Wish Survivors of Nazi Mass-murder in Estonia Seek Relatives Through JTA
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Wish Survivors of Nazi Mass-murder in Estonia Seek Relatives Through JTA

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Only about 85 men and women of the thousands of Vilna Jews who were sent by the Germans to slave labor in Klooga, Estonia, succeeded in escaping the massacre carried out by the Nazis on Sept. 19, two days before the retreat of the German army from Estonia, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent established upon his arrival here today.

The majority of the surviving Jews are doctors, lawyers and dentists. Most of them have relatives in the United States, Palestine or Argentina. Some of them poured at their stories of horror to the JTA correspondent, relating how they were deported in September, 1943, from Vilna and assigned to slave labor building fortifications to be used against the Russians.

They remained in barracks at the Klooga camp, 35 miles from Tallinn, until two days before the German retreat when several thousand slave laborers, most of them Jews, were either burned alive or machine-gunned and their bodies burned.

Some of the bodies seen by the correspondent at the place where the mass-murder occurred were only partly burned. There were headless trunks lying fully clothed with Mogen David insignias on their arms. There were also human bodies burned black, charred like logs of wood and heaps of ashes from bodies which had been consumed completely.


The mass-murder lasted for twelve hours, the surviving Jews testified. They told how German doctors killed all Jewish new-born babies calmly and systematically under instructions from Berlin and how some babies were simply thrown into boilers. They consider it a miracle that they succeeded in escaping on the day when the mass-murder started, when the air around the Klooga camp was filled with horrible shrieks of the victims suffering their last agonies.

The following survivors asked the JTA correspondent to help them contact their relatives abroad: Bela Aronowiec, whose relatives are David Ogrer in Tel Aviv, and Sam Feinstein in Brooklyn. Raia Axelrod, who is related to John Judel of New York city. Her husband Moses was among the massacred. Abram Aronson, whose relative is Meyer Berman in Tel Aviv. Lasur Oserski and Falk Chasanowich of Vilna, whose relatives are Wesim Kasen of Pittsburgh or Chicago, Dr. Lasar Kasen of Tel Aviv, Joseph and Melka Lusiski of Palestine, and Solomon Mendel Froyel of Tel Aviv. Benjamin Weintraub, whose two brothers and mother and father were killed in the Vilna ghetto, is a relative of Samuel Ambursky of New York, who, Weintraub said, worked for the Federal Food Corporation there.

Jeremiah Ratner has relatives named Gubeski in Brooklyn. Isak Ratner, an engineer, is related to Tanchum Kajatzki and Nachman Dryswistzki of Buenos Aires and Dora Bespreswana of Palestine. Adela and Tole Greenheltz and Nisen Anolik have a relative named Rajches Schewel in New York. Dora Besnrowana has two uncles, William Abraham Gallin, living in New York. Abraham Schuster has an uncle, S. Feldman living in San Francisco. Gina Chana Sher is related to B. Miller, living at 314 Hageware Road in Los Angels, and to Jaffe Sher in Petach Tikvah, Palestine. Motla Dorsel Swerdline, whose husband Julian, a physician, has not been heard of since June, a friend of Rabbi Ber and Tonya Solowietchik of Boston. Mrs. Swerdlin was a student, at one time, of Dr. Jacob Shulman of New York.

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