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IN PINSK 1941-1942

by Nahum Boneh (Mular)

From the book Pinsk , Volume II

Tel Aviv, 1977

The Holocaust and the Revolt in Pinsk, 1941-1942


The fate of the Jews of Pinsk, like that of most of the Jews of Europe, was almost total extermination. In addition to the loss of life and property, all the documents that might have helped us to perpetuate the last chapters of the life of the Jews in the community of Pinsk were also lost. No trace was left of the archives of the Judenrat , and no list or account was written at the end of the Nazi occupation of what remained of the town, as was the case in some other ghettos.

We possess only two accounts from those days:
  1. The letter written by Dr. Elhanan Einbinder on the 12th of October 1942 – that is, seventeen days before the destruction of the ghetto. [1]
  2. Seventeen pages, containing thousands of names of Jews in the ghetto of Pinsk with details of their places of employment, the number of their dependents, and their addresses. [2] All the Jews who received work permits in the month of June 1942 are inscribed in this list with a serial number.
All the other evidence in our possession was taken and written down after the war, and only two of the statements, about one year after the war. In November 1945 testimony was taken from Yehoshua Gurevich [3] in Linz, Austria, and in September 1946 Aryeh Dolinko completed his memoirs which were printed by the Association of Jews from Pinsk in Israel in mimeograph form. [4] Four additional statements were taken and put down in writing in Tel Aviv in 1955, from the following survivors of the Holocaust Yehoshua Neidich, Tamar Garbuz Kobrinchuk, and Chayah Sherman.

In addition, the following people wrote down their recollections: As additional source material we used their testimony given in 1962 at the headquarters of the Israeli Police in Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv District Court, and the Magistrate's Court in Haifa, against Nazi war criminals who were arrested for having taken part in the murder of the Jews of Pinsk. Besides the survivors mentioned above, the following persons testified there:
In the archives of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem we have found two memoirs in which Pinsk is mentioned: evidence no. 1790, taken in Germany in 1946 from Hershl Turkan; [5] and evidence no. 297/139 recorded in Germany in 1946 from Yosef Hofman, a Hungarian Jew who had been brought to Pinsk in the year 1943 as a forced laborer to build a bridge. Nowhere does he mention in his evidence anything about meeting Jews, not even among the partisans who visited them during their work in the town.

As auxiliary material we also used the final concluding report of the Prosecuting Attorney, Dr. Arzt, at the Center for Legal Services in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart, who prepared the trial of the Nazi criminals involved in the extermination of the Jews of Pinsk. [6]

On the basis of this material and on the basis of additional conversations with survivors, I have written with awe and reverence of the fate of the Jews at the time of the Holocaust and of the Revolt in Pinsk, our native town.

Kibbutz Shaar Hagolan, 1965.

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