Saul Feldberg Obituary, Death – Saul Feldberg was born in Skarzysko, Poland, a town with a mixed Jewish and Christian population of 50,000 located midway between the cities of Czestochowa and Radom. An area that was later home to a German ammunition factory where Jewish slave laborers toiled until death. A site with a larger death toll than Birkenau in percentage terms. Saul’s father, Abraham, had a modest tailoring shop, and both he and Saul’s mother, Eva, worked there. Abraham was a huge fan of live theater and frequently appeared in community-based Yiddish productions. One of Saul’s brothers also didn’t make it out of the fight alive.
Toby’s parents, Sam and Bella Elsner, were residents of Lodz, a city in the heart of Poland that was home to a thriving Jewish community of 170,000 Jews that would be nearly wiped off the map by the conclusion of the war. Her tailor-father was a shy man who cherished his family of four (wife and two daughters). Toby’s mom was four months along in the pregnancy when the conflict started. She claims Lodz as her birthplace for the record, although in reality she was born in Poland.
Saul was only four years old when the war broke out in his native Poland. The little things he can recall serve as vivid reminders of his Jewish identity. “I have hazy recollections of the blasts and the subsequent panicked escapes. The Germans branded a yellow star into my arm, and I’ll never forget it. I vividly remember the terror in my family’s eyes.” The Nazis built a ghetto where anyone who stayed almost certainly perished. Abram was taken along with the other young guys and sent to a labor camp. Many people gave up hope that he would ever come back. Brick barriers and barbed wire separated Saul and his mother from freedom. A brighter future is not in the cards for them.
Toby’s dad fought in World War II with the Polish army against the Germans after being drafted. Twelve days of combat ended with Poland’s capitulation. Once he was free, he went back to Lodz to see his loved ones; he was eventually able to leave Poland as a fugitive with their assistance.
Eva and Saul were smart enough to realize that staying in Skarzysko would guarantee their deaths, so they left. The death of Saul’s brother was already a fact. “My mom was a strong, fearless lady. Because of her experience, she realized that people of my generation would not last.” She used the fact that they were both blondes to get on a train that would take them away from danger. Abraham was able to escape from the labor camp and reunite with his wife and son thanks to the support of the Jewish underground. For four years, they played hide and seek with the Germans, trying to stay out of sight while surviving off the land and evading capture.
It was an honour to know and work for Saul Feldberg. He was a true gentlemen in this industry.
He will be truly missed.