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[Page 321]


by Dora Bar-Et-Segal

Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Beckerman

Edited by Myrna Neuringer Levy

Sixteen years have passed since the terrible days of murder in our shtetl Borchov; sixteen years after the terrible tragedies we try to forget what happened to our holy city. Who can possibly endure the terrible thoughts that they went through on their way [to their deaths].

To grasp the tragedy is more than a person can absorb… We remember the children, we remember the parents, we remember the old people.

[Page 322]

And In Their Death
They Were Not Separated

by Gedalyahu Lakhman

Translated by Miriam Beckerman

Edited by Myrna Neuringer Levy

- A -

Two typical Jewish cities in eastern Galicia; Borchov and Skala, are situated on the Zabrutz River, bordering on Poland. Both had the same sort of nondescript main street with mostly one storey small houses which were quite shabby. The other streets on both sides of the main street fanned out east and west. Fifteen hundred Jewish souls lived in the centre of each city – a sort of unintentional ghetto – a ghetto without walls or gates. It was a sort of unspoken ghetto where the Jews lived rather peacefully. Thousands of Ukrainians, hundreds of Poles could be seen on Sundays going to their two churches and crowding the “Jewish” streets. On these Sundays a kind of unease snuck into the Jewish area, though there was an exchange of greetings among the people, the elite of Borchov and the spiritual leaders of Skala, but to what extent could they be relied upon in a time of need?

Jews who lived in the two cities earned their living as merchants and tradesmen, some earning barely enough to get by, while a few others lived quite comfortably. Culture and education played an important role. The Polish language, its literature, its education system and even some of its spirit enveloped some of the young people, the majority of whom in both cities attended Polish gymnasia in Borchov. There were libraries that contained Yiddish classics plus many books in translation, so that even though the Jews were not in their own homeland there was a rich cultural life. Knowledge of the Hebrew language and culture slowly developed from a meagre start. In this respect Skala advanced more than its neighbour. There was a wonderful “Tarbut” school, a “Bet Am”, a large Hebrew library, various youth movements and active parties who all competed against one another, all using the renewed Hebrew language. The sound of Hebrew could be heard in the streets of the city. There were concerts, cultural evenings, beloved theatre presentations, much Zionist activity. The chalutz spirit even extended from across the Polish border. It was like a Zionist bridge. Zionism was on the march with an emphasis on aliyah like a rainbow stretching across the land and beyond.

During the years before the Shoah there was a vibrant connection between the two cities. The Jews of Skala needed Borchov to be their contact with the central government. There was another attraction to Borchov and that was the gymnasium where the Jewish students were often in the majority. The Polish and the Ukranian students, even the administrators of the school, often let their anti-Semitism be felt. During the 1931 attacks when the government fought against the Ukrainian movement, membership of Jewish students in any youth group, Jewish or Zionist, was totally forbidden. This was a terrible blow to our youth movement, because all of the leadership was in the hands of the “students.” We carried on with our activities in secrecy, in the evenings, on rooftops until we were caught by spies who were following us. Our dear chaver [friend], Yitzchak Budian, and I were in the graduating class before the final exams. It was clear that we would be expelled from school, and we were rescued only because of the intervention of respected Jewish intercessors of Borchov and the love of some of our teachers. At the same bitter time two chevrah from Skala did a very daring thing. They were Baruch Ginsberg (z”l) and Gedalia Koble (z”l), Grade 6 students of the gymnasium who, in spite of the danger, formed a group of “Hashomer Hatzair” in Borchov. We warned them but to no avail. They were unmercifully chased out of the school and no intercession helped because “Hanoar Hatzioni” was suspect in the eyes of the Poles even more than the “Zionist Youth” or “Betar.”

The students of Skala roomed in friends' homes in Borchov. Friendly relationships prevailed amongst the Borchov students and their Skala friends. For four years we sat on the same bench for studies: Zisyeh Tiffer (z”l) and Abba Weisman (z”l) from Borchov and I and Moishe Metzer from Skala. In the row in front of us [sat] Yizchak Budian. In the afternoon we used to do our homework while the evening hours were always dedicated to meeting companions, mostly from outside of school. In the course of time a closely-knit group developed. The love for one another was like that of brothers. Even during the summer vacation months contact continued with reciprocal visits, hikes, etc. In the summer of 1932 Yitzchak Budin visited me. We sat outdoors in the sunshine when suddenly we got an idea: Let's visit our friend Carolina Zilberstein who lives in Dzinlov. We got up and set out on our way, on foot naturally. The distance was 70 kilometres. On the eve of Shabbat we reached Khuristkov and we created a sensation. At that precise moment there was great tension in that city, to such an extent that there were even enemy encounters between the two organizations of which we were members, and our appearance lessened the tension. We were like “messengers of peace” who restored good relations on both sides.

I can't get over the fact that many years before the Shoah the fate of the youth of four or five cities including their parents, relatives, all met their fate in the same central city, Borchov. In the end they were all buried in the same mass grave and if any survived it was a miracle.

I will never forget the warm atmosphere that surrounded us “chevrah” (Bund movement and others) in the home of the Budian family. We had great admiration for Yitzhak's father, his wisdom, his smile. His outward appearance was very impressive, his talent for writing was great. Yitzhak's mother treated us like her own sons. We felt as though we were in the home of our mother and father. Yollick Budian was a symbol for us of a fine young man... an elegant gentleman and Anzia had a smile that could break your heart expressing friendship and companionship. So it was that Borchov was like a second home for us, and our memories of those days will remain in the hearts of the remnants of the Shoah until our last breath.

- B -

The end was unimaginable. The souls were turned to dust. Thousands were buried in mass graves, all of them died as martyrs.

During Pesach of the year 1943 the Gestapo ordered all males from the age of 12 – 60 to assemble in Borchov in order to “receive identity cards.” Thousands of Jews from Skala, Milnitza, Koralovka and nearby towns appeared in the town square of Borchov not realizing what a bitter fate awaited them. Never before had so many of the area's Jews come willingly as they did at that time. It was a cruel step, one of many resulting in the dispatch of masses exclusively to labor camps and to their deaths. This bitter fate affected hundreds of Jews from Skala and hundreds of Jews from Borchov whose pain and suffering they could not prevent.

- C -

On Sukkot, 1943 the two cities drank a poisonous cup when by noon that day half of their total Jewish population was annihilated.

In the course of a month Borchov became the last station for the terrible roundup of the Jews of the surrounding towns as they went on their last journey. The terrible days came during which the pit opened its mouth and swallowed thousands of victims. The world did not become silenced, the sun did not vanish nor did any human response come from the thousands of Ukrainians and Poles who stood by and observed quietly as thousands of their fellow human beings went to their deaths in the pits in the June days of 1943. Among the holy martyrs was my mother, Sosya Lachman (z”l), whose maiden name was Harshar. I'll never know how it happened, how the last spark of her life was eliminated. Only this I know – together with her brothers and sisters, male and female soldiers who all died a martyr's death – they all lie buried together in the cemetery of Borchov.

The chief historian of the tragic Jewish record proves once again how Jews know how to die together though they don't always know how to live together.

At the time of death no distinction was made.

Kfar Saba, Israel

[Page 328]

The Borchover Landsmanshaft in New York

Translated by Miriam Beckerman

Edited by Myrna Neuringer Levy

The First Borchover Sick Benefit Society was founded under this name in 1897. The aim of the society, according to the founding statute was “to support sick and needy members and establish brotherly friendship and behavior amongst its members.”

They had a constitution. It is worthwhile mentioning that the “business of the society should be conducted in both Yiddish and English.”

“When a member gets married with a Gentile woman he is excluded from our membership.”

The remaining points discuss the duties and rights of the members.

Presidents of the society from the beginning and in later years, included Morris Eckstein, (M.K. Eckstein), Levi Eckler, Benjamin Neuringer, Levi Neuringer, Hyman Reich, Moishe Resnick, and Sam Steigman.

At the present time [1960] the executive consists of Irving Goldstein, President; Murray Winters, Vice President; George Schneider, Secretary; Ronald Steigman, Treasurer; Benjamin Neuringer, ex - President and President of the Burial Society; Benjamin Kupert, representative for hospital visits; and Adolph Kohn, Financial Secretary. [He occupied that post for over forty years.]

This society busies itself not only according to the statutes; i.e. with helping the members of Borchov who are members of the Society and live in New York, but also sends support to Borchov. As well, it helped bring and settle Borchover Jews to America before and after the two great World catastrophies.

During the last war when the tragic news about the situation of the Jews in Europe reached our brothers in America, the organization established a society named “The Sunshine Fund”, led by Sol Neuringer, to help the suffering brethren of Borchov, who saved themselves from the hell and found themselves first in the Soviet [Union], then the D.P. camps in Germany, Austria and Italy. They were helped with packages (food and clothing), money and when necessary, medicines.

[Note: Sol Neuringer kept an account book of the packages that were sent to Borchovers living in displaced persons camps and elsewhere after the end of World War II. This book is on permanent loan at the YIVO headquaters in New York City.]

Later on, when the majority of the refugees settled in Israel, they received help from America from time to time.

They also responded warmly to our appeal for [ help in ] publishing this book, sending material and a promise to distribute it amongst the members of our Society.

Amongst the previous members of the society who stand out with their work it is important to mention Sol Neuringer, Manes Folkenflick, Max Weinstein, Yeheskil Neuringer, Jacov Singer, Harry Yagendorf, Israel Goldstein, Dr. Ned Kurshner, Murray Hahn, Ben-Zion Newman, Louis Heffler, Irving Rosenbloom and Max Klein.

[What follows is an account in Hebrew of the members of the Society in Israel.]

Note: In the introduction to the book, (p.9) written in Yiddish by Nachman Blumenthal, the editor, is the following:

“We felt our responsibility to express our thank you to those who are not from this shtetl who help in the work, some with advice, some with material means… ” [included in the list of Dr. MM Gelber, Dr. Zvi Heller, Pinchas Schwartz of YIVO, N.Y. From the EBKUV, the Borchov organization in N.Y. Sol Neuringer and Adolph Kohn are listed.]

caption of picture on p. 329 - left to right:

Sol Neuringer, Benny Neuringer, Murray Winters, Izzy Golstein, Adolph Kohn (seated)

[Page 337]

List of members of our organization in Israel

Translated by Judy Petersen

Surname Given name Town Remarks Page
ADLER Pepi Ramat Gan 337
OPPENHEIM Penina Lod 337
AUERBACH Rakhel Tel Aviv 337
AUERBACH David Haifa 337
EISLER Rakhel Jerusalem maiden name WARCHNIANSKY 337
ELBERGER Tzvi Lod 337
EKSTEIN Yehuda Haifa Dr. 337
EKSTEIN Meir Kiryat Motzkin Dr. 337
EKSTEIN Abish Akko 337
BADLER Yisrael Kiryat Shemona works for the "Egged" company 337
BODIAN Yitzchak Haifa 337
BOYAR Avraham Tel Aviv deputy mayor 337
BOYAR Chaim Haifa 337
BILGORAY Tzvi Haifa 337
BLUMENTAL Moshe Haifa attorney 337
BLUMENTAL Pinchas Haifa 337
BLUMENTAL Baruch Tzfat attorney 337
BLUMENTAL-SHILO Regina Tel Aviv 337
BLUMENTAL Nachman Tel Aviv 337
BLUMENTAL Meshulam Ramat Gan engineer 337
BLUMENTAL Miriam Tel Aviv 337
BLUMENTAL Chaim Yad Hama'avir 337
BLAT Yitzchak Bnei Brak 337
BLAUTHAL Sanya Netanya 337
BLAUTHAL Herman Haifa 337
BLECHER Mula Shdemot Devorah 337
BAR-ET Devorah Ramat Gan maiden name SEGAL 337
BERMAN David Hadera attorney, 1891 338
BARTFELD Natan Beersheva 338
BERLAD Michael Petach Tikva 338
BERNHOLTZ Yakov Bnei Atarot next to Lod 338
BLUMENBLAT Kalra Tel Chanan maiden name FRIDMAN 338
GOTTESMAN Sarah Holon maiden name FRISCH 338
GOLDENBERG Ramat Gan brothers 338
GILZNER Sarah Neve Shanan--Haifa 338
GLAS Nusya Haifa maiden name EKSTEIN 338
GELLER Mechel Tel Aviv pharmacist 338
GELLER N. Haifa 338
GROSS Yisrael Kfar Salame next to Tel Aviv 338
DUDIK Yona Haifa 338
DOL Maximilian-Mendel Haifa 338
DISSTENFELD Genya Tel Aviv 338
DIKSTEIN Yisrael Ramat Gan 338
HOSKNECHT Miriam Ramat Gan maiden name ROSENWALD 338
HOSKNECHT Sofia Bat Yam maiden name ROSENWALD 338
HOFMAN Necha Tel Aviv 338
HELLER Asher Tel Aviv Dr. 338
HELLER Chaim Tel Aviv Dr. 338
HERSCHKOVITZ Asher Tel Aviv 338
VAGNER Miriam Givat Aliyah daughter of Eliahu FERER 338
VEINBERG Avraham Kiryat Chaim 338
VINTER Neti Haifa 338
VEINTROB-BRACK Mani Givat Rambam 338
VEINTROB Moni Beer Yakov 338
VEISBROD-DORNER Rakhel Tel Aviv 338
VEISMAN Henya Kibbutz Palmach near Jerusalem 338
VALDMAN Shneur Tel Aviv Dr. 338
VALDMAN Gavriel Holon, Mifde Mizrachi 338
ZILBERBUSH David Kiryat Bialik 339
ZILBERSPORN Chaya Holon 339
ZONENKLAR Yehuda Pardes Rosenblum 339
ZLOTCHOVER Moshe Nachalat Yitzchak 339
HET-TUCHFELD Miriam Haifa 339
YULES Naftali Afula 339
YULES Baruch Afula 339
YOSHPE Giza Bat Yam maiden name TZIMET 339
CARMEL Shoshana Haifa maiden name EKSTEIN 339
LACHMAN Gedalyahu Kfar Saba 339
LANDAU Moshe Haifa 339
LED Meir Akko 339
MIRENTZ Sofia Haifa maiden name EKSTEIN 339
MELTZER Klara Tel Aviv 339
MENACHEM Leah Rehovot maiden name UNGER 339
METZGER Yehuda Netanya 339
MARGALIT Pepi Bnei Brak maiden name SCHACHTER 339
MARGALIT Aryeh Kiryat Chaim 339
NAGLER Yitzchak Kfar Ata 339
NAGLER Leah Kfar Ata maiden name MENDEL 339
NEVES Beni Haifa 339
NUSBAUM Kalman Tel Aviv 339
NIK Hedva Magdiel maiden name BRACK-VEINTRAUB 339
NEUMAN Yissachar Haifa 339
NAGRISH Klara maiden name FACHMAN; nurse in the hospital in Givataim 339
SOFER Chaim Shadmot Devorah 339
SOFER Yehoshua Haifa 339
SOFER Mendel Haifa 339
SOFER Moshe Petach Tikva 339
STOP Yisrael Tel Aviv 339
FOLKENFLICK Moshe Akko 340
FOGEL Mina Tel Aviv maiden name FRISCH 340
FEDERER Chaim Tel Aviv engineer 340
FINKELMAN Herman Haifa 340
FISCHBEIN Pepi Tel Aviv 340
FISCHHOF Zsigmond Haifa 340
FELDSCHUH Moshe Kibbutz Sa'ad 340
PELTZ Zisi Rehovot 340
PELCHUCK Fantzia Ramat Gan 340
PALKUSH Ozer Yaffo 340
FERER N. Givat Aliyah daughter of Eliahu FERER 340
FENSTER Tzvi Kiryat Shalom A' next to the big orchard near Tel Aviv 340
TZUKER Tzilla Haifa 340
TZUKER Berish Haifa 340
TZIMET N. Machane Yisrael 340
TZIMET Tzvi Kfar Ata 340
TZIMERMAN Shmuel Haifa 340
KOLEK Ovadia Haifa 340
KOLEK Eliezer Migdal Ha'emek 340
KAUFMAN Vilhelm Ramat Gan dentist 340
KOPELOVITZ N. Kfar Salame 340
KUPLER David Haifa 340
KOCH Rivka Tel Aviv, Yad Eliahu maiden name KASIRER 340
KVARRNIT Naomi Rehovot maiden name GERLER 340
KELLER Feivush Afula Dr. in the Kupat Cholim 340
KRAMER Shemaya Tel Aviv 340
KRAMER Zev Haifa 340
KLEINMAN Shmaryahu Tel Aviv and Manya 340
ROSEN (ROSENBLAT) Pinchas Ramat Gan 340
ROSENBLAT Sarah Ben Dor maiden name ZEIDEN 340
ROSENVALD Yisrael Ramat Gan 340
ROSENVALD Beno Ramat Gan 340
ROSENVALD Fanya Ramat Gan 340
ROSENVALD Shalom Haifa--Neve Shanan 341
ROSENSTOCK Yosef Haifa 341
ROSENSTOCK Mila Bnei Brak Argaman factory 341
ROTZEID Shprintze (Genya) Beersheva maiden name FRIEDMAN 341
RICHTER-HERMONI Henya Kibbutz Ushah 341
REIVEL Shlomo Yaffo 341
REIS Leah Tel Aviv maiden name HERSHER 341
REITER Channah Ma'abara maiden name CHAT 341
REMER Yisrael Tel Aviv pharmacist 341
REMER Mina Tel Aviv maiden name FARMINGER 341
REMER Paul (Pinchas) Haifa 341
SCHVALBENDORF (?) Fantzia Haifa maiden name KELENBERG 341
SCHULBAUM Etya Bat Yam maiden name CHAT 341
SCHVARTZ Yakov Shadmot Devorah 341
SHTOK Yakov Givataim 341
SHTOK Genya Kiryat Motzkin 341
SCHACHTER Chaim Bnei Brak 341
SCHACHTER Fantzia Bnei Brak 341
SCHMETTERLING N. Haifa maiden anme REICH 341
SCHNEIDER Avraham Holon 341
SCHNEIDERMAN Leah Tel Aviv maiden name KLINGER 341
SHAPIRA Eliezer Rehovot 341
SHAPIRA Henya married to MESSING 341


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