99-Year-Old Brooklyn Man Who Survived the Holocaust was Killed Crossing the Street On Way to Shabbat Service
According to family members, Jack Mikulincer had fought in two wars, once with the Russian army during World War II before being confined in the Stanisławów Ghetto, and once with the Israeli army during Israel’s war for independence.
A 99-year-old Brooklyn man who survived the Holocaust and was known as the “gabbai of his synagogue” was hit by a car and died on his way to Saturday Shabbat services. The driver that hit him had a history of speeding violations, according to published news reports.
Authorities say the victim, identified as Jack Mikulincer, was struck by a 2020 BMW X5, at the intersection of Coleridge Street and Oriental Boulevard as he was crossing the street in his electric-powered wheelchair on Saturday. A 52-year-old male who was operating the vehicle had been traveling westbound on Oriental Blvd., police said. The driver remained at the scene, The New York Police Department told Inside Edition Digital.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time by the NYPD's Highway Collision Investigation Squad, the police said.
Mikulincer had been on his way to Shabbat services at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center with his friend, Jehuda Lindenblatt, 85 when the accident occurred. Lindenblatt called 911. When emergency personnel arrived Mikulincer was transported to NYC Health and Hospitals/Coney Island, where he was pronounced dead, according to published news reports.
Lindenblatt, also a Holocaust survivor, was shaken and devastated after witnessing the death of his friend of nearly 40 years.
“I saw so much death in my life, piles of people,” Lindenblatt told The New York Times. “It never hit me that much like it hit, this one.”
According to family members, Mikulincer had fought in two wars, once with the Russian army during World War II before being confined in the Stanisławów Ghetto, and once with the Israeli army during Israel’s war for independence, the news outlet reported.
He became a widow when his wife, Frantiska, also a Holocaust survivor, died 10 years ago. The father of two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, he was described by loved ones as “charismatic” and “devoted” to his family. He owned a bakery on Brighton Avenue. His family said he liked to paint and placed his artwork all over his home.
Lindenblatt told CBSNewYork that when Mikulincer was in Budapest at the beginning of the war, he had "to do the dirty work" for the Hungarian army, so he escaped, hid for part of the war, and used his ability to speak seven languages to translate for the Russian army. After the war ended, Lindenblatt said he went back to Czechoslovakia, where he met his wife, and from there he went to Israel and fought in the Israeli War.
The driver was identified by police sources, according to The Daily News as Pyotr Yadgarov, 52, a real estate developer, who runs PYE Properties, a property development firm based in Coney Island. He has not been charged, the news outlet reported.
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