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Unto Every Person There Is a Name: Theme Information – Additional Readings

Theme Information-Additional Readings-2012

> Download a PDF of the additional readings for 2012.

Theme Information-Additional Readings-2011



In 1989, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir spoke about the death of his family in Nazi Europe.

While reading out loud the names of his family members killed by the Nazis, Shamir disclosed that his father was killed by Polish childhood friends in his own village, after he succeeded in escaping from a German death train.

“My father, Shlomo Ysernitzky, who escaped before the train left for a death camp and while seeking shelter among friends in the village where he grew up, they, his friends from childhood, killed him,” Shamir said in a trembling voice.

Prime Minister Shamir revealed this on Yom Hashoah, while participating in a daylong public reading of names of Holocaust victims at the Knesset.

He also listed many other members of his family who died at the hands of the Nazis. His mother, Pearl, and a sister apparently died in the death camps, while another sister was shot dead by the Nazis.

Shamir, was born and raised in the village of Rozinoy. He left in the early ’30s to study at the university of Warsaw. He arrived in Palestine in 1935.

(source 1989 – Jewish Telegraphic Agency – David Landau)


In 1985, the brothers, Naftalie Lavie, a former Israeli consul general in New York and Rabbi Yisrael Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel returned together, to Poland, to their home town of Pyotrokov, where their father was rabbi, and to the railway terminal from where most of their family were transported to their deaths in Treblinka. This visit was recorded in a documentary film. In it they recounted the astounding tale of how Naftali, in his early teens, managed to save the younger Yisrael throughout their tribulations in hiding and in various concentration camps.

Lau remembers looking at line after line of women for their mother, who had not survived. Now “I look for the memory,” he said. “I speak of the memory of the Jewish people.” He added, “A people without a memory has no future.”

(source, Jewish Telegraphic Agency – May, 1989, by Susan Birnbaum)

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