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Our Fathers' Homes: Where They Were in Stepan (cont.)

by the Editorial Board

7. The Alleys Adjoining the Third of May Street

The House of Naftali Gornstein, his wife Sosel and their sons: Ben-Zion, Lazar, Yosel, Yankel, Moshe and Zev; daughters: Pasal and Rochel. A merchant of manufacturing and ready-made clothing.

The son Ben-Zion, after his marriage, moved to live in Barzna. The son Yosel continued in the manner of his father in the manufacturing and ready-made clothing store in Stepan. Living in the same house with his family was: his wife Leah and their three daughters: Sarah, Yentel and Freidel, and two sons - Hershel and Yankel. Ben-Zion, Yankel and Rochel lived outside of Stepan. In the house of Naftali remained two of the sons - Moshe and Zev, and the daughter Pasal. The daughter Pasal immigrated to Israel through the Betar movement in the year 1934 and lives today in Netanya with her family. Traces of the son Moshe disappeared during the Second World War. The son Zev was saved while he was in the service of the Red Army. At the end of the Second World War he immigrated to Israel and lives with his family in Israel. The daughter Rochel emigrated before the Second World War to Brazil and lives there with her family.

The House of Moshe Yosef Sheinbaum and his wife Mussia, they died in 1934. A merchant of grain crops. He raised sons and daughters - Rivkah Komonshein, Sroolik, Tanchoom, Shabseil, Abba, Esther Baram, Raizel Shuster, Golda Pearlstein, and Nacha Bleiy. In the same house lived the Family Bleiy, Nacha and her husband Berel Bleiy, a wood merchant and shopkeeper.

In the same house lived the family of Shmuel and Raizel Shuster and their daughter and son. A merchant of grain crops.

In the Narrow Alley Lived the Family: The Brother Banah and his Sister Chayka with her husband, whose profession was a painter. Banah and Chayka were albinos and they were called “The Weisse - The Whites”. Banah was a familiar figure, mainly with the children of the town who loved to flirt with him in a good spirit. Banah, while he was short in stature, knew the entire order of the prayers and psalms by heart.

The House of Bonyah Hatoferet (the Seamstress). Banyah and her sister earned a living from the hard work of their hands.

The House of the Gerber Family - the widow. Her husband Izik died before the war. The widow Sarah had two sons. The name of one was Chaim - he also died before the war. This widow earned a living from the baking and selling of black bread. This family was the rentor of a room that was used for the needs of the Tarbut School. The daughters of Sarah: Beila, Devorah, and son - Nechamia.

The House of Teivel Hatoferet (the Seamstress) - her husband worked in the flour mill of the Graz's. In this family was a sister of Teivel with three children. Her husband emigrated to Argentina and after many years of waiting they were taken there. There is the assumption that they remain alive. There was also there an old grandmother who worked at baking bread. The nickname for this family was “Dreikop - Skittish“.

The House of Rabbi Ben-Zion Gonick and his wife Zesol. An old Jew, a scholar, who served many years as a teacher in the town. In his classroom he educated a number of generations of children of the town.

In the same house lived his daughter Chana and her husband Shaul Pakhaveitz and their children.

His son Motel also served as a Rabbi and as a teacher in a nearby town and after that in Stepan. In addition to his great expertise in Torah and in Judaism, he acquired general knowledge. His wife Machla and their son Yosef.

Rabbi Ben-Zion had an additional daughter named Leibah, who was married to Leibka Kraf, a merchant, and they had a number of children.

The son Yitzchak Gonick immigrated to Israel in the 1930's. He died after a number of years, leaving a wife and children in Holon.

An additional son, Shimon Gonick, lives in Yugoslavia. It is not known what befell him.

The House of Rabbi Hershel Hashochet (the Slaughterer) Hochman, his wife and their four sons and one daughter. The son Nunya, who immigrated to Israel on the treshhold of the Second World War, fell in the battle in Italy against the Nazi enemy as part of the Jewish brigade (he was injured and transported to Israel by British airplane; the plane was brought down on his way to Israel).

8. Hatetarim Street

The House of Hershel Feldman (from Hakalenykes), his wife Sarah, daughters: Henda, Faygel and Rivka, and son - Avraham. Owner of a stand for selling fruit. His hobby was fishing with a fishing rod. He served as a violinist with the family of musicians (Hakalenykes) and also appeared as a merry humorist at the Jewish weddings and happy occasions (simchas) in the town.

The daughters and the son were activists in the Shomer Hatzair (leftist Zionist youth movement) and pioneer. The son Avraham was saved while he was in Russia and lives today in Kfar Saba with his family.

The House of Moshe Feldman, who died before the outbreak of the war, his wife, and sons: Gavriel, Avramle, Velvel - a bass player - and another brother. The daughters: Brendel, Rochel, Devorah, Sarah, Golda and Miriam. This family belonged to the musicians. The father Moshe played violin and gave lessons for playing the violin. The daughter Brendel was an excellent guitar player.

The son Avraham remained alive while he was in Russia. Nowdays he lives in Poland.

The Waldman Family - they called them Stisel the Mitzker. They had three daughters: Dovah was married to the administrator of the Tarbut school Mr. Kemerman, the daughter Rivka was married to one from nearby Kostopol. and the daughter Rochel immigrated to Israel before the war and lives in Tel Aviv. The son Hershel emigrated to Canada and the son Shmuel immigrated to Israel with the fourth immigration wave, but went to the United States.

The House of Moshe Golprin, his wife Sosel, the son Hershel who was married in Sarna and moved to live there, and daughter Gittel. He worked in the selling of yeast. The daughter Gittel was saved while she was in Russia, immigrated to Israel after the war, but died from disease. There remains the husband and two sons in Israel.

The Kanonitz Family, the son Michel and daughter Freidel. Michel worked as a miller in the flour mill of the Goz family. The son Michel was active in the Betar movement. One day he withdrew from Betar with Moshe Gorenstein and together they served at the head of a faction to the right - the Grossmanists. They even established a Grossmanist cell. This event happened in the year 1933.

The Family of Moshe Bebtchuk, the son Hershel and daughters - Tchrana and Beila. He worked in peddling. The daughter Beila remained alive by hiding herself in the forests with the Polish. She immigrated to Israel with her family, but ultimately moved to the United States.

The Weisman Family (the Motelykes) - a very spacious house. In this house lived together in a friendly way a number of families who led collective lives in still waters. The mother Sosel Weisman, her sons: Motel, who was a superb photographer in his profession (see the separate report concerning this matter) and the son Yitzchak, the young intellectual who was active in Betar, and the sister Michle.

The sister of Sosel Weisman, Esther, was married to Avraham Shochet and they had a daughter and son, and the sisters Gittel and Michle. There also lived in the same house an unmarried adult uncle by the name Motel.

This family had an oil-press adjoining their house and they also managed a grocery store in the front of the house. The son Yitzchak Weisman remained alive while he was in Russia. He immigrated to Israel (see the separate report on Yitzchak Weisman, of blessed memory, and his family in Israel).

The House of Yechezkial Stern, his wife, two daughters - Shayndel and Chana, and sons: Hershel, Yankel, Moshe and Shlomoke. Stern had a medicine warehouse, resembling a drug store, and a perfume store.

The son Moshe was an activist and prominent in his activities as head of the cell of the Shomer Hatzair (leftist Zionist youth movement) in the town.

The Family of Shimon Gorbitz, his wife, the daughter Chana, the son Pinyah and another son. Pinyah was active in the Shomer Hatzair (leftist Zionist youth movement). He was involved with the pioneering preparation of the movement in Lodz. The aim was to immigrate to Israel at the outbreak of the war. All traces of him were lost.

The Family of David Finkelstein, his wife from the house of Stern and their children. The owner of a store for writing instruments. He was a well-liked man who took care of the students with love and goodwill. He was most popular with the Jewish children of Stepan.

The House of Mordechai Wolpel Hakatzav (the Butcher), his wife and his daughter Esther, who was widowed, and her daughter Rochel Chamar and another sister Bryndele.

The House of the Rosenfeld Family- the father of the family, Dovid, of blessed memory, was killed in a work accident, and Mirel, who remained a widow, and her sons: Pinya, Shmuka and Avraham, and daughters: Raizel, Beila, Chana, Chaya and Fasya.

David, of blessed memory, was an industrious and energetic builder and by the labor of his own hands he owned a flour mill and an oil press of his own. After his death the factory was managed by his sons and sons-in-law.

The daughter Raizel, who lived in the same house, was married to Shroolik Sheintoch and they had a daughter, Chaya, and sons: Avraham and Mordechai. Shroolik Sheintoch was an owner of a grocery store and was successful in his business.

The daughter Fasya emigrated to Argentina before the war and afterwards immigrated to Israel with her family; they live in Banas Tziyonah. The son of Fasya, Michel, volunteered and immigrated to Israel in the year 1967; currently he serves as secretary of the kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. The son Pinya was saved while he was drafted in Russia. Pinya fought in the ranks of the Red Army and fell to German captivity. After great hardship as a Jewish captive in a concentration camp he remained alive. After the war he emigrated to Argentina and lived with his sister Fasya, but died by a fatal accident there. The sister Beila was married to a Jew in Broznitz and they had three children.

In the same house lived the doctor, Dr. Ashkenazi, an adult woman, unmarried and childless. She served as the doctor there in the town for many years.

The House of Aharon Rosenfeld, his wife Brynner and their daughter Leah and son Tzvi, who remained alive by ending up in Russia when he tried to illegally emigrate to Israel through Latvia, with the entry of the Soviets.

Aharon was a plasterer by profession and he supported his family by the labor of his own hands.

Tzvi lives with his family in Tel Aviv.

The House of Shmuel Silberman, his wife and their five children - sons and daughters. In his house was the only dentist in the town, Dr. Goren. The permanent dwelling of Dr. Goren and his family was in Rovno. Dr. Goren was an active Zionist public worker.

The House of Hatzevai (the Painter) Pontak, his wife and their son and daughter, and also living in the same house was his brother, Gershon Pontak, and his wife.

Excellent painters who by the sweat of their noses and by honesty they earned their bread.

The House of Itzchak Weistchinah, his wife Aydeh, the son Yossele and his small sister. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Pinchas Goldstein and the owner of a flour mill. He worked in partnership with his father-in-law. The son Yosef was an excellent student, actually a child prodigy.

The House of Moshe Morik, his wife Gittel from the family Weistchinah, and their three daughters: Motol, Mirkah and another one. He was a successful merchant of grain.

The Family of Walkah Feldman - one of the sons of Falya the musician, his wife and his mother-in-law. They had children. The daughters: Maale, Yentel, Rochel, and the sons: Avramle and another son.

He was the owner of a restaurant and also manufacturer of kvass (a drink from pickled cabbage) – a soft drink. The grandmother, primarily, was a seller of baked items and kvass in the marketplace.

Along side their house was a spacious garden and orchard that was taken care of and fostered. It was prominent for its wonderful grapes that grew extraordinarily in the region of Stepan.

The Tarchtarman Family - the Virker - he was the owner of a grocery store in the adjoining Polish village, Virke. His wife, Chofka, and their two sons and a daughter.

The House of Shabbtai Schnoik, his wife, his daughter Manya and three sons. He was the owner of storehouse for wood. His sons, most likely alive, or their offspring, emigrated to Argentina during his time. In addition to his business in wood, he was supported by his sons.

The Weitziner Family, his wife and children. He worked in the forests and was not a Stepaner. He lived in Stepan while he was employed in the proximity of the forests. He arrived from a nearby town.

The House of Chaim Goberman, his wife and their two daughters - Dotzya and Devora, and also a son of their old age. He was the owner of a haberdashery and fancy goods store.

The House of Moshe Feldman, the son of Rabbi Falya the musician. His wife Haydel and their three daughters. He was the owner of a large grocery store. He was a successful shopkeeper in his business.

The Shoftrik Family, their daughter, Holah, and son, Ezrial. He was a merchant of pig hair and mushrooms.

The House of Yossel Hakeveran (the Gravedigger), a lonely, childless Jew, owner of a large garden beside his house. He made a living as a gravedigger and fulfilled his public duties faithfully.

The House of the Teacher with the Nickname Moneval, his wife Veronica - his death at a ripe old age before the outbreak of the war. They had a divorced daughter, Faygel, and she had a single son, Shlomo.

Rabbi Moneval was the well-liked Rabbi by the students of his class. He was accustomed to take his pupils and lead them to visit the women who have just given birth one day before the brit milah (circumcision), for reading the Shema (prayer). At the same event, the woman who just gave birth would generously distribute cookies and candies to the children of the classroom. The daughter Faygel would collect the money for the lessons from the parents of the students. The son Shlomo remained alive while he was in a nearby Polish town. He currently lives in Poland.

The House of Hershel Gellman (the son of Freida the cryer), his wife and children. He was a merchant of rags. His son Yaakov was saved while he was in Russia. There is an opinion that he emigrated to the United States and lives there.

The House of Helenke Hakatzav (the Butcher), his wife and daughters: Tovah, Malka, and Hennia. Tovah was active in the Shomer Hatzair (leftist Zionist youth movement). The daughter Hennia was saved while hiding herself in the forests among the Polish. She emigrated to the United States and lives there with her family.

In the Unfinished House Lived a Bachelor, Berel Weitchnodel. He had the nickname - Yehofetz. He was a cattle merchant.

The House of the Family of Kolodny Leibel, his wife and daughters: Hennia, Roza, and a son. He was the owner of a factory for soap and soft drinks - kvass and soda.

The House of the Ploshnik Family - Motel, his wife and their children. Yankel, his wife and their children. The brother Izak and brother Ben-Zion. A sister Adele who was married to Yankel Patshnik and lived in a nearby place. Yankel remained alive while he was in Russia, married a second time and he had a son.

9. The Second Side of Hatetarim Street and the Adjoining Alleys

The House of the Widower Moshka Brick, her son Eliezer. In the same house also lived a grandmother, whose business was peddling with the goyem of the town.

The House of Baruch Wolf Kershner, his wife, their son Avraham and his wife and the daughter Babah who was born in Israel. Avraham immigrated to Israel during the fourth immigration wave but returned to the town since they were never acclimatized to Israel. The sons Aharon and Benjamin emigrated to Canada and lived there, Nachum - a young man active in the Shomer Hatzair (leftist Zionist youth movement) was saved while he was in Russia and apparently lives in Russia. There was another daughter who emigrated to Canada, and the daughters: Esther and Chana, who was married to Dovid Shimshak.

In the same house lived the brothers of Baruch Wolf - Motel - Mordechai Kershner - his wife, the daughter Chasya and two sons. Motel served as the shamash (beadle) in the Tarbut school in the town and fulfilled his duties faithfully during many years, until everything was destroyed by the wicked hands.

The Eisenberg Family – a widower and his daughter Shayna and son Yosef. He was a builder by profession.

The House of Moshe Yosef Dargoff, his wife and his daughter Hennia and other children. He was a community person, who established charity funds in the town, and he served in charge of them.

The House of Yaakov Petashnik, his wife Hodel and their daughter Simma and sons – Sander and Michel. Michel was saved while he was in the forests among the goyem. He lives nowdays in Ramat Gan with his family. Yaakov was an enthusiastic Zionistic public worker for Brit Yeshurin, and he also immigrated to Israel but he returned again to his town because of difficulties with the acclimatization and the lack of work.

The House of Yisroel Zalishnik, his wife Chana and their four children: Pinchas, Miriam, Michla and Chaya. The daughter Chaya was saved while she was in a convalescent home in Russia at the outbreak of the war. Her father, Yisroel, traveled to search for his daughter but never found her and he returned to Stepan to the children of his family. Yisroel was a sheet-metal worker by profession and supported his family with great difficulty, but with honor, without the help of strangers..

The House of Leivik Tzeseis, his wife Shayndel, and the daughters: Machla and Hennia and son Berel. He was a cattle merchant.

In the house of Leivik Tzeseis lived a rentor Hellia Weiner, his wife and daughter Sonia, who was saved by hiding in the forests among the goyem. She immigrated to Israel and continued her emigration to Canada.

The House of Baruch Broder (from Hakozeles), his wife from the Shpatrik house and their three children. He was the owner of a store of iron products.

The House of Zev Chayot, his wife Chaya Leah (from the Dov house), the son Shmuel and the daughter Sarah. Zev was a witness of proof to the killing of the Stepan community in the forests and being thrown into the death pits near Kostopol. He escaped and was saved. He served with the partisons in the Tchepyav regiment. Today he lives in Tel Aviv with his family that he established from new.

The House of Itzik Gooteis, his wife and their son.

The House of Dovid Chamar, his wife Basel from the Srashtrom house and their four children, a son Lazar a daughter Esther and another two daughters. He worked as a glazier and seller of fruit.

The House of Ben-Zion Peloshnik, his wife and a number of their daughters. He was a cattle merchant.

The House of Mendel Hakatzav (the Butcher), his wife and his children. With him lived in his house his elderly mother Fayga, who was busy baking black bread that was known for its quality. Also living in the same house was the sister of Mendel with her husband Avraham.

10. The Area of the Marketplace

The Zilbervelt Family – the mother of the family was a widow and her daughters: Raizel and Henda, and son Shmuel who emigrated to the United States before the war and died there. In the same house lived an aunt with the name Mindel. One of the daughters was married to a Jew from Kostopol, whereas Henda was married to Yonah Grossman and they had a daughter and son named Yossele, who remained alive by hiding in the forests among the goyem. He emigrated after the war to the United States and lives there today.

The Widow Dovah Weingarten (Dobroshkah). In Kolnya, on the other side of the bridge, with the goyem, lived the family of the widow Dovah Weingarten including her daughter Esther, who was married and lived in Manevichi,;the daughter Freidel, who was married to Yossel Maggid and was saved with her two children – Hershel and Eliyahu, who live today in the United States; and also a son, Leibel, who was killed in Russia.

Dovah, of blessed memory, traded with the goyem and was very well-liked among them because of her good heart and giving goods in the surroundings to all the needy without discrimination. Because of this, she also had the nickname “Dobroshkah“ – a good heart. But these good, human qualities were to no avail and she was killed together with the remainder of the Jews of the town in the awful Shoah.

The House of Falya Feldman – the musician, his wife who was famous for the quality of her cooking, especially stuffed fish, and also for her righteous concern for the needy. (For a description of the personality of Rabbi Falya, see the separate section).

The House of Zevel Pras – hatmaker by profession. His son Avraham emigrated to the United States and apparently lives there.

The House of Yekutial Goldberg, gabbai in the supreme synagogue, and his sons: Nissel and Motke, who emigrated to Argentina and apparently live there, and also sons Michel and Hershel and daughter Gittel.

The House of Rabbi Yaakov (Zunieh) Kaufman – a widower, a learned and G-d fearing Jew. (See the separate section).

His son Dodel and his wife Bryndele and daughters: Malka, Shayna and Sarah. They lived in Dubno. His son Moshe, his wife Hodel and son Monya. His daughter Rivka was married to Michel Tachor, their son Avraham was saved and lives with his family in Tel Aviv. His son Reuven, his wife and their son Mordechai perished in Terspol, Russia. His son Gedaliah – a bachelor. His son Yisroel – immigrated to Israel in 1933 and lives with his family on Kibbutz Ein Carmel. His daughter Nachah, was married to a boy from the town of Totchin.

The House of Moshe Wachs (who was known by his nickname Moshe the Giller), his wife, the son Dodel and his daughters: Rivka and Leiva. He was the owner of a manufacturing store.

The House of Yaakov Wachs (Bocheles), his wife and son Yisroel. He was the owner of a store of groceries and commodities, specializing particularly and well-known for the quality of his sour, pickled cucumbers.

The House of Shaul Weitznodel, his wife and their sons: Gershon, Hershel, and Yitchak, and daughters: Leah, Faygel, and Sonya, who live in Argentina. An additional daughter is in Brazil, and Chaya, who lives in Netanya. Shaul Weitznodel worked as a butcher.

The Family of Michel Bardas (Kootzik –short stature). He was a manufacturing merchant. He had a daughter Rochel who was married to Yaakov Tzukerman from Barzna, a daughter Dovah and a daughter Gittel who was married to Chaim Takas and they had two children. His son Avraham married the daughter of Yankel Partch from the village Krechilsk and he had an additional married son by the name Leibel.

The House of Gershon Weitznodel, a plasterer and owner of a bakery. He had a wife, three sons and a daughter. His son Moshe was married to Golda Rassis, the daughter of Shmerel Rassis.

The House of Motel Tchodler – the owner of a soft drinks factory and a manufacturing store. His wife was an excellent seamstress of women's clothing, his son Yitzchak and daughter Gittel, who was married to a boy from the city of Rovno, and also there were another son and daughter.

The House of Shmuel Derech Harokeach (the Pharmacist), his wife Chayka, two daughters, the name of one was Sheva, and the son Tzodya who was saved by serving in the Red Army and lives today in Russia.

The House of Motzya Waldman – the head of the house was his daughter, a widow, Bryndele Weitznhoyz. The son Zev was the first immigrant from Stepan to Israel, in 1932, and lives in Kfar Sabah. There were another two daughters – Sosel and Chava. The family house was a spacious house that stood in the center of the marketplace.

The Houses of Blumah Kriegel, her sister Mirkah and her brother Aharon Stoller. The widow Blumkah sold ice cream that was famous for its quality and special taste, primarily among the youth. Blumkah had a son – Yoskah Kriegel, who was saved by serving in the Red Army and lives today in Russia. Mirkah – owner of a shoe store – was married and had two daughters.

Aharon Stoller was a well-known photographer and owner of a wonderful studio. His wife Freidel was from the Wachs family, and they had children.

The House of Shmuel Tzodies Garber, his wife and his children. Shmuel was an excellent men's tailor.

The House of Velvel Shmeles Wachs, his wife, and two sons. He was a grain merchant.

The House of Michel Wachs and his wife. The son Yaakov who was saved while he was in Russia immigrated to Israel and lives nowdays in Beer Sheva. The daughters: Gittel and Freidkah.

The House of Nachum Maggid, his wife, and his sons: Leibel who lives in Russia, Yosef who was married to Freida and their two sons: Hershel and Alyah. A son, Pinkah, who was saved while he was in Russia and lives in the United States. A son Bankah and daughter Dotzyah.

Nachum was a grain merchant and owner of a wheat mill in one of the villages near the town. His sons and daughters were activists in the Betar movement.

The House of Milah Yostein, his wife and his children. The son Ponkah, who was enlisted into the Red Army, passed by the town immediately after its liberation in 1944. He fell in battle against the Germans in the lines of the Red Army in 1944.

The House of the Brother of Moshe Bronstein, his wife and their two daughters. They were owners of a manufacturing store. He also had another son, Yitzchak, who was saved by hiding among the goyem in the forests and lives nowdays in Germany.

The House of Moshe Bronstein, his wife Dovah and their daughter Chava and son Yitzchak. In the same house lived the mother of Moshe. Dovah was an energetic woman, who predominantly managed the manufacturing store, with success.

The House of Chaim Simcha Morick and his wife. He was active in Brit Yeshurin. He was a successful grain merchant.

The House of Yitzchak (Irotzikel) Bebtchuk-Meyers, his wife Sarah and their children: Chana and Meir. Yitzchak was the owner of a restaurant and also a grocery store close to the center of the town.

The House of Chaim Wachs (the Varbetzer – he descended from the nearby village of Varbetze), his wife and their daughter Gittel and the sons: Valkah and Shaptal. The son Shaptal was saved while he was in Russia, and at the completion of the war he apparently emigrated to the United States and lives there. Chaim was a grain merchant.

11. The Alleys in the River Slope – from Potshtovah Street

In the House of Gershon Weitchnodel lived Shmuel Goz, his wife Faygel from the Kagan family and their son.

In the Gorenstein House resided the widow Beila Koshner and her daughters. Raizel, who immigrated to Israel before the war, was married to Aharonov. She ultimately died. Her sister Leibah, also immigrated to Israel before the war, was married to Yagodeh and lives with her family in Tel Aviv.

The House of the Sokolosky Family, close to the river. Most recently, in this house, lived the widow Pasal.

The House of Dovid Baram, his wife Esther from the Sheinbaum family and their daughters: Chana, Roza and another two sisters, and the sons: Motel and Bobah. With the entrance of the Germans to the town, their house was hit by a direct hit from the German's bombings. Four of their children were killed in this bombing. Dovid Baram himself was blinded and remained disabled in the majority of his body; he and his wife and two children remained.

The House of Motel Weinstein, his wife Blumah and their only son Avraham. Motel was active in public activity. In the same house lived his sister Michlia and her son, Leibel Rassis, who was saved while he was in Russia, and today lives in Kfar Aviv with his family.

The House of Simma Yokelson, his wife and their two sons: Shpatal and his brother, and one daughter. Simma worked as a horse merchant.

The House of Velvel Hachayit (the Tailor), his wife and their only son. Velvel was a tailor by profession. He worked primarily by sewing large and heavy clothing for the villagers and from this he earned his livelihood.

12. Potshtovah Street

The House of the Yokelson Family – in this house lived three brothers with their families. Ben-Zion and his second wife, the daughter Faygel and another daughter and son. The son Raphael immigrated to Israel during the 1930's. He was the first of the commanders of Betar in the town. He lives today in Israel. Hershel and his wife, and their three children. Berel and his wife and their girl.

The three brothers worked in the iron trade and its products.

There also lived in this house, or nearby, a sister of this family – Chana – who was married to Eli Kaufman and they had a single son, Shaptal.

The House of the Family of Tanchum Sheinbaum, who died before the war, his wife Etta, the son Chaim and his wife Shifra and their two children, the son Ben Zion, his wife Bruniah from the family Tachor with the children Moshe and Tanchum. Ben Zion and his brother Shmuel were saved while they were in Russia and live in Israel with their families.

The sons Yitzchak (today Aron) and Shlomo Sheinbaum immigrated to Israel before the war and live with their families in Tel Aviv.

Tanchum Sheinbaum immigrated to Israel with his wife and daughter Bracha in the year 1934; a short time after they came to Israel he got sick and died in Israel after an operation. The wife and daughter returned to the town at that time and were killed in the Shoah with the remaining Jews of the town. (See a description of these personalities).

The House of Chaim Gershon Goz, his wife, they died before the war. He was and intellectual Jew. The sons: Michel, Valkeh, Shaul, Shmuel and Motkeh. The daughters: Adele, Chaykeh and Rochel who was the graceful and active one among the daughters.

The majority of the children of the family were active in managing a big grocery store in the town. This store was active seven days a week and the owners of this store were known for their decency and their good service to all the citizens of the town and the surroundings.

The son Motkeh was an activist in the Zionist movement and an activist in the pioneer training of the Betar movement in Katowitz.

The Milstein Family – mother and her son Yitzchak. Yitzchak was a talented boy who worked as a mechanic in the wheat mill of the Goz family.

The House of Pinyah Goz, his wife, who died before the war. This was one of the spacious and pleasant houses in the town. In this house lived two of his sons: Yitzchak and his wife Bracha and their son Shabbtai. His brother Avraham, his wife Hennia and their sons Zalman and Yaakov and daughter Gitteleh. The daughter Pasyah from the Goz family, who was married to Gotzyah Toyev and their daughters Sonya (Sarah) and Gittel, who was saved while she was in Russia and lives today in Haifa with her family.

He was the owner of a large and modern flour mill and the owner of a concession for the selling of firewater (brandy). They were well-to-do people with generous hearts, pleasant Jews and active Zionists.

The House of Baruch Rassis, his wife, and their sons: Shroolkeh, his wife and their children: Zalman, and his wife and children; Erkeh, who was saved while he was in Russia and apparently lives there until today. The daughter Chaykeh and her husband, who emigrated to the United States, and the daughter Rivkeh and her husband Shagrar, a teacher in the “Tarbut” school.

Baruch was the owner of a wagon and a horse merchant. He was owner of a concession for hauling mail from Stepan to the train station in nearby Malynsk.

The House of Alter Zeliks, owner of a clothing store – he had a son Yaakov and three daughters: Manya, who was married to Yasha, and their children. Yasha was the owner of a restaurant; an additional daughter was the wife of Chaim Goberman; and Rivkah, who was saved while she was in Russia and lives today with her family in Israel.

The House of Pinchas Goldstein, the owner of a flour mill on the edge of town. He had two daughters, one who was married to Yitzchak Weistchinah. Pinchas was an active public servant, who represented the Jews of the town before the local Polish council “Hagmenah” in the town.

13. Nearby the Marketplace Region

The Family of Hershel Siegel Hashaon (the Watchmaker), his wife Beila-Gittel, and their sons: Chaim-Moshe and his wife Golda-Chaya; Yosef-Dov and his wife Raizel and their son, Ben Lipman who was saved while he was in Russia and lives in Givatayim with his family. The daughters: Pasya and her husband Noach Zolar, Freida and her husband Yitzchak Bostos, and Devosyah.

The son of Yosef remains alive and lives in Russia.

Hershel was a respected Jew and a great scholar.

The House of Moshe Weistchinah – a two-storied, spacious house, one of a few of its kind in the town. It's front literally faced the center of the marketplace. In the lower level of the house were stores that had big lots that were rented.

Moshe, together with his sons, worked in trading grain and was very popular with the goyem of the surroundings, in whom they gave complete loyalty.

In the same house lived his son Dodleh, his wife Beila (from the Yachanyok family) and their children.

The son Yitzchak was saved while he was in the forests among the goyem. He lives with his family in Givatayim.

In addition to this there lived in the same house one of the daughters who was married to Boaz, the owner of a grocery store and their children.

The daughter Ethele with her husband Dorotchinsky from Slonim – a Zionist activist. Dorotchinsky was saved while he was in Russia and lives today in the United States.

The son Aharon was saved while he was in Russia and apparently lives there.

The House of the Kagan Family – the widowed wife, who by her own resources and with the help of her children managed a manufacturing store. She had a number of children: a son Moshe and his wife and children; the son Pinya; daughter Faygel who was married to Shmuel Goz; the daughter Batya who was married to Avraham Rodnik; the daughter Bryndele who was married to Zevel Kopols Goldberg, the hatmaker; the daughter Raizel was saved in the forests among the goyem and lives with her family in Israel.

The House of Tziporah Gonik, the widow, and her bachelor son Shlomo. They managed a hotel that was distinguished by its cleanliness.

The House of Leibel Bardas, his wife Maltziya and their three children: the daughters – Zlatkah and Sheva, and the son Zalman. They were owners of a store for kitchen utensils in the center of the marketplace.

The Family of Zalman Parlas and his wife Etta. Zalman was an activist in the Zionist committee in the town.

Feivesh Hasandlar (the Sandalmaker) – a widower and his two daughters. One was married to a man whose name was Chanina.

The Family of Berel Brandfein, his wife Chana and their children. Berel was the owner of a barbershop.

Berel Rozen and his Wife – owners of a manufacturing store.

The House of Yerachmial Goldman, his wife Devora and their daughter and son. Yerachmial earned an honest living from his toil as a wagon owner.

14. In the Town's Villages

A house of broad measurements with a vacant plot alongside was the House of Pinchas, the Koroster, Wachs, the brother of Hershel Wachs who lived in the proximity of the synagogue.

A devout Jew, pleasant demeanor, and quiet. His wife, two sons and a daughter. This Jew worked in commerce involving pig hair for brushes. One of his sons was saved while he was in Russia and immigrated recently to Israel.

A meager, short house and along side a spacious, horse stable, this is the House of Yisroel Hatzerterisker, owner of a wagon. The man was widowed and a son and two daughters remained orphaned. Afterwards, he married a second time with a woman from outside Stepan, and contradictory to the general worry from the fear of the fate of the orphans under the rod of the stepmother, in the course of time it was well known that this woman cared for the orphans with a soft hand.

Shroolik, owner of the wagon, made a living from his profession: the transport of travelers and merchandise to Malynsk, the nearby train station to Stepan, and to the district city of Rovno. Also there were additional horses in his stable beyond the two in active service. These horses served for exchange and trade in the horse marketplace that was in the town. On the whole, this was a poor family, but they existed by their own resources.

In the Polish-German war, in 1939, Shroolik was recruited into the Polish army. This event evoked great worry over his fate. His relatives and acquaintances remember the departure shaking the family. The heart forebode evil. But this war ended quickly and the Soviets entered the town. After a short time, Shroolik suddenly appeared, having fled in some manner from German captivity. At this time when the Jews of the town were living in a state of an uncertain future, this thing brought happiness to the heart, that a completely healthy man returned from hell, to the bosom of his family.

The Family of Velvel Zev Feldman (from Hakalenykes) - short in stature, the son of Rabbi Moshe the musician. A barber by profession, but he didn't own a store. He would journey among the houses of the goyem and would cut hair as needed. In exchange he would receive small coins and commodities that were barely sufficient for his families existence. His wife Esther, and their four or five children.

The Single Jewish House in the Neighborhood of the Goyem with the addition of a spacious stable, was The Shilik House, the son of Leibel Gruber – owner of a wagon, and his wife. He earned a living from his profession and in addition they cultivated a plot of land, apparently rented, and they existed in some sort of fashion. They were very industrious people.

His son, Abba, was a talented and very industrious student. A second son, Yossel, was the most industrious, and also there was a daughter. The children of the house and the wife worked hard, particularly during the time of the harvest. This is the portion of goods that they promised themselves: potatoes, cabbage and carrots, during the winter period. The son Yossel was sent to professional school outside of the town during the time of the Soviet rule and all traces of him disappeared. There is the opinion that he lives in Russia.

To Akiba the Blacksmith Was a Young Partner by the Name Chaim Kottler – a young person, dynamic, with a wife and two children. He excelled in the profession as a superb blacksmith, and together with this he was an intellectual young person, with leftist tendencies. With the coming of the Soviets into the town, he was chosen by them to be the head of the town council and served in this capacity until the coming of the Nazis.

The House of Ariyeh Kottler Hastolmach (the Wheelwright) – a special carpentry for the building of wooden wheels for wagons, wheel rims for wagons, and barrels. Like the rest of the Jewish professionals in the town, he was an expert in his profession and the goyem from the town and the surroundings flocked for the delivery of the repair and manufacturing work. The name of his wife was Ronya, a son, Eliezer, and three daughters: Sarah, Miriam and Leah. Sarah immigrated to Israel in 1932 and lives today in Kfar Sabah, Miriam remained in Russia with her family, but died recently. Leah was saved while she was in Russia and lives today in Holon with her family.

The Family of Alter Pollack, his wife Beila, four children: Meir; Feivish; a daughter Manatzia; and a brother, by the name Yaakov Schwartz, who remained as a survivor while he was in Russia and lives nowdays in Israel.

Alter was an energetic owner of a wagon and his family carried on respectfully.

The Family of Simcha Pollack, his wife, and around ten children: Feivish, Berel, Itzik, Meir, Zelik and others. Baruch remained as a survivor while he was in Russia and lives in Israel with his family. A child was born in old age to this family by the name Yosele. The name was given to him based on the name of Marshall Filasodsky, head of the Polish government, who died at this time. This thing caused waves throughout the town. Simcha, the wagon owner, was from the wagon owners who made their livelihood with great difficulty by the performance of transporting within the town itself, because his horses were lean and too old to be used for transporting between municipalities.

An Additional Wagon Owner in Stepan – The House of Mashke Goldenbelt – his wife and two sturdy sons – Avale and Izik. The two sons, and especially Avale, were strong-armed.

The brother of Mashke was Yaakov Hapotzter (the Postman), a wagon owner who lived on the river slope, his wife and a number of their sons and daughters. The name of the family was Goldenbelt, the nickname Potzter came to this family because, apparently, their father would transport the mail between Stepan and the train station in Malynsk.

Akiba-Kiba Gilbert Hanapach (the Blacksmith) – the owner of a large smithy nearby Hagoyem Street, his wife Rochel-Chaya and their children. The sons: Yechial, Moshe-Nissel, and Leibel. The daughters: Rivka and Devora, who immigrated to Israel before the war and lives in Netanya. The name of her family is Kemachi.

This Jew was an excellent skilled-worker and was known as such in this capacity among all the goyem who would flock to his smithy to shoe their horses or to fix their wagons, ploughs and other things. He was a man of labor who supported his blessed family by his talented hands, indeed not with excessive comfort, but respectfully.

15. The Jews of the Villages Around Stepan

The town of Stepan served as the center of trade for the close surrounding villages. In these villages lived isolated Jews, some of them originated from Stepan and some of them were Jews whose origin was from nearby towns.

These Jews worked in shopkeeping and trade and their lot was also as owners of flour mills, beverages, and spacious agricultural farms who cultivated their lands with great success and their products were up to the quality of the neighboring Ukrainian products. The village Jews were mainly miserably poor, although among them there were extraordinary capability and great means. At any rate, they preserved their living connection with the Jews of the town that served as the spiritual center. Their children were sent to the town in order that they would learn and absorb a little Judaism, whether in “cheder” or in the “Tarbut” school. The children would be lodged with relatives or with merely Jews, and the exchange of payment was expressed primarily in commodities and agricultural products. The children of the villages were courageous, robust and tanned in contrast to the children of the town who had pale appearances.

Sometimes the Jews of the villages would come and bring with them roosters to the shochet for slaughter; likewise they were accustomed to come to the town on the weekend or towards festivals and holidays, and this in order to stay with the Israel community and to pray together in the synagogue.

With the coming of the Nazi conqueror, his fiendish hands caught up with also these out-of-the-way Jews and gathered them together with their brothers, the citizens of the town, in the Stepan ghetto. Their bitter fate was not long in coming and they were liquidated by the Nazis.

Jews lived in the following villages: North of Stepan – Korost and Krechilsk; Northwest – Varbetziah; Southeast –Verkhi; South – Kosmitzov, Zolotolin and Trostenets; East – Kazimirka, Zolozneh and Yavalinka.

In Korost there lived the following families: The Yechaniyok Family. Father of the family – Yaakov, his wife Ayde-Blumah, the daughters: Beila, who was married to Dodleh Weistchinah and she had a son by the name Yitzchak Weistchinah who remained alive and lives with his family in Givatayim; Shoshana, who was married to Tzvi Gondler and she had a son by the name Yosef; and also there was Sarah, Ayde and Leiba. There were four sons, the first-born Yosef and after him Aharon, Manya and Avraham.

Yaakov, the father of the family, was an intellectual and well-to-do Jew. He was the owner of a great amount of land and flocks of sheep. On his agricultural farm he would employ many goyem. Yaakov was also a cattle merchant in a big way. His cattle were known by the citizens of the nearby cities.

Yaakov Yechaniyok worried about providing his four sons and his daughters with both a Jewish and general education. The four sons succeeded in escaping to the forest and were liberated from the yoke of the Nazis in 1944. Today they remain alive: Manya lives with his family in Israel in Kfar Aviv, and Avraham emigrated to the United States and lives there now with his family. Yosef was murdered by the Ukrainian craftsmen on his way back to Stepan, whereas his brother Aharon fell during the Second World War at the time he was serving in the Red Army.

The Weistchinah Family – the father of the family, his wife, and daughters: Leah, Sonya and Devora; and son Moshe.

Leah, Sonya and Moshe live today in Canada, whereas Devorah remains still in the Ukraine and lives under the Soviet rule.

The Bebtchuk Family – the father of the family, Rabbi Sander, his wife, daughters and sons. The father was a relative of Rav Avraham Brauer of Stepan.

There were additional people from Korost: Meizel Mordechai and Chana and their Family, Lazar Rim, Leib Bender, Sarah and Leah Bender.

In the village of Trostenets lived a number of Jewish families –

The Litvak Family, the Schectman Family, the Nezben Family, the Family of Avrahm Wachs, his wife Rivka, his brothers and his sisters: Tesya, Pasya, Faygel and her husband Dovid Reichman. They had a son by the name Yitzchak and daughters: Blumah and Esther.

The father of the family, Mr. Avraham Wachs and his sister Tesya Geller, live today in Israel.

In the village of Yavalinka were two Jewish families by the name Bebtchuk.

The Family of Tanchum Bebtchuk. Tanchum Bebtchuk arrived after the war with his family to Israel and he died in Israel. His sons live today in Israel.

The Family of Moshe Bebtchuk – the brother of Moshe, he immigrated to Israel before the outbreak of the war and lives today in Tel Aviv.

In the village of Zolozneh lived the sister of Sarah, the wife of Ben-Zion Prishkolnik from Stepan. This sister, whose name was Chemkeh, managed alone a flower farm.

In the village of Krechilsk lived a well-off Jewish family with rich assets – the Family of Yaakov the Krechilsker Partch – married off a daughter to the house of Avraham Bardas Kootzik from Stepan. This man succeeding in escaping to the forests with one of his grandchildren, but also there the cruel hands of the Nazis caught up to him and he was murdered.

An additional Jewish family that lived in this village was the Family of the Wife of Avraham from Kortzon. His wife Blumkeh, who was a relative of Sarah Prishkolnik, survived alive and lives today in the United States with her husband and children. The mother of Blumah – Perel – and the rest of the children of her family were killed in the Shoah.

In the village of Kazimirka lived the family of Rabbi Peyseh Bebtchuk – his wife and first daughter were killed by the Germans, and also he himself; his second daughter Chana and his granddaughter escaped and remained alive. The daughter lives in the United States.

An additional family that lived in this village was the Family of Chaim Trachter, who was a relative of Rabbi Avraham Bebtchuk, Bravaar (the Brave One), from Stepan.

In the village of Varbetziah lived the Wachs Family. This branch of the family was generally had many sons, the majority of whom were murdered by the Nazis. Two of the sons – Chaim and Avraham – were killed at the time when they chased after Nazi collaborators, the Ukrainians, in the year 1944, after their liberation. Two additional sons remained alive. Mordechai lives in Canada and Yitzchak in Israel.

In Varbetziah lived an additional family – the Family of Golda Shwartzblatt – the children of the family were Shaul and Asher.

An additional family was the Zelishnik Family. The father of the family was called Pesach Zelishnik, his wife Tzivyeh, his son Yosef and his daughters Beila and Zelda. Zelda was saved and lives in Israel.

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