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[Page 185]

In memory of the Reznik family

Once it became certain that the disaster of the Shoah had indeed happened, when everybody stayed close to their loved ones and clung to every keepsake, a picture and letter that remained from them, I received a letter from the WIZO[512] organisation in America, containing the following story. A young woman by the name of Feya Reznik appeared in the WIZO office one day. These are roughly her words: 'I feel that my days are numbered. I am ill. It seems to me that I was given the wrong treatment, I received too much radium. I am alone. Nobody has survived from my family. All of them were killed by the Nazis. I have a friend in Eretz Israel. I have not corresponded with her since she made aliyah to the Land. Her address must be HaKovesh[513], Kfar Sava. Everything that is in my flat, the clothes, the furniture, money, pictures and such like belong to her and I ask that they be passed to her. The sum of money, 1000 dollars, I give to KKL[514] for planting trees in the Land…' And an additional note in the letter: 'Her face was sad and strange…'

Feygl, the youngest of the daughters, was the only one of the Reznik family who survived, who was saved from the Shoah. Her strength gave out. In her struggle for life she collapsed, fell after a malignant illness gnawed her body.


Reyzl Reznik
Feygl Reznik


In the last moments of her life she remembered a good friend she had once had;her name came to her lips. I remember very well the friendship there had been between us. We were then young girls, pupils in the state school, full of innocence and lofty dreams. We talked about everything happening around us, crying out about anything wrong that we saw. Feygl was always serious and concerned about the fate of her family.

The disasters that befell her home shocked her through and through. Her older sister, Khanchik, with her husband Sander and their children, Nishke and Itzhok, lived near Hantzivitz[515], near the forests in which the father of the family was selling his wares. Once, during the night, a gang of murderers attacked them, killed her brother-in-law Sander and her sister Nishke who was by chance visiting them that day. They badly wounded my sister Khanchik and the children but left them because they thought they were dead. They robbed everything they found to rob, smashed, destroyed and disappeared.

I remember their father, Avram Reznik. He had fine facial features and a thick beard parted by white hair, with deep eyes. He was a devout Jew who accepted everything with love even though there was not always work to be found. He was quiet and humble and seemed to me a complete contrast to his wife Beyla Gitl, who was excitable, demanding and complaining. Despite all her understanding she had many outbursts that were not always to the liking of the children.

[Page 186]

This father, Reb Avram Reznik, fell apart completely after the murder of his son-in-law and his daughter and at the sight of the distress of his widowed daughter and the two orphans. His heart could not take the distress and he passed away. Then Feygl suddenly grew up, as if all the burden of supporting the family was piled on her young back, although she knew she did not have the strength to do much.

In conversations with me and in her imagination she cried out for actions and for revenge. I do not know if she ever turned to the second mission but she took concrete measures: she learned to sew and helped her mother. Their uncle Zeydl came to their assistance from Warsaw. He was a wealthy Jew, a wood merchant. Her sister Khava travelled to their uncle in Warsaw. There she got married and had two sweet children. Reyzl also got married and moved with her husband to live in Pinsk. They had a nice little son. Khanchik married for a second time and moved to live in Stolin. Their brother, Chaim, his wife Dvoyre and their five children remained in Vysotsk. Chaim struggled hard to support the family. They earned very little, and people of the shtetl came to his assistance. Somehow or other a little light and joy came to Beyla Gitl. Then came the murderer and the whole family was destroyed. What happened with the last survivor, Feygl, my dear friend, is known to me from the above-mentioned letter.

May these few lines be a memorial to the Reznik family that was wiped out in the Shoah and in memory of the deep friendship that we had in the past.

May their memory be blessed.

  Rivka Nafkhan-Dan


  1. Women's International Zionist Organisation, founded in 1920 return
  2. Ramat HaKovesh, a kibbutz in central Israel founded in 1926 return
  3. Short for Keren Kayemet le'Israel (Jewish Nation Fund) return
  4. Hantsevichi, a town in Belarus whose population is nearly 15,000, on the railway line 120 km. north of Udrytsk (the nearest station to Vysotsk) return

[Page 187]

In memory of the
Fikman family and Aaron Vinnik

During the period of Russian rule, before the outbreak of the Soviet-Nazi German war, I was studying in the Russian school together with my friends, girls of my own age, Shoshana Sheynman, Golda Raykhman, Gitl Lopatyn, Feygele Fialkov, Yokheved Melamed and others whose names I do not remember.

Of my extended family only my Uncle Hershl and I survived.

My parents were Yosef and Susil Fikman. We lived on Pilsudsky Street. The family on Mother's side was large. Yakove Vinnik lived in Stolin, Eliezer Vinnik lived in Pinsk. Both of them and their families were killed. My Uncle Hershl was saved. He was in the Soviet Union. And he came to the Land.

My cousins were: Zelda, Sholem, Yakov, Moyshe, Brokhe and their parents, Aaron and Sara Vinnik. All of them were wiped out in the great slaughter in the shtetl.

I was saved thanks to the fact that ten days before the outbreak of the Russo- German war I travelled to the Soviet Union accompanying my grandmother, who was travelling to visit her eldest son. The terrors of the war did not enable me to return. This is how I survived and came to the Land.

  Genya Shibak-Fikman


The Nisn Vaks family, 1925 (on the occasion of Etl's aliyah)
From right to left, standing: Chaya, Etl, Itzkhok-Meir, an aunt;
Sitting: Shoshan, Rachel Shtoper (from David Horodok)

[Page 188]

The Shnayder and Perlman families
from right to left, standing: Feygl Shnayder, Chaim Perlman, Khasya Mofchin, Golda Perlman, Khanan Perlman; sitting: Mordekhai Shnayder, Darbrushke Perlman, Hodl Shnayder, Hersh-Bar Shnayder; the children below: Rusl, Esther, Alke, Itzkhok, Breyndl and Mordekhai Shnayder

[Page 189]

From right to left, standing: Zev Urman, Rivka and Tzvi Baum and their children Moyshe and Chana Urman;
Sitting: Blume and Feybl Urman and their children Masha, Moyshe and Ephraim, the mother Chaya-Etl, Moyshe Kaviar, his wife Itka and their children Rivka, Sonya, Alke and Elazar


Tzipora and Zelig Berman


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