web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Ultimate Revenge: Erwin Weinberg Fights Back Against the Nazis

Cpl Erwin Weinberg a"h

Cpl Erwin Weinberg a"h

Not too many Jewish World War II survivors from Germany can say that they had the distinction of being both interned in a concentration camp and liberating the captives in that same camp. Erwin Weinberg did just that. He survived being a prisoner in Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany and then returned as an American soldier to liberate the camp. Overcoming countless hurdles, including a rough childhood in hostile Germany, being interned immediately after Kristalnacht, fleeing to England, and then starting a new life in America, Erwin Weinberg was a survivor tenfold. Mr. Weinberg was niftar this past January at the age of 91. The following is based on a recent interview The Jewish Press conducted with his son, David Weinberg.

Jewish Press: Please share with our readers a little of your father’s background.

David Weinberg: My father, Erwin Weinberg (Eliezer ben Hachover Meir hk’m) was born in 1922 in Fulda, Germany. He was raised in an Orthodox home where he was the oldest of four children. His formal religious and secular education stopped when he was 15, a year before he was brought to Buchenwald He lived in Germany until he fled at the age of 16. He served in the US Army Air Force during WW II, married my mother Matilda Weinberg a”h and raised his family in Philadelphia. He moved to Riverdale in the early 70s where he spent the rest of his life.

He has two brothers, Rabbi S.K. Weinberg (Toronto) and Rabbi Meier Weinberg (Boro Park), and a sister, Mrs. Hanna Taub, who lives in Philadelphia..

The most salient feature of his biography perhaps is that he was president of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia for 50 years. He passed away this year on the 7th day of Shevat.

What was his personality like?

My father was a soft-spoken man especially in the last years of his life. He was a skilled and sophisticated businessman despite having had no formal training.

What was life like in Germany for your father?

It wasn’t good to begin with, and his surroundings became increasingly hostile as the years went by. My grandfather, Max Weinberg a”h, tried to immigrate to what was then Palestine, South America or South Africa as early as 1934 or 1935, but was unsuccessful. Ultimately he and his family did receive an immigration quota number from the United States. Partially due to this, he was granted permission to come to England once my father was able to secure the necessary affidavits and guarantees. He wanted to get out of Europe as quickly and expeditiously as possible. He didn’t feel safe there anymore, and so once granted the opportunity he took immediate advantage.

Buchenwald

Buchenwald

What was your father’s experience like in Buchenwald?

My father was taken to Buchenwald on the morning of November 10, 1938. The Germans said that men were being taken there for their own protection, as the general population was intent on fomenting a pogrom against the Jews. Although even at that point many people had died there, it wasn’t designated as a death camp; there were no gas chambers or crematoria. It was a very harsh internment camp. There were severe beatings and long hours of being exposed to the elements in late November and December while standing at attention on the camp’s parade ground. Sanitary facilities were non-existent. My father soon contracted dysentery and almost died; he lost 50 pounds in just five weeks. My grandfather was allowed to leave the camp after giving the Germans papers showing that he had served in the Prussian army for 5 years, even fighting with an artillery unit at the battle of Verdun. He had been cited for bravery and honorably discharged.

My father was released 2 weeks later. While he was in Buchenwald, his mother, my grandmother, Lina Weinberg a”h had been working feverishly to secure a student visa for my father from England. To everyone’s relief, she succeeded when invitations arrived from both the Yeshivos of Gateshead and Manchester. The Germans were more than happy to deport anyone who could demonstrate that they would be accepted and allowed to enter at port of destination. My father arrived back home, and in less than a week was on his way, carrying just his ticket, a few personal possessions and ten German marks (about two British pounds).

About the Author:


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 “The Ultimate Revenge: Erwin Weinberg Fights Back Against the Nazis”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
France Jew in a French synagogue talks about rising anti-Semitism.
Israel to Ease Absorption, Employment for Immigrants from France
Latest Indepth Stories
Jo-map

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

bulb

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

Medics evacuate the dead and injured after attack on Har Nof synagogue Tuesday morning.

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

More Articles from Ita Yankovich
Yankovitch-030714-Houston

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a chavrusa working with you, guiding and helping you in your work environment?

Yankovitch-071913-uniform

In a time when service to one’s community seems to be a forgotten ideal, it is our pleasure to continue sharing with you the stories of those men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

The Jewish Press recently sat down with Chaya Lipschutz, a Brooklyn woman who saved the life of a stranger.

In the past, people used to turn to coffee or orange juice to get through a midday slump, but today, many are turning to power and energy drinks for a quicker and longer-lasting jolt. The power drink industry is booming with projected sales of $9 billion and no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Every week nearly three million viewers tune into the Bravo cable channel to watch the hit reality franchise “The Real Housewives” – several shows that follow the lives of affluent housewives and professional women residing in several American metropolitan areas (“The Real Housewives of New York,” “The Real Housewives of Los Angeles,” of Miami, of Atlanta, etc.).

Not too many Jewish World War II survivors from Germany can say that they had the distinction of being both interned in a concentration camp and liberating the captives in that same camp. Erwin Weinberg did just that.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some times with Bernard (Bernie) Walz and get a glimpse of his war experiences.

As I approached the home of Irving and Miriam Borenstein in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, two things became clear: the pride they feel at being Jewish and their joy at living in America. On their front lawn are large American and Israeli flags with a plaque in front which reads:

Never forget the six million murdered in the Holocaust and the three thousand murdered on 9/11.

May G-d remember them for the good with the other righteous of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-ultimate-revenge-erwin-weinberg-fights-back-against-the-nazis/2013/04/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: