Witnesses to History Keepers of Memory
Witnesses to History Keepers of Memory
All the objects

Ernest Ehrmann

Father’s Talmud

Hardly anything remained of Ernest Ehrmann’s family home. It had been ransacked after the family’s deportation to Auschwitz (occupied Poland). When Ernest returned home after the war, all that he was able to recover were a few volumes of the Talmud that had belonged to his father. He found the books on a pile of manure. He and his brother spent their entire savings to have them shipped to Canada. The volume held by Ernest is one of these rescued books he still uses to study the Talmud.

Listen to the Talmud's story

Read the transcript Close the transcript

This is the Talmud, which was called in Hebrew the Shas. I was liberated on the first of May, 1945, and
eventually I got back to my hometown and as I entered my house – of course, I wanted to see what’s left
or who is left. We had a big property there, you know. We had a kosher restaurant, a non-kosher
restaurant, we had a hotel – my father was well off, my father and mother. We had a hotel, you know, a
small hotel in a small town, so we were considered to be well off, you know. But of course, when we
came back, everything was gone, everything was robbed, only the bare walls. The furniture was gone,
even the carpets were gone. The bare walls were left only. We had a long yard, on the bottom of the
yard there was a farmer who had cows and horses, you know. It belonged also to us, but my father
leased it to him. So, I walked down the yard, you know, where the farmer was, and he had a big manure
dump. On the manure dump I found this, and you saw all the books there I showed you. This was the
only thing that was my father’s and even from there are missing three or four volumes, but this is what I
found, that’s all what I found from everything from our house. So, this is the only thing that I have left
from my father. When we had already our visas to come to Canada, I wanted to take this with us. And
there was a shipping company, we had to pay for it, and they took it. They picked it up in a wooden box,
and it took a long time until it came to Canada, it was on a freight ship. My last money that I saved, even
my uncle had to help me because I didn’t have enough money.

Eva Kuper
Next portrait
Eva Kuper

The memory of Fela