Photo taken in:LublinYear when photo was taken:1940Country name at time of photo:PolandCountry name today:Poland
This is my brother Mordekhai Honiksman at the age of 15. The photo was taken in Lublin in 1940. This is the only memory I have of my brother. I received it along with the last letter from our home in Mahilyow on 23rd September 1940. My brother Mordekhai was born in 1925. I already studied at cheder. Then I went to a Polish elementary school. Mordekhai also went to cheder and to the same Polish school. We looked much alike. My brother studied well and could have grown into a very decent man. On 1st September 1939 World War II began. Hitler attacked Poland. Of course, we understood that it was inevitable. We read the newspapers and knew about the tension, Hitler coming to power and his attitude toward Jews. All poor people had big hopes for the Soviet Union and so did poor Jewish people. On the same day our town was bombed. My mother said that I had to get away. My friends and I decided to leave. We formed a group of 20-30 people and started moving to the east. We were planning to cross the Bug River to get to the Soviet Union. In December 1939 I wrote a letter home telling them where I was. I was so concerned about them and hoped to get a letter from them, but there was none. I didn't have any information about the situation in Poland. In 1940 I received a letter from my mother. There was a photograph of my brother Mordekhai and a short note from my mother. She wrote that she was very happy that I wasn't with them since they were in a very tough situation. She didn't describe any details. My closest ones - my father, brother, mother and sister perished in Lublin ghetto. Only few years ago I found out that they were on the lists of those exterminated in Lublin ghetto on 7th November 1942. I received a document from Lublin confirming that Mordekhai Honiksman and Samuel Honiksman were on the list of those that were exterminated. My mother and sister were not mentioned in any lists. They perished without being included in any lists. I don't even know where their ashes are buried.