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Hi. I spent almost a year on Matzuva as an ulpanist and volunteer and became aware that many of the founders were Hungarian orphans or German refugees who arrived in Aliyah Bet.
I have a hunch that this is just scratching the surface, and I would really like to learn more details about these people's stories.
Are there any sort of on-line resources (or even books) where I could find more information?
Thanks for your interest. Everyone of our founder member generation have harrowing stories to tell. Many have given evidence and have related their stories of suffering and some of these have been taped and are stored in the Matzuva archives. Many of them have passed away and the number of our survivors has now dwindled to 37. Naturally, most of this important material is in Hebrew and as one of the staff in the archives our present task is to transfer it over on to more up to date media.
What I also try and do where possible is to translate interviews conducted or obituaries posted by the editor of the Matzuva Newsletter into English in my monthly updates.
Today, is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel and members will be gathering for this occasion this evening in the dining room complex.
Your mail is very timely and appropriate and we will try to post the stories of the survivors of the concentration camps, forced labour, the partisans and those hidden during the war by righteous gentiles wherever possible.
We must never forget the suffering of the survivors and their contribution to the founding of the State of Israel
Figures published today in Israel show that another 13,000 survivors passed away in Israel during the last year.
Once again Dave, thanks for your input.
Thanks for the reply, Baruch. When you say "every one" of the founding members has a harrowing story, I believe it, which is humbling considering all the founding members I remember from my time there.
It's good to know that you have an archive of these stories and are working to make it available digitally and in English.
Thanks also for the tip about your monthly newsletters. I've started reading the obituaries and will continue. I just finished reading one of Raul Hilberg's compendiums of the Holocaust, and to see how the Matzuva founders' first person narratives match up with Hilberg's overview is sobering. Indeed, to have survived at all required an extraordinary amount of luck, fortitude, or both, as some of the survivor stories in the newsletters indicate.
I can only imagine what it was like to live through something like that, particularly when everyone around you didn't survive. As a visitor to Matzuva, it was nice to see the continuity between the survivor generation and their children and grandchildren growing up Israeli in the idyllic environment of the kibbutz.
It is so important to record every single survivor story while still possible. The chronicling of the Holocaust does not end when the last survivor passes, the research is only beginning. As a field of study it grows with each passing year, and it will be studied by historians in perpetuity.
Thanks again, Baruch. It's good to know people on Matzuva are ensuring these stories are not forgotten!
Hi Dave ,
It is heartwarming to read your messages.
The holocaust survivors here live through their traumas nearly every day.
They are aware of the importance of recording their ordeals and most of our members have done so even though this was very painful for them and opened up old wounds.
The problem is not the material, believe me there is lots in the world, but education.The holocaust should be kept as a subject in schools, and if some countries want to change this, we need many "Daves" to start shouting at their governments.
Dave ,thank you again.
Ps, I am a survivor myself and was hidden at a farm in Holland.