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[Pages 149-166]

Chapter 7

Those Who Preceded the Rest

[Pages 149-152]

Hechalutz (The Pioneer)

Translated by Judy Grossman

At the end of WWI approximately one hundred thousand Jewish refugees who had been evicted from Lithuania to Russia at different times returned to Lithuania. The founders of Hechalutz in Lithuania came from among the returnees.
The beginning of Hechalutz in Lithuania was at the height of World War I, and it was the same age as the Lithuanian state between the two world wars.
The first ones from the shtetl of Dusiat to join Hechalutz were Chaim Levitt and Yosef Yavnai (Slep).

Hechalutz Badge

 

The Essence of Hechalutz[1]

The basis of Hechalutz is that Eretz Yisrael standing on socialist foundations can be built only by masses of Jewish workers, and it aspires to organize all these masses that are training to personally take part in the building and labor. On their arrival in Eretz Yisrael, members of Hechalutz become a member of the Histadrut Haklalit

Shayke Glick: The first movement active in Dusiat was the Z.S. (Zionist Socialists), but neither they nor Maccabi lasted long in the shtetl. Hashomer Hatzair and Hechalutz took their place.
Hashomer Hatzair Parade in Zarasai
Batya Roznikowitz is in the front row (center)

 

Tzila Gudelsky (Shub): The president of Lithuania used to make visits to the cities and towns. Before his coming to Dusiat they decorated the shtetl and in his honor prepared a symbolic gate that was covered with greenery. Meir Tzirlin made a flowery speech, and when he wanted to quote a passage in the greeting he got confused and said: “Krieg und frieden zolln hershn in deine palatzen Lite.” (“ May war and peace reign in your palaces Lithuania”) …

The Kovner Tog newspaper (Edition 33, June 10, 1926) published the following report on the reception in Dusiat:

“The President, Dr. K. Grinius, being received by the Jews of the shtetl with bread and salt…”

 


Footnotes

  1. From the membership card of Yitzchak Orez (Aires). Return

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