November 22, 2007
These are the faces of the fighters, the survivors
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Chaim K.
Chaim K., age 91 and a decorated war veteran, is almost totally blind but still regularly leads prayer services at the synagogue in Pinsk, Belarus. His wife, also a decorated veteran, wrote, "He knows the prayers well, like a rabbi."
Chaim's entire family perished in 1942. Fifteen years ago he filled out papers to receive reparations from the German government. He is still awaiting a reply.
Professor Meir Shub
Born in 1924, Meir Shub studied at the Yiddish-speaking Shalom Aleichem school in Kovna, Lithuania, graduating just two days before the start of the war. He managed to flee to Russia ahead of the advancing German Army. After the war, Shub earned a doctorate and taught philosophy. In the 1980s, he wrote to people in the West requesting Jewish history books, devouring works by Dubnow, Graetz, Zinberg and others. Then, in 1991, with Soviet tanks ensconced in Vilnius, he bravely began building the Jewish Studies Department at Vilnius University. Later he became a founding faculty member of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.
Now, retired, very ill and almost totally deaf, Shub, 83, needs medications that cost many times what he receives as a pension. His wife, Katya, is also sick.
During World War II, Shub fought in the Russian Army's 16th Lithuanian Division, also called the "Jewish Division." He was severely wounded, but he managed to reach Berlin, where he carved on the Reichstag wall, "And here in Berlin am I Meir Shub the Jew from Lithuania."
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