Image: This photo is from my hometown, Tarnów, during the second deportation.
“Always follow your logic,” was Salomon’s proud “leitmotiv.” Going against logic showed weakness, made no sense. Logic dictated his personal and business life.
To this day, quips such as: “Always follow your logic,” “Don’t follow others,” “Follow your own reasoning, your own brain” are passed on to his children and grandchildren. At one point, however his feelings overcame logic.
September 11, 1942, a roundup of Jews in the Ghetto took place. Those without proper documents had been taken away, yet no one was released. Hours went by. Tired, hungry and cold, he stood all day with his wife and two-year-old daughter, among others.
Suddenly, in the evening—a commotion. An announcement was made—
“All children are to be relocated to another camp. ALL children are to be handed to the guards now.”
“Schnell, schnell, quick, quick” another voice barked.
There was no doubt in Salomon’s mind what this “other camp” meant—Belzec.
What to do? Do you save yourself and your wife hoping to rebuild a new family after the war? Salomon’s first instinct: “Follow your logic. Surrender the child. Save yourself and your wife. Better give the butchers one victim instead of three.” Then, maybe, just maybe, the children will be better cared for, better fed? There was not much time to decide.
Salomon placed his daughter on the truck and dragged his wife away. The little girl was petrified. She started screaming for her parents. Hearing her cry, Salomon’s logic failed him. He turned around and jumped on the truck followed by his wife.
“Get your paws off my child!” he yelled at the guard.
“If that is what you want, be my guest,” was the German’s response.
Later that evening, someone intervened on his behalf with the Ghetto commander. So, the next morning, he, together with his wife and daughter were released from the transport destined to Auschwitz or Belzec.
I, his daughter, owe my life to the fact that my father did not always follow his beloved logic.
P.S. I do not remember this incident but heard my father retell it. For years, however, I had sudden bouts of fears at dusk until I was able to connect sunsets with that childhood experience.
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