Marking the New Year

From Our Collections

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashana in the Kovno Ghetto

Shmuel Daitch Ben Menachem was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1924, to a religious family. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the family was deported with the rest of the Jews of Kovno into the ghetto in the Slobodka neighborhood. In October 1941, Shmuel’s parents and older brother were murdered in the Ninth Fort in Kovno. Surviving the selection with his younger brother and sister, Shmuel joined the Zionist ABC Youth Movement in the ghetto, becoming a member of the underground. He eventually fled the ghetto and joined the Zionist partisans, living in the forest and helping Jews escape from the ghetto. Wounded during a Lithuanian ambush, Shmuel managed to escape and remained hidden in the forest until liberation by the Soviet army. Immigrating to Eretz Israel after the war, Shmuel participated in Israel’s War of Independence in the “Shimshon Foxes” battalion.

Excerpt from: "Ghetto Kovno - Religious Life in Slobodka"
Director: Itay Ken Tor
Producers: Noemi Schory, Liat Benhabib, Alona Schory
Production company: Belfilms Ltd.