b'BOOK OF MEMORY FOR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAYREMEMBERING THE HOLOCAUST TOPIOL FAMILYM yfather,JacquesTopiol(zl) and my aunt, Bronia Topiol (zl), grew up in Stopnica, a shtetl in Southern Poland. During the war, they spent two and a half years in Skarzysko-Kamienna,aHASAGlabourcampin CentralPoland.Theyweredeported in 1942, a week before Rosh Hashanah, separatedfromtheirparentsMoshe Topiol(zl)andRaizelTopiol(zl)and three sisters, Tova Topiol (zl), Rivka Topiol (zl) and Esther Topiol (zl). Moshe, Raizel andTovaweremurderedinTreblinka shortly thereafter. Rivka and Esther were deportedtotheHASAGPelcerylabour camp in Czestochowa where they died two days apart in September 1944.Last year, we travelled to Poland to visit Stopnica and Auschwitz-Birkenau.Our guide, Tomasz, a Polish gentile withThe Topiol familydeep knowledge of the Holocaust, brought an unexpected dimension to the trip.In the main square of Stopnica, he approached an old man sitting on a bench and asked him if he remembered my family. He did not but began to reminisce about that day, in early September 1942, when the Nazis rounded up the Jews for deportation. His best friend, Moishe, was among them. As he recalled fearfully peeking through the window to catch a last glimpse of Moishe being led away, he started crying as he had over 75 years earlier. Tomasz also took us to the town hall where, to my surprise, we were able to consult the towns original civil registration records for the pre-war period; I had assumed that such records had been destroyed by the Nazis. There were two notebooks containing handwritten records: one for Jews and the other for Poles. I was amazed to find my fathers and Bronias birth certificates as well as the death certificate of my great grandmother Latze Topiol (zl).On our way back to Krakow, we stopped in Chmielnik to visit a museum dedicated to shtetl life. It is housed in the towns 17th century synagogue and contains a poignant Holocaust 39'