Michail Schrenzel

There is not a lot of information available about Michail Shrenzel. It is believed he was born in Bukovina in a shtetl or village near the city of Chernovitz (now Romania) around 1900. He was the best friend of Mottel Menczer (the father of Emanuel member Micha Menczer). MIchail was a lawyer and active in community and Jewish affairs in his community before the war.

He was deported to Bershad camp in the Ukraine in the late fall 1941 / winter 1942 together with many of the Bukovina Jews, including the Menczer family. Michail was a leader in Bershad and as a head of the ghetto “council” sought to protect and help the people as best possible given the harsh conditions and Nazi control.

Michail was killed by the Nazi guards in Bershad for failing to reveal names of those who coordinated underground resistance activities. The story of his heroism and death is chronicled by Mottel Menczer who wrote stories in Yiddish about his family’s experiences during the Shoah. One of these stories “The Provocateur” is about Michail Schrenzel’s arrest and murder for refusing to disclose names of resistance. This story as translated is available from Micha Menczer. 

Other of Mottel Menczer’s stories, documents and photos can be seen in a digital exhibit through the University of Victoria at the link: https://omekas.library.uvic.ca/s/memory/page/michamenczer

December 6, 2022

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