I am very grateful for your kind letter…
When in June 1941 the German Army occupied Lithuania I had fled to the east into Russia and enlisted in the Soviet Army. I became an officer and luckily after 2 wounds in battle was able to march with the army into fascist Germany. At last the war was over! On Victory days of May 9, 1945, after fierce fighting and capturing the German City Shtetin, near the Baltic Sea, the German Army surrendered. Knowing the German language, I was appointed to be present in our front line at the ceremony of directing the German troops into captivity. My General gave in Russian orders to the German officer to lay down all the arms, I interpreted the orders into German and ordered them to sign the documents of unconditional capitulation.
The long awaited day of punishment and revenge had at last come! We had noisily celebrated this day, shed tears of joy and anguish for the millions of fallen soldiers and millions of perished civilian victims, mostly Jews during the war from the Nazis-unforgettable!
Alas, most of the Nazi’s and their collaborators-the beasts of the crimes-went almost unpunished. So it was in Lithuania — the killers of 220,000 innocent victims-Jewsâ€”were totally unpunished.
In my native town Ykmerge more than 300 Lithuanian collaborators murdered 12,000 Jews-the whole Jewish community.
Long years have passed but the painful events torment me till now…
How wonderful it would be to meet you in Vilnius. I am looking forward to seeing you someday soon…
Thank you for the check.
Embracing you all and kissing heartily.
Be happy and healthy.
Your friend, Hirsh
Holocaust Survivors: Hirsh P. – Vilnius, Lithuania