how the Germans killed almost 3,000 Jews; by holding hands, and squeezing them.
On that day, twelve thousand Jews were murdered in the city cemetery by the order of the Gestapo. In the early morning, the Germans burst into the houses where Jewish families lived and kicked them out to the streets. As Robert’s mother remembered later: “thousands and thousands of people. Sick and young, the very old and babies…” Families with children were put on the trucks, others walked behind. Very soon people began to realize that the road they followed was the road to the cemetery. What were they thinking then? Who can tell now? The enormity of the genocide – mass murder of people just for the reason of their ethnicity – can not be comprehended by normal human beings. Most likely, till the very last moment those men, women, children – did not believe the reality of what was happening. Bertl Geminder remembered: “They took the people all day. The people in the front, who came last, were first to die. When it got dark….We heard that whoever is left can go home… All of a sudden we felt that we were squeezed together. The Germans were holding hands around us, what was left …about 3,000 people were left, and they were squeezing us until one fell on top of the other, like a pyramid. I saw both of the boys falling to the ground… but I could not move a finger out of my position. I was falling to the ground on a heap of people…”
Miraculously, the Geminder family survived that horror. The boys lost consciousness, and their mother could not find them under the bodies. She was forced away by her brother from that awful place and left, almost sure that her mother and two sons were dead. But her boys survived: Robert’s grandmother found them and brought them home and it was, truly, a miracle. The Jews, who lived through the massacre, were locked in the Stanislawow ghetto.
By Yevgeniya Sosnovskaya
Holocaust through the Eyes of a Child