The Auschwitz Sheitl Machers’ Reunion by Emuna Klein Bar-Noy

The Auschwitz Sheitl Machers’ Reunion by Emuna Klein Bar-Noy

One morning this week I was sitting with the mother of a friend of Uri’s from daycare, and we were yapping on about the kind of things that we mothers yap on and on about.

While we were talking, this other mother received some WhatsApps from her grandmother, and we laughed about grandmothers and her grandmother is Hungarian, and also my grandmother in Hungarian. Wow, cool! From where? And her great-grandmother was from Khust, and my great-grandmother was from Khust and, wow, this was also so cool because Khost was a very small town and most of the Jewish community there was murdered by the Nazis.

What are the chances?

And her great-grandmother worked for the town wig-maker, sheitl macher Chanchi Rosenfeld and my great-grandmother WAS the sheitel macher Chanchi Rosenfeld!

And once upon a time, the sheitel macher Chanchi Rosenfeld arrived in Auschwitz with her daughter, my Grandma Leah, and five women who worked in her wig factory. And they formed a mutual support group and helped one another to get things like food and woolen yarn for socks and work. And they survived. all of them.

The Jewish community in Khust was almost completely destroyed, but its wig factory survived intact …

These closely-bonded, very Hungarian graduates of Auschwitz would have reunions from time to time.

And their story has been passed on, by word of mouth, to their families for five whole generations.

And now, five generations later, Chanchi Rosenfeld’s great-great-grandson began attending a daycare center in Jerusalem, and he became very attached to the great-great-granddaughter of Peery Kretz.

And these great-great-grandchildren became such very, very good friends, that the only way I can convince my son to get dressed in the morning is by telling him, “Let’s go to daycare so you can play with your friend!”

And if only I could go back to those days in Auschwitz, when our great-grandmothers crowded together in the bunk for warmth, and tell them that the prophets were correct and their prophecies were true.

And that the day would come when, “the streets of the [Jerusalem] would be filled with boys and girls playing in her streets,” together.

This story was today’s daily word of inspiration from Sivan Rahav Meir. Every single day Sivan’s mailing is WOW! It’s available in 9 languages, to sign up send your name and which language and format (whatsApp/text/email) you prefer to:

To join the English Whatsapp group only contact +972586799000


  1. This is so amazing, so profound.
    To be able to count 5 generations back, we have the zchut to see the bigger picture. To see with our own eyes that the words of the prophets are true.
    Hashem is with us every step of the way.

    you convicned me to sign up to Sivan’s email 🙂

    • great, I love it every day!
      by the way, since I think you speak Hebrew, it’s better to sign up for the Hebrew list (sms or whatsapp) because then you get her mailing the same day she sends it. For english, it takes longer to get.

  2. What a beautiful story! My daughter had a similar one when she started seminary last year: she and a classmate became friends, and one day this friend came and told her that her mother had said they were related. We started exploring and it turned out their grandparents were cousins. This meant they had the same great-great-grandparents!

    I was struck by the fact that, if you would have told my great-grandparents that their great-great-granddaughters would someday be learning in the same classroom in Eretz Yisrael, they would not have believed it.

    I was also struck by the fact that we are really one big family, although we don’t always feel it and especially with other Jewish ethnic groups. But if you look a few more generations back, you’ll find a long-long-long-lost relative…

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email