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The Anguish of Liberation and the Return to Life

“We, the last vestiges of European Jewry emerged from the camps, the forests, and the death marches. We were ragged, bitter and orphaned, without friend or relative, without a home. We were secretly wondering in our hearts if after the ghettos, transports, and Auschwitz would we still be capable of rekindling a spark of life within us? Could we ever work again? Love again? Would we dare begin a family again?
No, we didn’t turn into wild animals, hungering only for vengeance. This is a testament to the principles we possess as a people imbued of enduring faith in both man and Providence. We chose life. We chose to rebuild our lives, to fight for the establishment of the State of Israel, and we chose to contribute to society in Israel and in a host of other countries.”
Taken from “Our Living Legacy

The Anguish of Liberation

Children in the Lambach camp after its liberation – Austria, 1945 Children in the Lambach camp after its liberation – Austria, 1945

Two survivors, after the liberation – Bergen Belsen, Germany, April 1945 Two survivors, after the liberation – Bergen Belsen, Germany, April 1945

Survivors of the Kielce pogrom await their transfer out of Poland – Kielce, Poland, summer of 1946 Survivors of the Kielce pogrom await their transfer out of Poland – Kielce, Poland, summer of 1946

Camp inmates after the liberation – Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, 1945 Camp inmates after the liberation – Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, 1945

Jewish female survivors from Budapest – Fenig, Germany, April 1945 Jewish female survivors from Budapest – Fenig, Germany, April 1945

Moishele Kapanski crawling out of a hole in the wall after the liberation – Vilna, Poland, 1944 Moishele Kapanski crawling out of a hole in the wall after the liberation – Vilna, Poland, 1944

Jewish prisoners posing for a photograph after the liberation – Dachau, Germany, 1945 Jewish prisoners posing for a photograph after the liberation – Dachau, Germany, 1945

Survivors returning home – Budapest, Hungary Survivors returning home – Budapest, Hungary

Three Polish Jews liberated by the Red Army – Auschwitz, Poland, 1945 Three Polish Jews liberated by the Red Army – Auschwitz, Poland, 1945

Camp prisoners after the liberation – Buchenwald, Germany, 12.4.45 Camp prisoners after the liberation – Buchenwald, Germany, 12.4.45

Baruch, a boy who was hidden by Christians, and returned to Jews after the war by the “Co-Ordinazia” organization – Lodz, Poland, Postwar Baruch, a boy who was hidden by Christians, and returned to Jews after the war by the “Co-Ordinazia” organization – Lodz, Poland, Postwar

Return to Life

A demonstration by the Betar movement, calling for unrestricted immigration to Eretz Israel – Leipheim, Germany, Postwar A demonstration by the Betar movement, calling for unrestricted immigration to Eretz Israel – Leipheim, Germany, Postwar

Survivors at the DP camp on their way to Israel – Bergen Belsen, Germany Survivors at the DP camp on their way to Israel – Bergen Belsen, Germany

A DP camp resident working in carpentry – Stettin, Germany A DP camp resident working in carpentry – Stettin, Germany

Czechoslovakian Jews leaving for illegal immigration to Palestine – Prague, Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakian Jews leaving for illegal immigration to Palestine – Prague, Czechoslovakia

Hanukkah in the DP camp – Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany, 1945 Hanukkah in the DP camp – Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany, 1945

Babies brought to a Zionist demonstration in the DP camp – Landsberg, Germany, May 1948 Babies brought to a Zionist demonstration in the DP camp – Landsberg, Germany, May 1948

Young adults in a temporary camp, awaiting immigration to Eretz Israel – Sunium, Greece, 1945 Young adults in a temporary camp, awaiting immigration to Eretz Israel – Sunium, Greece, 1945

Hairdressing school in the DP camp – Feldafing, Germany, Postwar Hairdressing school in the DP camp – Feldafing, Germany, Postwar

The kindergarten children in the DP camp, celebrating Hanukkah – Deggendorf, Niederbayern, Germany The kindergarten children in the DP camp, celebrating Hanukkah – Deggendorf, Niederbayern, Germany

Wedding of nine couples who survived the Holocaust –Salonika, Greece, Postwar Wedding of nine couples who survived the Holocaust –Salonika, Greece, Postwar

Jews who were classified as “not fit for work” waiting in a grove outside Crematoria IV Circumcision ceremony of Josef Lichtensztein, the first baby born in the DP camp, 1946 – Heidenheim, Germany