Western Wall Attendant Told By Nazi ‘Maybe Your Ashes Will Reach Jerusalem’ Dies In Jerusalem At 95

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JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Binyamin Wurzberger was a young prisoner in a concentration camp, carrying heavy rails with his frail hands. After a few hours of excruciating work, the Nazis threw the Jews a miserable meal. Binyamin rushed to get some morsels together with his famished brethren. A Nazi looked at him in disgust and said: “You dream of getting to your Jerusalem? Maybe your ashes will get there through the chimneys.”

Binyamin kept the hurtful words in his heart but strengthened his faith which he had grown up with in his Hungarian birthplace.

“I went through the seven corridors of hell, I suffered murderous blows, indignities, starvation,” he told the Sichat Hashavua magazine in an interview 10 years ago. “I was forced to work in difficult physical labor which threatened to overcome my weak body.”

Yet Wurzberger, who died this week at the age of 95, survived the grueling labor and the death marches and arrived in Mauthausen almost skin and bones. After a few weeks he was liberated by the American army and discovered that he alone had survived. “I had a brother and two sisters. They were all murdered by the Nazis,” he said.

After wandering throughout Europe he arrived in the land of Israel to find himself fighting almost immediately in the War of Independence. After the war, he established a family.

“Thank G-d I managed to establish a family and they all studied in yeshivos and went in the way of the Torah,” he said proudly.

After working for many years in various roles, Binyamin retired but had no plans to rest. He went to the Western Wall and said to the officers: “I want to work here.”

The director tried to dissuade him, saying that “you’re an old man, we haven’t got any jobs for you.” But Binyamin insisted and said “I’ll do whatever you ask. Let me work and you won’t be disappointed.”

Eventually he was given the job of cleaning the stones of the wall. Every morning he rose at five and arrived early at the wall. “I saw this as my mission, I was overjoyed,” he said in the interview. “When it snowed, I went by foot so as not to miss a day of work.I had an accident and since then I’m at home.”

ורצברג בכותל לפני מספר שנים

Binyamin placed thousands of notes in the wall but never tired. “I never looked at my watch, I wanted to give whatever I could. Whenever I cleaned the stones of the wall, where the Shechina (holy spirit) has always resided, I felt that I was taking revenge on that Nazi officer. That was the most Jewish revenge.”

Binyamin merited to see his family following his path and maintaining his values. May his memory be blessed.


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