The 6 million victims of the Holocaust included approximately 1.5 million children. One of them was Margalit Lichtensztajn. Margalit’s father Israel Lichtensztajn was an activist involved with Oneg Shabbat, an underground group in the Warsaw Ghetto, which at great risk, strove to record the realities of ghetto life. When deportations to the Treblinka extermination camp began in July 1942, Israel buried Oneg Shabbat’s archives in metal boxes. He included this last testament.
I know we shall not last. It is not possible to live through, to survive such horrible murders, such massacres. This is why I write this my testament...
I do not ask for any thanks, for any memorial, for any praise. Only to be remembered is what I wish, so that my people, my brothers and sisters overseas should know where my bones have been taken to.
I wish my wife should be remembered, Gela Seksztajn, talented artist, whose numerous works could not be exhibited, could not appear in the bright light… At present, together with me, – both of us get ready to meet and receive death.
I wish my little daughter to be remembered. Margalit is 20 months old today. She has fully mastered the Yiddish language, and speaks it perfectly. At nine months she began to speak Yiddish clearly. In intelligence she equals children of 3 or 4 years...
I don’t lament my own life nor that of my wife. I pity only the so little, nice and talented girl. She too deserves to be remembered.
Israel, Gela and Margalit died during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
Photo: Margalit Lichtensztajn; Żydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma
Last testament: Joseph Kermish (ed.), To Live with Honor and Die with Honor!... Selected Documents from the Warsaw Ghetto Underground Archives “O.S.” (“Oneg Shabbath”) (Yad Vashem, 1986)