Natan Kleinberger is dead

Napisany 26/09/2014

 

L1000363 copy Last Thursday, Natan suddenly took ill. The doctors could do nothing about the fact that he was no longer able to care for his badly ailing wife Hela as he had been doing for the past few years. He blessed his family, said his farewells, and yesterday he passed away.

He no longer has to use the hooks attached to the ends of his arms, or his artificial eye, the aids that he had had for sixty years, since the end of the Arab-Israeli War, or his hearing aid – all the artifices that enabled him to overcome his weakness and age. Now he is with his beloved elder brother Zygmunt, who several times saved his life during the Holocaust, but was himself tortured to death in a German camp before Natan’s very eyes just a few weeks before the end of the war. He is with his mother, younger brothers and sisters, and other members of his family, who were deported from Wieliczka to their deaths in Bełżec. He is with his grandmother, whom they were forced to leave at home, where she was shot by the Germans, and with his father, who died before the war and was buried in Wieliczka’s Jewish cemetery. Natan is closer to the places where he was born and brought up, and where he lost so much. He is closer to “that garden where he played as a small boy”, as he said, and which his grandfather loved, “always mending the fence, pottering about amid the trees, and selling the grass for hay”.

His funeral was held at 10 o’clock this morning in a private cemetery just outside Tel Aviv.

2012-03-12 at 12-20-43He died as he had lived – his immense tenderness towards others underpinned by an iron will that, though bound inside his crippled body, was independent of everyone, even of the will of those closest to him.

Natan honoured me with his trust and friendship. We met, had several very emotional conversations, he answered my myriad questions, and wrote me many e-mails. In our books that contain texts written by him I have dedications written in the ball-pen he held in the shaking hook that served as the hand torn off by a mine. We stayed at each other’s houses, influenced each other’s lives, and became close friends. I am saying goodbye to a friend who went to the same Wieliczka primary school as my father, Zbigniew Żyznowski, two years above him, and who often reminded me of my father. Now they can both return to visit their school again.

 

Wiesław Żyznowski

Siercza, 22 September 2014.

PS. Natan Kleinberger features in many of the publications released by Wydawnictwo Żyznowski.

(translated by Jessica Taylor-Kucia)

Zapisany w: Bez kategorii.

2 komentarze

  1. Napisany przez Ula:

    Uwielbiałam w nim i szanowałam dosłownie wszystko co zdołałam poznać.
    W tym podziwie dla Natana Kleinbergera nie było dystansu.
    Tym bardziej, że był człowiekiem, który się nie asekurował. Ani nadmiernie nie skrywał się w okazywaniu odczuć, emocji, wyrażaniu poglądów: nie odgradzał się, nie udawał, nie wstydził się, nie bał się, że kocha, szanuje, nie akceptuje, ma żal, ból w sercu; ani nie przerysowywał ich (nieświadomie, czy z obawy, lęku), nie robił zamieszania wokół siebie, nie zaskakiwał przesadnymi reakcjami, domysłami, wyobrażeniami, nie ranił. Miał taki dar.
    Był dorosły i dojrzały w swojej emocjonalności.
    Bardzo kochał i szanował swoich bliskich (taki przekaz płynął z jego opowieści i sposobu bycia).
    Byłam pod wielkim wrażeniem jego głęboko poruszających życiowych historii. Bardzo lubiłam go słuchać, rozmawiać z nim, nieraz z drżeniem w głosie i łzami w oczach, korespondować. Miałam wrażenie, że na moment byłam w jego domu w Wieliczce przed wojną, u dziadka i babci, w szkole, gdy ojciec umierał na jego oczach w 1939 roku, na wielickich ulicach tuż przed i w dzień wysiedlenia, na łące bogucickiej 27 sierpnia 1942 roku, przed ucieczką pociągiem z obozu pracy w Stalowej Woli, na placu apelowym we Freibergu 17 marca 1945 roku, podczas wyzwolenia w Mauthausen 6 maja 1945 roku, w szpitalu w Jerozolimie w 1948 roku, pod koniec lat pięćdziesiątych w Hajfie.
    Cała nasza rodzina: Wiesław, Tomasz, Miłosz i ja przeżyliśmy wzruszające i piękne chwile zarówno w Tel Awiwie jak i w Sierczy, Wieliczce wraz z Natanem Kleinbergerem i jego rodziną, żoną Helą, dziećmi Miriam i Ramim, wnukami, synową i zięciem. Doszło do nawiązania przyjaźni i lepszego poznania Izraelczyka przez Polaka i Polaka przez Izraelczyka, „Żyda” przez „Polaka” i „Polaka” przez „Żyda”, człowieka przez człowieka.

    27/09/2014 @ 15:05
  2. Napisany przez Ula:

    I adored and respected literally everything I managed to learn about him.

    Nathan Kleinberger was a man who was neither withdrawn nor haughty. Nor did he hold back from showing his feelings, emotions, opinions. He did not put up barriers, did not pretend, was not shy, was not afraid to love, respect, reject, hold grief and pain in his heart; he did not exaggerate these feelings (unconsciously, or from fear, aggravation), did not make a fuss around himself, did not startle with exaggerated reactions, assumptions, fantasies, did not cause pain. Such was his gift.
    He was mature and cultivated in his emotions.
    He greatly loved and respected his close ones (such was the picture emerging from his stories and way of life).

    I was greatly impressed by the deeply moving story of his life. I liked very much to listen to him, talk with him, sometimes with a trembling voice and tears in his and my eyes, to exchange letters with him. I had the impression that for a moment I was in his house in Wieliczka before the war, at his grandfather’s and grandmother’s, in the school, when his father was dying before his eyes in 1939, on the streets of Wieliczka just before and on the day of the expulsion, on the Bogucice meadow on 27 August 1942, before the train flight from the labour camp in Stalowa Wola, on the Exercise Square in Freiburg on 17 March 1945, during the liberation of Mauthausen on 6 May 1945, in the hospital in Jerusalem in 1948, in the late 50′ in Haifa.

    Our whole family: Wiesław, Tomasz, Miłosz and I have experienced moving and beautiful moments both in Tel Aviv and in Siercza, Wieliczka with Nathan Kleinberger and his family, his wife Hela, children Miriam and Rami, his grandchildren, daughter-in-law and son-in-law. An acquaintance and a bond of friendship was made between an Israeli and a Pole, a Pole and an Israeli, a “Jew” and a “Pole”, a “Pole” and a “Jew”, a human and a human.

    28/09/2014 @ 14:43

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