Tzivos Hashem is running a worldwide competition for Jewish children to mark 30 years since the youth movement was established by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
“The Power of Jewish Children” will feature entries from children from around the world, who will compete for prizes totaling $30,000 cash and a trip to New York.
COLlive is showcasing some of the entries:
Name: Zalman Gansburg
School: Oholei Torah in Crown Heights
What is the theme and /or idea of your entry?
Its a researched essay on the children of the holocaust. My mother’s paternal grandparents lost practically their entire families and I want the world to remember them, the 6 million Jews, and the estimated 1.2 million children that perished al kiddush Hashem.
Remembering the Children of Izieu
The number of Jewish children killed by Hitler and his Nazis yemach shemom is estimated at 1.2 million.
Plucked from their homes and stripped of their childhoods, the children had witnessed the murder of parents, siblings and relatives. They faced starvation, illness and brutal labor, until they were sent to the gas chambers.
This is the story of the children of Izieu- but there is no happy ending. In 1944 the Nazis from Lyon sent three vehicles to the tiny French village to get rid of the children of the orphanage known as “La Maison d’Izieu” here 44 children in age from 3 to 18 were hidden away from the Nazi terror that surrounded them.
On the morning of April 6, 1944, as the children all settled down in the refectory to drink hot chocolate, the nazis led by the Butcher of Lyon, Klaus Barbie, yemach shemom, raided the home, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks like sacks of potatoes.
The little children were deported to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival. Of the 44 children kidnapped by the Nazis in Izieu, not a single one survived. Of the supervisors there was one sole survivor, 27 year old Lea Feldblum.
Here are the names of the children, May their blood be avenged:
Sami Adelsheimer, 5
Hans Ament, 10
Nina Aronowicz, 12
Max-Marcel Balsam, 12
Jean-Paul Balsam, 10
Esther Benassayag, 12
Elie Benassayag, 10
Jacob Benassayag, 8
Jacques Benguigui, 12
Richard Benguigui, 7
Jean-Claude Benguigui, 5
Barouk-Raoul Bentitou, 12
Majer Bulka, 13
Albert Bulka, 4
Lucienne Friedler, 5
Egon Gamiel, 9
Maurice Gerenstein, 13
Liliane Gerenstein, 11
Henri-Chaïm Goldberg, 13
Joseph Goldberg, 12
Mina Halaunbrenner, 8
Claudine Halaunbrenner, 5
Georges Halpern, 8
Arnold Hirsch, 17
Isidore Kargeman, 10
Renate Krochmal, 8
Liane Krochmal, 6
Max Leiner, 8
Claude Levan-Reifman, 10
Fritz Loebmann, 15
Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart, 10
Paula Mermelstein, 10
Marcel Mermelstein, 7
Theodor Reis, 16
Gilles Sadowski, 8
Martha Spiegel, 10
Senta Spiegel, 9
Sigmund Springer, 8
Sarah Szulldaper, 11
Max Tetelbaum, 12
Herman Tetelbaum, 10
Charles Weltner, 9
Otto Wertheimer, 12
Emile Zucherberg, 5
and Lea Feldblum, the one sole surviver.
WHAT HAPPENED TO LEA FELDBLUM?
Lea Feldblum: ‘I was on my way down the stairs when my sister shouted to me: It’s the Germans, save yourself! I jumped out the window. I hid myself in a bush in the garden. I heard the cries of the children that were being kidnapped and I heard the shouts of the Nazis who were carrying them away.’
Following the raid on their home in Izieu, the children were shipped directly to the “collection center” in Drancy, then put on the first available train towards the death camps in the east.
Forty-two children and five adults were gassed in the extermination camp of Auschwitz. two of the oldest children and Miron Zlatin, the superintendent, ended up in Tallin in Estonia and were put to death by a firing squad.
Eleven-year-old Liliane Gerenstein, born January 13, 1933 in Nice, France, wrote a heart-rending letter to G-d days before the children of Izieu were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz:
“G-d! How good you are, how kind and if one had to count the number of goodnesses and kindnesses you have done, one would never finish.
G-d! It is you who command. It is you who are justice, it is you who reward the good and punish the evil.
G-d! It is thanks to you I had a beautiful life before, that I was spoiled, that I had lovely things that others do not have.
G-d! After that, I ask you one thing only: make my parents come back, my poor parents protect them (even more than you protect me) so that I can see them again as soon as possible.
Make them come back again. Ah! I had such a good mother and such a good father! I have such faith in you and I thank you in advance.”
Us children in the year 2011 have the responsibility to remember the pure Emunah and Miseras Nefesh of our fallen brothers and sisters and keep their precious memory alive.