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“If There's No Water It's Because The Jews Drank It” (cont.)

 
Tzila among her Childhood Friends
Beth Lohamei Haghetaot, August 22, 1982

From left to right: Yosef Yavnai [Slep], Rachel Rabinowitz [Slovo], Tzila
Gudelsky [Shub], Henia and Nahum Sneh, Zelig Yoffe, Dovid-Leib Aires

 

 
At the Yizkor Book Launch
Tel Aviv, October 15, 1989

Tzila in the front, behind her Henia [Blacher] and Nahum Sneh, Batya Yardeni
[Milun], Rina Milon, Zelig Yoffe and Ida (extreme right), behind her Bella Aires

 

 
Tzila looking at the Pictures of the Shtetl
Tel Aviv, October 15, 1989

 

“I stood and recalled our school, the Tarbut School. I recalled the lessons, and remembered the source…”

Hava Shmit relates about the other children of Velvel and Sarah:

My grandmother Sarah Shmit [nee Eidelman] was murdered by the Nazis in 1941 in Ponevezh, but my grandfather Velvel Shmit, who was visiting his children in Kaunas on June 22, 1941, escaped to Russia. At first he stayed with his daughter, Reizel, and then he went to Tajikistan to stay with my mother and my baby brother Alexander. Velvel died from a heart attack in 1943 and was buried in Tajikistan.

My uncle Yitzchak Shmit was younger than my father. He followed in his sister Reizel's footsteps and joined the young communists. He was killed in 1941, although nobody knows where and how.

My father Reuven Shmit was born on April 3, 1917. He graduated from a Hebrew school in Ponevezh and was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair. He served in the Lithuanian Army and after completing his service he moved to Kaunas and married my mother Tzipora-Tzila Peer, from Zarasai. When war broke out, both my father and mother escaped to Tajikistan. In the beginning of 1942 my father joined the 16th Lithuanian Division of the Soviet Army. In 1944 he was severely injured and lost his leg. My father returned to Lithuania in 1945, where my mother was already awaiting him. My mother's sister Bella survived the war as well, and they lived in Vilnius. My father worked as an accountant and reached a high post. He was arrested in 1953 and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment; but was fully acquitted in 1965. Whilst in prison he suffered his first heart attack. Father died in November 1969 at the age of 52. He is buried in the Jewish Cemetery of Vilnius. My mother refused to bury him at the military cemetery, although this was the wish of the authorities.

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