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December 26, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 26, 2014
 

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 26, 2014 By Martin Greenfield Buchenwald, I would return AishllatorahResources and kill the mayor's wife. The first time Martin The following is excerpted Greenfield took up needle and from Meusure of a Man: thread was at Auschwitz, to From Auschwitz Survivor to mendtheshirtoftheSSguard Presidents' Tailor" (Regnery) who had just beaten him. by Martin Greenfield with Today he is recognized as Wynton Hall. Greenfield, "America's greatest living an 84-year-old Holocaust tailor," a man who dresses survivor, owns and operates presidents and movie stars. Martin Greenfield Clothiers Deported from Czechoslo- inBrooklyr NY. The Heritage vakia at age 15 to Auschwitz, is running this excerpt in two Greenfield came face to face parts because of its length, with Dr. Mengele and was I made avow: If I survived separated from his family. He was liberated from Buch- enwald, the only one of his family to survive. Greenfield arrived inAmer- icain 1947--age 19, alone and penniless. He began sweeping floors at a New York clothing factory and became avirtuoso tailor, head of America's pre- mier custom suit company. Along the way, he passed for- eign policy advice to President Eisenhower by tucking notes into suit pockets. The following excerpt from his new autobiography, "Mea- sure ofaMan: FromAuschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor" (Regnery), explains how the concentration camps nearly stripped him of his humanity at age 16 and the day he got it back. The mayor's wife While at Buchenwald, the SS assigned me to work in the munitions factory. But early one morning after roll call, a soldier placed me on a 12-prisoner team to perform repairs outside the camp in nearby Weimar. Working in the city was a welcome distraction from camp life. Sometimes you got lucky and spotted a potato in a field or smuggled a trinket to trade for food. Either way, it was a chance to see the sky, escape the stench of rotting corpses, and confirm that there was still a world beyond the barbed wire. We loaded our gear and marched the few miles to Weimar. The soldiers stopped us in front of a bombed-out mansion, home to the mayor of Weimar. A big black Mer- cedes sat out front. The sol- diers commanded us to sift the rubble, clear the debris, and I whipped my head around wife watched the beating. begin repairs onthe mansion, toward the door. A gorgeous, Given her cruelty, why would I walked alone to the back smartlydressedblondwoman she want to miss it? On the of the estate to assess the holding a baby stood silhou- hike back to Buchenwald, I damage. Dustypiles of broken etted in the doorframe. Itwas replayed the scene over and bricks lay scattered across the the mayor of Weimar's wife. over in my mind. yard. Seeing the cellar door "I found your rabbits!" I How could a woman car- ajar, Islowlyopenedit.Ashaft stammered with a cheerful rying her own child find a ofsunlightfilledthedankcel- nervousness. "They're alive walking skeleton saving her lar. On one side of the space and safe!" pets and have him beaten for sat awooden cage wrapped in "Why in the hell are you nibbling on rotten animal chicken wire. I walked closer stealing my rabbits' food?" food? I thought. and noticed two quivering barked the woman. "Ani-I made a vow to myself: rabbits inside the cage. mals!" If I survived Buchenwald, "They're still alive!" I said I stood silent and stared at I would return and kill the to myself with surprise, the floor, mayor's wife. Inside the cage were the "I'm reporting this imme- In that moment, mynumb- remains of the rabbits' din- diately!" she said, stomping ness to death melted. In its ner. I unlatched the cage and away. My heart pounded in place rose an alien blood pulled out a wilted leaf and my emaciated chest. A few lust, a hunger for vengeance carrot nub. The lettuce was minutes later, an SS soldier unlike any I had ever known. browning and slimy, the car- ordered me to come out of The surge of adrenaline and rotstillmoistfromtherabbits' the cellar. I knew what was rush of rage felt good inside gnawing. Excited, I wolfed coming, and the knowingmy withered frame. down the lettuce and tried to made it all the worse. Then and there I made a crack the chunk of carrot in "Down on the ground, you vow to myself: If I survived half with my teeth, dog! Fast!" yelled the Ger- Buchenwald, I would return My luck was short-lived, man. He gripped his baton and kill the mayor's wife. "What are you doing?!" a and bludgeoned my back. I do Part H in next week's voice yelled, notknowwhetherthemayor's Heritage. Israeli actor presents movie screening at Central Florida Hillel Central Florida Hillel recently hosted an event for Israelis in Orlando, a group that strives to bring Orlando's Israeli population closer together. Through its as- sociation with the Foundation of Jewish Culture, Central Florida Hillel was able to invite Israeli actor and director Yiftach Klein, who provided a free Hebrew screening of "The Policeman" followed by a question and answer session. The Gaeser family: (l-r) Marci, Haley, Ruth Miller (Marci's morn), and her daughter (Marci's granddaughter) Jennifer. Pam Ruben Tyler, Jessica Klein By Pamela Ruben While most Jews joined in the celebration of the eight days of Chanukah (which fell between Dec. 16 and Dec. 24 in 2014), the Jewish Pavilion staffandvolunteers celebrated more than most. Throughout the month of December the Pavilion's four program direc- tors and countless volunteers brought Chanukah festivities and lit the (electric) menorah in more than 50 assisted liv- ing and nursing homes in Greater Orlando, bringing Chanukah cheer to hundreds of residents. Each celebration offered a little something special for the residents. Program director Judy Procell procured musical en- tertainment to help light up the first night of Chanukah at the Mayflower in Winter Park. Musical duo Dana Kaplan and Diane Hawkins said, "We are here to bring extra cheer to the holiday, and help bring back the old days and musi- cal memories." Mayflower resident Helen Tetenbaurn appreciated the effort, noting, "(the Pavilion) events are so compelling that they have a Mayflower resident Helen Hrabovsky. lot of appeal to residents of other religious backgrounds." She added, "There's a 'kvel- ling' at having other people enjoy our heritage... It helps us get to know and to respect and appreciate each other's differences." Resident Lawrie Hall, editor of the Mayflower Newsletter, stated "The Pavilion programs are a wonderful touchstone for a meaningful tradition for many of our residents, and Pam Ruben Tetenbaum and volunteer Ellen brought the joy of Chanukah to the Mayflower." Procell shared that each of the parties come together "with alot of help." She offered special thanks for the success- ful landing of the Mayflower (Chanukah party) to 10-year volunteer Ellen Hrabovsky and regular volunteers Lisa Rozgony and her grandchil- dren, along with sponsors Nancy Bland and the Gaeser family.