A typically icy cold Jerusalem night draws a crowd to hear a fascinating family story that took place during the years of the Shoah and those preceding it. The Nazis began their awful mission by destroying all Jewish religious literature, so the location for the event was most suited – Pomerantz Jewish Book Shop with it’s friendly warm atmosphere.
Dr. Les Glasssman, Wits Israel Alumni, welcomed the crowd and introduced the guest of honour. Les, who is well read on the Shoah, strongly recommended reading “The Unfinished Diary”.
Feivel Wolgelernter spoke with great humility (and with his European-accented English) when sharing the details of “The Unfinished Diary” of his late father, Chaim Yitzchok, who was murdered by the Nazis. Feivel was only 2 years old when he was separated from his father, too young to remember him. His mother, a wise woman with a strong character, looked after him during the war years.
He went into detail about the belief system of Nazism, showing a clear understanding of how the final solution came about. Feivel described how his father prepared for what was coming – organising money, legal documents of citizenship, gold, silver, and even poison and razor blades, if needed as a last resort.
Feivel spoke in detail about growing up, with his mother, in a Polish house. The Polish woman they stayed with in hiding was an anti-Semite. He shared the painful stories of how many members of the family were murdered.
The diary is the work of his late father, Chaim Yitzchok, who Feivel got to learn about by meeting people who had the privilege of knowing him. They described him as a Talmud Chacham, who lived with humility, and many sought his advice. The family story teaches lessons of deep faith, despite the tragedies of the Shoah.
“The Unfinished Diary” was published after decades of hard work, research, translations, and interviews. Feivel shared how the family discovered the grave of his father and other members of the family, subsequently bringing them to Jerusalem for reburial.
Rabbi Wolgelernter, the Rabbi of an Orthodox community in San Diego, spoke about a visit Poland where he was taken to see the very farm where the family was kept in hiding. While there, he discovered the area where some family members had been murdered.
Roy Scher, Telfed’s Jerusalem Regional Chairman thanked Feivel and presented him with a token gift of appreciation. Roy also mentioned that Rabbi Wolgelernter is the Rav of his brother’s community in San Diego.
Link to event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ojlPhbLB9g&feature=youtu.be