Monday, December 05, 2005

Naphtali Berlinger

My great-grandfather. Rabbi and teacher in Buttenhausen, southern Germany, and for all children in a thirty mile radius thereof. Died in Theresienstadt in 1943.

As did most of his children and family and the entire town of Buttenhausen.

His son, Jacob, managed to get to England with my grandmother Martha, my father Eli, and aunt Hannah in June, 1939, by leaving almost everything. My aunt Hannah was born the day they were supposed to leave (April 1939), but they managed to get another chance. Jacob was interred as a P.O.W. in England for 2 years before being allowed to reach New York. My father was 2 when he came to England and 4 before he saw his father again. They would have gone to Palestine except that Palestine (read: the British) wouldn't let them in. The U.S. wouldn't have let them in either except that my great-aunt Grete was their "sponsor".

My aunt Hannah finally moved to Israel in 1976 along with her entire family. My brother David came in 1986, my brother Ben and I came in 1991. My father and mother came in 1995.

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