They Survived the Holocaust

True experiences of Holocaust Survivors we see and visit today, shared to fulfill their requests, 

“Remember us!  Tell others of our experiences so we are not forgotten!”

(Caution: True accounts, as related by the Survivor, sometimes may be difficult to read)


When WWII began Israel and his entire family were in Lithuania.  At the age of sixteen theIsrael before the war (Small) family was sent to a ghetto.  They lived there 1941-44.  One day he was taken from the ghetto along with a group of 250, on foot, by the Nazi soldiers.  [A group led out of the ghetto like this is either a work detail or taken to the forest and executed.)  When they passed by the many trees, 120 of them ran into the forest.  Israel ran with them but became separated and spent two weeks alone, hiding.

Soon, a Russian man found Israel and supplied his food for two more weeks.  After this time the man helped him find his way back to Lithuania.  He found out his sister and one brother died in the ghetto.  After the war Israel and his remaining brothers joined the army.  He has many medals to show for his army time and those from Israel.

Susan with Israel Ertz (Small)The woman Israel married later was also in another ghetto at the same time as him.

He and his wife moved to Israel in 1969.  She is gone now but he is doing well for being 91 years old.  He walks outside his apartment and is active.

Besides losing his wife, his son died in 2014.

His apartment walls are covered with photos from many different years and many people in his life.  He has old photos back to when he was a boy up to great grandchildren today.

But one photo stands out from the others.  It is Israel standing with three other soldiers. Together they are Czechoslavakain, Moldovian, Russian and Lithuanian.  He points out that people can get along, even when they once fought each other.  No need for war.

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