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[Page 160]

Michael Groyser of blessed memory

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Michael and Rivka (wife) Groyser

Michael and Rivka (wife) Groyser

He was a popular personality in Orheyev. He was a Hebrew teacher with a progressive outlook, an enthusiastic Zionist and an orator when needed. He was active in the Zionist funds and communal life for decades.

At the beginning of WWI, the youth of our town were drafted to the war, and many families were lacking their sustainer. Elderly Jews were snatched up to work on the fortifications surrounding the city. Columns of tired and broken soldiers passed through our city, including many Jews. The living spirit in the assistance organization for these crushed wayfarers was Michael Groyser. Thanks to his influence in the community and his dedication to this good deed, many answered his call and offered their assistance.

In teaching, he excelled in his battle for new methodologies. His clear explanations and sharp humor with which he was graced endeared him to his students and anyone who knew him. He was also well received by the Christian residents and the teachers of the two Christian gymnasiums in our city.

Despite his advanced age, Michael Groyser was young in spirit. On May 1, 1917, the first of the Russian revolution, he arranged a large public parade. Young Zion marched at the head of the Hebrew contingent under blue and white flags. Michael marched along with them and enthralled the masses of Jews with his declarations and nationalistic slogans.

During WWII, large areas were cleared of their population. Michael arrived in the city of Krasnodar in the north Caucasus. There he met up with many refugees from Bessarabia, including also some from Orheyev. Due to his old age (he was approximately 70), he was unable to continue with his wanderings, and he remained there.

Michael met his death along with the murder of hundreds of Jews by the German soldiers.

Many of his students and friends will bear his memory in their hearts.


[Page 160]

The Dyukman House

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Shaul and Sima Dyukman (parents of Yonah and Hertz)

Shaul and Sima Dyukman (parents of Yonah and Hertz)

 

Yonah Dyukman, son of Shaul and Sima

Yonah Dyukman, son of Shaul and Sima

 

Hertz Dyukman, son of Shaul and Sima

Hertz Dyukman, son of Shaul and Sima

During the years 1920-1925, the home of Sima and Shaul Dyukman served as a meeting place for the Zionist youth in our city. The circles of youth who were dedicated to the national movement gathered in this house while they were still students of the gymnasium. With the passage of time, both the circles and the house turned into an important local center of Zionist activities.

Shaul, the head of the family was only marginally involved in communal affairs. He had a different honorable task: to sustain and raise eight sons and daughters to Torah and good deeds. The man was quite occupied with his business – the sheep and cattle trade. He educated his children in the spirit of the times: He gave the children a combined traditional and general education and the girls a general education.

The mother of the household Sima, the daughter of Reb Yosel Mundrian, an honorable Jew well liked by his fellowman, was a valiant and good hearted woman who opened her home wide to all in need. She even extended a faithful hand to the youth who would come to her house.

The Dyukman house stood in the center of the city opposite the market square, in a large yard. It had large rooms and a porch that extended the entire length. There was noise and commotion in the house and yard throughout most of the hours of the day and the night. Various groups of young people gathered there, some studying books and debating matters of the movement.

When a representative of the movement came to town, he would head to the Dyukman house. This house was the locale for gatherings of youth and the organization and execution of Zionist activities.

I remember that their son Yaakov prepared to make aliya to the Land with a group of chalutzim. The group came to town, and of course where should they head? To the Dyukman house. Sima the mother solved the problems of accommodations in her usual fashion. Doors were removed from their hinges to serve as stools. She spread out mattresses, and behold, there was the place for the chalutzim to sleep. She also provided food with her good heart.

This house was bustling day and night for 5-6 years. The faces of Shaul and Sima radiated with pleasure. The tumult caused by the youth did not burden them for their hearts were alert to their wishes.

Indeed, this was the meeting place for those thirsty for Zionist activities during those days. When the turn came for the rest of the family members to make aliya, the situation changed, and the father walked around sad and crushed: “It is too quiet in our house,” he told me as I took leave of him as he left the house. The father Shaul longed for those days when the group of youths was attracted to his home in their masses, on their way to the desired Land. Now the house was quiet and sad.

Dov S.

* * *

I arrived in Orheyev on 5 Tevet 5681 (1921). I had given over the balance of my money as ransom to the gendarme who captured me on the route. I was left without anything, and I still had a long journey to the Land of Israel. Without any options, I wandered through the city. I turned to the Young Zion and asked that they help me get to Kishinev, since I had heard that in Kishinev groups of chalutzim organize themselves to make aliya to the Land. The members of Young Zion sent me to the Dyukman family, whose son Yaakov was also preparing to make aliya. When I turned to him and told him the story, he introduced me to his mother. The “mother” Sima, even though she was busy with caring for her children, did not find that the place was too small. She fed me immediately, and I felt her soulful warmth. When I wanted to leave, she stopped me and said I should stay with them in their house until I could arrange my trip to the Land.

I remained in their home for five weeks. This was a brief but lovely period. During those days I felt as if I was among family. All the members of the family starting with the father who was constantly busy with his business, to the youngest of the children Sara, all drew me close and bestowed upon me the goodness of their heart and the warmth of their soul.

When the chalutz group was finally organized and was set up in the synagogue of Leib Reznik, I, as one of the organizers, decided of course to move and live with the members. Then, the mother urged me not to leave their house. “How will you be able to sleep on boards and on straw filled mattresses? Will the food cooked by inexperienced women be good for your palate? Are you fitting to be a woodchopper?“ I felt that the words were coming from the heart of a merciful mother who was honestly concerned about me. The difficult living conditions that I was willingly taking upon myself especially concerned her.

Then, destruction came upon them. They were burnt at the stake along with the rest of the House of Israel, the father who exuded strength and trust, the good hearted mother, the children Yona and the pleasant Sarahle… May their memories be a blessing!

Moshe Arazi


[Page 161]

Gedalyahu and Rivka Veitzman of blessed memory

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Gedalyahu and Rivka Veitzman

Gedalyahu and Rivka Veitzman

He was a farmer. They were among the honorable residents of the village of Mashkauts (Orheyev region).

His prime livelihood came from the growing and working of tobacco. With the agricultural reforms in Bessarabia, he received a plot of land as did most of the veteran farmers. He also received a plot that was planted with grapes on the land that Y. K. A. organization obtained from the Sirbu estate in the village. For various periods, Gedalya was the head of the Jewish farmers of the village, and served as the liaison between the group and the farmers.

Gedalya had a sense of community, and he concerned himself with communal affairs. His first activity was to establish, along with his friend Avraham, a synagogue in the place. He served as the gabbai until the end of his days. He concerned himself with educational matters in the village, engaged teachers and assured them fitting recompense.

He educated his only son Leib in the national spirit, and helped him reach a high level of education as an agricultural engineer.

(Leib and his family made aliya after WWII, and he serves today as the head of the division of manufacturing produce – cotton, sugar beets and tobacco – in the ministry of agriculture.)

Gedalya and Rivka were of good temperament, and provided food to all in need or any guest. Their fate was like the fate of the millions. It is not known if they were brought to a Jewish burial.

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