Shards of Memory:
Messages from the Lost Shtetl of Antopol
(Antopolí, Belarus)

52°12' / 24°47'

Edited by: Alicia Esther Goldberg

Published in Austin, Texas 2003


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Shards of Memory: Messages from the Lost Shtetl of Antopol
Edited by: Alicia Esther Goldberg, Published in: Austin, Texas 2003. pp 303

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This book is dedicated to the Antopol survivors and the memory
of the 3,000 martyrs, whose names and stories fill these pages.


Prof. P. Czerniak, with his wife and daughter
Ita Wolinetz
Shoshe Wolowelsky
Itka Mazurski
Reizl Kagan


I must acknowledge the significant effort of the Memorial Book Committee of Tel Aviv, who first published this book in 1972, as well as the American landsleit organization which generously supported the work of the original publication. I apologize for any errors present in the translation and editing of this noble work.

This edition would not be possible without the dedication and translation expertise of Nathan Snyder, a professional librarian in the Hebrew and Yiddish Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

For inspiration and editorial insight on the Yiddish messages, I recognize my father, Professor Jack Otis, and his wife, Patricia Folmar Otis. Leanne Hunt and Bonnie Glendinning were invaluable in providing encouragement as well as editing and designing this work.

Finally, I pay homage to all of the descendents of Antopol, who have created new lives of freedom and prosperity for themselves and future generations.

May these messages reach our hearts and remind us of the strength of our heritage.

Preface   1
At The Gates
Introduction   3
English Messages
Antopol History Prof. P. Czerniak 7
Our town A. Ben-Ezra 8
The Synagogue Court Dr. P. Berman (O.B.M.) 12
R. Pinchas Michael (Of Blessed Memory)   18
Rabbi Moshe Berman, O. B. M. P. Licht 25
The Belachovitzes Abraham Warsaw 26
The Roof Corroded Abraham Warsaw 26
The Holocaust
War Years in Antopol (1939-1944) Prof. P. Czerniak 29
The Ghetto of Antopol Prof. P. Czerniak 37
Memoirs of an Antopol Physician-Partisan Prof. P. Czerniak 42
Verdict Without Appeal Prof. P. Czerniak 47
The Story of a Martyr Prof. P. Czerniak 49
Survival Ita Wolinetz 49
Antopol in the Years 1957-1959 Prof. P. Czerniak 51
In Fire A. Warsaw 52
Yiddish Messages
Antopol, My Town Aharon Gofer 57
The Fires of Antopol Y. Varsha and M. L. Ben David 57
The Beginning   58
The Political Picture   59
Economic Conditions   61
Cultural Change   62
Colonies of Antopol Jewry   64
The End Israel Fernik 65
My Town and My Family Morris Asif 67
War and Occupations, 1914-1921 Shmuel Lifshitz 71
Religious and Cultural Life P. Berman 74
The Synagogue Courtyard A. Varsha 77
Memories of the Elementary School, 1923-1926 Rabbi Shalom Podolevski 82
Bertshe and Education in Antopol Yosef Veitsel 83
R. Henokh, the Elementary School Teacher M.L. Koshtshuk 83
R. Meir Yosel, the Elementary School Teacher   85
Rafael, the Elementary School Teacher Mosheh Leizer Koshtshuk 86
The Tarbut School Beylah Kletski-Libenfroynd 86
Aharon Lifshits, the Hebrew Teacher Shemuel Lifshits 89
Political, Social, Economic, and Fashion of Life
Political Movements in Antopol Dr. Meir Kletski 90
Zionism in Antopol E. Tsaytelzon 92
Revolutionary Movement Aryeh Shkolnik 93
Women Revolutionaries Mosheh Setavi 93
Medical Help and Medical Institutions Prof. P. Czerniak 94
Photographs   100
Hebrew Messages
History of the Community Akiva Ben-Ezra 108
Antopol Prof. P. Chernyak 109
History of the First Jewish Settlement in Antopol Mosheh Falk 111
Location of Antopol and its History Akiva ben Ezra 112
Antopol, as I Saw it in My Childhood Shemuel Turnianski 120
Antopol and its Jewish Population up to WWI Abraham Lifshits 121
 WWI Mosheh Falk 123
In the Gates of Torah A. Ben-Ezra, R. Pinchas Michael 124
R. Mordekhai, of Blessed Memory A. Ben-Ezra 136
Rabbi R. Shemuel A. Ben-Ezra 145
Rabbi Mosheh Tsevi A. Ben-Ezra 146
R. Hirsh (Rabinovits)   147
Rabbi Mosheh Berman P. Likht 147
R. Mosheh Soloveichik A. Ben-Ezra 147
Rabbi Mosheh Wulfson A. Ben-Ezra 148
Rabbi Yosef David Zalman Zeev Shahor 148
Rabbi Yitshak Elhanan Walkin A. Ben-Ezra 152
R. Binyamin Rosh Yeshivah Mosheh Falk 152
R. Yaakov Hayyim, the Ritual Slaughterer Rabbi Aharon Asher Volinets 153
R. Mosheh Leizer, the Ritual Slaughterer, and His Friends Tsivyah Shneider 154
R. Avraham Yehudah Margiliyot Aryeh Shkolnik 154
A Society to Study Mishnah and Societies for Other Studies Rabbi Aharon Asher Volinets 155
For the History of Rabbi Binyamin Sakirlski A. Ben-Ezra 155
Rabbi Yitshak Lifshits Shemual Varshah 156
R. Aharon Asher Volinets M. Falk 158
The Walled Study Hall Rabbi Aharon Asher Volinets 159
Memories of the Walled Study Hall   160
Education, Culture, Institutions, and Movements Sh. Turninski 161
My Teachers M. Polak 162
The Founding of the Tarbut School Belah Liberfroind 165
Free Loan Association M. Polak 167
First Aid Development in Antopol Belah Liberfroind 167
The Pioneering Youth in Antopol Between the Two Wars Mikhael Kosht 169
Fradl the Revolutionary Mosheh Stavi 172
The First Zionists in Antopol Mosheh Polak 172
Ha-shomer Ha-tsair Hayyim Asif 173
The First Pioneer Group Mosheh Polak 174
Economic and Social Life: Employment in Antopol M. Polak and Sh. Turninski 176
My Dear Town Vardah Kusht 184
Memories of My Youth Miriam Valodovski 186
My Grandfather's Farm Belah Liberfroind-Kletski 186
Jewish Holidays M. Polak 190
Water for Tashlikh A. Varshah 194
The Murder of Yonah the Miller A. Slonimski 196
From the Memories of a Teacher in Antopol Dr. M. Zagor (Zagorodaski) 197
Personalities and Surroundings Mosheh b. R. Akiva Yeruham Lifshits 204
Lifshits Family Aryeh Eliav 206
People and Families of Antopol
Sarah Itah Lifshits, The Baker Peshe Ben-Tovim 207
R. Avigdor Sirotah, of Blessed Memory Dr. Menuhah Gorvits 208
R. Avraham Klorfin Eliyahu Klorfin 208
Yosef and Esther Glashtein Eliyahu Klorfin 209
R. David'l The Rabbi's Wife, Lifshah Shahor, of blessed memory 209
A Daily Page for the Soul of My Father, My Teacher, R. Lazar, of Blessed Memory Mosheh Polak 210
R. Shelomoh B. R. Henakh (Greenberg) and His Wife Heniah Hadas, Daughter of R. Mosheh Shemuel, of Blessed Memory Mosheh Polak 211
R. Yaakov Fridman (Yenkel the Person from Oblie) A. Antopolski 211
In Memory of My Dear Parents, Brothers, and Sister, Who Shall Not Be Forgotten Rinah Asif 213
R. Yaakov Hayyim Kotler, the Ritual Slaughterer and Examiner Rinah Asif 214
Shelomoh'ke Menahem of the Family Gershtein Rinah Asif 215
The Family of Hayah and Aharon Shemuel Kaplan Avraham Kaplan 215
Itse Sarah-Menies Berkovits Mosheh Polak 216
R. Yisakhar-Dov Rovashavski (Berish the Leaseman) Rayah Kliman-Rovashavski 216
In Memory of Artsak and Sarah Gelershtein Rayah Kliman-Rovashavski 216
R. Zalman Ben Shelomoh Shayah Yehudah, Nadel, and Tovah Altberg 217
Memories Shemuel Lifshits 217
R. Yaakov Meir of Osmolovits   218
Meir Shub, of Blessed Memory Maniah Volodovski 218
R. Alter Zisuk (Alter Shelomoh the Housepainter) A. Antopolski 219
In Memory of the Family Zonshein Esther Gamerman 219
Segal family Esther Gamerman 220
In Memory of My Family Shoshanah Edre 221
In Memory of My Mother Elke Rahel and My Sister Mirah'leh Sefulah Sosnik 221
In Israel: Mosheh Stavi -- Abu Naman Prof. P. Czerniak 222
Points About Mosheh Stavi's Writing Daniel Ben Nahum 225
For the Memory of Manan Lifshits Fihanan Rinah Asif 232
R. Avraham Yitshak Weinstein, of Blessed Memory Yaakov Rimon 233
R. Avigdor B. R. Yosef, the Mason Shmuel Dov Hayyim Kris 234
Tsevi Volodovski, of Blessed Memory Miriam Volodovsk 234
In Memory of Frumah Ben Tsevi of the Fridman Family Yosef Pen Tsevi 235
Zaidel (Yehudah) Barshavitski, of Blessed Memory (1908-1963) Rinah Osip 235
My Wife Vardah, of Blessed Memory Mikhael Kusht 236
Belah Libenfroind – Kletski G. Nahmani 236
Naftali Volinots, of Blessed Memory Ester Ton (Volinots) 237
In Memory of Our Sons, Who Fell in Combat Vardah Koshet 238
To Our Son, Mezer Shahor, of Blessed Memory Fridah Shahor 239
The Dear and Unforgettable Frumah Ben Tsevi Rinah and Hayyim Osip 240
Berish Dov Matolski, of Blessed Memory Malkah Yentah Shvarts 240
Nahum Volinets, of Blessed Memory   241
Yehudah Slonimski   242
Avraham Kotler   242
The United States, Dr. Fabius Feitil Berman A. Ben-Ezra 242
Leibl Valovalski P. Czerniak 243
Avraham Varsha's Book: Years of Blood and Fire Avraham Barbau 244
Akiva Ben Ezra Eliezer Leidiger 246
Avigdor Varsha   247
Avraham Leaf (Lifshits)   248
[Poem] Vardah Kusht 248
Holocaust and Destruction Gitl Tserniak 249
I Cry Over These Rabbi Yaakov Pester 258
My life of Terror in the Ghetto of Antopol and My Salvation Shoshanah Kats 259
The Action of an Underground Doctor from Antopol P. Czerniak 263
Our Being Saved from Destruction Gitl Feldshtein-Czerniak 270
Mosheh Dor Ber Pomerants, Poet of the Holocaust   277
About the Graves of our Dear Ones, Sons of Antopol P. Czerniak 279
Activities of the Organization in Israel H. Osip 281
Synagogue in Memory of the Martyrs of Antopol in Tel Aviv Z. Z. Shahor 282
Translation of a Letter Isar Yehudah b. R. A. Unterman 284
Memories From Erecting the Synagogue Shemuel Lifshits 285
The Free Loan Association in Memory of the Martyrs of Antopol Mosheh Polak 287
Antopol Martyrs of the Holocaust   291

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