The Miracle of the White Doves
TOLD BY ITZḤ A K-ISIDORE FEIERSTEIN
TO ABRAHAM KEREN
Nothing moved in the streets of Mielnice. The only sound in the town was the howling of the dogs, as if they wanted to signal the impending catastrophe.
The inhabitants of Mielnice knew that that night, November 9, 1941, Hitler's Germany was getting ready to celebrate its great holiday, the holiday of its victory.
The townspeople had heard alarming reports that something would happen. Doors and gates were slammed shut. Darkness ruled every house, like a living grave.
Suddenly, the deadly quiet was shattered by a gunshot, issuing from near the barracks. Every heart froze in panic. Soon they heard the noise of doors being forced open, followed by the piercing cries of women and children. They were all driven to the square in front of the beit midrash*
A Jew with a pot on his head pulled down over his eyes like the brim of his hat, so he would not be able to see, was accompanied by the wild laughter of Germans.
A crowd of Jewish children had been forcibly assembled outside the beit midrash. Girls had been forced to dance naked on the tables. All was a hell of rapes, until the Heavens and beit midrash walls echoed with the screams. The locked beit midrash was pried open and all the holy books were tossed onto a heap by the window. A Torah scroll was dragged out of the Holy Ark and the holy parchment was spread on the street.
The assassins ordered the Jews to kneel and await their fate.
The "show" began with the Germans in their muddy boots strutting back and forth on the parchment and calling out, "Where is the Jews' God?" They accompanied their shouts with howls of laughter.
Then the Germans led out the Jew with the pot on his head and, accompanied by shrieks of amusement from the Germans and Ukrainians,