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[Page 291]

Sovietization in Dusiat

Translated by Judy Grossman

Zelig Yoffe:
Elke Slep used to report about the situation in Dusiat to the press.
Most of his reports were published in the Jewish newspaper Der Emes [The Truth].

January 9, 1941: “The preparation for the election are in full swing in Dusiat”
March 7, 1941: “98% of the Dusiat's farmers are ready for the 'Spring seeding'”
April 9, 1941: “Meetings according to the Cooperatives in Dusiat”


December 12, 1940


On Saturday December 7 an election assembly took place in the People's House in Dusiat, which was attended by 1,000 people. The assembly was opened by the secretary of the party cell in Dusiat, Comrade Shiskov, who spoke at length about the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He read the biography of the poetess Solomija Neris and proposed her as a candidate for the Utian electoral district. The public accepted the proposal unanimously.

His speech was accompanied by long and loud applause. In their speeches Comrades Puteikite, Yozelenas, Zemirov and Yusip (the latter from the Dusiat cell) expressed their satisfaction with the candidacy proposal. After the excellent speech by the commander of the Zarasai district, Comrade Mayevski, Comrade Shiskov brought the impressive assembly to a close.

There are election assemblies in Dusiat and its environs almost every Sunday and Wednesday.

Elke Slep


Fishermen's Cooperative in Dusiat

January 11, 1941 At a general assembly of all the fishermen of Dusiat and its vicinity, they decided to set up a fishermen's cooperative. The Maistas branch was represented by Comrade Kasilis, who helped organize the cooperative. The government placed 4,000 hectares of water at the disposal of the cooperative.

Fifty-one people belong to the cooperative, called Spetsius. It unites the fishermen's branches from Antezova, Obeliai and Juzintai regions. Comrade Klass was elected as chairman of the cooperative. There were certain problems with the organization of the cooperative, but it was finally set up. From now on Dusiat will no longer be hungry for fish from its natural sources. It will be able to send many fish from its lakes to the big cities in the Soviet Union.

A shoemakers', tailors', leatherworkers' and butchers' cooperative will shortly be set up in Dusiat. The bakers are also beginning to talk about a cooperative.

Elke Slep


[Pages 292-296]

God Knows What The Future Will Bring…

(Postcards from Home: July 1940 – April 1941)

Translated by Judy Grossman

The postcards from Lithuania in the first months after the Soviet annexation (June 15, 1940) still bear the symbol, stamps and headings of independent Lithuania.

Chasya-Leah Levitt's family's postcard
From Dusiat to Palestine,

July 11, 1940

“Mume Reize is already with us …”[1]



The stamp of the Dusiat Post Office July 11, 1940

The Fleischman House
For account holder Yitzchak Abel

Dear children. Be well… We received your letter. Thank G-d, we are all healthy. There is nothing new. We are all here, thank G-d, and further – I am certain that you know that Mume Reize is already with us, and in the meantime life is not hard. Keep well and let us hear good things of you.

From me, your mother Chasya-Leah.

My nearest and dearest. We are now at home as guests from Kovno. The situation in the region is improving. Here we are spending the summer days at home. Shmuel is also with us. And Issar is still in Kovno. Let us hope that everything with us settles down. I wish you all the best.


Shalom! How are all my dear ones? If you knew how happy each one of us is when we receive your letters you would provide us with this pleasure more frequently. We so much want to read in your letters that you are all well. Each one of you should write, even if just a few words.

How is Ednale [Abel]? And all of you, be well and strong. Take courage.


My dear ones, I am now at home. I was discharged from the army right after Passover. I feel well. Hearty greetings to “Fraulein” Edna.


Shalom to you Rivkale. When everyone is writing I have to write too, as I follow the others like a shadow…

Yours always



When the Soviets occupied Lithuania a decree was passed forbidding the depositors to withdraw their money from the bank. A command went out on July 29 stating that no more than 250 Lit a month were to be paid out to the depositors from their accounts.

The small shops were unable to compete with the government shops…

The new government intentionally imposed heavy taxes on the small shops in order to wipe them out entirely.

The communist government considered shopkeepers to be a kind of economic parasite that had to be destroyed.[2]

One more postcard from Chasya-Leah Levitt

We didn't succeed with Mume Reize…”



The Dusetos Post Office stamp [the date is missing]

Yitzchak Abel

Shaaraim, Levitte House



My dear beloved children Batyinka, Yitzchak and Edna, I wish you all good health. My dearly beloved, we received your postcard. I am happy that my granddaughter is developing well. May she live long and be a great scholar. ... What can I write you about us? We didn't succeed with Mume Reize. We are no longer merchants. Dora is in Kovno. Perhaps she will find a job. There is nothing for her to do at home. It is very sad without the shop. We sold everything to the last scrap. Very little was left for us. We are simply afraid of being punished and what we earned – the money was put in the bank, and we ourselves don't know what will happen to it. As long as we had merchandise we used to receive 250 (Lit) a month, and now I don't know what will be. The children are still in Kovno. In the meantime without jobs. Perhaps they will find something to do. Aunt Reize promised that everyone would have work. Let us hope and perhaps things will be all right. Batyinka, Chaya-Henne (Levitt) is sitting here and asks whether you see Chaim. Please ask him to write. Keep well. Everyone asks how you are. Berl asks how you are. He is always busy.

[The signature of mother Chasya-Leah is missing]

Shalom! I am always happy when I read your letters. Keep well and strong always and write often. I am anxiously waiting to receive a letter from Edna. I send kisses to all of you.




  1. Aunt Reize – an epithet for Russia. Return
  2. [7] Gar Yosef. Under the Yoke of Soviet Occupation, Yahadut Lita Vol 2, pp. 372-373. Return

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