Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.
I want to share a Holocaust story as told to me by Heshy Frank, owner of Quality Carpet and my radio sponsor for the past 32 years.
First, though, a mazal tov wish to Heshy and the Frank family on the birth of a new grandchild. Fourteen months ago in Eretz Yisrael I was fortunate to share in the simcha where Heshy was the sandek at his grandchild’s bris – the child born to his son Meir. It was at this bris that Heshy told me the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l, had been his sandek and that his parents were on the famous Kastner’s train along with the Rebbe. This train made its way across Europe in an attempt to reach the safety of Switzerland.
“What happened in the end?” I asked Heshy. He smiled and answered, “The end is…I’m here, aren’t I?”
On my current trip to America I went to visit someone at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center. Imagine my surprise when I met Meir Frank there, holding his fourteen-month-old son. His wife had just given birth to another baby boy – and I would merit to participate in another Frank family simcha.
I finally heard Heshy Frank’s Holocaust story in full last Tuesday, which was Holocaust Memorial Day. In Israel it’s a very solemn occasion. However, here in New York, Holocaust Memorial Day goes almost unnoticed. I happened to be at Quality Carpet that day to do a one-hour special for Talkline radio. Before I started the broadcast I questioned Heshy about the details of the Holocaust story he had begun telling me at the last bris.
Heshy told me about Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian-Jewish journalist who had negotiated with the Nazis to permit, in exchange for cash and jewelry, a trainload of Jews to escape to Switzerland.
Many of the wealthier passengers paid $1,000 each; in the end, more than 1,600 passengers were on the train.
I asked Heshy about Kastner’s possible motivation.
“The complete story of Kastner remains a mystery,” said Heshy, “but we do know that Kastner was shot to death in front of his home in Israel in 1957 and the killer was never found.
“Anyway, Switzerland refused to allow the train in, so it returned to Germany and the passengers were taken to a special section of the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. They remained there for a number of months and were allowed to daven and to eat kosher, with the amazing Satmar Rebbe in their midst.
“Finally, after some months, half the people were able to continue on to Switzerland. The other half, including my parents and the Rebbe, stayed in the camp for another few months and were then railed to Paris and from there to Switzerland.”
At this point Heshy had to participate in a business conference call, so he quickly concluded the story. “After the war my parents returned to Hungary. From there they were granted visas and were able to begin their lives anew in America. Shortly afterward I was born in East New York, Brooklyn, and the Satmar Rebbe was honored with sandikaus.”
Heshy then added, with a smile: “After the bris, the Rebbe washed to eat. This came as a surprise to his accompanying chassidim, who knew him to never trust the kashrus of ‘regular people.’ But the Rebbe said in Yiddish, ‘By der froi meg min essen’ (‘By this woman I have no question about the kashrus’).
“And so the end of the story is that I am here today.”
To which I added, “For me, the end of your story is that I’m there, in Eretz Yisrael, for more than twenty-eight years, thanks to your sponsoring my radio shows!”
At the bris last Thursday (Rosh Chodesh), as the baby cried out in momentary pain, I looked at the face of my patron, Heshy Frank, mesmerized by what I saw in his eyes, on his cheeks, and on his trembling lips. I saw Kastner’s train speeding across Europe; I saw his mom, a”h, whom I still remember; I saw the Satmar Rebbe; and I saw his hakoras hatov for Hashem’s kindness in bringing him to this special moment in a Torah-true zaidie’s life.
May the Frank family and Quality Carpet be blessed with many more years of success and nachas.
About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups
It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS
Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”
Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.
• UNRWA is controlled by or allows itself to be used by Hamas.
“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”
President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”
he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.
Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.
During the war, not once was Hashem’s name mentioned to the nation by Israel’s PM or gov’t officials
How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?
We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.
Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.
It’s a cliché, but nonetheless true that 9/11 changed my life. There is evil in the world. Our grandparents were right.
Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
While the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.
An Israeli company should make “Arafat’s Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
Boundless love was something Rav Kook had for the nation of Israel. Just as one cannot question the boundless love of Hashem for Israel, one cannot question the boundless love of a Torah giant for his people.
I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/heshy-franks-holocaust-story/2013/04/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: