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[Col. 7]

Preface

Retyped by Sari Shifrin

Jewish Suwalk is erased, the Jewish towns around it are wiped out, and the Jewish life that was lived there is extinguished, along with the lives of all the thousands of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Shall the memory of Jewish Suwalk go up in smoke, as did its Jews? Suwalk – the city of our dreams, the city of our youth, the city of our parents and ancestors. the city of our prayers and our songs – shall it disappear forever into oblivion without leaving a trace?

Jews were not accustomed to put up iron and stone monuments to their past. Jews were concerned, however, that their past be remembered into the future. They transmitted their spiritual heritage from generation to generation – a guarantee for the eternity of Israel. “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua and Joshua to the elders and the elders to the prophets and the prophets to the men of the Great Assembly” – this is the great traditional monument of the Jewish people.

Our beloved city has been destroyed by wicked men, whose evil has no equal in human history. They wished to destroy not only the Jewish body, but also to uproot forever the Jewish spirit. Our revenge and our reply must be: We are here and we continue!

In our memorial book we give expression to the last breath and cry of pain of our holy martyrs, our-parents, our brothers and sisters, our dearest and most beloved, who were thrown into the gas chambers, into the deep pits, burned, shot, smothered, their last prayers and screams cut off and silenced by the Nazi executioners. We want this memorial book to perpetuate their unfinished prayers.

[Page 8]

Their lives were cut short by the murderers before they could complete their calls: Hear Oh Israel…All of us will say the kaddish by means of this memorial book:

Yitgadal veyitkadash Shme raba

The Suwalk memorial book is however not only a monument for our murdered parents, brothers and sisters-- it is also a holy obligation to perpetuate all that distinguished Suwalk and all of the vanished Jewish towns: vibrant Jewishness, faith, creativity, lifestyle, and language.

Although the murderers have destroyed our Jewish Suwalk and the towns around it – yet through these pages of the Memorial book we shall preserve their spiritual heritage for generations.

 

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