Raphael Nissenbaum was born July 25, 1927 in Ostrowiec Poland. His parents were Moshe and Shprintza Nisenbaum. He, his mother, and all his sisters Regina, Brandla/Bronia and Nesia survived the Holocaust.
In 1942, he and his family were hiding in an attic but were later caught. He witnessed his father’s murder. He was saved and sent to the camps of Buna, Auschwitz, and was liberated in 1945.
Not knowing that any family survived, Raphael went with a trusted elder survivor Alfred Kains to Antwerp, and Brussels Belgium where he began working as a watchmaker and learning jewelery and diamond trading by the Kains family. In 1952, he learned his mother and 3 sisters survived and were living in Israel.
Raphael passed away on July 17, 2017 (Tammuz 23) and is sorely missed.
Below is part of a testimony he gave:
Where were you hiding?
“Under a "butke"...Mendel had a butke (shack)...we were hiding under a butke .
Do you remember for how many weeks??
Only for six weeks.
And then what happened?
There was a guy...he had a restaurant...he had a beer place.... he was a traitor.
So what did he do?
… the Germans came...they kicked me out... (of the hiding spot) …. A German shot three guys (including my father) ... we were standing and we saw this.... unbelievable…..