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[Page 640]

Translations by Moshe Devere

Gisela (Lupovici) Schapira's Story

The extermination of the Jews of Burdujeni during World War II

In the fall of 1941, the Romanian government made an agreement with Nazi Germany. They deported all the Jews from Bucovina and Bessarabia to Transnistria. We received an order from the local police that within four hours, all Jews, men, women, children, the elderly and the sick would report to the train [station] with winter clothes and food for three days. They put us in cattle cars and sent us to the Dniester River. We arrived at night, in the dark. They took us across in small boats, in the dark. There was a first night of horror and fear. Children were crying, and women were screaming. Children and things fell into the water. Before

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we boarded the boats, two Romanian gendarmes stood by with large sacks and demanded we throw in them all the money, jewelry, papers and ID cards we had on us. That night we crossed the Dniester in the small boats, the Romanian gendarmes hit us with batons to make us move faster. After we crossed the Dniester, the gendarmes gathered us together. We were about 1600 people, including the sick, small children, and the elderly. They put us in a Convoy and all the time they forced us to walk fast. Those who were lagged received murderous blows from the gendarmes. Along the entire way we traveled, about 35 km, along the roadside we saw corpses of people who went before us and perished along the way. On Sunday night, after a long and arduous walk, they let us rest and sleep in the village of Vindiceni, in a building that was once a sugar factory. They put our family in the cowshed and the children slept in a manger. When we woke up in the morning, we found we had slept on corpses. When we reached the end of the journey at the village of Lucinczyk, they put us in a school building that had 10-12 rooms. At night we slept on the floor, crowded in like sardines. If someone wanted to turn over his other side, everyone in the row had to turn over. Now began the hunger and cold. In Ukraine, winter reaches -40° C, and we were almost naked, without clothes [for the cold]. For those who still had some good clothing, they had to give it to the villagers for a piece of bread. When rumors came that there would be a war, Father ordered special shoes from the shoemaker. They had a leather lining so that our feet would be warm. When we got there, the shoes were traded in for bread. And we were left barefoot. My sister Sarah lost one shoe along the way. She went into the village looking for someone who needed one shoe and found a girl that the shoe fit her. She came home happy with a loaf of bread. The people in the village we came to were very poor. They themselves did not have what to eat. People started dying, but it was impossible to bury them, because the ground was frozen and it was impossible to dig graves. The rooms filled up with corpses. During the first winter, 70-80 percent of the people who came died of hunger, disease, and cold. That we stayed alive was thanks to our father, who took care of us and was a brave and strong man. We fled from this village, even though it was forbidden to do so.

We reached a larger one called Lucinetz, where we found empty houses. The locals fled with the Russian army, to avoid being captured by the Nazis. In Lucinetz, some families entered better homes, so we had it a little better. Everyone was sickened with typhus. I was the only one that remained standing, but unfortunately I could not help them at all. I was just 15 years old. I had no water to moisten their lips. That is where my grandmother died. The winter passed and spring arrived. From there we fled to Mogilev, 30 km from Lucinetz.

We made most of the way at night, in the dark. We were afraid of the Romanian gendarmes. During the day, we hid in piles of straw that were in the field. After great difficulty, we reached Mogilev, to an abandoned house without doors and windows.

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But at least it was already summer. My father was a baker. I do not know how he got hold of an oven to bake and sell bread. That is how we too had a piece of bread. This situation ended very quickly. Because the municipality decided it was too crowded and they were afraid of epidemics and diseases. So, they expelled us from there. They sent us to the Scazinetz camp. There, they locked us up with a fence and soldiers guarded us so we would not get out of there. We saw that this would be the end of us, because we were not given food and we could not go to work. We saw people eating grass, like beasts. All of us were bloated because of the hunger. They put us in a building that used to be a bakery, and we shared the attic above the oven with another family; our neighbor, the Eidinger family from Suceava. We kids snuck out, went to beg for food from the locals. Sometimes they gave us potato peels they cooked. For us it was a delicatesse. In Scazinetz, I sewed myself a dress by hand, from grandma's dress she had left behind. I was happy with it. As soon as I finished it, my mother sold it for a loaf of bread. Only years later did I realize what my mother went through when she took my dress from me. After a few months, we escaped from Scazinetz.

There was a Jewish guide there who knew ways to cross the fence and bypass the soldiers who were guarding us, but in return, he asked for money. My father paid him the amount, but halfway out of the fence, he started counting us and saw that there was one more than they had agreed. My father had paid him for four people and we were five. So he demanded that one of us return. My father asked him who to send back. After all, it was an impossible situation. Then he noticed that Father's leather shoes were in good condition. He took his shoes and my father continued barefoot. We arrived in Mogilev and Father found work with the Romanian gendarmerie, taking care of the horses in the stable. Mogilev had an orphanage where they kept the children naked despite the bitter cold so that they would not go out to beg. It should be noted that after we escaped from Scazinetz, all those who remained were sent to the Peciora extermination camp on the Bug River. But no one returned from there. They were all shot dead.

For Father's work with the horses, he was given a loaf of bread for the day. And that is what we all lived on. In 1944, the Russian army was approaching. The Germans fled, and we were liberated. My father decided he was going with the Russian army as a volunteer to fight the Nazis, to take revenge on them. He left us, a wife and three children. He returned two years later. And we, a mother and three children, returned home by foot, hundreds of kilometers from Ukraine to Romania.

We immigrated to Israel in 1965, after my sister Sara immigrated to Israel in 1948 with Youth Aliyah when she was 14 years old. We settled in Petah Tikva. I have a family. A son who is a well-known dentist and three grandchildren, who are my revenge on the fascist robbers, for the great suffering they caused us.

 

About those who were with us and are no longer

Meir Kostiner's words
But were not written in a book!!!
But they were Schotz born
But were not written in a book!!!
But I knew them all
But were not written in a book!!!
But their names have not been erased from my memory
But were not written in a book!!!
Because unfortunately they have passed on.

 

About the late Shmuel Oberweger

(written by his nephew Yehudah Tennenhaus)

Shmuel Oberweger was born in Zlishchiki, Galizia. In 1900, he married my aunt Mina Tennenhaus (my father's sister) and came to Suceava. They lived in an apartment above the store. He worked in my grandfather's shop. The couple had two children: Sali (Sarah) in 1903, and Muzio (Moshe) in 1906. During World War I, he was drafted into the Austrian army and fought on the Italian front. At the same time, his wife and children were exiled to Ulmitz, Czechia because of the occupation of Suceava by Russian troops.

He was a handsome man, always carefully dressed, with an impressive stature. He always stood out. After my grandfather's death, his wife inherited part of the store and he became a partner.

Shmuel Oberweger was a learned Jew, stringently observant, prayed

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twice a day with a quorum. Even in Transnistria, he went to the synagogue every morning, even in the most bitter cold. He served for many years as a sexton in the Great Study Hall where our entire family prayed. At one time, he was a member of the city's [Jewish] Community Committee, an active Zionist and chairman of the city's Mizraḥi movement.

 

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Shmuel Oberweger

 

He emigrated to Israel with his wife and passed away at 84.

His daughter Sali married Yaakov Auerbach. After the Siberian exile, she emigrated to Israel with her children Yehudah (Udi) and Mordechai (Merzi). His son Moshe married Zili and they have a daughter named Margot Neiman.

All his grandchildren live in Israel.

 

About the late Zvi Orni

(written by Yoav Orni, Zvi and Batsheva Orni's son)

Zvi Orni was born at the beginning of the month of Sivan 5662 (June 1902) as Aharon Hersch Kostiner, the son of Avraham Alter and Shoshi Kostiner from the village of Părhăuţi near Suceava. He adopted the name Zvi when he emigrated to Eretz [Israel]. When he reached the age of a hundred and was asked, “Tell us what good deeds have you done that you have gained such longevity?” He answered, “Perhaps because I immigrated to Eretz Israel when I was a young man.”

When Zvi wanted to emigrate to Eretz [Israel], his parents objected and conditioned his immigration on the Rebbe's consent. Zvi went

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to the Rebbe and asked for his blessing for Aliyah to Eretz [Israel]. The Rebbe said to him, “Wuss eilst du sich (What's your hurry)? When the Messiah comes, we will all go to the Holy Land together.” Zvi replied, “Eretz [Israel] is in ruins and desolate. Naturally, it is appropriate that the young people first come and build the land. Then, when the Rebbe arrives together with everyone else, the land will be ready for their arrival.” To everyone's surprise, the Rebbe was convinced, gave his consent and blessed Zvi with three things: “God will make you successful; be a Jew; and be appreciated.” Throughout his life, Zvi felt that the blessing of nissiat ḥen, being appreciated, accompanied him wherever he went.

On his way to Eretz [Israel], Zvi was delayed in Constantinople along with hundreds of other immigrants waiting for the ship to Eretz Israel. Among them was a group of Jewish writers, led by Bialik, who were allowed to leave the Soviet Union thanks to Bialik's appeal to Lenin. On that day, 20 Tammuz, the day Herzl passed away, all the immigrants gathered in a large hall in Constantinople, and Bialik gave them a rousing Zionist speech. Zvi mentioned this event many times with great emotion.

Zvi arrived in Eretz [Israel] on 25 Tammuz, 5681 (July 31, 1921). His first stop was Petah Tikva. He found work with a farmer because he grew up in a village and knew how to drive horses. From there, he moved to Tel-Aviv and lived in a tent he erected on an empty lot on Gruzenberg Street (near today's Shalom Tower). He found work as an assistant surveyor and surveyed the lands on which Ramat Gan was later built. Since his employer did not have the money to pay his wages, he offered Zvi a plot of land at what is today the Elite Junction. Zvi told him, “I need bread to eat and clothes to wear. What will I do with a lot?” and refused him. Zvi then received a job surveying at Hachsharat Hayishuv, which was established by the World Zionist Organization to purchase land and settle Jews on it. He moved to Haifa and lived in an apartment in a remote place, which later became the center of the Carmel. As part of his work, Zvi surveyed the land in the Jezreel Valley that had then been redeemed, including the land of Mishmar Ha'emek.

In 1925, the corner laying ceremony for the Hebrew University was held on Mount, and pioneers from all over the country flocked to Jerusalem. Zvi hitched a ride on a truck that had been traveling all night from Haifa via Shechem (Nablus) to Jerusalem. He did not have an invitation to the ceremony, so he went up to Mount Scopus in the morning to find a place to observe the event. Zvi recalls, “I saw guys carrying planks and preparing seats for the ceremony. I joined them and also carried planks. No one asked me who I was. So, when it was time for the ceremony, I was already in place.” Zvi climbed a tree near the stage and from there he saw High Commissioner Herbert Samuel, Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, Rabbi Kook, and all the other dignitaries.

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“When everyone was already sitting in their places,” Zvi recalls, “there was sudden silence. Down the path, three figures were seen. The elderly Ahad Ha'am walking slowly as he was supported on both sides by Bialik and Ravnitzky. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause that continued until the three took their seats.” Seventy-three years later, Zvi took part in the graduation ceremony for his granddaughter Hila, who received her master's degree. This took place at the same place on Mount Scopus. The dean who presided over the ceremony told the audience about the young pioneer who saw the cornerstone laying ceremony from the tree, “and today, at ninety-six, he sits with us here with an official invitation in his pocket!” Zvi got up from his seat and the audience greeted him with applause.

 

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Zvi and Bat-Sheva Orni (1926)

 

Through his surveying work, Zvi became familiar with the country and loved to hike across it. One day he saw an ad in the workers' kitchen in Haifa about a trip to the Galilee under the guidance of Ze'ev Vilnai. Zvi joined the hikers and on arrival in Metulla, were looking for a place to sit and rest and have a drink. They arrived at the Grodniansky family and sat down on the porch in front of the house. A young woman

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came out to them, served them drinks, and immediately disappeared inside the house. After the rest, they got up and continued on their hike, but the image of that young woman kept coming up again before Zvi's eyes. After he came back to Haifa, he thought about her again and again. He felt he had to take action. He asked a friend of his to go to Metulla and find out who was the young woman who served drinks to the hikers. The friend traveled there. When she returned, she related to him that the girl was the eldest daughter of the Grodniansky family, righteous converts who immigrated from Russia at the beginning of the century, honest people and exemplary farmers. The father was the moshava's ritual slaughterer and circumcizer, but died of malaria at 30, leaving a wife and four children. Tamara, his widow, ran a glorious farm. The oldest daughter, eight years old when the father died, helped her with the work and childcare. Zvi went to Metulla and asked for the young woman's hand in marriage. In 1927, they married in Metulla; the ḥassid of Bucovina, a pioneer of the Third Aliyah, Aharon Hersh Zvi Kostiner, and Batsheva Grodniansky, the daughter of Tamara and the granddaughter of Yoav Dubrovin, one of the founders of Yesud Hama'ala. They moved into Zvi's apartment on the Carmel, which was surrounded by pine trees, and chose a Hebrew surname for themselves: Orni.

Batsheva was mentioned in Levin Kipnis' poem “Under the rock grows a most wonderful cyclamen,” and later “Bat-Sheva went out with the breeze for a stroll when the morning was clear...” The song was written when a sixteen-year-old Batsheva showed Levin Kipnis the Tanur Waterfall during his visit to Metulla in the spring of 1921.

Reuven, Zvi and Batsheva's oldest son, was born in 1928. The new family joined a group of young people from Bucovina and together they established a kibbutz in the Jezre'el Valley called Atid. Tamara, Batsheva's mother, gave them a cow, and they engaged in farming. Because of a lack of budget from the [Jewish] Agency, the kibbutz was abandoned after a few years.

Zvi was given the position of foreman of the British-Iraqi oil company IPC, which laid the oil pipeline from Iraq to Haifa. Zvi learned English to understand the instructions given by the British engineers. The workers were Arabs, but he learned their language and spoke Arabic fluently. The Arabs called him Ḥawaja Razel, Mister Zvi in Arabic. In this capacity, he also worked in the east, in Trans-Jordan. There, in the expanses of the desert, he learned to drive a car from his Arab driver.

In 5693, 1933, the young Orni family joined the first settlers in Kiryat Ḥaim. They did not have money to build a house. They pitched a tent on lot #47 on #2 Street, where they lived with five-year-old Reuven. After Hadassah, Zvi's sister immigrated to Israel with her family, she went with her three-year-old daughter Varda to visit the Orni family in Kiryat Ḥaim. Varda,

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who grew up in Vienna in a respectable apartment building, looked at the tent in amazement and asked: “Where does the doorman live here?” Gradually, Zvi and Bat-Sheva built their home with their own hands.

Zvi was one of the pioneers of public transportation in Eretz [Israel]. In 1934, together with his brother-in-law Efraim, he founded a bus company in the Galilee. The company, called “The Border Service,” operated two bus lines: Metulla-Tiberias and Metulla-Safed. It served all the settlements of the Upper Galilee. Zvi, Bat-Sheva and Reuven moved to Metulla. With the outbreak of the riots in 1936, the number of passengers dwindled, and Zvi was forced to sell the buses to the kibbutzim of the Galilee, which called the company “The Hula Service.” He returned with his family to Kiryat Ḥaim, purchased a truck and transported supplies to the local grocery store. In 1942, Zvi joined a cooperative that operated buses on line 14 between Kiryat Ḥaim and Haifa. Later, all the cooperatives in the Haifa area merged into a body called “Shahar44 which later joined Egged.

After the eldest son Reuven was born in Kiryat Ḥaim, came Yoav, Ezra, Rachel and Avraham. With each newborn child, Zvi and Bat-Sheva enlarged their home. A family with five children was a very rare phenomenon at that time in Kiryat Ḥaim.

The love of the land brought Zvi to begin an orderly study of the geography of Eretz [Israel]. He completed a certified tour guide course and was among the first of Egged's tour guides. This is how he combined work as a driver with tour guiding. For many years, he was in demand as guide by various groups: schools, associations, organizations and workplaces that explicitly requested “that Orni be the guide.” On a trip with a group of veteran Yekis (ex-patriot German olim) from Kiryat Bialik, Zvi occasionally used German because not everyone was fluent in Hebrew. When they asked where he knew German from, he replied, “It's from my Yiddish. as you know, German is based on Yiddish.” There was silence on the bus, until one of them realized it was a joke and burst out laughing, which caught everyone up. Since then, they did not waver anymore regarding their German-speaking guide. Even when he passed the age of eighty, he continued to respond to requests from groups that especially liked him and went on trips with them. Zvi took part as a volunteer in the archaeological expeditions headed by Professor Yigal Yadin, to search for scrolls in the caves of the Judean Desert and on Massada. In his home, Zvi had an extensive library on the Bible, Judaism, and the geography of Eretz [Israel], and devoted all his time to studying and expanding his knowledge in these areas. “A Jew does not sit idle. If he has a free moment, he takes a book and peruses it,” Zvi used to say.

When their children grew up and started their own families, Zvi and Bat-Sheva went to an agricultural settlement. In 1966, to prepare for Zvi's retirement, they moved to Moshav Kfar Aviv and established a well-kept farm there, which they devotedly cared for even when they were over

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the age of ninety. They established a Bible-study group in Kfar Aviv and were active in the moshav's cultural life. Until the age of ninety, Zvi served as a substitute driver on the regional council's “yellow bus,” driving the children of the area to school. He loved the children, and they loved “Grandpa Zvi.” Zvi drove his tractor until the age of ninety-seven.

Toward the end of their lives, Zvi and Bat-Sheva moved to an assisted living facility in Aseret near Kfar Aviv, where they continued their cultural activities and the study of Bible and Judaism. Their home served as a center for the family and where family gatherings were held. In 1997, Batsheva passed away at ninety-two. Zvi was lucid until the day of his death in 2002, at 100.

 

About Yitzchak (Iso Fallenbaum) Ilan

(Written by his widow Malka-Coca, née Elman)

Yitzchak was born in Suceava on January 24, 1921, to Zalman and Sophie Fallenbaum. They lived on Petro Rersh Street and made a decent living from the textile store they had. The Fallenbaum family was very involved in the life of the other branches of the family in the city (the Dr. Hermann family, the Yossi Landman family, the Yosef Fischler family, the Rohrlich family and the Hersch Becker family). All of them were exiled together with all the city's Jews to Transnistria and settled in Shargorod in the fall of 1941.

 

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Yitzchak (Isio Fallenbaum) Ilan

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Isaac was sent to Trihati on forced labor constructing of a bridge on the famous Bug River. He escaped together with a group that returned to Shargorod, but the gendarmerie authorities wanted to return them. But they would then be in danger of being executed by the Germans. With significant efforts and a lot of bribes, they reduced the sentence, and they were sent to forced labor to another place; digging peat in Tulcin. Yitzchak fled again with some of the group, formerly from Suceava. Some of them (like Schmelzer and Becker) were caught during the escape and were murdered. Yitzchak, hid during the day in the cornfields and advanced only at night, reached Shargorod, but sick with cholera.

With the return of the Jews from Transnistria to Suceava, Yitzchak became active in the Zionist Youth movement “Dror-Habonim,” during which we met and got married. Yitzchak quickly advanced to the national leadership of the movement and became general secretary of the Dror movement of the Regat region (when Polly Blumenthal was secretary of the movement in Transylvania). Yitzchak worked to train pioneers for their emigration to Israel, while we remained behind among the last. When the Zionist movements' activities in Romania were banned, and arrests of their leaders began, Aliyah Bet emissaries organized the escape of 11 of the movement's activists, on a train with Jewish immigrants from the Czech Republic on their way to Israel that stopped at the Braşov station. We were in this group that boarded the train with papers of Czech Jews. Then, at Constanţa, we boarded the Transylvania, and immigrated to Eretz [Israel].

In Eretz [Israel], we settled in Ein Zeitim, where our daughter Avital (Tali) was born. We were on the kibbutz until it disbanded in 1953, because of a lack of members and of new absorption. We then moved to Herzliya. Yitzchak joined the defense establishment and served the country there. From 1965 to 1969, he became the Israeli consul in New York, at the end of which he returned to the defense establishment. Upon his early retirement from the system, he joined the management of “Shikun & Pituaḥ,” where he worked until he died suddenly at the age of 62 on April 24, 1983. I was left without Yitzchak but not alone: we have three grandchildren who got to know him. Today I am also a great-grandmother to our Hili.

Written by his daughter Dr. Avital (Tali) Korenstein-Ilan

Father was and still is a central figure in my life. As if 23 years has not passed since he left us. Since then, at every crossroads of my life, I navigate according to the direction I learned from him: analyzing the known facts, the different possibilities, and the positive and negative of each one. That is what I did when the possibility of returning to study came up. I think he was pleased that I joined my husband in the academic world, besides our close-knit family life. He and my mother were an example and set a high bar

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in their relationship. I think we do not lag behind them.

As an only child, I was supposed to be wrapped in cotton wool. My parents, and especially my father, wisely balanced between warmth and limitless love and setting challenges and demands. I was never prevented from going out on school or a youth-movement activities. I was always pushed to realize the abilities he thought I had. When my children were born, he turned into a “crazy” and totally addicted grandfather! Nothing could divert his full attention while spending time with the children. It was a time when my husband Rafi and I had to bargain with him so we could spend time with the little ones on weekends. Our eldest son, Gal, was deeply influenced by the time he spent with his grandfather. He follows in his footsteps, both on a personal and professional level. Danit developed into a very impressive young and beautiful woman. She has a depth of thought, sensitivity to others, and tremendous intellectual abilities. Uri, who was less than a year old when Father passed away, was Grandfather's big surprise. A handsome young man, talented in computers and cooking. Father was so proud to get to know his next generation and how his dreams came true in them. At every joyful event, we cannot help but reflect on him and how meaningful it would have been for him if he were with us, especially in the last two years after my granddaughter was born; his great-granddaughter.

 

About the late Erich Heitel

(written by Martin Gidron-Goldenzweig)

Toward the end of June 2005, Erich Heitel, my favorite childhood friend, passed away in Frankfurt. Erich and I were also related through his marriage to my cousin Selma née Bogen.

Erich grew up in a home where helping others was an obvious value. Even in Transnistria, the Heitel family did not change its principles and continued to piously uphold the value of helping others.

In March 1944, after the liberation, the Heitel family returned to Suceava, hoping that life would return to normal and that everything would go back to normal. However, this hope was dashed under Ceauşescu's yoke, who at the very beginning of his reign began a campaign of harassment and persecution that was increasing day by day. The Jews began leaving their country, their homeland.

Erich and Selma fled to Frankfurt, where they established themselves after a while. There, too, he was attentive and mindful of friends from his native country, especially his friends from Beitar. He always tried to help them as best he could. The last time we met was when Erich

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visited Israel and stayed with Rafi Aronovici, who is also no longer alive.

Reason and logic say that Erich left us forever, but Erich continues to live in my memories.

 

About the late Moshe Mordechai Herling

(written by his daughter Yehudit Hoffman)

He was born on 5 Marcheshvan 5662 (November 16, 1921) in Schotz to Yehoshua and Rachel Leah (née Walzer) Herling. He had a sister, Bilhah (b. 1920) and a brother, Shmuel Binyamin (b. 1936).

Moshe emigrated to Eretz Israel on an illegal immigrant ship in 1939. He was caught and imprisoned by the British on the coast of Ashkelon. He was later released to the home of his cousin Miriam (from the Walzer family). He was one of the first who joined Kibbutz Tirat Zvi and later the Alumim group in Kibbutz Sa'ad. during World War II he enlisted in the British Army and taking part in Palmach's Palyam. After the war, he received certificates for his parents and younger brother Benjamin, who survived the terrible events of the war in Transnistria.

Moshe made a living and supported the family by polishing diamonds in Tel-Aviv, where he met his wife, Sarah. He then joined the Haganah; trained and took part in officer training courses in Ben Shemen and Jo'ara.

During the War of Independence, he was already a platoon commander of the Tel-Aviv Field Brigade. The platoon under his command moved up to Jerusalem during the siege and defended the Mekor Ḥaim neighborhood. Then it was called on to replace Har'el Brigade soldiers at Sha'ar Hagai. There they fought heroically for Post #7 (today, near Neve Ilan above the pumps at Sha'ar Hagai). They lost five of their comrades-in-arms during the battle.

After the War of Independence, Moshe and Sarah married and had two children, Yehudit (b. 1950) and Gadi (b. 1952). Moshe continued to serve in the IDF as assistant battalion commander in the Givati Brigade and later in the Ma'arachot army magazine.

Later, he started a private business but volunteered to serve in the reserves for many years, during which he was the casualty evacuation officer of Tel-Aviv (in the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War). He was discharged from the Civil Defense with the rank of lieutenant-general. He lived most of his life in Tel-Aviv, and at the end of his life in Jerusalem.

His younger brother Benjamin was killed in the battle for Mount Eval in 2000. Moshe passed away and was buried in Jerusalem in 2005. He is survived by a son, a daughter, a wife, a sister, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

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About the Late Marcel Wagner

(Written by Israel Huebner and Simcha Weissbuch)

Marcel Wagner was born in Suceava in 1925. He suffered from polio at an early age, which disabled him for the rest of his life. He attended trade high school and had an extensive general education, was a lover of classical music, and spoke English.

His father Max had a confectionery shop in partnership with his brother-in-law, Sigmund Hecker, in the basement of their apartment. Many people came there, where besides cakes they could possibly have a meal. In particular, the fame of their “Smetanatorte” and the ice cream, the “Ice Bombe” spread far, not only in Suceava but also throughout the region, with people coming, tasting and amazed by their excellent taste. Marcel would sit on a chair, receive the money while conversing with almost every customer. Thus, he became a well-known and beloved figure for everyone.

During the deportation, he and his parents endured all the hardships of exile in Shargorod and returned to Suceava after liberation. His father reopened the confectionery, until one day the communist authorities closed all private businesses, as well as the confectionery. A handful of people would still come to their apartment and continued to eat meals and also found some delicious cakes.

From time to time, Marcel would go to the cinema across from their apartment, with the help of his father and a fellow named Jashu, who worked for them. And likewise, he went to the synagogue on holidays. Slowly with the same escort, even though it was quite a long way off and he had a very hard time walking.

Simcha relates: my late father taught him Hebrew. One day, he asked my father for me to replace him. He was actually looking for a young converser (interlocutor). That is how I started coming to him. Soon the study of the Hebrew language became secondary to him, as we sat together for many hours discussing worldly topics and heard classical music on his receiver (radio).

One day he asked me to invite my good friend Yisrael Huebner, who was known as a talented chess player. From the day he first came, he became a constant visitor. Hardly a day would pass without him crossing his doorstep. Years passed, his mother died of heart disease, and Marcel and his father received permission to emigrate to Israel in 1966. Simcha kept in touch by correspondence, and Yisrael, who emigrated to Israel in 1964, continued to visit him frequently.

His relatives, such as Dr. Leah Koenig-Strominger and Franzi Weintraub (née Itzik) were in contact with him and helped him to the best of their ability. Some good friends also took care of Marcel, especially after his father passed away in 1979. Almost every day neighbors or friends took him outside in a wheelchair and he would sit on days with pleasant weather at the street corner near his house. He has become well-known to everyone. Everyone who passed by stopped to exchange a few words

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with him. With passing time, he could no longer walk except with great difficulty. One day, in the summer of 1985, he fell ill and was transferred to Rambam Hospital. A few days later, he passed away there of a heart attack. A small group of people accompanied him on his last journey.

Every year we visit his grave and honor his memory.

 

About the Late Emanuel (Manio) Michalovici

(written by Simcha Weissbuch)

Manio, as we all called him, was born on August 10, 1928, in Suceava. His father Gershon, a well-known figure in the city, was body and soul, a Yiddishist. At the time of the deportation, he was staying with his family in Murafa, Transnistria. After he returned, he was active in the Zionist Youth movement and a member of the “Carmel” group. As a young man with expert knowledge of world literature and culture, gifted with a pointed sense of humor, he could crack a joke with a most solemn expression.

 

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Emanuel (Manio) Michalovici and Akhim Hopfmayer

 

I remember an incident in one of the high school French lessons, when the teacher Z. Rohrlich asked him to conjugate the word “qui,” he got up and without thinking much replied “Mein Ki, Dein Ki, Zein Ki” (in Yiddish for “my cow, your cow, his cow”). The class burst out laughing at the sound of his words, and even

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the teacher could not hide a slight smile and the sparkle in his eyes, but because of disciplinary rules, he asked him to leave the room.

After graduating from high school and passing the matriculation exams, he studied law in Bucharest and worked for almost 30 years as a reporter for the Romanian Ra you dio Authority.

A few years ago, he visited Israel and met with his friends and his brother Daniel Michaeli, who lives in Ramat Gan.

While I was in Romania in 2000, I contacted him and we met in his office, which is in the Jewish Theater building in Bucharest. The room was packed with books and brochures, and his desk was piled high with papers. He sat across from me and updated me on everything he had been through since we parted and told about his decision, after being expelled as a Jew from his place of work in the radio service, to turn to the Jewish Theater in order to take advantage of his vast knowledge of the Yiddish language. Indeed, after a short time, he was appointed literary secretary of the theater and made a success of it there. He also told me in high spirits that he had married and had a young daughter who, during the last seder, had already asked the Four Questions.

After a long and friendly conversation during which we reminisced about the past, we said goodbye. I never imagined that this would be the last time I saw him alive. Therefore, a year later, I was shocked to hear that Manio had passed away prematurely. In an article that appeared in the organ of the Union of Jewish Communities from Romania, Realitatea Evreiască, entitled “A Star of Jewish Culture Has Fallen.” He was eulogized by various intellectuals and cultural figures.

And in the spirit of Tractate Eiruvin, folio 18b, “Only a part of a man's praise may be said in his presence, but all of it in his absence.” (i.e., after he passed away). His personality and decisive contribution in his work as the theater's literary secretary were celebrated. He translated into Yiddish and Romanian countless plays from world literature. His untimely departure is a serious loss for all lovers of culture and especially for those whose who spoke Yiddish, and to this day, enjoy hearing it on the stage. And, of course, to all his friends.

 

About Professor Emanuel Merdinger obm

(Collected and edited by Simcha Weissbuch)

An internationally renown biochemist. Born in Suceava in 1906, he studied chemistry, natural sciences and mathematics in Czernowitz and then pharmacology in Bucharest and Prague, where he qualified in 1931.

He received his PhD in Pharmacy in Ferrara, Italy (1934) and then in Chemistry

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(1935) and Life Sciences (1939). He was appointed lecturer (1934) and senior lecturer (1936). But during the war, he was deported to a Nazi concentration camp where he survived thanks to his talents and even saved others. On his return, he was appointed professor (1945-1947) in the chemistry of fermentation at the University of Ferrara.

In 1947 he emigrated to the United States and was appointed Professor of Biochemistry at Roosevelt University Chicago at Loyola University Medical School (1972-1947). He was chairman of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences (1971-1974), a member of the American Microbiological Society and an honorary member of the Association of Medical Sciences Societies in Romania.

After his retirement, he moved to Florida and was appointed (1976) honorary professor of biochemistry at Gainesville University. He passed away there in 1997.

It should be noted that Prof. Merdinger was the brother of Mrs. Anna Koerner and he brought the family to the United States (see separate article on this).

 

About Avigdor Nussbrauch obm

(taken from the obituary of the late Yitzchak Artzi)

 

One year of happiness

With the passing of the late Avigdor Nussbrauch, one of the oldest surviving Zionists has departed. Nussbrauch was 92 years old when he passed. He only got to live one year in Israel. It was the year of fulfillment of the ideal of his youth, the year of fulfillment of faith in the resurrection of Zion. Out of 75 years of Zionist activity, he worked for it in the Diaspora for 74 years. However, he passed away as a man who was fully satisfied. Despite his extreme age, he used to travel in Tel-Aviv on foot, even over great distances. His travels allowed him to absorb Zionism in its realization. He felt at every turn that his efforts were not in vain.

Three years ago, I got to meet the deceased in his city of activity, in Suceava, Romania. I found him loaded with many Israeli newspapers, which reached him in some indirect way. Although the newspapers were old; two or three months since they were first published. However, Nussbrauch read everything in them, including the ads! Indeed, he was up to date with the last detail of what was happening in Israel, and he had a reaction to everything, positive or negative. In those days, he was still fighting for his right to leave. When he came to Israel over a year ago, he was among the immigrants who displayed their happiness.

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Avigdor Nussbrauch

 

Nussbrauch was a romantic Zionist, who believed in an exemplary state, exemplary people, the boundless love of Israel, Jewish solidarity, in an idealistic and pioneering spirit. Not everything he saw in his dream did he find in Israel. Still, he was not disappointed. The actual achievements in the country gave him somewhat of a compensation for the disappointments, for the clash between dream and reality.

Because of his identification with Herzl's movement, Nussbrauch was expelled from the Galician yeshiva in which he studied. In his yeshiva of 1901, they could not see the possibility of a coexistence between Haredi-Torah education and Zionist activity. Since then, Nussbrauch has been a volunteer Zionist activist, who carried out the Zionist commandments throughout his long life: Activities on behalf of foundations, and Zionist advocacy. His activities span the years preceding the World War I, the period between the two wars, and the years following the return of the Bucovinian communities from the expulsion to Transnistria.

Despite being a religious man, I found him among the leaders of the General Zionist movement in Suceava, who uninhibitedly supported the “Zionist Youth” organization. He categorically rejected the mixing of religion with politics. Therefore, he did not heed the pleas of the Zionist-religious camp, which tried to attract him to its ranks. He remained faithful to this position until his last day.

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With Avigdor Nussbrauch, passed away a man of Torah and wisdom; a Zionist of the “Ancient Cut,” who joined Herzl at the beginning of his career. He remained faithful to the Zionist ideal both during the Nazi persecutions and during the communist persecutions. He took with him the “world of yesteryear,” the Zionism of a dream, concepts that today sound like a fairytale.

 

About the Late Yaakov (Janio) Fuhrer

(written by Meir Kostiner)

Our long-standing friendship began in Schotz at the dawn of our youth when we lived on Ciprian Porumbascu Street and Yaakov lived on Armeniaska Street. Our houses on these streets were separated by a house and an area of corn sewn by my uncle Baruch Kostiner from Ion Kryange Street.The thicket of corn served as an excellent refuge for playing cops and robbers. We also we spent hours playing various children's games in the shade of the extensive foliage of the walnut tree, which was in Jacob's yard.

 

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Yaakov (Yanio) Fuhrer with his wife Coca and friends in the Carmel forests

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Jacob was deported with his family to Shargorod, Transnistria. A Jewish policeman who came to take 16-year-old Bubi, Yaakov's brother, for hard labor, but did not find him. So, he took Yaakov instead. He was torn from his family and sent to hard labor in Vorbrovka on the Bug [River]. He was only 13 years old.

The conditions in this labor camp were unbearable, especially for a boy of his age. A few months later, he returned sick and exhausted with a severe case of pneumonia, was hospitalized for a long time, and only miraculously survived.

After returning from the expulsion of Transnistria, we were together in the ken [branch] of the Zionist Youth movement in Schotz. After about two years of activity, we went with a few other friends for training at the movement branch in Ţeţche in the Oradea region. I remember the nights we kept watch together to prevent the tomatoes from being stolen in the field at the training branch.

Yaakov emigrated to Eretz [Israel] in 1947 with Company B of the movement's Scout organization. During the War of Independence, he was recruited and took part in digging trenches and fortifications in Kibbutz Degania. After his military service, he returned to his parents' home in Kfar Ḥassidim and began studying law. In 1953, he married Coca née Lazarovici. Upon completing his studies, he worked as an independent lawyer and was later appointed a judge in the Haifa Labor Court.

When I immigrated to Israel in 1960, we renewed our relationship. We were both married, fathers of children. We crisscrossed the country together, hiking and picnicking until a serious illness overwhelmed him.

Blessed be his memory.

 

About the late Kehat Flick

(written by his son Shmuel)

Kehat Flick was born in 1919, the son of Shmuel and Feige Flick. His father was a farmer who also ran a dairy farm. The family was strongly connected to the Vizhnitz Ḥassidic court, and these ties were maintained even after Kehat emigrated to Israel. He was a close and personal friend of the Admor, Rabbi Leizer Hager, Shlita, the leader of the Sert Vizhnitz Ḥassidic movement in Haifa.

Kehat, who came to Bucharest, was a member of the Bnei Akiva leadership in Romania and a representative in the “Youth Alliance,” which incorporated all the youth movements. He stayed in Bucharest during the war, during which he worked to save Jews in the underground. After the war, he worked to bring Jews to Eretz Israel.

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In addition, Kehat continued his university studies in Romania, even during the most difficult and dark periods when Jews were thrown out of academic institutions. So strong was his devotion to studies that it was even contrary to the instructions of the youth movement's management. It saw this as in conflict with the primary goal of training the refugees to go to the kibbutz. But Kehat did not give in and combined book and sword.

During the war, he assisted Jewish refugees who survived in various European countries and reached Bucharest, as well as helping to ship aid to the deportees from Transylvania. This help to the refugees included sheltering at illegal training points established for this purpose, and establishing contact between them and the Eretz [Israel].

Kehat married Pnina née Silberschlag in 1945. She also joined him in the efforts to help the refugees and was responsible for distributing the monthly allowances to the arriving refugees, so that they could survive until they could leave and emigrate to Eretz [Israel]. The work was done clandestinely and at risk of life. This also involved issuing forged documents to the refugees so that they would not be arrested by the police. Kehat also took care of this.

At the end of the war, Kehat took care of collecting the immigrants and preparing them for travel immigrants to Eretz Israel: their transfer to ships and arrangements for them in Eretz [Israel], such as placement in the religious kibbutz and especially in Kfar Etzion, a kibbutz he had a strong connection to. After taking care of transporting immigrants to Eretz Israel, Kehat also emigrated there in 1945 and, together with his wife Pnina, joined the group of the religious kibbutz in Makhora. After emigrating to Israel, he also served as the director of the Bnei Akiva branch in Tel-Aviv.

Later on, he began working in the Ministry of Welfare as the northern district's supervisor of institutions for boys with educational difficulties (Miftanim). He, at the time, worked in the evenings managing the Geva Evening High School. He also donated his time and energy to the leadership of the Religious Youth HaOved VeHalomed movement.

An authentic story I was privileged to hear from Mr. Yehudah Shoham, one of the refugees who came from Hungary to Romania. He remembers how Kehat received him on arrival in Bucharest, arranged a hiding place for him, accommodation and food, and took care of him until he emigrated to Eretz [Israel]. Kehat's wife, Pnina, gave him the monthly stipend he needed to live on.

Kehat Flick died prematurely on 28 Elul 5738 (September 30, 1978) at 59. He was survived by his wife Pnina, his son Shmuel, and his daughter Tsipora.

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About the Late Yaakov (Jacqui) and Erika Strominger

(Written by Meir Kostiner)

I met Yaakov when my parents moved to Petro Rersch Street. His grandparents lived close by, in the third house. Yaakov spent most of his time with them. We had a competition between us building boat models; who could build a more beautiful boat. The raw material for building the boats was planks from sugar crates that we would get from the grocery stores. Together, we also played hide-and-seek near the butcher shops (Fleish Klitlech) that were across from our homes. Our paths parted in Transnistria, but after the war, we met again. We studied together in the same class in the Jewish High School. We were also together in the ken at the Zionist Youth movement in Schotz. Yaakov was a member of the “Carmel” group of boys. In the same ken, Erika Wagner was in the Abba Berdichev group of girls whom Jacob married years later. After completing high school, Jacob studied at the Kultura Agricultural School in Bucharest.

After the liquidation of the Zionist movement in Romania, Yaakov returned to Schotz, made good progress at work, and reached a senior position in the state trade system in Schotz. Yaakov had extensive knowledge in many areas. In the meantime, we became families, each with a child. We continued to meet and spend time together. A regular meeting place was in the municipal garden when the mothers went for a walk with the children. Yaakov, Erika, and their son Akhim emigrated to Israel in 1960, and after the usual absorption hardships, it all worked out well. Jacob also continued to pursue his hobbies: listening to classical music and assembling a system of trains from real miniatures rather than from the planks of sugar crates. Erika continued to develop her traditional hospitality. Our friendship continued until cruel diseases destroyed both of them. Blessed be their memory.

 

About the Late Dr. Sylvia Sternlieb, Shlomo

(Written by Simcha Weissbuch)

 

The fate of a brave woman

Sylvia was born in Suceava in 1924. At a young age, she contracted polio and although she underwent surgery; she had difficulty walking and had to use a cane. Already, as a child, she stood out for her extraordinary skills. She excelled in painting, composing poems, and in the English language.

She went through all the hardships during the deportation. She returned to her hometown of Suceava together with

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her family. After graduating from high school, she went to the city of Timişoara, where she studied medicine at the local faculty. In 1948, she convinced the authorities that her disability had worsened in Transnistria and that her condition could be improved by surgery abroad. And so she received permission to leave Romania. She arrived alone in Vienna, where she continued her studies at the University's Faculty of Medicine, graduating with honors in 1953 with a medical degree in psychiatry. That same year, she emigrated to the United States, where she began her life's work, which essentially covered the country almost from coast to coast. Despite the hostile policy of the American medical establishment toward doctors who graduated from faculties abroad, she worked in many places and was highly respected. And so she worked at a Brooklyn hospital in Brooklyn from 1953 to 1954; Columbia University, 1954 to 1955, at the Institute of Mental Health in Iowa, 1955 to 1957; in psychiatry training in Dakota, 1957 to 1958; and on the staff of child psychiatry at the University of Missouri, from 1961 to 1962. In addition, she was a senior psychiatrist at the South Florida State Hospital from 1958 to 1961; clinical director of Aberdon District's mental health from 1961 to 1963, and deputy director of the state hospital in Bismarck Dakota from 1963 to 1966.

 

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Sylvia Sternlieb

 

She has published scientific papers and has been a member of the American Associations of Psychiatry and Intellectual Impairment. She has been a sought-after lecturer and counselor on marriage, family,

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and children, and has taught at colleges and universities. In her private life, she was less successful. When her husband left, she had to raise her three sons on her own, which she did with great devotion.

In 1971, she contracted cancer, which metastasized. But she fought with a rare will and mental strength until 1979, when the disease overwhelmed her.

Despite all the difficulties, she was always optimistic, full of energy and joie de vivre, with a great sense of humor, always in high spirits even during heartbreaking moments. She was a wonderful mother whose sons were always at the forefront of her concern. Her son, Uri Neumann, lives in Brooklyn and works for Ḥevra Kadisha. The second son, Karim Neumann, teaches religious studies at a Jewish school, is divorced and a father of four. The youngest son, Dr. Jeffrey Sternlieb, has a brilliant mind like his mother, continues on her path as a successful psychiatrist, married to Shoshana née Feher, a doctor of sociology and author of the book, Passing over Easter. They have two sons, Avi and Yehoshua, and a daughter Sylvie.

 

About the Late Yosef Schaechter

(Written by his widow Pnina Schaechter and edited by Meir Kostiner)

Yosef, my Avi's father, grew up in a house steeped in Torah and Ḥassidism. His father, Rabbi Baruch obm, was known for his perseverance and dedication to Torah study. Joseph could study in the ḥeder only until he was 11. Then pogroms began against the Jews of Bucovina, forcing the Jews to fight for their existence.

Joseph's family hid in the forests of Bucovina. There, his mother was shot to death while shielding her young son with her body, saving his life. Bleeding, Joseph was saved by the grace of the Creator and continued to fight for his existence. The years of his youth passed during World War II, when the Jews of Europe suffered a Holocaust that wiped out a third of the Jewish People.

In 1948, he boarded the illegal immigrant ship Exodus, and after endless wandering, the ship reached Israel. The Jewish population in Eretz [Israel] was then facing the most difficult campaign, the War of Independence. Yosef immediately enlisted in the IDF, fighting in Latrun, where one of the most bitter battles of the War of Independence took place. Joseph was seriously wounded in this battle. He lay unconscious for a long time., Miraculously, he regained his health.

In his warm home, love and conviviality prevailed. The house became a symbol where the Presence prevailed. He educated his three children in love of Torah and piety. He hoped to teach his children

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the values of Judaism, the Torah of Israel and its commandments, something that he himself did not manage because of to the pogroms and the World War.

When he was still young, he was attacked by a serious illness that overwhelmed him. Despite his great suffering and despite knowing the severity of his condition, he would respond to those who asked how he was doing with a smile on his face that he felt good. All his concern was not to bother and upset anyone. On 23 Sivan 5741 (June 25, 1981), he returned his pure soul to the Creator. He was only 53 years old.

Three years and two days later, on the 25 Sivan 5744 (June 25, 1984), my son Avi died of his wounds sustained in a military operation in Lebanon. He was only 20. Pnina, his mother, had to deal alone with the pain of bereavement and wrote a poem in prose in memory of her son. The poem “To Avi from Mama” was read by Pnina at the World Congress of Poets, held in Haifa in September 1992, and received a huge response. Below are a few lines from the poem:

“... Your skullcap lies on your desk,
The Kalashnikov bullet put a huge hole in it...
...in your lovely head, with the lush curls that I loved so much,
They inserted sophisticated tubes, which carried the ichor into plastic bags.
...your beautiful eyes looked without seeing a thing...
...we know not: did you bear insufferable pain?
Did your soul know that, in less than 20 years,
You would go to the heavenly abode, to the holy splendor on high?
...in the hospital, my font of hot tears
Left you with the same staring gaze...
For 30 days, the heavens and the earth struggled over you, until the Angel of Death brought
His last word that we will never, ever, ever see you again...
Sometimes I enter your room... Your chair stands empty.
I stare and daydream... For now, only a few
Of your years, frozen in pictures, are what occupy me most...
... I am torn by my emotions, trapped by my pain, the pain of loss.
Avi'le, Avi'le, Avi'le.”

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About the late Professor Libby Schaerf

(Written by his widow)

I was asked to write about Libby. How can one put this in a nutshell? This was such a diverse, active, and vital human life. It will be very difficult for me, and I am sure that I will do some injustice. Nevertheless, I decided to touch on some milestones in his fruitful life.

In the main, Libby was a “mensch”: A humanitarian, a doctor, a scientist, knowledgeable, with a poetic soul. The only son of his parents, Clara and Dr. Ze'ev Schaerf obm. His talents were discovered at a very young age. At 6, he had already taken the stage, and at 9, his poems were published in the newspaper Dimineaþa Copiilor with national circulation.

 

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Professor Libby Schaerf

 

His high-school studies were halted by the exile to Transnistria. In Shargorod, despite the conditions that do not need to be described because they have already been retold by others, Libby continued to write, albeit with a stomach rumbling with hunger, poems and plays, which were presented in the lager (camp) orphanage (some of them appear in this book). Unfortunately, his writings have not been preserved and only a small part has been collected from friends over the years.

On his return from the camp, after completing his high-school studies, Libby was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine in Iaşi. He was then active in the Beitar movement. When it was finally his turn to board, it turned out that his parents had not been given a place on the ship, and for lack of choice and after much deliberation,

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he boarded the Pan Crescent alone, having a group of children under his responsibility and supervision. But both this ship and its “sister,” the Pan York arrived in Cyprus accompanied by the British Royal Navy. It was only four months later, when he managed to “arrange” a suitable certificate as a young boy, his noble dream finally came true and he emigrated to Israel, of course, together with the group of boys under his care.

Libby viewed enlisting in the IDF as a sacred duty because he was always a Zionist, a doctrine that he absorbed from his father, who gave him the name Libby when he was born, taken from a poem by Yehudah Halevi: “My heart is in the East and I am at the end of the West.” Although during his military service he was alone in the country without a family and without friends for support, his pride and satisfaction was that he participated in the War of Independence in the Alexandroni Brigade and completed his reserve service with the rank of captain.

In 1949, Libby learned that the Faculty of Medicine would be opened for continuing education students in Jerusalem, so he enrolled there. The first years of the faculty could not yet be opened due to lack of laboratories, because the campus on Mount Scopus was inaccessible. The faculty was scattered in several buildings and was entirely not the ideal condition, to say the least. But this class had first-rate teachers and professors such as the late Prof. Zondek, the late Prof. Rachmilevitz, Sr., and the like.

Libby was fluent in six languages, but his knowledge of Hebrew was limited. Despite this, he was appointed chairman of the Medical Students Association, thanks to his sense of justice and honesty, and because his colleagues saw him as a leader who cared about everything.

After completing his studies, Libby moved from Jerusalem to Tel -Hashomer, where he did his internship at a hospital run by the late Prof. Ḥaim Shaver/Sheba, where he also moved up the academic ladder to the rank of docent (professor). Prof. Sheba recognized the potential in Libby, and got a grant and sent both of us to study in the United States at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. There we found not only a first-rate director and scientist, but also a person and a friend, with whom and his family I am in contact with to this day.

At the end of the course, when we informed the director of our decision to return to Israel, he asked: “What is there in Israel that the United States does not have?” We explained to him: “That is our country.” He found it difficult to understand, so we reached a compromise: we will continue the research work with him from Israel by sending material to each other. The work dealt with the electronic microscopy of the transportation system in the heart, an area where I also trained in Detroit.

In Israel, Libby was immersed in the daily hospital work and, of course, in the Faculty of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University. Within the framework of the Society of Clinical Cardiology,

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Libby organized a Congress of international cardiologists, with outstanding success, followed by another international congress in Israel of the Asian-Pacific association, etc. His blessed actions led his colleagues to choose Libby as chairman of the Israel Cardiology Association.

Libby did not neglect his writing: But now it was devoted to scientific rather than literary writing. Hundreds of his articles have been published in professional periodicals:

American Journal of Cardiology, Journal of American Medical Association, American College of Cardiology. And in the well-known book, The Heart. Libby also wrote a research book on Pre-Excitation Syndrome: Facts and Theories in libraries in Israel and the United States.

At Tel-Aviv University, where he worked on various committees, taught, and examined students for the degree, etc., received the title of professor, after climbing the academic ranks as is customary.

The years passed, and the sabbatical year arrived. Once again, Libby was invited to the United States for further research in basic cardiology through electron microscopy. This time the project lasted longer than expected and we had to stay in the United States longer than planned. But despite the wonderful research conditions, the respectable salaries and the many friends we have been associated with over the years, and especially in the “Maimonides” (Rambam) circle that we organized for the Jewish doctors of the university, so that they would study together, our longing for the country we dreamed of, and for our aging parents, grew and we returned to Israel. All the arguments and temptations did not work, including the fact that Libby was accepted as a full member of the American Heart Association, which is open only to US citizens, He was one of the few who were accepted into this association, although not a citizen. still, Libby categorically refused to accept US citizenship. What interested him above all were the patients. Every person who approached him found a sympathetic ear and a loving heart, and no effort was spared by him in helping others.

Such was the man and thus he remained in the memory of many even after his passing. And how is it possible to forget the person and the doctor who always received each patient with a smile and an abundance of patience and understanding. He has always argued: “medicine is not a profession, it is an art.” Knowledge is important, but humanity is no less so. He always pursued justice. Similarly, he always reassured and encouraged even the seriously ill and gave them a glimmer of hope.

Some say that G-d created Libby and then broke the mold. He was a man in the full sense of the word, with special qualities, and in my heart, he is sorely missed by me and by many who mourn his passing.

 

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