During the Holocaust, the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Jews, often not just ending their lives but erasing any memory of them.
Many victims left behind no possessions – i.e., no trace of their existence for future generations. It is thus always an emotional moment for me when I find a book whose owner was a Holocaust victim as it may serve as the only tangible memory of the deceased’s existence.
One such book I recently acquired is a 19th-century edition of Ginat Veradim with a beautiful lengthy dedication to R. Shlomo David Frankel upon his wedding in 1928. R. Frankel’s father – R. Meshulam Feish Frankel – was a rav and dayan in Debrecen, Hungary. R. Shlomo David married Miriam Blum, the daughter of R. Ben Zion Blum, author of Shivat Zion, and a granddaughter of R. Amram Blum, author of Shu”t Bet Shearim.
R. Shlomo David Frankel assisted his father-in-law in the rabbinate until the war years, during which he was taken to a slave camp and suffered terribly. His health deteriorated rapidly, and by the time the camp was liberated by the Russians, he was critically ill and passed away shortly thereafter.
The inscription in the book is from a Yisrael Eisenberg upon the occasion of R. Shlomo David Frankel’s wedding. Following lavish praises of the chatan, an acrostic poem featuring his full name appears, with blessings and good wishes for the newlyweds.
Although R. Shlomo David Frankel died at the age of 42, his daughter survived and married R. Menashe Klein, the Ungvarer Rav and author of numerous sefarim including Shu”t Mishneh Halachot.