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[Col. 1179]

New–Daugelishak

(Naujasis Daugėliškis, Lithuania)

55°22'/26°18'

Zev Kuritzki

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

 

Sve1179.jpg

 

New–Daugelishak, a small hamlet of about 40–50 Jewish families, belonged to the Sventzian district. The closest Jewish town was Ignalina, which had a railroad and also had a larger Jewish community. Therefore, the first Jewish inhabitants were very closely connected with Ignalina. There were large markets in Ignalina where Jews from Daugelishak would go to buy and sell their wares. The second connection was the railroad, which went to Vilna. Amongst the Jews were

[Col. 1180]

Some wealthy folk who owned their own homes, and enterprises of all sorts. As they were merchants, they travelled all over to different markets (which took place in each shtetl on different days) and traded with whatever they had in order to make a money. This is how the merchants established themselves with the surrounding towns, like Ignalina, Vidz, Dukst, and Svencionys. Part of the folk made a living from other trades, like tailors, shoemakers and other professions.

[Col. 1181]

Sve1181.jpg

A group of Young People
Seated: left to right: Sara Raitza Gaitzen, Devorah Kuritski, Zev Kuritski, Fruma Kuritski
Standing: Raicha Krill, Abba Levin, Sara Feigl, Abba Silber, Mera Leah Levin, Shlomo Gaitzen

 

For the dozens of smaller hamlets around our town, the only financial institution that the small town was able to maintain, was a Gemilut–Hesed (free loans for the needy), which was managed by Zev Kuritzki, Asher Usphal, and Abraham Eliahu Kuritzki. The Gemilut–Hesed Bank(or society) helped those in need to survive. The most important cultural institution was the library and was founded by B. Kuritzki, now living in Argentina.

Daugelishak had a very well–organized fire fighting team, which was comprised of Jewish youth. It provided a livelihood for them, as well as, being so organized, they provided us with protection against those Christian hooligans when necessary.

These were:

  1. Zev Kaplan
  2. Zelig Levin, the Shamash from the Schul
  3. Moishe Eliahu Reznik, the Shochet
  4. Leib Yitzhak Levin
  5. Yechitiel Usphal
  6. Asher Usphal
[Col. 1182]

Sve1182a.jpg

Yerachmiel Lifshitz

 

  1. Yerachmiel Lipshitz,an outstanding director of “YEKAPO” during the first World War
Yekutiel Upsphal, during the Czarist regime was the representative and official who handed out documents (passes) for the Jewish folk of Volosk (province).

 

Sve1182b.jpg

Reb Moishe Issak Lipshitz

 

In Old–Daugulishok lived: Moishe Issak Lipshitz with his extended family, a Holy Man, he had a shop: Lipe Elia Gurewitz, who dealt with poultry and wood, A. Shaper, who later left for America, the neighbour Aharon and Moishe Sharfstein.


[Col. 1183]

Old and New in Our Home

Bluma Ushpal–Vidotchinski and Raisel Lifshitz–Pliner

Translated by Janie Respitz

 

Sve1183a.jpg
 
Sve1183b.jpg

Raisel Lifshitz–Pliner
 
Bluma Ushpal–Vidotchinski

 

Not one, but two, Daugelishoks existed on the way from Svencionys to Vidz. One was called Old, because truthfully it was old because of its age. The second, New–Daugelishak was built thanks to the new church, and thanks to the Volost(gemina) that belonged administratively to the larger town of Ignalina. The land on which these small towns were located belonged to the princely Radziwill family.

From Old–Daugalishok, the Jews were slowly disappearing. Very few families remained. Their children immigrated wherever they could, America, Africa, Argentina and Brazil.

In New Daugalishok existed a small Jewish community of well known families until the second World War, Lipshitz, Ushpal, Gaitzen, Kuritzki and others.

Yechutiel Ushphal, during the Czarist period, was the Jewish representative who was the go between the city official. Yechutiel Lifshitz was the mayor in the time of the first World War and the representative of “YEKAPO”(relief society) for Daugelishok.

Even during the most difficult times, the youth of Daugalishok

[Col. 1184]

didn't give up, they had a “Halutz” club, a drama club, a library, a string orchestra, and a fire– fighting brigade.

At the outbreak of the second world war, when our Lithuanian neighbours started to terrorize us and killed a friend, the young people of Daugelishak organized themselves and counter attacked. They would not allow these hooligans to continue in this manner.

A large segment of the youth escaped when the Germans arrived and because of this, the Lithuanian murders killed 18 Jews. Those who escaped enlisted in the Soviet Army, amongst them were: Ber Tzinman, Israel Abelevitch, Hirsh Berman, Hirsh Ushpal, Abraham Yitzhak Ushpal, Meir Kessel and Rafael Kagan.

Some also fell during the Partisan campaigns and fought valiantly: Moishe Gordon and Abraham Usphal. A. Ushphal got a medal: “Help from the Red–Farband”

From Russia those that returned: Bluma Ushpal, Rochel Ushpal, Tzira Gordon, Rebecca Berman, Raizel Lifshitz.

The Daugelisher Jews, together with all the Jews from the Sventzian Region, had the same fate. In the mass grave of Poligon, Old and New Daugelishakers have their final resting place.

Let us never forget these martyred people of Daugelishok.


[Col. 1185]

Rabbi Eliyahu and his son Dr. Hirsh–Leib Gordon

by David Tidhar

Translated by Meir Razy

Dr, Hirsh–Leib Gordon was the son of Rabbi Eliahu Gordon and Malka Katznelenboygn. He was born in Daugelishak in 1896, grew up in Daugelishak, Vidz and Komai, studied in the Slobodka, Lida, and Volozhin yeshivas starting at the age of nine and completed his rabbinical education in 1914. That year he emigrated to Palestine where, at first, he worked as a laborer in the orchards of Petah Tikva.

 

Sve1185.jpg

Rabbi Eliahu Gordon 96–1892

 

Being a Russian citizen, he was deported to Egypt by the Ottoman rulers at the outbreak of the first World War (1914). In Egypt he met with Joseph Trumpeldor and Ze'ev Jabotinsky who were creating the Jewish Legion and he joined that Legion. He participated in the Legion's military activities in the Dardanelles (the Gallipoli Campaign) in Turkey. After the unit was dispersed Hirsh moved to Italy, and then, in August 1915, he moved to the U.S.A, where he engaged in educational work and later – journalism. He studied Languages, Bible, and Archeology at Yale University.

When the American Jewish Legion was created in 1918, he travelled to Eretz Israel and joined the 39th Battalion under the command of Colonel Eliezer Margolin and participated in the conquest of Palestine, from Turkey, under General Allenby. At the end of the war he returned to the United States and devoted himself to his studies. He received four master degrees in International Law, Education, Psychology, and Art History.

[Col. 1186]

He continued his studies and earned six Ph.D. degrees. In the U.S. he earned degrees in Languages, Egyptology and Hebrew Literature. He then travelled to Europe where he continued his studies and received a Doctorate in Classical Archeology, a Doctorate in Natural Sciences and an MD, specializing in Neuroscience and Psychiatry.

 

Sve1186.jpg

Dr. Hirsh Leib Gordon, son of rabbi Eliahu

 

At the outbreak of the Second World War he was appointed Major in the American Army and was later promoted to Commander in the Navy. He was transferred to the Pentagon where he was an adviser in the field of Neurological diseases. Later he became the head of the Neurological Department in the Florida's Veterans Hospital. He is currently a professor of Psychiatry in the New York Medical School, a professor of Socio–Psychiatry at Yeshiva University, a lecturer in Psychiatry at the Alfred Adler Institute. As well, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, as well as a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Society.

[Col. 1187]

He is a member of the Appeal Committee at the Military Recruiting Office and President of the Hebrew Medical Association of America. In addition, he is active in the field of Hebrew education. He managed Hebrew schools in America and educated many teachers at the teacher seminary.

He is very active in the literary field. Starting as a boy, as a student at the Lida Yeshiva (1909), he published his first article in the newspaper ZMAN (=Time). His first work in Yiddish was “A Pencil Story” in the Yiddish newspaper “Der Yid” in Odessa. He regularly participated in the ZMAN, HATZFIRA, Moment, Das Leben, Der Freund and Shacharit publications.

Since coming to America in 1915, he has published thousands of articles in various newspapers: Der Tag, Tageblatt, Forward, Zukunft, Yid–Folk, Yid–Kammer, Kondas, and more.

[Col. 1188]

For 25 years he published a weekly Book Review section every Sunday in the “Morgan Journal”. He wrote a medical column in the weekly “Der Amerikaner” and edited the monthly health journal “Gezund”.

In 1929 he published a book “Dramas” and was one of the four founders of the weekly “HaDoar” (=the Post Office) in Hebrew in which, to this day, he has been participating regularly. He frequently wrote in the English–Jewish press, edited the section for the study of Hebrew medicine, edited the collection known as “Pages of Medicine” and is a regular participant in the “Hebrew Doctor”.

Dr. Gordon participates in journals about Art, Law and Medicine. His English books are: “The Basilikai and the Stoic in the Talmudic Literature”, “Psychological Concepts in the Bible”, “The Talmud and the Zohar”, “Diplomatic Contracts in Ancient Shinar”, “Yoseph Karo”, a research about Yoseph Karo's life. This book received many accolades in the world of literature. He is also the author of “Health Care according to Maimonides” and “The New Chemical Therapy for Mental Illness”.

He is married to Tamar Leibowitz.


[Col. 1187]

The Economic Situation of Daugelishok

According to the “Pinchas of Vilna” Yekapo 1931, transmitted by M.Shalit

Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay

Daugelishak was comprised of 350 souls, half of them Jews. The economy was basically in ruins. The Jews are very poor and they had fight to earn a piece of bread. The businesses failed–although they provided a meager living, the taxes were high.

The merchants are unemployed. Most get involved with shtetl–trade, which entails mostly the fish business. This provides a minimal livelihood. They had to walk 15 kilometers and then they brought home 4–5 kilos of fish.

In this manner the Jews are able to save themselves from starvation.

Everyone wants to immigrate. They go to Argentina, South Africa, and other places where they can “push themselves in.”

Three months ago we organized a needed market day, every Monday. Very few peasants come, as they are accustomed to the markets of the larger surrounding shtetls.

No animals–trade or horse–trade come to our market. The community is a poor one, the bath, made out of lime is not such a success. The shtetl is therefore in economic ruins. The peasant doesn't have many possessions, therefore cannot make any purchases. The shopkeepers and artisans therefore suffer.

Even the Christian cooperative here barely makes a living.

Due to these cooperatives, all the bakeries and butcher shops close. It is not worth their while to get a permit and pay taxes.

There is no Inn or restaurant in the shtetl, therefore, it is no wonder that the economic situation is bad.

The end is rather a sad one. The inhabitants are rattled by this and each one wants to run away. The big question, is: “where”.

 

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