Rabbi Shlomo Elimelech Rabinowitz

EXCERPT FROM THE LONG NIGHT

Gross Rosen

The Rabbi of Kromolow (1) and the Rabbi of Zawiercie, Rabbi Shlomo Elimelech Rabinowitz (2) coming out of Katowicz railway station [zawiercie Book of Remembrance]

The Rabbi of Kromolow (1) and the Rabbi of Zawiercie, Rabbi Shlomo Elimelech Rabinowitz (2) coming out of Katowicz railway station [zawiercie Book of Remembrance]

“Among a group from Auschwitz was Rabbi Shlomo Elimelech Rabinowitz whom we revered from our home town. I had always held this patriarchal figure in the greatest respect. He appeared before me sunken and slender. His unwavering gaze and fearless voice were the only clue to his still-strong personality. My parents had been transported with him to Auschwitz, but he was evasive when I asked him about them. He was so weak that he had to lean on me when he walked. Despite his weakness he was extremely optimistic about the imminent end of the war and was even confident that we would survive those who had persecuted us. He told me in moving terms about the many acts of kindness he had so often experienced. His strength of will remained intact despite the fact he was starving and emaciated. Selections by Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz were designed for the sole purpose of consigning the “Muselmanner” to the gas chambers. So the fact that he had survived, despite his poor physical condition, was a miracle. Tragically, his burning desire to witness the end of the terror was not fulfilled. When we continued our march from Grossrosen he was among the many prisoners who fell by the wayside and were shot. We continued to revere his blessed memory.”