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with a revolver. If there were no victims in the first days, this was thanks to the fact that the Jews remained in hiding. The priest decided to invite the rabbi and several householders to listen to a lengthy list of the sins that the town supposedly was engaged in with the Bolsheviks against them. Therefore, he decided to impose a tax in gold, without which a pogrom would be launched in town.

        As it later turned out, the current priest was already in town a few months earlier as the Bolshevik commissar. On the front he was taken prisoner by the Poles and volunteered to join the Bolokhov gangs.

        The “priest's” warning made a deep impression on the Jewish delegation. The Jews were sure that he could do it. There was wailing, but they had to come up with the money. No one who had a few rubles refused; others gave a gold watch and other things. They collected quite a bit of money, though not the entire amount demanded. The delegation brought the money to the Bolokhovite, who since the outset was cursing and didn't let anyone speak. At first he refused to accept the smaller amount, but following appeals and begging, he relented and accepted the money.

        The Bolokhov gangs left Drohitchin and carried out a massacre in Zakazelia. They went to Zakazelia (10 miles from Drohitchin), rounded up all the Jews and killed them. Seventeen Jews, young and old fell victim at the savage hands of the Bolokhovites, the Russian White Guards.

        One woman was lucky enough not to be noticed by the killers, but she was worried sick about her husband, and took a sum of money to the killers so they would free her husband. They took the money and then killed the woman along with her husband.

        On that gruesome and wild day the only thing people could think about was burying the dead in a Jewish cemetery. The 17 victims were transported in wagons to Drohitchin. No one who saw that scene could ever forget it: a row of five wagons carrying 17 horribly mutilated and murdered victims. All the residents of Drohitchin attended, young and old, attended the funeral, and their wailing rose to the heavens.

        If you go to the cemetery in town, you'll see a row of 17 graves, covered over by grass, leaving only the large gravestones describing the horrible event. D. B. W.


Gedalia Kaplan


A PRAYER

With awe and quiet words,
My lips recite a prayer for you.
You, my hometown, I'll always remember,
My heart pines away for you.

I wish I could see you again,
To just get a passing glance of you,
To see your streets, your little houses,
To feel your pure breath and soul.

All my life I dream dreams,
They are dissolved, because I scattered them.
Today they are all broken, crushed,
None of our dear ones remain there.

From “Chicago Periodical”- February, 1951

[ Unnumbered photo page ]

The wedding of Asher and Dina, son of R. Yoel Moshe, dispatcher of the train station. Top row, standing left to right: three klezmer performers, Leibetshka the Humorist, Pesach Sidorov, two girls from Kobrin, Mordechai Sidorov, Malka Khlevitsch and a klezmerer. Second row, from left: Yaakov Sidorov, Olkhovitch (son), 2 girls from Kobrin, Sarah Yitzchak-Yoel's, Rachel Sidorov, Lieba, Sarah and Mindel from Antapolia, Gittel and Pinya from Perkovitz, Chaya Bloom and Yitzchak Yoel's. Third row, seated from left: Yosef Shaul Olkhovitch and his wife, Dina and Asher Sidorov (bride and groom), Yoel Moshe and Beila Sidorov, the “lady cantor” (the grandmother) and Pinya Sidorov. Seated on the plank, from left: Leizer, Max, Aharon Yosef, Yaakov, Pessel and Lieba Frieda (standing: Yoel Moshe's children), and Freidel (Pinya Sidorov's daughter).

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