Translated by Naomi Gal
||May the book, Yad Le-Yedinitz, serve as a Yad Vashem, a memorial book also to the initiator and editor of this book who gave its wings and created its contents and images, to our unforgettable friend,
The book's committee and its editorial are deeply grateful to our Ilustre native of our city, the writer and literary critic Yisrael Zemura for his expert advice, supervision and guidance in editing and designing this book, and for reading the manuscripts and styling them.
A special thank you goes to the famous Jewish painter Ban, from Paris, for designing the cover of this book. While he was in Israel on the occasion of an exhibition for his Song of Songs illustrations and as an IDF's guest, Ban browsed the editorial's pictures and chose as a subject for the cover the photo of one of the tombstones (R' Isaac Meilechson, ZL), which according to the artist, represents the style of popular-local Jewish art, something genuinely original (see page 695).
Translated by Naomi Gal
From right to left:
Standing: Moshe Dubrow (Haifa), Mania Schwartz-Gukovsky (Tel Aviv), Pinchas Mann-Meidelmann (Kibbutz Nir-Am), Zosia Roisman-Steinberg (Ramat Gan), Issachar Rosenthal (Kibbutz Masada), Yehuda Safri-Darf (Haifa), Chaim Horvitz (Haifa).
Sitting: Dr. Elimelech Blank (Tel Aviv), Efraim Schwarzman-Sharon (Tel Aviv), Alexander Meilechson (Tel Aviv), Yosef Magen-Shitz (Tel Aviv), Lea Mann-Pernas (Tel Aviv), Shalom Caspi-Serebrenick (Herzliya).
|Editorial committee: Chaim Horvitz, Yosef Magen-Shitz (editor), Alexander Meilechson, Pinchas Mann-Meidelmann, Efraim Schwarzman-Sharon.
Financial committee: Shalom Caspi-Serebrenick, Yehuda Kafri-Daf, Alexander Meilechson, Lea Mann-Pernas, Issachar Rosenthal.
Committee for reviewing finances: Moshe Dubrow, Issachar Rosenthal.
Committee members: Dr. Elimelech Blank, Mania Schwartz-Gukovsky, Zosia Roisman-Steinberg.
|The members of the committee and the editorial who passed away:
Leova Gokovsky, Shimshon Bronstein, Eliyahu Bichutsky-Naor, Dov Dori-Dondushansky, Mordechai Reicher (first editor).
|Note: For presentation purposes we have provided the Original Map as produced in the Yizkor Book as well as the Reference Map. The Reference Map is provided as it is easier to read and to identify the locations of the sites indicated in the translation provided. The Reference Map is still missing Site Number 11 as it could not be found on the Original Map. If anyone can locate Site Number 11, please contact the Coordinator at which point we will adjust the Revised Reference Map accordingly.|
Translated from the Hebrew by Ruth Luks
Born in Yedinitz in 1909. He finished the local high school and studied law and philosophy at the University of Czernowitz. From 1931 he was the central secretary of the Poalei Zion and its youth movement in Romania.
From 1935 he was secretary of the unity party Poalei Zion - Zeire Zion/ Romania. Editor of its newspaper (Arbeiterzeitung, Oifboi, Tribune) and others.
Administrative member Hachaluz and delegate at the 20th Zionist Congress ( Zurich,1937).
From 1926 he published newspaper articles in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Romanian.
From 1936 he wrote in Our Time (Kishinev) in Czernowitz. Editor of several magazines (Machshawot, together with Sisha Bagish) and of Jugendstimmen.
Came to Israel in 1938 to Kibbutz Jagur and was a member of the Hagannah.
1941 1942 Secretary of Moezet Poalei Kfar Saba.
1942 1946 Volunteer in the Jewish brigade and fought in the Italian front.
After the war, he was active in the Bricha Zionist movement and in Chaluz in Western Europe. He published a series of 15 articles about the brigade in Morgenjournal (New York). Also published editions in Yiddish and English.
In 1946 he became a professional journalist and worked at Chadashot Haerev, Yom Yom, Hador, Hapoel Hatzair, Giljonot, Ashmoret, Maariv, Dawar, Dwar Hashawua, Das Weert, Wjjeze and others.
In the years 1955 1959, he was correspondent for Unser Weert in Paris.
1960 1961. He was the Mapai Speaker.
1959 1969. Editor of the weekly magazine Do Woch Illustriert and from 1961 editor of Illustrierte Weltwoche (Tel-Aviv), reports and monographs Eilat, President Ben Zwi, Prague Trials and others.
Married to Chana Taedovnik Matorka.
Son: Dr. Ezra Magen.
Bibliography: Encyclopedia Who Is Who in Israel / Lexicon of Jewish Literature (NY)
Yisrael Zemura was born in 1899 in the village of Pochumbautch (coordinator's note: today this village is called Pociumbeni or Pociumbăuți, Moldova). In 1912, his parents Aharon and Nechama settled in Yedinitz. He received traditional education in Yedinitz and continued his studies in a Yeshiva in Odessa. He learned different languages and acquired a general broad education. When he returned to Yedinitz, he became a teacher at the Talmud Torah school. After living in Botushan (coordinator's note: today's Botosani, Romania) and Bucharest he made Aliyah in 1925.
His first song was printed in Ha'Prachim (1914). Later, he published songs and prose in various Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish, and Romanian journals. In Israel he became famous as a clever and profound literature reviewer. He was a member of several groups of novel writers, focused publishing his works on journals such as Ktuvim and Turim in the 1930s (together with A. Shteinman, A. Shlonski, N. Alterman, and others) and was an editorial member of Moznaim. He also founded and edited the bi-monthly journal Machbarot Le'Sifrut (1940-1954) and established a publishing house bearing the same name, which printed mainly dozens of classical books, ancient and new. He published poetry, criticism, philitones, and thoughts in different newspapers and journals.
His main books were: The Poetry of R. M. Rielke, The Poetry of A. Shlonski, Two Story Tellers: H. Hazaz and Y. Horowitz, The Story Teller A. N. Gnesin, Al Parashat Drachim (A collection of critical studies in three volumes, a poetry compilation named 30 Sonatas, etc'. He translated dozens of poetry books, prose, as well as Russian, German, French, English, Romanian, and Yiddish thoughts. He was awarded the Fichman Prize in 1967. His wife Ada, née Barberman, passed away in 1966. His sons were Tzvi and Ehud (editor of Dvar Ha'Shavua).
Bibliography: Encyclopedia for the Pioneers of the Yishuv for D. Tidhar, Encyclopedia for Literature for B. Kro, The Hebrew Literature Lexicon for G. Karsel, Who and who in Israel, The Origins of the New Hebrew Literature for A. Ben-Or, etc.
My life experience taught me that a man is affected in his life: a) by the people he meets b) by the places he lived in and engaged at (this is how wise is the ancient Hebrew saying: Meshane Makom, Meshane Mazal, which means that trading places, changes luck).
Now, reviewing my life, I intend to understand better the effects of the four places in which I've lived at:
Since I am a fatalist, I assert with satisfaction that this was the way it should have happened and not otherwise. I am also obliged to stress out: Yedinitz is a significant cornerstone in my life - as an Israeli, as a writer, as a Jew.
The first editor of the book, the late Mordechai Reicher, devoted to it great vigor, spiritual powers, love for the topic, understanding, and invested a lot of work to portrait and characterize this book. Unfortunately, Mordechai Reicher did not complete his work; he died before his time, and left piles over piles of material, both raw and in process of editing.
The book seekers then assigned the task of completion re-scanning, sorting, re-editing, getting new material, and finally asserting the portrait of the compilation to my friend, Yosef Magen Shitz.
Yosef Magen devoted plenty of work and time to the compilation; he pulled through everything given his experience and understanding in editing, writing, as well as loving the deed and its importance. He controlled whatever was found, and ordered what was necessary to do, scrutinizing and inspecting - and as a tasteful architect, he completed the task to the joy of all Yedinitz people, and for the benefit of the Jewish history and its different incarnations.
It is also necessary to sincerely thank all the people in Israel and the people of our town around the world who assisted, remembered and described, and to all who managed to revive the character of the town and its different aspects.
This book not only serves as a monument and memory to the town, but also to known and praised people, as well as simple and anonymous people, who either died naturally or by a vicious enemy; in case someone was omitted or not mentioned, this was not intentional, but by mistake, and may the forgivers forgive.
|Hazkara for the holy and dead|
|Rav D.B. Burstein eulogizing the destroyed community|
former Yedinitzer in Israel
Next to the president's table from right to left:
7th March 1967
|The audience in the auditorium|
of M. Reicher zl
Beit Notta Petach Tikvah
At the head table:
1. Yitzchak Shapira (Agricultural Center). 2. Chaim Billi (Secretary, M.P. [probably stands for Merkaz or Machon Poalim or something similar Workers' Center or Institute.], Petach Tikvah. 3. Shalom Kaspi (on behalf of people from Yedinitz). 4. Yosef Chanani (Author and educator). 5. A. Reuveni (Director, Beit Notta, after the death of M. Reicher).
In the audience:
First row, among others: 1. Shoshana Reicher. 2. Polia Sharon. 3. Chanan Magen. 4. Yosef Magen-Shitz.
Blessings Upon Completion of the Yizkor Book
by Yosef Magen Shitz
Translated from the Yiddish by Leib Kogan
Donated by Leib Kogan in memory of his grandmother Tzirl Fishman zl,
her brother Yechiel Fishman zl, and his family member Nethanel Shachar zl
With fear and compassion, we carry this book of remembrance and Yizkor to the remnants of the exodus of the Jews. This book will be a kind of Yad Vashem for the daily gray life and for the life of a lot of human beings and Jewish fellows who swarmed in the town. This book will be a memorial for gifted people and for ordinary folk who left the world, who passed away naturally, and who have been despised by their neighbors, the gentiles, and by murderers, emissaries of tyrannical villains; for whoever died in the bloody years in his birthplace and who passed away far away, abroad, sent away, and in deportation; for whoever died or fell in our old homeland, who survived, and for whose children fell in the battles for Israel. That is why we gave this book our name, with a little rhetoric, Yad Le Yedinitz, which means, a memorial, a remembrance to Yedinitz and its Jews.
From here and there, one hears that the time has come to listen to the publication of memorial books and memorials for Jewish towns and cities that were destroyed in the Holocaust. They say, after all, that the books are like one another in structure, character, and even content. This argument may be valid among the professional critics and chroniclers, but also the townspeople. In the latter case, their hometown is not just one of many. After all, they took their roots there, grew up, budded, and blossomed.
They love the memory of every muddy street, dusty road, narrow curb, every solid wall and every fallen hut, the lingering smoke from chimneys and every dust in the air, the memory of childlike joy, mothers' tears, livelihood. Sighs from fathers, neighborhood quarrels, screams from teachers and the rabbi's rebuke, the gurgling of the cantor and the echo which reached the town from Promised Land, and even every screaming sound of redemption opponents.
All, the Chasid and the grandson of the opponent, the rabbi and the maskil, the observer of the Mitzvot and the one who ate forbidden animal fats to anger the people, the Zionist and the Communist, the chosen one and in contrast the buyer of stolen goods, the Jew who is ready for Kiddush-Hashem and, by contrast, the apostate. All are flesh from our flesh, blood from our blood. The ones who hated us did not differentiate between these and the others because the concept of innocent and guilty regarding the Jews, was foreign to them.
We could not and did not want to discriminate between a man of virtue, a righteous and an innocent man, a sharp-minded man and a knowledgeable in the mechanics of life, and Jewish and a human creation; and the lowly, the infirm, and the despicable. The latter, too, surpass in morality their murderers among whom were educated people, musicians, poets, and university professors.
The book was written by the people of the city, mainly, for the people of the city, by the survivors for the survivors of the exile. Both, the expression and the absorption, and listening to this recount, is a mental need for the survivors of Yedinitz and there is no question about that.
Some denounce the memorial books for the small towns as provincial. Certainly, the larger the immortalized city, the less sentimental, more inquisitive, more scientific, and accurate is the memoir. However, the less provincial it is, the less romantic, less intimate it is, that is, the less it will be read.
Insiders know that in Eastern and Central Europe (Yiddish-speaking area - Yiddish-Land, as the saying goes), in the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, etc., there were more than 2,000 Jewish towns (Shtetlech). Aside from the common social and public denominator, each town had something unique and special.
The number of memorial books on the towns that have appeared so far is estimated at 600, a spontaneous and popular commemorative project that has no precedent in Jewish and universal history, and the hand is outstretched. Dozens are in print and many more will appear until the last generation of extermination and the Holocaust passes away. Only then, will the books move to the desks of historians who will retrieve pearls of richness and the spirit of life in the shtetl despite the atmosphere of sunset and the fate of decline that surrounded the towns on the eve of the Holocaust. Because, the Jewish town had no future, anyway.
The Jewish town and the popular suburbs in the big cities, they too, were just villages of the Jewish territory, one of the hallmarks of this territory, was according to various theorists (usually hostile to the idea of ??our national revival) proof to the existence of a Jewish nation (and not the land of Israel). There, in this territory, we lived according to our tradition, A people to live alone. It was there that the special style of life was found, where Dov-Ber Borochov, the teacher of the generation, saw as the main determinant in his Marxist-scientific definition the concept of nation.
With the fall of the ghetto walls, with the emergence of the buds of capitalist development in Eastern Europe, the town began to lose its power as a unifying and isolating factor, as a territorial hallmark of the Jewish nation. No ideological assimilationist currents were found in the town. However, the departure of the youth and its graduates going from the town to the big cities, and the migration to big cities, undermined the foundation of the separate Jewish existence. The big city made it easier to assimilate. There, the nomads and immigrants lost their language, their religion, their connection to the Jewish people.
The second generation of nomads and immigrants to the nearby Chernivtsi or Bucharest, to the distant Paris or London, to North and South American countries, still maintains an affinity of memory for Judaism. In their grandchildren, this affinity becomes weaker and weaker, and the chain will soon be severed. We are witnessing this process at a very advanced stage in North America (where the third generation of the town's natives have already matured), in Paris, and South America.
Because a person communicates with his people (in our case the Jew) through an affinity to somewhere. An abstract connection with his people, that without a real connection, a link may not last.
Thus, the Landsmanshafts chapters constitute a very strong link of the organized Jewish public in the Diaspora. The deterioration of this link is dangerous to Judaism. The synagogue of the generation of immigrants, its fate as the fate of the Landsmanshaft and the synagogue of the next generation, has not yet proved itself.
In Israel, there is no such problem. A new surrounding, a national affinity, is created here. There is no danger of assimilation here. However, there is a problem with the continuous loosening of generations for which everyone is complaining about. We want to instill in our boys and girls a sense of information about the sources of their parents' national upbringing. Let the next generation know after us. Especially, the one who grew up in Israel, that the shtetl, although exile was, however, it was rich in spirit and soul, in uniqueness, and its roots.
Some say that the boys will not read memorial books of their parents' town. Also, this claim I doubt. But I am sure that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren will investigate them because they will want to know what their origins are. Memorials to the towns that the parents will inherit in no way be thrown away from the homes of the sons, grandsons, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and future generations. The book about the town of grandparents will be passed down from generation to generation and will become a sacred book in every family in future generations. I would like to quote a soulful Jewish writer like King Ravitch:
The memoirs are, in a sense, a sequel to the book of books. They carry a mission for the people of Israel, no less than that, a mission for the entire human race across the globe.
In this book, we have tried to describe all the manifestations of life and existence in the town, to its period and social levels. We tried to penetrate the depths of its history. We retrieved all that we could from what the poor archives could provide us about the town until its Jewish uniqueness disappeared, and even beyond that, the post-war Soviet period.
We surveyed, more or less, the internal organization of Jews, public institutions, religion, charity, mutual aid, education, its national and ideological currents, Zionism, youth, the economy and livelihoods, the way of life, and their desires, and so on. However, the book lacks a description of the economic and social situation. We told more about the merchants and landlords, that is, about the so-called class of the landlord and less about the poor of the city, their workforce, the artisans who were at least half of the Jewish population. But in a nutshell, we reported on the currents of the anti-Zionist left, especially the Communists, who were in the late 1920s and 1930s a significant portion of the local Jewish youth and youth - an educated youth, homemakers, and artisans. The communist and revolutionary movement in the field of the Jewish moshav was, for me, part of the general Jewish nationalist movement (I almost said part of the nationalism). The devotion of the Jewish Communists and revolutionaries to their ideas, their willingness to sacrifice themselves for them, even for me, is an unwavering part of the sanctification of the historical Jewish name. Such manifestations of heroism and idealism were not present in their comrades, the gentiles' Communists.
Yedinitz was not like its neighbors on all sides, a town inhabited only by Jews. In the time of the Tsars, it was mostly Jewish. During the Rumanian period, the percentage of Jews dropped to half the population. The process would surely have intensified, even if it had not been for the Holocaust.
What constituted the non-Jewish part of the town, not in terms of relations between Jews and gentiles, but in themselves? What was the public weight of the non-Jews, in self-organization, in mutual aid, in the field of charity? Culture and community activities? The gentiles, who lived in parts called the village (Dorf or Mahala - this is a reason
for scholars to think that apart from the Jewish town there was also a separate village called Yedinitz), did not show any self-initiative over the years. They set up no cell of education, no library, no philanthropic institution, no religious institution, nothing.
The so-called educated of the local Christians, the teachers, the clerks, and the saints, were in this crowd and were not interested in it. Everyone, including the priests, they were drunk, and the meeting place was at the tavern. And by the multitude among them prevailed apathy and the backwardness. Most of them were captured in the days of the Tsar under the influence of the Black Century, and in the days of the Rumanians, the cuzists, and the like. They were the pogromschiks in the previous century and during the First World War; and in the return of the Rumanians to the town in 1941, they were among the first murderers of the Jews, their neighbors across the fence and the street. There was no case where a goy saved a Jew, not just one single case. Not even one!
This book is the fruit of an ant work for many years, collecting materials, finding witnesses to events, encouraging writings, encouraging recollections, interviews, conversations, meetings, travels, rummaging through archives and libraries, albums and private drawers, recordings by witnesses, rewriting, copying and rewriting, correcting and editing. Not all the material collected entered the book.
Certainly, there are naturally excesses and deficiencies in what came in, and there may be in the material left out of the book, things that were worthy to be included. But time sped up. While working on the book, it came from time-to-time bad news; that this one and that one was gone from the world. After all, the makers of the book do not intend to stay last on the wall. The budget that swelled and exceeded all planning and size also set a limit to the material.
Several hundred pictures are published in the book, group photographs, and individuals. We did not publish all the photographs we collected because not everyone had what is called public value, and there were many duplications. Publishing pictures is also a question of multiple expenses, which the book committee was not able to bear.
Most of the photos were taken from private collections. The photos are also fire sticks saved by the fire. Along with the Jews and their property, all the private albums and collections, and archives were from the local photographers (archives were destroyed). The pictures were kept only by those townspeople who left the town before the Holocaust. Thus, the impression was created that the work of photography in the town was stopped in 1939 or weakened greatly on the eve of the war due to the Cossack and dictatorial regime. We did not receive any pictures taken during the first Soviet occupation, in 1940/41, not so much, as a Holocaust survivor.
Most public images are of Zionist activity. The Zionists were often photographed, said someone. We did not obtain, for example, photographs of the economic activities or community life or individual photographs of streets and buildings from before the Holocaust. In the memorial books of the nearby towns, we found pictures of the streets of the town. Where do they come from? Usually from tourists, from the townspeople who immigrated to the far countries and returned to visit the town. We were told that such tourists also photographed the streets in Yedinitz, but we were unable to locate them.
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