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[Pages 69-70]

Jews in a Foreign Army

Yosef Yavnai (Slep): One Yom Kippur I hid in the home of Rasya Kagan's parents and didn't go to the synagogue, because I had been warned that there was a possibility of agents coming to grab young men for the Tsar's army.

Shayke Glick: Koppel “der soldat” (“the soldier”), whom they spoke of as one of the “cantonist” children[1], returned to the shtetl after twenty-five years in the Tsar's army. His stories from there were hair-raising.

There were young men from Dusiat who took part in the Russo-Japanese War and in WWI and were injured. Mere-Dine was left with her husband missing, so that she couldn't ever remarry. Feivish the son of Yankel-Moshe Glick returned from the Russo-Japanese War blinded. Motke Gelman's father was killed in World War I. Moshe Orlin was taken as a prisoner-of- war by the Germans then.

My father, who took part in the Russo-Japanese War, returned whole.

Hedva Scop: The Draft Board postponed my father's recruitment by eleven months, so that he would “put a few more inches on his chest”. My father took advantage of the break and hurriedly immigrated to South Africa.

Naftali Shub in the uniform of the Tsar's army Soldiers in the Tsar's army. Kehat and Moshe Orlin were listed as twin brothers and only Moshe was drafted into the army (standing on the right). He was a prisoner-of- war of the German army in WWI


Footnotes

  1. Cantonists were Jewish boys kidnapped during the Czarist regime for military purposes. Return

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