Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Old Man Died
by: Schvach Yid

Today, the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, the 40th day of the counting of the Omer, shortly after 1pm, ‘our time’. Baruch Dayan HaEmet. He was 87 years old.

He became comatose and bedridden two weeks ago, and then died, all following a stroke he suffered 4 and a half years ago.

He was not religious, but identified intensely as a Jew, a German Jew, who had been dealt a lousy blow by his lousy, non-Jewish, countrymen. He went through Kristallnacht,
the night of November 9th, 1938; thank G-d, the Nazi thugs were unable to break down the front door of the family home, but the next day he witnessed his non-Jewish countrymen march his father off to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. Baruch HaShem, his parents had family and friends in the United States who had emigrated from Germany only a few years earlier, who cared enough to provide the necessary affidavits which in turn provided for the required immigration visas to the United States. His father, and everyone else, were permitted to leave.

His American citizenship came with a price. He was drafted in the US Army and was subsequently sworn as a citizen only after completing basic training. No free lunch.

As a child he missed his own bar mitzvah, thanks to a bout of Scarlet Fever, so he learned the haftorah to another parshah and did his family proud.

I know I shouldn’t blog now, but I have to, so here is his ‘obit’. In tribute to my Dad, I offer a photo of him during his Army service on Guadalcanal during the Second World War.

May he have the merit to be counted among the souls of Israel.


Gail said...

May his memory be for a blessing, Schvach. I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

rutimizrachi said...

I am so sorry, Shtark. It is so very weird to lose one of the fundamental building blocks of our personal worlds. When you feel up to it, I would love to hear some stories about him. Not just historical stuff -- although that is pretty fascinating, and heroic! -- but also any stories you remember that occurred between the two of you, or wisdom he shared with you.

And, of course my friend -- may you be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Chaviva said...

May his memory be for a blessing.

You are in my thoughts, friend.

Schvach said...

Gail, Ruti, and Chaviva:
Thank you all very much for your words of comfort. In the coming weeks and months I'll have more to say my dad, but for now I think I'll remain silent. Yom Yerushalayim Sameach.