Torah scroll in memory of the million and a half children killed in the Holocaust

Published date03 October 2022
Publication titleIsrael National News (Israel)
Partake in the writing of the Torah scroll in their memories

Esther Orenbach's three siblings were killed during the Lodz Ghetto children's transport in 1942, seven years before she was born. When she was 10, one of Esther's friends told her that she was adopted, which caused her to confront her father, who in turn was obliged to open the family's Pandora's Box.

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One evening in 1959, Esther's father told her of the horrors of the war, about his wife who was murdered, that his three sons were taken from him in the Lodz Ghetto in 1942, and that since then he has no idea what came of them. 10-year-old Esther hears everything that her father manages to tell and absorbs it. She discovers her siblings whom she never had the chance to meet, she discovers the atrocities that her parents experienced, that they chose life and that her mother's family was also wiped out. She only heard the story once; her father told her all he could that night. And that's it. From then on and until he died, the topic never arose again. She didn't ask questions, she didn't ask to clarify more details, and she didn't try to help her father find details about the siblings whom she never met or what became of them. Esther grew up as an only child who only dreamt of the siblings that could have filled the house, the siblings who were taken by the war. She only had one picture of her brother, she kept it with her for all these years, hoping that one day she'll discover what became of them.

Esther Orenbach Baruch Greenberg

After the passing of her father, Esther begins her mission to find out what became of her siblings. After inspecting archives, crosschecking names, dates, and partial information that her father told her, she finds that her father and his first wife, together with their three children, are listed in the Ghetto Lodz list, during the year which the horrific transport of children to the Chelmno extermination camp began. During the transport, 20,000 children under the age of 10 were ripped out of their parent's arms and were sent for mass extermination in Chelmno. Esther's...

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