A few years ago I made a statement to someone that I could comprehend the Shoah. It was a crass statement. As former areas of Ukraine are opened and more is learned about the Shoah there, the more and more I cannot comprehend. My grandfather left the town of Nemirov in 1914. He came with with his father, mother, and brothers and sisters. to this day, I do not know if any of grandfather's uncles, aunts, and cousins were murdered in the Shoah. My grandfather would not speak of the Shoah.
The town of Nemirov was used by the Nazis as a work camp. I have learned that close to 5,000 Jews were shot in cold blood by Nazi soldiers, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Polish, and other guards. Nemirov was just a small part of the heinous slaughter of Jews in Ukraine. In less than 18 months, 1 and 1/2 million Jews were murdered. The Germans, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Polish, and other guards faced each victim and then shot them mercilessly.
This is the Shoah my family faced:
The small town my grandfather left at the age of 10 no longer exists. It was once a vibrant Jewish town and all that is left is the memories of those who came from there. My grandfather died over 20 years ago and father died 5 years ago. I feel it is my duty to find out what happened to those who didn't have the chance to come to the US.
Perhaps one day, like in Uman seders will once again be held.