Videos page 2
Early in the war, while Aaron is a slave under the Hungarians, 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.
Still a slave under the Germans 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?
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, 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 numbers 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).
Aaron was a Zionist youth before the war, believing that the only safe place in the world for the Jewish people was Israel, then known as 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 was hoping that the Jews of Europe would establish an organized resistance movement against the pending Nazi threats of invasion. Unfortunately, virtually all the rabbis of Europe were orthodox who had absolute control over the Jews and preached prayer instead of resistance, based on the scriptures of ancient prophets that God’s “Messiah” would descend from the heavens and rescue the Jews and lead them to the Promised Land. Aaron didn’t believe any of this, but the vast majority of the other Jews did, and Aaron lays some of the blame for the loss of the 6 million Jews on the rabbis’ antiquated preachings.
When at last Aaron escapes from the Nazis and joins the Russian Army, he becomes enamored with their rousing marching songs. 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.
Forty-five years after leaving their home town 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.
Aaron grew up as an educated young man in an idyllic town in Eastern Czechoslovakia named Bilky, where he ran the family farm. Relations between Jews and Christians were peaceful. But in 1938 Hitler threatened war over Czechoslovakia’s possession of the strategic Sudeten border, where the mountainous high ground gave 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 and then disbanded the Czech Army to satisfy Hitler’s demands. Within six months, Hitler broke his promise of no more territorial aggression, and Nazi Germany invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia, while Hitler’s Hungarian fascist allies were rewarded with Eastern Czechoslovakia, including Aaron’s hometown. Aaron and his Jewish compatriots are soon indentured as slave laborers under the Hungarian Nazis.
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 included his ability to poke fun of himself, as other family members try to impersonate Aaron, as boss of the laundry plant.
In this entertaining and at times humorous video, Aaron shows how very close he felt to the ideals of US President Ronald Reagan. During the war, Aaron spent many weeks as a prisoner in the Soviet gulags, falsely accused of being a Nazi spy. He proclaimed Reagan to be his favorite president of all time, and was elated when Reagan’s policies brought an end to the Soviet Union. Find out more by watching this most entertaining video.
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’s wife Helen grew up in a religious orthodox family. Her two most pious brothers, Hillel and Wolf, aspired 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.