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Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

[Page 5]

And here are the last pages of writings… the book is finished. Ended, no! Ending means – depleted. I have collected fact after fact, episode after episode, document after document with diligence and with reverence. Invested my entire curiosity and each daily labor to collect even more, but complete?! I do not say this. To have everything is impossible. I knew this…

It is then only my shtetl [town], my small shtetele [little town] – Kolki. I wanted to leave a written memory of it, consistent with my strength. I felt: how weighty the word is, which is as if saved from the Angel of Death.

I know: how heavy the burden must be and the word of the exterminated, whose words still need to be heard; their voices that were cut… Who possesses the strength; their voice should be heard through his voice.

My intention was: to evoke the living past from the thicket of the most distant past, to remember the historical fates (See: “Lines of History”), the remembered beauties who have left traces in my heart, to show the road of pain, debasement, of their struggle, of their end – the door opens – in the souls dear to my heart.

I searched particularly industriously for the evidence of their heroism. Our literature has shown the history of our collective death, answered with enough details the question, what did they do to us; I searched for pieces of evidence to answer a second question: with what did we answer? – We fought back. Yes, we fought back. Our tiny Kolki, too, fought back. Again, yes, fought back!

I will be satisfied if my efforts are favorably received. I am sorry for any facts I possibly have omitted.

The Editor

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