And today in Holocaust history

Sixty years ago today, five Jews were executed in the town of Sokal, Poland. (Now part of Ukraine.)

An aside: as I noted in the Executed Today entry, the diarist Moshe Maltz who was my source for the entry had his baby daughter killed by Nazis. The story of the baby’s death is worth telling as well: His wife and the baby were hiding in an attic during an Aktion while Nazis and Jewish policemen searched for hidden Jews. A Nazi sent a Jewish policeman up to the attic, who found them, but he came back down and lied and said there was no one there. At this point the baby cried out and the Nazi heard it and sent the Jewish policeman back up to get it. He told Moshe’s wife, “Look, I feel sorry for you, and I’ll let you go, but I’ve got to take that baby, he’s heard it already. You can go with it, or stay. I can say I found the baby abandoned up here.” And Moshe’s wife gave him the baby, and stayed, and lived. Moshe wrote that she had initially wanted to go with the baby, but decided to remain because she had another child to think about.

I wonder how many mothers would have had the courage — or was it cowardice — to remain in the attic. I wonder what decision I would have made, if I had been in her place. I wonder what Moshe thought of it all. He didn’t say.

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