In their grandparents’ footsteps
By Yair Sheleg

This past Tuesday, in a small hall at Beit Hasofer in Tel Aviv, former residents of the Polish town of Piotrkow gathered for the annual memorial service to the town’s Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. The 11th day of the Hebrew month of Heshvan was chosen as their remembrance day, because on that day 65 years ago, the last of four trainloads of Piotrkow’s Jews was sent to the Treblinka extermination camp.

Up until a few years ago, only a few Holocaust survivors came to these services, and the small hall easily accommodated them. This week, however, there were over 200 people (including the two sons of the town’s rabbi – former Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, and his brother, Naftali Lavi), and almost everyone complained about the crowding and the heat. Most of the participants were not Holocaust survivors themselves, but were born in Israel after the Holocaust – second- and third-generation survivors, and even some babies from the fourth generation.

“Every year more people come to this event,” was the comment heard everywhere.