Forest as Sairior Teen-Ager's Survival From Nazi Brutality
ing them over to the brutes who
invaded Polish and Ukrainian
"The Forest My Friend" is told
in the first person by the young
girl who struggled to survive. It
was a constant chase and she kept
She was near death when one
man resorted to arson in a building
adjoining the jail, thus' enabling
Another Valuable Work from Jewish Publication Society
13-year-old Donia to escape and
again to seek refuge in the forest.
Then came the Russians who
burial ground in Philadelphia in liberated the area, enabling Donia
In its program of providing his-
1738, and in 1793 the daughter went to get to Czernowitz in Romania,
tories of Jewish communities in this posite picture delineating the salmon, Irish beef, rose blankets,
Baltimore to Philadelphia to and from there to find haven in
country, the Jewish Publication So- growth of a Wholesome commun-
and cloth umbrellas and sundry secure a plot for herself and her Israel with the Youth Aliya.
ciety of America has just added ity.
An elderly widow, Olena, her-
husband in that cemetery. Yet both
other articles' .. .
another valuable work — the his-
There were periods of dissension
near starvation, sheltered
"Lievy came to Baltimore from
tory of Baltimore Jewry from 1773 and there were conflicts, but in
Donia through the years, guiding
buried in Baltimore in a non-Jew-
the main there was a development
her to safety whenever she could,
leading businessman, in 1768. In ish cemetery.
Written by a distinguished schol- that denoted interests in Jewish life his former domicile he was one of
risking her life. Olena was near
ar and historian, Dr. Isaac M. Fein, that have extended through the a small but distinguished group of quite clear that at the time of the
starvation herself, but she prac-
Baltimore Hebrew College profes- decades: the dedication of a major merchants who signed the Nonim- Revolution the number of Jews in
tically dedicated herself to the
sor emeritus of history, the new Jewish community to the needs of portation Agreement against the Maryland as a whole, as well as
Jewish girl's needs. A great love
volume appears under the title
developed between them, with
British. He mingled with the social in Baltimore, its largest city, was
"The Making of an American Jew- and to the causes that link Balti- leaders, and Robert Morris, the pathetically small. Even so, it did
loyalties matching mother and
ish Community." It is apparent that more Jewry with world Jewry.
daughter. Another Christian
"financier of the Revolution" and have its `Haym Salomon,' who in
Prof. Fein, whose skill as a re-
woman who helped Donia was
There was, for instance, the a signer of the Declaration of In- fact was connected to that remark-
searcher in Jewish history quali- interest of that community in dependence, was his close friend.
Parashka. It's regrettable that
able Philadelphia patriot's family
fies him highly for this task, will the historic Mortara Case in
nothing is known about either of
by marriage. When General Laf-
provide American Jewry with a which a Jewish child was forcibly
ayette visited the city of Baltimore
followup history of the Jews of taken from its parents by his disrupted even after Levy moved
Indeed, it was the forest that
his community since 1920. This be-
Christian nurse and was bap- that Philadelphia might be aban- army's needs, the merchants of the saved them, but the woods were
comes a 'Vital necessity because of tized. Baltimore Jews registered
filled with danger, there was little
Baltimore's significant role in their protests. Rabbi David Ein- doned by the Revolutionary forces, - city subscribed for a loan. At the food, the snow in winter added to
head of that list, with the largest
many creative Jewish efforts in the horn and Benjamin Szold were
the victims' miseries.
cember 13, 1776) to Morris inviting contribution, appeared the name
past half century.
Donia's story is like a daily
indignant when the condemna- him to come to Baltimore and stay of the merchant Jacob Hart, who
tions of the Catholic church with him. Although Levy had come was father-in-law of Mordecai N. diary. There is one chapter that
316 ' A history of any community
proved of no avail. But the Jews to Baltimore because of financial Salomon, Haym Salomon's son. As actually is in diary dated form.
becomes significantly important
had acted in the matter.
when that story is linked with the
reverses in Philadelphia, he was one Baltimore Jew helped the Rev- Donia having secured means of
entire story of American and
On this score Dr. Fein comments: still a man of means, and he was olution with money, another helped describing her experiences.
Dr. Jacob Robinson, in a pref-
world Jewries. In the present in- "Discrimination against Jews was able to offer Morris good quarters. on the battlefield. Nathaniel Levy
ace to Donia's book, refers to
stance, Dr. Fein's work is so in- not the only source of Jewish unity. The relationship was so close that enlisted and served under Lafay-
memoirs of others, like Anne
delibly connected with the fabric Baltimore Jewry took note of good the Levys named their son Robert ette in the Baltimore cavalry.
Frank, who recorded their ex-
of Jewish history that this latest news about Jews, and on such oc- Morris Levy, in honor of their
"Two more Baltimore Jews of
periences, and he states about
of the additions to communal his- casions celebrations were in order. friend.
that period deserve special atten-
Donia Rosen's s tor y: "Her
tories stands out as a major One such occasion was the admis-
"Benjamin's wife, Rachel, in an tion: Abraham Peters and Wolf
odyssey has one unusual char-
sion of Jews to the British Par- appeal in behalf of her son to Samuel. Among the immigrants
acteristic worth emphasizing. We
Dr. Fein covers the Baltimorean
George Washington, described her- who crossed the ocean there were
meet here the hunted child, her
role in America by tracing the im-
self as 'a former acquaintance' a considerable number who paid
two rescuers—Olena and Pa-
portant events in the Jews' strug- thusiastic' meeting . . ."
of the president. In her letter she for their miserable steerage trans-
rashka, the bystanders, the Ger-
gle for equal rights and indicates
Important aspects of Baltimore requested that he give the boy — portation by selling themselves as
mans and their helpers among
the determination of such Jews Jewry's. interests in various con- whom she described as one who temporary servants. The indenture
the local population—in brief,
while providing a full share in the flicts during the Civil War are in- was 'nearly of age, brought up for period — between four and seven
a microscopic picture of the
struggles by non-Jews, involved in dicated in the course of the analy- a merchant, without a Capitol to years — was not considered too
Holocaust as a whole. All that
the evolution of American demo- ses of this important history.
put into trade and his father un- high a price for those who wanted
in the background of the forest,
The early settlers, the Szold able to assist him'—some position to flee the poverty and misery in
again a reminder of the role of
Europe, hoping for a brighter fut-
Thus, in developing the theme family and leaders in Jewish and
nature as a helper — or ob-
of "The Struggle for Equality," communal life are under scrutiny did not forget to mention that Mr. ure in America. For Jews, however,
structor—of rescue effort. The
Morris was 'personally acquainted' the price was too high. No matter
Dr. Fein provides a valuable chap- in this authoritative history, and
personal recovery of Donia and
how bad their situation in Europe,
ter in over-all American history. He the author's accuracy is noted in with her son.
her triumphant repatriation is
"During their lifetimes, Benja- they generally would not exchange
traces the Rhode Island tradition the numerous annotations.
again more than an individual
and gives a thorough account of the
About the early settlers, the fol- min and Rachel Levy saw the it for a better life at the cost of
_ Maryland Jew-Bill, confirmed in lowing episodes narrated by Dr. slow but constant growth of the servitude in non-Jewish homes.
The Bergen Belsen Memorial
Jewish population in the city. They Peters and Samuel were excep- Press thus makes available addi-
1826, which made it possible for Fein are worth recording:
themselves, however did not have tions, however. While we know of tional data about the heroic strug-
Jews who were assuming an oath
"It was only in 1773 that the first
only these two cases, there may gle for survival.
of office to have it "administered permanent Jewish settler appeared anything to do with Jews.
well have been others of this kind."
on the Five Books of Moses."
Donia Rosen's book was trans-
in Baltimore. On December 16 of
—P.S. lated by Mordecai S. Chertoff.
Two Jews — Solomon Etting and that year, Benjamin Levy (c. 1726- Levy, had bought the first Jewish
Jacob Cohen — were elected to 1802) — whose Jewishness is at-
the Baltimore City Council and tested to not by his name but by
were able to take such an oath. documents — announced in the
"This," Dr. Fein writes, "heralded local newspaper that he had
the rise of Jews in government ser- `just opened store in Market street
Vice, both in appointive and elective at the corner of Calvert street
By Shlomo Kodesh
where he sells- wholesale and re-
The first Jews and the first tail, for ready money only all
Released by: TAR B UTH FOUNDATION
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF HEBREW CULTURE
synagogues are recorded in this kinds of imported wines . . . all
volume and their roles, the pur- kinds of spices . . . a large assort-
suance of religious functions, the ment of corks for bottles . . . rub-
nliDn 5ng :irprTr? .2•7-5r)9
Cast: A car owner and an ordinary person. Scene: A street in Tel Aviv.
role of Jews in the service of ber for tables, tea, coffee, choco-
Survivors who withstood the ter-
iors of Nazism continue to relate
tales of suffering and anxiety be-
fore they finally were redeemed
from the barbarities that were im-
posed upon Eastern European
There were Christians who came
to the aid of the sufferers, and in
some instances—as the one related
in the May 28 Jewish News by the
Polish woman in Hamtramck,
Helen Chorazyczewski — in which
the rescuers themselves risked
their lives in the effort to save
Some found refuge in the forests
where they sought food and refuge.
Another of the tales of suffering
is told by Donia Rosen in "The
Forest My Friend," a 117-page ac-
count of agony that has been pub-
lished by the World Federation of
Bergen Belsen Associations.
Donia was a mere youngster
when her entire family was mur-
dered. She sought refuge and
was fortunate to receive the aid
of Christians. Not only the Ger-
mans but the Ukrainians in her
home town and nearby shared
guilt in hounding Jews and turn-
History of Baltimore Jewry Expertly Recorded by Prof. Fein
A Conversation Series
Arab Women Participate in PW Bazaar
• R' "1171 5 3 inl 5
Person: Pardon me, sir, are you driving to Ben Yehuda Street? Would
you, perhaps, agree to take me along?
Person: Excellent! I also have to go in the opposite direction. Honestly,
do me a favor and take me in your car. I have been waiting a
long while for transportation.
SPT 19t' sIV1
Owner: I Would not refuse you, but I am in a great hurry. I have no time
to stop on the way. I am hurrying to the railroad station.
Person: What luck! Why, that's exactly what I need. You are driving to
the railroad station, and I am also in a hurry to (catch) the train.
Owner: Three alternatives all at once! You are beginning to arouse my
curiosity. What are the alternatives?
Person: Here are all three: You can drive me willingly and invite me
politely to enter the car. You can also refuse to drive me al-
These Arab women, participants in Pioneer Women programs in
Israel, are shown sampling some of their own products at a recent
Pioneer Women bazaar in Jerusalem. The organization 'currently
supports a network of 30 Arab Women's Clubs throughout Israel.
$ 7?!1 ,715 3-1.???T77,' at'
naafi rannt?;_nii nnx
52 Friday, June 11, 1971
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
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feeling. Three alternatives - isn't that so?
Owner: Absolutely right. Let's choose the first alternative: Sir, I will be
happy to drive you. Please get in.
.nT3r#5 31 1:'! rTr"? s;t! .rr 11 D7P4 'Pitt
Owner: You've mentioned two. What is the third alternative?
Person: The third alternative is to behave as you did; to accept me un-
willingly and force me to accept your favor with an unpleasant
Owner: In short, I fell into the trap and I have no alternative. You've
caught me and I can't get out of it. O.K., get into the car on this
side - and let's go.
Person: Why, - there's no alternative?" The choice is yours. You even
have three alternatives.
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Owner: I'm sorry. I'm not driving to Ben Yehuda Street. I am going in
the opposite direction.
- 14? 'Pis
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Excerpted from the book "Israel With A Smile", published by Tarbuth Foundation, 515 Park Ave., N. Y. C. 10022