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[Page 341]

[photo:] From right: Yonah Goldberg, Yankel Beich, Zechariah Schmid, Feigel and Risha Epstein. All perished. May G-d avenge their blood! The Bank.


By Dr. Chaim Shoshkes

In Die Zeit of December 22, 1943, London, England. Reprinted by Morgen-Journal, New York.

        During those sleepy nights when the people, streets and houses of the now destroyed Jewish communities in Poland that I remember were still alive, I am starting to understand with great despair what we lost in recent years.

        Despite all the poverty, the legal handicaps and economic situation of those communities, they were the wellspring of a pulsating desire not to give in to their bitter fate, and not to give our enemies the pleasure of seeing us give up.

        For almost fifty years I have been traveling from community to community, from region to region. I was an inspector of the Jewish People's Bank, and my job was to set up and monitor banks, and to teach Jewish artisans and small businessmen how to improve their situation with loans, how to handle their poor finances, and especially how to stick together and not let themselves stay on their own.

        I just recently read a brief notice in the radical underground newspaper, To Arms!:

“Since all Jews in central Poland have been killed, they are proceeding to kill off all the Jews in the Polesia region. There are mass murders in Brisk and Drohitchin; these murders are being undertaken by the Germans and Ukrainians. The Jews are first being used to dig their own graves, and right afterwards are being shot and thrown in and buried.”

        Brisk….Drohitchin. In that town of Drohitchin near Kobrin there lived Zechariah the blacksmith, a wonderful Jewish personality who is certainly remembered by almost everyone from Drohitchin living in Europe and the United States. He was a giant of a Jew who had steel hands and toiled for years banging away on his anvil. Many years ago we appointed this simple blacksmith as an administrator of the People's Bank. He could have been an example to many people on Wall Street, and in New York and London with his dedication in the way he worked as a banker, in the way he was careful with people's money and in the way, and in the way he dealt with his customers who were laborers like him. I remember when we once traveled with a wagon between Drohitchin and Khomsk, and how the wagon tipped over, an event that in that bloody region was commonplace. Zechariah the hero turned the wagon back over and pulled the wagon and me out of the mud. Did his blessed hands also dig the large mass grave for the simple Jewish peasants and craftsmen of that secluded town?

        Dr. Shoshkes ended his article of 12/23/43 with a quote from a proclamation that appeared on the streets of Warsaw:

        “Just a little more patience! The hour of revenge is approaching. The doors of the concentration camps will be open in Auschwitz, Belzec, Treblinka and all the other places of suffering. Our suffering brethren will be freed, and their places will be taken by the disgusting German lowlifes who we will let hang.”

        “This human blood, this innocent blood, seethes, sizzles and does not calm down! The murderers will not save any peace treatises! Millions cry out from their graves and demand revenge!

Dr. Shoshkes

        (This is how people wrote and spoke in 1943, and today? Today everything is ignored and forgotten. “Surely the People are grass….” Isaiah 40.


[Page 342]

[Photo:] From right: Zelda Baum, Paya Buder, Sarah Pomeranetz, Chana Kravetz. Everyone except Buder perished. May G-d avenge their blood! Photo at right is of the kindergarten at the Moriah School in Drohitchin. The children and their teacher perished. May G-d avenge their blood!

[box at right:]
An eternal memorial to our dear
Moshe-Leib and Chaya-Sarah Salever
Leah, her husband and four children
Aharon Salever, his wife and four children
Chaim Salever
All perished, may G-d avenge their blood!
Liba and Eliyahu Salever-Trackman (New York)

[box at left:]
An eternal memorial to our unforgettable
Eliezer, son of Yosef Halevi, died on March 12, 1919 at 39 years of age,
and Rachel, daughter of Shachna Yosef Schwartz, may G-d avenge their blood!
Menachem and Itcha Schwartz
Avraham Schwartz (died in 1918)
Mother and brothers perished in Bereza, may G-d avenge their blood!
Hershel (Norvolk), Yisrael and Meir

[photo at left:]
Hershel the Blind Goldberg and his wife. They perished. May G-d avenge their blood!
Photo taken next to Hershel's house.

[photo at right:]
Standing from right: Bontsha Valevelsky, ----, Mazursky, Braverman, M. Kalenkovitch, Zaretsky. Seated from right: Schwartz, Steinberg, Yudelevsky, Goldberg, B. Wasserman. Below from left: Buder, Feldman, Milner. This is the Drohitchin sports group.

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