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[Page 666]

Eliezer Rogovin

Written by the Volozhyn Yizkor Book Editorial Team

Translated by M. Porat



Eliezer Rogovin 

Eliezer Rogovin was born on May 6, 1922 to his parents, Toybe and Tzvi Rogovin. They were a modest working-class family. However, they were concerned with knowledge and decided to give their most talented son a strong Hebrew education.

In 1941, immediately after entering Volozhyn, the Gestapo confined the entire family and all the town's Jews in a tiny Jewish ghetto. On the day of the Ghetto liquidation, Eliezer Rogovin was able to escape to the Nalibok-Stolbts vicinity. He found his way to the Resistance and joined in the Partisans' ranks. He was in the Tshkalov Partisan unit together with Bernsteyn. Eliezer excelled in fighting the Germans. He was awarded many medals, and he was even awarded the most prestigious decoration, the Golden Star, as Hero of the Soviet Union. In 1943 he was designated to be a lieutenant and a sapper unit commander. His main duty was to wreck the railways and to damage German military trains.

In one of his encounters with the Germans, the enemy was much stronger. Eliezer decided not to retreat and to fight them until the final bullet. The battle lasted for a long time. Eliezer Rogovin was wounded but he continued fighting. When some German soldiers drew near him, he tossed a hand grenade and killed two of them.

Eliezer was later hospitalized for two months. When he was healed, he returned to the battlefield. In the Nalibok forest he isolated, surrounded, and defeated a German unit.

After the liberation of Volozhyn, Eliezer was appointed as the head of the secret service in the area. He executed a German collaborator who was responsible for his family's extermination. Later Eliezer joined the Soviet army and fought in their ranks all the way to Berlin. When the war ended he left the Soviet Union for Poland. He was able to accomplish this as a former Polish citizen. In Lodz he joined the Gordonia Zionist movement and took the “habriha” (escaping way). He was active in the Jewish refugee camps in Salzburg, Vienna, and Italy as an instructor and Hebrew teacher in the illegal Aliyah Bet organization. In Italy he joined the Irgun Tsvayi Leumi (EZEL). He made aliyah, was caught by the British, and expelled to Cyprus. He tried twice to run away but he was caught at each attempt. After spending an entire year in Cyprus, he was permitted to enter Israel. Eliezer joined the Israeli Army as a mining officer. He excelled in his duties.

Near the end of the battles of the War of Independence, Eliezer Rogovin volunteered to dismantle minefields in the Negev. He was killed at a mine explosion in the Beer Sheba vicinity on December 26, 1948. Eliezer Rogovin was buried in Rehovot.


To Leyzer Rogovin's Memory

Written by Yafa Abramovitsh (Sheyna Lidski from Horodok)

Translated by M. Porat

I recall
Leyzer Rogovin
The rebellious hero
The Partisan from Volozhyn

Gun in hand
I've seen you in the woods
Your blond forelock flashing in the wind,
Young and alert,
To the brutal battle.

Your words: “Revenge! Vengeance!
For our holy martyrs,
For Volozhyn,
For my burnt Jewish home”

“Deep in my body and soul
Is an open ugly wound
But my injuries will heal
When on the battlefield
I will fight, win, and fall.”

Camp Krasno you fled,
With enemy weapons abounding,
At the darkness of night
Deep into the forest you ran.

Many times I have seen you
On guard,
You told me
With a smile on the face:
“Today, rails will blow up”

To the bandits it will be shown
They must die and see
Their own mortality
Through their blind eyes!

Yes, you have gone
On your fighting battle way
With the Horodok hero Partisans
Nazi trains to blow away.

Returned back into the woods
Happy and joyful
The command was fulfilled
Efficiently, clean, and fast.
I'll remember forever
Your winner's mood,
Your young and smiling face.

After the war we met again,
In the Austrian Alps
You had a sermon
Revealing a victory saga.

You joined the Betar rank
To lead to your land
To preserve there
The remnants left after Hitler's hell
Breathing, suffering souls,
You transformed your battle
Versus the closing gates

You, Leyser the Partisan
You could not
Let go of your gun

Our triumph you did not see
That victory you so sought to experience
You fell in battle
Hero among heroes
Your death in the combat
Was for the liberty,
Of our own land.

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