Hands belong to daughter-in-law Iris Grisaru, who is a second-generation survivor.
Born May 22, 1928 | Focsani, Romania
Died January 13, 1981 | Nahariya, Israel
A proud Zionist and poet, Dolfi was incredibly talented with words, which he used to help others.
When the Nazis occupied Romania in 1941, Dolfi’s parents, together with other Jewish merchants in Focsani, were forced to turn their shop over to the fascists of the Iron Guard. Dolfi watched the legionnaires express their support for the Nazi movement by celebrating the January 1941 Bucharest pogrom in the streets of Focsani. At the age of 16, he was removed from school and sent into forced labour for the Nazis at a military airport. Although permitted to live at home, Dolfi became a prisoner in his own town, permitted on the streets only to go to and return from forced labour. As the Nazis retreated—taking Jewish forced labourers with them on death marches—Dolfi, fearing execution, daringly escaped into the forest.
After the war, Dolfi became a chemical engineer and married Mariana, also a Holocaust survivor. Rampant antisemitism persisted under the communist government for many years. When the couple attempted to immigrate to Israel during the 1950s, they were persecuted for it; Dolfi lost his engineering license, and Mariana was thrown out of medical school. After six years, Dolfi courageously wrote a complaint letter to UNESCO, which in turn placed pressure on the Romanian government to reinstate the rights denied to Jewish refuseniks. His actions resulted in hundreds of Jews regaining their academic credentials. In 1975, Dolfi left Romania with Mariana and their two children. Sadly, after only five years in Israel, Dolfi passed away at the age of 52. His posthumous legacy includes six grandchildren living in Israel and Canada.
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