There are no words in any language that can describe what the Nazis did to 6Million Jews. And what revenge and on whatever scale is appropriate?
The Sweet Revenge of Felix Zandman
I originally penned a version of this story in 2011. It is about Felix Zandman who had victorious sweet revenge over the Nazis who wanted him dead at the age of 14-year-old, just because he was a Jew.
This is the story of Felix Zandman, an “out of the box” thinker. Felix’s idea of the resistor, the electronic component that regulates current and voltage, which he scribbled on a napkin during lunch break and his other scientific breakthroughs and inventions is one of the most shining testaments to human spirit and the Jewish fortitude.
As it happened, on October 10, 2021, I came across the 2005 one-hour-long Documentary, ‘The final victory: The story of Felix Zandman’ by Haim Hecht
Felix Sandman, an engineer who founded the Vishay Company that manufactures electronic components is World War II miraculous surviving case. I therefore decided to revive my 10 year old story.
This article is based on the life story of Felix Zandman, Ph.D., the founder and chief technology officer of Vishay Intertechnology, one of the world’s largest providers of electronic components.
Felix Zandman survived the atrocities of the Holocaust, hidden for 17 months with his uncle and three other Jews in a pit under the bed of his family’s Polish housekeeper. After the war he became a brilliant scientist, an inventor and a successful entrepreneur. His contribution to the betterment of the world is based on his grandmother’s teaching. Giving is mandatory, it remains with you during your life and after.
I always think, how many other Jewish geniuses were shot dead or sent to the Nazi gas chambers? Can one imagine how many bright youngsters, just like Felix, were among the 2Million Jewish kids the Nazis murdered?
Felix Zandman Story
Felix Zandman was born in 1928 in Grodno, Belarus, then Eastern Poland. During WWII, in October 1941, at the age of 14, he arrived at the Grodno Ghetto with his parents, sisters, grandparents and many other relatives all were forced to move to live in Grodno Ghetto which was liquidated at the end of 1942 and most of the Jews who were ingathered there were sent to their death in the Nazi Concentration-Death Camps.
Felix survived the Holocaust thanks to Jan and Anna Puchalski, a Righteous Of Nations Polish family who hid him in a 170 cm long, 150 cm wide and only 120 cm high, a grave size hole dugout.
Felix shared this hideaway with three other Jewish refugees, one of them was his uncle Sender Freydowicz, who taught him trigonometry, advanced mathematics and physics in the long months of darkness they had spent hiding in their hideaway hole.
The advancing Soviet Army liberated them in July 1944. For a short period of time Felix remained in Poland only to realize that Poland had become nothing but a large Jewish graveyard. In the summer of 1946, Felix was able to legally immigrate to France.
His uncle’s teaching did not go to waste. From 1946 to 1949 Felix studied physics and engineering at the University Of Nancy, France. In parallel, he was enrolled in a Grande … cole of engineering ENSEM (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electricité et de Mécanque). He continued his studies to receive his Ph.D., for physics on the subject of photoelasticity, at the Sorbonne University. In 1962 Felix Zandman was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal.
Eventually, Felix Zandman immigrated to the United States. In 1956, for the first time in the U.S, Felix presented his self-developed instruments’ methods. He was able to establish important contacts with leading professors and well-known users of this specific field. Eventually, he gained employment with Tatnall Measuring Systems Company, based in Philadelphia. As the director of basic research Felix developed a temperature-resistant electrical resistor. His employer, however, had no interest in marketing Felix’s invention, in fact no one showed interest.
Felix Zandman was left with one option, to market his invention all by himself. With his $4,000 savings and some financial help from his cousin, Alfred P. Slaner, Felix put the potential of his invention to work. In 1962 he founded Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. The company has developed into a Fortune 1000 Company, with many subsidiaries, employing over 22,000 employees worldwide, to include a large plant in the town of Dimona, Israel. Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) is a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of over 2.5 billion dollars.
Felix Zandman could account for an impressive financial victory.
Walther Rathenau and AEG-Telefunken Story Curve
Prior to Nazi Germany AEG-Telefunken German company was owned by Walther Rathenau, a German-Jew, an industrialist, politician, writer, and statesman who served as the Foreign Minister of Germany during the Weimar Republic. On June 24, 1922, two months after the signing the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo, between the German Republic and Soviet Russia, Rathenau was assassinated in a plot led by Erwin Kern and Hermann Fischer, two ultra-nationalist German army officers. On that morning, Rathenau was driving from his house to Wilhelmstrabe, as he did daily, and predictably. During the trip his car was passed by another, in which four armed men were sitting. They simultaneously shot at the minister with machine guns and threw a hand-grenade into his car before quickly driving away.
When Hitler came to power, he decreed to seize all Jewish businesses in Germany and Walther Rathenau’s family was forced to walk away from AEG-Telefunken. During the war, Telefunken served as the Wehrmacht’s Communication Corps.
After the War, Telefunken, the enterprise founded and owned by the Jew Rathenau, which the Nazis seized and made their trademark brand, became the splendor pride of the German electronic industry.
In the autumn of 1985, Daimler-Benz Corporation took over Telefunken. Ten years later, because of financial and management difficulties, the Daimler-Benz consortium’s management announced to the German government that Telefunken is up for sale and there is a danger that thousands of its employees will find themselves jobless.
When Felix Zandman, the Holocaust surviving Jew, the owner of Vishay Industries, heard that Telefunken is up for sale, a component in his heart reacted.
No doubt Telefunken were Nazis. They worked for Hitler and it was a company that was involved with the Wehrmacht’s activities. Felix knew that if he bought this company he could declare moral victory. A Jew, whom the Nazis wanted to kill, acquires a German pride company.
Felix negotiated the purchase of Telefunken, during which the German government and the Daimler-Benz Corporation did all they could so that the American industrialist would save their Telefunken.
When Felix left his hotel to go sign the sale and purchase agreement of Telefunken with Daimler-Benz management, he took along with him, hidden in his pocket, a yarmulke – the traditional Jewish skullcap. What he had in mind was, that at the appropriate moment, he will bless the transaction in Hebrew. And so he did. He signed the agreement and then he took the skullcap out of his pocket and put it on his head and then said the common Hebrew blessing for thanks: ‘Blessed are You, the Lord our God, Who has kept us alive and got us to this time.’
And a sweet taste of victory overwhelmed Felix Zandman. A sense of victory without revenge; that a Jew could turn history around in such a short time to do what he has just done. Own a business in Germany that seized and removed all Jewish business ownership at the beginning of Nazi Germany, officially known as the German Reich, from 1933 until 1943.
In place of former Nazi Telefunken, the Vishay Industries, owned by a Jew is located in Itzehoe, north Germany. And at the entrance to the Vishay building waves, with pride, the blue and white, with the Star of David in its center, the flag of the Jewish state, Israel. As he walks the corridors of his Vishay Industries, in Germany, his heart is jumping for joy of pride and tears wet his eyes, six million Holocaust Victims are cheerfully smiling from above at Felix Zandman. Once again a Jew has a factory on German soil and Germans are working for a Jew.
There is no question that the inventions of resistance of Photo-Stress are most important; they help the industry. More important though, they help the security of Israel. As Felix said: “For me, my feelings, that is the most important thing that could have been done in my life.”
Felix Zandman’s contribution to the development of the Israeli tank ‘Merkava’ made this tank rank the best in the world
Felix Zandman always felt guilty for managing to flee the Nazis and survive. But maybe God had a plan for him; He wanted him to stay alive to help humanity and especially Israel. After all, the most important product of Israel and the Jewish people is the product of miracles.
Felix Zandman was born on May 7, 1928 and on June 4, 2011, he passed away. However, always remember, the angel of death is a nobody. You give some nobody a gun and with the strength of a government behind him he turns to be the angel of death. You take away the gun as well as the government’s supportive power and he becomes a nobody again.
Sooner or later, what goes around comes around.