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[Page 111]

A Memorial

Translated by Myra Rothenberg

For the Jewish community of Bobrka and the small towns around it and everyone
together and for everyone dear to us:
Moms and Dads
Grandmothers and Grandfathers
Sisters and Brothers
Aunts and Uncles
Friends and Friends
Rabbis and Religious Officials
The Religious and Enlightened
Chasidim and Mitnagdim
Workers and Folkspeople
Beloved people; and the wonderful warm and healthy youth whom we will also carry in
our hearts. We will remember you forever.

[Page 112]


The Editors

Translated by Theodore Steinberg

Jewish Boiberke exists no longer. It has been totally erased from the world.

The only monument that we can establish for the martyrs of our shtetl is to describe their way of life and deliver it to our children and to convey to the coming generations the spiritual strength of those tragically killed who could experience so many troubles and bear so much agony. Everyone knows that it is not easy to show strength, to accomplish something, to bear something in a difficult moment, in a few minutes, in a few hours. But to bear so much without let-up over the course of months and years, to bear so much agony, to be pursued by all those around like a wild animal with nowhere to escape and still not to lose the image of God, the likeness of God–for that one must have the spiritual strength that only the children of the Jewish people have inherited from their ancient ancestors in the idea of “martyrdom.”

The articles in this Yizkor Book were written by our people, each according to his ability. These are not professional writers or historians, but we can feel that each one undertook the labor with love, with sincerity, with his whole heart.

Very few from Boiberke escaped the Nazi killers. If we know anything about the life in the ghetto of our dear ones and about their tragic deaths, it is only thanks to the few survivors.

It is a shame that we come so late to this sacred task. Already twenty years have passed. Many stories have been forgotten, and those that have been recalled are perhaps not fully accurate. But we have allowed each person to relate the events as he saw them, as he observed them.

The depictions of the places and people are suffused with love and longing, as they are written by people who see before them fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, friends who are no longer with us.

For our children and for the coming generations this Yizkor Book should serve as a warning engraved in fiery letters in the souls of all:

“Remember what Amalek did to you.”

Hear, O Israel. Remember and do not forget. This must never happen again!

The cries of our martyrs must never be stilled. “Earth, do not cover my blood and let my cry have no resting place!” [Job 16:18].

With bowed heads and with broken hearts we stand before our modest monument to the murdered Jewish community of Boiberke and the communities that surrounded it.

[Page 115]

The Shtetl Is Burning

Mordechai Gvirtig

Translated by Theodore Steinberg

It's burning, my brothers, it's burning.
Oy, our poor shtetl, poor thing, is burning.
Bitter winds tear at the rubble
And fan the flames.
The whole shtetl, all around, it burns,
And you stand there and watch
As our shtetl burns.

It's burning, my brothers, it's burning.
Its aid depends entirely on you.
If the shtetl is dear to you,
Take some pots and put out the flame.
Show what you all can do.

Don't stand there, brothers,
With hands at your sides.

Take the pots and put out the fire,
Because our shtetl is burning.

It's burning, my brothers, it's burning.
Heaven forbid, that moment approaches
When the whole shtetl will vanish
Together with us,
And only empty, blackened walls will survive.

And you stand and look on
With hands at your sides;
Don't stand there, brothers, extinguish the flames,
Because our shtetl is burning


“The City is Burning”

[Page 116]

Guardians of Israel
(for an explanation of the picture, see page 120)


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