BERL THE RABBI'S SON
THE BRAVE TEACHER FROM SKALAT
translated from "Skalat, a Memorial Collection of a Community Destroyed in the Holocaust," pp 68-69
The order was given, "Disrobe! All the clothes into a pile!" The Jewish policemen urged and hastened them. Anyone who objected was beaten. A carpet of colored paper spread across the ground - paper currency torn in pieces by the Jews, to prevent the murderers from profitting. Wails of children and cries of "Shema Yisrael" mingled with screams of "Hurry! Hurry!" and the pile of clothing grew higher. Men, women and children stood unclothed as newborns.
Berl the Rabbi's son refused to disrobe. A German struck him on the head and he fell bleeding. A few kicks to the stomach. He cried the "Shema" prayer and his soul left him as his body lay on the bloodied clothes. A German rolled him to the edge of the grave and hit the body once more as it fell. Berl the Rabbi's son - the first of the murdered of Skalat - lay in the grave wrapped in a shroud of red, clutching his tefillin which never left him.
Rosa Pickholz (second from left)
Suddenly Rosa Pickholz, a teacher in the high school, arose and turned to the naked crowd. "I call on all of you to be brave. We are innocent people!" "You are not people," interrupted the Sturmfuhrer and slapped her cheek. "Now you may continue speaking, whore!"
She continued - her wrath directed at the heads of the murderers. "Your end is near. Forests of hanging await you all!" The German couldn't tolerate that. A bullet entered the heart of the naked speaker and she fell to the ground.