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


Bruce Drake
 

Yizkor books are full of accounts of Jews who sought to escape ghettos when it became increasingly clear that the people in them would be exterminated in an aktion or sent on trains to the death camps. Even though death might be a near-certainty for those who remained, escape had its own dangers because the Germans had issued decrees forbidding Jews from leaving the ghetto under the pain of death.
Strategies for escape abounded, and in the case of Rose Greenbaum-Dinerman, hers is captured by the title of her chapter in the Yizkor book of Gombin, Poland: “Survived as an ‘Aryan.’” She and her brother considered taking the own lives as conditions worsened, but chose to take the risk because “we also knew that we must cling to life to the very end, no matter how small our chances of survival, to spite our enemy.” They left the ghetto, going their separate ways, but Rose and the group she was travelling with were captured, turned over to the Gestapo and taken to the ghetto in Strzegowo, northwest of Warsaw.
As the terror there increased, Rose dyed her black hair blonde and fled to the “Aryan” side, seeking shelter by knocking on doors and when they opened, saying “Jesus be praised!” Each house was a gamble, and she had several close calls. But she lived to return to Gombin after the Liberation.


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Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel