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[Page 237]

Hausman Family – Top, from right: Moshe Ber and Feigel Hausman and children: Shmuel Greenberg (son-in-law), Chana (Shmuel's wife), and Raizel (below right), killed in Drohitchin in 1942. Shmuel was a petty-officer in the Canadian Navy, died in action, August 30, 1945 [sic]; Yisrael, died on 12 Adar, 1946 [in 1946 there were two Adar months, so corresponding English date is unclear] in Argentina.

        Shmuel was a religious young man. When he went off to war he left a will stating that if something should happen to him, his belonging should be given to charity.

        Moshe Ber, a son of Alter the Magid's [Preacher's] and Charna Hausman, and Feigel (born in the village of Sokolovka) both died on the same day in the typhus epidemic on September 13, 1915. Moshe Ber was 39, and Feigel 41. They left behind 12 small orphans.

        The daughter Chaya-Ethel reported that the funeral of her mother took place in the daytime, and her brother said the Mourner's Kaddish at the afternoon prayer. Her father said, “Say the Kaddish my son for your mother, later you'll say it for me.” A while later her father died.

        The two oldest sisters took care of the younger children. Chaya Ethel had a grocery store and earned a living, while Chana ran the house until the children all grew up and went out on their own.

        Sarah Devorah Nitovsky, Esther Leah Goldstein (Chicago), Freidel Gold (New York), Chaya Ethel Loffman (Los Angeles), Bodya Feinman, Sheindel Steinberg (Winnipeg, Canada) and Yaakov Grossman (Argentina).

[Page 238]


He was called Moshe “the ascetic.” He was a short man with a pair of sparkling eyes that were set with a pair of broken eyebrows. He attended the Old House of Study, where he sat behind the Torah-reading platform, and studied on his own day and night or taught a class in the classic anthology, Ein Yaakov between the afternoon and evening services.

[photo:] Moshe the Ascetic [illegible words] Drohitchin, Summer, 1935.

        Every major businessman provided him with his meals. He never spoke about his family, and his life seemed to be a mystery to everybody. He would eat his Sabbath meals at our house. My younger sister would prepare dairy meals for him because he couldn't eat meat meals – only dairy.

        One Friday evening it was pouring rain and was impossible to leave the house. I asked him to spend the night at our home. On that occasion we happened to also discuss various Jewish issues, world politics, and our personal lives. I asked him to tell me about his life and why he became an ascetic.

        He asked me to swear never to tell anyone what he said for as long as he lived. Now he is no longer alive, so I can recount the tragic story.
        “I lived in a village called Yuchnovitz, near Pinsk. I returned from yeshiva and married the daughter of a wealthy Jewish villager. My wife was very beautiful, and we earned a living from the store that my father-in-law opened for me. I was then blessed with two beautiful children, and we lived a happy life.

        “The joy didn't last for long. As people say, 'no one knows what tomorrow will bring.' One morning my wife told me that she didn't feel well and I should call the doctor. I immediately called the country doctor from Yanova who arrived quickly and examined my wife. He stated that she had typhus and provided us with various prescriptions. Like an arrow I shot off to Yanova to the pharmacy and ordered the prescriptions. The pharmacist gave me two bottles, one to drink and the other to spray around the house. It was like Lysol. When I got home I mixed up the bottles and gave my wife the bottle of Lysol to drink. Soon after she drank it, she started having convulsions and died.

        “ I was frightened and confused, but no one knew the reason. This awful mistake has broken my life forever. I didn't sleep at night, and wandered around feeling that I was going to go out of my mind. I decided to give my children to my in-laws, leave my friends and wander through cities and towns for a whole year until I came to Drohitchin, where I remained.

        “ Until today no one knows that I killed someone, my very best friend, by mistake. Therefore I am going to remain an ascetic until I die.” He then ended his tragic story.

Gedaliah Kaplan


In eternal memory of our beloved and dear parents

either 2/18/38
April 6, 1922
Lechovitsky Alta
3/20/38 [there were two Adar months in 1938, not one as indicated]

  Brother and Sister
Meita and Yitzchak
        perished with their families at the hands of the German murderers in 1942 in Drohitchin.

David Lakovitz, Brooklyn   Beila Levy, Chicago
  Tila Schwartzberg  
In memory of my parents

Meir Yudel
March 24, 1939
Feldman Leah
March 12, 1915

Chava Feldman

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