Bearing Witness: Stories Behind the Artifacts in the Yad Vashem Museum Collection

“Tehillim” (Psalms) Belonging to Tzvi Ginzburg who Joined Anders’ Army

A book of Psalms that Tzvi Ginzburg received as a soldier in Anders’ ArmyA book of Psalms that Tzvi Ginzburg received as a soldier in Anders’ Army   More photos

Tzvi Ginzburg (Tzvi Ben Yehuda) was born in Lodz, Poland in 1911. At the beginning of the war Tzvi was mobilized and stationed in Lithuania. When the forces fell into disarray, he remained in Lithuania where he met Rivka, a young woman from a local Jewish family, and the two married. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union and occupied Lithuania in the summer of 1941, Tzvi and Rivka fled into Soviet territory.

In 1942, when Tzvi heard that Polish forces were being formed under General Anders, he was able to enlist thanks to his former credentials in the Polish army. Rivka presented herself as a Polish woman and was allowed to follow the army to Tehran with the civilians who accompanied the army – among them the elderly, women and children. From there she joined the “Tehran Children” group as a counselor and made her way with them to Eretz Israel. 

Meanwhile, Tzvi went from Tehran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon with Ander’s Army. When the soldiers got leave in 1943 in Beirut, a group of Jewish soldiers,Tzvi among them, took the opportunity to come to Eretz Israel. Wishing to stay in Eretz Israel with Rivka, Tzvi changed his name to Ben Yehuda in order to evade arrest as a deserter.

Tzvi received the Tehillim while he served under General Anders. On the inside cover there is a dedication: “In memory of ‘By the rivers of Babylon’, Abraham Isaac Bromberg, Rabbi of the Polish forces”.

Tzvi’s mother, Roza Ginzburg, was murdered in the Lodz ghetto.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Gift of Leah Ben Yehudah, Givat Eyla, Israel