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To Remember and To Shed a Tear (cont.)

 
Another Year in Hachshara…
January 12, 1936
Gathering of Hashomer Hatzair members in kibbutz 'Bamaale' in Klaipeda
before moving to 'a special hachshara'

Emissary Levi Zur
(middle), Elka Melamed (top, second from right)
Rivka Feldman-Bloch
(standing second row, fourth from left)

 

In 1936 I returned to Dusiat to help my mother in the grocery shop. I managed to be there one year with my loved ones, and then my time to make aliya to Eretz Yisrael arrived.

It was a Friday, and I was standing and washing the floor, when suddenly I heard voices. Menucha, a short, older woman, came running, with a piece of paper in her hand, shouting breathlessly: “Er iz do!” [He is here!] Menucha worked at cleaning the bank – which was managed by my relative David Schwartz – and my sister Sarah also worked there. That is to where the message that my boyfriend Chaim had arrived in Latvia from Eretz Yisrael came. Before his draft date Chaim had dodged the draft and made aliya to Eretz Yisrael, and now he had come to take me with him. He was afraid to enter Lithuania, lest he be called up immediately, and so I went to Latvia to meet him there.

Again I see them all, escorting me on my way to meet my fiancé; in the wagon sat my dear mother, my sister Sarah and Chaim's little brother Leibele-Arye (Slovo), perhaps fifteen years old at the time. Leibele was a friend of my brother Avraham, and he used to visit us, and we used to play the mandolin together. Netl and her second husband Asher Chaitowitz (father of my good friend Sheinke Chaitowitz, who now lives in South Africa) were also in the wagon. I have kept the greetings sent by Netl and Asher and my brother Avraham to this day; warm greetings to congratulate us on our marriage and our aliya to Eretz Yisrael.

May 19, 1937

Mazeltov on your new life together. The Almighty arranged that you were fated to meet on foreign soil and you are now journeying to your new home.

I wish the two of you health, wealth and happiness.

Sincerely yours

Asher-Moshe Chaitowitz

 

 
Newlyweds Elka and Chaim Slovo, 1937

 

Chaim and I were married in a little shtetl, Shubitz [Subate, Latvia], where some relatives of Asher Chaitowitz lived. They organized us a nice wedding, on May 5, 1937, and in June we made aliya to Eretz Yisrael.

 

 
First Day in Eretz Yisrael, June 1937
Chaim Slovo and Elka beside the Mugrabi Cinema in Tel Aviv

 

Could I have known then that this was a final parting from everyone dear to me?

 

Avraham Melamed Rivka Melamed and her sister Sarka (right)

 

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