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[Page 271]

[Photo:] First row, standing from right: L. Warshavsky, S. Warshavsky, B. Berg, M. Buder, P. Mazursky, L. Goldberg, H. Schmid.
Second row, from right: H. Eppelbaum, B. Z. Bezezhesky, R. Baum, R. Eppelbaum, Y. Goldman, Baum, Y. Beich, M. Kalenkovich.
Seated from right: T. Milner, Y. Schwartz, S. Feldman, Y. Mishovsky, A. Drucker, S. Zaretsky.
Below, from right: S. Feldman, Ch. Goldberg, D. Goldman, M. Valevelsky. The group Hechalutz [The Pioneer] had members of all parties. 18 perished. May G-d avenge their blood!

[photo:] Picture from left to right: Zechariah Sapozhnik, Hershel Steinberg (a woman) and Aharon Rosenzweig (Areleh Yankel Baruch's), former Bundists who fought for freedom and justice, sitting on the buggy. Their nature was to drive people on the right way. Zechariah and Areleh Yankel Baruch's perished, may G-d avenge their blood! Regarding Areleh Yankel Baruch's see p. 272.

[photo:] Todres Sapozhnik, died in Drohitchin.

[Page 272]


In 1903, when the revolutionary movement called Sisters and Brothers was established, the youth of Drohitchin were also drawn into revolutionary ferment, and workers now began asserting their rights.

        With the assistance of the Bund Central Committee in Pinsk, a local Bund party organization was established in Drohitchin. The leaders of the Bund in Drohitchin were Mordechai Weissman, (the son of Shimon the Doctor) and W. Poliak (Kapulier's grandson). The secret Bund meetings were held in the Rovno and Brona forests as well as in the building next to the old cemetery. The Bund leaders always switched around their meeting places.

        One day the leaders of the Bund Central Committee in Pinsk, Yaakov Gurin and Aharon Weinberg, came for a visit to Drohitchin. They were supposed to speak at the Old House of Study. However, the district police officer and his constables broke into the meeting and arrested almost everyone there. Only great effort and money made it possible to get the arrested people released from jail.

        The first workers' strike in Drohitchin broke out at the shoemaker shop of Reuven Beita, who refused to accede to the demands of the workers. Areleh Rosenzweig (Yankel Baruch's son) pushed his way into meeting Reuven, kicked the workers out and demolished the shop. The Bund workers finally achieved an 8-hour day and higher wages.

        At that time Yaakov Goldberg (Yosef Nissel's son), who was a militant activist on behalf of the Bund, called a secret meeting on the Rovno Forest. The police were waiting for the meeting, and arrested Goldberg, putting him in prison. He didn't remain there long, however. Khana Sarah Goldes the furrier and Areleh Yankel Baruch's the shoemaker dug a tunnel one night under the prison and freed Goldberg, who then got across the Russian border a few nights later, and made his way to the United States.

        On May 1, 1905 there was a large workers' demonstration in the central market of Drohitchin. Someone gave a strong revolutionary speech, and said, “Down with the Czarist regime. Long Live the Bund!” The result of this event was this person was arrested and sent for a period to Siberia. Following extensive attempts he was moved from the prison in Siberia to one in Kobrin.

        After the Czar's October manifesto of 1905, in which he planned to drown the Russian revolution in Jewish blood, the Czarist officials in Drohitchin used the excited peasant population to undertake a pogrom against the Jews. The event took place on December 9, 1905 at the Mikolai Fair. The Bund, however, was also ready, and on that day when the fair was supposed to take place, the Bundist young people went out very early to the roads behind town, and any peasant they found going to the fair was beaten severely and the sent back to his village. The fair didn't take place, and the Bund young people therefore saved the town from misfortune.

        As being apparent later, the peasants had been intending to enter town with axes, scythes and sacks. The same thing occurred in 1905 when young army draftee hooligans went on a spree against the Jewish population. The Bund proletariat attacked the hooligans and warned them not to start up with the Jews.

        The Czarist officials, however, got the upper hand against the revolutionaries, and through repression forced the Bundist leaders to flee to the United States. The Bund in Drohitchin therefore gradually faded away. But despite everything, the Bund in Drohitchin – like the Bund in all other towns – were responsible for writing their own page in Jewish history.

Information from Gedaliah Kaplan

Dr. Mordechai Weissman provided the following:

Yiddish announcements were mimeographed in the apartment of Gershon the shoemaker (a son of Kaila the mail carrier), who lived with his family of five children in one room in the home of Michel the gravestone engraver. Gershon also had his shoemaking shop in that same room.

Moshka Torbovitch was one of the most devoted Bundist activists in Drohitchin.

Additional information about the Bund is on p. 49 [Editor]

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