Obituaries on Individuals and Families

(Part 1)

Translated by Shmuel Kehati

[Page 449]

Chaim Brakasch (Buenos Aires)

Shlomo Scheinberg

pul452a.jpg [7 KB] A telegraphic message from Russia brought the sad news of the death of the Yiddish writer Shlomo Scheinberg.

Shlomo Scheinberg, originally from Poland, was living as a refugee in Russia. Apparently, he was lucky to escape from the Nazis to safety in Russia; however, there he met his unfortunate death.

Actually, Shlomo Scheinberg became more famous as a translator than a writer. He started his literary career writing a song book called "Lyric Songs." He also published a few stories and a play.

At one time he belonged to a group of young writers who gathered around Y. M. Weissenberger. He worked for various newspapers and journals, including the journal "For the Old and Young," which was once published in Buenos Aires. Later, he devoted himself to work on translations and produced very thorough and accurate results, sometimes even better than the original work. In time he achieved very important results.

Shlomo Scheinberg only translated from Russian. He felt especially attached to and influenced by Russian literature. He was educated in Russian-- more precisely, he was self-taught, and despite being born and raised in the town of Pulawy along the Vistula (Pol. Wisla) River in Poland, he felt more comfortable speaking Russian than Polish. Shlomo Scheinberg possessed a rich knowledge of basic Yiddish. His translations were serious, precise and accurate. He felt this was his destiny. He was very resourceful and energetic in his work, which he carried out quietly with great perseverance. He worked calmly and quietly, which gave him the power to express himself. Therefore, he sought out great works, not only in quality, but in volume, as well. He translated Tolstoy‘s "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina," "And Quiet Flows the Don" by Sholokhov, and others. In a letter to this author, Shlomo Scheinberg once referred to his work, saying: "Only the perspective of a major work will create enthusiasm and provide the energy for more work. I know this from my own experience. That is how I felt when I concluded the translation of "War and Peace."

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Not noticing the hard conditions in which he often found himself, and his difficult, relentless work in poor, shabby habitations, he nevertheless labored tirelessly through his translations. Shlomo Scheinberg never tired of making plans to publish great works of translations. This was his main goal. Appearing relaxed and calm from the outside, he passionately and enthusiastically worked on his translations.

For many years Shlomo Scheinberg was the literary leader in the publishing house of Yatschkowski and Bsczaza in Warsaw. In 1927 he formed "The Strength Publishing Co-op," which he managed in order to publish translations of great literature.

Therefore, he felt luckier when he established (around 1934) his next publishing house, which was bigger and better. Shlomo Scheinberg called it "The International Yiddish Library." The idea behind this was to publish inexpensive, quality books-- original Yiddish works and translations, so that everyone, even the less fortunate Yiddish reader, could read and enjoy Yiddish literature. For a few years it proved to be a success, and "The International Yiddish Library" published many works of Yiddish writers and quality Yiddish translations of world classics. Scheinberg made sure thousands of copies were published. The publisher’s efforts were greatly recognized by the Yiddish Cultural Society and he was twice rewarded by the Warsaw "Pen Club" for best translations, published by "The International Yiddish Library".

Shlomo Scheinberg was good-natured, a real friend, even-tempered and easygoing. The author of "Lyric Songs" had a young and somewhat baby face. He was always smiling, he had a friendly, loving smile, andhe was slightly tanned as though he had just stepped in from the sun. Literature jealousy, in the negative sense of the word, was unknown to him. On the contrary, he was always very happy of a friend’s success, and was always friendly towards the translators who worked for him, thus inspiring them to be committed to their work.

[Page 451]

Shlomo Scheinberg planned a trip to Argentina, not to settle there, but only to distribute the books he published. In a letter to this author he asks: "…What kind of country and what sort of people live there? Would a Jew, like me, who brings with him a load of books, as you can see, and who published a considerable number of good books which were accepted by Literary critics, succeed there?"

This was written in December, 1937: As usual, Shlomo Scheinberg had many plans at that time. Today, just half a decade later, we stand from afar, from the yesterday that disappeared, to write about his untimely death!

"There was a man, but he is no longer" – these wonderful words of Chaim N. Bialik spring to mind. "There was a man, but he is no longer" – simple words, but very meaningful in their simplicity: their simplicity and deep meaning express deep sorrow over his tragic, untimely death.

He was a pleasant man, a real ‘mentch’ – Shlomo Scheinberg – now he’s gone!

[Page 452]

Samuel Melman

Samuel Melman’s parents; a carton worker from Poland and his wife, lived in Paris for three years where he was born on April 16th ,1925. In 1943 when he was 17 years of age, he joined the Resistance, in Lyon.

In 1944, under the name Jean Douyes, he took part in the general campaign of "Le Maquis du Vercors resistance". We will not elaborate on the history of Vercors, since this tragedy is very well known.

On August 5th,1944 he was arrested and badly tortured before he was blinded by the Nazis and shot, together with 37 other Partisans, on August 11th. One friend who was arrested with him in Grenoble, told about the courage of this young hero. When he was no longer able to write, he still marked a line every day.

Three months later a pile of human corpses was found in Madery, among them, most likely, were the mutilated and tortured bodies of the martyred fighters.

Samuel Tischelman

pul452b.jpg [7 KB] Samuel Tischelman was one of the first Resistance Fighters and he paid with his life, for being on the front line.

He was born in Pulawy (Poland) shortly after the First World War. His father was a worker; a hat maker.

Samuel Tischelman was only three years old when his father escaped from the terrible conditions that existed during the time of Pilsodski’s regime, and emigrated to France. He attended public school like all the other children his age, and Samuel totally dedicated himself to his studies.

[Page 453]

During holidays he attended an enrichment school. His parents were ready to make every sacrifice necessary to ensure their son would be able to continue his studies. However, he resisted because he was certain he needed to learn a trade. This did not prevent him from continuing to read a lot and participate in the Youth Movement, together with his best friend, Eli Wallach.

When France, which he loved so much, was occupied in 1940, by the Nazis, he didn’t stop his activities, just changed form – to the form of the A. S.

The A. S. was a special organization of the Communist Party established in 1940 to fight the occupation, by sabotaging the railroads and the military industry. This organization established the groundwork for the glorious sharpshooters’ units and Partisans.

The first stages were very tough. There was a shortage of rifles. On Sundays, pretending to go for a bicycle ride, the young boys delivered illegal literature. That is what happened one Sunday in 1941, when four young boys saw a hole in the ground from which dynamite had been taken. They immediately organized a group, covered the guard’s head with a bag, and obtained their first 25 kilograms of dynamite. About an hour later, four young boys rode their bicycles through the streets of Paris carrying the material, from which they produced their first bombs. They were: Pierre Georges, who was later known as Colonel Fabien; Charles Volmark, Eli Wallach, and Samuel Tischelman.

With a lack of fear, and much courage, the resistance movement was careless. In early August 1941, they held a demonstration through the wide Republic Boulevard to Porte Saint Martin. Samuel marched at the head of the demonstration holding a sign: "Stop the Occupation. Long live, free and independent France! Get your hands off the Red organizations". A truck of German soldiers with machine guns, passed by and opened fire on the demonstrators, injuring Samuel, who was taken away by the Gestapo.

[Page 454]

A young worker, Henry Gatre, joined him in his fate. Using yellow posters with a black frame, the Nazis, in their unique way, announced to the residents of Paris that the Jews, Tischelman and Gatre, were shot August 19th.

The blood of a Parisian metal worker and a young Jewish immigrant mixed, to emphasize that the fight for a Free France was for the entire population, holy and with out discrimination.

However, the sacrifice of Samuel Tischelman, the first Jewish fighter who paid with his life for his love of this new homeland, gave the signal to start the armed battle.

Four days after the execution, his twenty two year old friend, Pierre Georges, placed a bomb in Barbes Metro Station, that killed a German Naval officer.

It is safe to assume that had he lived, Samuel would have joined his friend that day. What is certain is that after he killed the German, he fled to the rendezvous, under the Sacre Coeur Church. His first words to his friends were: "I avenged Titi".
Titi was the nickname given, by his friends, to the young man who sacrificed his life as a hero, and who wrote in his last letter to his parents, with love and affection:

"My dear parents and my dear sister:

These will probably be the last words that I write: my last thoughts are directed at you. If I caused you any trouble during my life, I beg your forgiveness, although I am sure you already have. I want to ask you one thing which I know you will not refuse, since this is my last wish. Take good care of my sister Flare and comfort her so that she will become a really, good girl, worthy of the special parents that you are, and that you have always been. Do not forget that you are the only people Flare has in this world. Give her all the love that you had for me. Take care of your health so that you will not become sick…"

[Page 455]

Yoseph Y. Levine

pul452c.jpg [8 KB] We could have used a poetic form to describe the necrology of our landsman, who is known as Yoseph Y. Levine; however, the tragedy is so great and cruel that there is no need to do this.

Deep sorrow comes across better in plain words than in poetic language.

The magnificent life of a young Jewish lad, his fight and struggle to survive Hitler’s concentration camp. His effort to outgrow his natural Menchkeit and warm Jewishness.

A respected American citizen, who became a free spirit to his dear mother, his beloved sister, his fellow Americans and his country – America, it is all very clear.

This is a necrology – written with warm, human blood and tears. Here are some parts of the official necrology:

"Yoseph Y. Levine Z"L died unexpectedly at age thirty, on Friday November 2nd in Los Angeles, California. Buried Sunday, November 4th at Hillside Memorial Cemetery".

Yoseph Y. Levine came to America from Poland in 1949. He graduated from Santa Barbara University where he was President of the National Social Fraternity "Sigma Taw Garted" , and President of the Collegiate Council of the United Nations.

[ Page 456]

He was awarded a scholarship by the United Nations and this brought him to New York. He studied Law at The Cleveland Law School and passed the bar exams in California. Yoseph Y. Levine opened a Law practice and office on 8665 Whilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

We wish to add: Yoseph Y. Levine was born in the town of Pulawy, the son of Gittel and Yakov-Fishel Levine. His youth was spent with his family living through the hell of the Nazi Concentration Camps in Demblin, Tschenstochau and Buchenwalde. As a young boy, the future lawyer saw that it was possible to kill and slaughter Jewish life, Jewish families and the Jewish nation. He dreamed he would become a lawyer, one day and he would demand justice from God. He witnessed with his own eyes how his father, along with thousands of other Jews, were taken and murdered by the Nazis. While the Nazis loudly played Wagner’s music, a million Jewish children cried out their last breath. He could hardly hear his father’s last words: "Yoseph, my son, be strong and hide out. One German told me that tonight the Jewish children will be killed. Save yourself, my son! – so at least one will survive after me, since your mother and two sisters were already burned!".

A Father’s prayer to his son, entered Yoseph’s bones, as a major decree. "Save yourself , my son!". And he did save himself, along with his mother and two sisters. Yoseph stayed alive to anger the ruthless Germans. He would study and become a lawyer. He would fight for the benefit of the weak and poor people. He would ask people and God "Why?", and demand justice from the creator of the world.

Those who originated from our beloved town are gathered, in deep grief to mourn the passing of Yoseph, together with his broken mother, the gentle and courageous Gittel Levine: together with his two sisters, and his young widow, Marsha, we recall Yoseph Levine’s name along with millions of other Jewish martyrs.

[Page 457]

Mordechai Goldshtein

pul452d.jpg [8 KB] Mordechai, son of Machla and Yitschak Goldshtein, was born in 1906 in the town, Pulawy. He spent his first years in his home town, where he acquired his formal education and went on to study a profession in Warsaw.

In 1921 he left Poland with his father, who was a Zionist activist in his town, and immigrated to Erertz Israel. In Israel, Mordechai Z"L joined the leftist youth movement and took an active role in the Metal Workers’ Union.

In 1926 he left the country for Europe, where he studied in Luxembourg, Belgium and France. In 1931 he returned to Poland, where he enlisted in the Polish Army. He served in the Gendarme unit of Marshal Pilsodski, where he excelled as a marksman. He was decorated twice and appeared, together with two other Gendarmes, in front of the Marshal, on Christmas, which was the unit’s day. Following his release from the army, he found a job and continued to take an active part in the leftist workers’ union.

With the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, coupled with the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mordechai Z"L became a Zionist and decided to emigrate, for the second time, to Eretz Israel. His parents sent him "A Request Form" and in January 1937 he arrived, with his family, on the shores of Eretz Israel. Here he suffered a great disappointment. The Mandate Authorities did not approve his Immigration Certificate and he was sent back to Europe on the same boat he had arrived on. He stayed for half a year in Yugoslavia, and following his family’s intervention, he finally made it to the country, for the third time.

Upon his arrival, he was confronted with the tragic news that his father had been hit and killed by a car, on his way from Tel-Aviv, to greet him at the port. The loss of his father affected him terribly, and it was a long time before he recovered from this.

Immediately upon his arrival, for the second/third time he joined the Hagana military ranks as a front line fighter. During his eleven years in the country, he devoted even holidays and vacations, to further military training till he reached the rank of Regional Officer. During the period between November 19th,1947 until his death, he did not rest. He dedicated his days and nights to the Hagana. He fell, while on duty, on the fifth day of Shevat, 5708 (January 17th, 1948). May his memory be blessed.

[Page 458]

Simcha Tantsman

pul452e.jpg [8 KB] Born in Pulawy, in 1929. In 1934 he arrived with his parents, Moshe and Sarah (Born Shnoremacher) Tantsman to Eretz-Israel (then Palestine).

He finished school and started working. He continued his education in night school and joined the Youth movement of the Workers’ Union (Histadrut). He took part in sports activities at "Hapo’el" and joined the Hagana unit in 1944.

Before the war with the local Arabs, he joined the Palmach group. On December 14th ,1947, on the way to Ben-Shemen, with food supplies for the children of the village, they were ambushed by the English and the Arab Legion. Simcha died a hero, while on duty protecting the convoy, along with twelve of his comrades. May he rest in peace.

Aaron Arenbi

pul452f.jpg [8 KB] The eldest son of Eliezer and Rachel Hassenschprung of Pulawy, was born in Tel-Aviv, 1.1.1935.

He spent his early years while the bloody incidents between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the battle for Israel's independence took place. 

His Bar-Mitzva was celebrated during the battles of The War of Independence and through the fighting, which took place around Tel-Aviv and in which he participated, more than once.

He was a talented painter, an excellent swimmer and sportsman. He loved nature and walked throughout the land. This was the string that tied him to the isolated, but beautiful army outpost, where he fell.

He was a dedicated soldier who fell serving his country, protecting Jerusalem, on 10.9.1954, at the age of twenty.

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Moshe Quatter

pul452g.jpg [8 KB] Moshe Quatter was a community oriented activist, one of the founders of Jewish social institutions in his town, Pulawy.

He tried very hard to provide his children with a proper education, along with social awareness, which was so important to him. Indeed, three out of his five children turned out that way. Firstly, like their father, they were Zionists. One son was elected, as the only representative in the city council, of Zionists and Communists.

Moshe Quatter was the youngest member of the family. He was talented from a young age. His father wished he could study, but the family’s economic situation forced Moshe to stop his studies, and he started sewing socks. A short time after that, a strike broke out in the factory, and Moshe, who joined in, was fired.

In 1920 he joined the Leftist Workers’ Party and started working at the publishing house of the author, Shlomo Scheinberg. He worked there till 1928 when he was arrested, together with a few friends, for their political and professional activities.

Luckily, he was set free after half a year due to lack of evidence against him.

In 1931 Moshe arrived in Belgium where he took various jobs. Despite the hard conditions he found himself in, he got involved with the local Jewish community of Brussels. Hunted by he local Belgian Police, he escaped to France and learned the trade of Women’s coat ironing and again got involved in the local workers’ unions. Not having the proper working permit during the hard times of the Laval Decrees, he often found himself hungry, but it did not deter his desire to succeed.

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He kept his jobs and in 1935 he became a member of the Professional Committee of Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and various other organizations.

In 1939 he enlisted in the French Army, joined the fighting on the front line, was captured into the hands of the Germans, but manages to escape and returned to Paris, in 1940.

In August 1941 he was arrested together with other Jews in the 11th Quarter (of Paris) as revenge for the killing of two German officers, by the Resistance. He was sent to a work Camp in Drancy [1], where all Jews suffered from starvation, by the Nazis.

He continued his activities among the captives in an exemplary manner. After ten months in undernourished conditions in Drancy, Moshe Quatter was deported to the death camp Auschwitz. On August 12, 1942 he was killed by the Nazi murderers.

Yitzchak Silbernaddel

pul452h.jpg [8 KB]

Yitschak Silbernaddel was the only son of Miriam, daughter of Israel Bear, the baker, and Hirsch, son of the headstone carver. Both were residents of our town, Pulawy.

On June 15th, 1948 he took part in The War of Independence, and fell while on guard duty when he was only twenty years young.

His Mother
Miriam Silbernaddel (Itcheshtein)

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  1. Drancy was not a work camp. It was a transit-concentration camp, near Paris, under the authority of French Police, where a lot a Jews died from starvation, like the famous poet Max Jacob, before their deportation to Auschwitz. Return

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