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[Page 45-47]

Before the War

 

Aliyah from Zloczew
to the Land of Israel

By Yaakov Freund

Translated by Moshe Shubinsky

The first to arrive in the land of Israel from Zloczew was Haim Zemel, the son of Rabbi Shmuel Zemel - may he rest in peace or, as he was called, Rabbi Shmuel Bosniner as he was a Bosnian. For details about this family, see the Icek Pavlovitch chapter in this book. Amongst the first settlers in Nahallal in the lower Galilee, Haim Zemel became a villager from his first day and so he remains till today, may he live a long life (at the time of writing of this chapter). The First World War cut off emigration from Zloczew, which was only restarted in 1921 with the arrival of David Yoseph Davidovitch, (Bar Natan) and Shmuel Kempinski. Followed later on by David Goldblat, Israel Schmidt in 1924, Yaakov Freund in 1925, Fella Friedman in 1926 and Shaania Wolkovitch in 1926, Bronchka Margolis in 1926 and Zvia Davidovich in 1926.

The first immigrants from Zloczew to Eretz Israel

 

Founding the Organisation

From then on, the emigration from Zloczew grew and grew, with the emigrants dispersing to all parts of Israel (then Palestine), to work in the orange groves, building, workshops, and the Kibbutz. In essence, they were all interested in building the country. With the end of the Second World War and the establishment of the State of Israel, emigration increased again, and in 1956, the Zloczew organisation was established. Called the Zloczew Veteran Association, it had three aims -

  1. Contacting and incorporating all the Zloczew people in Israel.
  2. Recording all the people of Zloczew who died in the holocaust.
  3. Making contact with all Zloczew people, wherever they are.

Zloczew veterans in Har Hertzl on Jerusalem

 

Zloczew veterans in the synagogue on Har Zion in Jerusalem

 

Activities of the Organisation

Yizkor memorials and remembrance services -
The way we organise memorial services and the way we carry them out were recognised as an example of good practice amongst other organisations such as ours representing other towns. Our member, Lupe Faiwlowicz, was responsible for those and we owe him a debt of gratitude. Participation in those memorial services is almost total, something that is unusual, as not everyone from other organisations can achieve that.

Remembering Zloczew's dead in 1959 we set up a memorial in the Holocaust Museum on Mount Zion in Jerusalem commemorating the Zloczew dead. This was consecrated on the 18th of May 1959, in the presence of many members of the organisation. Many facsimiles were made of the ceremony and distributed to other Zloczew survivors in Israel and abroad. On days of remembrance, our townspeople remember our martyrs by being near that headstone. As we said before, we have actively collected the names of all our people who were killed in the holocaust. We tried hard to make the list as accurate as possible and so it took us many years to compile. To raise awareness amongst the youth who did not know Zloczew and to tell them what it was like, we tried to have members bring their children to the memorial services. In this way, we also made trips to the holocaust basement in Har Zion (now housed in Yad Vashem).

Zloczew children on a trip in Jerusalem in 1959 organised
by the association in order to raise the awareness
of the young generation to their parent's past

The publishing of the Zloczew book was the culmination of all our efforts. To do that, we had to keep in touch with all the veterans, wherever they were, not just the existing organisation in New York and Paris, but also with individuals who were not members of any organisation, reporting to them and receiving news from them. We tried to encourage them to come and visit and meet with them whenever we could and especially at times when memorial services were held. This goes on to this very day.

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