Mendel Rosenburg was born 18-SEP 1928 in Konigsberg, Germany but he spent most of his childhood in Lithuania. His father was Shimon, and his mother was Recha. Mendel had one brother: Samuel. The family was Orthodox Jews. Later his family moved to Shailiai, Lithuania where Mendel would spend most of his youth.
He had good memories of his childhood. Mendel would say, “everyday life was good, liberal for the Jewish people, he didn’t feel any anti-Semitism.” Mendel’s father had a clothing business. Mendel went to a private Hebrew high school where everything was taught in Hebrew. The family planned that when Mendel and his brother finished high school, they would all go to Palestine. The boys belonged to the Betarism, a Zionist organization. It was one of many right-wing movements and youth groups arising at that time that adopted special salutes and uniforms.
When World War II broke out in 1939, the Russians came into Lithuania, and Mendel’s father had to give up his business. From this point on, Mendel and his brother went to public school where they studied in Yiddish. In 1941 the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, and Shailiai was occupied by the German army. His father, Shimon, and only brother, Samuel, were taken to a jail and then separated.
For the rest of Mendel’s story, click on the link below.