Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mr. Ausch.

While Ben was resting, Jared went to the shul service, and the congregation was made up largely of Holocaust survivors, it is very sad to be surrounded by people who have experienced such pain.  After resting at the hotel, Ben joined Jared at the Kiddush (snacks after shul service) to meet the community, we met Mrs. Diamantstein's son, a professor of history and geography who was very nice. Susie then introduced us to the esteemed Mr. Ausch. 

Us with Susie Woosie

Mr. Ausch is a machor (big-dog in Yiddish) in the community here, working for twenty seven years and overseeing the renovation of the synagogue and the building of the first Holocaust memorial in Romania. Mr Ausch was taken prisoner by the Nazis in 1943 and was sent to a forced labour camp. He endured life in forced labour camps until the Russians came, but instead of being liberated he was sent to more forced labour camps in the Soviet Union before being released in 1948. In 1944 Mr. Ausch's family were sent to Auschwitz, were they were murdered. He did not find this out until his return to Targu Mures in 1948.

Mr. Ausch remembers the awful feeling he had when the anti-Jewish laws were passed in 1940, and how sad it made him to feel like a second class citizen. Most of us can't imagine what it feels like to be a second class citizen, and although things are very different we should remember that not everyone in the UK and around the world is afforded the same rights today. He also spoke of his disbelief when finding out that people were gassed at Auschwitz and the devastation he experienced when realising that fate befell his own parents. It was so difficult hearing Mr. Ausch describing, with great emotion, how hard he found it to readjust back to normal life. It really is a wonder that people could adjust at all.

He also mentioned how important he feels that Holocaust eduction is. Mr. Ausch said to us that it is an excellent and noble task, to record the testimonies of survivors so that future generations could hear the horrors that happened to real people, from their own mouths. He stated quite categorically that there is no guarantee that we can stop prejudice, but we all agreed that we at least had to try.

1 comment:

  1. Great that you've visited Targu Mures and the small community adopted by the Trust in Glasgow.