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Rabbi Leib Weiss from Tacovo


For a period of time, Jews in Hungary were better off than in some countries, but German high leadership invaded Hungary on March 19, 1944 and the annihilation of Hungarian Jewry came about almost immediately. Hitler’s own words were that “the Jewish parasites should be treated like harmful bacteria and annihilated.” Jews were ordered to wear a yellow star. Later personal property was confiscated, but they were promised anti-Jewish directives would be in effect as long as the war lasted and Hungarian Jews evidently believed they would be spared the fate of neighboring countries. It was not to be so. Isolation into ghettos was started and then finally transports from Hungary to Auschwitz began in May of 1944. Rabbis, like Rabbi Leib Weiss from Tacovo, Hungary, were humiliated by cutting their beards and payot (side locks). Here Rabbi Weiss has withstood the long, suffocating ride on cattle trains and was immediately chosen for the line headed for the gas chamber. The star on his jacket spoke to me of an angel accompanying him, pointing the way forward.

Sarah, What is all that smoke?


Jews were pushed and shoved from the ghetto to boarding/disembarking the trains, then through selection by gender, age and health. These two gentle, delicate ladies with fur coats and salon hair styles appear to be city women from a high station in life, unaccustomed to roughness. They stood in a field of average folks, children, old people, cast offs and all the “unfit.” Some of the women might have been their maids. All of them would have been crammed into the gas chamber. I wondered what the difference was when they went into the gas chambers to die. I think in the end, they would have clung together as Jewish sisters.

Sitting Shiva


Sitting Shiva refers to seven days (shavua) of mourning after a close relative passes. It is a time to honor the dead and help a person deal with their loss. During that 7 day period no work is done nor does the mourner leave the house, but friends visit and sit with the mourner After the week, the mourner may shower, change clothes and start a return to normal life. When I saw these precious elderly folks sitting by the cattle train, it cried out to me, “Sitting Shiva.” Many loved ones died in route. Most of the rest would soon be dead. The look on their faces is full of “knowing.” They aren’t even strong enough to get in line – they will be killed and they already know it.

Slaughter of the innocents


A young mother, frightfully looking to her right side, sits with her precious baby girl in her lap. Innocently, her little boy, sits by her side. They have already been ‘selected’ by the Nazi SS for the ‘not fit for work’ line; thus, they are headed straight for death. They will be shot or gassed, then burned in either the ovens or the mass burial fire pits.

Because of the insane time in which we live, when people actually have the gall to deny the horrors of the Holocaust, the artist feels absolutely compelled to present evidence to the contrary. These innocents sitting among the crowds of the Nazi-condemned, these real life women and children stir our hearts and conscience.

Son of Aaron


This young boy, quietly standing alone holding onto his mother’s coattail and almost hidden among several well dressed women, is no ordinary child. Impeccably dressed in what looks like a tailor-made coat, he has a clean shaven haircut and sidelocks (payot). As soon as I saw him, I felt sure this child was either a gaon (genius), a child prodigy, or born in the Aaronic line of the Priesthood. I chose the latter and named him Ben-Aharon (Son of Aaron). He will be among the first to be gassed and burned.

Sophie’s Choice


A mother stands in the “not fit for work” line with her little girl and young boy. The pale, frightened girl munches on a piece of bread. The young bow cowers and looks down. If someone, even a child, looked in the eyes of a Nazi or asked him a question, he was often shot. This boy appears to already know to look down and be careful not to draw attention. Of course, both children will be among the first to be killed, but Mom does not know that yet. On the spur of the moment, some evil guard may approach and pretend to give her a choice between the children – first of all for sport, but secondly, in order to draw her into his evil. As in the movie, Sophie’s Choice, there was no way out.

Stay Close to your Elder Brother


These children are in a long line of special needs children. They did not realize they were being sent immediately from the train to the gas chambers. The small boys on the left and right are lead along by the older brother. Small children are not easily herded alone, so Nazi guards selected older, even healthy ones, to go with them.  As she had no doubt done many times before, I am sure their mother counted on her big, strong, healthy son. After all, he was their Elder Brother. He could take care of them. She had no idea at that time that all three of them would walk straight into the gas chamber and die together. (Click here to view original photo)

The Fire Pits of ‘44


The numbers of Jews brought from Hungary to Auschwitz in 1944 were larger than usual. Adolf Eichmann, born into a middle class Lutheran family, had already investigated in 1935 the possibility of a “solution to the Jewish question.” Mastermind organizer of the Holocaust, he was given the task due to “reliability” (believe in & stick to the task) and organizational talents. He visited Auschwitz often, checking on “success” of the plan to deal with the “destructive intentions of the Jews.” When ovens were not sufficient to burn gassed prisoners, enormous pits were dug (by the “selected” to work), Jews were marched to the pits, undressed, shot (they fell into the pits), and then set on fire.

The Sign


“All you ever need to know about the end times” by Robert Van Kampen

Waiting for Zyklon B


Jews selected as “fit to work” were taken from families, given meager-bread rations and weak soup, then forced into back breaking work until they died. They sorted clothes and belongings of family and friends hauled from Hungary. One evil aspect of Auschwitz – Jews had to put their own people into crematoria, collect them, haul them to ovens, or watch while soldiers shot naked women and children, pushed them into the pits and set them on fire. This beautiful little orthodox Jewish boy was one of those gassed by Zyklon B – the crematoria is behind him. Out of 8,000 Nazi SS members who served at Auschwitz, only 800 went on trial – 90% were never held accountable.