Moshe, son of Channah nee Chayeit and Joseph, born Aug 31, 1926, in Poland, in Smorgon city, near Vilna. Nowadays, in Belarus. His father was a teacher in the Hebrew school Tarbut, and his mother was a midwife in the city local hospital. The parents were ardent Zionists, in charge of the fundraising for Israel in the city, and they were very active toward/for the immigration to Zion. Moshe and his little brother Samuel grew up in this kind of environment, they spoke Hebrew fluently since childhood, and dreamed about the land of Israel.
Smorgon was annexed to Poland at the end of WWII, after over 100 years of being under the thumb of Russian rule. Several hundred Jews lived in the city and it was recognized as a Jewish center of prominence. (As a section of Lithuanian Jewishness.) Before the beginning of WWII, the city was annexed to the USSR, in accordance to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After 1 1/2 years passed, in 1941, after the treaty between Germany and the USSR was violated, the Germans conquered the place. Immediately after this, the Jews of the city concentrated into a ghetto. In the course of this process, a portion of Jews were sent into forced labor in Estonia and Latvia, and in 1942, they expelled the Jews that were left in the Vilna ghetto. From there, they were sent to the death camps.
By the end of the war, nearly all of the Smorgon congregation were killed.
Moshe, his parents and his younger brother Shmuel were sent to the ghetto in Smorgon and from there to Vilna, where the mother and younger brother perished. In one of the transports, Moshe was sent with his father to a labor camp in Estonia, where his father died. Moshe rolled between camps and miraculously survived.
On May 3, 1945, he managed to escape the death march that the conducted for the camp inmates when the front approached Germany, and with his last strength arrived in Czechoslovakia at the end of the war, Moshe returned to Fulgilgila because there was no remnant of his family. He was absorbed in an orphanage in Helenowek, near the city of Lodz, and Szas established with other members a Zionist cell whose purpose was to immigrate to Eretz Israel. The graduates of the orphanage were organized in a guard's aliyah group. After further shaking, Moshe managed to join an illegal immigrant ship sailing to Palestine. The ship Yagur was caught by the British and its immigrants were sent to a detention camp in Cyprus. After a few months in detention, Moshe was allowed to enter Israel.
On December 11, 1946, Moshe joined his friends in a training program at Kibbutz Beit Zera in the valley of Heredu. After a short time he moved to Hadera, where his relatives lived, and began to build his life there.
With the outbreak of the War of Independence, Moshe enlisted in the Alexandroni Brigade, the 3rd Brigade of the Haganah, which was assigned to protect the Sharon region, and was one of the first to enlist in the Dora camp near Netanya. And was sent as reinforcements to Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh. This kibbutz, north of Kfar Sava, was on the front line and suffered Arab harassment from the beginning of the war, mainly by gang members who came from the Qalqiliya area. Alexandroni's fighters were involved in securing the settlement and protecting the workers in its fields.
On April 20, 1948, two groups of workers from the kibbutz were attacked by a gang from Qalqiliya, and after the help was provided, a face-to-face battle ensued, during which the defenders managed to liquidate three members of the gang and smuggle the others. He was brought to eternal rest in the cemetery at Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh The space is the last bastion. "The last survivor of the Holocaust is a survivor of the last remnant of their nuclear family, parents, brothers and other boys and girls who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust in your ghettos. And/or fleeing and hiding in territories occupied by the Nazis and/or a Underground fighting alongside members or partisans
Moshe Bernstein was the last surviving member of his family.
The details of Moshe Bernstein’s life appear in part on the “Yizkor” site of the Defense Ministry.
The story of his life was researched and completed in 2018 by volunteers for “Giving a Face to the Fallen”.