By Zevulun Poran
Translated by Irene Emodi, Tel Aviv
In 1982 the management of the Former Residents of Yurburg Association sent questionnaires to its members in which they were asked to fill in the personal details requested in the form - about themselves and their families.
Replies were received from over thirty former residents of Yurburg. This is a quite impressive number of replies. After we edited and revised the material we obtained thirty concise surveys which provide an overall picture of the Yurburg community in its days of glory as well as in the days of the terrible tragedy.
From the concise surveys we learned about thirty homes in Yurburg - grandparents, parents, children and relatives. We became acquainted with their activities and way of life. The majority of the families were well-off economically and had a very high standard of living according to the norms of Yurburg. All the parents had links with synagogues, some more others less so. The way of life at home was traditional. The parents received a religious or general education.
All the families showed a positive attitude to Zionism and donated to the national funds. In addition, they also donated to charity funds. Almost all the children received a Zionist-Hebrew education at the schools and this was reflected in their nationalist outlook. The family members spoke Yiddish among themselves. The Jews were not assimilated. The children spoke Hebrew at the educational institutions and youth movements. Few also spoke Hebrew at home. The 30 surveys provide a picture of the life of the individual as well as of the community as a whole in Yurburg.
The articles in the chapter about "Family Homes in Yurburg," complement the survey and emphasize the picture of the way of life of the families in the Jewish community.
The picture we received of the fate of the families in the days of the terrible tragedy in the period of the Holocaust is very gloomy.
We saw a shimmer of light in the stories of the survivors who came to Israel, built their homes there and were absorbed into the Israeli community, founded families and gave birth to a splendid next generation in Israel.
Unfortunately the handwriting of some of the answers was not clear, and this made it difficult to understand the text. At other times the text was incomplete. Errors may therefore have occurred here and there and there may be some inaccuracies in the surveys, we apologize for this.
Nevertheless, it seems to us that the surveys drawn up in accordance with the replies to the questionnaires, are an important and significant contribution to the memorial book and commemorate the families' dear ones.
With the publication of the recordings we have fulfilled our moral duty to commemorate our beloved martyrs forever.
Blessed be their memory.
We owe it to our fathers, nameless and humble,
To remember them and their actions
To inscribe them in golden and shining letters
In our nation's book of eternal life
Blessed be their memory!
Translated by Irene Emodi, Tel Aviv
Members of my family:
Sisters - Ita, Braine, Sara and Rivka
Brother - Yekutiel
Sons - Leibel, Yekutiel, Hirsch, Moshe
Daughters - Bila, Miriam and Haya
Brother - Yekutiel
Sister - Ita and her husband Yehezkel
and where I grew up. When I was young I loved Yurburg and its beautiful surroundings. My parents worked at the family store and the children helped out. The family made a living and was able to donate to the poor and the nationalist funds.
We lived on 2 Butchers street. Our home was traditional. My parents prayed at the synagogue. We observed the religious holidays. On the Sabbath and holidays we enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere at home.
Our parents spoke Lithuanian and Russian, but at home Yiddish was spoken, just like at other homes in Yurburg.
In 1972 I went to Israel. I lived in Benjamina and worked at a paper plant and at the Dan Caesarea hotel.
My relatives in Israel - Arie (Leibel) Elyashuv and his family.
We live in our country, far away from Lithuania, but we remember Yurburg and will never forget it.
My family - the Elyashuv family - lived in Yurburg, on Yatkauwer street. My father, Haim-Elyahu and my mother Hinda-Rachel had two daughters - Bila and Miriam and two sons - Yekutiel, and Shlomo-Moshe. My sister Bila married Yehezkel Yaffe and they had a son called Yitzhak.
There were aunts and uncles in my family - my uncle Leiser Elyashuv, aunt Taibe Elyashuv, who had six children. Aunt Liova Kopolowitz had three sons - Yitzhak, Arie and Yeshayahu.
Survivors in my family: Arie, Yosef, Zvi and Haya. All the others perished in the Holocaust. My parents had a sewing shop. My father prayed at "Tiferet Bachurim". He was religious. Had a Zionist inclination and supported the Jewish National Fund. The family donated to mutual assistance funds, such as for brides etc. Yiddish was spoken at home. There was a pleasant atmosphere in our home. Relations between children and parents were cordial; the children respected their parents. I will never forget this wonderful family atmosphere.
I was born in 1906. I studied at the local school. I helped my parents in their work at the sewing shop. I was a member of "Maccabi" and was active in sports. When World War II broke out, I was saved and lived in Vilna after the war. My brothers Yosef and Zvi lived in the Middle East till 1956. After that they were united in Vilna. In 1979 I went to Israel. I live in Holon at present. I am a pensioner. My relatives in Israel are - Aharon Elyashuv, Rivka Midah, Hanna Meltzer, Yacov and Yentel Levin.
Contributed by Alan Joffe, Hillsbourgh, CA
My family lived in Kovna street, (Kaunas). Following are the names of the members of my family:
Moshe - grandfather on my mother's side. Bila - grandmother on my mother's side.
Harry - father Chaim; mother Cheina(?)
Brothers - Yerachmiel(?), Michael, Yaacov, Yehezkial, and Reuven.
Sisters - Ethel, Batsheva, Rachel, Chana.
Fate of my family, the fate of all of the families in our community was bitter. Almost all of them were murdered by the Nazis, and the cruelty and assistance of the Lithuanians.
My brothers Yerachmiel, Yehezkial, Reuven and their families
My sister Batsheva and her family - her husband Eliezer and her son Moshe.
My brother Yaacov who lives in Tel Aviv.
The inclination to Zionism was contributing to the national funds, Keren Hayesod (Foundation Fund) and Keren Hakayemet. And of course my parents also donated to funds to help the religious, in particular for the needs of the poor. The children respected the parents and kept the traditions. In the house we talked Yiddish. It was a pleasant and lovable house.
I was born in 1910. I studied in the Hebrew Gymnasium in Yorburg .I was a member of Hashomer Hatzair (Young Watchmen). In agricultural training (hacshara). I was in the Yarkenheim of Memmel. I made aliyah in 1932. I was a member of Kibbutz and participated in its activities. Currently I am a housewife, and live with my family in Givatayim.
My family - who survived the holocaust - my brother Yaacov (druggist); Rachel - housewife. Ethel in an old age home.
Our family settled in Yurburg in 1922. We arrived in Yurburg from Kovna. Our home was on Kovna street.
The members of our family in Yurburg were: -
Father Zalman Bayman and mother Gittel, of the Yundler family. My father was a painter.
The daughters: Shoshana Bayman (1916); Hanna Bayman (1918), the son - I myself - Yacov (1912).
I, Yacov Bayman, studied in Yurburg at the elementary school and after that I studied electricity. Our home was religious-traditional. Our family were Zionists. Yiddish was spoken at home. I have very pleasant memories of my life at home. My sister Shoshana (Sokolovsky), who was a member of "Hashomer Hatzair" went to Israel and joined kibbutz "Amir" in upper Galilee.
I went to Israel in 1976. I worked in Israel as a locksmith at a factory. My wife Ella - a bookkeeper, my daughter Lea (Shuster) is an electronics technician; my son Isaac is a student at "Bezalel". My family lives in "Kiryat Sharet" in Holon.
Miriam Barshatnasky - Varfoulis
My family lived on Kovna street opposite the police station, at the Yudel Koslewitz house.
I remember the following members of my family: -
My parents - Bezalel and Ida Barshatnasky.
My brothers - Moshe, Haim, Benjamin.
Uncles - Nathan and Luba Barker, Shalom and Rachel Barker, Barel and Haya Barker.
As long as I live on this earth I shall remember all of them.
I was born in 1921 and I went to Israel in 1966, taking my memories along. My parents were good people. My father worked in a shop and my mother was a housewife and also helped him. My father was an orthodox man and a Zionist. I too received an orthodox education at Talmud-Torah. I continue to live in Israel according to the tradition of my forefathers, light the Sabbath candles and attend synagogue.
The few relatives I had - two brothers, Gershon and Yitzhak Barshatnasky and my sister Yoheved - passed away.
The children who live in Israel are - Duba and Anat Lifschitz (Arad); Ida Bornstein (Kiryat Haim); Goldfa Varfoulis (Kiryat Yam Gimmel); Yosef Varfoulis (Kiryat Yam Gimmel).
Rachel Hess - Greenstein
My family lived on Yatkauwer street and was one of the oldest families in Yurburg.
My grandfather on my father's side, the late Nehemia, was born in 1837. He was a businessman; my grandfather on my mother's side - the late Shraga (Feivel), was born in 1853; four uncles on my father's side - the oldest, the late Yacov, was born in 1862. He was a businessman; three aunts on my mother's side. The oldest one was Esther.
My father, Reuven Hess, was born in 1877, and traded in livestock; my mother Pessia, of the Rahaza family, was born in 1883;
The daughters and sons in our family: Golda-Gittel, the oldest (1903); Nehemia (1905) a businessman; Miriam (1907); Israel (1909) a businessman; Shraga (1912) a businessman; Beinish (1914), I myself, Rachel-Mina (1922); Moshe-Mendel (1924).
Family members murdered in the days of the Holocaust:
I studied at the "Talmud-Torah" school and at the Hebrew Gymnasium. My father was an orthodox Jew. He prayed at the old synagogue. We, the children, respected our parents. During the Jewish holidays our family got together, the married couples and their children and grandchildren, and our home abounded with joy. My father was a Zionist and contributed to the national funds, Keren Kayemet and Keren Hayesod. They also supported the poor, the Frauen Verband etc. I was a member of the "Hashomer Hatzair" youth movement, my brother Beinish was a member of Beitar. I still remember the excursions in the Yurburg area - the frozen Naiman, the parks, the rivers and the forests.
After World War II I was happy to leave my past in Lithuania behind, and I went to Israel. After a long journey I arrived in Cyprus and from there in Atlit.
I found work in Israel - at "Assis", Kapulsky, the General Health Fund and a shop in Haifa. I am presently living in Kiryat Motzkin and keep in touch with my relatives - Jaffa Teitz, my niece, with my cousin Israel Rahaza ( a pensioner) and with Hannah Barsky.
Yaffa Haselkovitz -Lupiansky; Bluma Haselkovitz-Feldman
Our family lived in Yurburg, almost at the town's border. It was impossible to spot the beautiful house from the street, for a large garden full of trees and bushes crowned it with green.
The following were the members of my family:
Father Shachna Haselkovitz, born in 1880;
Mother Zelda Haselkovitz of the Lubin family, born in 1875;
The sons: Menahem (Mendel) and Moshe;
The daughters: Haya, the oldest daughter and her husband Tuvia Pollak;
Yaffa (Shaine), at present Lupiansky and the youngest in the family, Bluma, presently Feldman.
It is hard to forget our home in Yurburg, our parents and the Jewish family atmosphere. Our parents were traditional. My father prayed at the synagogue and there was a warm atmosphere at home during the religious holidays.
My father was a businessman and my mother was a wonderful housewife , in addition to working hard in our garden which provided fruit and vegetables for our family. Our large garden contributed towards creating the country atmosphere in which we lived.
We both studied at the Hebrew Gymnasium and we were both members of "Hashomer Hatzair" which taught us Zionism, and encouraged us to be pioneers and go to Israel. And indeed we both went to Israel in the thirties and built our home there.
Our parents, who were Zionists too, and supported the nationalist funds, were happy to see us go to Israel and to read the letters we sent them from there.
In the difficult days of the Holocaust we thought of them and remembered them.
I was born in Yurburg (1914). My family lived on 1 Ugniasgassiu. My parents - Yacov Shlomo and Esther Rachel Weinberg.
My brothers - Yehiel and Avraham and my sisters - Batia, Nehama and Lea.
From among my family members I remember my grandfather and grandmother - Avraham and Tova Haselovitz, my uncle Joshua Weinberg and my uncle and aunt Zvi and Bertha Weinberg.
On the street where we lived we had our own home, a grain shed, a stall for the family's requirements and a small fruit garden. My father was a grain and flax dealer, and he had export connections with German traders. My father was an educated man and a Torah scholar. He was a well-known public figure, active in various charity institutions. He was one of the founders of the Hebrew Gymnasium and contributed considerably to its development. We kept a traditional-orthodox home. My father prayed at the Feinberg Kloiz. During religious holidays there was a pleasant atmosphere at home. We spoke Yiddish at home.
We fulfilled our commitment to Eretz Yisrael by supporting Keren Hayesod and Keren Kayemet. The fate of our family was bitter. When the war broke out our family was in Shvali and they were all murdered there.
I studied at the Hebrew Gymnasium and after that went on pioneer training in Kovna. I went to Israel in 1938. I joined kibbutz Givat Brenner. I married and founded a family. The memories from Yurburg, good and bad, remain with me all these years; it is impossible to forget them and we must never do so, as long as we live.
I was born in 1920 in Harkov (Russia) and I arrived in Yurburg with my family in 1923. We lived on Kovna street, my father, Haim Haimovitz, owned a flour mill and a lumber mill near Sudarg.
I studied at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Yurburg. At home we spoke Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian. I was a member of the "Hashomer Hatzair" youth movement. Our home was traditional. Our parents supported charity institutions and as Zionists they contributed to nationalist funds, Keren Kayemet and Keren Hayesod. My brother, David Haimovitz, was on pioneer training in the Memel region and emigrated to Israel in 1932.
I have fond memories of my home and family and I shall never forget them.
The following are the names of my family members:
Grandmother Golda-Faige Goldstein;
Father Haim and mother Helena Haimovitz;
Tania, my sister, lived in South Africa, as a physician, and she is presently in Israel;
Misha, my late brother, was a lawyer.
David, my brother, was a sea captain in Israel and has now retired.
In spite of the terrible tragedy the survivors keep on living with the memories of the Holocaust. I, who survived, married Haim Slovo and went to Israel in 1966. We worked as self-employed for 8 years.
My husband died and I am presently a pensioner. Our son is an officer in the standing army. The son of my sister Tania - Dr. Eli Ip - is a doctor at the "Hadassa" hospital in Jerusalem. I hope that the young generation will remember its origin.
My family was one of the oldest families in Yurburg. we lived on 11 Raisainiu street.
The members of my family are:
My mother Ethel, born in 1882;
My brother: Dov (Berl) born in 1903;
Shlomo was born in 1909.
My sisters: Golda was born in 1905;
Shaine was born in 1913;
Judith was born in 1914.
All the members of my family perished in the Holocaust.
My father was a timber dealer (A Wald Soicher), owned steamships and underwear and cellulose factories.
My father was an observant Jew. He was one of the "Gabbais" at the old synagogue. He assisted the poor and donated to the nationalist funds - Keren Hayesod and Keren Hakayemet.
We spoke Yiddish at home. The atmosphere was pleasant and friendly.
I left Lithuania and went to South Africa with my husband. When my husband died I went to Israel in 1972 together with my son and his family. My relatives in Israel - Hannah Karabelnik - Trainin. Rachel Karabelnik-Niv who lived in kibbutz Beth Zera, passed away.
(Parts of Hinda Levinberg's diary were published in this book)
[Pages 197 -198]
Contributed by William Berton of Saginaw, Michigan
Our family lived in Yurburg, on Kovna street. My parents had two houses - a residence and a house for a large sewing shop, where my mother worked and taught trainees. My two sisters also learned to sew. My parents had a vegetable garden and a large fruit tree garden. My father also had a work-room at home, for he painted houses, billboards and also drew. My family lived for many years in this house and I grew up there.
The following are the members of my family:
My father Yitzhak and my mother Deborah-Lea (1871) Leipziger;
My sister Rachel (1894) and her husband Moshe Hess;
My sister Hanna (1899), her husband Menahem Gittelson;
My brother Zvi Leipziger, born in 1896; went to the U.S.A.
My brother Eliezer Leipziger (1903), a lawyer, his wife Fania of the Krechmer family.
My aunt Menuha Goldstein, my cousin Shlomo Goldstein, born in 1914; my uncle Hirschel Leipziger.
My brother Eliezer Leipziger, his wife Fania and their children the late Tuvia and Ezer
(murdered in Ponivaz). Eliezer was the Principal of the Hebrew Gymnasium there.
My parents Fania and her sister Sonia Krechmer.
I must also mention myself among the survivors, for I was saved by going to Israel.
I was born in Yurburg (1909). I studied at the elementary school and the Hebrew Gymnasium. I completed my high-school education at Wilkomir, for at that time there were no upper grades at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Yurburg. At the end of my high-school studies I studied at the "Tarbut" teachers college. I belonged to the Socialist Zionists. Our home was traditional. My family was active Zionist. I used to converse in Hebrew with my brother Eliezer. The family spoke Yiddish among themselves.
I loved my home, which was friendly and cordial. I shall never forget the religious holidays at home and the wonderful atmosphere.
I shall never forget our town Yurburg - the nature walks, the beautiful scenery, sailing along the rivers and bathing in the Naiman. It was a beautiful world - gone forever.
I went to Israel in 1936. In Israel I joined kibbutz Afikim in the Jordan valley. I farmed, looked after children, taught. My late husband, Yitzhak Porat (Poritz), worked in farming, accountancy, training of young kibbutzim and founded the local school. My family consists of a daughter, Razia, member of kibbutz Yotvata, a high-school teacher. Twins, David and Jonathan. David is a biology teacher and works in various fields. Jonathan is a physical education teacher. And that is my part in the work in this land.
Hanna Magidovitz - Goldman
I was born in Yurburg (1920). My family lived on 21 Yatkauwer street.
The members of my family in Yurburg were:
Grandfather Welvel and grandmother Megidovitz on my father's side.
Parents - Father Shalom and Mother Faige Megidovitz.
Brothers and sisters: My brother Heshel (1912); my sister Suzka, my brother Welvke; my sister Zeldka and I myself Hanna Megidovitz (1920).
My parents, my brother Welfke, Zeldka with her husband, Viodoska with her husband (Zarkin) and two children; and also Haya.
The place and details of their burial are not exactly known.
Family members who survived:
And indeed, I went to Israel in 1949, from Cyprus to Atlit, after I passed through all the horrors of the Holocaust in Yurburg. I married and I have two daughters - one is a nurse and the other a teacher, married with two children. My husband is a pensioner at present. I am a housewife. I keep in touch with my sister, who is a widow and lives in Pardes Hanna with her daughter. Many years have passed since the horrible murder in Yurburg, but it is impossible to forget all the terrible things that happened and the loss of my family.
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