Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Second Dohinov Shechita and an amazing coincidence

Zelig Dimmishtein has Yaartzeit again tonight.  The 12th, 13th, and 14th of Iyar in 1942 was the second of the three shechitas, massacres, that lead to the destruction of the Jewish town of Dolhinov

But tonight an amazing thing happened.  Another member of my shul called me up earlier this afternoon and asked if he could meet with me for a few minutes before mincha. 

When I arrived at shul we went into my office.  He had recently moved and he and today he and his wife were going through some old boxes.  His wife found an old postcard with some Hebrew writing on the back.  He asked, "where did this come from?"  She remembered that in 1983 when he was on business in Turkey she went shopping in downtown Omaha.  She was browsing through a second hand store and saw a post card with Hebrew letters.  The postcard was written in yiddish which she did not understand, but she purchased it anyway so she could show it to her husband when he returned.  She put it away 29 years ago and forgot about it until today.

Here is a picture of what he showed me:.

The postcard is actually a picture taken in 1948 at the 6th yaartzeit of the second shechita, this very day 64 years ago!  The writing on the back was written by Zelig's father who also survived the war.  He wrote about the shechita, the dates, and the importance of always remembering the Yaartzeit. 

It so happens that there are a number of websites dedicated to the Dolhinov massacre (here and here).  And this very picture was posted by another survivor.  It is clear that the posted one is a different copy.

What are the chances of this showing up today?  I did not get a chance to show the picture to Zelig this evening.  He will be back tomorrow morning and I have to think tonight how to present this to him. 

When ever he talks about his family or the shechita he gets completely choked up and can barely talk.  He is almost 90 years old and although he is, even at his age, the toughest and strongest person I have ever known I don't know how I should show him this post card. 

May the memory of all those who perished in the shechita remain a blessing, and may they always be remembered, with all of those who were lost in the Shoah.