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Education

Elementary education began in the "Cheder" - the room.

In the beginning of the 20th century, in 1908, Chaim David Glaser opened the first Hebrew School. In his school, Russian was also taught. Almost at the same time, a Hebrew Elementary School for girls was opened. In 1926, "Tarbut" School was opened, with 7 classes, which operated until 1939.

A few years later, a religious school "Or Torah" (The Light of the Torah), called also "Yeshivah" was opened. There was also a Hebrew kindergarten, and a Torah School for the poor.

The town had, of course, a State Polish Elementary School. Jewish children also studied there. A very small part of Mezirich children continued their high school education in Rovno.

The Hebrew language was commonly known by the youth.

Youth Movements

With the conquering of Wohlin by the Poles, a sign was given to the various Zionist Organizations, operating underground, to organize and operate openly. In 1918, the entire Mezirich youth was organized under one body called "B'nai Zion" (Sons of Zion). This organization opened night classes for Hebrew learning. In this organization, love of Zion and love of the spiritual properties of the people was imparted. In 1924, a branch of "Hechalutz" (Pioneer) was erected, and later other movements were organized: "Hashomer Hatzair", "Hechalutz Hatzair, "Gordonia", "Freiheit" (Freedom), and "Beitar".

A considerable number of young men and women of our town, trainees of the various youth movements, immigrated to Israel and stayed there.

The Jews of Mezirich were annihilated in two "Actions":

The first was on Shavuot (Pentecost) 1942, and the second on Succot (Tabernacles) in the same year. I won't write about the Holocaust period in Mezirich as I was not there. I ran away during the first week of the war, in 1941, to the U.S.S.R.

The three-thousand Jews of Mezirich are buried in a mass grave in the brickyard in the village of Nevirkov, 4 km. from Mezirich. The mass graves were dug far from the road. From the road, nothing is seen. Cows pasture in the area.

For fifty years there was no real communication with Mezirich. A few of the townspeople survived by hiding with the help of the Righteous Gentiles. Some ran away to the U.S.S.R. Tens joined the partisans and fought in their midst.

A special place deserve the small children who survived alone, in the forests, begging from the Gentiles, sometimes bitten by dogs. The story of the children's valour has not yet been told. Young heroes, carrying the wounds till this day.

Most of the remaining refugees arrived in Israel. They were received warmly by our veteran townfolk who had been in Israel since before the war.

One can meet our townspeople in the working settlements, in co-operative settlements, in offices, education, commerce and industry.

All these years, a devoted Council operates for the Mezirich Organization. The Council communicates regularly with the Mezirich people in the Diaspora, especially with the Community in Canada. Once year, the Council gathers the Mezirichers at a Memorial Service, has published a book in memorium to the town, and has built a tombstone in the Holon (Israel) cemetery (earth was brought from the mass graves in Nevirkov and placed under the ground at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem). The Council participated in the Wohlin Building, where there is a special room for Mezirich. We have commemorated the partisans and soldiers on a special wall near the Wohlin Building in Givatayim (Israel).

The "Remez" School in Holon (Israel) has adopted the Meziricher Community and communication continues. The schoolchildren are invited to memorial services, and Mezirich Council members visit the School every year on the Holocaust Memorial Day.

When communication was renewed with the Ukraine and the first visitors to Mezirich spoke, upon their return, of the destruction of the town, the neglect and desolation of the site of the mass graves, the Mezirich Council in Israel, together with other Mezirichers in Israel and in the Diaspora, got together to redeem the graves from their desolation.

Meziricher people, wherever they were, in all the Diaspora, made respectable donations to this holy cause. With the confirmation of the Ukrainian Authorities, the mass graves were fenced, a tombstone was erected, and in it was concealed a scroll with the names of the ones who died in the Holocaust. Every once in a while, the Council organizes visits to Mezirich. The second and third generations visit, are impressed, absorb impressions - there is nothing like seeing with your own eyes.

The old cemetery of Mezirich was destroyed. Local people had started building their houses on the area. Very few tombstones remained in the old cemetery. With the confirmation of the Authorities, this cemetery, too, was fenced, a staircase was built which allows going up the hill where the cemetery is, and a tombstone was built there, in symbolic memory of the Righteous dead.

Mezirich was destroyed. It is gone. It exists in our memories, in our souls, forever.

... Only the old Spring bubbles near the old flour mill.
















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