This Old Photo Shows The Defiance And Bravery Of A Jewish Family In The Face Of The Nazis

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CapturePhoto Caption: A Jewish menorah defies the Nazi swastika, 1931

In 1931, the last night Chanukah fell on Friday evening. In Kiel, Germany, a small town with a Jewish population of 500, Rabbi Akiva Boruch Posner was hurrying to light the Menorah before the Shabbat set in.

Directly across the Posner’s home stood the Nazi headquarters in Kiel, displaying the ominous Nazi Party flag in.

Rabbi Posner’s wife, Rachel, snapped a photo of the lit Menorah and captured the Nazi building and flag in the background.

Both the menorah and the photo survived the war, finding their way to Yad Vashem through the loan of Yehudah Mansbuch.

When Yad Vashem was putting together its plans to open the Holocaust History Museum, a team of researchers set out to learn more about this famous photo.

Their research led to Mansbuch, who explained how his grandparents had lived under Nazi rule in Kiel, Germany, before seeking refuge in then-Palestine in 1934.

Today, Mansbuch lives in Haifa with his family.

Each Hanukkah, Yad Vashem returns the now famous menorah to the family, who light the candles for the duration of the holiday before returning the piece of history back to the museum.

9 COMMENTS

  1. 1931, was not when the Nazis were in power; they took over later.

    Also the halacha is clear that in the time of danger, light indoors on the table (meaning not for those outside).

    No one should risk their life for ‘persumei neis’.

  2. Even though there was no danger involved in 1931 (the Nazis would have been arrested if they attacked someone, especially a private house, they were just a not very important opposition party at the time), the photograph is ironic and interesting from an artistic and technical perspective.

  3. Something is historically wrong with this whole picture. Either the dates are wrong or it was photoshopped. Jews were living normal lives in 1931 in Germany. Nazis had not yet risen to power

  4. As of 1931, the largest party in Germany was still the Socialists, who would be the only party to oppose the Nazis getting dictatorial powers in 1933. The Nazis were the second largest party and the Communists third largest. The Chancellor was Heinrich Brüning from the Centre Party, whose ideology was similar to the Christian Democrats who rule Germany today. The SA thugs were active then, but at that time they were more likely to be attacking Communists than Jews.