I have pictures of all of the family, and I have vowed as part of this project to keep Gunther Saltz and his family’s memories alive.
Roni’s Bar Mitzvah Twinning speech
8 January 2022
As I stand here today, I realise just how lucky I am to have a Bar Mitzvah, I have been fortunate enough to learn my Torah Portion and have that bond with my teacher and my dad whilst learning.
Many children were not as lucky as me and were unable to learn, have a Bar Mitzvah or even practice their Judaism as they were Holocaust victims.
My English birthday is the 27th January, which is Holocaust Memorial day. I felt it was important to twin my Bar Mitzvah, through the Yad Vashem UK Twinning project, with a boy who did not even make it to the age of 13.
Yad Vashem UK try to link you with a boy that has a family connection, and they gave me a boy called Gunther Saltz. Saltz was my great-grandmothers family name.
My family and I researched into Gunther Saltz, he was born outside of Berlin in a place called Charlottenberg, and he lived with his mum Erna and dad, Walter who was a salesman. Gunther appeared to be the youngest of three children. Lore, his sister and Peter his older brother. Peter was the person who registered Gunther and the rest of his family as victims of the Shoah.
My dad managed to track down the niece of Gunther to a kibbutz in Israel. Unfortunately, Peter passed away in 2019. Peter managed to move away to Verner in France before the War to become a teacher. He learned later that his entire family were taken to Poland and there they were killed in Auschwitz. As a family we will remain in touch with Gunther’s niece and find out more about the family.
Gunther was believed to be 6 or 7 years old, due to records back then, we do not know his actual age or birthday.
I have pictures of all of the family, and I have vowed as part of this project to keep Gunther Saltz and his family’s memories alive. Every Holocaust Memorial Day and on Yom HaShoah, I will light a candle in their memory.