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[Page 284]

Letters from the Diaspora (1935 - 1939) cont.

Dov Schwartz to Rivka Melamed[1]



Ukmerge 1939 – 10/V

Dear “sister” Rivka, “Hazack”[2]

I can't describe my happiness here at receiving the letter you sent to us at home. Please forgive me this time for not being able to write you last time, because I was ill. I am feeling well now.

In the next letter write us about your personal life, how you feel in the kibbutz, in which you constantly aspired to live. Write what your work is in the kibbutz. Do you find satisfaction in kibbutz life? I want to know everything.

Sometimes, while lying in bed after my day's work, before falling asleep, I begin to contemplate Eretz Yisrael and a flame is lit in my soul… I am willing to leave everything that is dear to me, just to get to Eretz Yisrael, to live together with you and to work. I see Eretz Yisrael in my imagination, a land of milk and honey; in my imagination I see the tranquil kibbutz life; and in my imagination there are also groups of scouts there with you, and I am among them. And oh, how happy I am at that moment. Is there someone as happy as me? But suddenly the reality again appears before me, the dreary and bitter Diaspora and life in it. And my heart rises within me and seems to say to me: go from here, your place is not here, because here you have no foundation beneath your feet, you are inclined to fall to the netherworld, and I am ready to follow my heart, to flee the harsh and dreary reality, but…

Not long ago I saw the films from Eretz Yisrael here: “Current Events in Eretz Yisrael”. I can't describe the impression the films made on me. I saw the aliya to Hanita, the aliya of our Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz to Ein Hamifratz, and how I yearned also to be among the builders.

I don't know who caused Jews to love their homeland. I don't know; perhaps it is the Diaspora that has caused you to feel with every step you take that this is not your place. Perhaps…

Eretz Yisrael is my aspiration and my goal is the kibbutz.

I will end my letter, because I need to go to the gymnasium.

Warm regards to Shmuel [Shoham-Spitzer, Rivka's husband] and the members of the kibbutz. If there are any guys or girls in your kibbutz that would like to correspond with us, we would be very grateful to them, and would gladly answer them.

Regards to Ela and to Chaim [Slovo], and in general to all Dusiaters in the kibbutz.

Because we were late in sending this letter to Dusiat, to be sent with our letters from home, we are sending this letter privately from Ukmerge.

I await your reply,

“Hazak Ve'ematz”,

Your friend who shares your ideology and your fate,

Dov Shchori (Schwartz)

We will be in Ukmerge until June 15.

Our address in Ukmerge is:

M. Goldsteinas
Kauno g-ve 3
(del. Br. Svarcø)


“I saw the aliya to Hanita…
Eretz Yisrael is my aspiration and my goal is the kibbutz.”


Dov Schwartz (Bebe) Avraham Schwartz (Eme)


When the war between Germany and the Soviet Union broke out, the two brothers Schwartz, Dov and Avraham (sons of David and Lesl) were seen on their way to Dusiat from Vilkomir [Ukmerge], where they had graduated from the Hebrew Gymnasium [high school] the previous day. From then on all trace of them was lost. They were never seen again.



  1. Rivka Melamed's private collection. Return

  2. “Be strong” – part of the slogan 'Hazak V'neematz' [Be strong and of good courage], the slogan of Hashomer Hatzair. Return


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