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Remembering a Prayer

In September 1944, in the special section of the Bergen - Belsen camp, were 1684 Jews who had left Hungary on June 30 on a transport known as the Kasztner train, according to an agreement with the SS that these Jews would be sent from Hungary to Switzerland.


On the eve of Yom Kippur 1944, a Kol Nidre prayer took place at Bergen - Belsen in the presence of Rabbi Paul Weiss (d. August 1998) and other rabbis. The prayer was transcribed from memory for those Jews who couldn't remember it well and the vowel markings were added for them so that they could read it. The writers also made certain to direct the people praying to the prayer books to say the "Maariv" and "Shemoneh Esreh" prayers.

The page of prayers was saved by Dr. Ben - Zion Kauders, a Zionist and leader of Hungarian Jewry during the Holocaust, who participated in the prayers and possibly also was among those who wrote them out. Eventually the page was placed in the Ghetto Fighters' House Archive in Israel. 



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