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Yad Vashem Gathering the Fragments - A National Campaign to Rescue Personal Items from the Holocaust Period

Gathering the Fragments

A National Campaign to Rescue Personal Items from the Holocaust Period

An Original Ketubah Written from Memory in Bergen-Belsen

Miryam Elizabeth Herbst and Moshe Ladislav Sarvasi's KetubaMiryam Elizabeth Herbst and Moshe Ladislav Sarvasi's Ketubah

Miryam Elizabeth Herbst and Moshe Ladislav Sarvasi met in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp about two months after they were liberated. She, a young Slovakian who had survived three years in Auschwitz, had parted that same day from her sister who had married and left the camp. He, a young Yugoslavian officer who had been a prisoner-of-war for four years in Germany, had come to the liberated camp in the hope of finding relatives.

On the 3rd of August 1945, about a month after they had met, Moshe and Miryam married. The wedding ceremony was conducted by the groom's friend from the PoW camp, Rabbi Dr. Hermann Helfgott. The Rabbi wrote the text of the Ketubah (marriage certificate) by hand and from memory.

In time Rabbi Dr. Helfgott came to Israel and visited the Sarvasi couple in their home in Kiryat Shemona. He requested to check that he had correctly remembered the text of the Ketubah and found that indeed he had.

Miryam gave the Ketubah to Yad Vashem on the occasion of the exhibition "To Witness and Proclaim" dedicated to the story of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Assaria Hermann Helfgott z"l and based upon his personal archive of certificates, personal documents, his diary, correspondence, speeches and sermons, portraits and photographs that documented his path through life.