These are written by family and friends of the deceased, and each one tells a great, true story.
GOLDFARB--Aron. Holocaust Survivor and Founder of the G-III Apparel Group, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away after a long illness on October 8, 2012, at the age of 88. Born February 10, 1924, in Bialobrzegi, Poland, Aron was a Holocaust survivor who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and founded a successful apparel business known as the G-III Apparel Group. The son of Moshe and Sarah Goldfarb, he was one of seven children and one of three to survive the Holocaust. When the Germans took Aron from his father, the last words his father said to him were "go, my son...maybe you will survive". Those words would stay with him for the rest of his life and eventually would become the title of a book he wrote about his struggle. Aron's family was sent to the Treblinka concentration camp in 1941, while Aron and his older brothers Itzhak and Abraham were sent to the Pionki labor camp. Another brother, Jacob, would survive the war by escaping to Russia. In 1944, Aron with his brothers and a friend Zisman Birman escaped from the camp and fought for survival in the forests of Poland. His brother Itzhak and Zisman Birman were caught while in hiding and executed. Aron and Abraham would survive the war by living in a bunker they built not far from a German gunnery position near their hometown. Armed with only their familiarity with the landscape and their courage they would break into the German outpost not far from their hiding spot and steal food and supplies through the winter of 1944. In 1978, the brothers returned to Poland to retrieve the remains of Itzhak and Zisman and brought them to be buried in Israel. While in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany following the end of the war, Aron saw Esther Disman and immediately asked her to a movie. They were soon married and moved to Israel where Aron was a farmer while serving in the Israeli Army. Their son Morris was born in Israel and the family came to the United States in 1956 where Aron, Abraham and Jacob were reunited. Aron and Esther's second son Ira was born soon after. Aron used his skills learned in Poland as an apprentice to a shoe maker to start in 1956 what is today known as the G-III Apparel Group. What started out as a small leather company is still thriving. Aron is survived by his wife Esther; his son Morris and daughter-in-law Arlene and son Ira; his grandchildren Laura, Jeffrey, Scott, Samantha and Brett; great-grandchildren Joshua, Matthew, Amanda, Ryan, Sabrina and Tristan. Aron will be missed but his memory, lessons and legacy will be carried on by all those who loved him and all the lives he touched.
Other obits of Jewish businessmen of the same age this week are so much gentler-- WW2 vets who were remembered as "acccomplished pianist" or "for passionate love of fishing . . . special sense of humor . . . love of reading. . . ."
Makes me think, again, of one of my favorite pieces by Steve Reich, Different Trains. You can hear the first movement here, performed by Quatuor Diotima, and the second here, by Smith Quartet. The recording I know & love is the original, by Kronos Quartet -- Oh! Here it is, with some fantastic period video.... But all, I think, use the same recorded voices of people who were there, from African-American train conductors to child Holocaust survivors.
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Thanks for all your sensitive and insightful replies to my last post. I just got this good update from his partner:
". . . if the radiation therapy works, things will be looking far better than what we were thinking would be happening a week ago. As [his] letter stated, we've been going at this for a year, and we're always surprised at how something at first dire, becomes something manageable. So we continue to shine, pray, stay healthy and positive."
Words to live by.