Menu JTA Search

Jewish Boy Kills German Commander in Revenge for Burning His Sister Alive

The account of how a twelve-year old Jewish boy killed a Nazi military commander in front of his soldiers to revenge the Nazi’s throwing his two-year old sister into the fire of a burning house is related in the Soviet press today by Alexander Isbach, a well-known Russian writer who is now fighting at the front.

The incident took place in the town of Krasnoye, near Briansk. Immediately after the occupation of the town by the German army, the German commander Von Reichen, who is known for his brutal treatment of civilians in occupied territory, ordered a Jewish house set afire. The owner of the house, Benjamin Molighiner, a teacher, was not at home, having joined a guerrilla unit, but his wife and two children remained there and did not succeed in escaping from the town before the Nazis entered.

As the house was burning, Mrs. Molighiner rushed from the flames carrying her two-year old baby in her arms. The Nazi commander, however, tore the baby from its mother and ordered one of his men to throw the infant back into the burning building. In vain were the pleas of the despairing mother. The fire spread while the mother wailed and asked the people around her to plead with Von Reichen for her child.

Twelve-year old Grisha Molighiner implored Von Reichen to permit him to enter the burning house and save his baby-sister. The Nazi commander laughed aloud and consented. After five minutes of almost unbearable waiting by his mother and her neighbors, the boy dashed from the burning house carrying his sister with him. This infuriated Von Reichen who snatched the baby from the boy’s hands and threw her back into the flames while his soldiers stood by laughing.

The enraged Russian onlookers were ready to defy the Nazi soldiers and lynch the murderer, when all of a sudden he dropped to earth mortally wounded. Little Grisha had thrust a knife into Von Reichen’s heart. The dead commander was immediately revenged by the Nazis, who executed many inhabitants of the town and burnt down more houses, but the Nazis could not find Grisha since the neighbors had seen to it that the boy escaped to safety and eventually reached Russian guerrilla units.

NEXT STORY