THE 20 CHILDREN
Bluma (Blumel) Mekler
Bluma Mekler was born in 1934 in Sandomierz, Poland. She had four siblings, two brothers and two sisters. Their parents ran a general groceries store. Herschel, the father, was a religious teacher in the Cheder Jewish school for boys. “When Blumel was ten, she was sent to Auschwitz Concentration camp with her parents. Both her father and mother, as well as two of her siblings, died there. Her younger sister Shifra survived the Holocaust. Shifra grew up on a kibbutz in Israel, where she was reunited with her brother; later she moved to Tel Aviv. Blumel Mekler was eleven years old when she was murdered at Bullenhuser Damm.”
Only a few members of the family survived:
Bluma's younger sister Shifra/Szyfra Mekler (later Shifra Mor), her brother Alter, and her uncle Juda Taitelbaum and his brother were hidden on a farm outside Sandormierz by Polish farmers, the Kuras family, whose descendants still live there today. The Kuras family was their neighbour before the war. They risked their lives to save the members of the family during the Holocaust. After the war, in 1947, Shifra emigrated to Israel. Her elder brother Alter (b. 1929) was incarcerated in Lublin Concentration camp initially before being deported to Auschwitz in 1943. Bluma’s sister Shifra discovered the fate of the Children of Bullenhuser Damm by reading about it in the Israeli newspaper Maariv. In 1998 Shifra visited the memorial at Bullenhuser Damm and also the children’s kindergarten in Hamburg-Burgwedel named after her sister Bluma.