A 20-year-old audio tape made by his father has allowed a Boston man and his family to discover the graves of grandparents killed in the Holocaust, which they plan to visit for the first time next week.
"All of my mother's relatives, besides one surviving sister, were killed by the Nazis," explained Dr. Isaac Perle in a phone interview with The Jerusalem Post this week. His great-grandparents, Faivel and Hinda Schattan, died in the Lodz Ghetto in 1941 and 1942.
"About 75 people would go into the back of the van" the Nazis would herd them into, Perle explained. Inside they were gassed and "driven into the woods, where the bodies were burned."
Perle's mother and aunt escaped to America, never to be heard from and did not form any connection with their lost relatives. But recently, an unlikely set of circumstances paved the way for Perle and his family to discover the graves of Faivel and Hinda.
In 1988, Perle's father, Bendet Perle, traveled to Poland. He brought a cassette tape recorder with him and recorded his impressions and memories, unearthed by the familiar location. On his return to the US, the tape was put into storage.
Long after Bendet passed away, Isaac made a half-hour DVD about a trip he took to Poland. In the process, he found the long-forgotten tape and used it to add his father's voice onto the DVD. As the family listened to the tape, a discovery was made.
"My father was at the cemetery discussing the location of my mother's grandparents' grave," Isaac recalled. His mother, Helen, then contacted the Lodz Jewish Cemetery. "They ended up finding the original files," he said.
It turned out that the grandparents were buried in individual graves in the cemetery. The graves were marked, but they lacked headstones, which is what made them so difficult to find. Isaac, his mother, siblings, and nephew, are traveling to Poland next week to visit the graves. (JPOST)