Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We Were Slaves to Hitler - A Seder in Munich 1946

I was looking for an on-line Haggada to use for a source sheet that I needed to prepare, but instead I stumbled upon this “Passover Service” booklet printed in Munich Germany in 1946 for a Seder held for the Jewish Members of the US armed forces.

The booklet contains snippets of the Haggada as well as text in Yiddish, Zionist text written in Hebrew, together with chilling illustrations.

Here’s part of the introduction:

And the khaki-clad sons of Israel com­manded by Lt. General Truscott gath­ered together as was the custom in Israel, to celebrate the Passover festival.
They came from the Ninth Division in the West and the First Division in the East. They came from the 98th General Hospital and from the 24th Dispensary. They came from the CIC, the CID, the lCD, the UNRRA and the American Joint Distribution Committee, all of them came to the city of Munich, there to relate as of old, the miracle of freedom.
They spoke of Pharaoh and the Egyptian bondage. They spoke of slave labor and the torture cities of Pitham and Ramsees and they spoke of the inevitable force of liberty which will lay waste to every tyrannical design.
But in their hearts they felt very close to all that which was narrated. Pharaoh and Egypt gave way to Hitler and Germany. Pitham and Rarnsees faded beneath fresh memories of Buchenwald and Dachau.

Or take a look at this short snippet:

ברוך שומר הבטחתו
לישראל. ברוך בלפור שחשב
לעשות את הקץ. לעשות כמו
שנאמר: ידע תדע כי שוב
לא יענו אתכם ארבע מאות
שנה ובית יקום לכם כםו
שנאמר: אל יהיה זרעך גר
בארץ לא להם

ברוך שוםר הבטחתו
לישראל וחבר את הספר
הלבן, אסר על העליה וקנית
הקרקעות וחשב לעשות את

My Approximate Translation:

Blessed is He who guards his promise to Israel. Blessed is Balfour that calculated how to bring the redemption.
To do as is written: You shall surely know that when you return you will not be afflicted four hundred years”
And a house will be established as it is written “Your descendents will not dwell in a land which is not theirs”

Blessed is he who guards his promise to Israel, yet wrote the White Paper that is is forbidden to make Aliya or to purchase land, yet calculated how to bring the redemption.

What is most chilling about the Haggada are the illustrations, following are some examples with their captions:


שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ


”זכרנו את “הדגה


שֶׁפַּרְעֹה לֹא גָזַר אֶלָּא עַל הַזְּכָרִים וְלָבָן בִּקֵּשׁ לַעֲקוֹר אֶת הַכֹּל


לְפִיכָךְ אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָּבִים

1 comment:

rabbi sedley said...

Wow! Thank you for finding and sharing that. What a powerful Pesach experience!