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[Page 351]

Eight German Troop Trains Destroyed
By Yehoshua Kapelushnick (Argentina)

A letter to Yosef Feldman in Chicago, 1947

        Dear Yosef:

        I recently arrived in Lodz, and am trying to establish connections with the rest of the surviving relatives and friends. After years of indescribable suffering and torment in the Drohitchin ghetto, in the forest with the partisans, and on the battlefield in the Red Army. I have a lot to tell and write about, and will describe some of the details to you now.

        On June 25, 1941 our town was occupied by the Germans, and this introduced a period of suffering and murder! The German murderers would go around to the Jewish homes, robbing and beating people, claiming that the Jews were responsible for the war because they supported the communists with gold and weapons. The Germans rounded up all the Jews from all the villages and brought them to town. The local peasants from the village of Vetly started everything. They killed the Jews in their village, and gentiles of Khomsk and Motele did the same thing to the Jews living in those villages. They used knives, axes and scythes to kill the Jews. In Drohitchin itself during the first days of the occupation, the Germans killed those Jews who were known to be collaborators with the Soviet authorities. Then they started robbing Jewish property, tormenting and sending the Jews to work in labor camps.

        The Germans set up a Judenrat that would receive orders from the Germans. The Judenrat was responsible for collecting obligatory contributions, gold and personal possessions, as well as for sending people to work. This is how Jews themselves beat and plunder other Jews. During the first year, the Germans killed all the men in Brisk, Pinsk, Yanova and other town. Jews in Drohitchin were left alone for a while, though under tragic circumstances.

        In 1942 the mass murder of Jewish communities in western Russia and Ukraine began. Jews in Drohitchin lived in two ghettos. One ghetto was for tradesmen, which is where I lived, and the other was for unskilled people, who were killed on July 25, 1942. Among the dead were my brother Mendel and his family.

        After the unskilled were killed, we realized that the days of the tradesmen were numbered. I decided I didn't want to be slaughtered like a sheep, but wanted to fight the murderers. I got some weapons and would spend nights hiding out in the outskirts of town with my brothers Hershel and Simcha. (See p. 336).

        I remained alone with my indescribable anger and suffering, and decided to take revenge for the spilling of Jewish blood, and fight against the German bandits with the last breath I had. I joined a partisan unit, and fought against smaller German groups. I killed many Germans with my bayonet, and chopped up eight German military trains carrying soldiers, who I wiped out.

[photo:] Shoel and Devorah-Beila. Right: their parents: Chaim and Esther Khamsky. Left: Tsalka Feldman. All perished. May G-d avenge their blood!

[Page 352]

        I also destroyed a tank, and once was wounded. My thirst for revenge gave me courage to withstand the difficulties of partisan life. Many times I planned and carried out extensive operations. My greatest satisfaction was to hear a German moan, “Oh, my G-d.” I would think to myself that this was a response to the millions of Jews reciting 'Hear O Israel.'”

        I got to the Red Army together with the partisans, and in the Red Army I had the opportunity to have an open assault and battle on the largest camps of the enemy until they were destroyed. We went through German towns and cities like a raging storm, and I admit that it was music to my ears to hear the cannons and the crumbling of German fortifications and buildings. The flames of the burning German houses, the destruction that my friends and I carried out made us feel great. Each one of us had a long score to settle with those cannibals. Until today I am still unsettled because I have still not settled all the scores I should with the murderers.

        I grit my teeth and get agitated whenever I read about the trials of the bandits in Nuremburg, and how politely the Germans are treated in the occupied zones. I know that any revenge against those beasts is too small for the six million tormented Jews in the concentration and extermination camps; for the babes who were killed by having their heads bashed against the wall until their brains poured out; for the tens of thousands of Jews who were buried alive up to their necks, and who were then killed when the Germans drove their tanks over them.
        You have no idea how cruel the Germans and their collaborators were to us!! Don't let anyone say that it wasn't so bad! All of us who went through that suffering, starting from the Drohitchin ghetto and then with the partisans and in the Red Army, and who saw the Jewish catastrophe with our own eyes know that anything people say about it is only the tip of the iceberg of the gruesome destruction of our millions of brethren! It was terrible! It's impossible to describe!

        Why are they going through those ceremonies for the German bandits, the Goerings, the Ribbentrops and Rosenbergs? They killed millions of people! They are being treated too gentlemanly. Those criminals should be convicted! All Germans are criminals. None of them was innocent! According to law we should carry out the decree of exterminating all of the German People as it is written, “Erase the memory of Amalek”!!

[photo:] Hershel, Esther-Necha Milner-Gurstein perished. May G-d avenge their blood!
Sister of Todros Leib Milner, see pp. 295 and 324.

[photo:] From left: Yosef, Sheina Feldman, Itcha Mishovsky, Levine, Esther Mishovsky, Velvel Mishovsky (below), Ungerman and others.

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