Bahia Blanca � Argentine Republic
Sunday 29 of October of 2000
A esperanzado and hopeful encounter
The greatest gratitude of the world
A young bahiense Jew traveled to Poland to know the catholic
family personally who saved to her ancestros of the Nazi
Gustavo Mandará / " The New Province "
In the office to try to count experiences usually it is not
most usual than, at some moment of an interview, as much interviewed
person as interviewer is surprised mutually with the full eyes of
| Gabriel crossing Auschwitz.
Nevertheless, one of those rare exceptions took place during
char the one that originated east article.
Perhaps to mention such detail is not the best form, but it
is a sincere, simple way and makes specific to try to approach an
immense and exciting history, that, in addition, directly involves an
inhabitant of our city.
One is Gabriel Anmuth, civil and educational engineer in the
Hebrew school Doctor Hertzl, of the Lavalle street.
This young person of 36 years, rosarino of birth and bahiense
by adoption (she is married with Marisa Kahan), returned recently of
Poland, where she traveled to know the catholic family who saved of
the Holocausto to several of her direct ancestros.
Hiding them alternatively in an attic filled with hay or a
cellar disguised underneath a mountain of Popes, these Polish
Christians hid during two years and five days to the members of a
Of such way, they avoided his deportation to some of the near
fields of extermination where, in World War II, the Nazis assassinated
to six million people.
Although the contact to epistolar stayed with certain
regularity, they had to spend 55 years so that two of the protagonists
of this history so full of heroísmo as from solidarity the hands
returned to narrow themselves. And Gabriel was direct witness of the indescriptible moment.
Memories of family
One of the most tremendous legacies of the Holocausto was
given by the destruction of the identity of hundreds of thousands of
Along with million lives, in the gas chambers also erased
signs of origins, kinships, ancestries and descendants.
Desperdigados everywhere, are Jews to those who it is
forbidden to know to them exactly from where they come.
They know clearly that those answers that look for
incinerated in the furnaces of Auschwitz, were buried in the common
graves of Treblinka or they flew in paredones of execution of Dachau.
Still more, like Samuel Anmuth, the grandfathers of Gabriel,
many old ones preferred to die at least without speaking sometimes of
that avalanche of death that it swept with his brothers.
" My grandfathers passed away in 1975 and my grandmother in
1984. When they were not more, in its house we found a series of
letters and photos kept in a box of shoes. Thanks to those papers, we
reconstructed great part of this history ", explains Gabriel.
Those papers revealed the contact between Samuel Anmuth (who
arrived at Argentina in 1929) and their aunt, Ita Rubinfeld, that
emigrated to Canada after the war.
" There, this woman told my grandfathers how they had been
saved by catholic neighbors who acceded to hide them. Three brothers
of Samuel did not have the same luck and, after his deportation, never
he knew themselves of them ", he counts more.
Knowledgeable of the value that stops a Jewish family could
represent these documents, by means of the archives of the Museum of
the Holocausto de Washington, obtained certain data that allowed to
determine that a son of Ita, call Joe Riesenbach, lived in Winnipeg,
Joe was one of the three children who were hidden two years
and five days in the house of that pious Polish family.
After being stated the kinships and interchanging information
in both directions, the Anmuth and Joe Riesenbach were the last summer
" Among other things, my grandfathers had a photo of a family
that we did not know who were. He turned out to be from Joe, next to
his parents and brothers, in an English field of moved, where some
months lived after the war. He could not think that from Argentina we
took to resemblance memory to him ", says.
There they solved together to return to Poland, so that Joe
could present/display his family to those who had been their rescuers.
" it requested to Us that we accompanied it, because was not
animated to return single to eet again itself with similar memories ",
comments Gabriel.The operative " return " took shape between the 17 and the 28
of September of this year.
The same God
After being in the airport of Amsterdam, the integrated
familiar retinue from Argentina by Gabriel, his parents, their woman
Marisa and, from Canada, by Joe Riesenbach, its woman Ruth and Ron,
son of both, arrived at Warsaw.
" One has the sensation of which Poland took the worse part
of the war. After the Germans, the Russians came. The country was
reconstructed according to the Soviet model. Warsaw is a square city
and gray ", it comments.
After days in the Polish capital, 170 kilometers of Markowa
traveled to Cracovia, distant, the rural town where everything had
" Cracovia, whose archbishop during many years was Karol
Wojtyla (today Juan Pablo II), yes maintains something of the edilicio
splendor previous to the war ", indicates.
Until they approached there to gather them two of the
grandsons of Janina Bar, to transport them to Markowa.
Janina is the daughter of Josef and Julia Bar, the Polish
catholics who decided to risk their life to save the one of their
When the war, Janina had 19 years and Joe, 15.
That is to say, a sufficient age like understanding very well
what it happened.
Those tears alluded to in the beginning appeared at the
moment at which Gabriel told to the precise moment of the encounter
between the rescuer and the bran.
" first that remembered it was that every day, when Janina
approached the boiled Pope to them with which they were fed while they
were hidden, said to them that there was nothing no to fear, because
God was with them. Watching its faces, more than ever I could
include/understand that, in spite of being a Jewish family and a
catholic, really, they believed in the same God ", reveals moved.
If one considers that, to less than three hours of distance
of where the Riesenbach they remained hidden, was the center of I
exterminate of Auschwitz, where it calculates that it executed
3,200,000 Jews, will conclude that, indeed, beyond the religions,
there was a divine hand taking care of this people.
The attic of the miracles
The war and the systematic project of extermination of Jews
known as the Final Solution had stayed quite distant of the remote
village of Markowa until the summer of 1942.
A day, somebody warned to him the father of Joe who had
gotten the order of which the local police (Poland was occupied by the
Nazis from 1939) deported all the Jewish families.
Desperate, the Riesenbach fled from their house and they were
hidden during several days in near maizales.
Knowledgeable of which they could not survive in those
conditions, one night the mother of Joe (proprietor of a small
commerce) returned to the town and asked refuge the one family
She, their husband and his three children (in addition to
Joe, Jenny and Marion, of 10 and 8 years respectively) were hidden in
A Sunday, after a mass, the priest of Markowa informed to the
parroquianos that lacked to deport a Jewish family and it urged them
to confiscate house by house to determine if still they could be
Before similar new development, the Bar remained immutable by
and consternados outside on the inside.
When they arrived at his house, they removed to the Riesenbach from the attic and they hid them in
caj� n, where the five hardly cab � an of squatting. They covered
the hiding place with a sum 6n to with Popes and, when the inspectors,
Josef Bar them ofreci or drinks of homemade vodka arrived. The
sicarios drank, watched everything after above and they went away. In
case it is necessary to clarify it, if they had found them, to
everything habr � to finished all �, as much for the Riesenbach as
for the Bar, to those who his had not been pardoned them " traici or n
". From that d � to, until termin either the war, the Riesenbach
remained prisoners in one habitaci or n in which not hab � to another
thing to do that to remove to the fleas an a others. When the
Russians arrived, all ten � an goiter and had to consume industrial
amounts of iodine to recover. They emigrated to Canad � in 1947 and,
once established, they offered to those who hab � an saved its lives
the possibility of going away to live with them to avoid the communist
"The Bar family accepted no compensates or prize on the part of the
Riesenbach. Time and time again, they repeated that what hab � an
done was, � nicamente, to fulfill his to have Christian. However, to
Janina him otorg or the medal that distinguishes to those Right ones
between the Nations, that collaborated to avoid the extermination of
our town ", reveal Gabriel. The same recognition was conferred him to
Oskar Schindler and diplom � tico Swedish Raoul Wallenberg, among
others. That s �, when between both families estableci or the postal
contact despu � s of the war and Joe was wanted to send gifts to
them, the Bar requested that they did not send packages to them to the
mail of Markowa, but to the one of a neighboring village, not to wake
up suspicions between its neighbors.
It is that, although almost they are not left jud � you in Poland,
the prevailing anti-semitism in that pa very pure � s to � n est �,
specially in the countryside, many of which remain literally lengthy
in the time, far from Internet, telefon � to and of other
communicational advances, or, m � s to � n, changes of mentality.
Before the war, on 800 thousand inhabitants who ten � to Cracovia,
hab � to 65 thousands jud � you. Today, as soon as they are left
150, mainly dedicated to coordinate the arrival of those brothers of
race worldwide who arrive to know the site where their predecessors
You are � sticas so frightening repeat in each Polish poblaci or n.
That s �, like result of the encounter of which p occurs to account
in these � ginas, the Riesenbach and the Anmuth has website where
they tell to all the details of its history (www.riesenbach.com) and
already eval � an the possibility of another return. Est � n
invited to the marriage of one of the grandsons of Janina Bar. " s �
if we will be able to go, although I do not have many desire, but the
m important � s is that Joe already said to us that, this time, not
tendr � to problems in animating itself to return single to the place
where naci or ", concludes Gabriel.
1 One frightening sensaci or n. Gabriel crossing Auschwitz.
Probably, all � died assassinated three brothers of their
2 a Vista of the cabins of the extermination center.
Gabriel and Marisa in a site whose image was gathered by the cinema in
many occasions. Aqu � arrived the trains filled with people who
arrived at Auschwitz.
4 Janina Bars and Joe Riesenbach, fifty and
five to 6n you despu � s, celebrating the life, in spite of
5 Contact in Cracovia. Both small high ms � s are the
grandsons of Janine. Adem � s, from the left appears Ruth (woman of
Joe), Marisa Kahan, Gabriel Anmuth, Rum (son of Joe) Natalio and Anita
(parents of Gabriel) and Joe Riesenbach.
6 Gabriel with its parents,
next to a wall built with the rest of the ls � you request of a
cemetery jud � or destroyed.
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