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Willy Bogler and a friend walk down a road at the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 41534

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    Willy Bogler and a friend walk down a road at the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.
    Willy Bogler and a friend walk down a road at the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.


    Willy Bogler and a friend walk down a road at the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.
    1945 - 1948
    Eschwege, [Hesse-Nassau; Kassel] Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Dalia Frieder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Dalia Frieder
    Second Provenance: Wili Bogler

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Wili (Wolf) Bogler is the youngest child of Baruch Bogler and Zippora-Feigel (nee Gutman) Bogler. He had five older siblings: Shlomo, Yaakov, Eliyahu, Yehoshua and Roza; Wili was fifteen years younger than his oldest brother. Wili was born year one year after the death of his grandfather Wolf and was named after him. His family sold cloth and dry goods. His parents were religious Chassidim; they spoke Yiddish at home and children German. The children however became active in Zionist movements. Yehoshua moved to Palestine and joined a kibbutz as a young man. Wili attended public school as well as afternoon heder (religious school). Despite parents' religiosity, he joined the secular, socialist Hashomer Hatzair. Wili urged his parents to move to Palestine but they did not want to leave their extended family, synagogue and community. Instead Wili decided join a Shomer Hatzair hachshara (training farm) in Czyzykow near Lvov in Eastern Poland.

    Ora Peitzer is the only child of Jehuda and Berta Peitzer. She was born in Stanislowow in 1922. Ora's mother passed away when she was only four years old. For the next decade she was raised by her father and paternal grandmother Penina. After her grandmother's death in 1936, Jehuda remarried and her step-mother gave birth to a boy Abraham (Bomek). With increasing antisemitism, the family's financial situation worsened. They could no longer afford to send Ora to gymnasium, and she decided to leave home to the join the Czyzykow hachshara. There she met Wili Bogler.

    After the start of the war Wili, Ora and two other friends moved to Lvov, then under Soviet occupation. They lived in a communal apartment which each of them helped support. At first Ora worked in post office and Wili found work in factory, but then they both decided to enroll in the Technical University's agricultural program. This came to a halt with Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Wili and Ora escaped the city on foot traveling some 800 km to Kiev. From Kiev they continued south. After they ran out of money, they spent the rest of the war working on communal farms. They also obtained a civil marriage on the farm. In 1945 Ora gave birth to a baby girl, Ruti, named after a friend from Czyzykow. By spring of the following year, the Soviet Union granted them permission to repatriate to Poland. It took Wily, Ora and Ruti five weeks to make their way to Szczecin where by coincidence they found other friends from Czyzykow. They then traveled to Austria and on to Eschwege, Germany where they joined a new Shomer Hatzair hachshara. Wily and Ora also learned that all of their family in Poland had perished during the Holocaust. Eventually Wily and Ora moved to Palestine to reunite with Wily's brother Yehoshua, his only surviving relative.

    [Source: Bogler, Orah u-Wili, "Le'Or ha-Zikhranot." Kiryat Bialik: 2007]
    Record last modified:
    2008-09-17 00:00:00
    This page:

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