Through the Eyes of a Child (cont.)
|Irene's daughter Liz and grandson
Benjamin at Elizabeth Mauber's grave
(The birth year on the stone, 1889,
is incorrect; it should be 1899)
||Benjamin at the grave of his
great-grandmother Elizabeth Strachanski Mauber
|Unidentified. Please contact
Niv Goldberg if you recognize any of these persons
Shliomke Pioneer from Lintup
By A. Kril
Translation from Hebrew by Dr. Sonia Kovitz,
with appreciation for the assistance of Itzhak M. Itzhaky
Donated by Irene Mauber Skibinski
In the old cemetery on Trumpeldor Street in Tel-Aviv a lonely stone is standing. No one has visited on memorial days since the first yahrzeit in the year 1921 * because his parents who were left bereaved in the little village of Lintup, near Svencionys, were murdered [in the Holocaust]. When I come every year on the memorial day of Khaim Alozorov, I visit this stone and stand for several minutes reading the lines inscribed on the stone.
A devoted soldier in the company of the workers
In the land of the pioneer,
Sholom ben Yisrael Uri Shapiro zl
From Lintup in Vilna District.
He was cut down in the flower of his youth
On the 9th day of the month of elul.
We called him Shliomke as a nickname. He was given this name by his friends because he was a lovable guy. He belonged to the 5th platoon of Kibbutz ha-Kovesh. When the platoon arrived in erets yisroel early in 1926, they got off the boat and came to Lemak-ha-Shevah in Petakh-Tikvah, to the orchard located between the farm of the female workers and Camp Yehuda. This area was a temporary settlement of seven groups, the largest of which was ha-Kovesh.
When the 5th platoon arrived, among them Shliomke Shapiro zl, we had already taken over the dining room, a big wooden building used as a meeting hall. There were also small wooden shacks to live in. The good-hearted Shliomke, totally devoted to work and to the community, came with his friends that first evening to my tent, which was the central gathering place for the sons of the villages around Svencionys. In his hands he had two containers of teyglakh, a delicacy of baked dough dipped in honey, and buttery cookies which his beloved mother had prepared for the trip.
A friend from the Khodotsishki family took care of providing a bottle of wine, and on the wooden box that we used for a table, the delicious treats were spread out, with plenty for everyone. And so this friend from Lintup was absorbed into our family, the family of pioneers. We sat until a late hour and heard Shliomke tell us what he had gone through, how he managed to leave his parents' home and emigrate to erets yisroel. Everyone liked him immediately.
On days of famine and through an epidemic of a disease of the tongue, Shliomke remained optimistic and happy with his lot. The shovel stayed glued to his hands when he went to dig the ground for the planting of new trees, always with a smile on his face. He was always looking for a way to help his friends, and always participated in group discussions on the the future of the kibbutz and plans for a permanent settlement.
At the end of the harvest and the beginning of the major new plowing for the next year, he was the leader of the group. In the evenings he kept his shovel under his bed so he wouldn't have to use a different onehis hands were accustomed to this one. I recall how during the great famine he once came into my tent and said with a smile, Listen Kril, now I'm even willing to eat bread and onion… if we just had bread. His friends joked about the things he said. Shliomke found a way to handle even starvation with humor.
When the diseases startedno one knew their nameShliomke walked around healthy and took care of his friends. And then suddenly one sunny day he came back from the orchard with sickness in his face. His temperature climbed without stopping. We called the doctor to come, and found out he had typhus of the stomach. He was transferred to the government hospital in Jaffa, and when I visited him, I saw his temperature had come down. I thought he would be coming back to us. But suddenly at night an emergency message arrived that we had lost Shliomke.
One of our dearest friends, Shliomke Shapiro, was no longer among us. He was only 21 years old when he was taken from everyone dear to him.
Shliomke Shapiro is identified in the caption to the photograph of the Lintup Drama Club.
*Translator's note: The Hebrew year in the original is tav-resh-pey-aleph representing 1921, but the final digit, aleph (1), may be a typographical error, since Shliomke didn't arrive until 1926 according to this account. He died about a year later so tet (8) is most likely the intended final digit. Return
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