On Tuesday April 25, 2006, the 27th day of the hebrew month of Nisan, the Jewish people remember the 6 million Jews killed during World War II. This day is chosen because it commemorates the beginning of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and revolt. The day is called Holocaust Remembrance Day. It has been 60 years since the beginning of what the Nazis called "The final solution to the Jewish problem". Most of the Einhorn family were killed soon after the German invasion of Russia in June 22,1941. I want to memorialize the members of the Einhorn family who perished during the years 1941-1945.
Let's also learn about the survivors from our family - the majority living in Israel today. I will include pictures, stories, interviews and a few web sites dealing with where the Einhorn family came from - Lithuania - Vilna and Kovna. Click this line to see the links.
This is just the beginning of this sad project as more information will be forthcoming. My grandfather Sam Einhorn left behind one half-brother and three sisters in Lithuania. I will try to introduce you to each one and share with you their fate and the fate of their families. Let us begin with grandpa's half brother NATAN EINHORN.
Natan Einhorn had seven daughters and one son from his first wife Bella and one son from his second wife, Luba. His children were Leah (Mikovsky), Sarah (Platter), Chanah, Gital (Kalansky), Rivka (Bloch), Chaya Ester (Ament Bloch), Rachel (Scolnick) and Haim Ben-Zion. Natan had Yisrael from his second wife.
Natan Einhorn lived in the town of Nei-Vileika, northeast of Vilna with his family. Natan had cows, horses and three houses and fields. He was a fairly wealthy man. On the first or second day of Rosh Hashana 1941 all the Jews of the town were taken to an old prison called Viluchan. There they were shot by the Lithuanians as the Germans watched from the side. The rabbi begged the Lithuanians to let them pray before being killed. Among them praying was Natan Einhorn, a very religious man. They killed all the Jews. The story was told to the little boy in the picture, Hillel Ament, who as a boy of seventeen fled on foot eastward until reaching the Russian border. He survived the war and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1968.
Chaya Ester (Ament Bloch), her husband Tsvi Bloch, Leah (Mikovsky), her husband Yosef and two children Yacha and Berl, Chanah, Natan Einhorn, his wife Luba and son Yisrael were all killed in Nei Vileika. Rivka (Bloch) was killed in 1943. She was living with non-Jews taking care of children. The Germans found out she was living there, took her away and killed her. Rachel (Scolnick) was living in Rumania and perished during the war. Gital (Kalansky) was living in Kovno, survived the Kovno ghetto and Stuttof concentration camp and immigrated to Israel in 1959 with her daughter Miriam Goldberg. Gital's husband Haim passed away in 1953. Gital's son Shemuel immigrated to Israel in 1965.
Sarah (Platter) and Haim Ben-Zion went to the states and survived the war. Sarah (Platter) had three children, Eddie, Muriel and Abbie. Eddie's two children, William and Gerald, are living in the states with their families.
This is the picture of Natan Einhorn and part of his family. From left to right: Natan Einhorn, daughter Ester, daughter Rivka, son-in-law Yona, and wife Bela Einhorn. The child on the rocking horse is Hillel Ament.
Ester Einhorn Virshub lived in the small villiage by the name of Alita (Alytus), located south of Kovno halfway between Kovno and Grodno. Born in the Vilna region like many Jews she emigrated to Lithuanian between the two World Wars. There were a lot of trees with a river in Alita. The relatives from Kovno used to come down to Alita during the summer to visit the relatives in the counryside. (Just like we used to go down to the "beach" in New London). Ester Einhorn owned a bakery and made bagels.
Ester's husband David died and she was left with five children. Their names were Chanan, Henya, Sarah, Shlemka, and Birka-Dov. Henya settled in Palestine with her husband Meir and daughter Chaya (Almog) in 1935. The rest of the family remained and were killed in the war. These mobile killing units, Einsatzgruppen, massacred Jews of Alita in occupied Soviet territory. There is a mass murder site in Alita. The site today has multiple memorials, both Jewish and Lithuanian. There are about 10 large pyramids scattered in the woods and are probably located over the former killing pits. One of the signs there says in Lithuanian "Be still, for the ground you walk on is filled with blood".
This is a picture of the Ester Einhorn Virshub family taken in 1934. The postcard is shown with the Yiddish written on the back and reads "To Ida and Mendel Yudovich (Mexico) from cousins the Fonkatz's (Henya, Meir and Chaya (Almog). Standing in the back row left to right: Shlemka, Lova (Chanan's wife), Sarah (Shind), Meir Fonkatz. In front row: David Yehuda (son of Chanan and Lova), Breina (daughter of Chanan and Lova), Ester Einhorn Virshub, Chaya (Almog), Henya (Birka Dov not present in picture). Except for Henya, Meir and Chaya (Almog), all the men, women and children were killed.
A second daughter Drora (Ben-Ami)was born to Henya and Meir in Palestine.
Chaya Einhorn Virshub married Ephraim Virshub,and had five daughters: Zelda, Sarah-Henya, Ida, Asna, and Rivka. The picture below shows Chaya with three of her children. From left to right: Sarah-Henya, Ida and Zelda. Chaya Einhorn Virshub died before the war but the entire family of Zelda was killed as were four of Sarah-Henya's children. Ida went to Mexico and survived the war, married Mendel Yudovich and had two children Ephraim and Martin. Asna died in a fire accident while young. Rivka, the youngest, miraculously survived the Kovno Ghetto as a child, married Moshe Katavushnick and immigrated to Israel in 1966 with her daughter Chaya ( Kogen ). Rivka's son Ephraim, who survived the Kovno Ghetto as a child, immigrated to Israel in 1990. It is important to point out that two Einhorn sisters Ester and Chaya married two Virshub brothers.
Zelda Virshub Reshman is pictured below with her family. Husband, wife and five children were all killed by the German's. On the back of the picture written in Yiddish "From Reshman family to Yudovich family" (Zelda's sister Ida living in Mexico)
Sarah-Henya Virshub Zaretsky's Children - This is a picture of Sarah-Henya Virshuv Zaretsky's children, plus a cousin. The Zaretsky family lived in the suburb of Kovno called Slobodka latter made into the Kovno ghetto.
Standing left to right Mira, cousin Mina Shor, Ben-Zion Pearla and Fruma. Sitting are Efraim Yisrael and Haim Lieb. On the back written in Yiddish "From Zaretsky family to the Yudovich family" (To Ida living in Mexico). Sareh-Henya was killed in the selection process in the Kovno ghetto. Four of her children were killed in the ghetto. Pearla (Salman) and Ben-Zion Zaretsky were in summer camp in Russia when the war broke out and survived. Mina (Shor), taken away from her grandmother Batya in the ghetto also survived. Pearla (Salman), Ben-Zion Zaretsky and Mina (Shor) are all living in Israel.
Batya Einhorn Gordon was born in the Vilna area and moved into independent Lithuania after World War I. She settled in the village of Lazdei (Lazdijiai). Jews fled the Vilna area because of anti-Semitism and because the Jews were accused of being communists. She had three sons and a daughter, Chono, Ephraim, Abraham and Sorka. In 1929 when her son Abraham left for Palestine she went to Kovno to live with her son Chono. Batya was forced into the Kovna ghetto and during the first selection process she was yanked out of the grasp of her screaming granddaughter’s hand, and led to her death. Her granddaughter's name was Mina (Shor). Chono died in the Dachau concentration camp. Chono's youngest son, Zundell, was one of the famous 131 children of Kovno who were separated from their families and sent to Auschwitz where they were used as "human horses" hitched to wagons carrying items from place to place. The children formed a cohesive group and gave each other support. Zundell survived the war and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1969. His older sister Mina (Shor), who survived the Kovno Ghetto and Stutthof concentration camp, immigrated to Israel with her family in 1971. Chono's oldest son, Leib, survived Kovno ghetto, the Dachau concentration camp and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973.
Ephraim Gordon, from Vilna, was killed fighting for the Russian army.
His daughter Mera (Weber) immigrated to Melbourne, Australia.
Abraham Gordon married Yaffa and had two daughters Aliza (Talmor) and Nachama (Vinograd). Both are living in Israel.
A picture of Batya Einhorn Gordon follows.
Sorka Gordon, daughter of Batya Einhorn Virshub, lived in a town called Kozlova-Ruda (Kozlowa Ruda) located southwest of Kovno. She was married with two children. When the German's invaded Lithuania, the mobile killing units massacred the Jews of the town including Sorka and her family.
Below is a picture of Sorka Gordon with Yiddish writing on the back which says "to my cousin Virshub from your cousin Sorka Gordon".