Song details how a mother saved her daughter from nazis – washington times electricity storage costs

The piece is titled “ Edyka” (pronounced “Edgy-kuh”), the nickname of her grandmother, Edjya Katz. But it’s written in the voice of Black’s great-grandmother, Fanya Katz, who in August 1943 watched Nazis torture and murder her husband, a rabbi, in the Polish city of Bialystok.

Soon after, she and 17-year-old Edyka were jammed into a cattle car with hundreds of other Jews rumbling toward their deaths at the Treblinka extermination camp. Between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews were killed at Treblinka, more than at any other extermination camp besides Auschwitz.

In 2005, her son, Edwin Black, would retell some of Edyka’s story in an article for the Jewish Telegraph Agency announcing his mother’s death at age 79. A historian and author with numerous books about the Holocaust, Edwin Black worked for years to get his mother and father to tell him their survivors’ stories.

Rachel Black, however, said she has long reflected on the wrenching pain that her great-grandmother must have felt, as well as the courage, resolve and sacrifice it took to send her daughter out of a moving train alone, parting forever and never knowing what would become of her. Would she live or die? Would she suffer or go on to grow and marry and become a mother herself?

“There’s no time now. This train pushes on and on. It’s gonna take us away to our graves. It won’t be easy. It’s all so fast when your feet hit the ground. I’ll be gone, but forever in your memory. Run Edyka. Don’t look back. We’re counting on you, Edyka! Don’t look back.”

In a June 2005 issue of Moment magazine, Elizabeth Black recounts in “Great Love Stories From the Holocaust” how the bodies, including Edyka‘s, were piled and dumped uncovered in a snowy mass grave. Hearing of the massacre, a brigade of Jewish partisans sent a number of their resistance fighters to give the dead a proper burial.

In the mass grave, he saw a leg moving among the dead. He pulled the frightened Edyka from beneath the snow and bodies. Her leg, pierced by a bullet, was mangled and infected with gangrene. The teen carried the young girl to a farmhouse, where a Polish woman used a sharp knife to slice the infection from Edyka’s leg.

For nearly two years, the two survived together in the woods, inside caves, eating roots, berries and what food the boy was able to steal. When Russian soldiers liberated Poland, they emerged. They married. Following the war, the two immigrated to the United States, sailing into Boston Harbor, where Herschel Lipa saw a sign – an advertisement for Black & White Scotch whiskey.

Jean Zeldin, executive director of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Overland Park, has interviewed dozens of Holocaust survivors, many of whom went on to live happy and fruitful lives. She attended the Topeka event and heard Black’s song.

“My experience has been that they’re always living in the shadow of the Holocaust,” she said. “Most of them aren’t mired in it, but it is ever-present. Often, you hear that a day doesn’t go by when they’re not reminded of it. Most all of them have told me that even when it’s a happy time for them, it’s sad for them. There is a whole generation that is not there.”

Just as Warshawski’s story was captured on video by her granddaughter, movie producer Leah Warshawski, Black felt it was time for her, too, to step forward as “a third-generation survivor” to make sure the sacrifice of her grandmother and great-grandmother, as well as the stories of all those who perished in the Holocaust, is never forgotten.