|At 75, Aaron Herskowitz returned to Bilke. It was the first time since World War II. It was only after much convincing that Aaron’s three children were able to get their father to make the journey.|
|Howard, who has been fascinated with his father’s stories since childhood, hadn’t truly understood his father’s reluctance to return. Together, Aaron and his family revisited familiar countryside while Howard used video and audio to record his father’s memories.|
The Herskowitz Family, 1925. Aaron is second from the right. His two younger sisters, in the middle, Rachel and Leah, were still living at home when Aaron was taken to Russia. (Right) Rabbi Weiss preached prayer rather than resistance; ironically, one of Aaron's greatest adversaries.
Top row from left to right: Aaron’s family, circa 1925 (clockwise from far left): sisters Hannah, Sarah and Rachel, brother Harry, sister Bela, maternal grandmother Reisel Klein, grandfather Jacob Klein, Aaron’s father Jacob Herskowitz, mother Paula, Aaron and sister Leah; Aaron’s family revered Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz-Josef (1830-1916) , who emancipated the Jewish citizens; Aaron, at the end of World War II; Helen in 1945.
Middle row from left to right: Helen and Aaron married in 1946; Aaron and his niece Irene, his only relative to survive the war; Aaron and Helen on the farm in 1948; Aaron riding horses in the 1970s; it was his expert horsemanship that helped save his life during the war.
Bottom row from left to right: Aaron and Helen and old friends during their return to Bilke; Aaron’s family had bred horses, and as an adult in Florida, he was able to return to a childhood passion; Aaron and Helen, with children Louis, Philis, Howard and grandchildren.