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Voice of Kremenets Emigrants in Israel and the Diaspora, Booklet 18

 

List of Illustrations

Sketch of a Mother 16
An Organization Hanukah Party in Tel Aviv 36
Yitschak Vakman 38
Avraham Shafir 45
Moshe Charash 47
Avraham Biberman 48
Yosef Shvartsapel (Sharon) 50
Sara Bernshteyn-Fiks 53
Yehoshue Fiks 55
Leya (Mordish) Efrat 57
Zhenya Berman 58
Bronya Karpel (Barshap) 61
Dov Manusovits 62
Yitschak Gintsburg 63
Boris (Berel) Shtern 64

 

Name Index

Abir, Avraham (see also Biberman) 39, 48 (photo), 48-49, 70, 80
Abir*, Miryam (Manya; see also Biberman) 18, 48, 49, 70
Akerman brothers 21
Akerman, Dotsya 76
Alima, Ori 67, 68
Alima, Oz 68
Alima*, Rut (née Vishniov) 67, 68
Amitay, Chana 78
Argaman, Avraham ii
Avidar, Yosef (see also Rokhel, Yosef) 48, 67, 78
Ayzenfres, Miryam 79
Bakimer, David 78
Bankir*, Ariela (née Mordish) 68
Bankir, Dubi 68
Bankir, Shlome 68
Barats, Yitschak 78
Barshap, Avraham 61
Barshap, Bronya 61, 61 (photo), 80
Barshap*, Chana (née Kupershteyn) 78
Barshap, Jack 43
Barshap, Sonya 61, 78, 79
Barushek, Yenta 76
Bat, Sara 78
Beaupré, Jan 66
Beker, Moshe 78
Ben Dov, Ela 78
Berenshteyn, Tsvi ii, 76, 83
Berman, Aharon 58
Berman, Brakha 58
Berman, Yakov 58, 79
Berman, Zhenya 58, 58 (photo)
Bernshteyn 21
Bernshteyn, Riva 1, 65
Bernshteyn, Sara 53 (photo), 53-54
Bernshteyn, Yakovke 53
Bernshteyn, Yonye 58
Beylin, Y. B. 7, 10
Beznoski, Brayna 1, 52, 52 (photo), 65, 80
Bezpoysnik, Ela 78
Bialik, Chayim Nachman 42
Biberman, Avraham (see also Abir) 39, 48 (photo), 48-49, 70, 80
Biberman*, Bela 48
Biberman, Bronya 36 (photo)
Biberman, Leya 49, 80
Biberman, Leyb 17, 18
Biberman, Malka 78
Biberman*, Miryam (Manya; see also Abir) 48, 49, 70
Biberman, Moshe 48
Biberman, Rivka 78
Blank, Shmuel 76
Bodeker, Avraham 78
Britshteyn, Batya 68
Britshteyn*, Bela (née Zeyger) 68
Broderzon 10
Brodski 66
Brustin, Mark 58
Brustin*, Zhenya 58, 58 (photo)
Burshteyn, Yosef 79
Buts, Chayka 70
Byk, Fred 82
Chagall, Marc 10, 26-29
Charash, Avigdor 47
Charash*, Hinda 47
Charash, Moshe 47, 47 (photo)
Charash, Senya 47
Charash, Sima 47
Charash, Yakov 47
Charash, Yitschak 79
Charash*, Yocheved 47
Chasid, Avraham Dimona 68, 78, 80
Chasid*, Etya (Eti) 68, 78, 80
Cornbleet, Harry F. 37
Dagan, Sara 78
David (brother of Rivka Mochin*) 70
Desser, Mark 77, 82
Desser, Max ii, 77, 82
Desser, Miryam 82
Diment, Miryam 78
Dorfman, Bernardo 73, 76
Dorfman*, Manya 76
Dorfman, Martin 73
Dorfman*, Moni 73
Dugim , Avraham (see also Dagim, Dugi) 79
Efrat*, Leya (née Mordish) 57, 57 (photo)
Efrat, Melik 57
Engelman, Bela 78
Epshteyn, Arye 68
Epshteyn*, Tova 68
Epshteyn, Yakov 68, 78
Fakher, Chayim (see also Fayer, Chayim) 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 82
Falenboygen, Chayim 76
Falenboygen*, Gitel 76
Fali 76
Fayer*, Chana 72, 75, 76, 82
Fayer, Chayim (see also Fakher, Chayim) 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 82
Fayer, Fegya (Felisa) 72
Fayer*, Fufi 72, 76
Fayer, Manolo 72
Fayer, Moshe-Avraham (Alfredo) 72
Federman*, Dozya (née Rubinfin) 70
Fefer, Itsik 6, 7, 10
Feldman*, Adalya 76
Feldman, Dvora 24
Feldman, Isak 76
Feyman, Ester 76
Fidel-Kinori, Pinchas 78
Fikhman, Yakov 30
Fiks*, Sara (née Bernshteyn) 53 (photo), 53-54
Fiks, Yehoshue 55 (photo), 55-56
Fingerut 66
Fingerut, Avraham 78
Finkelshteyn, Sonya 50, 51
Fisher*, Chaya (née Kutsher) 79
Fisherman, Rachel 78
Fishman, Dvora 79
Fishman*, Ester 74
Fishman, Lifshe 74
Fishman, Manya 76
Fishman, Nute 74
Fishman, Penik 74
Fishman*, Sara 74
Fishman, Yeshayahu 70, 74
Fishman, Yitschak 74
Frenkel, Avraham 78
Frenkel, Misha 71
Frenkel*, Vitya (née Kirshon) 71
Freylikh, Shifra 71
Frug, Y. B. 10
Fuks, Shmuel 43
Gal, Chen (see also Liberman) 78
Galperin, Tsipora 79
Garber*, Fanya (Fani; née Reznik) 31, 33, 75, 76, 77
Garber, Yechezkel 74, 75
Gerin, Tova 78
Gershteyn 66
Gertman*, Sonya (née Barshap) 61, 78, 79
Gibelbank, Chayim 7 (photo)
Gilad*, Adya 67
Gilad, Efrat 67
Gilad, Yisrael 67
Gintsburg, Aharon 78
Gintsburg*, Naomi 63, 80
Gintsburg, Yitschak 63, 63 (photo), 80
Gletshteyn, Aharon (see also Sela, Aharon) 79
Gluzman, Eliezer 70
Gluzman, Yitschak 78
Gokhshteyn, Chantse 74, 76
Gokhshteyn, Shmaryahu 78
Gokhshteyn, Yisrael (cantor) 76
Gokun, Avraham 36 (photo), 78
Golani, Sholem 78
Golberg, Yehoshue ii, 58, 68, 77, 80, 83
Golcher, Meir 78
Goldberg, Rivka 78
Goldberg, Shayke 41
Goldberg, Yitschak 67
Goldenberg*, Chana 69
Goldenberg, Hadasa 79
Goldenberg, Manus ii, 6, 11, 26, 29, 38, 40, 44, 46, 47, 58, 59, 65, 69, 76
Goldenberg, Shprintse 47
Goldring, Meir 11
Golub, Liova 79
Gordner, Leon 77, 82
Goren, Betsalel (see also Gorodiner, Alter) 13
Gravski 20
Gurvits, Liora 47
Gurvits, Mordekhay 19 53, 55, 79
Gutman, Avraham 70
Gutman, Leyb 70
Gutman, Rachel 70, 79
Halpern, M. 10
Har-Tsion, Eliyahu 78
Hauzner, Rivka 45
Heshkel*, Tsivya (née Shafir) 80
Heyman*, Malka 79
Hirshbeyn, Perets 10
Hofman, Malka 78
Hofshteyn, Duvid 6, 7, 10
Horovits*, Miryam (née Diment) 78
Horovits, Tsvi 78
Ish-Tov*, Fanya 67, 79
Ish-Tov, Ora 67
Ish-Tov, Shraga 67
Itech, Yakov 78
Kagan, William 43
Kaganovits, Malka 78
Kanfer 21
Kantor*, Bat-Sheva 78
Kaplan, Sam 77
Kaplan*, Tova 77
Karasik, Gershon, Rabbi 40
Karkoviak, Shalom 78
Karlitas 76
Karpel*, Bronya (née Barshap) 61, 61 (photo), 80
Karpel, Nitsa 61
Karpel, Tamar 61
Katsman 79
Katz, Bernardo 72
Katz, Cecilia ii
Katz, David 66
Katz*, Dvora 72
Katz, Mordekhay 69, 74, 75, 76
Kaufman, A. 59
Kaufman, Chulio (see also Shikhman) 31, 36 (photo), 68
Kerler*, Anya 78
Kerler, Yosef 78
Kesler, Yeshayahu (Shaye) 71
Kesler, Yitschak (Itsik) 71, 78
Khemiel* 76
Khemiel, Boaz 76
Kindzior, David 67
Kindzior, Mikhael 67
Kindzior*, Rachel 67
Kiperman*, Chayka 72, 76
Kiperman, Fenlie 72
Kiperman*, Genya 72
Kiperman, Nute 32, 33, 34, 72, 76
Kiperman, Rasi 76
Kirshon, Vitya 71
Kishnirov, Aharon 6
Kligman, Barukh 70
Kligman, Zev 78
Kogan, William ii, 82
Kohen*, Rachel 78
Kohen, Tamar 80
Kotkovnik*, Gitel 76
Kotkovski, Felisa 76
Kotkovski, Natalya 76
Kotler, Arye (Leyb; see also Kotliar, Kotlir) 1, 52, 65, 80
Kotler*, Brayna (née Beznoski; see also Kotlir, Kotliar) 1, 52, 52 (photo), 65, 80
Kotler, Gidon (see also Kotlir) 65, 80
Kotliar, Arye (Leyb; see also Kotler, Kotliar) 1, 52, 65, 80
Kotliar*, Brayna (née Beznoski; see also Kotler, Kotlir) 1, 52, 52 (photo), 65, 80
Kotlir, Arye (Leyb; see also Kotler, Kotliar) 1, 52, 65, 80
Kotlir*, Brayna (née Beznoski; see also Kotler, Kotliar) 1, 52, 52 (photo), 65, 80
Kotlir (see also Kotler), Gidon 65, 80
Kozin, Moshe 78
Krants, Shimon 30
Krasnisier, Chayim, R' 23
Kravits, Luba 78
Kremenchugski, Moshe (see also Tsur, Moshe) 78
Kremenchugski, Sima 70, 78
Kremenetski 66
Kremenitski, Yakov 68
Krementshugski, Dov 11 (photo), 11-12
Kremer, Avraham 78
Krivin, Yakov 78
Kucher, Leybish 79
Kunzior, Gedalya 78
Kupershteyn, Chana 78
Kutsher, Chaya 79
Kvisko, Leyb 6
Landsberg 66
Landsberg, Bozye 11
Laybel*, Rakel 74, 76
Laybel, Solomon 74
Laybel, Yisrael 74, 76
Leham, Tova 78
Lerner 21
Lerner, Berniv, Rabbi 20
Lerner, Ester 78
Levi Yitschak, Rabbi 55
Leviten, Arye 78
Leviten, Moshe 78
Liberman, Chen (see also Gal) 78
Libman, Moshe 76
Libman*, Zheni 76
Liesin, A. 10
Likht, Nachman 39
Lisi 66
Lopatin, David 79
Lopatin, Ruven 78
Maizel, Nachman 6
Mandelblat, Aharon (Munya) 68
Mandelblat*, Bela 68
Mandelblat, Shoshana 68
Manusovits 79
Manusovits, Brakha 62, 80
Manusovits, Dov 62, 62 (photo), 80
Margalit, Yosef 82
Markish, Perets 7, 10
Marshak, Beni 70
Marshak*, Rachel (née Gutman) 70, 79
Mata*, Dobtsya 76
Mata, Melekh 76
Medler, Morris 41, 82
Metiuk*, Leya (née Biberman) 80
Metiuk, Yitschak 80
Meyler, Y. 36 (photo)
Miler, Chayim 32
Milgrom*, Cherna (née Shkurnik) 70, 77
Milman, H. 21
Mirmelshteyn 21
Mochin, Rivka 70
Mochin, Shmuel 70
Mordish, Ariela 68
Mordish, Arye ii, 57, 81, 82, 84
Mordish, Leya 57, 57 (photo)
Mordish, Shalom 68
Nadir*, Rachel (née Otiker) 78
Nenya 76
Neyman 21
Nudel, Chayim 76
Nudel*, Feyga 76
Nudel*, Sara 76
Nusman, Aleksander 78
Oks*, Bronya 76
Oks, Velvel 76
Oron, Ilan 68
Oron, Niv 68
Oron*, Shoshana (née Mandelblat) 68
Osovski, Yitschak 76
Otiker*, Lotka 70
Otiker, Rachel 36 (photo)
Otiker, Shalom 78
Otiker, Yisrael 36 (photo), 70
Ot-Yakar, Mordekhay ii, 64
Pak*, Miryam 76
Pak, Moshe 76
Patishi*, Sara (née Bat) 78
Peker*, Freyda 76
Peker, Moshe 76
Pelets, Menachem 78
Pesis, Dvora 79
Petliura 14
Pilsudski 19
Plents, Nitsa 80
Poltorek, Adalya 36 (photo), 46
Poltorek*, Adina 80
Poltorek, Chana (Chanulya) 2
Poltorek, Itsi 2
Poltorek, Shlome 46, 48, 79
Port, Izye 33
Portnoy 79
Pundik, Moshe 79
Rabin, Aharele, Rabbi 20
Rabin, Yosile, Rabbi 20
Radzivilover, Matus 82
Rafelovits, Shmuel 78
Rapoport, David 34, 40-42, 43, 77, 82
Raykhman, Fayvel 19
Rayzen, A. 10
Reznik, Fanya (Fani) 31, 33, 74, 75, 76, 77
Ridiker, Avraham 23
Rish, Shonye 41
Rodenfeld, M. 10
Rokhel, Yosef (see also Avidar) 67
Rokhel, Chanokh 48
Rokhel, Moshe 67, 71
Rokhel, Sara 67, 79
Rokhel, Yitschak ii, 67, 84
Roosevelt, Franklin 52
Roshtin, Liova 32
Roshtin*, Tova (Gitele) 32
Rosye (sister of Sore Shafir*) 9
Roykh, Simcha 78
Roykhman 21
Roykhman, Avraham 78
Royt, Hinda 44
Roytman 21
Rozenberg, Yonatan 33
Rozenberg*, Zahava 33
Rozenblit, Bernard (Bentsi) 77, 82
Rozenblit, Mina 77, 82
Rozental, Itke 34
Rozhdestvensky, Robert 26, 27, 28
Rubin, Hadasa 30, 35, 36 (photo), 68
Rubinfin 70
Rubinfin, Dozya 70
Ruven 76
Safir, Yosef 78
Segal, Alter 74
Segal*, Beylke 74, 76
Segal, Mordekhay 21
Segal, Shmuel 78
Sela, Aharon (see also Gletshteyn, Aharon) 79
Senderovits, Rachel 78
Shafir, Avraham 3, 36 (photo), 45 (photo), 45-46, 80
Shafir*, Chana (Chanulya; née Poltorek) 2, 3, 45, 46, 70, 80
Shafir, Doron 45
Shafir, Ilana 45
Shafir*, Rivka (née Hauzner) 45, 79, 80
Shafir, Tsivya 80
Shafir, Yakov (see also Sheyfer) 1, 2, 6-10, 6 (photo), 7 (photo), 11, 36 (photo), 45, 65, 70, 80
Sharon*, Sonya (née Finkelshteyn) 50, 51
Sharon, Yitschak 50, 80
Sharon, Yosef (see also Shvartsapel, Yosef) 50 (photo), 50-51, 80
Shavit*, Hinda 79
Shavit, Paltiel 79
Sher, Ester 73, 76
Sher, Reyzel 73, 76
Sheyfer, Moshe Duvid (see also Shafir) 7
Sheyfer*, Sore (Sonya; see also Shafir)) 9, 10
Sheyfer, Yakov (see also Shafir) 1, 2, 6-10, 6 (photo), 7 (photo), 11, 36 (photo), 45, 65, 70, 80
Shifris, Bela 78
Shikhman, Avraham (see also Yardenski) 59 (photo), 59-60
Shikhman, Chulio (see also Kaufman) 31, 36 (photo), 68
Shkurnik, Cherna 70, 77
Shkurnik, Gershon 70
Shmueli, Ami 67
Shmueli*, Rachel 67
Shnayder, Eliyahu 78
Shnayder, Miryam 78
Shnayder, Nachman 78
Shnayder, Tsipa 76
Shnayder, Vulf 34
Shpak*, Ester 72, 76
Shpak, Shoshana 72
Shpak, Yitschak 72, 76
Shpigel, Avraham 73
Shpigel*, Chayka 73
Shpigel, Efraim 73
Shpigel*, Leya 73
Shpilfogel, Bronya 78
Shtern, Boris (Berel) 64, 64 (photo), 71
Shtern, Chayim 71
Shtern, Dani 67
Shtern*, Itke (née Rozental) 34
Shtern, Munya 67, 71
Shtern*, Tanya 67
Shteynberg, Bronya 78
Shufman, Tsvi 78
Shvaltsman*, Henya 76
Shvaltsman, Revir 76
Shvartsapel*, Hinda (née Royt) 44
Shvartsapel, Meir 44
Shvartsapel, Yosef (see also Sharon, Yosef) 50 (photo), 50-51, 80
Shvartsman, Asher 6
Singer, Dani 67
Singer*, Dvora 67
Sitsuk*, Atara 78
Skolski, Adya 67
Skolski*, Pelitsya 67
Skolski, Shlome ii, 23, 29, 67, 79
Skolski, Yisrael 23
Sobol, Yitschak ii, 22, 29, 78
Sofrin*, Ora (née Ish-Tov) 67
Sofrin, Irit 67
Sofrin, Yoram 67
Sokoler, Mordekhay 79
Spektor*, Naomi (née Fridel) 78
Stoler, Shimon 70
Stoler, Yosef 78
Stupnik, Chayim 76
Susana 76
Taker, Yisrael 76
Talovski 76
Taytelman, Shmuel 83
Taytsher, Chayim 32, 67, 77
Taytsher*, Klara 67
Taytsher, Rachel Tema 67
Taytsher, Yashe 33
Temer, Fishel 83
Teper, Malka 78
Teper, Natan 79
Teren, Yehoshue (see also Toren) 24
Toker, David 78
Tolerman, Mary 82
Toren*, Dvora (née Feldman) 24
Toren, Yehoshue (see also Teren) 24
Truman, Harry 44
Tsernichovski, Shaul 26
Tshatski, Jack 43
Tsizin*, Chana 78, 79
Tsizin, Yehoshue 78
Tsmerinski*, Dvora (née Pesis; see also Chmerinski) 79
Tsoref 83
Tsoref, Bela 78
Tsoref, Kopel 21
Tsukerman 78
Tsur, Moshe (see also Kremenchugski, Moshe) 78
Tsvivel, Dvora 67
Tsvivel*, Margalit (née Vakman) 67, 77
Vakman*, Genya (Glikel) 39, 67
Vakman, Margalit 67, 77
Vakman, Yitschak 2, 38 (photo), 38-39, 40-42, 43, 77, 82
Vayner, Fay 43
Vayner, Harry 43
Vaysberg 59
Vaysman, Sara 78
Vaysman, Shraga ii, 81, 82, 84
Vaysman, Zev 78
Veldberg, S. 52
Vender, Nechemya 78
Vinik, Duvid 37, 37 (photo)
Vinik*, Golde-Yente 37, 37 (photo)
Vinik, Shlome 37, 37 (photo)
Vinik, Sosi 37, 37 (photo)
Vinokur, Moshe Halevi, R' 20
Vinshteyn*, Vitya (née Kirshon) 71
Vinshteyn, Yitschak 71
Vishniov, Hertsel 67, 68
Vishniov, Pesach 78
Vishniov, Rut 67, 68
Vishniov*, Shifra 67, 68
Vitels 47
Vitshiker* 76
Vitshiker, Moshe 76
Yardenski, Avraham (see also Shikhman) 59 (photo), 59-60
Yaron*, Sima (née Kremenchugski) 70, 78
Yashpe, Arye 78
Yergis, Avraham 76
Yergis*, Freyda 76
Yisrael Shlome (husband of Rachel Tema Taytsher) 67
Yokelson 21
Yukelis, Noach 79
Yukulus, Mordekhay 78
Zalts, Yosef 78
Zaytler, Barukh 74, 76
Zaytler*, Chantse (née Gokhshteyn) 74, 76
Zaytler, Hershel 74
Zaytler, Ite 74, 75
Zaytler, Mendel (the teacher) 76
Zeltser, Mendel 24
Zemberg, Yosef 58
Zeyger, Akiva 36 (photo)
Zeyger, Bela 68
Zeyger*, Chayka (née Buts) 70
Zeyger, Meir 70, 78
Zeyger*, Y. (née Meyler) 36 (photo)
Zeygermakher, Nachman 2
Zigelboym 8
Ziger, Liova 79
Zikhlin, Pela 79
Zinger, Itamar 71
Zinger*, Shifra (née Freylikh) 71
Zshitnitski, L., Dr. 6
Zuber, Lion 78

 

[Page 1]

A Word from the Editorial Board

Our beloved fellow townspeople, this summer we mark our organization's 35th anniversary.

It was 1946 when we discovered the hazy but horrible news about what had happened to our old home.

The initiative to establish the organization came from a number of Kremenetsers under the leadership of Riva Bernshteyn and Yakov Shafir, of blessed memory. The founders' first meeting, at which the organization was established, took place at the Shafirs' apartment. Impromptu meetings of a number of board members took place at Brayna and Arye Kotlir's home in central Tel Aviv.

A few of our founders are already in the next world. Others have stopped being involved for various reasons. Those who have remained on guard are doing everything possible to ensure that Jewish Kremenets lives in the hearts of our fellow townspeople, wherever they are.

When we look back and see everything we have done to reach this goal, those of us who have invested so much time and energy can silence their consciences, which every so often ask why we are better off than our loved ones and were fortunate enough to avoid their bitter fate. This guilt exists in each of the survivors and every year brings many of our fellow townspeople from all corners of the country to our memorial service at the college, in the summer heat. There, for a few hours, we release the nostalgia we have lived with all year long. Even though this phenomenon takes place during the annual memorial services of other organizations, our longing for our old home, our youth, the simple way of life, and the simple working people who lived there is strengthened by the Voice of Kremenets Emigrants booklets, which we have been publishing for the past 14 years. These booklets help us maintain a close connection between our fellow townspeople here and abroad. The responses we receive from our members, here and abroad, after the arrival of each new booklet are exciting and encouraging. They help us overcome the obstacles and stress associated with publishing each new booklet.

[Page 2]

In booklet 3 and those that followed, we could include only a few excerpts from the responses submitted by our members after they received booklet 1. They sent more responses after subsequent booklets.

One response was from our beloved member Y. Vakman, may he rest in peace.

“… Yes, my beloved townspeople!

As soon as I saw the title Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, I had a vision of our Kremenets, with the golden letters above our Great Synagogue, “House of Our Holiness and Glory”; the other synagogues and all those leaders who worked for the community; the Jewish Primary School; the steps of R' Nachman Zeygermakher's (the watchmaker's) house, which were the wagon drivers' favorite resting place, where they felt comfortable; and many other places close to my heart.”

This new booklet carries the title Voice of Kremenets Emigrants 18.

May the symbolic number 18[1] protect us and prevent the great losses we experienced last year.

Amen!

To all our members and to the entire Jewish people – Happy New Year!

This booklet was intended to be published on Rosh Hashanah eve 5742. Eight months have passed since then, and we are only now taking the final steps to publish it. The long, unfortunate delay was not our doing. We were powerless when faced with the reason. We cannot provide the details, and we can say only that it weakened our hands, disrupted our work, and caused us a great deal of worry and anguish.

To our sorrow, a number of our fellow townspeople passed away during that time. We will publish their obituaries in booklet 19, as we note in the Condolences section of this booklet. But we must mention here Chanulya Shafir (Poltorek), of blessed memory.

On various occasions and in our publications, we have mentioned the important part played by Yakov Shafir, of blessed memory, in Jewish society in Kremenets, mostly in the spring of the Russian revolution and later at the beginning of Polish rule there.

Chanulya was a partner in those activities. The meetings of the Jewish student movement took place in the small apartment above the store run by her father, Itsi Poltorek, of blessed memory.

[Page 3]

There, we organized meetings and parades tied to historical events, which were so plentiful then in the Zionist movement.

At all those meetings, we were warmly welcomed by Chanulya, and her homemade refreshments gave them a festive atmosphere.

Kremenets' Youth Guard[2] chapter was established on their narrow balcony overlooking Sheroka Street.

And here, many years later, when we received the news about our town's holocaust, we sat on the Shafirs' balcony, but this time it overlooked not Sheroka but Karmiya Street in Tel Aviv, next to Habima. That meeting was emotional and tearful, and the great tragedy that had befallen our town's Jews was still alive in each of our hearts. That same evening on that balcony, in summer 1946, we decided to establish the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants. It was the beginning of 35 years of existence, as we mentioned at the beginning of our note.

In the early years, we met at the Shafirs' home. There, too, Chanulya created a homey atmosphere that reminded us of the warmth of their home in Kremenets. She continued to do so when Yakov was confined to his home due to his long illness, and Kremenetsers from here and abroad came to visit him.

The writer of these lines and his wife saw Chanulya for the last time at the hospital. Confined to her wheelchair, she welcomed us. It was only a few weeks after the death of her only son, Avraham, of blessed memory, whom we memorialize in this booklet. Her welcome was the same in the past years ….

May her memory be blessed!


[Page 13]

Mama

B. Goren

It is morning. Mama has already awakened but has not yet gotten out of bed. She is lying on her back with a four-year-old boy lying on one side, and on the other side is a sweet baby under the age of two who sometime sleeps with Mama. His regular bed is the twig cradle that hangs on a rope from the ceiling, and as babies do, he occasionally cries during the night from discomfort or from pain, and then Mama transfers him to her bed and nurses him, no matter the hour.

A third boy older than two is sleeping in a bed whose legs are fixed on two half-bows, like the base of a rocking chair, so that they rock the bed and to encourage the baby to fall asleep. In the morning hours, he usually sneaks out of bed and lies down next to Mama. Mama is lying between the babies. Her bright face is that of a queen with a big, satisfied smile. Her long golden hair isn't arranged in a bun, the way it is all day, but is scattered around her bright face.

I love looking across the dark corner at Mama's face. It looks like a painting of a queen's head in a golden frame. On either side of her face are two miniature heads with bright faces and hair; what a vision of divine creation! The picture and the silence are so different from what is happening around the ruins of the room, which tightly accommodates nine children. Now, in the morning hours, they're all enjoying their sleep; they're not aware of the bad smells, the filthy linens, and the dirty gowns they wear. Nobody who has not been in the room during the morning hours can enjoy the beauty of this supreme image, because anyone who opens the door from the outside encounters the stale air and bad smells that emerge; his senses become dull, his eyes cloud, and he can't t distinguish the divine beauty from the ugliest place on the face of the earth.

Mama gets out of bed, and the picture of a queen in a golden frame with two bright, miniature heads disappears; the picture is changing now. Mama is dressed in a faded, patched dress and paptsis (the bottom cut from a pair of discarded boots or shoes) without socks. She rolls her hair into a bun, puts a scarf on her head, and takes the smallest baby in her arms, with two or three children of various ages dragging behind her holding Mama's dress in their hands. Mama is rushing to the market to buy a bottle of milk and a few half-rotten apples for the children's breakfast. This is the daily mother, the mother who gives birth, raises her children, nurses them, feeds them, bakes, cleans, spanks, heals, and is diligent and busy from morning to evening.

And in the evening, when her legs hurt and the blisters from wearing paptsis burn her feet like fire, Mama sits on the padded sofa made out of thick, rough wood planks with two supports on the sides. Her body and her feet are on the wide sofa. The baby in her arms is nursing or just playing with her breast, two or three toddlers cling to her knees, and the older ones push to her side and try to grab a place closer to Mama's body, that soft and warm body, to be rewarded with a pat, a kiss, a hug, and a word of affection.

[Page 14]

This isn't a mother who looks like a queen's head in a golden frame. This is the mother who runs to the market with paptsis on her feet. This isn't the mother of the whole day. This is a mother with a scarf tied at the back of her head. Now her bright face is reddened, her blue eyes are dim and seem tired or kind, or maybe both. This is a picture of a mother protecting her tender chicks, who spreads her wings to warm them in the evening chill. Slowly, slowly, they stop laughing and playing games and fall into a peaceful sleep, and then she moves them to their beds. And so the second part of Mama's workday starts. She prepares food for the next day, repairs, patches, does the laundry, and cleans, and in the late hours of the evening, she doesn't lie down to sleep but falls on her bed, asleep.

It was summer, when Petliura's gangs spread destruction and ruin in Jewish towns throughout Ukraine and Galicia. They robbed and burglarized, oppressed and murdered. People were afraid to leave their homes for fear that the murderers would appear on horseback at any moment. Under those conditions, people could not endanger themselves by traveling on business or taking care of even the most basic necessities.

It's been more than a week since Mama has baked bread, because she doesn't have any flour. Nor has she rushed to the market with paptsis on her feet, a number of children holding her dress and dragging behind her, because she doesn't have the few small coins she needs to buy a bottle of milk and rotten apples. This is a different mother, not the one from the morning hours who lies in bed, not the one who rushes to the market, and not the one who sits on the sofa in the evening. This is a mother with a pale, thin face, her wet eyes half-closed, her back bent, making her look shorter than usual. Her voice is different, too. It isn't the clear, commanding voice she used to have, but the voice of a broken person. To the children's demands of “Mama, food,” and “Mama, bread,” she answers in a pleading voice, “What will I give you, my soul?” For two days now, the children have been lying in their beds, unable to walk and weak from fasting. Mama gathers her courage and goes to the market. It's cherry and plum season, and the market is full of fruit that the gentile women have brought to sell. People buy, eat, and spit the pits out of their mouth onto the ground in the Russian way. The gentiles' pigs wander around in the market, and they collect the pits, crack them loudly with their teeth, and eat their contents. Mama returns home, outfits the children with pots, and orders them to collect the pits from the ground. Before evening, whole families are sitting in a circle on the ground, cracking the pits with hammers and stones, and eating their contents. Encouraged by this idea, she goes out with the older children and, under cover of darkness, they dig in the ground with their hands and fingernails to find a potato, a beet, or any vegetable, without fear or fright. Mama breaks wood planks from the fences to cook the vegetables. She's fighting like a lioness protecting her cub; she's fighting the enemy of hunger, and she succeeds in keeping her children alive – except the nursing baby, who cannot eat the contents of the pits and cannot nurse because he's sick.

[Page 15]

Mama draws milk from her breast and gives it to him to drink, and keeps him alive. She saves them from death by starvation, one day at a time, until rescuers arrive. A committee established by the community to help the hungry distributes a few kilograms of flour to each family. The smell of baking fills the room again, a tempting smell that lures the heart and tempts the senses and the appetite: the smell of bread baking in the oven. This is a different mother. In place of her tired, pale face is a serious one, full of energy and decisiveness. Her speech is clear and strong, with the ring of command. She looks like she's ready for battle: her body and back are straight, and she's no longer bent over. This is the mother lioness ready for battle to protect her cubs' lives.

Years pass, and times change. Polish rule is established. The children are getting older, and the eldest son is getting married. What a pleasure, what bliss, to lead her son to the wedding canopy. Blessed is the mother who is so fortunate. She even has a long black dress, fit to her body, a lady's dress in 19th-century style that her brother sent in a package of old clothing from America. Wearing the dress, Mama stands before the mirror, which is covered with black stains. This isn't the fighting mother lioness; this is a woman from a noble family with a firm body, a lean back, a long black dress, a clear noble face, and a high golden bun. Only the feet don't match the body; she's wearing fabric shoes since she doesn't have the money to buy a pair of the leather shoes that would be appropriate for the dress and the wedding. As luck would have it, it rains during the wedding, but her eyes are dry, not crying. Only her feet are wet and crying. This is a mother who's enjoying her child, and most of her children are older now.

World War II has erupted. The Kingdom of Poland has ceased to exist, and the town is under Soviet rule. The family's economic situation has improved. The older boys are working, the little ones study, and two of her sons are gaining respect in the Soviet regime. Now Mama is a mother of the working class. She's dressed in a clean dress made out of simple fabric without patches, and she wears a pair of simple leather shoes, not paptsis. Now her eyes and feet are dry. She's tranquil and secure about her family's future, so she thinks, and then a tragedy happens. Nazi Germany attacks Russia. Mama begs her sons to run away with the Russians and not to fall into the hands of the Nazis. She doesn't want to see how the Nazis murder them, as if her heart predicts what's going to happen. Two of the sons escape and save themselves. The rest of the children stay. All are led to the pit that serves as a mass grave for the whole town. After they remove their clothes, as they're ordered to by their murderers, Mama turns into a lump of clay. She loses her mind, her senses, and the ability to move her limbs. The Ukrainian murderers, the Nazis' helpers, order them to get closer to the pit. Mama doesn't respond or move, so her daughters drag her with them to the gaping pit to save her from the agony of torture in the hands of her killers.

[Page 16]

No, enemies of Israel, you didn't murderer a mother. You shot a lump of clay, a naked statue of a woman. You, murderers of Jews, enemies of mankind, you can't murder a Jewish mother.

The Jewish mother is alive and will exist forever.

 


[Page 19]

Shumsk, Kremenets District, Volin Region

Mordekhay Gurvits

(There was much light there; the light faded, and the shadow inherited its place.)

The town of Shumsk was mentioned for the first time in 1149 (Encyclopedia Povshekhna, 1867 edition). It lies on the bank of the Vilya River, which empties into the Horyn River. To the northeast, pine and white birch forests stretch as far as the suburb of Ostrah and the town of Rovne[3], and on its southwest side are the Ukrainian plains, which are blessed with wheat, sheep, cattle, creeks, and fish.

Around the time of the Holocaust, the town's population was around 5,000. Most of the residents were Jews, and the rest were Ukrainians and Poles.

Small groups of Jews lived in the nearby villages, among them the large village of Rachmanov[4], which had a synagogue and a slaughterer (there were rumors that the reason for the large number of Jews in the village of Rachmanov was that it was established before Shumsk).

The main source of income for Shumsk's Jews was small trade. There were a small number of medium-sized factories, such as those for coarse wool (the Buder family), bricks, and cement tiles; two water-operated flourmills; textile factories; grain production; a leather tannery; and a sawmill owned by the authorities and located on the road to the village of Surazh[5].

The weekly market (fair) day (Monday) provided the stores, restaurants, and teahouses with their main income. Local farmers came with their agricultural produce and purchased their families' basic necessities with their profit.

Also, Jewish merchants from cities near Shumsk, such as Kremenets, Ostrah, Vishnevits, Lanovtse[6], and so on, offered their products during market day, and some of Shumsk's merchants traveled with their merchandise to the nearby towns.

Like all the towns in Volin, Shumsk experienced a change in power in the years after World War I. When the borders were set in 1919-1920, the town was transferred from Russian to Polish rule (during the Pilsudski period), and the population began to rebuild the ruins and rehabilitate themselves economically and culturally.

[Page 20]

The Jews did not recover fast enough from World War I, and the economic situation was not good (Shumsk was also an annex town, located 5 to10 kilometers from the Russian border). The situation worsened during the 1930s with the heavy tax burden (the period when Gravski was the treasury minister) on one side and the establishment of Polish cooperative food stores on the other.

Anti-Semitism, which had been asleep and wrapped in a soft cover, woke up in Europe with the election of Hitler as the chancellor of Germany and the dissemination of his Nazi doctrine around the world. It was mostly accepted by the Ukrainian population, which waited impatiently for the arrival of the “savior” who would rescue them from the burden of the Poles and Jews.

With the restoration of the ruins and the economy came the restoration of society and cultural life. This was expressed in the establishment of the Tarbut Hebrew School. The Polish authorities caused many difficulties, and studies took place in secret (by the teacher Safir – books) in the “women's gallery” of the Great Synagogue. After a great deal of lobbying by community leaders, a license to operate the school was granted under the condition that the school's director be a teacher certified in the Polish language.

Graduates of those classes turned to high schools in Lvov and Rovne, and some to the ORT school in Kremenets or yeshivas in Vishnevits and Korits[7].

With the establishment of the school, the traditional Jewish cheder started to fade away.

While the Jews were occupied with organizing their community and their leaders, one of the town's spiritual leaders, Rabbi Berniv Lerner, may the memory of the righteous be a blessing, passed away. This canvas is too small to list all the wonderful things he did to benefit others, especially sacrificing his own life to save Jews from the hands of their murderers. His home was a gathering place for scholars and was open to all.

Rabbi Yosile Rabin, son of Rabbi Aharele of Lanovtse, took his place on the rabbinical seat, and a second rabbi by the name of R' Moshe Vinokur Halevi also served the community. With the establishment of the community, various religious programs were organized and functioned under its patronage. The community delivered food to the needy, and charitable funds were established: a homeless shelter, visits to the sick, and a Talmud Torah, where the students received a free hot meal every day.

[Page 21]

In addition, a merchants' union and a trade union were established, and their representatives brought members' problems before the local and district authorities.

The Zionist ideal and the national funds were established and developed in Shumsk, and very quickly, a local leadership was formed, including H. Milman, the movement's ideologue, Mordekhay Segal; Kopel Tsoref; Yokelson; the Akerman brothers; Neyman; Kanfer; Lerner; Roykhman; and Bernshteyn.

The Zionist youth movement was active in the movement's projects and the national funds. A magnificent library opened. It was housed at the Roytmans' home and contained a rich collection of books in Hebrew and Yiddish. A drama club was also established, and later on a theater. The most outstanding, important personalities in the theater were members of the Mirmelshteyn family.

One of the most beautiful and thrilling chapters was written by the Pioneer movement, which was legally established in 5684 (1924). The Pioneer movement was a guiding light for Shumsk's young people, who hated their lives in the Diaspora and wished for a productive life and immigration to Israel. To achieve their vision, the young members left for pioneer training camps before immigrating to Israel.

Everything mentioned and described here took place before the eruption of World War II, when the sword was raised against Shumsk's Jews.

For that I cry; my eyes shed tears.

I have tried to describe the image of our town and her Jews, their activities, and their way of life. May their names remain in our hearts for eternity and their memory be written in our nation's book of life, because with their death, they ordered our lives – we are sorry for the loss and we will not forget.

I say to the revival generation: remember, and don't forget what Amalek[8] has done to us.


[Page 27]

Marc Chagall[9]

Literary Gazette, No. 42, 10/15/1980

Robert Rozhdestvensky

[Page 28]

Marc Chagall

Robert Rozhdestvensky

He is old
still in his solitude.
He does not feel like
talking about the weather.
Immediately he starts with a question.
“Aren't you from Vitebsk?”
The lapels of his old coat are rubbed.
“No, I am not from Vitebsk.”
A long pause.
And after that – these words,
which are monotonous and melancholy:
I work, and I am sick from time to time …
An exhibition – in Venice …”
“So you are not from Vitebsk!”
No, I am not from Vitebsk …”
He looks to the side.
He is not listening,
he is not listening.
He is distant, out of place,
he is breathing.
As he tries to connect with his childhood, carefully …
Cannes and the blue coast vanish.
And the glory of the present …
is bright and confused.
He is drawn to Vitebsk,
like a plant …
To his Vitebsk,
which is dusty and hot,
and attached to the ground,
near the firehouse tower.
There are weddings and funerals over there,
prayers and fairs.
Apples are ripening over there,
they are especially big.
And a sleepy carter
gallops in the square.
“So you are not from Vitebsk …”
He is silent,
and suddenly he announces,
as if it is the most important thing,
the names of the streets:
“Smolenskeya,”
“Zemkovya,”
as in Volga.
He praises the river in Vitebsk
waving like a child
with his transparent hand.
“So you are not from Vitebsk …”
We need to separate.
Return home – quickly …
The trees are standing at attention
along the way.
It is getting darker …
…what a pity, I am sorry
that I am not from Vitebsk.


[Page 36]

At One of Our Organization's Hanukah Parties in Tel Aviv


Seated, from right: Adalya Poltorek, Avraham Shafir (Yakov Shafir's son), Bronya Biberman, Y. Meyler (Akiva Zeyger's wife), Akiva Zeyger, A. Gokun, Ch. Kufman (Shikhman), Hadasa Rubin, Yisrael Otiker, Rachel Otiker and her husband.

 

Translator's and Editor's Notes:
  1. The two Hebrew letters that make up the word chai (life) are chet and yud. The numerical values of these letters are 8 and 10, so chai equals 18. [Ed.] Return
  2. The Youth Guard (in Hebrew, Hashomer Hatsair) was a socialist-Zionist youth movement. [Ed.] Return
  3. The current names of these three towns and their locations relative to Kremenets are as follows: Shums'k, 50°07' N 26°07' E, 17.8 miles E; Ostroh, 50°20' N 26°31' E, 38.8 miles ENE; and Rivne, 50°37' N 26°15' E, 42.7 miles NNE. [Ed.] Return
  4. Rachmanov, now known as Rakhmanov, is at 50°08' N 26°06' E, 17.1 miles E of Kremenets. [Ed.] Return
  5. Surazh is at 50°09' N 26°11' E, 20.9 miles E of Kremenets. [Ed.] Return
  6. Vishnevits, now known as Vishnevets, is at 49°54' N 25°45' E, 13.9 miles S of Kremenets. Lanovtse, now known as Lanivtsi, is at 49°52' N 26°05' E, 22.9 miles SE. of Kremenets. [Ed.] Return
  7. Lvov, now known as L'viv, is at 49°50' N 24°00' E, 78.4 miles WSW of Kremenets. Korits, now known as Korets, is at 50°37' N 27°10' E, 73.2 miles ENE of Kremenets. [Ed.] Return
  8. “Amalek” here symbolizes an enemy of the Jewish people (here, the Nazis). The biblical book of Exodus describes the Amalekites attacking the Hebrews from the rear, where the elderly and other most vulnerable members of the community would have been. At the end of the story is the commandment not to forget what the Amalekites did (Exodus 17:14)]. [Ed.] Return
  9. This page contains a poem in Russian, which appears in Hebrew translation on page 28. [Ed.] Return

 

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