Menachem "Manny" Taiblum (b. 1928)
Menachem “Manny” Taiblum was born on July 22, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland to an Orthodox family. In 1940, Manny and his family were forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto along with nearly 500,000 other Polish Jews. In 1942, on the eve of his 14th birthday, Manny snuck out of the ghetto to find food for his parents and siblings. After walking nearly 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), he arrived at a farm where he procured food to take back to his family in the Ghetto. However, when he returned to the ghetto he found that his family and almost 300,000 other Jews had been rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the Treblinka death camp.
On his own and unsure what to do, Manny joined the freedom fighters of Poland, also known as the Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa (ZOB), or the Jewish Fighting Organization, to fight in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Germans. Soon after the Uprising, in January of 1945, Russia liberated the Ghetto and Manny returned to Warsaw to look for his family; none survived and Manny was the only member of his family to live through the War. Shortly thereafter, Manny went to Palestine and participated in the 1948 war for independence. He married in 1951, and had a daughter in 1952. Manny then accepted a job to work for a Jewish newspaper in Brazil, where he met his second wife, Sarah; they married in 1956. The couple moved to the United States in 1972 and lived in New York, where Manny studied to be a cantor (a profession he held for most of the rest of his life). He also worked as a linotype operator and a copy editor until he was injured on the job. Manny and his wife moved frequently for Sarah’s health, and in 1992 they settled in West Linn, Oregon and in 1998 moved to Portland.