Videos Page 2

Beatings From The Hungarian SS

Early in the war, while Aaron is a slave under the Nazi-Hungarians on their way to the Russian battlefront, he and his fellow slaves are subjected to a brutal beating from the Hungarian SS, merely because they are Jewish. Most of us are not fully aware of the dastardly role that Fascist Hungary played as Hitler’s military ally, which included murdering and torturing Jews. This gripping video exposes this missing link.

Death-Fight For My Watch

Still a slave under the Nazis and Hungarians, while on the back of a Hungarian truck, Aaron refuses to surrender his watch to the Hungarian guard who demands it. A furious fight to the death ensues. How does Aaron get out of this dilemma? He draws upon his military training as a Czechoslovakian soldier, as well as a highly skilled jiu-jitsu fighter trained by Zionists from then-Palestine.


Hitler had been emphatic to his armies on the Russian front: NO RETREAT, NO MATTER WHAT! And yet, on January 13, 1943, at the battle of Voronezh, the Jewish slave laborer, Aaron Herskowitz boldly impersonates the Axis commanders at the front lines with his loud and booming voice, bellowing “RETREAT!“ ordering countless Nazi and Hungarian soldiers to retreat in defiance of Hitler‘s orders… shifting the tide of a major battle toward a crushing Nazi defeat, handing the Russians a major victory. Aaron saves the lives of countless thousands of Jewish slaves whom he exhorts to follow him into the forest on the heels of the retreating Axis soldiers (because some of this video was shot while Aaron is having a meal, subtitles are inserted during those segments for clarity to the viewer).

Why Didn’t the Jews Fight Back?

Aaron is a Zionist youth before the war, believing that the only safe place in the world for the Jewish people is Israel, then-Palestine. With the help of Zionist fighters from Palestine, Aaron learns jujitsu fighting and self-defense with clubs and his hands. Aaron becomes a leader and teaches other young Zionists in the town how to fight. He is hoping that the Jews of Europe will establish an organized resistance movement against the pending Nazi threats of invasion. Unfortunately, virtually all the rabbis of Europe are ultra-orthodox who have absolute control over the Jews and preach prayer instead of resistance, based on the scriptures of ancient prophets that God’s “Messiah” will descend from the heavens to rescue the Jews and lead them to the Promised Land. Aaron doesn’t believe any of this, but the vast majority of the other Jews obey their rabbis, Aaron lays some of the blame for the loss of the 6 million Jews on the rabbis’ antiquated preachings. In this video, Aaron’s wife Helen enthusiastically joins in the conversation.

Aaron Sings His Favorite Ukrainian Marching Tune

When at last Aaron escapes from the Nazis and joins the Russian Army, he becomes enamored with their rousing marching songs, many of which are Ukrainian. The entire Russian brigade sings the tunes together as they drive the Germans out of Russia. Aaron loved music and he sang and played these songs on his mandolin as a youth, so he sings along and bonds with his Russian comrades as brothers. This main marching tune Aaron sings in this video is actually a Ukrainian folk song. In Aaron’s hometown, the majority of the inhabitants are of Ukrainian descent, and Aaron had close friends among many of them.

Aaron and Helen Return to their Hometown

Forty-five years after leaving their hometown to the ashes of the War, Aaron and Helen are persuaded by their adult children to return with them to the magical place of their youth. As an extra treat, Aaron sings another favorite Ukrainian folk song.

 The Young Aaron Herskowitz

Aaron grows up as an educated young man in an idyllic small town in Eastern Czechoslovakia named Bilky, where he runs the family farm. Relations between Jews and Christians are peaceful. But in 1936 Hitler threatens war over Czechoslovakia’s possession of the strategic largely German-speaking Sudeten border, where the mountainous high ground gives the Czechs an impregnable defense against a German invasion. Aaron joins the Czech Army and is soon promoted to corporal. Unfortunately, Czechoslovakia’s cowardly allies, Britain and France, are so desperate for peace that they coerce the Czechs into ceding to Hitler the Sudetenland at the Munich accord in the fall of 1938, and they force Czechoslovakia to disband their army in order to satisfy Hitler’s remaining demands. Within six months, in the spring of 1939, Hitler breaks his promise of no more territorial aggression, and Nazi Germany invades the rest of Czechoslovakia, while Hitler’s Hungarian fascist allies are rewarded with Eastern Czechoslovakia, including Aaron’s hometown. Once again, Czechoslovakia’s allies do nothing. Aaron and his Jewish compatriots are soon indentured as slave laborers under the Hungarian Nazis.

“Attention All Employees!”

When Aaron and Helen immigrate to America in 1948, Aaron joins his older brothers in the laundry business. In this video, we see a different side of Aaron—his unique sense of humor, which includes his ability to poke fun at himself, as other family members try to impersonate Aaron as boss of the laundry plant.

Aaron’s Favorite President Ronald Reagan

In this entertaining and at times humorous video, Aaron shows the close connection he feels for the ideals of US President Ronald Reagan, a staunch supporter of Israel. During World War II, Aaron spends many weeks as a prisoner in the Soviet gulags, falsely accused of being a Nazi spy. He proclaims Reagan to be his favorite president of all time, and is elated when Reagan’s policies bring an end to the Soviet Union. Find out more by watching this most entertaining video.

More Sax

Sax relates an outrageous story to Aaron which occurred before the War. The story is so pungently within Sax’s character, that it helps give us a further sense of the man, and why he became Aaron’s great friend-as well as his gravest bane.

Aaron, Savior to Helen’s Brother Wolf

Aaron’s wife Helen grows up in a religious orthodox family. Her two most pious brothers, Hillel and Wolf, aspire to be rabbis. Aaron pokes some good-natured fun at their zealous piety. When Helen’s brother Wolf gets drafted into the Czechoslovakian Army dressed in orthodox garb, he instantly becomes the laughing-stock of the whole regiment, able to speak only Yiddish and Hebrew, refusing to eat the army’s non-kosher food. Although Aaron jokes about Wolf’s plight at first, he soon comes to Wolf’s rescue, risking his own military career, but ingratiating himself with Helen’s family as Wolf’s savior.

Helen Faces Rival For Aaron

Righteous Christians Try to Save Grandma

During the Herskowitz family trip back to the homeland in 1990, this video shows how the Righteous Christians, Mihai and Anna Barzoun, at great personal risk, tried in vain to save Helen and her younger siblings, imploring them to hide from the Nazis and Hungarians in the attic/haystack of their barn in the hills. The Barzouns were Helen’s neighbors who had learned that the Hungarians intended to arrest and deport all Jewish families in Bielka while they were all home celebrating Passover. At first Helen accepts the offer, but then declines when her mother begins crying. Even after Helen’s family was deported to the ghetto in Berregszas for six weeks, Mihai Barzoun brought the food on his wagon three times every week. Later in the video, Dr. Louis Herskowitz can be seen performing rudimentary medical exams on Mihai and his neighbor, coming up with diagnoses, and he delivers on his promise to send them medicine from the US.