(Photo: Yair Sagi)

(Photo: Yair Sagi)

By Itay Ilnai - January 6, 2017

Originally appeared here in Ynetnews

It was an emotionally charged moment: A young German woman, the granddaughter of a Nazi officer, sitting next to a Holocaust survivor and specifying what her grandfather had done to Jews during World War II. There was no anger there, just a lot of sadness.

“Both sides of my family, my paternal side and my maternal side, were devout Nazis,” Anna Reiner confesses with a serious look on her angel face. “My great grandfather took part in burning the synagogue in the city of Darmstadt, Germany. Another grandfather was a policeman in the Krakow ghetto. Another grandfather was in the Wehrmacht, the German army, and took part in the occupation of Belarus.”

While 25-year-old Reiner describes the horrible acts committed by her grandparents, Yevgenya Chaika sits next to her and strokes her arm, calming her down. It’s quite possible that Chaika, a Belarus-born Holocaust survivor, ran into Reiner’s grandfather at some point. She was only eight months old when Hitler’s soldiers stormed eastern Belarus and jailed all the Jews in crowded ghettos. Together with her family members, she was tossed “like a sack of potatoes” into a crate on a large truck, which took her to the ghetto. She barely survived there for four years, a helpless baby. After the ghetto was liberated, the family returned home, only to discover that the house had been bombed and robbed. Read More