resist tyranny

**Promoted from the recent Comments. Posted by VitadMD**

Dear, dear Shifra… Thank you for sharing this remarkable photograph – an image with a profound message and interesting story of defiance. Fortunately, the provenance of the photo is known and is deserving of proper attribution. For anyone interested…

Via Tracing the Roots of the Famous Holocaust Menorah

In 1931, a woman snapped a photograph of her family’s menorah in a windowsill. It was the eighth night of Hanukkah and nine white candles stood along the candelabra, set off by the German courtyard seen through the glass of the window.

Just in the distance, a Nazi flag hung.

The image, freezing in time a notorious piece of the past, has grown to become an iconic part of history for the Jewish community. But until just recently, not much was known about the origins of the photo.

Both the menorah and photo survived World War II, with the hanukkiah finding its way to Yad Vashem through the loan of Yehudah Mansbuch. Mansbuch is the grandson of the woman who took the picture, and he retains the original snapshot, on the back of which are written the words, “Hanukkah, 5692. ‘Judea dies,’ thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever,’ thus respond the lights.”

When Yad Vashem was putting together its plans to open the Holocaust History Museum, a team of researchers set out to learn more about this famous photo. Their inquiries led to Mansbuch, who explained how his grandmother and grandfather had lived under Nazi oppression in Kiel, Germany, eventually fleeing to then-Palestine in 1934.

Mansbuch’s grandfather, Rabbi Akiva Boruch Posner, was a beloved leader in the Kiel Jewish community. He was known to use Shabbat sermons to denounce the Nazi regime and used his position to act as a peaceful opponent to the uprising. His wife Rachel’s placement of their menorah in such a prominent place, in their home’s front window, can be seen as a sign of this defiance, as can the words Rachel ultimately wrote on the back of the photograph….

Related: Menorah of Courage

Another famous image:

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3 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Shifra says:

    Thank you, VitadMD, for the back story to this photo. And, perfect timing, since tonight is the eighth and final night of Chanukah, which is when this picture was taken. I *love* that is was the rabbi’s *wife* who placed the menorah in the window in an act of defiance against the Nazis.

    I was familiar with the second picture that you posted. I guess because it was taken in Holland, the inmates did not suffer the horrors of Auschwitz, Dachau, etc. A beautiful picture…

  2. Kitten says:

    So glad to hear this family got out of Germany with their lives, the menorah, and the photo. Such profound words inscribed on the back. I’ll bet Grandma Rachel was a force to be reckoned with.

  3. Di Grace says:

    When I first saw this photograph, the word that immediately came to mind was “chutzpah.” Chutzpah is, “personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others.” This act of defiant courage could have cost this person her life, but she proceeded anyway with celebrating sacred tradition. The photo of the camp prisoners wearing stars and lighting the menorah was also deeply moving.

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