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[Page 363]

The Rohatyn Association

 

On the Organization

By Zvi Skolnick, Tel Aviv

Translated by Binyamin Weiner

Among the immigrants who came here when the State of Israel was established, there were many from Rohatyn and its vicinity. They have scattered throughout the land and begun putting their lives back together after the terrible Shoah that befell the Nation of Israel during World War Two.

In 1949, as a result of the efforts of organization member Zvi Fenster (Felker) and the writer of these lines, it was decided to found and organization of survivors from Rohatyn and its vicinity, in Israel. The organization came into being, and the list drawn up of residents in Israel made it clear that there are some 200 survivors from Rohatyn and its vicinity here. At the start, the organization's regular activities extended only to the organization of yearly commemorations of the martyrs of our city, and to the dispensation of moral and financial support to those in need.

In addition, we undertook the following activities: 1) On the third and eight days of Tammuz 5720 (5 July, 1960,) we brought sacks of earth from the three graves of our martyrs in Rohatyn, brought to Israel by the family of Dr. Avraham Sterzer, to a grave in the cemetery of Kiryat-Shaul. (The grave can be found in block 4, zone 2, row 25, grave 19, between the graves of Natan Ben-Yaakov and Strinov.) 2) On the initiative of member Y. Spiegel, the family names of the martyrs of Rohatyn were inscribed above the individual names on a parchment scroll by a scribe. The scroll was placed in the memorial to the martyrs of Rohatyn on Mount Zion, in a special ceremony on 20 July, 1961, the seventh of Iyar 5721, in the presence of some score members of the organization.

In 1959, the board of the Survivors of Rohatyn and its Vicinity decided to bring out a book, to perpetuate the memory of the Jews of our city who were devoured by the Nazis; to serve as an eternal light to their pure souls, and as a stone on the unmarked graves of those whose ashes have been dispersed in all directions. It was clear to the members of the committee from the start that the matter was enmeshed in difficulties, such as the gathering of material, the raising of funds, and so forth. From 1959 to 1962, individuals among from among the sons of Rohatyn worked diligently to compile material, solicit essays of recollection, raise financial resources, and accomplish extensive organizational work. Their labor was crowned with success by the publication of this book.

* * *

In the name of the board of the Organization of Survivors of Rohatyn and its Vicinity, I express our deep gratitude to the son of our city Yehoshua Pinchas Spiegel, son of Rabbi Avraham-David Spiegel, may he rest in peace, for his efforts in bringing about the book “Rohatyn—The Life of the City and its Destruction.”

In his work—which began with collecting material, raising money, establishing ties between survivors of our city in Israel and other lands, directing the composition of essays, soliciting sketches and essays of local color, and gathering photograph, and ended with the delivery of all of these materials to the editor and the printer—he was diligent and persistent. Despite the difficulties that stood in his way, he kept on until he arrived at the long-awaited goal.

This book of witness will be a candle for the souls of the community of Rohatyn and its vicinity, may their memory be blessed, who were consumed by the German murderers.

Son of our city—congratulations!

  With esteem and appreciation,
  Dr. Avraham Sterzer
  President of the Organization

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