Their Legacies Remain…
"The people are no more – but their legacies remain…" Ida Fink, “Ikvot,” Kol Hasiporim (All the Stories)
"Elul 1945. Silence in the town. No recollection of the Jewish life that once was. The precious voices that once lived here echo in my memories, those that once lived normal lives in this place. Those that rose early in the morning and ran to synagogue to say slichot [prayers of forgiveness] during the High Holydays, those that walked to the cemetery and prostrated themselves upon their fathers' graves, pouring out their worries and woes, the women that raised their voices in prayer and supplication… all that is left are four mass graves" Devorah Rakowicz-Ressell, "We Bid Farewell to the Graves", Mir, p.649
The vast majority of the Jews of Mir were murdered. What remains are only documents, testimonies, Pages of Testimony and photographs that tell their stories – proof of the persecution of an entire Jewish community. Rabbis, yeshivot, teachers and students, traders and slave laborers, men, women and children.
Every family and name represents an entire world, with its individual history and memories. Below is the story of one Jewish family from Mir, and one extraordinary man – Oswald Rufeisen, whose actions resulted in the rescue of more than 200 Jews from the Mir ghetto.
We see their faces, acquaint ourselves with their names, and reveal their stories – and, thus, we remember.