My Journey to Freedom:
Kybartai to Haifa

By Josef Rosin z”l

Published by the JewishGen Press
part of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.
210 pages, 6.7” by 9.6”, hard cover, including all photos and other images

Available from JewishGen for $35.00

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Josef Rosin started a normal life in 1922 in the small town of Kybartai in western Lithuania. Excelling in school he started at Kovno University in 1939, only to have his second year final exams interrupted by Operation Barbarosa, the Nazi invasion of Lithuania on June 22, 1941.

Life from that point on was anything but normal. With his resourcefulness and much luck, Josef survived in the Kovno Ghetto for more than two and a half years. At the beginning of February 1944, a few months before the destruction of the ghetto, he escaped into the woods of Belarus. There he met up with other Jewish partisans and eventually joined the famous Bielski brothers in their partisan family camp. Clearly, one could develop a feature movie based on the descriptions of his activities during that period. When the Red Army overtook the territory, he was forced into that army; however, at some point he decided that he had had enough with war and simply took off his uniform and walked away. In August 1944 he returned to Kovno. He decided that he had to leave Lithuania forever and started a long arduous trek across Europe, finally arriving on October 24, 1945 in Eretz Yisrael on a ship of “Ma'apilim” (Illegal Immigrants). During his travel in Romania Josef met and married Peninah (nee Cypkewitz) from Wloclawek who had made a similarly difficult journey from Poland.

Josef's true story is one of resourcefulness, courage, cleverness, and love. His story is probably very similar to that of others, many of whom are no longer with us, or similar to others who have chosen not to speak. Josef feels it is very important that he makes public these testimonies of the persecuted Jews of Europe.

A fascinating read.


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