Re: Judenrats --- friend or foe? #holocaust


sjgwed@...
 

When I was researching Skalat - one of my ancestral towns - I read about "Moni Lempert" in the Skalat Yizkor book of testimony. My great-grandparents were Lemperts, as were their children, who all emigrated from Skalat in the late 1890's. But what about others in their extended family? I do not know.

In August, 1942, soon after the Judenrat had filled the Nazis' recent quota of Jewish victims, "It is reported that council-member M. Lempert received a cash prize from the Judenrat for being the first to bring in all the people on his list: 100% complete!.... Liquor and food was distributed lavishly among the 'rejoicing' members, who naively believed that 'they had rescued the town.'"

According to Abraham Weissbrod, Judenrat members including "Zimmer, Lempert, Schoenberg, Dr. Brif, etc gained infamy by their evil acts. They took charge of the work details and... lorded over everyone."

Ever since the 1948 publication of the Skalat Yizkor book, written in the intense heat of immediacy and grief, it's been cites in scholarly works, history books, and articles about Skalat as the source for validation. The book is an everlasting tribute to survivors' determination to write down every last story and recollection.

Moni and his family escaped death during the "Sobbing Graves Action" in Skalat in April, 1943.  After that, his name vanishes from the records. But... relative of mine or not, I find it difficult to judge Moni because I have never been in his excruciating situation.

Susan Gordon
New York
BIALAZURKER - Zbaraz
LEMPERT - Lvov, Skalat
SCHONHAUT - Skalat

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