Tisha B'Av 1942 - Nowy Targ, Poland #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

As Jews around the world observe Tisha B’Av (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tisha_B%27Av), the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, we share with you the following short entry contained in a Yizkor Book that JewishGen translated for the town of Nowy Targ, Poland (http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Nowy_targ/now068.html#page79). Nowy Targ had a Jewish population of 1,342 in 1921, and is located 42 miles South of Krakow.

This piece describes the horrific experiences of the Jews in that town on Tisha B’Av in 1942, and it reminds us of the similar tragedies that have befallen so many Jewish communities on Tisha B'Av's throughout our history.
It ends with a haunting question that remains unanswered until this very day: if the story and experiences of the Jews of Nowy Targ would ever be publicized to the world, would it react?
By: Herta Greenspan-Natowitz

We were young, 18 to 20 years old, when disaster came to Nowy-Targ, in August of 1942. I remember particularly the 9th of Ab. The Gestapo men went from house to house, searching; if they found nothing, they would shoot one or more of the family. They killed my aunt Rutka and my two young cousins and left their bodies in the yard.

My grandfather arose early - it was his 70th birthday - and stood in prayer. "Just as I have lived through this night," I heard him say, "so may all the people of Israel live to be redeemed." At that moment, the Gestapo men, led by the infamous Robert Weissmann, broke into the house and ordered my mother to go to the Judenrat and have it arrange for the removal of the corpses from the yard.

Then they saw my grandfather, in his traditional garb. "Still alive, Jew?'' Weissmann drew his pistol and aimed it at my grandfather. "This bullet is for you, Jew."

My grandfather quietly told the Gestapo man that he had reached a ripe age, and began reciting the Confessional. The Gestapo men took him to the door and shot him, as he was saying "Shmah Yisrael".
Then they took my grandmother outside. "Be strong, my little girl," she said to me, walking proud and erect to her death. We were frozen with what our eyes were beholding. It occurred to me to be thankful that my mother was not there to witness the murder of her parents.

In the terrible days that followed, in the deadly struggle for survival, I kept wondering: would this story, if made known to the world, cause it to react?

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