« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 237]

Figures, People, and Personalities

[Page 238]



This is a memorial!

And you, Mizochian, while looking through this section:

Remember!

Pass before the eyes of your soul the images of the precious names
of those who are of your own flesh and blood.
They will return and live before you and their memories will be etched in your heart.
The horrific crime of their destruction, themselves having committed no sin, shall be remembered.
God will avenge their blood, and their spirits
will be bound in the bond of life. Amen.



[Page 239]

Memorial for Mizoch

by Yoseph Koppelman

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

I will remember Mizoch and mourn with a bitter soul
The great tragedy and burning pain that
Depleted us so very much Woe, woe to us
Woe, woe to all of us. Wicked strangers destroyed
The lives of our parents, brothers, sisters
Better were the deaths by sword than deaths by hunger
Their defiled, bloodstained hands knew no mercy
Every teenager, old person, and infant
None escaped from the claws of the predator
What was their sin and what was their crime
Saintly souls, virtuous and pure
They were put in squalor and filth
While they were still fluttering between life and death, their tombs were covered
Terror gripped every Jew who heard it
I screamed a scream like a shofar regarding why
Such a terrible tragedy happened?! Gentiles saw and became quiet
A silent quiet

May the souls of all the villains who drank the blood of our holy martyrs be obliterated from the face of the earth.

May their souls be bound up in the bond of everlasting life.

“They will rest peacefully in their graves and arise to their destinies at the end of days.”


[Page 240]

The Holy Rabeinu Natan Netta Lerner,
May God Avenge his Blood

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

Rabbi Natan Netta inherited the seat of the rabbinate of Mizoch from his father-in-law, the rabbi Michael Lerner of blessed memory, not because he was a family member and married to the late Rabbi's daughter, but rather by virtue of his greatness with regards to Torah and mitzvot.

 

 

The rabbi had a hunched back from the constant sitting he did with the Talmud and his fingers were raised slightly from excessive page-turning of the books which he studied.

[Page 241]

Not once was he seen engaging in small talk; if he was not praying, he was busy with his studies or if not studying, he was writing books.

In the world of scholars in Poland, he was considered an authority for his great eruditeness in Talmud and for his expertise in rabbinic literature. His love of Zion knew no bounds, and at almost every memorial conducted during his time on the 20th of Tamuz in the memory of Dr. Herzel, he would appear wrapped in a tallit, sermonizing on the great deceased man.

In one of these sermons, he declared enthusiastically, “Herzl's not dead! Herzl lives! The righteous in their deaths are called living.”

I remember his emphasis when praying the Shema “so that you will remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt”. That means from slavery to freedom, from a life of exile to a life of sovereignty, and my life breath grew faint within me." He was always ruminating on how to reach the land of Israel; he loved Israel and his soul longed for her. However, the impure hand brought forward his death and he reached his end in the proximity of his community in the mass grave in the Sosenki forest.


The Teacher David Koppelman
of Blessed Memory

by Reuven Melamed

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

From far away Warsaw, he was brought to Mizoch by the rich Tekser family, and with his arrival came a revolution in the education of the younger generation in the town. In Mizoch, like in every town in the Pale of Settlement those days, the children were educated in “chederim” [rooms], where they received Torah from the mouths of educators and small children. The learning of Tanakh, Hebrew, or grammar was forbidden and only a few select youths would read secretly from the literature of the haskalah [Jewish enlightenment] and learn Hebrew and grammar on their own.

The office of the teacher Shmuel David Koppelman of blessed memory was called “Cheder HaMetukan” [modernized cheder] and was completely different in its appearance, structure, and design, from all of the other “chederim” that were established in the town. Koppelman himself was also different from the rest of the educators in the area, not only in his job description, (Moreh, and not Melamed) but also in his character and behavior. He was an ultra-orthodox Jew who kept mitzvot both mild and severe, refined in his dress, respectable, and amicable. He had a broad, general education, well-versed in Judaic studies, his knowledge of Tanakh was great and he was superior in Talmudic study. Beyond that, he was knowledgeable in pedagogy and was a gifted educator. Every resident of the town -- including his teaching competitors -- treated him with respect and sought his company. To be Koppelman's student was considered a great honor, and all the

[Page 242]

parents worked hard to have their children be educated by him, as the tuition for studying with Koppelman was much higher than tuition for the other “chederim”.

Koppelman's students stood out not only in their knowledge but also in their conduct. Belonging to the group of Koppelman's students entailed good behavior and meant that the student willingly took upon himself quite a few obligations.

 

 

His lessons were heard with great interest and attention, as the man understood the soul of the child and knew how to draw his attention with adequate explanation appropriate for the child's level of understanding. Therefore, the lessons were not a burden on the children but, rather, the children went with great desire to Koppelman's classes.

It was no wonder then that all his students excelled in their knowledge in both religious studies and secular studies. Many were jealous of him, and some among the town's scholars tried more than once to ensnare him, setting traps of one type or another for him in Talmud, Tanakh, or in Midrashim, but they always failed in their efforts. I remember how angry I was at my grandfather, Reb Velvl Melamed of blessed memory -- who was an erudite man, very smart, knowledgeable, and clever -- at his efforts to thwart my teacher. To my great joy and the heartfelt joy of all his students, however, our teacher Koppelman always had the upper hand.

[Page 243]

One time, two young men from the land of Israel came to our town to stay with their aunt Hinda from the village of Spasov. They were graduates of the Hebrew high school “Herzliya”, and of course spoke fluent Sephardi Hebrew. There was no dearth of Jews knowledgeable in Hebrew in the town. But Sephardi pronunciation, however -- ‘where does that come from’? Those who were envious of Koppelman spoke of the hearts of the youths who were brought to him in order to test his knowledge and to cause him to fail.

They entered the “cheder” in the middle of studies and promptly started to perform the task assigned to them. To their astonishment, however, they immediately switched from being the testers to the tested. Kopelman, in all his cleverness, understood that they were sent by his opposers to test him, and he embarrassed the arrogant young men. Instead of a failing and ignorant “educator”, they stood before an intelligent teacher, a man of extensive knowledge and with good information on the happenings both in the land of Israel and the Diaspora. With difficulty and great embarrassment, they quickly walked out of the “cheder” and acknowledged their failure.

I was at the time a student in the lower grade, and I did not properly understand the debate being conducted amongst them that was conducted entirely in Sephardi Hebrew, but I do remember the joy that overcame the students of the upper grades in seeing the victory of their beloved teacher.

Kopelman was agitated and tired after this encounter, and only a faint smile of satisfaction hovered over his face. His wise and educated wife brought him a cup of tea and said complainingly: “Why did you insult two young men from the land of Israel?”. He answered her question with another: “How dare two brats like them come and try to insult me in front of my students with questions that it seemed to them I would not withstand?”. She looked at him for an extended period with obvious affection and then left. She had been convinced.

To me Reb David Koppelman was not only a teacher, but also a mentor, guide, and father figure. Since my father traveled to America when I was a child, I learned not only the Torah from him but also how to behave and how to think, as I was a frequent visitor in his household and friends with his son Solomon who was the same age as me.

He was perfect in my eyes, and my dream was to be like him when I grew up…

I excelled in school, as I always managed to turn in my homework on time and in order so that I would not lose the favor of my teacher who I loved and respected more than anything else.

In 1917, when the revolution broke out and the tyrannical rule of the Romanovs was overthrown, great happiness overcame the entire Jewish community. The participation of the Jews in the demonstrations of joy was large and sincere, and the enthusiasm transcended every boundary. Everyone believed that

[Page 244]

better days were really coming for the entire world and for the Jewish people residing in it. Unfortunately, Koppelman did not share in this happiness. On the contrary, quiet grief spread across his face, and his heart worried for what was to come. In hints he would tell us, his students, that this happiness is alien to us and that the results of the revolution remain unknown. “Rejoice not, Israel, as other nations do,” he would say to us when he saw how enthused we were by the revolution and its instigators.

Only now in hindsight do I see and appreciate the hesitations of this wise man. On the other hand, he received news of the Balfour Declaration with unimaginable joy. He then gathered his students and sermonized to them on the great value of this declaration for our people. He could not control his spirit while speaking, he was excited, he performed the Shehecheyanu blessing and declared that this was a day of hope for him, and that we should rejoice and be happy for it. In the early days of the new Polish government, he fell ill and died young, during what were still the best of his years. His memory will be kept in the hearts of all his students until their last breaths.

 

The Kopelman family takes leave of their son Yosef on his departure for Israel

 

[Page 245]

Shmuel Gentzberg
of Blessed Memory

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

 

 

Shmuel Gentzberg was the glory of the town. Short of stature, skinny and weak-bodied, but still attracting attention with his appearance that bore marks of nobility. He established in the area the first Zionist party, the “Hitachadut” [Union] party, and organized the best local youth within the Zionist movement.

He received his post-secondary education in Odessa, knew languages and was very broadly educated. With the establishment of the Yiddish press in Rivne, he started writing in the newspapers of the provincial towns and was considered among the best journalists in the provincial towns. He also taught for a while in Rivne and was active in the “Tarbut” movement in Poland.

He lived in Mizoch with his parents, his brother, and also his sisters in the ghetto, and he met his demise along with the people of the city for whom he labored, whom he guided, and whom he prepared for Zion. May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.


Shlomo Kopelman
of Blessed Memory

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

He was one of the leaders of the Zionist movement in Mizoch. As son of the teacher Kopelman, from his childhood he suckled along with his mother's milk love for his people and for the homeland, and from his youth he was active in the Zionist movement.

[Page 246]

From the establishment of the JNF in Mizoch up until the bitter end of the Zionist activity, he served as the power of attorney for the JNF's board, was a board member of the “Hitachadut” party and was among the prominent figures in the movement in general.

 

 

He educated the future generation of activists and in his devotion served as an example to all.

According to reliable information, he successfully saved himself on the day of the destruction of the ghetto and fled into the forests. However, a short time later he was caught by Ukrainian rioters and was executed in the cruelest of ways. His corpse served as food for birds of prey and for the animals of the forest, and a few townspeople managed to bury his remains. May these words be a memorial on his unknown grave and his soul shall be bound up in the bond of life.


Reb Yitzhak Berez

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

He came to Mizoch from the city of Alexandria along with the industrialization of the town, in the last decade of the nineteenth century. He built a big, beautiful house outside of what was at the time the center of the town and next to the house he erected his factory for the production of wool and coarse woolen fabrics for the farmers.

His appearance stood out, his wisdom, knowledge, and connections, amid the backward area; although

[Page 247]

he grew a long beard, kept tradition, and was among the permanent worshippers at the Beit Midrash, he was tolerant of the winds that began to blow in the area of the Jewish moshav; he advocated for general education, explained the value of modern life and made an effort to provide his children with a general education together with their traditional Jewish education.

 

Miz247a.jpg
 
Miz247b.jpg
Yitzchak Berez and his wife Chasya

 

The man loved life and lived it to the fullest. His mischievousness and pranks were famous throughout the area. His sayings and jokes earned him a reputation and many years after his death, the Mizochians still got joy out of them.

Because of his public status, his intelligence, and his generosity, everyone loved him, and they forgave his antics to which they fell victim, even the most distinguished community members.

After his death, his sons inherited leadership of the factory. They brought to it changes in the spirit of the times and made decent livings. The Shoah befell even the Berez family. Only the son Tovyah remained after it, as he had gone up to Israel before the war, along with some grandchildren who had miraculously survived.


Reb Yechiel the Butcher of Blessed Memory

by A”BA

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

The slaughterer, mohel, hazzan, engraver, embroider, and inventor Reb Yechiel the butcher, of blessed memory, was born before his time. There is no doubt that this man was born to greatness, and were he to receive

[Page 248]

a proper education, train in the academy of arts or study medicine, he would have achieved remarkable things and became world-famous.

He had a poetic soul, a natural instinct for beauty, and a tendency to explore the unknown.

 

 

When he noticed in a Jewish house, or even in a house of a foreign nobility, a beautiful rug and specially embroidered or interestingly knitted curtains, he would spend hours upon hours there in order to copy the patterns, imitate them, or at least feast his eyes on items.

[Page 249]

As a mohel he was an artist in his profession, and doctors would marvel at his agility, his understanding of hygiene, and his ability. They would say that had he studied medicine, he would have been an outstanding surgeon. When he was embroidering a parochet for the Torah ark, sculpting a tombstone, or painting “Know before whom you stand”, it was impossible not to be impressed by the beauty of his craftsmanship.

He never learned how to read sheet music and never received a musical education, but he had a strong and pleasant voice, a natural understanding, and a fondness for popular melodies and religious tunes. He knew cantorial passages and learned each new rendition with amazing ease. When necessary, he also created melodies of his own.

The lions that he would embroider onto the carpets also decorated the walls of the Christian nobility, and his works even attracted many interested customers from outside of Mizoch.

Reb Yechiel was known for his tight-fistedness, however when it came to an expensive chisel, a special pocketknife, a necessary saw, or tools for his experiments, he spared no expense.

He worked in silver and gold, combining and mixing different materials without having any knowledge of chemical formulas or theoretical physics.

He had perfect manners. He was always clean and polished, cheerful and agile, witty with eyes wide-open. Many were jealous of him, plotted against him, and suspected him of not following religion, but he just went on living how he lived. An appreciator of art, he continued chasing after beauty and loving life.

Some years before the Holocaust, Reb Yechiel Reznick the butcher fell ill and never recovered. Only then were those against him and those who fought him quiet; only then did they learn to value and to admire the man. The whole town attended his funeral, and everyone mourned his loss, and they understood that the town had lost an asset of great value.


The Grandmother Leah Reznick

by Chaya

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

I never once saw my grandmother, Leah Reznick, idle. Her hands were always occupied with work. After finishing regular housework, she loved to embroider and knit. She had hands of gold, and her embroidery was renowned. In the summer, it was customary of her to weave warm socks and winter sweaters for all her grandchildren. And in the winter, she would embroider napkins, tablecloths, scarves, and other gems. In the last two decades of her life, she abstained from certain foods. Nowadays we refer to this lifestyle as dieting. Be that as it may, she always worked because she never fell ill; she was always healthy and full of life.

[Page 250]

In addition to her family, she also cared for the needs of the general public. She especially loved the mitzvah of “anonymous giving”. She used me and my brother Yaakov for distributing necessities among the needy, and following her instructions, we would without being seen bring aid and relief to the houses of the needy.

 

 

Each and every Sabbath, in the afternoon, she would sit for hours and hours and read tales of the weekly parsha from “Tseno Ureno”. She oftentimes would also tell me the stories of the Torah. She cherished her grandchildren above all else, and I spent more time with her then I did at my parents' house.

The message from the Ministry of Immigration in Poland came to me incidentally on Saturday. The next day, I had to leave Poland. I immediately started packing my belongings with haste. Grandma also came in to participate in the packing. I remarked to her that she should not help me, as she needed to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath. She responded to me, however, that the land of Israel was not any less holy than Shabbat, and she continued to help.

When it was time for us to part, I saw for the first time in my life twinkling tears in the eyes of Grandma and Grandpa. They sensed that we would not see each other again. Grandpa was privileged and died in his bed, in his house, of natural causes. However, my precious grandmother, humble and God-fearing, met her end in the mass grave of the saints of Mizoch at the hands of those savage animals -- the Germans and the Ukrainians.

May God avenge her blood and may her soul be bound in the bond of life.


[Page 251]

Yitzhak Port

by Chaya Reznick (Altman)

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

He was among the prominent leaders of Mizoch's Zionist movement. In his youth, he joined “Gordonia” and while starting as an ordinary member, thanks to his dedication, knowledge, and aptitude, he reached the movement's leadership and gained broad recognition.

 

 

He obtained his education and knowledge through his own efforts, as his poor parents were not able to give him an education, which in the Poland of their day was very expensive.

He additionally filled positions of responsibility in the executive committees of the Funds [funds like the JNF] and was active in fundraising for the Land of Israel. Yitzhak Port educated a whole generation of young people on the fulfillment of the Zionist ideal, and his educational undertakings are well-remembered by his students; “Gordonia's” wall newspaper, which he organized and valued, was of high quality and was used as a powerful tool in building the character of the movement's youths. He also dedicated lots of time and work to the local hakshara group.

He secretly also wrote essays, articles, stories, and poems. More than once, I enjoyed hearing him read his beautiful work. In addition to his ability to extract stories from his pen, he knew how to play the violin, was gifted in organizational skills, and knew how to endear himself to anyone with whom he came into contact.

[Page 252]

He was a modest person, always shy. His head bustled full of plans, and his love for Zion knew no bounds. His life's dream was to make it to the Land of Israel. Due to the precarious condition of his health, however, the doctors forbade him to leave for “hakhshara” [training to go to the Land], and he made plans to reach his longed-for destination in other ways.

When Hitlerite Germany attacked Russia, he fled with the retreating Red Army and hoped to reach the Land of Israel through Russia. He could not, however, withstand the hardships of the war, and he died in the wilderness of Soviet Asia. May he be bound up in the bond of life.


My Father's House

by Rachel (Ilka) Brisker-Nemirover

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

There was a tradition in our family according to which one of the family members must always be living in Mizoch and continuing the family business. My parents lived in Lutsk from the day they married. But since my father was his parents' only child, he returned to Mizoch in order to keep the tradition and continue the chain. Already in his youth he showed an inclination towards public work and politicking; at the age of thirteen [the age of bar-mitzvah], he convinced his parents, who were rich, to allocate one thousand rubles from their fortune towards the establishment of a charity fund in the town, and when he grew up, my father Yonah Bar Altar Nemirover, or as he was nicknamed in the town, Yonah Feygeles (named after his mother Feyga) was among the most prominent community organizers. Thanks to his wisdom, his handsome and proud outward appearance, his courage, and his connections, he protected the town's Jewish residents in times of war and riots, at the risk of himself and his family. As a loyal and trustworthy community leader, He did not ever want to reveal to the authorities any lawbreaking or violations of the authority's orders, and he was once almost hanged because of this and was miraculously saved thanks to a Gentile who owed him a favor.

Through the power of his intense will, he performed every difficult and impossible thing: when the town's “mikvah”, which was religious and traditional, was damaged, and the people suffered from it, Dad raised the funds and the mikvah was restored; when a “gemilut chesed” fund was needed, Dad did not rest until the fund was established. Often, different needy people who had not yet paid off their previous loans came and requested an additional loan. He had no choice but to pay for them from his pocket, and he did not refuse them another loan. When the youth movement branch “HaShomer HaLeumi” [the National Guard] was not able to operate because of a lack of licensing and a lack of means, Dad intervened, obtaining a license and supported with a charitable hand the work of the branch. My mother, Hinda, who was a naturally modest and quiet woman, did not get involved in public affairs, but she had a

[Page 253]

warm and sensitive heart and a wide-open hand. The city's poor people, such as Srulenio, Henele, Helem and others regularly dined with us, and when needy people would come from outside of the town, Mom would often give them her children's food. My parents were an exemplary couple.

 

 

They were devoted and faithful to family and children and empathized with others' troubles. During the Hitlerite conquest, Dad did not let go of public service, and thanks to him and his friends, there were no instances of moral corruption in Mizoch, and until the ghetto's final destruction, the Jews lived relatively quietly.

May these few words be used as a monument in the holy memory of my parents, who perished along with the rest of the community in Mizoch, and may their names be blessed forever.


The Wound that Will Never Heal

by Liza Nemirover-Shtelong

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

More than twenty years have passed since World War II broke out. Since then, the world has changed, as have its inhabitants. The murderous Hitlerite regime has been vanquished, and almost all its founders and initiators have been wiped out. The ruins of the war have been restored, nations have been rejuvenated and the State of Israel established, and it is developing and gathering the remaining of our people. However, I cannot understand how is it that all of Europe stood on the blood of our people and did not

[Page 254]

stop the Germans from its extermination? To this day, I still cannot grasp how they transported millions of our brothers like lambs to the slaughter with the tacit approval of the whole world.

The memory of my family, and the sight of my beloved town, Mizoch, never escaped my memory even for a day. My father and teacher Reb Yonah Nemirover, may God avenge his blood, who never did harm to anyone, and for all his life faithfully dealt with the needs of the public. He who supported the needy with a generous hand and who provided relief and assistance to anyone who turned to him, why was he murdered by impure villains, when several of them were assisted by him during regular times. And my mother, the unforgettable Hinda? Mild-mannered, a devoted mother and wife, a comrade and friend to all of the neighbors and the relatives, who never harmed anyone, did only good and righteous deeds, why was she murdered with cruelty of a wild animal?

 

The Nemirover family

 

What sin did my older sister, Tyofe, her husband Eliezer Goldshtein, and my sisters Sonya and Devorah commit, that they were murdered at the peak of their flourishing. And what crime did my only brother Michael -- the splendor of our home, who excelled not only in his virtue and attributes, but also in his captivating beauty and pleasant behavior -- commit so that the thread of his life was severed in its midst?

Can we really forget and reconcile ourselves with this?

[Page 255]

Up until my last day on earth, the memory of my town, of its people, roads, and scenery will never leave my memory nor my soul!

Instead of a tombstone atop their unknown grave, it is my desire to mention the names of some of the members of my widespread family; Deborah Bonis, my father's sister, her husband Shmuel and their children Sonia and Malka. She was a great public activist, chairperson of the Women's League for the Working Land of Israel, and a member of every public and Zionist association. He was a philanthropist with a big heart and a wide-open hand. My aunt Mina, my father's second sister, her husband Beryl Vaks, and their children, Sonia, Malka, Newma, and Yonah. My old aunt, Elta Melmed and her girls: Golda and her husband Shimon Gerber, Leia and her son Lyube, Rachel and her husband Gershon Mossman and their daughter Zina, Mina and her husband Joseph Shubkes and their two children, Dora and her husband Fibel Goldberg.

My old uncle Reb Moshe Melmed and his son Laivish Melmed, Laivish's wife Leah, and their children. Laivish was counted among the pre-eminent public activists in the town and did a lot for the Zionist movement, the youth, and the funds.

May the souls mentioned in this list of mine and the souls of all the other martyrs of the Mizoch community be bound up in the bond of life along with all the saints of Israel.

Us survivors will never forget the horror and in the building of the free homeland in our ancient land, we will erase the shame and the pain.


In Memory of my Parents

by Asher

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

My father, Reb Yaakov Samson son of Asher Tsvi Gilberg, was fondly remembered by the residents of the town many years after his death. Yankl R. Ashers was a well-known name in the town. His pedigree was skyhigh, and that very fact was enough in those days to endow him with adoration, respect, and glory. The reputation of his father Reb Asher of blessed memory reached vast distances: his wealth, his factories, his learnedness and good deeds, his generosity, his standing proud even before counts and ministers, the opulent customs in his court, and the fact of his being the employer of almost every one of the town's residents; him and his offspring were endowed with respect and glory. After his death, his heirs lost their wealth. The multiple factories, the production plants, the court, the houseware, and the expensive furniture were sold and dismantled, and the children dispersed afar. Only my father and his brother Yeshayahu the teacher stayed in the area. However, their family reputation was remembered even in their descent,

and everyone treated them with respect. My memory of my father

[Page 256]

is hazy. I was about nine years old when my father died. Several of his actions and deeds are etched in my memory forever. He was rich in natural talents in all sorts of different fields; he knew how to play several instruments -- especially violin -- without ever having learned them. He had hands of gold and he knew how to fix all sorts of complex machines, and he also knew how to put together engines and machines by himself. He made things from wood and from metal, from charcoal and from glass. A painter and a sculptor, a jeweler and a weaver. He learned by himself the craft of watchmaking and made a living from it in his final days. He was an expert artisan in his profession, and even the town's count would bring him antique clocks to fix that even excellent professionals had trouble repairing. When I grew up, I came to understand that he had a poetic soul and a propensity for art. He left behind a collection of delicate artistic pieces made from silver, gold, and ivory, of which only a few ended up in my possession. The bulk of it was “taken” by friends or sold by my mother. I understood his delicate taste when I started to familiarize myself with tableware, sculptures, wooden carvings, and lots of other things I found when I grew up left in the house. He was cheerful, very physically healthy, and hungry for life. He loved nature, his profession, and spending time travelling. He would take me with him on short trips and would explain everything to me. I do not know much about his character or his tendencies apart from what I have been told by people who knew him. He married a beautiful young maiden at the age of forty -- my mother, Leah, daughter of Reb Yitzaak Pliter. They had four children, three boys and one girl. I was nine and my younger brother Zev was less than a year old when my father fell ill and died. My mother was left with four children without the means to live. At first, we made a living from selling objects my father had accumulated, but afterwards my mother recovered and started herself a business. In her widowhood, my mother proved herself to be a capable woman, courageous and talented in her knowledge in how to get by. She sacrificed herself for the members of her household and made sure they were never lacking anything. She was a model housewife, good of heart like no other. She was sensitive to other people's hardships and always ready to help in times of trouble. Because of her excellent qualities, she succeeded in getting remarried to a financially secure bachelor even though she was the mother of four children. My stepfather, Joseph Arbitorer, treated us like a father dedicated to his children. We loved him and he us, and in this served as an example for all. He and my mother had a single son. During the holocaust which befell our people, everyone was killed. Only my brother Zev and I were left. The memory of my parents will not exit my heart until my last breath.


[Page 257]

Reb Yitzaak Pliter and his wife Esther

by Baruch Pliter and Zev Gilberg. (their grandchildren)

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

Reb Yitzaak Pliter was considered to be one of the most admired figures in the town and was familiar to everyone. As a doctor, he was very popular with the people of the town, and he was considered among the rural population surrounding the town to be an expert like no other.

 

Yitzchak Pliter and his wife Esther

 

He did not have an advanced medical education. The official title that he carried was that of medic. Thanks to his enormous experience and his diligence in his medical work, his opinions were thoroughly considered even by the certified doctors that would periodically come to town. When the town grew and several doctors with academic degrees settled in town, he nevertheless maintained his position and status, and the residents -- Jews and Christians alike -- continued to need him. He was a very religious Jew, a man with an imposing figure, wealthy and decisive in his opinions. He faithfully dealt with the public's needs and was trusted by all people. Saturdays' kiddushes, which were held regularly at his house, attracted not just his many family members, but also many friends and acquaintances. During holidays, they would go on for hours and turn into feasts. He of course had opinions of all public affairs, and the rabbi and important homeowners of the town were regular houseguests. By his side helping was his wife -- Esther.

[Page 258]

She was the treasurer of the Committee for the Benefit of the Orphans and was active on behalf of the Yeshiva Committee, collecting donations and valuables for the benefit of the yeshiva boys. Their many sons, daughters, and grandchildren all lived in Mizoch or in the area. Their house was big and spacious, and it stood out in the town. During the time of Petliura's government, the local Ukrainians protected the house and prevented it from being harmed. During the Hitlerite occupation, Yitzaak became very weak and went blind. However, despite this, and despite his old age, he held on and even treated the Ghetto residents. He prepared medicines himself from plants. During Aktion, he hid with his wife in a storeroom. The Ukrainian murderers discovered them, and while being cruelly beaten, they were taken to the plaza of the Death March. They died in a mass grave in pits in the Sosinsky Forest. May their souls be forever bound in the bond of life.


Baruch Pliter

by Baruch

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

My uncle Baruch Pliter was a simple Jew -- simple in the best sense of the word. He was an active public activist and was well-known in the town. He loved to busy himself with the needs of the general public and he got involved with the political parties in town. When a fire brigade was established in the area, he was chosen as commander and served in the role up until the Holocaust.

 

Baruch Pliter

 

All his children were members of the youth movement Beitar, and he himself eventually became attached to the movement and was active in Brit HaChayal. He served as power of attorney for the Tel-Chai Foundation board, and

[Page 259]

he took an active role in the town's public life. The war hit him like a ton of bricks. His eldest son Yaakov was taken to the Red Army, and he traveled with it to Russia. This negatively impacted Baruch and his wife Feiga and the two fell permanently ill. During the expulsion to the death march, they did not leave their house, and they were shot at home in their bed. Of this family remained only the eldest son, who migrated at the time to Russia, and who made the couple ill with their worry for him. May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.


Itzchak Shochet the Teacher

by Arbi

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

He arrived in Mizoch in the early twenties at the invitation of a few homeowners. It was intended for him to fill the place of the teacher Kopelman, who had just died. Young, full of vigor, tall, and handsome – he immediately gained high standing and recognition. His wife, Tehila of the House of Halperin, delicate and cultured, helped beside him, and their house became a meeting-place and place of recreation for the local intelligentsia. He established a generation of students for whom Hebrew was their common tongue. In his house, they spoke Hebrew, and his daughter Hadasa knew no other language. He eventually left teaching and opened a business selling books and writing instruments. Since his mind was dedicated to Zionist and Jewish politics and to spiritual things, and because he was not a good fit for sales, he closed the business after a while.

A number of years before the Holocaust, he joined the Revisionist movement, moved to Warsaw, and went to work in the head office of the Tel-Chai Foundation. With the outbreak of the war and the conquest of Poland and its division by Germany and Russia, his son Binyamin (Nyuma) came to Rivne from Warsaw in order to meet with close family from Russia. He told them that his father had an American visa, and that the family was thinking of heading there soon. They did not manage to get out in time, however. The entire family perished in the Warsaw ghetto; some died of hunger and some from disease, some in extermination camps and some in labor camps.

May his soul be bound in the bundle of life.


[Page 260]

Siyuma (Sammy) Olicker

by Ben

Translated from Hebrew by Corey Feuer

From a culturally assimilated environment and a life of comfort and pleasures, he joined the Zionist movement, and upon his arrival became not only among the most active in his area but also initiated individuals and groups who until his arrival had stood distant from and been indifferent to Zionism.

 

 

In the beginning of his Zionist career, he was active in the youth groups, especially the youth branch of “The National Guard”. He later became fascinated with the Revisionist ideology and joined the local Beitar youth branch. From then on, he changed beyond recognition. All his time, his many talents, his money, and his thoughts went towards the movement. The Beitar youth branch, under Siyuma's leadership, reached the rank of perfection in every sense of the word, and it counted among the largest and greatest in the whole country. He embodied every commandment of the movement; he participated in courses and central seminars and received the title of “Madrich” [counselor]. He later headed various military training courses, which were organized on behalf of the Warsaw Commission. He learned Hebrew, became accustomed to physical labor, and made aliyah around two years before the outbreak of the war.

In Israel he was destined to work in the factories of the Dead Sea. The climate and the exhausting work, which he was not used to, destroyed his health, and he fell ill for an extended period of time. Since then, he never recovered, and he did not return to good health. He made do in Jerusalem and worked for Leumit Health Care Services, with frequent disturbances because of his illness. In 1958, he died at the age of 55 years. Of blessed memory.

 

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Mizoch, Ukraine     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page


Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2022 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 07 Jan 2022 by JH