to Poland. In 41, Kovner ended up in the Vilnius ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, he managed to go into the woods with the group of guerrillas “Nekama” (“Revenge”) created by him, and after the war he created “Plan A” to destroy 6 million Germans - “an eye for an eye”. He intended to implement his plan by poisoning water supply systems in large German cities. "Plan A" was thwarted by the British authorities - Kovner was arrested with poison on the way from Palestine to Europe. “Plan B” provided for the destruction of captured SS soldiers in the camps of the allies. 13 April 1946, the Jewish partisans poisoned the 12 bread for thousands of German prisoners of war in a camp near Nuremberg. There were casualties, but no one died.
After moving to Palestine, Kovner headed the Union of Writers of Israel as a writer. In 1961, he testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Died 25 September 1987 of the year.
Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi hunter
Another - more successful than Kovner - a Nazi hunter was born in 1908 year in Buchach (now Ukraine). He met the war in Lviv. Like Celan, Wiesenthal saw "both of her faces." First, the NKVD officers arrested Wiesenthal's father-in-law and shot him in the shurin. With the help of a bribe, Wiesenthal managed to save other family members from deportation to Siberia. After the Nazis arrived, Wiesenthal's mother died in Auschwitz, he himself visited several concentration camps. 5 May 1945, the American troops liberated Mauthausen, where Wiesenthal was at that moment.
After the war, Adolf Eichmann, the author of the “final solution of the Jewish question”, became the main prey of the Wiesenthal, and the hunt continued for 15 years. At the trial of Eichmann the desperate Abba Kovner witnessed. 31 May 1962, Eichmann was hanged in an Israeli prison. Simon Wiesenthal died 20 September 2005, in Vienna. Simon Wiesenthal Center continues its work to this day.
Victor Frankl, psychiatrist, creator of logotherapy
Austrian psychologist Victor Frankl, author of the book From the Death Camp to Existentialism, founder of the Third Vienna School of Psychotherapy, spent the war years at the Terezinstadt concentration camp, which was a "showcase of national socialism" where prisoners were kept in "exemplary conditions". There he was with his wife and parents, and for 2 years he provided psychological assistance to prisoners. The main aspect of the work of Frankl in those years was the prevention of suicide among newly arrived prisoners. In 1944, Frankl was taken to Auschwitz, and then to Dachau, his wife was sent to the death camp of Bergen-Belsen. Frankl 27 April 1945, the Americans liberated.
“The meaning of suffering - only inevitable suffering, of course, is the deepest of all possible meanings,” wrote Frankl. After the war, he wrote many scientific papers, including his main work, the book “Saying Lives Yes.” Psychologist in a concentration camp. Before 1971, he headed the Vienna Neurological Clinic. Died 2 September 1997 of the year.
Elie Wiesel, journalist, writer, lazreate Nobel Peace Prize
When Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz, the former prisoner of the concentration camp Elie Wiesel was on his way to Buchenwald. In January, 1945, he became one of the 56 thousands of death march participants, whom the Germans walked to Germany on foot. Brother Eli - Shlomo - did not reach the end of the transition, his sisters died earlier in Auschwitz.
After the war, Wiesel devoted himself to journalism and literature. In 1965, he visited the USSR, after which he wrote the book “Jews of Silence”, in which he called on the world community to fight for the rights of Russian Jews. In 1986, Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize. “I believe Hitler more than everyone else. He alone kept all his promises to the Jewish people, ”Wiesel wrote in the book Night.
Avrom Sutzkever, poet
One of the best poets who wrote in Yiddish in the second half of the 20th century, became the only Jew who acted as a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials. The years of the German occupation Suckever spent together with Abba Kovner in the Vilnius ghetto. There he worked as an archivist, compiled a catalog of works of art exported from the captured Soviet territories. During this work, he hid from the Nazis many manuscripts, including the work of Sholom Aleichem, Gorky and others. In the ghetto, Suckevera’s mother and sister, as well as his newborn son, died. According to one version, Suzkever participated in the armed struggle of the Kovner “Nekam” detachment.
After the war, Sutzkever was briefly in Moscow, where he became friends with Ilya Ehrenburg and Solomon Mikhoels. Then he went to Israel. 19 died January 2010 of the year in Tel Aviv.
Despite the best efforts of the Yad Vashem memorial complex, more than a million dead are still nameless. The most incomplete data is about the victims of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, especially the former USSR.
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