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The Story of Ovadia Baruch Part 6/6: Survival and the Return to Life

The Story of Ovadia Baruch Part 6/6: Survival and the Return to Life


The Red Cross would bring lists
to the Jewish community council. Each day I would go
to look at the lists, but I wasn’t looking for Aliza. I couldn’t imagine that Aliza might have
survived the death march. But I went each day,
for six months. One day I went and I saw
Aliza’s name on the list. I thought I will wait and see, maybe she will
come to Greece. And she did. She went in to register.
I came in. “Aliza,” “Ovadia,”
we hugged. People thought
we were siblings. She told me, “I did not forget what
you once had written me in a note,” “but I can’t come.
You’ve lost a large family,” “I can’t provide that for you.” I said, “I don’t want children.” “I want to marry you.
I don’t want to have children.” She said, “if you sign in the Kettubah
[wedding contract]” “that you don’t want children,
I will marry you.” I said, “You want a Signature?” “I will give you seventeen signatures!”
And I married Aliza. It’s far from obvious
that Holocaust survivors, after all that they
have been through, would choose to return to life
instead of becoming embittered people, would choose to raise families
and have careers. Yet this is what Ovadia does –
he marries Aliza, he has a family with her, and in one of perhaps the most
surprising aspects of the film, he believes that returning to life, also involves –
it’s significant for him – to return to the camps,
now as a free man, together with his son. This is the victory over the Nazis. I came here with my grandchildren
and my children, I have traveled all over this country, and I said, “This is
the victory over the Nazis.” I defied the Nazis,
raised a family, I was liberated from Auschwitz,
I have seen the end of Hitler, I have seen the end of Himmler,
I have seen the end of all the generals, and here I am,
the son of a simple laborer. I don’t know
what right I had (to survive). There were rabbis, professors… I don’t understand why I was so
fortunate to have survived.

1 thought on “The Story of Ovadia Baruch Part 6/6: Survival and the Return to Life”

  1. So deeply moving! Glad that they´re having childrens though, even after this agreement in the wedding contract. A loving family is the greatest gift of God.

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