web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Where Flowers Bloom Red From Jewish Blood


Front-Page-110411

“Do you know what they are doing?” he said, shaken.

“They are shooting them.”

I heard it distinctly now: the even ra-ta-ta of a machine gun from Babi Yar. This was calm, unhurried firing, as on a shooting range.

Grandfather looked puzzled and frightened…. Grandmother paused to listen too. It seemed to me she was crying. I turned to look at her more closely. She was crossing herself, facing Babi Yar and muttering, “Our Father Who art in Heaven…”

The firing stopped after dark, but resumed in the morning. It was said that 35,000 had been shot on the first day and that the rest were waiting their turn.

* * * * *

Few survived Babi Yar. One of them was Dina Pronicheva, an actress of the Kiev Puppet Theatre, a mother of two children, with old and feeble parents. Dina’s husband was a Russian. Her surname was Russian and she did not look Jewish.

Dina’s family decided she would see her parents to the train but would return to her children and husband. Starting at six in the morning, the crowds were already vast. They moved in slow droning procession and reached the cemetery only in the afternoon. German soldiers and Ukrainian police in black uniforms were directing traffic.

As they approached the cemetery, crowding and cursing intensified. Everything became completely incomprehensible. Dina left her parents at the cemetery gates and went on ahead to see what was happening. Like many others, she still thought there was a train up ahead. She heard firing nearby. The thought that crossed her mind was that individuals who did not follow orders were being frightened into obedience.

But Dina became increasingly alarmed. She pushed through the crowd and finally saw that those ahead of her were being ordered to lay down their bundles. Clothing, knapsacks and suitcases were heaped on the left, food on the right.

The Germans then let the people through in groups of ten – batch by batch. Dina’s flesh crawled. There was nothing like a station or a railroad in sight. Though she did not know what was happening, her heart told her this was no evacuation. The burst of machine-gun fire nearby seemed the strangest of all. She was still unable to imagine that they could be shooting people.

At that moment Dina felt only brute fear and dizziness, a state beyond compare. She noticed people being stripped of their warm clothes. On impulse she turned back, found her parents and told them what she had seen. “Daughter, we don’t need you any longer,” said her father. “Go now.”

But she was trapped. Despite all her pleas, the guard in charge would not let her through. At that point she realized this was an execution. Fresh commands were shouted. A chaotic queue was formed.

Finally it was her group’s turn. Talking subsided. They trudged on in silence, flanked by guards. Behind her Dina heard someone moan: “Help me, children, I am blind.” She put her arm around the old man and walked at his side. “Where could they be taking us, father?” she asked. “My child,” he answered, “we are going to pay our final debt to God.”

“Are we forsaken? Completely forsaken?” she asked.

“We have forsaken Him, He did not forsake us. Child, say with me Shema Yisrael.”

At that instant the group entered a long, narrow corridor, about five feet wide, with soldiers on both sides standing shoulder to shoulder, sleeved rolled up, armed with rubber truncheons or big sticks, dogs on leashes.

The soldiers rained blows upon the people running the gauntlet. It was impossible to hide. Everyone cried out. Mothers tried to protect their babies. People fell. The dogs were set on them at once. The screaming crowd was pressed forward, treading on the bodies, stamping them into the earth.

About the Author: Dr. Ervin Birnbaum is founder and director of Shearim Netanya, the first outreach program to Russian immigrants in Israel. He has taught at City University of New York, Haifa University and the University of Moscow; served as national superintendent of education of Youth Aliyah and as the first national superintendent of education for the Institute of Jewish Studies; and, at the request of David Ben-Gurion, founded and directed the English Language College Preparatory School at Midreshet Sde Boker.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Where Flowers Bloom Red From Jewish Blood”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Dr. Ervin Birnbaum
Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz.

In the course of the ages there wasn’t a Jewish community more convinced of its capacity for survival than the Jewish community of Hungary in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lidice Memorial

By bus Lidice is a 35-minute ride from Prague. It is a ten-minute walk from the Lidice bus stop through the well-kept gardens to the main building and entrance of the Lidice Memorial Museum. In the season of bloom the gardens display thousands of roses. There is little that suggests the vast human tragedy that transpired there in the course of one night seventy years ago.

What made the deportation of more than 80,000 Jews from Slovakia during World War II unique? It was this striking fact: In contrast with other countries, the Slovak government actually appealed to the Germans to enact deportation.

Barely five weeks after the Wehrmacht’s onslaught against Russia, Reich Marshal Hermann Goering issued the following directive on July 31, 1941 to Chief of Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich:

The place that holds the record for murders in a day – even over such ghastly places as Auschwitz and Treblinka – is Babi Yar. A ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, it is today incorporated within the urban, inhabited sector of the Ukrainian capital. The events described here took place seventy years ago, in 1941, on Rosh Hashanah.

With Israel surrounded, as ever, by implacable enemies and forced to endure withering assaults of negative international opinion, we can take needed comfort and learn an important lesson from the Torah context of some key phrases in the Yom Kippur liturgy we recited just days ago.

It was evident, in the years preceding World War II, that humanity had no desire to throw a saving rope to the drowning Jewish people.

When the sons of Jacob went to Egypt for food they became victims of a cruel ruse. As we recently read in the weekly Torah portion, when the provisions the brothers had acquired were loaded on horse and wagon for the return trip to Canaan, the Egyptian viceroy’s cup was stealthily planted into the sack of the youngest, Benjamin.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/where-flowers-bloom-red-from-jewish-blood/2011/11/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: