ZVI GRILICHES

September 12, 1930–November 4, 1999

BY MARC NERLOVE

1. PROLOGUE

ZVI GRILICHES was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, on September 12, 1930, and died on November 4, 1999, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The story of how he got from there to here is a long one with a harrowing beginning. It has been told by Griliches himself in a talk presented on the eve of Yom Hashoah at the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel Foundation (1992) and in an interview given to Alan Krueger and Timothy Taylor about four months before his death (Krueger and Taylor, 2000). The beginning was harsh: In 1940 the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania and the other Baltic republics. The Nazis occupied the country in 1941. Griliches and his family were confined to the ghetto in Kaunas in August of that year. He managed to evade the periodic roundups for transport to the concentration camps until sometime during the summer of 1944. After that he was moved, often by foot, from one camp to another until he was liberated from Dachau by the American advance in May 1945. Except for a sister, he lost all his immediate family in the Holocaust. Eventually Griliches made his way via a British internment camp on Cyprus to what was then Palestine. After working on a kibbutz and participating in



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