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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION

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OUT FROM THE GRAVE

by Alexander Kimel

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On March 20, 1942 the Einsatzgroupen killed 3400 Jews. After the action, when I was looking for my sister, I saw a shadow of a girl moving slowly through the streets. She was all soaked and stained with blood. When she came closer I recognized her. It was Cyla, the sister of my school friend Arnold.

When she came closer to me, she recognized me. She approached me and said: "Josh can you help me to get home?. I am all shaken. I just came out from the grave."

Without asking her any question I took her under the arm and walked her home. When we walked into the room she collapsed on the bed. I took a wet towel and started to wipe the blood off her face. I wanted to see if se is still bleeding?

When under the influence of the cold water she slowly came to her senses and opened her eyes. She recognized me.

"What happened to you? You are covered with blood."

"I was shot and came out of the mass grave." She answered.

"I can't believe it. How did it happen?"

She told a blood stirring story. "I was standing in line to be shot. I was the last of my family. My father, mother and my brother were already shot. The SS man was sitting at the edge of the pit and shooting nonchalantly people. I felt like being suspended in a world of non-believe, watching a horror movie. The carnage was unbelievable."

"I was very calm. When my turn came, the Murderer looked me straight in the eyes and nonchalantly lifted the weapon. I heard an explosion and I fell into the pit. Thank God it is over for me, I said to myself. It was so fast, without pain. Now I will be going to Heaven. The worst is over."

"After a while I started to choke. The weight of the bodies falling on my dragged me down. My ordeal is not over. I am alive. I started to move my hands, my head. I was alive, indeed. With all my strength I pushed upward to get some air. I whole day I struggled to keep breathing."

"After a while the shooting stopped, and soon I heard the Prayer for the Dead- Kaddish said. It meant that some Jews are still alive. I laid quietly, afraid to be shot. When the darkness fell I crawled out of the pit and came back. Joel, what is going to happen to us?, I am scared of living and afraid of dying."

Before I could answer the question, the door opened and an elderly neighbor walked into the room. Seeing the girl she started to cry softly.


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