This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #poland #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

“My Experiences” is a chapter of a long section in the Yizkor book of Kurów, Poland titled “In the Bunkers, Caves, Stalls, Fields and Forests (September 1939–May 1945): Memories from the Survivors.” It is the story of Zahava Fogelman, also identified in the title section as Golda Ackerman, her married name. (“Zahava” happens to mean “Gold” in Hebrew). What drew me to this chapter is how long her journey was after the Nazis descended on Kurow, how much fear she constantly felt, how much cunning she showed and how many horrors she witnessed, including the brutal end to the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the persecution that continued at the hands of Poles after the Germans were defeated.

Back in Kurow after the war, she decides to move on once again. “I want to flee from Poland, and no longer walk on soil that is saturated with Jewish blood and surrounded by sheer haters. The only thing left in Poland is an enormous Jewish cemetery.”

The structure of this chapter is a little unusual. The first two paragraphs appear to be a summary of Fogelman’s life, referring to her in the third person, whether written by her or someone else. The narrative then transitions to the first person, which is presumably Fogelman’s voice, although I can’t be certain. But in any event, the story speaks for itself.

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel