Born: March 23, 1919
Aaron was one of four children born to a Jewish family in the northeastern Polish town of Zdzieciol. His father was a shoemaker and, along with a business partner, he also ran a shoe store in the town. Aaron attended a private Jewish school, where he studied the Polish language and history as well as Jewish history and Hebrew.
1933-39: On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Three weeks later, Poland was partitioned between Germany and the Soviet Union [under the German-Soviet Pact]. Aaron and his family felt lucky. Zdzieciol was in the eastern part occupied by the Soviets so they didn't see any Germans in 1939. His family heard stories about the German treatment of Jews and were elated to see the Soviets. His father advised his children that two trades needed during war were tailoring and shoemaking.
1940-44: In June 1941 Germany invaded the USSR. In early 1942 the Germans set up a ghetto in Zdzieciol, and on August 6 decided to liquidate it. At 4 a.m., his family heard people running; Germans and drunk Lithuanians surrounded the town. Aaron and his family were marched to a cemetery and ordered to lie face down. Professions were called out: "Carpenters! Blacksmiths!" When shoemakers were called, Aaron raised his hand, never lifting his head. A soldier hit him with a rifle and ordered him up. He was among those deported to a work camp. The rest were shot.
Later, Aaron escaped and joined the Soviet partisans. Conscripted into the Soviet army in July 1944, he was in Germany when the war ended. He immigrated to the United States in 1947.