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[Page 255]

My family in Maytchet

By Moshe Korn

Translated by Jerrold Landau

As I remember my parents' home, depressing memories fly up, and feelings of pain and anguish fill my heart. All of my dear ones, benevolent people of good deeds, people of toil and labor, were murdered in cold blood by the conscienceless Nazis. Those goodhearted people, whose good deeds benefited all those around them, are no more. All of them were uprooted from the earth.

In Maytchet, my father was known by the long name Avraham-Berl-Itza-Ahrake's. This name includes three generations: my father Avraham Dov Korn of blessed memory[1], my grandfather Reb Yitzchak Korn of blessed memory, and my grandfather's father Reb Aharon Korn of blessed memory.

These three generations were all born in Maytchet. To my dismay, I have few details about them, for I was unable to glean a great deal of family information due to the fact that I was quite young at the time of the outbreak of the Second World War. I was young when I began to go through the era of the Nazi bloodbath in Poland, which did not pass over our town.

My father's grandfather Reb Aharon Korn served as the feldscher[2] of the town, and he was nicknamed “Aharake the Doctor.” Apparently, in that far-off era, there were not enough physicians to enable small towns such as Maytchet to benefit from certified medical services, therefore, those people knows as feldschers occupied themselves with medicine. A feldscher was more than a nurse and less than a doctor, but in Eastern Europe, he had the status of a doctor. To the best of my memory, they used to say at home that my father's grandfather Aharake the doctor accepted and took care of both Jewish and gentile patients. The farmers of the area would also come to him for treatment, or to take them to their homes in the nearby villages by wagon so that he could treat the sick.

Now that I have mentioned my great-grandfather the feldscher, it is fitting to mention the final feldscher who served in Maytchet, Reb Moshe Urul (Reb Moshe the feldscher). He was the father of Zilpa Bas and Esther Urul. His daughter Esther was known in town as an excellent actress in the dramatic club. The era of feldschers in Maytchet ended with the death of Reb Moshe Urul of blessed memory, for after his death, Dr. Korman, who served as the physician of the area, settled in the town. After a long period, Dr. Korman left Maytchet and moved to Slonim. He was replaced by Dr. Kaplan, who served as the physician of the town and the area until the Holocaust.

My father's grandfather Reb Aharon Korn had two children - a son and a daughter. The son was my grandfather Reb Yitzchak Korn. The daughter, Sara Rivka, married Leizer Kadish Stolobitzki, also a native

[Page 256]

of Maytchet, and established her family in the town. They had three children - a son and two daughters. The son Tzvi also married in Maytchet and lived there together with his parents. The daughter Kreina married in Baranovichi, and the second daughter Yehudit married Abba Shmulovitz

 

 
Avraham Dov Korn of blessed memory   The feldscher Reb Aharon Korn
of blessed memory

Like his father, my grandfather Reb Yitzchak Korn continued to live in Maytchet, where he established his family together with Grandmother Kreina. They had three children - two sons and a daughter. My grandfather was a brave Jew who was among those who organized a self defense organization in town in his time. He was also a member of the Chevra Kadisha [burial society]. A tragedy took place in 1935. My grandfather went to bathe in the Molchada River near the town, and unfortunately drowned.

My grandfather's oldest son was my uncle Reb Ezriel Korn of blessed memory. He immigrated to the United States during his youth, and made aliya to Israel in 1968 after living in the United States for 65 years. To our sorrow, he did not live for long in Israel, for he died after several months.

[Page 257]

My grandfather's daughter Dvora Michla also immigrated to the United States. She established her family there, and lives there to this day.

My grandfather's second son was my father Avraham Dov Korn. He married my mother Liba, and they established their family in Maytchet. We were five children in the family: Ezriel, Shabtai, Mordechai, Feivel Leib, and I, the eldest. My father also continued in the family tradition, and was a member of the Chevra Kadisha of the town, like his father. I recall how he took me with him during my childhood to participate in the festive celebration following the 7th of Adar, the fast day followed by the feast for all of the Chevra Kadishas in the world. My parents lived in the same building as Grandfather and Grandmother, and they worked together in the family plot of land that they owned, that extended from their home until the bog (the blettes).

My father of blessed memory was among the first 22 Jews who were taken by the local gendarmes on 27 Shvat 5702 (1942) and brought to the coal making area (smolarnia) behind the flour mill, where they were murdered. This group included Avraham David Zukovitzki, Alter Charlap, Shalom Rabinovitch, Eliezer Blitzki, Sonia Cherbanski, Esther Chrolnik (sister of Mordechai Kravtzik who married Berel Chrolnik), and others. I recall how I ran to the members of the Judenrat and begged their assistance in order to free my father and the other Jews. Indeed, Leibel Gilerovitz took advantage of his travel permit and traveled to Horodshits and Baranovichi. I accompanied him as a wagon driver in the Judenrat's wagon. Leibel Gilerovitz attempted to stop them, and succeeded in receiving an order from the German office to free them, but it was already too late: the gendarmes had already murdered the members of the group.

We - my mother, brother Leibel and I - succeeded in surviving the vale of murder in Maytchet through great miracles and unusual means. We arrived in the Dvoretz Ghetto, where we thought we might stay and survive, but the decree was already issued, and I lost my last relatives during the siege and hunt in the Dvoretz Ghetto. Of all the family, only I survived. After difficulties and tribulations, I arrived in Israel in 1946. Now that I am able to perpetuate the memory of my family members in the Book of Maytchet, I feel that I have fulfilled a holy duty to the pure and innocent martyrs who were murdered for no fault of their own by the children of Satan and their accursed assistants during the years of the Holocaust.

May their memories be a blessing.

Translator's footnotes

  1. The Hebrew name Dov and the Yiddish equivalent Berl are frequently used interchangeably. Return
  2. An old-style barber-medic. Return


[Page 258]

The Family of Moshe Aharon Shevchik

By Yehuda Ben-Moshe (Shevchik)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

These lines are written in the Memorial Book of Maytchet so that the coming generations will remember and not forget our fathers who lived in Maytchet and were murdered by the enemy and foe during the era of the Holocaust. Only my brother Yechiel who now lives in the United States and I remain as the last survivors of our family in Maytchet. Therefore, I wish to form a bridge between the past and the future, between our large family in Maytchet and our descendents who never knew our family from close. Let this book serve as a family genealogy book, and if one of our descendents wishes to find out about the roots of the family, let them find it in this book.

 

 
Reb Moshe Aharon Shevchik of blessed memory,
and his wife Velka Shevchik may G-d avenge her blood

My father Reb Moshe Aharon Shevchik was a native of Maytchet, as were my grandfather Reb Aharon Shevchik and his wife, my grandmother. We can assume that the preceding generations of our family were also natives of Maytchet, except for my mother Elka of the Cigelnik family, who was a native of the town of Polonka. She married my father in Maytchet, where they established their family.

[Page 259]

My grandfather Reb Aharon was a merchant in the villages (“korobelnik”). He sold all types of merchandise to the farmers and bought their produce. My father also was involved in this business, as was my uncle -- my father's brother Reb Yitzchak Yaakov Shevchik. My uncle's wife Zelda also ran a bakery, where she sold various baked good in the town, especially to the farmers on market days.

My father also had a sister in Maytchet who was married to Simcha David. Uncle Simcha David worked in the egg trade. He would buy eggs from all of the peddlers in the town and from all the merchants who would buy eggs on market days, and export them to Baranovichi and other large cities.

As time went on, my father left his peddling business, since my mother was not content with Father being absent from the home throughout the week. He obtained the right to transport travelers in town. Maytchet was a vacation town, and many travelers passed through. The railway station was in the village of Mickiewicz, a distance of about four kilometers from town. They would travel by wagon until 1930. I recall how Father set up a large hut in the shape of a bus atop a flat surface, decorated it nicely with images of peaceful settlements, and attached it to horses to provide transportation.

When the children at home grew up, my brother Yechiel studied to be a driver. We first obtained a taxi in 1931, and immediately thereafter, two buses. The taxi provided special services. One bus traveled the Maytchet - Baranovichi line through the town of Mush, and the second bus traveled the Maytchet - Nowogradek line through the towns of Dvorets and Nowjelnia.

In modern times, transportation by taxi or bus is considered commonplace, but in Maytchet of the 1930s, this was novel, literally a new discovery. I recall how the bus set out for the first time from Maytchet to Baranovichi. As it passed the villages along the way, there were cases where the farmers were frightened of the bus and ran away. They did not understand how something of this nature could travel without horses…

I recall a sad event with the bus that traveled the Maytchet Baranovichi line. The bus station in Baranovichi was on Sentorski Street, in the courtyard of Eli Shevchik, who had a large grocery warehouse. That day, one of the drivers placed a bicycle on the roof of the bus. That day, one of the non-Jewish hired drivers was driving the bus. My brother Yechiel warned him that he would not be able to pass under the electric wire in the yard, but the driver did not listen to my brother, began to drive, and got stuck in the wires. He got of the bus and wanted to go up to the roof to enable passage. My brother warned him again to not do this, because it was fraught with mortal danger. However, the driver insisted, went up to the roof, and got electrocuted. Since the city council of Baranovichi had some responsibility in this situation because the wires in the yard were not at the right height, and these were not isolated wires, the matter was not clarified fully and was somehow obfuscated…

[Page 260]

Our father Reb Moshe Aharon died in 1933. My brother Yechiel got married with a girl from the city of Ruzhany, where he set up his family. He obtained one bus and set up a bus line in his new city of residence. My brother Aharon and I also studied driving, and we continued the business together with our brother Zeev (Velvel). In 1934, I went out to a Hachshara Kibbutz in order to prepare to make aliya to the Land of Israel. My brother Aharon got married in Maytchet and continued in this work along with our brother Zeev until the outbreak of the Second World War, when destruction overtook the entire family in the same manner as the rest of the Jews of Maytchet. Only my brother Yechiel and I survived.

My brother Yechiel was exiled to Russia, and his family perished immediately with the entry of the Germans. He passed through seven levels of hell, and ended up in Austria after the war, where he worked as a nurse and a hospital director. There, he met Mirl Lemkin, the daughter of the sister of Rabbi Elchanan and Noach Goldstein. They got married and moved to the United States, where their only daughter was born. I survived the war because I succeeded in escaping Maytchet before the bloodbath - literally a few months before the outbreak of the war, when I made aliya to the land of Israel as part of the Aliya Bet[1].

My father of blessed memory was an upright, straightforward man with a good heart, who loved to do good deeds to his fellow, whether by giving charitable gifts to all who asked, or by giving charity in private. He always assisted the charitable emissaries by collecting donations, and he was the trustee of the Chevrat Tehillim [Society for Recitation of Psalms] in town. During the First World War, when our town was captured by the Germans, the conquerors emptied out all the residents from the large building across from us in which the Blass, Volinski and other families lived, and converted it into a temporary hospital.

There was a firefighter's brigade in Maytchet, which consisted solely of Jews until 1935. There was also a firefighter's band, conducted by Eli Busel of Zhetl. The chairman was Shimon Lahhovitski, and my brother Yechiel was among the organizers of the band. I was also a member of the band. All the members of the band worked on a voluntary basis, and a portion of the income of the band, which came from playing at weddings and celebrations, was designated to common expenses as well as the Jewish National Fund.

Translator's footnote

  1. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah_Bet Return


[Page 261]

My ties with Maytchet

By Zeev Rimon (Romanovski)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

My ties to Maytchet were roundabout but significant. I was born in the village Gorki, located 14 kilometers from Maytchet and 24 kilometers from Slonim. My parents - Avraham Romanovski (Avremel Harker) and my mother Sara Mesha, also of the Romanovski family (they were cousins) sent me to study in Maytchet when I was 4 ½ years old. My memories of that early period are of course very vague. I only remember that I was given over to the care of a certain elderly woman, and that my first teacher who taught me the alphabet was prone to anger, and often demonstrated the strength of his arm to me. Despite my childish strength, I apparently tried to protect myself and perhaps even attacked back. For this reason, the relations between us were so damaged that after one semester (about a half a year), I concluded my academic career in Maytchet and continued my studies in Slonim. However, I continued to visit Maytchet on occasion because most of the family was there.

As I have stated, my parents lived in a village. Like all the villages in the Pale of Settlement, Maytchet was surrounded by village Jews, “Yishuvniks” as they were called. This term was considered equivalent with boorishness and ignorance, and also served as prime material for all types of jokes within Jewish folklore for many generations. As one who saw this life from up close, I can state that among them there were Torah scholars and people who were very far from ignorance. However, in general, it can be stated that nine measures of the exile fell upon these Jews, the majority of whom were very poor. They settled amongst the gentiles, at times in very remote corners, due to the vicissitudes of earning a livelihood. These Yishuvniks were always prone to various types of persecution and degradation from their neighbors - much more so than the Jews of the cities and towns. Life was difficult to bear. If this was the case for the adults, it was even more the case for the young people. However I will not discuss this topic at length in this article. And I will be forgiven for having “stolen” a few lines to mention this. The Holocaust and destruction leveled the experience of all type of Jews - in the city, the town, and the village. All met with a common fate.

*

At the beginning of the 1930s while I was in Warsaw, I received news that my oldest brother died of blood poisoning and was buried in Maytchet. I was later told that my brother

[Page 262]

refused to be taken to a doctor in the city, lest the “neighbors” rejoice at seeing him in such a situation… During the 1930s, I was informed through a telegram that my father was very sick, and that I must come immediately to Maytchet. I arrived in Slonim after traveling on a train all night, and from there, I went to Baranovichi. I arrived in Maytchet toward the evening, as there was no earlier train. Apparently, Father was suffering death throes all day, but he held on to his last strength so he could see me before he died. Indeed, when I arrived and leaned over his bed, a smile appeared on his pale face, he kissed me, uttered a few incomprehensible words, and died. My son Avraham, who bore the name of his grandfather - my father - fell during the conquest of the Golan Heights during the Six Day War[1]. My mother suffered a stroke a few years later. I visited her in Maytchet during the summer of 1939. When I parted from her, I did not know that I would never see her again.

*

When I visited Maytchet, for the most part I would stay with my mother's sister Aunt Nechamcha. Her husband Yaakov Ginzbrug, Uncle Yankel as we called him, was a teacher of Bible, and, if I am not mistaken, also grammar. He was a strict man, but it was said that anyone who studied with him knew Bible very well. A great tragedy afflicted them during the latter part of the First World War. Their three daughters died one after another within a short period from one of the diseases that spread during that period[2]. They were left with an only son, Meirka. After that tragedy, my aunt became more pious. This was expressed in various ways, primarily through good deeds. As is said, she was a good soul, and many people admired her. Aunt Roza was a midwife in Maytchet and the area for many years. Incidentally, after the Holocaust I was told that Aunt Nechamcha and Aunt Roza remained alive for many months, and were the last members of the family to be alive. They ran from one hiding place to another until the hand of the enemy caught up with them. Aunt Zlata and her husband Eliahu moved from Maytchet to Baranovichi where they perished.

However, the unofficial head of the large family was Uncle Leib Romanovski. He was a pharmacist who worked for many years in the pharmacy of the Dvorjetski family in Maytchet. Later, he purchased his own pharmacy in the town of Baksht near Lida. The two orphaned sons of my brother Meirka and Leibele, were educated by him. The joined the partisans and fell in one of the battles with the Germans. Uncle Leib lived in the interior of Russia until the 1920s. The Bolshevik Revolution caused him to leave, and he returned to Maytchet. I loved him and he was very close to me. He looked upon my Zionist activities in a forgiving manner. Even though he did not oppose it, Zionism did not speak to his heart. A friend of mine who moved to the town of Baksht in extremely cold weather and succeeded in surviving, told me that he met my uncle there, talked with him a great deal, and that Uncle Leib was a pleasant conversationalist. Among other things, he told my friend that if he succeeded in surviving, he would come to me in the Land. He did not merit such, and I also did not merit to see his dream come true.

[Page 263]

*

Let us now return to Maytchet. Sometimes, I enjoyed visiting Father's brother, Uncle Berl Romanovski (not to be mixed up with Berl Romanovski, the owner of the grocery business). Uncle Berl was involved in manufacturing Dutch cheese. Aunt Elka was the mainstay of the house. Their only daughter married Noach Godlshtein, who was active in the firefighters and the dramatic club. There was a pleasant calm in their house, and I felt good with them.

Earlier, I mentioned the other Berl Romanovski, who was in the first class in town in terms of his position and status. The fathers of Berl and my father were brothers. Whenever I was with him, heartwarming characters of “the Village” or of “Reb Shlomo Hanagid” of Sholem Asch[3] fluttered before me. Berl was a G-d fearing Jew, but what I particularly appreciated about him was his patience toward the ideas and behavior of his fellow. It was good to chat with him. He was very intelligent, with a good temperament. I recall that during one of our discussions, we talked about somebody who was somehow able to reconcile his conscience. He said to me with a smile, “How surprising, you know that by law one is permitted to shorten the mustache or beard a bit if it interferes with eating…” His wife Malka was a righteous woman in the full sense of the word. She was always involved in charitable deeds and helping the needy, in most cases by giving discreetly. Their home in the middle of the market square was always open wide to anyone in need.

I was especially friendly with their eldest son Shalom Romanovski. He was saved miraculously during the Holocaust, and was the only survivor of the entire family. At the end of 1946, I was sent by the kibbutz to visit the survivors in Poland and the refugee camps in Germany and Austria. I met him in Linz, Austria, and our joy was boundless. He went to the United States and served as a kashruth supervisor at one of the abattoirs near Chicago. We remained in constant contact by mail. He suffered a stroke about two years ago, and died the same day. He left behind a wife and three daughters. His eldest daughter wrote to me that during those sad days, even before the end of the Shloshim[4], she gave birth to a son and named him Shalom. His coffin was brought to Israel at the beginning of 1971, and he was buried in Jerusalem.

*

This is a summary of my connection to Maytchet. As in every place, there was certainly no shortage of shadows, but the shadows have been have become blurred in the “light” of the great conflagration, to the point that that they disappeared completely. Maytchet with its youth, with whom I often met, remains etched in my mind. I also recall its well-known pine forest, which attracted many convalescents from near and far, where I also spent a month. I recall Maytchet with all of its institutions and organizations, even though they were of modest scope. Maytchet was a typical Jewish town, and was cut off from the land of the living. I recall it with sorrow, honor and awe.

Translator's footnotes

  1. This was in 1967. The sentence is apparently parenthetical, as the following sentence goes back to the 1930s. Return
  2. Quite possibly the influenza pandemic. Return
  3. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sholem_Asch Return
  4. The thirty day mourning period after a death. Return


[Page 264]

My Connection With Maytchet

By Zelda Rozovski (Likter)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Even though I am not a native of Maytchet, I was connected to it from several perspectives. First of all, I had a double family connection with it - my mother Rivka of blessed memory was a native of Maytchet, and she lived there with her family until her marriage to my father Mordechai Leib Likter of blessed memory of Zhetl. My second family connection with Maytchet was through my uncle, my father's brother, Kasriel Likter of blessed memory, who lived in Maytchet. In addition to this double family connection, I was also personally connected to the town. I loved it, was attracted to it, and spend a great deal of time there. I would come to Maytchet every summer before the Festival of Shavuot, and remain there until after Simchat Torah. I had many friends in Maytchet, and I was a frequent visitor in many houses in the town.

I recall that our central meeting place was in the house of one of the daughters of Shlomo Hershel Shlomovitz and in the house of Zawadchik. Since the daughters of Reb Shlomo Ahronovitz of the village of Svorotova were also one of the group, we would often go to that village and spend a great deal of time with Dvora Ahronovitz and her sisters.

Thus, I would often visit Maytchet. Today, after so many years, when I recall this town, I feel a pleasant duty to recall the “grace of my youth” of the town. I was attracted to it and its residence because they all received me so well and pleasantly, to the point of true soulful connections. During those days, the youth had from whom to learn, for in most cases the Jews of Maytchet were goodhearted, of pleasant character, welcoming of guests and doers of charitable deeds. It is possible that all this stems from the fact that Maytchet was a small town surrounded by many villages, with each village having only a few isolated Jews. As a central town among the villages, Maytchet naturally was the Jewish center of the region, with all that such entails. On account of this, strong connections were forged between all the Jews of Maytchet and the region. They lived together as if one family.

As has been said, I had many relatives in Maytchet. My grandfather Reb Isser Lisagorski of blessed memory was born in the village of Plekhovo near Maytchet. He moved to Maytchet along with his parents at the end of the 19th century. He married my grandmother Yenta, may peace be upon her, established his household, and had sons and daughters. After a few years, my grandfather Reb Isser died, and Grandmother Yenta was left as a young widow with small children. She remarried to a relative named Zlomonovski, who was also a widower with young children. This marriage was very successful. All the children bonded to the parents and were dedicated to each other in an unusual fashion.

[Page 265]

As time went on the children grew up, and each of them established their own family. It even happened that my aunt Sara Leah Lisagorski, my mother's sister, married her stepbrother Sender Zlomonovski. Of all the relatives of my grandfather Reb Isser of blessed memory, my uncle Reb Mordechai Izak Lisagorski was the only one who remained in Maytchet. All the rest left the town. Some of them got married and lived in the area, and some, including Grandmother Yenta immigrated to the United States.

My mother's brother, my uncle Reb Mordechai Izak Lisagorski, was a soldier during the First World War. He was injured during one of the battles and remained handicapped with partial paralysis. Despite this, he served as the Torah reader in the Beis Midrash for many years. He had five children, a daughter named Gruna and four sons. All of the sons had the names of angels: Michael, Gavriel, Azriel, and Refael. I recall how he attempted for many years to have the Polish government recognize his handicap, so that he would be able to receive monthly stipends. However, the Polish government ignored his requests and he was forced to find his livelihood by support from his brothers who had immigrated to the United States. I recall how my uncles, the brothers of Uncle Mordechai Izak, would send 100 dollars every month. When I visited Maytchet, I would accompany Uncle Mordechai Izak and his wife Aunt Alta to the post office, where he received the money from the United States.

As I mentioned, several of the brothers of my mother and of Uncle Mordechai Izak immigrated to the United States. Uncle Chaim David Zeler and Uncle Moshe Lisagorski acclimatized well to the new country, raised large families, and remained dedicated to their brothers and families. Just as they supported their brother Mordechai Izak, they did not turn away from the rest of their family. Uncle Moshe Lisagorski served in the American Army during his youth, and passed away at an old age in 1967. The second uncle, Chaim David Zeler, lives in the United States to this day. He is active in the Maytchet organization of that country, and has visited Israel a number of times.

As I have already mentioned at the beginning of my article, my mother Rivka of blessed memory was born in Maytchet. She married my father Mordechai Leib Likter in Zhetl, and they had seven children - four sons and three daughters: Isser, Zalman, David, Yerachmiel, Beila, Liba, and me. They all perished in the Holocaust except for my sister Liba and me, who succeeded in being saved from the vale of murder. My sister lives in the United States today, and my husband and I have established our family in Israel.

My father had a brother, Kasriel Likter, who married Chaya Sara in Maytchet. They had one son, Yaakov. Uncle Kasriel and Aunt Chaya Sara perished during the Holocaust in Maytchet, but their son apparently survived. However, to my great sorrow, I have not been able to track him down to this day.

Today, after decades have passed since the most terrible period in the annals of our family and of the Jewish people, I can only bless those people who have found it fitting to perpetuate the memory of all the martyrs who perished in the Holocaust. Let his Memorial Book of the community of Matychet serve as an eternal light to the souls and a perpetual monument to the memories of all the martyrs of Matychet and the region, those near and dear to me among them.

May their memories be a blessing.


[Page 266]

My Parents' - Stolovitsky Family

By Benjamin Stolovitsky

Translated by Avi J. Levin

The home I grew up in was a traditional Hassidic Jewish home, as were most Jewish households in Maytchet. We lived in a tranquil atmosphere until the 'battle of annihilation'. My father, Zemel Stolovitsky, was a renowned grain merchant. My mother, Chaya-Tcherna, was a woman of valor, who managed her house with dignity and worked alongside my father in their business. Together they raised their children and gave them a foundation of Jewish education in accordance with the best traditions.

 

Chaya-Tcherna Stolovitsky nee Shlovsky and her son Benjamin

In order to sustain his family with dignity, my father worked long hours. Nevertheless he managed to find time to go to the Bet Medrash for daily prayers and listen to a lesson in Torah as well as be available to assist those in need. My mother also was concerned in the well being of others and availed herself to assist them in their time of need as much as possible. In this wholesome atmosphere we grew up with strong Jewish identification as was customary in our town.

I lived in this loving house together with my parents, my two brothers Laibel and Moshe, and my sister Shaina. We had many family members and close friends living nearby.

[Page 267]

They were an integral part of our household in times of joy as well as sorrow.

As a member of a pioneer youth movement in Maytchet, I yearned to emigrate someday to the Land of Israel. However, World War II broke out with all of its great atrocities, putting aside my hopes and of many other youths. Nevertheless, there were also those amongst us who did not say that we should despair in such a difficult situation. We traveled to Vilna, where many pioneers gathered, and from there we took different paths to emigrate to the Land of Israel. I consulted with a number of friends about joining with them on their paths; and how we would resist the difficulties and the many dangers that we would encounter. We crossed borders, encountering many difficulties, hunger and much poverty. Full details of my travels are recorded elsewhere in this book.

Shortly after I arrived in Eretz Yisrael I was drafted into the British army. During my army travels to other lands, I heard from refugees who were fleeing from the valley of slaughter about what was happening in our general area, and specifically in Maytchet. In my heart I prayed that my father, who had close business relationships with important people in the region, perhaps had been saved with their help. But when I returned to The Land of Israel from my army service, my last hope was shattered to bits. From the tales of survivors of Maytchet, the bitter fate of my family members became known to me, as they had been included amongst the human sacrifices of the Holocaust.

I was somewhat comforted when I was told that my father fought valiantly until his last day. He, together with other family members, became part of a large partisan division which was organized in the nearby forests. They inflicted heavy blows on the enemy, causing them many casualties. He fell in the line of duty with strength and honor.

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