Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Raphael Blumenfeld





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Published on Apr 4, 2012

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The Kielce Ghetto was liquidated by the Germans in August 1942, when most of the inmates were sent to Treblinka. Out of the 27,000 Jewish inhabitant, 2,000 youngsters remained in the ghetto, among them Raphael Blumenfeld. They were made to dig mass graves and put to forced labour. Raphael was interred in a concentration camp for political prisoners in Germany until the liberation, when he returned to search for his family.
He began his Zionist activities as a leader in the Bnei Akiva youth movement. In Lodz, he joined the Ichud movement's pioneer training kibbutz. In 1946 , he returned to his native Kielce to head the teaching staff of the kibbutz preparing for immigration to Eretz Israel.
Polish anti-Semitism peaked in the Kielce pogrom of July 4, 1946. Rioting Poles surrounded the youth movement building and murdered 42 young Jews. Raphael, seriously wounded, only escaped by posing as dead.
Having lost all his family and witnessed this latest massacre, Raphael decided to emigrate to Eretz Israel without delay. He settled in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak and for 30 years directed the Nitzanim youth village. Later he worked in the Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem. He devotes much of his time to research on the Kielce pogrom.

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