by Yaakov Zacharavitch
Translated from the Hebrew by Ann Belinsky
We - the remnants of the Jews of the Lubtch-Delatitch community, have not forgotten the terrible days when the two towns were obliterated, and every year we meet up and remember our dear ones who were destroyed, killed and burnt alive, only because they were Jews, and for no other reason.
Our people, from whose mouths comes a prayer I will not die for I will live, is paying in blood the price of existence: even today our sons are falling by the Suez Canal, in the Jordan Valley, in the Golan Heights and even within the Green Line. The blood which was spilt during the Holocaust and today is the price of the last generations, for the right to live as a free people in our own State - our homeland; this is exactly how we are carrying out the import of the verse: Then I passed by you and saw you downtrodden in your blood, and I said to you, 'In your blood live! And I said to you 'In your blood live!'
Many years have passed since the Holocaust, more is forgotten than is remembered, but even so, they all pass before us - all the murdered ones, as if on a screen before our eyes; here they are standing in front of me; simple people, working people, full of longing for Zion, believing and waiting for the Redeemer, people who were wise enough to bring up a generation that refuses to wait for a miracle, a generation that set on its way to acquire training and go on aliya to Eretz Yisrael, to be pioneers passing before the camp, to pave the way for those following in their footsteps.
Here is the township: here are the prayer houses, and next to them is the Tarbut school, humming with teachers and pupils. Here is the group of teachers that I remember, the headmaster Yitzchak Dichter of blessed memory - the fighter for school's existence, its improver and perfecter, and his colleagues by his side - the teacher Yaakov Shmulevitch and his wife, who was also a teacher; Shalom Sonenzon, the teacher Chaim Persky who saw the activities for the Jewish National Fund as his destiny in life. In front of my eyes stand all at the first bazaar which was held for the JNF; and here is the library - the pride of the teacher Alter Shmulevitch; here are the activists of the youth groups - the next generation, who did not live to fulfill their vision; here are the community leaders, and at their head is Chaim Bruk, representing it in all matters.
Here is the whole township with its people and its institutions; a small town, crowded, roofs touching, with no modernization, the water does not flow in pipes, but it has a warmth, each family has its own corner, the youth are in ferment, beginning to look forward to new horizons and to be freed. In this place we passed the best days of our lives, the days of childhood and youth, where we dreamed dreams of a better future.
This Jewish town is no longer, all has been destroyed. In all possible ways and by all means, whole families were executed - men women and children; and we who were far from all this have remained orphaned and alone.
The years have passed: every year that goes by distances us from the days of the atrocities, the cry of the blood is becoming fainter, and wounds tend to heal. The daily hassles divert our minds from the thoughts and the memories; but this gathering and the prayer El Maleh Rachamim which the chazan has chanted return us to those days, to the great catastrophe that overtook our people.
From year to year there remain fewer and fewer of the remnants of our town, and who knows if our children will keep alive the memory of the towns and their families that they never knew, but have only heard about.
There is a prayer in our hearts that this book - the headstone that will be raised in memory of the two communities - will be used as a source for study and learning, about the stories of the Jews of the town, and that our children and grandchildren will remember, through reading it, all our dear ones, who were burned on the stake and died martyrs deaths.
May their memory be blessed and engraved in our hearts forever.
Engraved on the monument: In Memory of the Martyrs of the Communities of Novogrudek and surroundings: (left to right) Saliv, Lubtch, Karelitz
[From personal knowledge: Left side: Batya Chichik, Elka Yankelevitch, Chaim Yankelevitch. Right side -unknown]
Hebrew letter Aleph א
Hebrew letter Bet ב
Hebrew letter Gimel ג
Hebrew letter Dalet ד
Hebrew letter Hey ה
Hebrew letter Vav ו
Vinestein (Weinstein) Bobel
Hebrew letter Zayin ז
Hebrew letter Tet ט
Hebrew letter Yod י
Hebrew letter Kaf כ
Cohen Dov (Tel Aviv)
Hebrew letter Lamed ל
Levine (The Rabbi))
Liv (?Leib) David and Yona
Leibovitz Avraham Ben-Shalom
Hebrew letter Mem מ
Meizel (Ramat Gan)
Maslovtah (Tel Aviv)
Hebrew letter Nun נ
Hebrew letter Samech ס
Slonimsky Yisrael and his wife
Hebrew letter Peh פ
Hebrew letter Tzaddi צ
Hebrew letter Koof ק
Kivlevitch Shmuel (Tel Aviv)
Kivilevitch Shmuel (The Rabbi)
Hebrew letter Resh ר
Hebrew letter Shin ש
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Updated 23 Apr 2013 by LA