|President of Israel at the Ceremony||11|
|Achrumovits, Stanislave (Stasya)||14|
|Agnon, S. I.||18|
|Alon, Arye (see also Biberman, Leyb)||15-16|
|Biberman, Leyb (see also Alon, Arye)||15-16|
|Desser, Max||12, 20|
|Feter,* Lily (née Goldenberg)||10|
|Fidel-Kinori,* Ester (née Hudis)||17|
|Golberg,* Mira (née Danishevski)||14|
|Goldenberg, Manus||i, 5, 6, 10, 12, 18|
|Kremenchugski, Sima||3, 4|
|Levinzon, Yitschak Ber, R' (RYBL)||9, 10, 11|
|Malinski,* Tova (née Shnayder)||14|
|Mandelshtam Penech, Mrs.||13|
|Margalit, Binyamin (Budik)||14|
|Narkis, General Uzi||12|
|Peled, Lieutenant General||16|
|Pesis, Rivka||7, 13|
|Raykhman, Moshe dem Rav's||18|
|Raykhman, Tsvi (Grisha, Hershel)||18, 19|
|Rokhel, Yitschak||i, 8, 9, 12|
|Roykh,* Rivka (née Shpigl)||13|
|Sha'ar, Yisrael||13, 14|
|Shnayder Zev (Velvel)||9, 10, 13, 14|
|Shor Y. H.||9|
|Shpak, Yitschak||12, 13|
|Shtern,* Yehudit (née Rozental)||i|
|Stish,* Dvora (née Shnayder)||15|
|Taytelman, Shmuel||i, 14|
|Teper, Sheyvka (née Katz)||16|
|Tsizin, Avshalom||1, 2-3, 4|
|Tsizin, Lipa, R'||3, 4|
|Tsizin, Shmuel||2, 4|
|Tsizin,* Chana||2, 4|
|Vakman, Yitschak||12, 13|
|Yaron, Ya'al||1, 3|
|Yaron,* Sima (née Kremenchugski)||3|
|. . . Cavernous valley, red loam
I once had a peaceful home . . .
In the spring, gardens blossomed there,
Autumn birds flew through the air
Winter the snow fell there
Now the wind simply blows . . .
Dear fellow townspeople,
We hereby present the booklet Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, no. 2, with the hope that you will find it as interesting as the first. We hope it brings you back many years to a faraway place.
The echoes we have heard from wherever the first booklet was sent (here and outside the Land) have been encouraging and warm and sometimes touched our hearts.
We have decided to continue this project, which incidentally requires a great deal of work for those involved, with satisfaction fed by those echoes and the realization that we are forging a vessel that unites our townspeople, wherever they may be.
The first booklet reached our overseas brothers close to the Six-Day War. The storm of feelings aroused in the wake of the booklet mingled with great fear and worry about our fate. All the longing and love for our old home was directed toward us and our new home.
The annual remembrances in honor of our martyrs, whether in Israel, Buenos Aires, or New York, took place this year amidst signs of victory and of trouble and pain over the loss of our children who fell in battle.
We have tried to express these experiences and occurrences in this booklet.
In this booklet, we set aside a special place in memory of two young children of Kremenets who fell in battle. As we present their biographies, we also express our deep sorrow over the lives that were cut short, and we want to convey honor and glory to their memories along with all the people of Kremenets, whether alive with us or martyred.
The great calamity that befell the Jews of Kremenets unites us into one family, and the greater family mourns and cries for her children, who bought victory with their sacrifice. No miracle happened here, and those who believe so are in error.
Their bravery, their strength of spirit, their dedication, and their self-sacrifice gives expression to the same bravery found in our nation for many generations, beginning in the earliest times and continuing through the Maccabees, the besieged people on Masada, sanctifiers of the Holy Name during the Crusades and the fires of the Inquisition, fighters in the ghettos and partisans, and illegal immigrants and fighters in the War of Independence. Each generation and its bravery embody a fighting spirit that amazed the world. There was no secret weapon or miracle, but rather a spirit of bravery and standing in the breach to preserve the nation.
Two Kremenets emigrants paid with their lives during the great victory:
Avshalom, son of Chana and Shmuel Tsizin
Ya'al, son of Sima and Yizhar Kremenchugski-Yaron
Avshalom Tsizin was 32 years old when he fell. His character during his short life exemplified the best of his generation. He was a good student. He dedicated all his spare time to the youth movement and sports. He did his army service in the Fighting Pioneer Youth. For a while, he was a member of Kibbutz Mishmar David, where he operated a tractor. In the kibbutz, he founded an amateur troupe whose performances stood out for their high quality. In the same field, he later joined Habima, and they suggested that he join an ensemble. However, he did not want a career as an actor, and he settled on clerical work. He studied office management and computers, and in his last years, he worked at the Pension Fund as an IBM programmer, excelling in this field.
Avshalom was a handsome young man. At work and in other social situations, he made many friends, thanks to his personal charm and good heart. Whenever he got together with his friends or attended any other gathering, he was the life of the party and brought good cheer to all. Strong expressions of his colleagues' regard for his loving, endearing nature were heard at the memorial presentation arranged in his honor 30 days after his passing.
As a son, husband, and father, Avshalom knew how to create an atmosphere of warmth, peace, and contentment that made all his family members' lives idyllic.
He fell on the southern front on the second day of the war and left bereaved parents, a wife, two sons, and a married sister.
Ya'al, son of Sima and Yizhar Kremenchugski-Yaron, was a member of Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, and he excelled in the tasks reserved for the best bartenders: he could get to the heart of the matter, and even in his youth, he could keep the deepest secrets. However, despite his quiet exterior and ever-present smile, he knew how to rebel against authority. He was not always one to say yes. His own opinions on several topics deviated from the conventional. With responsibility and alacrity, he would do anything asked of any young kibbutz member, and he would trade off his individual needs especially in the field of music for his allotted hours of sleep. He would play the trumpet his beloved instrument until 2 a.m. As his friends said about him, To him, passivity and free time were the main causes of bad feeling. Ya'al's honesty and straightforwardness were never-ending, and for that reason, he was loved and honored by his friends.
A friend his age wrote in his collective's bulletin, which was dedicated to his memory, It was hard for you to reconcile your personality with that of a soldier. However, we hoped, Ya'al, that the day would come when you would be our commanding officer and show that it is possible to reconcile your humanity with a soldier's personality. With your last action during the war, you proved to us that you were still the Ya'al who would be ready to give his life for something he believed in.
His brother, Nachum, served in the same unit assembled for the final attack.
Ya'al was happy when his officer chose him as one of those in his platoon to attack the Syrian positions atop the heights. During this battle, he met his heroic death.
Eternal praise to both of them!
When you ponder where we found this wonder, where the Avshaloms, Ya'als, and their ilk came from, you cannot help looking back to their ancestors' homes. You see, in the Tsizin family, the patriarch of the family was R' Lipa Tsizin, an Orthodox Jew with a long black beard and a prototypical Jewish appearance, as if it had been etched by the sculptor Antokolsky.
R' Lipa, the owner of a mill in our area, served his God with love and devotion. Although he was dedicated to providing for his large family and to the words of Heaven, he also found time for the needs of the congregation and for charity, which he gave with devotion and self-sacrifice in order to serve his Creator.
Among the Kremenetsers living with us here are some who remember Simchat Torah in the Hasidic synagogue well. Those who never saw R' Lipa's and his sons' excitement and joy during the processions never saw joy in his life. Only God knows how he could draw disgruntled elders who carried the yoke of the exile around their necks all year round into the circle and make them dance.
His sons followed in his footsteps, but according to the needs of the times. They were active in the Zionist movement. Three of them fought on different fronts in the czar's army during World War I and returned from the front with their guns in their hands. They knew how to preserve their weapons for the command that came not much later, when the civil war broke out.
When he was 18 years old, Avshalom's father, Shmuel, took hold of a gun and was never separated from it all through those days of crisis. He was a member of the self-defense unit in the town, and since he often traveled for his father's business and happened upon towns in the area during times of trouble, he would help the young residents of the town drive the rioters away. That is what happened in Yampoli, Teofipol (Chan), Bilotserkov, and elsewhere. In Israel, he was a Haganah activist in his place of residence.
Shmuel arrived in the Land with the fourth immigration. In the Land, he was a farm worker. With his wife, Chana, he set up house first in Petach Tikva and then in Nachalat Yitschak. Both of them endured the hardships that this type of worker endured in the Land. But their home was always open to their fellow townspeople and residents. They would offer a warm welcome and would sometimes help in times of trouble. That is the home in which Avshalom was brought up.
Ya'al's grandfather, Sima Kremenchugski's father, was one of the town's young intellectuals whose whole life was Zionism. I can't remember a single Zionist function or meeting of the Organization, committee, or fundraiser for the national funds and Tarbut that Kremenchugski did not participate in. And he did this out of complete faith in the ideal of the national renaissance.
Kremenchugski took part in the mighty struggle of the Zionist leaders in town against Polish authorities who constantly conspired to erode the rights of Jews. He was an unknown soldier of the state that was to be, which became this state.
Naturally, in this home, the children grew up with a spirit of nationalism and progress. A straight line leads from that home to the Youth Guard clubhouse in Kremenets, and from there to Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, among whose members are Sima Kremenchugski and her husband, Yizhar Yaron.
In his youth, Yizhar, a native of Israel, belonged to the Legion movement, and from there he joined the Youth Guard. He worked as a survey engineer for the Jewish National Fund. But he discovered that his purpose in life lay in composing music. He composed several folk tunes and a children's operetta. Today he organizes the musical activities of Hakibbutz Ha'artsi. Yizhar and Sima are at peace with the path they have chosen and realized. And it is in that environment that Ya'al grew up.
In 2 Samuel 19, we read:
David went up to a room above the gatehouse and cried. As he walked, he said: Avshalom, my son Avshalom, my son, who would allow me to die rather than you? Victory was changed to mourning for the entire nation on that day. For on that day the nation heard and said, the king is saddened about his son. The nation came to the town surreptitiously as would a nation that was ashamed as it escaped from war.
This description captures what we felt as we heard the cries of our war victims' relatives, each in his own neighborhood. The happiness of the victory and salvation was overcome by grief, yet it is better that we felt this way. . . .
We owe you a great service, parents of these sons. And the least we could do is not to forget them, and in every minute of quiet and peacefulness in our residences, every moment of pleasure at the sites of our land and the smiles of our children remember that they made all this possible with their young, dear lives.
You all know about the Six-Day War, in which Israel fought with enemies on all sides, battled, and achieved a shining victory. We had no choice other than to win. Otherwise, the enemy would have destroyed the State of Israel and perpetrated a physical destruction of the Jews in the land. Thus, the nation rose as one person, the soldier on the front and the citizen at the rear, handing the enemy a resounding defeat and widening the borders of the Land. Now the State of Israel is in the midst of a strong national struggle so that political considerations will not steal the fruits of this powerful military victory. Our representatives fight this battle with determination, and we pray that God will make them succeed.
In these heady times, we turn to you, the people of Kremenets in the Diaspora, calling you with one word:
Come [to Israel]!
We, the 400 families who are descendants of Kremenets in the Land, precede you in coming here, but it is only by chance that some came East and others went West. We believe that there is only one final destination: the Land of Israel. The time has come for our brothers, the people of Kremenets in the Diaspora, also to go up to the Land of Israel and join our pioneering group. Do not fear, and do not be obstructed by material and other considerations. The State of Israel requires one million additional Jews in the next few years. Conversely, in your land of residence, you have no future as Jews. Even if the Jewish community in the Diaspora is not expected to be physically destroyed, God forbid, cultural destruction is definitely expected. Even now, you as well as we have no common language with your youngest generation, which no longer speaks Yiddish and, with a few exceptions, does not know Hebrew, but rather speaks Spanish in the south and English in the north. Their ties with the Jews are getting weaker; they assimilate into the life of their land of residence, and they even intermarry, and this process will continue and strengthen.
Come, therefore, to the only possible conclusion: go up to the Land. Certainly, this is not easy, and it is not simple to uproot oneself from the land of one's birth and from financial security to wander in a new land. However, Man does not live by bread alone. Therefore, pay attention to the destruction of Diaspora Jewish life that is predicted, gather your strength, and take the path of your predecessors to the Land of Israel. The time has come!
We hope and expect that our call will not be ignored.
With brotherly faithful blessings,
Kremenets Emigrants in Israel
A sharp ring was heard in the house. It was the postman, who joyously proclaimed, A letter from the Soviet Union. The envelope bore a postmark from Kremenets in Russian. It had been 17 years since I had received a letter from there, from my mother a few days before German invasion. And here was a postmark identical to that one, on the same gray envelope.
I opened the envelope with shaking hands. The letter was from Yisrael Mandel, the last Jewish guardian of the wall there.
I present it here it as written, but not in its original language, because it was written in Russian.
Kremenets, February 25, 1967
My dear relative Manus,
Thank God, I'm still alive, but I am already old, and I live my life as old people do. I have two sons. One lives in Rostov, and he is the head accountant there. The second lives in Kishinev and works as a driver, and I live in Kremenets.
Kremenets has changed quite a bit. Your house and all the houses around it were completely destroyed by the bandits. In their place stands a large house with a restaurant in it. A grassy lane passes through the place where our house and the houses connected to it were, with a statue of Lenin in the middle. Of all the houses there previously, only approximately 5 percent remain.
I have never forgotten you, and how could I? We lived so close together, and we are also relatives. Not a day went by when I didn't visit your home.
During the Holocaust, when the German bandits shut us up in the ghetto and tortured us there, we were all together. I managed to escape death. I had already sent my sons away before that. My married daughter was murdered with her mother.
There were 60 people in the house where we used to live. When they brought them to their deaths, I had a chance to escape and join the partisans. I fought in their service until I crossed the front lines and went over to the Soviet side.
Nowadays, I often visit our Jewish cemetery. I often come across your father's tombstone, and I pray there. Then I feel as if he is my father.
I will try to erect a tombstone on the place where our relatives are buried. I pray there and say, God, Full of Compassion.
Recently, I received a package from America. I bought a stone, and in that place, I erected a monument. I brought some stones, and of which I will make asphalt and build a fence. A good deal of money is required for this. I'll try to do the best I can.
Four months ago, I saw the daughter of Rabbi Senderovits in Lvov. Her brother, Mendil, who lives in Kremenets, came with me.
I also received a package of goods. Thanks to all of you.
Regards from my second wife and my children.
Your relative, Yisrael son of Simche
A short time after I received this letter from Mandel, I sent him a letter with pictures of my family, but his reply was delayed for some reason. In the meantime, the Six-Day War broke out, and our connection was completely severed not for long, we hope.
A short time ago, an article was printed in the newspaper Tag Morgen Journal, published in New York. This long article by Y. Shmuelovits, entitled The Graveyard Caretaker, describes at length the work of Yisrael Mandel, who erected a monument on the killing fields of the Jews of Kremenets and fenced in the area (see Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, booklet 1, pp. 23). The article begins with the history of Jewish Kremenets from 1503, conveys Eliezer Barshap and Sanya Kagan's impressions of their visit to the town after the massacre, and after a description of the works of Yisrael Mandel based on the material from Voice of Kremenets Emigrants and Mandel's correspondence of with the Society in New York, the article describes the gist of Rivka Pesis' impressions of her visit to Kremenets in 1966 (see Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, pp. 1213). The author is obviously a qualified journalist, and the article is very moving to the reader. Also included is a picture of the monument, and by its side is Yisrael Mandel.
We can only be amazed that the article doesn't at all mention that its major source is Voice of Kremenets Emigrants and that no mention is made of Mandel's connection with the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants in Israel.
More than four years ago, at the behest of Gidon Hausner, prosecutor in Adolf Eichmann's trial, a movement began among schools in Israel to perpetuate the memory of the communities that were destroyed during the Holocaust. Each school memorializes a particular community. Its students learn about the community's history, lifestyle, and great personages from various written sources and from members of the community in Israel; write essays on this topic; and see themselves as protectors of the memory of the community. This effort, directed by Yad Vashem and the Department of Education, so far has involved 226 elementary and high schools in the perpetuation project, which has commemorated a similar number of communities. In 5728 (19671968), the project is expected to encompass another 180 schools.
Kremenets was honored to learn that its remembrance project would fall to the Kibbutzim College, where the library named for RYBL in memory of the martyrs of Kremenets is located. Gidon Hausner specifically mentioned this in his article in Maariv on December 7, 1967. It was therefore natural that the Kibbutzim College would undertake the perpetuation of the community's memory. Thus, for the last few years on 27 Nisan, Holocaust Remembrance Day, presentations are given to three or four classes of college students, one class after another. The people of Kremenets describe the form of the town before its destruction. The presentation is accompanied by songs, representations of the town, and pictures on the walls of the room, and this communion likely leaves a strong impression. During one of these memorial presentations, Gidon Hausner appeared before the students, which was exceptionally impressive for the perpetuation of the Kremenets community.
Another remarkable act of perpetuation took place this year. On November 23, 1967, a scroll of perpetuation was signed to the Kremenets community in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem at a large and impressive gathering there that included representatives of 170 schools and many representatives of landsmanschaften. The scroll was signed by three students and by the Naomi group for the college administration, and on the other side by the representative of the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants, our member Yehoshue Golberg. The Yad Vashem archivists put the signed scroll into safekeeping. At the same gathering, various schools signed dozens of other scrolls of perpetuation.
The college's impressive effort in the perpetuation project should strengthen our hands to initiate other activities to safeguard the memory of the Kremenets community inside the walls of the educational institution that this community has supported.
Scroll of Perpetuation The Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv in the State of Israel joyously declares on the 20th day of Cheshvan 5722 [October 30, 1961] acceptance of the holy mandate to perpetuate the community of Kremenets (in Poland), which was destroyed during the years of the Holocaust by the Nazi perpetrators and their accomplices. The students of the school, in conjunction with the educational authorities and with the organizations of the community in the Land and the Diaspora, and with the assistance of the National Conference for the Perpetuation of the Communities by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, will do their best to continue the project that has begun to create a permanent memorial of the community's its life and action up to the Holocaust and its suffering, struggle, and end during the era of destruction.
As is well known, the central pillar of our memorial project is the library of Enlightenment literature named for RYBL (R' Yitschak Ber Levinzon of Kremenets), which was founded by Kremenets emigrants next to the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv and officially established on August 14, 1964, the 22nd anniversary of the destruction of the Jews of Kremenets. The purpose of the library is to serve the educational and research needs of the college's teachers and students and anyone interested in researching Enlightenment literature.
During the past few months, the board has dedicated several discussions to the inspection of the library's condition, the consolidation of books, and the need to raise the library to a high aesthetic level. The books that we want are being acquired from four sources: (1) the National Library in Jerusalem supplies us with our choice of its duplicate books. So far, we have collected 325 books; (2) books ordered from old bookstores and collector-enthusiasts. From this source, we have so far collected 200 books; (3) Friends of the RYBL Library in Detroit, United States. With the help of our friend and fellow townsman Zev Shnayder, we have so far acquired approximately 225 books (and several dozen booklets); (4) various domestic and foreign donations, from which we have received about 100 books.
In these ways, we have amassed about 850 books in the RYBL Library so far, as well as 75 duplicate books that will serve for barter.
As for the quality of the books and their appropriateness for the library's mission, on the top level are books that we ordered ourselves, since we chose them; because they were expensive, we have obviously ordered only books that fulfilled the library's mission. These books, which are generally over 100 years old, are very rare (most of them never had second editions) and therefore very expensive. The books that we received almost for free from the National Library in Jerusalem are also quite important and generally match the RYBL Library's mission, since we chose them. As for the other two sources, the donors, not us, chose those books.
From investigating the mass of books, it has become clear that we are missing mostly periodicals from the Enlightenment era: monthlies, quarterlies, weeklies, and other collections. Many authors from the Enlightenment era are not fortunate enough to have their books collected in the manner of the works of . . .; instead, their works are scattered in different anthologies. Hence the importance of introducing what are called periodicals into our library collection. After consulting with friends in Haifa, the board set aside a special fund of I£1,000 for books in this category. Therefore, at the beginning of 1967, we managed to acquire more than 50 books to enrich this branch of the library. Members who are knowledgeable about Enlightenment literature will definitely find it interesting to note that we have collected, among other periodicals, (1) six years of Smolenski's Hashachar, (2) seven years of Hamagid, (3) two years of Gotlover's Haboker Or, (4) five volumes of Kerem-Chemed, (5) two years of Y. H. Shor's Hechalutz, and other collections of this type. These, in addition to the collections that we acquired beforehand, already constitute an impressive piece of that era's literature.
However, even after that, we are still far from achieving our library's full potential from the standpoint of type, quality, and organization of the books. But even in its present state, the researcher will find important material in various areas of Enlightenment literature. Therefore, we recently convened several meetings with the college administration, and it was decided that the library would be open for research and study on specific days and that the college would establish a part-time position to deal intensively with the library, even inventorying, cataloging, etc., just as a public library is organized. From the outside, we promised during those meetings to add to and broaden the collection.
Recently, to this end, we received some funds from members abroad that will allow us to fulfill our pledge. It is notable that even now, before the library has even opened officially to the public, library teachers and students from Bar Ilan University and Tel Aviv University come to us sometimes asking for and even finding material for their studies.
Prize in the Name of Shmuel Shnayder, of Blessed Memory. Our member Zev (Velvel) Shnayder of Detroit established an annual prize several years ago for an essay on a topic involving Enlightenment literature. The prize was named for Shmuel Shnayder, of blessed memory, Zev's father. The prize was announced in 5727 , and the topic chosen by the panel of judges was RYBL and a Problem of Jewish Education. However, for various reasons, the prize did not come to pass, and we can assume that it will be realized next year, 5728 . It is worth mentioning that at the time, we assembled about 25 books from the RYBL Library itself that could serve as material for the abovementioned essay. But as stated, it did not come to fruition and was postponed until this year. However, the panel of judges is expected to choose a different topic.
Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, booklet 1, appeared just before Passover 5727 (1967) and awakened warm echoes between our fellow townspeople in the Land and abroad, both for its contents and its excellent graphic design. Of the 500 copies published, over 300 were sent within the Land, about 125 to friends in Argentina, the United States, and other countries, and the rest to other people and organizations. There is no question that these booklets help connect members in the Land across the organization and strengthen our connection with our fellow townspeople abroad. We see our publication as a successful project, and we expect to continue publishing booklets at regular intervals of appropriate length and with content that will not cause a loss to our organization's coffers.
A few words about the monetary situation. Booklet 1 cost I£745 and brought in I£795, the breakdown being I£275 in payments from abroad, I£200 in donations from within the Land, and I£320 in payments from within the Land. The first two sources of income are obviously onetime only, and our budget needs to be based primarily on the payments of our members in the Land. It is clear that not all our members have paid for booklet 1; more than 100 still owe I£2 apiece. This small amount does not warrant repetitive reminders, mailings, etc., and members are hereby asked to pay what they owe for booklet 1 as well as to pay for booklet 2. As mentioned, this is our primary source for covering expenses, and this effort depends on it.
A Unification Eve service for the martyrs of Kremenets took place on August 15, 1967, after the Tisha B'Av fast, in the Kibbutzim College plaza in Tel Aviv, with this year's service also dedicated to the memory of the children of Kremenets emigrants who fell in the Six-Day War. This time, the content and execution of the memorial service were not conventional, being influenced by joy over the victory. An expression of this was the opening given by our member Mordekhay Ot-Yakar, In the Days of Struggle and Victory. Manus Goldenberg delivered eulogies for and consolation to the bereaved parents of the two sons who fell. Yitschak Portnoy, who directed the gathering, surveyed the situation 25 years after the destruction of Kremenets and inserted in his speech paragraphs from letters of participation received from Polish emigrants from Kremenets in Silesia and Canada. Manus said words of remembrance for the people of Kremenets in the Land and abroad who had died during the year, and his daughter, Lily Feter, read appropriate verses by Natan Alterman, Yitschak Katsnelson, and others.
The memorial ended with the recitation of Kaddish and El Male Rachamim. Also in the program were musical selections played on the saxophone. Audience participation was much greater than usual, with a sense of motivation and high spirits. Many people visited the room containing the RYBL Library, studied the Yizkor book, and leafed through the Kremenets yizkor book; pictures on the wall showed images of Kremenets from the past.
Jewish Warrior's Medal granted to the president of the state. During World War II, about 2 million Jews took up arms and fought the Nazi animals as soldiers in the Allied armies, partisans in the forest, underground fighters, and ghetto rebels. Tens of thousands died in battle or were wounded, but together with the millions of Holocaust martyrs, they paved the way to our freedom and the foundation of the sovereign state of Israel.
Our leaders, with the defense minister at their head, found it worthwhile to highlight the great merit earned by fighting the Nazi oppressor, and at their suggestion, the Knesset through the offices of the defense ministry decided to award every Jewish fighter in the battles of Eastern Europe the Jewish Warrior's Medal.
The Council of Organizations of Partisans and Liberators decided to award the president of the state the Jewish Warrior's Medal.
I had the honor and pleasure of participating in this great ceremony in the president's house in Jerusalem, which I will never forget. When the president passed among the ceremony participants and reached me, he stopped at my side, studied the medals of excellence that adorned my jacket, and asked their meaning. When I told him that our unit was involved in battles from Moscow to Berlin, he was interested in knowing where I came from. I answered that I was from the town of Kremenets and that emigrants from the town had established a memorial project and a library named for RYBL in memory of the martyrs of Kremenets.
The president expressed his appreciation for this unique perpetuation project. Yehoshue Golberg
President of Israel at the Ceremony
Wedding on Mount Scopus. On July 19, 1967, our fellow townsman Avraham Chasid married off his son Nechemya, an enrollee at Hebrew University. The wedding took place on Mount Scopus, which only one and one-half months before had been liberated from the Jordanians. The paratroopers who conquered Jerusalem celebrated their victory on that same night, and the wedding was part of the program, as Nechemya had also been a member of the unit. Approximately 2,000 guests, in and out of uniform, among them the mayor of Jerusalem and other guests, took part in this program and attended the wedding, which was supervised by the army rabbi on the university amphitheater stage. With the breaking of the cup, as per tradition, the army presented the young couple with a 21-gun salute, and General Uzi Narkis, the conqueror of Jerusalem, blessed the bride and groom. The refreshments were fit for a king. The audience and the wedding guests stayed on Mount Scopus until late at night, with liberated Jerusalem illuminated with colored lights at their feet. Close to midnight, the crowd dispersed in vehicles provided by the army, and everyone returned home.
This was an unforgettable experience and a source of pride for the people of Kremenets, since the first wedding on liberated Mount Scopus involved a townsman. Along with the citizens of our town who came to the event, we also send the young couple and their parents congratulations.
Manus Goldenberg and Yitschak Rokhel
During the Six-Day War among other things we strengthened the connection between the Kremenets organizations in Argentina and the United States and us. The day the war broke out, we had already received a telegram of encouragement from our member Yitschak Vakman in New York, and after that, letters of encouragement came almost daily. Close to the end of the war, Vakman arrived in the Land for a visit of several weeks. A heartfelt welcome was arranged for him in Yitschak Rokhel's home. When he returned to New York, our fellow townspeople came to a gathering in which Vakman conveyed his impressions of the Land and eulogies were presented for two fallen soldiers who were Kremenetsers. Also participating in the gathering were our members Simcha Ginosar of Jerusalem and Aba Kelner of Ramat Gan, who were then in New York. At this opportunity, $200 was raised for the needs of the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants in Israel. The chairman of the Society of Kremenets Emigrants in New York is now Mr. Emanuel Brunfeld.
The landsmanschaft in Argentina also maintained communication with us through stimulating letters during the war and afterward, with the enthusiastic help of the organization's secretary, member Mordekhay Katz. The personal letters of our members Manus Goldenberg and Yitschak Rokhel were read in assemblies of fellow townspeople in Buenos Aires and published in local Yiddish newspapers; the paragraphs in the newspapers were sent to us. During one of the assemblies, $500 was collected for the memorial project in the Land. The new board of the organization in Argentina includes the following members: Chayim Mordish chairman, Mordekhay Katz secretary, Shlome Nudel treasurer, Yitschak Shpak account manager, Mrs. Tsipa Katz membership chair.
Three young people, children of Kremenets emigrants in Argentina, came to the Land as volunteers when the battles began and are still in the Land in various kibbutzim.
Equal measures of worry and happiness also came from individual members in other lands, among them Aharon Gilernt of Italy, Pesach Gorenshteyn of Paris, Max Desser of Canada, and others.
Funds received from abroad. During the past few months, we have received certain sums from the Kremenets organizations abroad and assorted friends of Kremenets emigrants partly for predefined purposes and partly for the general memorial project. Here are the specific amounts:
|Kremenets organization in Argentina||$500|
|Kremenets organization in New York||$200|
|Yitschak Vakman, New York||$100 for support services|
|Dr. Zev Chasid, Berkeley, United States||$50|
|Mrs. Hodya Chachki, Chicago||$25|
|Mrs. Mandelshtam Penech, California||$50|
|Zev Shnayder, Detroit, United States||$130 for a prize for the best
essay on Enlightenment literature
|Malinski family, Detroit, on their visit to the Land||$33|
These funds will allow expansion of the organization's activities, and we send our heartfelt thanks to the donors.
In addition, various funds were received for booklet 1 of Voice of Kremenets Emigrants.
Visit with fellow townspeople from Argentina and Russia. A number of Kremenetsers had a very nice experience at a meeting that we arranged for guests from Argentina and the Soviet Union on the memorial project in the RYBL Library. We all sat around the long table surrounded by the wall adorned with the crowded alleyways and mountain vistas of Kremenets in winter and summer, one next to the other.
Yisrael Sha'ar, son of the tailor from Poltava, who came from the Soviet Union as a tourist, told us of his visit to Kremenets with Rivka Pesis. We included her description of the visit in Voice of Kremenets Emigrants, booklet 1, and he added a few particulars to her words. His lively and vivid account was full of details of meetings with Christian acquaintances whom we remember well. Nothing that happened to the Jews of Kremenets has touched their hearts. They remain completely indifferent to their fate other than, obviously, that of their property. The gist is that it is a wonder to them that any Jewish Kremenetsers survived. From all you see on the wall, only the mountains and the churches remain, Yisrael said as he finished his sad story. . .
Completely different was our discussion with the guests from Argentina. The four of them, Yisrael Roykh and his wife, Rivka (née Shpigl), as well as Yitschak Shpak and his wife, Ester (Rivka's sister), are among the most active members of the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants in Buenos Aires. From their mouths, we heard about the organization's many activities. They sent many warm regards and spoke of acquaintances and friends. We exchanged pleasant memories from our shared youth in Kremenets before World War II, and they promised to cooperate in the foundation and continuation of our memorial project.
It is worthwhile to take this opportunity to mention something interesting: in the past few years, men who married women from Kremenets and some who studied or lived there temporarily have joined our organizations in the Land and abroad. A few of them devote themselves with all their might to organizational activities. Among them are Yitschak Shpak and others, here and there.
We parted from the Argentineans at a heartfelt gathering at Shmuel Feldman's home in Rishon Letsion a few days before the war broke out.
Understandably, Yisrael Sha'ar cut short his visit before we could hear the continuation of his interesting story.
The elder daughter of our member Zev Shnayder of Detroit, Tova Malinski, visited the Land this past October and November with her husband, and she met with several friends who are Kremenets emigrants, Shnayder family members, and others. She also visited the RYBL Library, with our member Taytelman as guide, and she was very impressed by the project and the spirit of the town of Kremenets that existed in the library room. She received an extensive Jewish education and speaks literary Yiddish, and she has a spiritual link with her father's birthplace.
Polish Emigrants from Kremenets Write . . .
During the great national migration after World War II, tens of thousands of Poles immigrated to Lower Silesia from areas in eastern Poland annexed by Russia, including the town of Kremenets. A few hundred Polish families then transferred from Kremenets to the village of Rodna near Lignits, and every year on August 14, the priest there arranges a memorial prayer in the Catholic Church for the souls of the murdered Jews of Kremenets. Among these Kremenets emigrants in Rodna is the Pole Stanislave Achrumovits (Stasya), who worked as an assistant in the home of Dr. Danishevski, the dentist, for 14 or 15 years before the war. This Stasya maintains a correspondence with the elder Danishevski daughter, Mira Golberg (Yehoshue Golberg's wife, who now lives in Tel Aviv), and she tells her annually about the prayer service arranged in Rodna on Memorial Day. The following is a paragraph from her letter of August 1, 1967.
I'm very distressed about your fate because of the war that has just broken out. I pray daily for your peace and the peace of the children. Remember, Mira, that Memorial Day for the appearance is coming. . . .
Please send regards to Budik (i.e., Binyamin Margalit of Tel Aviv, whose parents owned a pharmacy in Kremenets). If I could, I would send you something that you cannot get in your land. If there is a good harvest of mushrooms this year, I will gladly send you some.
You should all be healthy, and send regards to all the Kremenetsers who knew and remember me.
And there are also Poles from Kremenets in Canada, among them Tamara Umelusik, and she also corresponds with her friends in Israel. The following is a paragraph from her last letter to Dvora Shnayder-Stish in Ramat Gan.
Fate brought us to Canada after the war. We meet and speak about Kremenets and remember those fearful days, when one madman killed millions of innocent people. And now we hear that a new war involving you has broken out, and we are very concerned about your condition. May God protect you, and protect you from all evil. During the first days of the war, I sent you a small package, and not only did I spend several dollars, but other friends from Kremenets whom I work with also contributed their part. However, the package is not very large, but we wanted you, the daughters of the Shnayder family, of blessed memory, to know that in faraway America someone is thinking about you and wishing you peace and everything good. It is impossible to forget your parents. I asked you to send us a picture. Your sister Sonya so much resembles your mother, and you, Dvora, resemble your father. . . . The Velosevits family, which lived next to your store, is also here in Canada. I work in a dress factory and can buy dresses here cheaply. Please tell me the size and color you would like, and I will send some to you.
I wish you all the best and peace,
Manus Goldenberg and Yitschak Rokhel
The brothers Nachman and Leyb Biberman, of blessed memory. Who of Kremenets' Zionist youth of does not remember the Biberman family's large garden at the top of Slovatski Street, near the High School of Commerce? All the Young Zionist and Pioneer activities were centered on that garden. And the entire family was Zionist. The oldest son, Moshe, the first pioneer from Kremenets, even before the Pioneer movement, came up to the Land in 1912. The second son, Yisrael, was secretary of the Organization for many years and librarian of the Zionist library. Two of the sons, Avraham and Yitschak, went up to the Land with the first group of pioneers in 1921. After them came the rest of the brothers and sisters, and the mother, Beyla, came last (the family patriarch, Shimon, died in Kremenets from complications of surgery).
And now two young brothers in Tel Aviv have passed away within several days of each other: Nachman, on the eve of Passover 1967, and Leyb, also known as Arye Alon, on the first intermediate day of Passover. Nachman, born in 1902, joined Pioneer at an early age, was sent to the Grokhov farm near Warsaw for training, went up to the Land in 1923, and was accepted as a member of the builders' kibbutz, Bazelet, in Tiberias, at which his two older brothers also worked. From there he went to Jerusalem, where he worked as a plasterer, learned mosaics, and went to Tel Aviv as a member of the mosaic artisans group. Because of illness and surgery, he was forced to stop, and for his last 10 years, he worked in the Nesher factory in Ramla as chief accountant.
At the end, his disease took control, and he died in pain. He left a wife, a married daughter (his son-in-law is Lieutenant General Peled of the armored corps), and a granddaughter. After his death, a grandson was named after him.
The younger of the brothers, Leyb (he changed his name to Arye Alon), was born in 1907, came up to the Land in 1926, worked in Jerusalem building the university, and in 1933 went to Kfar Azar as one of the first settlers. From there he went to Givat Shmuel near Haifa, working in various places building British military camps. After completion of this work, he was employed in the financial department of the electricians' union. He received the nickname Stachanovits wherever he worked. He did not listen to his doctors' and family's exhortations, neglected his own health, and died of a broken heart on returning from his brother Nachman's funeral. He left a wife and son.
This is the story of the life and death of the two young Biberman brothers, who were quite literally among the builders of the Land. They gave all their strength to developing the land and were conquered in the end. May their memory be blessed.
Efraim Teper died suddenly this past year. The last time we saw him was at a bar mitzvah celebration, and many other Kremenetsers were there. He was joking as usual and was in very high spirits.
His sudden death surprised us all. With his death, another branch of the Kremenets tree in this land has been uprooted.
Efraim was a member of the Teper family, who were all manual laborers from their youth and were active at every level of youth activities in our town.
He came to the Land of Israel in 1931 and worked here as a construction worker. He quickly advanced in the field and was made a foreman. In this capacity, he worked for a number of years on the project to build the United Kibbutz. Later, he became a contractor.
He was 58 when he died. He left a wife, and a daughter from his first marriage, to Sheyvka Katz.
Peace to his dust!
Avraham Fisherman. With his death, we lost one of the last of the Mohicans of our town who were privileged to escape their brothers' fate in Kremenets.
Fisherman belonged to a generation that in its youth lived as the town's enlightened ones and dreamed of salvation. He understood that the dream needed to be realized through very prosaic methods. He was attracted to the Zionist program and would go door-to-door for contributions to the national funds. He suffered significant disappointments and cruelties in this work, but neither he nor his compatriots were dissuaded by them. For many years, he stood guard as in obedient soldier and did everything the movement requested of him. He was a perpetual member of the local Zionist council. He not only spoke well but also acted well. Forty years ago, when he was already no youngster, he liquidated his soap factory in Kremenets and came up to the land of Israel with his family. He opened a small soap factory here and was a pioneer of this industry in the Land.
Fisherman was a faithful member of our organization, and, with his wife and children, may their lives be long, did not skip a single meeting or memorial service. Even in the past few years, when he was already quite weak, he would get up to say Kaddish. He missed only the most recent memorial service, and we knew his time was near. Indeed, it was not long before he passed away, in good spirits. He left a wife, two daughters, and grandchildren.
Gone but not forgotten.
Ester Fidel-Kinori, née Hudis. The community of Kremenetsers in Kibbutz Yagur has lost one of its great members, Ester Fidel-Kinori, née Hudis. We present the following memorial from Meshek Yagur Daily.
Our member Ester Fidel-Kinori was born in 1910 in Kremenets, Poland, to her parents Chaya and Yitschak Hudis. Theirs was a household of workers, and Ester knew the taste of work even at a young age.
She was a member of Pioneer for a few years, and in 1936 she came up to the Land with her life partner, Chayim Fidel-Kinori, going from the ship to Yagur and finding her home there.
In her first years at the farm, Ester worked in agriculture, whether baling hay or doing other work in the fields, especially in the vineyard. She never tired of her work and always worked beyond her capacity. She was also blessed with gifted hands, and she was a worker in the full sense of the word.
In 1941, Ester had a heart attack, and for the rest of her life, she was plagued by illness and great suffering. However, she knew how to overcome anything. A powerful will to live beat within her, and she never surrendered to the discomfort that often came upon her. Not infrequently, her doctors were amazed by her liveliness. Ester knew full well that her illness was severe, yet she went to great lengths not to allow her illness to overcome her. When she had even a minimal remission, she returned to being lively, full of life, and exuberant.
Ester always searched for the good and nice in people. She was kindhearted and of noble spirit, and was ready to help anyone who needed assistance or guidance. The fate of her fellows was a great concern to her.
She dedicated herself to her family with all her spirit and strength; her self-sacrifice was unlimited.
Shalom to her dust!
Chana Keselman was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident and died shortly thereafter on March 16, 1967, after a life full of both days and troubles.
Chana was a valiant woman in all ways, being a widow with four children who took care of her own affairs in Kremenets.
Before the outbreak of World War II, she traveled to America to see her eldest son. She came to the Land in 1960, after the son's death. Here she established her household and lived there alone. Those of our townspeople who visited her made use of her clear judgment despite her advanced age, and they would take pleasure in seeing her spotless house and wonderful hospitality.
Over her long, trouble-filled journey, Chana lost all her children. Her son Sunya died a hero's death in the Spanish War (see Pinkas Kremenets, page 228). The other son and daughter were killed in the Holocaust in Poland, and she, the mother, was bereft. She continued to live until disaster struck her, too.
Anyone who hears the biography of Chana Keselman cannot but think of the tragic biography of Tehilah, the protagonist of the story of that name by S. I. Agnon. The resemblance between the two is amazing. She was 85 years old at her death; may her memory be blessed.
Yakov Raykhman of Tel Yosef. He was born in Kremenets on 23 Kislev 5756  and died in Tel Yosef on 13 Tishri 5728 (1967), at the age of nearly 72 years. And between these two dates is another defining one: on February 20, 1921, he came up to the Land with the first group of pioneers from Kremenets. With them, he joined the Yosef Trumpeldor battalion of the Rosh HaAyin Brigade. With the establishment of Kibbutz Tel Yosef, he became one of the first settlers, living and working there until his last day.
He grew up in a traditional family. His grandfather (his mother's father) was a rabbi in the town of Teofipol (i.e., Tshan), and his father was a flour merchant with the nickname Moshe dem Rav's (the rabbi's son-in-law). The two sons, Yakov and Tsvi (i.e., Grisha) came up to the Land; their sister, Sima, a Hebrew kindergarten teacher by trade, did not succeed in coming and was murdered by the Nazis. In Kremenets, Raykhman was one of the officers of the Organization and a regular in the Zionist Club, and he quickly joined the Pioneer branch. Just before he came, he called to the young Manus Goldenberg and presented him with an ethical will to preserve the embers and take care of the next generation.
In the Land, Yakov did not continue his ties with the people of Kremenets, except those in Tel Yosef, because of his complete involvement in building the farm. Those of us who occasionally visited Tel Yosef could manage only short interviews with him, for he was always busy, and in his last years, he was frequently ill. It is therefore appropriate for the members of Tel Yosef themselves to tell about him. We present several paragraphs from the pamphlet published on the 30th day after his death:
We have lost a member who was a beacon of trustworthiness and dedication to work, our farm, and the movement. Raykhman was a faithful and typical example of the pioneer generation. They came to us to build up the land and revolutionize the Jewish youth's way of thinking, and this was the generation of its fruition. There was no limit to his dedication to the issue: to build the new land and new and more righteous lives the life of the kibbutz. This burned in his bones and was etched in his deepest memory.
Raykhman was one of the early risers. Like a committed Jew who wakes up early to worship his Creator, Raykhman hurried to wake up early to work with reverence and supplication even in those years when he already was accustomed to illness and old age. . . . Work and agriculture were the two pillars of fire that guided Yakov in his lifetime. He grounded himself on these throughout the turmoil of his life. The dream of Zionist youth in exile, who saw the plow as the essence of redemption and longingly sang my wealth I inherited from my plow. . . . Yakov conquered everything with a storm of great enthusiasm that matched his heated and stormy temperament. He lived by the dictum if you grab the most, you succeed.
In his last few years, Yakov was a regular in the synagogue, dedicating himself wholeheartedly. After the death of his son Giora, he would return from work each day and go directly to the synagogue to say Kaddish. In the circumstances of kibbutz life, not everyone had the strength to return to a traditional lifestyle. Raykhman had this strength.
A few years ago, his brother Grisha (Hershel) died, and this left an imprint. And then, on the day the (Six-Day) War broke out, his dearest son Giora's voice was cut off: his son, the farmer, the officer, the beloved Giora who was his father's hope, whom his father saw as continuing on his path.
Giora's death completely devastated him. He no longer stood tall; he was bowed, and he felt the onus of grief and pain. . . . With Yakov's death, we lose from our circle one of those who was present at the creation.
Woe for the loss that will never be found.
Aharon Golifman. This year, Aharon Golifman died in Buenos Aires. In his youth, he was one of the most popular in his age group, someone about whom it can be said, His hand was in everything, and everything involved him. He comported himself with great humor and was always happy. In the Jewish Primary School, he was one of those whom Principal Goldfarb prophesied would not die a natural death. And alas, nearly all of them fulfilled the prophecy: some of them found an outlet for their excessive energy and adventurous spirit in the Red Army during the Civil War. They never returned to Kremenets. Some were killed in the battles with the White Russians, and some rose to greatness among them.
Aharon immigrated to Argentina in the 1920s, settled there, married, and, being childless, adopted a son. He corresponded with relatives and friends in the Land. In one of his letters to me, he wrote that he was active in our townspeople's organization and wanted to send his adopted son to be educated in Israel. He was stopped by death at age 69. He was preceded in death by his two younger brothers, Eliezer and David, also in Buenos Aires.
In Winnipeg, Canada, two of our fellow townspeople died suddenly of heart attacks: Asher Desser and Mendil Fridel.
Asher Desser was the brother of Max Desser, who remains in close contact with us, witnessing everything that goes on in our organization. All of our contact with our fellow townspeople in Canada goes through him, and with his influence, they respond to every call.
Asher also was a dedicated trustee of Kremenets emigrants. At the end of World War II, he did a great deal for our fellow townspeople who were sent to the camps and dedicated himself heart and soul to projects on their behalf. Until very recently, he was very much involved in everything that transpired with our townspeople in Canada and Israel and donated to our memorial project here. Like all the members of the Desser family, he had great energy as well as a talent for artisanship and fine handiwork. He owned a jewelry store.
Mendil Fridel immigrated to Canada with his entire family at the beginning of the 1920s. He had hard days there, as did other Kremenetsers, and even in the later years, he worked hard at his trade. He is also counted among those from the town who kept the old house in his heart, where in his youth he excelled as a student and was beloved by his friends. In Winnipeg, he kept close connections to Kremenetsers and donated to every landsmanschaft project.
And Max Desser, who is still living, correctly stated when he summed up the news of these two deaths: a face from the shtetl is worth a whole village. . . .
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