list of Holocaust victims includes people only presumed dead
By Hadding Scott
The Israeli Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, compiles information about alleged victims of the Holocaust, with the obvious intention of documenting the extent of mass-murder against the Jews, but with the paradoxical result that some people believed killed in the Holocaust turn out not to have been killed. Such an instance came to light this week.
An extended family consisting of two nuclear families of Jews from Warsaw, the Bornsteins and the Bands, happened to be separated during the war, with each completely losing track of the other and generally assuming the worst.
Assumptions notwithstanding, the seed for a family reunion was planted when Symcha Bornstein (apparently long ago) commemorated his brother-in-law Nisan Band with a “Page of Testimony” in Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names, which means that he believed that Nisan Band had died in the Holocaust.
As luck would have it, the page was discovered in early 2016 by Nisan’s children, Gennadi Band and Fania Band Bilkai (also spelled Bilkay and Blakay in reports). This must have been a great surprise for them, since their father had not been murdered: the Bands had fled into the Soviet Union in 1939, with father Nisan passing away there in 1983 at the age of 71 (A. Savir, World Israel News, 13 December 2016). The Bands believed, on the contrary, that uncle Symcha and aunt Jenta were the ones who had been murdered:
“Siblings Fania Bilkai and Gennadi Band thought their entire extended family had been murdered in the Holocaust until earlier this year, when Fania found a page of testimony about her father, Nisan, at Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names.” (T. Zieve, The Jerusalem Post, 13 December 2016)
But since Uncle Symcha had submitted that form, clearly he had survived.
In fact each side of the family falsely believed that the other had been murdered. Bornstein’s daughter Henia Moskowitz said:
“I grew up believing that our entire family was murdered in Poland.” (The Jerusalem Post)
The Jewish Telegraph Agency states that both nuclear families passed the war in the Soviet Union, but does not indicate how or when the Bornsteins found themselves there.
Bornstein and his wife Jenta migrated to the Jewish State with their four children in 1948, while their nephew Gennadi and niece Fania did not arrive in Israel until the 1990s. On 13 December 2016 the cousins met.
Thus the creation of a central database of putative Jewish Holocaust victims has had the ironic effect of showing that some presumed victims were not. Obviously this kind of revelation, if reported very often, could damage the credibility of the Holocaust narrative. The Jerusalem Post therefore concludes with an indirect affirmation of the Holocaust story:
“To date, Yad Vashem has identified over two-thirds of the Jews murdered during the Holocaust. The names of 4.6 million Shoah victims are recorded in the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names….” (The Jerusalem Post)
But the obvious question is: how many of the names in that list really belonged to murdered people? Until now, if the Bornsteins and Bands had been questioned about relatives lost in the Holocaust, every one of them born before 1939 would have been reported as a Holocaust victim by some other member of the family. That’s nine Jews reported by some relative as a victim of the Holocaust, when in reality not one of them had met such a fate. Since official death-records of Germany and the Red Cross come nowhere near to validating a figure like 4.6 million, it seems entirely likely that Yad Vashem’s list of Holocaust victims, based as it is on unchecked hearsay, is permeated with false reports.