My mother came to the U.S. by herself on a boat from a Lithuanian town (Taurage) in 1929. She was six, and had followed, by a few years, my grandparents, crossing the Atlantic by herself—steerage. Most of the rest of my grandmother’s family had already left in the mid-to-late ‘20s for what was then called Palestine, but what is now the State of Israel. As a result, all but a small part of the family escaped the Shoah—the Holocaust.
My mother would often tell of her first cousin, Shroelik, with whom she would pick strawberries during the years between my grandparents’ departure for the U.S. and my mother’s journey to the Goldene Medina (Golden Land).
Unlike my mother, Shroelik remained in Lithuania, and at age of 17, he was shot in the back by the Nazis as he simply stood in a field. He was shot for simply standing, for being a Jew; perhaps he was picking strawberries. But he was luckier than some; his death came quickly. He did not suffer the slow murder of starvation and ultimate extermination in one of the Nazi death camps as did millions of Jews in a calculated plan to exterminate an entire people.
- Yom HaShoah / Holocaust Rememberance Day (promoteliberty.wordpress.com)