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The Mission Was Impossible

Samuel Panichi waited 14 weeks for a letter or a telephone call to let him know that his trip from Italy to the United States was not in vain. But several days ago the 83-year-old man returned to his home in Pisnello do Cagli in the province of Pesaro, his mission unaccomplished. He had come to this country to find the son of a Jewish couple killed by the fascists during World War II. Panichi, as reported in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency News Bulletin June 14, had been instrumental in saving Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis and fascists.

One couple, Joseph and Emma Goldberg were killed despite Panichi’s efforts. One of the Jews he led to safety was the Goldbergs’ son. Panichi came to this country because he knew that the son had served in the U.S. Army and had come to America. Unfortunately, he did not remember the son’s name. Panichi wanted desperately to get in touch with the son, who he believes is living in New York, to let him know where Joseph and Emma Goldberg are buried.

“No one called, no one wrote, no one rang the doorbell to respond to my brother’s search.” Essi Panichi told the JTA yesterday. “He was disappointed and felt that he had failed in his mission, in the one consuming goal that he wanted to accomplish in his lifetime.” The old man returned home but his mission was not a total failure. He left a legacy of courage, persistence, endurance and humaneness. At the age of 83 he did what few others could or would do. There are many Goldbergs in the New York telephone directory. Today, in Mildred, Pa., there is one Panichi less.

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