Purim evening at the Ilia camp in Transylvania in 1943 was a very difficult one. Conditions were unbearable and spirits were very low. Zvi Hershel Weiss, a prisoner at the camp, decided to write a text for the holiday to uplift the mood of his fellow Jews imprisoned alongside him. Recently, Zvi’s son, Shmuel Yitzhak Weiss donated the manuscript, written in Yiddish, to Yad Vashem as part of the Gathering the Fragments campaign.
|Zvi Hershel Weiss' Purim manuscript|
Shmuel Yitzhak explained his decision to give the rare document to Yad Vashem: "The handwritten document is very dear to my heart and it was difficult for me to part with it, but my wife urged me to give it to Yad Vashem, and in the end I decided that it is important for the Jewish people as a whole and that other people should also know about its existence. I made a copy of the manuscript at home and gave the original to Yad Vashem, and after handing it over wished I had done it earlier."
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said: "In many homes in Israel there are personal items and documentation from the Holocaust period that are unknown and not accessible to the public. Many of the owners of these items are unaware of their importance and the necessity to properly and professionally preserve them. We urge people to hand these precious items to Yad Vashem as here they will be well preserved and made accessible to the wider public."
For more information about donating personal items from the Holocaust to Yad Vashem please contact: Phone: 1-800-25-77-77 (within Israel) +972-2-6443888 (outside Israel) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.