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In Memoriam, Dr. Ruven Levitan

Levitan

Dr. Ruven Levitan


By Alan Busch, Community Contributor
3:01 pm, June 4, 2013
Friday, May 31, 2013
Olson Hall
Lutheran General Hospital
Park Ridge, Illinois
A quiet and dignified event
A touching remembrance.
Some lives are worth remembering because they bring out our better angels.
Have you ever wondered why G-d did not place more of these individuals among us in life?
Well, first off, we do not and cannot know that He didn’t. Secondly, to suggest that He might have “under estimated” the need for this sort of person, and that we could have made a better calculation is a theological absurdity.
Most of us, I think, have experienced the sensation of surprise, mingled with a degree of disappointment, when we first realize how unfortunate it was to have missed such an exemplary soul in life.
The truth is that what these folks do often remains under-broadcast, by choice. They were not then nor would they be now what we’d call “media-savvy”.
Publicity doesn’t interest them. All the kudos they'd be sure to receive would taint the purity of their work and, for this reason, they are among those about whom the Hebrew prophet Micah said: "It hath been told thee O man what is good and what The Lord doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."
"Inspiration"
The rest of us need a good dose of it every now and then. So what attracts us to them?
Their “greatness”. "Greatness" necessitates remembrance.
Of what?
"Anochi Hashem Elokeicha" - "I am Hashem The Lord, your G-d."
Dr. Ruven Levitan, Z'L brought comfort and healing to the sick for sixty years.
He's gone but not forgotten.
"Yiskor"
Devout Jew, lover and defender of Zion, survivor of The Holocaust, physician and mentor, devoted husband to Ilana and father of three sons: Dr. Daniel Levitan, Edwin Levitan and Arnie Levitan. Dr. Ruven Levitan is best remembered by those who knew and loved him, by those whose lives he saved, by those who learned from him or whose health he helped to restore.
It is in recalling the greatness of this human(e) being that we are reminded of the divine spark within us each.


From: Anthony Giddings <anthonygiddings@btinter....com>
Date: Sun, Apr 20, 2014

Dear Sir/ Madam,
 I have read with great interest your website about Kovno, Lithuania and the Jewish history there. I am trying to find out more about a man named Falk Levitas who was living and working in Oxford, England in 1881 and according to the census that year, he was born in Kovno in 1862. He appears on no other English census as far as I can see. Do you know of any families of the name Levitas in Kovno  or can you suggest  or advise where I might  discover more about him? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.(He worked as an ostler in Oxford).
 
Yours sincerely,
J.M.Giddings.

From: Jake Lesser <jakelesser@veriz...net>

Hi--
I was wondering if you have any additional information about any of the kovno partisans on your website named Berman.  Rachel Berman, particularly, looks just like my grandmother, Pauline Berman, when she was young.  My grandmother's family came from Ponevezh, but i havent been able to find a link to Rachel Berman, though i'm sure i must be related to her.
Thanks-- your website is great.

From: Sandra Levin

Very sad to hear of the death of my relative, Dov Levin. When going
through records on Yad Vashem for family members killed in the
Holocaust, I discovered that Dov Levin had written the pages of
testimony about them. I contacted him and learnt that he had lost his
entire family in the Holocaust including his aunt Chaya who married
into our family who had remained behind in Lithuania. His grandfather,
Dovid Levin also killed in the Shoah was a prominent rabbi in Kovno.

A few years ago he invited me to attend a program at Yad Vashem in his
honor where he dedicated all of his writings and books to Yad Vashem.
Old friends of his, who were partisans with him in Lithuania, were
there and spoke about their experiences. It was very moving and one
woman described how when the fighting ended and they all went back to
the Kovno Ghetto they discovered that all their families and friends
had been killed and suddenly they were all alone.

Here is a link on JewishGen to an article he wrote about his life
and about his experiences as a partisan and how he arrived in Israel:
"With a Rifle in My Hand and Eretz Yisrael in My Heart"

http://www.jewishgen.org/ yizkor/dovlevin1/dov001.html

May his memory be for a blessing.
Sandra Josephine Levin - Jerusalem

From: pinchos fridberg <pfridberg@gmail.com>
Lithuania is Paying with its Image for an Official’s Ambitions
On 13 December 2012, my article (in Russian) “Instead of Truth about the Holocaust Myths about Saving Jews” was published in zman.com. It was translated into English and published in Defending History, in Operation Last Chance and in the Algemeiner Journal. I’d like to note that the article was also published on the official website of the Jewish Community of Lithuania (JCL) in Russian and English.
In the article I revealed how a myth about the salvation of 43 (“actually 44”) Jewish people was presented to the public at the international forum “United Europe – United History” on 16 November 2012. According to the myth, the Jews in question lived for three years (!) in a “huge-huge bunker (huge pit)” that was dug especially for them. Here and further all quotations are translations from Lithuanian

http://defendinghistory.com/translation-into-english-of-professor-pinchos-fridbergs-article-of-9-april-2013/57767

Dear Litvak Researches,

So far this year we have added over 20,000 lines of information to our
Kaunas District Research Group site !
Below is a list of the topics we have covered:

Ariogala (Kaunas) 1872-73 real estate owners
Babtai (Kaunas) 1844-1845 taxpayers-unable to pay
Babtai (Kaunas) 1872 & 1873 real estate owners
Cekiske (Kaunas) 1872 real estate owners
Cekiske (Kaunas) 1873 real estate owners
Cekiske (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Dotnuva (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Dutnova  1873  Real Estate Records
Foreign Passport Applications - 1919-1939
Grinkiskis (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Jonava (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Josvainiai (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Kaunas 1873 real estate owners
Kaunas 1873-1874 passport issuance records
Kaunas 1904 draftee list
Kaunas 1905 draftee list
Kaunas Dist. Soldiers on vacation - 1862
Kaunas draftee list- registered in 1933 - born in 1912
Kaunas draftee list-registered in 1925 - born in 1903
Kaunas draftee list-registered in 1926 - born in 1904
Kaunas draftee list-registered in 1926 - born in 1905
Kaunas draftee list-registered in 1930 - born in 1909
Kaunas draftee list-registered in 1931 - born in 1910
Kaunas Draftee lists registered in 1925 born in 1902
Kaunas Jewish Bank Employees
Kaunas Gub. - 1868 Landowners List
Kedainiai (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Keidanai Real Estate Owners List 1873
Krakes (Kaunas) 1872 &1873 real estate owners
Krakes (Kaunas) 1873-1874 passport issuance records
Rumsiskes (Kaunas) 1872 & 1873 real estate owners
Rumsiskes (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Seredzius (Kaunas) 1872 real estate owners
Seredzius (Kaunas) 1873 real estate owners
Seredzius (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Vandziogala (Kaunas) 1872 & 1873 real estate owners
Veliuona (Kaunas) 1872 & 1873 real estate owners
Veliuona (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Vilijampole( Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Vilkija (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records
Zeimiai (Kaunas) 1872 & 1873 real estate owners
Zeimiai (Kaunas) 1874 passport issuance records

If you are not yet a member of our group and would like information on
how you can see this material please contact me.

With kindest regards,

Ralph Salinger
Coordinator of the Kaunas District Research Group
salinger@kfar-ruppin.org,il

The database and discussion group of LitvakSIG
(litvaksig@lyris.jewishgen.org) are hosted by JewishGen

LitvakSIG is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions to LitvakSIG
may be made online at      www.litvaksig.org/contribute    and are
tax-deductible as provided by law.  Contributions may also be mailed
to LitvakSIG, Inc., c/o Eden Joachim,  41 Country Club Lane, Pomona, NY
10970. Please specify town(for vital records) or district research group
(and town of interest) for other types of records, and include your e-mail
address with your contribution.

From: Cyvann Shwartz <cs.shwartz@gmail.com>

Good evening,

I just saw your website, and saw that you have a great collection of Kaunas's children, early 1930.

My grand-father born in Kaunas in 1928, he was in the "Schwabe" Gymnasium" school.

His name was Shimshon SHWARTZ, do you have more picture of children during the 1936 - 1941 ?

i'm looking for his family, seems to be killed during the war,

thanks,

regards

Cyvann

Kovno, Kaunas

Sadly I inform the Litvak community throughout the world on the
passing of Joel Elkes z"l, the son of Elhanan and Miriam Elkes. He was
over 100 years old, the last surviving child of a historic family.

Joel Elkes z"l was a pioneer and renowned leader in
Neuropsychopharmacology. He authored a memoir of the Kovno Ghetto
honoring his father, Elhanan Elkes, who was the elected head of the
Jewish Council (Judenrat). Joel was a proud graduate of the Schwabe
Gymnasium in Kaunas prior to leaving for England to continue his
education.

May his soul be a blessed memory.

Carol Hoffman
LitvakSIG President
shortly after his birth, Dr. Elkhanan Elkes, (Chairman of the Jewish Council at Kovno, during the Holocaust), and his wife, took their young son Joel and moved to Lithuania. Joel Elkes studied in both Switzerland and England. He began his career in physical chemistry and pharmacology and studied medicine at St. Mary's Hospital in London. In 1951, he moved into psychiatry and founded the Department of Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham (UK), which was the first of its kind in the world. I believe his father Dr. Elkhanan Elkes, would be very proud of his son Joel and daughter Sara, and how they have both used their many talents to help others.

 In 1957, Dr. Joel Elkes built three major research centers for the Brain Sciences, and is also credited with being one of the founders of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The Joel Elkes Research Award has been set up in his name to honor recipients with outstanding achievements in this field of medicine. Other career accomplishments include: Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, and former Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. Joel Elkes is also an author and wrote  "Dr. Elkhanan Elkes of the Kovo Ghetto,  A Son's Holocaust Memoir."

Painting has always been a passion, but Joel Elkes really started focusing on his watercolor paintings the past few years. Now in his 90's, he still paints. This website has been created to showcase all his Limited Editions which include very unique Holocaust Watercolor Tributes, Abstract Art, Contemporary Art, Contemporary Landscapes, and Contemporary Seascapes.
 
Dr. Joel Elkes has always felt that art was therapeutic and being a psychiatrist and someone whose life was impacted by the Holocaust, this watercolor painter understands that color can express emotions and even be healing.

Seeing nature and life, through the eyes of this psychiatrist is very intriguing, and we invite you to browse this site to see all the Limited Edition watercolor paintings available. Each one has a story to tell, and are filled with joy and sorrow, and light and darkness.

Kovno, Kaunas

Dr. Joel Elkes and wife, Sarasota, FL USA. 

From: David Gordon <david@davidgeorgegordon.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 3, 2017

Hello— my grandfather Samuel Gordon left Vilnius for America in the 1890s.  He met his wife-to-be Peshel (Bessie), who was also from a nearby village (Kovno) in Chicago.  They were both active members of the Socialist party.

Their parents were Haskel and Gitl Gordon.  Alas I have bio information about them

Do you have any ideas of how I can trace their family histories?  Any advice would help.

Regards,

David George Gordon, Seattle

My mother's much older first cousin Ida WEINTRAUB was born in Shavli,
Lithuania in 1903.

She was married in Lithuania to Meyer KUPERSHMIDT , born Aleksotas,
Lithuania in 1905 and in 1935 they migrated to New York where her parents
Rabbi Misha Ber WEINTRAUB and his wife Bluma COHEN were living. With them
was their son, Leib KUPERSHMIDT, born 1928 in Kaunas.
Ida died in 1981 under the name Eda KUPERSMITH.

Leib KUPERSMIDT changed his name to Larry KUPERSMITH or COOPERSMITH.  I
would like to find him or his family.
Meyer KUPERSHMIDT was a journalist. I would like to know in which newspapers
he wrote in Lithuania and then the USA.
Any other information on them will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jules Feldman
Yizreel, Israel

Robert Birger <toronto4266@yahoo.com>

Dear Lanzman.

My name is Robert. I live in Toronto. I accidently found your vebsite
eilatgordinlevitan.com. The fact is that I was born in Kovno and left
this town in 1971. I was grown up in two orphanages Zidu Vaiku namai
and Bet a Sheimin Rabbi Isaak Elchanan. I have lots of information and
pictures of the orphanages of this city.

Regards

Robert

From: A Cohen <childofalithuaniansurvivor@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:57 AM
Subject: Event at YIVO Thursday Sept. 22, 2011
To: "egl.comments@gmail.com" <egl.comments@gmail.com>

I am a child of survivors from Lithuania. I am outrage that YIVO is sponsoring this event and feel that it should be boycotted for the following reasons:

1) YIVO has invited the Foregin Minister of Lithuania to attend; nothing wrong with this except YIVO's director Jonathan Brent has listed the Foreign Minister as a 'guest of honor." For the record, the Foreign Minister has made openly anti-Semitic remarks and as such , should not be treated as a guest of honor at any Jewish event, especially one relating to the Holocaust

2) Jews risked their lives smuggling books which were part of the YIVO pre-war library in Vilna out of the Vilna Ghetto for safe keeping. When Lithuania became indpendent in 1990, it was announced that 8,000 books were saved and hidden for 50 years. Lithuania has for the past 20 years refused to return these books to YIVO, which is now headquartered in New York. The new YIVO Director, Jonathan Brent, who after being wined and dined by Lithuanians during his visit to that country in July of 2011, has agreed to surrender ownership of these books to Lithuania on the condition that they be housed in a separate room which a sign reading "YIVO ROOM." So in other words, YIVO is permitting the theives to keep stolen property, of which Jews risked their lives to save. By the way, the cost of this room estimated at $300,000 which be paid for not by the Lithuanian Gov't but by New York and South Africa rich Jews.

3) YIVO Director Jonthan Brent has issued several statements recently insulting Holocaust survivors who object to both his plans to honor the openly anti-Semitic Lithuanian Foreign Minister and his surrender of YIVO's 8,000 books as "helpless and ageing", and insult to survivors and as such, prove that Brent is not fit to lead YIVO, an organization dedicated to preserve the Yiddish Language and Culture which was practically destroyed during the Holocaust. Please note, that over 95% of Lithuanian Jewry were killed; most of the Jews were murdered in the summer months of 1941 by local Lithuanians without the instigation nor presence of Germans.

4) YIVO's Brent has become an apologist for the Lithuanians stating the several elderly Jewish partisans who are under investigation have nothing to fear if they returned home to Lithuania. But the truth is that they will be arrested and that is why Rachel Margolis has been visiting her daughter in Tel Aviiv for the past five years. Two weeks ago, Lithuanians opened an investigation into Joseph Melamed for publishing a book listing thousands of Lithuanian war criminals with Jewish blood on their hands. Although this was published 15 years ago, the Lithuanians are unhappy that 9 who are listed are up to being honored as Lithuanian Freedom Fighters. YIVO's Brent claims in a statement to his staff that one of the 9 did not commit the murder of a Jewish Rabbi, although it is written that the Lithuanian murderer who is about to be honored by the Lithuanian Govt chopped the Rabbi's head off and then proceeded to walk around the town with the Rabbi's head in his hands.


I could write more and more but one needs to boycott this event and everything to do with YIVO as long as Brent is its director.

One can research Dovid Katz's e\website for more info or read Yossi Meleman's recent articles on this subject in Haaretz. Also The Forward has an article from a couple of weeks ago along with many comments from survivors.

Dear Kovno Shtetlinks friends,

I would like to bring to your attention my new book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, which begins with my “roots” journey to the land of my Jewish forebears, and expands into a close look at how Lithuania today is encountering its 20th-century past. The book includes vivid descriptions and reflections on past and present in Lithuania, including an extensive section on the Kovno ghetto, Vilna, Shavl , Rakishok, and Keidan, as well as the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and our rich Litvak heritage.

Michael Steinlauf, author of Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust, says: “Pioneering… will reach out to all those who care about not replaying in this new century the disasters of the century that has just ended.”

For information about attending my readings, or to order the book, visit www.ellencassedy.com.

Ellen Cassedy
Takoma Park, Maryland, USA


--
Ellen Cassedy
ellen@ellencassedy.com
www.ellencassedy.com
Author of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust
(University of Nebraska Press, March 2012)

For updates about We Are Here, sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Facebook.

The Kaunas 1922 census has now been purchased by the Kaunas District
Research Group.

We are now in the process of raising funds for the translation of this
incredible material, which is in Lithuanian, Russian and Yiddish.
This census contains the address on one page, and the family list with
age, occupation, citizenship on another. As well, there are pages with
information about the apartment itself as this was a census of
apartments so there is information about heating, water supply etc.

Fortunately, it is very obvious which people were Jewish as there is
a nationality column. We will be treating this as a family list and
using the revision list template.

If you are interested in this project and are not a part of the Kaunas
District Research Group, please drop me a line.

Ralph Salinger
Coordinator Kaunas District Research Group
salinger@kfar-ruppin.org.il

From: shifra <shifra@kv-yavne.co.il>
Date: 2012/8/3

Hi there, I am Shifra Anixter of Kvutzat Yavne, Israel, daughter of
Savitsky Hannah's nee Berman, a native of Kosovo, born in 1934

The caption attached to her image, there was an error, the text was
replaced with that of her brother, Tzvi (Hershel) Berman, who was born
in 1936

In addition, they indeed joined the partisans, but who led them was
their mother, Esther Berman, late, and their father, Jacob - Mandel
Berman, who died in the forests,

Esther and her two children (Hannah Berman - Savitsky, and Tzvi
Berman) survived, and immigrated to Israel after the war

Is there in your hands some family information on Bremen family from
Kosovo, had owned a flour mill, the father of the family was Schneur -
Zalman

Thank you
Thank you so much for the information I'll add them soon!
I see that your mother; Hannah Berman - Savitsky gave reports to yad
vashem: Jakow Berman was born in Belorussia (USSR) in 1908 to Mendel
and Khaia. He was a flourmill owner and married to Ester nee Gurno.
Prior to WWII he lived in Kosow Poleski, Poland. During the war he was
in Liskovo. Jakow was murdered in 1943 in the Shoah. This information
is based on a Page of Testimony submitted by his daughter.
Rywka Sapershtein nee Berman was born in Kosow Poleski, Poland to
Mendel and Khaia. She was married to Yekhiel. Prior to WWII she lived
in Kosow Poleski, Poland. During the war she was in Kosow Poleski,
Poland. Rywka was murdered in 1942 in Wolkowysk, Ghetto. This
information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted by her niece.
Etl nee Berman was born in Kosow, Poland to Mendel and Khaia. She was
married to Hertzel and had a son Zalman born in 1938. Prior to WWII
she lived in Kosow, Poland. During the war she was in Kosow, Poland.
Etl was murdered in 1942 in Pruzana, Poland with her familu. This
information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left)
submitted by her niece.
Chaim Berman was born in Kosow Poleski, Poland to Mendel and Khaia. He
was married. Prior to WWII he lived in Kosow Poleski, Poland. During
the war he was in Kosow Poleski, Poland. Chaim was murdered in the
Shoah. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on
left) submitted by his niece.
Elijahu Berman was born in Kosow Poleski, Poland to Mendel and Khaia.
He was married to Sara and had 3 kids Feygel born in 1932, MOSHE born
in 1935 and Malka in 1939. Prior to WWII he lived in Kosow Poleski,
Poland. During the war he was in Pruzana, Poland. Elijahu and his
family were murdered in 1942 in Pruzana, Poland. This information is
based on a Page of Testimony submitted by his niece.

On the Recent Amateur Treatments of the Role of the Provisional
Government of 1941 in the Mass Media

29 June 2012
________________________________

O P I N I O N

by Shimon Alperovich

Authorized translation from Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil of the 26 June
2012 statement issued by Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavi?ius),
chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. Posted on the
community’s website at: http://www.lzb.lt/en/home/691-recent.html.
According to sources in the community, Dr. Alperovich wrote this in
response to an article on Delfi.lt by Vidmantas Valiušaitis called
“Why are Historians Afraid of the Facts?” (Lithuanian text here), and
when Delfi allegedly declined to publish Dr. Alperovich’s response,
the community placed it on its own webpage and elsewhere.

________________________________

Recently there has been an increasing number of internet articles by
amateur, non-professional authors without training in history
expressing approval for the actions of the 1941 Provisional Government
of Lithuania toward the Jews of Lithuania, without regard for the
antisemitic actions of that government in the context of the mass
murder of the Jews of Lithuania already underway at that time.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community earlier provided an assessment of the
Lithuanian Activist Front and the Provisional Government.

It is saddening that the authors of these texts choose to ignore the
conclusions of professional historians as well as the findings of the
special commission established by decree of former president Valdas
Adamkus and operating under the Lithuanian government, which clearly
and categorically judges the actions of the LAF and PG thus:

“… The antisemitic attitudes of the Provisional Government and
Lithuanian Activist Front are well documented. The fullest antisemitic
statement by the Provisional Government is the legislation ‘On the
Status of Jews’ of August 1, 1941. Although the cabinet approved
measures for the isolation of Jews and the confiscation of Jewish
property, they avoided approving of organized massacres. The
Provisional Government, claiming to speak in the name of the nation
and repeatedly maintaining they had moral authority, did not distance
themselves publicly from the mass murder of Lithuanian citizens.”

(for the full conclusion by the commission in Lithuanian, see
http://www.komisija.lt/Files/www.komisija.lt/File/2005%20m.%20posedis/Lietuvos%20zydu%20persekiojimas%20ir%20masines%20zudynes_isvados.doc)

These amateur, biased authors distorting the facts keep popping up,
peddling their unprofessional pseudo-historical articles which not
only fabricate historical facts but speculate on historical memory.
One can only interject that the Provisional Government didn’t just
fail to distance themselves from the mass murder of Jews underway, but
didn’t even consider opposing it in any way or even making a symbolic
protest. It is sufficient to recall that when the composition of the
government was announced to the nation over the Kaunas Radiofonas
radio station, already under the control of the Provisional
Government, the following LAF appeal was broadcast immediately after:

“Lithuanian brothers and sisters!

The final hour of reckoning with the Jews has arrived. Lithuania must
be liberated not only from the enslavement of the Asiatic Bolsheviks,
but also from the prolonged yoke of Jewry. In the name of the entire
Lithuanian nation, the Lithuanian Activist Front most ceremoniously
declares:

1. The ancient right of sanctuary extended to the Jews by Vytautas
the Great is cancelled completely and finally.

2. Every Jew of Lithuania without exception is officially warned to
quit the land of Lithuania immediately and without any delay.

3. All those Jews who exceptionally distinguished themselves through
betrayal of the Lithuanian state and by acts of persecution, torture
or harassment of ethnic Lithuanians will be brought to justice
individually and have earned the appropriate punishment. If it turns
out that during the destiny-filled hour of reckoning and of the
rebirth of Lithuania especially felonious Jews discover opportunities
to secretly escape, it will be the duty of all upstanding Lithuanians
to take their own measures in order to apprehend such Jews and, in
important cases, to mete out punishment.

The new state of Lithuania will be restored through the efforts of the
Lithuanian nation itself, by their labor, through their heart and by
their wisdom.

Jews are eliminated from it [the nation] completely and forever. If,
nonetheless, one of them dares hope to find for himself some sort of
shelter in the new Lithuania, then let him know today this irrevocable
decision on the Jews: in the newly reestablished Lithuania no Jew will
have any civil rights nor prospects for earning a living. In this way
the mistakes of the past and the treachery of the Jews will be
corrected.

In this way strong foundations for the happy future and creative work
of our Aryan nation will be laid. Therefore, let’s all prepare for the
battle and the victory—for the freedom of the Lithuanian people, for
the cleansing of the Lithuanian people, for the independent state of
Lithuania and for a transparent and happy future.”

The Lithuanian Activist Front

Despite the work over many years of historians and of commissions they
have formed, despite abundant materials accessible by all and
published and conserved by the Center for the Study of the Genocide of
Lithuanian Residents, the public is now being offered pictures of
murderers of Jews suspected of being connected to the Soviet NKVD,
even though the material collected by the above mentioned center
clearly shows that hundreds of volunteers, police and other structures
subordinate to the Provisional Government murdered the Jewish people
and plundered their property. The authors of such pseudo-historical
articles insult the memory of their murdered fellow Lithuanian
citizens, whom the Provisional Government didn’t lift a finger to
protect, as well as the memory of those noble Lithuanians who rescued
Jews.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community condemns any and all attempts to
distort historical truth and asks mass media outlets to demonstrate a
greater moral responsibility to society and to pay closer attention to
submissions received of these sorts of articles, allegedly about
history, but whose goal is to portray black as white, to insult and to
divide.

We hope that the memory of Lithuania’s murdered Jews and Lithuanian
rescuers is dear not just to us, the Lithuanian Jewish Community, and
hope their memory is important as well to the editors and authors in
the Lithuanian media who write about the topic.

Lita WWII 1941 Evacuees:
Line 1274 Shmuel [ben Avram] ROZOVSKY b. 1910 Kiev to Mordovian Autonomous S.S.R. Worker Kaunas July 1941
Line 1275 Petr [ben Avram] ROZOVSKY b. 1909 Kiev to Mordovian Autonomous S.S.R. Kaunas July 1941
Line 1276 Riva [bas Shimon] ROZOVSKY b. 1912 Kaunas to Mordovian Autonomous S.S.R. seamstress Kaunas July 1941
Line 1277 Ita [bas Mendel] ROZOVSKY b. 1907 Radviliskis to Mordovian Autonomous S.S.R. Kaunas July 1941
Line 1516 Lev [ben Isak*] MAGIDSON b. 1918 to Kyrgys S.S.R. 
Line 1844 Sara [bas Wolf] ORLOVICH B. 1913 Siaulai to Tatar Autonomous S.S.R. 2 DAUGHTERS b. 1934 1937 !!!!!!
Line 2363 Genady [ben Aron] KLACHKO 1916 to Stalingrad region 9/17/1941 from Kaunas student
Line 2364 Rachel [bas Shloima] b. 1920 KLACHKO to Stalingrad region 9/17/1941 from Kaunas student
Line 2392 Shmuel REZOVSKI b. 1908 to Stalingrad region 9/17/1941 from Kaunas

Part 2:
Line 80 Riva [bas Dovid] CHAYET b. 1924 Birzai single 1941 to Yaroslav region
Line 81 Ruvin [ben Chaim] MAGIDOVICH B. 1925 Jubarkas 1941 to Yaroslav region

Part 2-1:
Line 1606 Nela [bas Sholom] ORLOVICH b. 1914 single to Kazakh S.S.R. 194 teacher Panevezys
Line 1672 Dr. Benyomin [ben Aron] KLACHKO b. 1912 to Penza 1941 Kaunas Dr. 
Line 1677 Dr.Maria [bas Dovid] ROZOVSKY b. 1898 dentist   

Part 3:
Line 715 Yaakov Hersh [b. Matis] ORLOVICH b. 1909 1941 Silale NKVD 16th Div Red Army
Line 755 Isak [b. Avram] CHAYET b. 1912 Kaunas 1941 Engineer constructor 16th Div. Red Army
Line 816 Yankel [b. David] MAGID b. 1910 Kaunas 1941 Carpenter 16th Div. Red Army

part 4:
Line 50 Hesel [ben Sholom] MAGIDOVICH B. 1911 Kaunas Driver 16th Lit Div. Red Army
Line 357 Yosef [ben Isak] MAGITSON b. 1916 Vilna Driver 16th Lit Div. Red Army
Line 501 Yudel [ben Mendel] KLIACHKO B. 1912 [to Balakhna] Kaunas LAWYER

I found an amazing online site today that included a photograph of my great-great grandfather's house in Kaunas, Lithuania; which was built in 1866.

http://www.northernjerusalem.com/objektai/locations/the-fvarshavchik-s-house-in-kaunas#about

According to the site, "F. Varshavchik’s house was built for  the Jewish  merchant Faivuch Varshavchik. The design was drawn by Simon Gorskij.  The construction work was never completed: once having started to build  a large warehouse-barn the owner must have run short of funds to complete the residential premises. In 1990, the house was restored."

Kaunas

The daughter of Faivuch Varshavchik was Chaia/Golda/Ida Varshavchik, who married my great-grandfather Emanuel Markel/Merkel from Keidainiai, Lithuania.  They immigrated to Boston in the 1890's.  I would be interested in hearing from anyone else connected to this family.  I'm especially interested in finding the family name of Faivuch's first wife, my great-great grandmother.

Mark Strauss in NYC
Maternal Heritage: VARSHACHIK (Kaunas); BRODY/BRODIE (Vilnius/Zhezmer);
MERKEL (Keidainiai); Rausuk/Wolf (Vilkaviskis); Efroymson (Vilkaviskis)

From: Joan Shrager <jshrager2@comcast.net>

Hello,

I live in Pennsylvania, USA. My grandfather and his family were from Berdichev. He came to America in 1907. His name was originally Meyer Litvok. He was the eldest son of the town’s kosher butcher, Aaron Litvok or Litwak. The family consisted of  Yacob (Jack), Mottel (Max), Schmerel, Bassi (Bessie), and Ruchel (Rose). His mother was "Sossa Toube"?  Spektor who died at an early age when her children were very small.

Family lore has it that Rabbi Itzhak Elchanon Spektor was my grandfather's mother's father or possibly Uncle. 

I am very interested in learning if indeed we are related to Rabbi Spektor as my cousins(children and grandchildren of my grandfather's siblings) and I were told when we were little. Most of us are in our 60's and 70's now and the voices from Berdichev are only in our hearts. I am now past 75 and would love to pass this information on to my sons and grandsons. 

I'd be most appreciative if you could point me in a direction.

Thanks,
Joan Shrager

Spector

Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spector
MyHeritage Family Trees
Esther Belkin Web Site, managed by Esther Backaleinik Esther Belkin (Contact)
Birth:
1817 - Hrodna, Hrodzyenskaya Voblasts’, Belarus
Death:
Mar 6 1896 - Kovno, Lituania
Parents:
Israel Isser Spektor, Rachel Spektor
Siblings:
Abraham Aaron Spektor, Jacob David Spektor, Yakov David Spektor, Moses Joseph Spektor
Wife:
Sora Raizel Spector Yeserski
Partner:
Spector Davidson
Children:
Haim Arye Aryeh Spector, Rachel Spektor Salzovsky Spector, Freda Leah Saltzer Spektor, Miriam Dvora Federman Spector, Tzvi Hirsch Spektor Spector, Binyamin Spektor Rabinowitz

 

Ted Ashkenazy wrote:

<< In pre-War pre-Soviet occupation Jewish schools in Kaunas were separate.
The language of instruction was Hebrew or Yiddish. Lithuanian language was
taught as well, of course, but Jewish kids conversed among themselves in
Hebrew or Yiddish. As far as I know, there were no Jewish students in the
Lithuanian/Catholic school system. However toward the end of that pre-Soviet
era (1940) there was, I believe, a new Jewish Lithuanian language school
created. I recall being in summer camp in 1940 and hearing a bunch of kids
actually conversing among themselves in Lithuanian. This was quite unusual.>>

A "Jewish-Lithuanian Gymnasium" was established in Kovna in 1933, and its
language of instruction was Lithuanian. It is worth to note that more than
900 Jewish students studied in the governmental Lithuanian/Catholic
gymnasiums in 1931/2, in comparison to 2400 students in the Zionistic
Hebrew gymnasiums of Lithuania (in 1933/4). This situation may explain the
conversations in Lithuanian.

Ben-Tsion Klibansky
Elkana, Israel

...pre-1914, it seems unlikely
that much or any Lithuanian was spoken or taught in Jewish schools. My
grandmother was at the Gimnasia in Marijampole probably circa 1890. She
was fluent in Russian, Hebrew and Yiddish. She had un-accented English.
Her French and German were good enough for her to teach English Army
officers in WW1.

I never heard her mention Lithuanian, nor did any of my cousins (from
Panevesys area) who left in the 1920-1935 period.

Kind regards,

Saul Issroff

My grandfather was Abraham NEVYAS or NEVIASKY. He left Lithuania alone
in about 1885 at the age of 14 to live with an uncle in Chicago who was
in the cigar business. He later settled in Philadelphia and married
Yette BARRON, also from Kovno.  Abraham was from a Levite family. It is
said that his father was an attorney who owned and rented out
real-estate and his parents divorced. I am seeking the names of his
father and mother, where they lived, and anything about them. They may
have lived in Josvainiai. They took their surname from the area in lived
in before Kovno, the Neviaser Valley or River. Does anyone know where
that is?

I am also interested in the BARRON family and Jacob BARRON, Yette's
brother.

Thank you,

Judith Barrett

LitaLita.com - A Week In Lithuania - Aug. 2009

Kovno

http://litalita.com/m1/bank.shtml

Preview
This chapter tells the story
of the Macht(as) family.
Aleksandras Ziselis and Ester Ente
were born and raised in Kaunas.
They got married
and had children.
Aleksandras Ziselis was a chess player.
He became the champion of Lithuania
and represented his country
in a couple of chess Olympiads.
His main occupation though
was to serve as the manager
of one of the most important banks
in the first Republic of Lithuania.
In 1936 they left Lithuania
and moved to Tel-Aviv
with their children.
Their grandchildren
were born there.
Their great grandchildren
were born there as well.
Ester and Alexander Zisel Macht
as well as they children
did not come back to Lithuania
and to their home city of Kaunas.
more than 7 decades on
in the Summer of 2009
some of their grandchildren
and great grandchildren did.

Kovno

Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
Aleksandras Ziselis ( Ziskind ) Machtas
was born in Kaunas , Lithuania
on 6 Oct. 1892.
He was the third child
of Lea (1858-1941)
and Shraga (1860-1921).
His nick name was Sasha.
His older brothers
were called Isaak and Gutman.
His younger brother - Yaakov.
Gutman moved to the U.S
before the first world war.
Isaak though moved to Russia
around the same period.
They as well as their families
have stayed there ever since.
Yaakov stayed in Kaunas.
He and his family fled to Russia
at the start of the second world war.
They came back to Lithuania later on
and became Soviet citizens.
Lea was the only family member
to remain in occupied Kaunas.
She was too old to run away.
All of her children and grand children
escaped the fate of the vast majority
of European and Lithuanian Jews.
They were all safe now , far away.

Kovno

Ester Ente Kacaite
Ester ( Hadasa ) Ente Kacaite ( Kats )
was born in Kaunas , Lithuania
on 15 Dec. 1894.
She was the first child
of Miriam (1875-1941)
and David (1868-1920).
Her younger brothers
were called Israel and Shimon.
Her mother was of the Yapu family.
A famous one in the Jewish community.
Distant relatives of Avraham Mapu.
The famous Jewish writer from Kaunas.
When Ester Ente and Aleksandras Ziselis
moved to British Palestine in 1936
they took her mother with them.
She stayed at their new home.
Israel and Shimon remained in Kaunas
when the second world war started.
they were murdered a few years later
along with their family members
and the vast majority
of European and Lithuanian Jews.
By the end of the war
Ester did not have
any family member
left in Lithuania.

Kovno

Standing from left to right :
Sara (Lala), Yaakov (Yasha), Ester and Rivka (Riva).

The Children
Ester Ente and Aleksandras Ziselis
were married in Kaunas.
Their first child was born in 1915.
His name was Isaak.
As the first world war went on
the Russian authorities
ordered all of the Jews
to leave the city of Kaunas.
They had to run away.
After a while they settled
in what is now eastern Ukraine.
A second child was born in 1916.
Her name was Sara ( nicknamed Lala ).
And on 14 Jan. 1919
within a few hours between them
Rivka and Yaakov were born.
( nicknamed Riva and Yasha )
In 1921 the entire family
returned to what was now
The first Republic of Lithuania.
They moved into a flat in Kaunas
on 21 Gedimino Gatve.
Just a few minutes walk
from the house of Lea Machtas
Right in the city centre.
In 1932 a tragedy occurred.
Isaak was drawn in the river
while on vacation with his friends.
He was laid to rest in Kaunas.
It was a shock to all family members.
Nothing was going to be the same again.
However the remaninig children
went to the Hebrew high school.
The "Schwabbe Gymnasium" in Kaunas.
Rivka and Yaakov became keen members
of the socialist-Zionist youth movement
"Hashomer Ha-Tsair" - The young Guard.

Kovno

Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
Chess champion of Lithuania
as depicted in a Jewish newspaper
just before leaving the country.

Chess - Facts
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
was the chess champion of Lithuania.
He has 7 titles to his name.
More than any other chess player
in the history of the first Republic.
( Independent Lithuania 1921-1938 ) .
As of the summer of 2009 -
More than any other chess player
in Independent Lithuania ever.


Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
was the first ever chess player
to represent Lithuania
as first board ( top seeded )
in a world chess Olympiad.
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
was the first ever
Lithuanian chess player
to play in a formal match
against a reigning world chess champion.


Several Lithuanian chess players
have represented Lithuania since then
as first board in a chess Olympiad.
Some have even played in a formal match
against the reigning world champion.
Many more might do either or both
in many years to come.
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas though
will always remain
the first chess player ever
in Lithuanian history
to do either and both.
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
retired from competitive chess
when he moved to Tel Aviv in 1936
as the young generation of players
who were about two decades
younger than him were now dominating
the sport in British Palestine
as well as in Lithuania.
In Tel Aviv though he took part
in many exhibition matches
and was also a distinguished member
of the young Israeli chess federation.

 

Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
( forth from right in the photo )
together with Emanuel Lasker.
The legendary former
world chess champion ( centre )
who visited Kaunas in 1932.
The seventh and final year
of Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
as the chess champion of Lithuania.
Also in the photo you can see
his successor as champion
Vladas Mikenas (first on the left)
as well as his predecessor
General Antanas Gustaitis
(second from right)
as well as other chess players
and other distinguished guests.

Kovno

Chess - Championships
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
won his first ever
Lithuanian chess championship in 1923.
He held the championship title
for a record of 5 consecutive years.
In 1923,1924,1926,1927 and 1928.
(in 1925 there was no champion at all)
In fact he was the first player ever
to defend a championship title.
That was in 1924 when he became
the first one to win a second trophy.
In 1926 he was the first player
to become a triple champion.
The following year he became
the first one to win a forth trophy.
And of course in 1928
he won his fifth consecutive title.
After a couple of years
he was back in business so to speak.
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
was again the champion in 1931
and once more so in 1932.
In total winning 7 championship titles.
More than any other player
in the history of the first independent
Republic of Lithuania.
At least in terms of championships
Machtas can be regarded
as the greatest chess player
of the first Republic.
Even more amazing is the fact
that by the summer of 2009
those 7 championships titles
Machtas won many years ago
are still a record yet to be broken
in independent Lithuania of today.

For more on that click here

 

Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
is on the Lithuanian side ( right ).
world champion Alexander Alekhine
is on the french side ( to the left ).
In the 1935 Warsaw chess Olympiad.
His team mates in the 1930 Olympiad were :
M. Sembergas
I. Vistaneckis
L. Abramavicius
Z. Kolodnas
His opponents in the 1930 Olympiad were :
Alexander Alekhine (FRA)
for more on that click here
Henri Weenink (NED)
for more on that click here
Ladislav Prokes (CSR)
for more on that click here
Akiba Rubinstein (POL)
Frederick Yates (ENG)
Erik Andersen (DEN)
Trygve Halvorsen (NOR)
Gideon Staahlberg (SWE)
Birger Rasmusson (FIN)
Einar Torvaldsson (ISL)
Fricis Apsenieks (LAT)
Endre Steiner (HUN)
Isaac Kashdan (USA)
Alexandru Tyroler (ROM)
Carl Carls (GER)
Hans Kmoch (AUT)
Placido Soler (ESP)

Chess - Olympiad 1
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
represented independent Lithuania
in the world chess Olympiad
which took place in Hamburg in July 1930.
It was the first ever chess Olympiad
that Lithuania was a part of.
Machtas was chosen to become
the first ever Lithuanian chess player
to represent independent Lithuania
on first board ( top seeded ).
As such , he faced the top players
from the other nations.
One of those top seeded players
was the Frenchman Alexander Alekhine.
The legendary world chess champion.
Both were born on the same month
( October 1892 )
in the same nation
( The Russian Empire )
and were given the same name , Alexander.
Only one of them though
would become a world chess champion ...
By playing a match against Alekhine
Machtas became the first ever
Lithuanian chess player
who played a formal match
against a reigning world champion.
Although Machtas lost to Alekhine
the sheer fact that a chess player
who represented independent Lithuania
was competing in an Olympiad
against the chess champion of the world
was in itself an historic milestone
for the entire country back then.
The fact that the man in question
was a Jewish player from Kaunas
turned it into a double celebration
for both the Jewish community
all over independent Lithuania
as well as for the people of Kaunas.
You can see now in details
all of the matches
of the Lithuanian team
in that historic Olympiad.

for more click here

You can also read a bit more
about the 1930 chess Olympiad.
for more on that click here

The autographs of the players
of the Lithuanian and French sides
in the 1935 Warsaw chess Olympiad
who feature in the previous photo.
His team mates in the 1935 Olympiad were :
Vladas Mikenas
Isakas Vistaneckis
Povilas Vaitonis
Markas Luckis
His opponents in the 1935 Olympiad were :
David Enoch (ISR)
for more on that click here
Andor Lilienthal (HUN)
for more on that click here
Paulin Frydman (POL)
for more on that click here
George Alan Thomas (ENG)
for more on that click here
Birger Rasmusson (FIN)
for more on that click here
Gunnar Friedemann (EST)
for more on that click here
Borislav Kostic (YUG)
for more on that click here
Antonio Sacconi (ITA)
for more on that click here
Louis Betbeder Matibet (FRA)
Bjorn Nielsen (DEN)
Fricis Apsenieks (LAT)
Rudolf Spielmann (AUT)
Miklos Brody (ROM)
Abraham Kupchik (USA)

Kovno

Chess - Olympiad 2
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
chose for reasons unknown
not to take part in the following
chess Olympiads of 1931 and 1933.
A new generation of chess players
about twenty years younger than him
headed by Vladas Mikenas
were now dominating the scene
and Machtas was about to retire.
It was in August 1935 though
that he was called upon again
to represent his country
in the Warsaw Olympiad in Poland.
That was not simple in itself
as there were no diplomatic relations
between Poland and Lithuania
after the first world war.
However the Lithuanian team
did make it and played their part.
You can read a bit more
about the 1935 chess Olympiad.
for more on that click here
The 1930 Olympiad was historic
as it was the first ever Olympiad
for the Republic of Lithuania.
The old homeland of Machtas.
The 1935 Olimpiad though was historic
for his soon to be new one
as It was the first ever chess Olympiad
to feature an Israeli team
representing British Palestine.
Machtas was now one of only four
Lithuanian chess players
who were the first ones ever
to compete in a formal match
against an Israeli chess player.
In his case a draw against David Enoch.
Less than a year after that match
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
will himself become a citizen
of that very same country.
You can see now in details
all of the matches
of the Lithuanian team
in that historic Olympiad.
for more on that click here
It is interesting to note
that one of the legendary players
who took part in that Olympiad
the famous Andor Lilienthal
who actually played against
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
in that very Olympiad
was in the Summer of 2009
still alive at the age of 99 !
Incidentally 99 was also
the exact number of players
who took part back in 1935
in the Warsaw Olympiad.
Only one of them though
was a bank manager ...
for more on that click here

 

Kovno

Kovno

Kovno

Kovno

Kovno

Kovno

 

The Bank
The central Jewish bank in Kaunas
( " Centralinis Zydu Bankas " )
was one of the most important banks
in the first Republic ( 1920-1939)
and the most important one
in Lithuania's Jewish community.
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
studied economics in Brussels
after finishing high school.
He started working in the bank
when the Machtas family
returned to Kaunas in 1921 .
He began as a ground floor clerk.
As he was very good at languages
he began to climb up the ladder
in the bank that it's main goal
was the cooperation between Jews
from different countries in Europe
as well as in Lithuania itself.
About a decade later on
he was unanimously appointed
as the general manager
of the prestigious bank.
He held the post until 1936.
The year the Machtas family


The senior managers took a photo
with the general manager.
( second from left ).
Their names are written down in Hebrew.
From right to left :
Landoy,Shpshilevic,Brodny and Zbarsky.
(English spelling might be incorrect).
Some of the many
employees of the bank
also took a photo
with the general manager
( first on the right ).
We do not know their names.
The vast majority of them of course
were of the Jewish community.
What has happened to them ?
How many of them survived the horror ?
How many of those stayed in Lithuania ?
How many of those went abroad ?
We do not know.
We can only hope.
What we do know for sure
is that the impressive building itself
and the front of it in particular
is not the same nowadays
as it used to be back then.
Also the interior is quite different ...
for more on that click here

Kovno

Tel Aviv
Aleksandras Ziselis Machtas
and his family members
moved to Tel Aviv in 1936
to the delight of Rivka and Yaakov
who were very enthusiastic
as members of "Hashomer-Haatsair".
The socialist-Zionist youth movement.
It was seen as a crazy thing back then.
To leave one of the best jobs
in the Jewish community and beyond
and to retire from Lithuania's chess elite
of which he was a very senior member
in the past two decades or so.

One might of course say now
that as a chess master
he could foresee at least some of what
was about to happen next in Europe.
A decade later on it was clear
that what was perceived by many
in the Jewish community of Lithuania
as a totally crazy thing to do back then
was now seen as the most logical one.
Aleksandras had been asked by Mr. Shenkar,
the head of the industrialists union
in Palestine a year earlier to become
the founder and general manager
of the newly formed "Industrial Bank"
to be situated in the heart of Tel aviv.
In return he got immigration certificates
to all family members.
Not a common gesture by the British.
He also had of course to learn
the Hebrew language from scratch.
He accomplished that very quickly.
His name was also slightly changed to:
Alexander Zisel ( Ziskind ) Macht
The new bank was on Montifioree St.
The family moved into a flat nearby
On 41. Moheliver Street.
On the first floor.
In 1941 the mothers of both
Alexander and Ester Macht
passed away miles apart.
The former's in Kaunas.
The latter's in Tel Aviv.
Alexander and Ester became now
members of the new first generation.
They also became grandparents
about a couple of years earlier.

Kovno

The 8 Grandchildren
Of
Alexander (Dida) And Ester Macht :

Sara (Lala)'s
childrens :

Kovno

Yael
Rami

Rivka (Riva)'s
childrens :

Kovno

Miriam Nini
Channi
Yossi

Yaakov (Yasha)'s
childrens :

Kovno

Mira
Orit
Ella Lea

The Grandchildren
The first wedding in Tel Aviv
of a member of the second generation
took place when Sara (nicknamed Lala)
married her boyfriend Jonathan.
Son of the famous Jewish writer
Avraham Aba Asher Alter Druyanov.
In 1939 a new generation emerged
as the very first grandchild
of Alexander and Ester was born.
She was given the name Yael.
Later on she would become an actress
of the "Habima" national theatre.
Her younger brother is called Avraham.
Named after the famous Writer (nicknamed Rami).
Years after they were born
Sara (Lala) would marry Moshe Pachter
who was born in 3 years old Tel Aviv.
Yaakov (Yasha) married Lea.
both of them founding members
of kibbuts "Negba" in the Negev.
Their daughter Mira was born in 1941.
The second grandchild of the family.
She was named after Ester's mother.
Yaakov went on to study Economics
and would work at the Ministry of Finance.
Years later he would marry Hadara
who also came from Lithuania.
for more on that click here
Their two daughters were born then.
Orit and Ela Lea.
The latter was named
after Alexander's mother Lea.
Rivka (Riva) started working
as a clerk in the "Industrial Bank".
She worked side by side
with another young clerk.
His name was Alexander
Just like her father who was also
the manager of the bank.
She left the bank when she got married.
He went on working in the bank
for many many years to come.
Years later the young clerk would become
arguably the greatest Israeli composer ever.
Alexander Sasha Argov.
Rivka (Riva) married Moshe Miller.
A young Lawyer who came from Lvov.
for more on that click here
The wedding took place On 8.8.41.
Exactly 68 years before
Riva's daughters and grandchildren
would visit her house in Kaunas.
The first child of the newly wed
was born in Tel Aviv in 1942.
The third grandchild of Ester and Alexander.
She was named Miriam after Ester's mother.
Everyone though would call her Nini.
Her sister Hanni was born soon after
She was named after Moshe's grandmother.
Then came their younger brother Yossi.
The long awaited boy of the young family
was named after his other grandfather.
Their family name would later change
from Miller to the Hebrew one Mullor.
The Macht house was always full.
Some of the grandchildren also lived there.
The dog Nig was also a frequent visitor.
The grandchildren would introduce a new nickname
for their grandfather Alexander - "Dida".
The extended family met each other
on a regular basis and of course
celebrated all festivities together.

Kovno

The 21 Great Grandchildren
Of
Alexander (Dida) And Ester Macht :

Sara (Lala)'s
grandchildrens :

Kovno

Maya
Alexander Ali
Moriel
Rael
Jonathan

Rivka (Riva)'s
grandhildrens :

Kovno

Uri
Omer
Einat
Miki
Adi
Hadar
Roy
Rony
Ruthy
Reut

Yaakov (Yasha)'s
grandhildrens :

Kovno

Ben
Asaf
Tali Ester
Michal
Inbar
Michal
The Great Grandchildren
Alexander Zisel ( Ziskind ) Macht
retired from The Industrial Bank
after more than a quarter of a century
in 1962 as he turned 70 years old.
He could now see his 8 grand children
more frequently of course.
He could also visit the chess Olympiad
that was taking place in 1964
in his now home town of Tel Aviv
several decades after he himself took part
in an Olympiad representing Lithuania.
for more on that click here
In 1968 a new generation emerged.
The first great grandchild
of Ester and Alexander's was born.
It was Yaakov's first grandchild.
In 1969 Riva's first grandchild
was born and a few years later
Sara's first grandchild was born.
In all 21 great grandchildren
were born to Ester and Alexander.
Two of them are named after
their great grandparents.
You can see all of the names on the left.
In 1971 there was a new addition
to the extended family in Tel Aviv
when Alexander's young brother Yaakov
together with his daughter Zipora
and her husband Avraham Krechmer
and son Yochanan with his young family
were allowed to leave Soviet Lithuania
after many years they had been denied.
Alexander Zisel Macht
passed away in Tel Aviv
just after turning 80 years of age
on Jan. 14 1973.
The very same day
that Riva and Yaakov
were about to celebrate their 54th birthday.
Ester moved soon after
to live with her daughter Riva
whose husband Moshe passed away
unexpectedly in 1971 aged only 62
at her flat on 14 Adam Hachoen St.
on the third floor.
In Dec. 1979 a memorable party
was held there to celebrate
Ester's ( Esterly ) 85 birthday.
All family members were present.
Ester Macht passed away
on 15 Apr. 1981 aged 87.
She was laid to rest
alongside her late husband.
In Jan. 1989 a lavish party
was held to celebrate together
the 70 birthday of Riva and Yaakov.
It was the last occasion in which
all family members of the extended family
who were located in Israel took part
Yaakov was now himself a bank manager
at the headquarters of bank "Leumi".
He was also a senior member .
of the Hebrew university honorary board.
He passed away in 1996 aged 77.
Soon after that his wife Hadara.
moved into an old people's home.
Riva soon followed suit.
Later on also Sara and Moshe
decided to move in there as well.
In 1998 veteran actress Yael Druyanov
the first grandchild of her generation
passed away suddenly at 59 years of age.
After a gap of many years
all members of the extended family
could meet each other on a weekly basis.
while visiting the elderly.
In Jan 1999 a party was held there
to celebrate Riva's 80'th birthday.
In 2001 the extended family.
celebrated Sara's 85'th birthday
and in 2002 it was Moshe's party
when he reached 90 years of age.
Rivka ( Riva ) passed away in 2004
She was laid to rest
the very same day she turned 85.
Sara passed away the following year
aged 89 and about a year later
her husband Moshe died aged 94.
Hadara was about to celebrate
her 90'th birthday later on in 2009.
She as well as her cousin in law Zipora
were now the only remaining members
of the now first generation
when the trip to Lithuania took place.
It was Riva's first child Miriam ( Nini )
who initiated the trip to Lithuania.
She was determined to make it real.
She was assisted on the task
by her husband Yehuda Dotan.
The organiser of the journey to TAL.
for more on that click here
They were joined by their children,
by Miriam's sister Hanni
and by Miriam's cousins
Mira , Ella and Orit and her daughters.
A delegation of 12 people
was ready in the summer of 2009
to hit the road "back"
to the independent Republic of Lithuania.
for more on that click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kovno’s Past Alive
ON THE GO
By Masha Leon
Published September 19, 2003, issue of September 19, 2003.

At the Center for Jewish History on September 3, traumatic recall was the subtext of Solly Ganor’s remarks at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s reception for his book, “Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Tale — From Lithuania to Jerusalem.”
“It took me 50 years to write my diary… I had nightmares,” said Ganor, who survived the Kovno ghetto and Dachau. His book inspired YIVO’s “Light One Candle” photo exhibit by Kovno ghetto photographer George Kadish, aka Zvi “Hirsh” Kadushin, whose images of children, taken through a buttonhole in his overcoat, include one of a young Ganor.
Postwar U.S. Army photos show Ganor in an Army uniform, as well as members of the U.S. Third Army’s Japanese-American 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Combat Team from Hawaii, which helped liberate Dachau.
An emotional Ganor recalled how “Clarence Matsumura rescued me during the death march from Dachau to the Tyrol.” Ganor learned English in the Kovno ghetto and became a translator for the U.S. Army. “Trailing around the D.P. camps…. I had the satisfaction of ferreting out Lithuanian Nazi collaborators…. It was easy. Those with the S.S. had a tattoo under their left armpit.”
“In 1948, when I was 18, I decided to go to Israel,” he continued. “It was important to have a state of our own…. I was told, ‘You’re going to another Holocaust.’ For me it was the single most important act of my life.” In Israel, Solly Genkind changed his last name to Ganor, which, he explains in his book, means “garden of light.”
Ganor and I first met in July 1994 on a mission to Japan for the dedication ceremony on the Hill of Humanity at Yoatsu that honors Chiune Sugihara, Japan’s consul in Kaunas who in 1940 issued 2,139 visas that saved 6,000 Jews, including my mother and me.
Led by Eric Saul and Lani Silver, the 1994 mission was sponsored by the Holocaust Oral History Project of San Francisco. The mission’s participants included members of the 522nd who helped liberate Dachau and Yukiko Sugihara, the consul’s still-vital widow.
For Ganor the trip to Japan had additional resonance. As a 10-year-old, Ganor had invited the Sugiharas to his home in Kovno for a Chanukah celebration. Unfortunately, he and his family missed getting those precious life-saving visas.
At the YIVO reception I was delighted to see Ganor’s wife, Pola Ganor; was introduced to George Mukai, a member of the 442nd and a new Ganor friend, and met author Allison Leslie Gold, who had interviewed me by phone and mail for “A Special Fate: Chiune, Sugihara — Hero of the Holocaust,” which showcases Ganor’s and my childhood recollections of the Vilna-Kovno-Sugihara saga.
* * *
Miriam Hoffman, a professor of Yiddish at Columbia University and a Forverts contributor, just back from teaching at the Vilna Summer Yiddish Program, where, along with teachers from Estonia, Argentina and Los Angeles, she taught 60 students from Italy, Belgium, Poland, Canada and the United States.
She told me of the demise of Jewish Vilna — the onetime “Jerusalem of Lithuania.” An embittered Hoffman recalled Ponar, the lush forest outside of Vilna, the eternal resting place for 40,000 slaughtered Vilna Jews. “It was like being in hell,” she said.
“The ground is so fertile…. the trees huge, and there are no markings around the gravesites,” she said. “The last signs of [Yiddish] letters on buildings [in Vilna] are being painted over. In two years, no one will know Jews ever lived here.”
Joshua Cohen’s “Litvak-less Birthday Bash,” a chronicle of Vilnius’s 750th birthday celebration (in the August 29 Forward) offered me painful “closure.” The only photo I have of my parents and me was taken in Vilna in 1940 at the Gaon’s gravesite. Cohen’s article reports: “The original site of the grave of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, better known as the Vilna Gaon, is now a sports complex.” Soon Vilna will become Lithuanian Jewry’s Ground Zero.


Does anyone know of a list or census of industrial establishments in
Kovno or Vilna around the turn of the last century?  I have seen many
references to increased industrialization and even seen analyses
indicating that this information exists, but I do not know how it can
be accessed.

I have seen the 1913 list of business owners of course but I am
interested in the period from about 1895 to 1900 or so.

If the lists exist but in Russian only, I would be willing to finance
at least part of a translation.

Thank you, LitvakSIG organizers, for all the work you do and thank you
to all who are willing to help with answers.

Judith Singer
While there are resources in the Lithuanian Archives for researching the
industrial heritage of Lithuania. one can find quite a number of
references online on this topic. There are also a number of museums which
focus on this aspect of the Lithuanian economy.

One link which may be of interest is:
http://msi.lms.lt/ihp/gateway/lt/lt_index.html
which mentions that in 1900 there were 4,000 works with 24,000 workers
in Lithuania and, in fact, at one time, Lithuania was known to have the
largest shoe factory in Europe. Further, the "Vestfalija" metalworks
in Kaunas had 1,010 workers which was one of the largest industries
in the town.

In addition, the main public libraries in Kaunas and Vilnius have
resources which may prove of interest too. One site for the Kaunas
Pubic Library mentions a number of factories, not all owned or
operated by Jews:

http://datos.kvb.lt/en/index.php?q=factory&by=1&option=com_paieska&Itemid

Ann Rabinowitz
Thank you Ann.  You have already answered one or my two underlying
questions.

About half of my maternal grandfather's Charny relatives, born in or
near Kavarskas, were employed in the shoe manufacturing business after
they immigrated to the U.S.  As I search ship manifests (what a
wonderful source of information) for other Charnys who may be related,
I noticed that in the occasional statements of occupation in the
manifests, shoemaking seems to be the specific occupation most often
mentioned. I had already been wondering if my ancestors' work in
shoemaking was due to their having worked in shoe manufacturing jobs,
or whether the first brother to arrive happened to have found a job in
that industry and the other brother followed him. (I asked about Kovno
and Vilna as they are the cities where my rural ancestors would most
likely have gone in search of jobs.) The preponderance of shoemakers
in the manifests gave credibility to the first possibility, and my now
learning that there was a large shoemaking factory In Kovno further
substantiates. At this point, I don't need to know for sure that my
ancestors worked in a shoemaking factory in Lithuania; I'm satisfied
with merely some basis in fact for my speculation.

Since you seem knowledgeable in the area of industrial development,
perhaps you know offhand whether there was a soda-bottling factory in
the same period, 1895-1900, in Kovno, Vilna, or perhaps Vilkomir
(Ukmerge) or Anyksciai.

My grandfather and one of his brothers, as well as an ancestor on my
maternal grandmother's family, worked in the soda-bottling business
after immigrating to the U.S., so once again I wondered if this was
due to experience gained in Lithuania. I would guess that if so, the
factories were small, since the two brothers each opened their own
soda-bottling businesses here, and having worked in a small
establishment would have given them an opportunity to learn many
aspects of the business beyond what a laborer might learn in a large
factory.

Thank you for the help you've already provided; additional information
would merely add rich frosting to the cake.

Judith Singer (researching Charnys in Kavarskas, Vilkomir (Ukmerge),
Kovno, Vilna and Belarus)

I can say with certainty that there were several soda-water factories
in Vilna in and around 1900.  I have been researching this subject as
our Vaynerovich family supposedly owned one that bottled soda, mineral
water, lemonade and beer!  (or some combination of these.)

My father's first cousin (sharp as a tack until her death at 96) who,
like my father, was born in Vilna and lived there until her teenage
years, said the name of the factory was Berger.  I have spent some
time (and money) investigating this factory and have received 17 pages
of documents on it from the Lithuanian Central Archives in Vilnius.
According to the documents, the owner was a Meer Berger.  Nowhere did
I find the Vaynerovich name mentioned in the file.

All of us 'younger' cousins grew up hearing about our family's soda
factory in Vilna, so I do believe they owned one, but I am still
confused about cousin Minnie's statement.  I guess it is possible that
she just remembered the name of that factory from her youth and simply
misspoke.

As an aside to your shoe business question - my father, who came to
the US from Vilna at the age of 13, got into the shoe business early
in his working life in America, eventually becoming the successful
proprietor of a number of women's shoe stores in Texas.  Now I, too,
am wondering if Vilna may have played a role in his choice of
professions!

Danielle Weiner
Dallas, TX
VAYNEROVICH, GELER/GELLER, TAUB, GURWICZ, SHIBOVSKY, KOTLOVSKY,
CYKINSKI, KHAIMOVICH, SZEJMAN, WINOGRUN, BURSHTEIN from Vilna and
vicinity, Rudamina and Butrimonys

-- Ignas Slajus is one of our translators in Lithuania. He let us know that his
great grandfather, Jonas Eimontas, was awarded the Righteous Among The
Nations Medal and Certificate of Honor by Yad Vashem for saving Jews during
the Holocaust. Jonas is one of only 871 Lithuanians so honored as of January
2014.

Ignas wrote "The story, to put it in a few words, is such: my
great-grandfather waited for the runaways from the Kaunas ghetto with his
cart filled with hay and some clothes. Two of the runaways then dressed like
coachmen, whereas others hid in the hay. My great-grandfather then rode a
bicycle some distance ahead, in order to have enough time to warn them in
case of danger. Thus the escapees succeeded to reach the safe place near
Vandziogala and successfully awaited the liberation afterwards."

We are thankful to Ignas' great grandfather for the risks he took to help
our ancestors escape and survive the atrocities.

The honor passes down to Ignas who is also helping to save the memory of the
Jews of Lithuania by translating records in which they are mentioned.

A list of all recipients can be viewed on the Yad Vashem website.

Eden Joachim
President, LitvakSIG

Kovno

Zvi Hirsch Geffen 
Birth: August 1864 
Kovno, Lithuania
Immediate Family:
Son of Aryeh Lev Leyb Geffen and Sara Hinda Geffen 
Husband of Nechama Riva Rudashevsky 
Father of Samuel Paul Geffen; Louis Jacob Geffen; Eva Geffen; Rosa Geffen; Barouch Geffen and 1 other 
Brother of Joseph Geffen; Miriam Wolf and Abraham David Geffen 

When Zvi Hirsch Gefen was born, Kovno was part of the Russian Empire. You could say he was born at the wrong place at the wrong time, as Zvi was born in 1864, right in the middle of the January Uprising (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_Uprising). To suppress the local population, the Russian military built fortifications throughout the town, which were being built just as Zvi must have been learning to crawl as a baby.
Kovno is now known as Kaunas (54°54'N 23°56'E), and is located about 58 miles WNW of Vilnius, at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers in Lithuania. In 1862, just two years before Zvi was born in Kovno, a railway was completed connecting the Russian Empire and Germany, making Kovno a significant railway hub.

From: <saulmarg@g
To: 
Cc: Brian Margolis


Hi Eilat,

Thanks very much for the information you have provided, it is fascinating.  My brother managed to find my grandparents marriage on here, and I'm now going to look for my other set of grandparents.  We're thinking of applying for Lithuanian (and thus EU) citizenship, but don't have any records to prove our heritage.  What you have published may indeed be the records I'm looking for.

Can I ask where you obtained this information, so I can see whether there might be an official Lithuanian government record of the marriage?

Kind regards
Saul

From: Amanda Price <luv2dancenow@me.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 6:22 AM
Subject: Families Malman and Laner from Kovna

Hello Everyone!
I am researching these two families from Kovna who arrived in England 1870 +.
Ada Laner (aka Lerner, Lion, Lolman, Jacobs) was brought to London by her father after the death of her mother, to be bought up with her elder sisters, Rachel and possibly Leah. Rachel's two children, Dora and Raphael Morris (father Samuel Morris) are staying with a Joseph Malman and family in 1901. The Malmans emigrated to New York but I can find no further information relating to the Morris family.
If anyone has any leads for me, I would be so grateful. Thank you.

The following Lithuanian directories, sourced from the Lithuanian
Virtual Electronic Heritage System (www.epaveldas.lt), are now
full-text searchable at http://genealogyindexer.org (search results
link to images):

* Kovno Gubernia Commemorative Books for 1899, 1902, 1908, 1909, 1911,
1914, 1915 + two addenda for the 1871 edition

* Kaunas (City) Address Directories for 1930, 1932, 1933

* Kaunas (City) Medical Directories for 1928, 1929

* 1941 Lithuanian SSR Nationalized Businesses

* 1930 Lithuanian Primary School Teachers Directory

Apart from the all-Russian Empire directories announced last week
(Vsia Rossiia), these are the first Lithuanian additions to my search
engine in several years.

The Kovno Gubernia directories are written in Russian, but you can
enter a Latin script search term if you use an automatic
transliteration option ("Add Latin -> Cyrillic," which is the default,
or "Only Latin -> Cyrillic"). Or, you can search in Cyrillic.

Incidentally, www.epaveldas.lt has a full-text search option for some
of its collection (but not the above, apparently), accessible through
the "Advanced Search" or "Isplestine paieska" option under the
"Search" or "Ieskoti" button.

Logan Kleinwaks
kleinwaks@alumni.princeton.edu
near Washington, D.C.

I spoke today with Dr. Shalom Eilati (formerly KAPLAN), who is a child
survivor from the Kovno Ghetto. Shalom wrote his memoir, Crossing the
River,
(Carmel and Yad Vashem, November 1999) and in May 2007, the English
translation of the book was approved for publication by The Alabama
University Press, slated for release in mid-2008.

Shalom is hoping to find other child survivors of his own age, born
circa
1933. He is making an attempt to document Lithuanian child survivors,
especially, but not only from Kovno, in order to add this information
to the
Yad Vashem archives. He asked me to help circulate this information on
this
list, as he is not very computer literate. I am happy to pass on any
responses generated by this message.

Varda Epstein
Efrat, Israel

 

--
Eilat Gordin Levitan

My Great Uncle, Samuel Brenner, who went by the name Shmuel, was a Talmudic scholar who was born in Kovno, Lithuania in 1882 and did not come to the USA until he was about 24 years old in 1906. When I was younger, I noticed a certain rhythm, cadence, vocal inflection in his voice. He would pronounce the word "literature" as li-tur-a-ture stretching out each syllable with an emphasis on the "ture" sound. It was very rhythmic almost sounding like poetry even though he was speaking prose. He also spoke other words and phrases with this sound I find difficult to describe. It got my attention. One day he told me with a twinkle in his eye "The rabbis' act like someone is trying to steal their business." He would often tell me this and I later learned it had to do with his identification with the Mitnagdim tradition in Lithuania. He was a strong proponent of the Mitnaged point of view and thought that the rabbis' of his era ( about the early 1950's to 1960's) spoon fed the congregation and avoided difficult issues.

My question is: Have you ever heard of this phrase "The rabbis' act like someone is trying to steal their business?" Is this an old Yiddish saying that my Uncle was speaking in English? What would it sound like in Yiddish? Is it a template for other types of Yiddish sayings that are similar with a different pronoun; for example, "the butcher is afraid that someone is trying to steal his business" etc. etc.

The other part of the mystery is, many years after Shmuel died in 1966, I happened to become aware of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik's lecture, "The Lonely Man of Fatih" that was originally published in the journal "Tradition" and was eventually republished in book form. As I started reading Soloveitchik's words, I could hear Shmuel's voice in my mind. There was something about the way Soloveitchik expressed himself (conspectus of his writings by his students) and the way Shmuel expressed himself that was the same. This came as quite a shock to me and took me completely by surprise.

Is my experience too subjective to be able to analyze or explain or might there be some unifying linguistic influence that can be identified?

Thank You,
Ronald Subotnick

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The following is from Vitalija Gircyte of the Kaunas Regional Archives
regarding an exhibition on Kaunas Guberniya Jews

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Kaunas Regional Archive has opened an exhibition on Kaunas Guberniya
Jews. Mostly records - the thick old volumes are impressive. They are also
exhibiting photographs of army draftees and melameds that they have in
their holdings and also drawings of synagogues.

A few people from the Kaunas Jewish Community and Kaunas Religious Jewish
Community participated and seemed quite interested.

But the exhibition will be more interesting to Lithuanians and may serve to
dispel a few stereotypes about the Jews. Even some of my colleagues were
surprised that Jews used to be farmers and serve in the army. We used the
calligraphy of the Book of Esther in the shape of a bear by your (David Hoffman')
great-grandfather Shliomovich to decorate our exposition. Everyone
admired it.

Vitalija

Moshe Mones (Moshemones@gmail.com) on Monday, June 23, 2008
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: Thank you for this great site

I am trying to find out if anyone knows more about my Paternal family 'Mones'.
I finally traced my great Grandfather Wolf Girsh Mones to his father Zelman
Chaim Mones in Kovna. I do know that Wolf Girsh married Lena Eliashevitz who
had a number of brothers and sisters. Wolf and Lena moved to the U.S. in the
early 1900's and gave birth to my grandfather (obm) Leon Eliezer Mones. I
also know Great Grandmother Lena's father's name was Joseph or Yosef and his
wife was Frieda.

thank you so much
kol tov
Moshe Mones

From Yad Vashem:
Mones Miriam and Emanuel

Miriam perished in Kowno, Lithuania at the age of 11. Emanuel perished at the age of 6. This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 01-Jan-1970 by their mother; Chaja Bobkir ( nee Mones) , a survivor who lived in Canada.

Hi Eilat,
You've done a great job here!
I would like to correct the spelling of the name "Lipec". The Lithuanian spelling is "Lipecas" in its masculine form, or "Lipeceite" in the Feminine form. Yet in order to preserve the original pronunciation, the spelling that was adopted by all the members of the family upon leaving Lithuania was "Lipetz". Dov Lipetz is my great uncle and he, his brothers and cousins all used the spelling Lipetz, I have even found a document in the UK national archives in which a cousin of Dov Lipetz requested to correct the official spelling of the surname.

Thanks, and all the best,
Allon Herman

Modi'in, Israel

RABBINO, BERNHARD
Projector of domestic relation court. He was born in Vilkie, Poland,
1860 and died in New York, 1933. He was educated in Kovno for the rabbinate
and was for a time rabbi in Germany. He followed his parents to the U.S. and
was appointed rabbi in Keokuk, Ia. After serving in a number of western and
southern communities he came to New York and studied for the bar. The
funeral of Rabbi Joseph in 1903 was a turning point in his career. The
disturbance created at the funeral led to his taking charge of the Legal Aid
Bureau of the Educational Alliance, New York. His experience in the courts
suggested the Domestic Relations Court which was established by law in New
York in 1910
KOTZIN
Looking for information on the following, who were living in Moscow as late
as 1959; all were originally from Kaunus (Kovno), Lithuania and were in Moscow
before the Bolshevik Revolution: Boris and Gregor KOTZIN, sons of my
fathers uncle
Isidor KOTZIN. Boris GINSBURG, son of Leon Ginsburg and Helena Kotzin, (she was
daughter of Isidors brother Jacob). Sophie Ginsburg KOTZIN, aunt of
Leon and widow
of Isidors brother Maxim Kotzin, who was professor of hygiene at Moscow
University, a founder of the Pasteur Institute of Moscow, and possibly involved
with construction of the Moscow water works. Anyone who has had good
results with
Moscow searches, please let me know how you did it.

Researching:
KOTZIN: Kovno/Kaunus; Moscow. KOCH/COOK:Kovno; Cincinnati. GINZBURG: Moscow.
SINGER: Lithuania; Los Angeles; Israel. FINKELHOR: Suvalki Gubernia;
Kovno area;
Pittsburgh; Cleveland. KATKISKY: Kovno; Suvalki area. GASSNER: Krakow; London.
NEUMANN/NEWMAN: Frankfurt; New York; North Carolina. BOAZ: Frankfurt; Atlanta.
CIMBERG/KIMBERG: Kremenets, Ukraine.WAGNER: Kremenets; New York.

Ted Kotzin

Boris KOTZIN (born 1887 in Kovno - passed away 1958 in Moscow [1])
was involved with Esperanto, a language introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L.
Zamenhof;
Professor Boris Kotzin wrote "The History and Theory of Ido" in
which he demonstrated the ambiguities and difficulties created by
attempting to express even relatively simple concepts in Ido
http://rik.poreo.org/ido_con.doc
Information in Esperanto ( from the net):
estis Hebrew soveta esperantisto, kaj ?urnalisto-redaktoro, kaj nevo
of L.L. Zamenhof. Esperantisto of 1902. Kunlaboris in Lingvo
Internacia kaj aliaj Esperanto-gazetoj, tradukis multajn verkojn of
Anton ?e?ov, Maksim Gorky k.a. In 1910-15 Kotzin estis redaktanto of
the Ondo de Esperanto kaj in 1911-13 vicprezidanto of Moskva Societo
Esperantista. Kotzin verkis plej kompletan kritikon kontra? Gone:
Historio kaj teorio of Gone, 1913, kiu aperis anka? in Germanic
traduko, 1916. In 1920 Kotzin enkondukis Esperanton in Soveta
Sindikato de Artistoj kaj in ties body Rabbis. Estis membro of Centers
Komitato de Sovetrespublikara Esperantista Unio 1926-28.

During April 2006, I visited an office in Kaunas, where they keep cemetery records from all the cemeteries in Kaunas. For the Jewish records they only have records for the Jews who died in Kaunas during 1965 and later. All other Jewish cemetery records are either missing or destroyed. The Jewish records that they have, are recorded in 2 books, one line per person. I took digital photos of more than 50 pages from these two books. Some pages only had a few entries.

Cemetery Office is:

KAPINIU PRIEZIUROS KONTORA
DONELAICIO G-VE 70
KAUNAS

You can view the pages from the book on my web site here.

http://www.mannbarry.net/Lithuania/Kaunas/Cemetery.html

Barry Mann

For information regardin Taube MOSKOVICH who was born in 1904 in Kaunas. Her maiden name is either KRUMRUTSKY, KRAMARUTSKY, KREMERUTSKY or KARIVOROUCHKI.

I found her name on the Internal Passports list.

The JGFF lists 20 researchers researching this surname in Lithuania, but no one is listed specifically as researching this family from Kaunas.

If you have any information about Tauba MOSKOVICH (nee KRUMRUTSKY) or about her family, I will appreciate it if you can contact me.

Thank you,

Rony Golan
Israel

Researching:

KRAMARUTSKY - KREMERUTSKY- KARIVOROUCHKA - Kaunas, Vandziogala
EISDORFER - Hungary
GOLDSTEIN/FRIEDMAN - North/east Hungary
SLOMOVITS - Sighet, Rozavlea, Strimtura
NAJMAN/NAYMAN - Bedevlia, Ukrain.
----------------------------------
Rony wrote;
My grandmother, Zlate Eugenia Kramarutsky was born in Slobodka in 1896 to Rivka Rachel, daughter of Melech Pakelchik, and Nachum son of Yudel Kramarutsky.
Her oldest sister was Sarah Liba who was born in December of 1893 and Yizhak born in December of 1901. at the end of The First World War Zlata met Moshe Leib SLOMOVITS from Sighet ( he arrived to Kovno as a POW)
They were married and moved to Sighet. They had 3 children. Zlate and her youngest daughter, Chana age 11, perished in the holocaust. No trace is found of Zlate sister Sarah Liba , brother Yizhak or their family from the Kovno area.
http://shorashim.blogli.co.il/archives/200
--------------------------------------
from yad vashem;
Slomovitz Zeny

Zeny Slomovitz was born in Kovna, Lithuania in 1900. Prior to WWII she lived in Sziget, Romania. During the war she was in Sziget, Romania. Zeny perished in Auschwitz May 21th, 1944 with her youngest daughter. This information is based on a Page of Testimony found in the Pages of Testimony by her daughter Karola Golan.
Slomovitz Hana

Hana Slomovitz was born in Maramures in 1932 to Moshe. She was single. Prior to WWII she lived in Maramures, Romania. During the war she was in Sziget, Romania. Hana perished in 1944 in Auschwitz, Camp. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 02-Dec-1977 by her sister, a Shoah survivor
Slomovits Moshe

Moshe Slomovits was born in Slatina in 1896. He was married. Prior to WWII he lived in Marmaros sziget, Romania. During the war he was in Marmarossziget, Romania. Mose perished in 1944 in Auschwitz, Camp. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 02-Dec-1977 by his daughter
Slomovits Meleh

Meleh Slomovits was born in Sziget in 1923 to Moshe. He was single. Prior to WWII he lived in Sziget, Romania. During the war he was taken by the army in 1944 and never found a trace of him. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 02-Dec-1977 by his sister
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moskovitz Tauba

Tauba Moskovitz was born in Kowno in 1905 to Avraham and Sara. She was a worker and married to Avraham. Prior to WWII she lived in Kowno, Lithuania. During the war she was in Kovno, Lithuania. Tauba perished in 1941 in Kaunas, Lithuania. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 07-Jan-1957 by her friend.
Moskovitz Abraham

Abraham Moskovitz was born in Kowna in 1902. He was a carpenter. Prior to WWII he lived in Kowna, Lithuania. During the war he was in Kowna, Lithuania. Abraham perished in 1941 in Kowna, Ghetto. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 07-Jan-1957 by his friend
Moshkowitc Taibl

Taibl Moshkowitc was born in Kowno in 1910. She was married to Avraam. Prior to WWII she lived in Kowno, Lithuania. During the war she was in Kowno, Lithuania. Taibl perished in 1944 in Kowno, Ghetto. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 15-Jan-1974 by her sister-in-law
Submitter's Last Name BAKAS
Submitter's First Name ROZA
Relationship to victim SISTER-IN-LAW
Registration date 15/01/1974
Language Russian
Moshkowitc Awraam

Awraam Moshkowitc was born in Vilki in 1907 to Yosif and Sheina. He was married to Taibl. Prior to WWII he lived in Kaunas, Lithuania. During the war he was in Kaunas, Lithuania. Awraam perished in 1941 in Kaunas, Ghetto. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 15-Jan-1974 by his sister
Submitter's Last Name BAKAS
Submitter's First Name ROSA
Moshkowitc Yosif

Yosif Moshkowitc was born in Vilna in 1884 to Artzik and Riwa. Prior to WWII he lived in Kovno, Lithuania. During the war he was in Kaunas, Lithuania. Yosif perished in 1944 in the Shoah. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 10-Jan-1974 by his daughter

Shalom David and Allon,

Since you seem to be related I am pasting here some of the notes which
I received from you.
allon wrote;
I have our ancestry for both Aharon Lipetz (Dov's father) and Zipora
Dolnitzki (Dov's mother) as far as the late 1700's and I will happily
provide you with further information as much as you are interested.

All the best,
Allon

David Lipetz (dlipetz@hotmail.com) on Thursday, December 04, 2008 at 22:46:27
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am a descendant of, and named after, David Lipa Lipetz from Kovno.
My father is Jacques Lipetz. His father is Abrasha Lipetz - one of David's
three sons who left Lithuania before the war. The text I found on this site
regarding my family's history is fascinating. Abrasha died in 1985 I've been
trying to fill in the blanks. I now know that my uncle Leon Lipetz (who died a
few years ago) was named after his uncle Leon who was murdered in the
holocaust.

The most famous Lithuanian rescuer of Jews during the Holocaust was
probably Ona Simaite, a librarian in Vilnius University, took advantage
of her freedom of movement into the Jewish ghetto, ostensibly to retrieve
books loaned to Jews before the war, as a pretext to secure valuable
literary works by Jewish authors. She also looked after Jews in hiding
outside the ghetto. Arrested during an attempt to smuggle a Jewish girl
outside the ghetto, she was tortured and sent to a concentration camp.
She survived but suffered permanent damage to her health.

You will find a write-up on another Lithuanian Righteous among the
Nations at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazys_Binkis

And a Wikipedia site has a whole list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_Righteous_among_the_Nations

There is now also a book published by the State Jewish Museum in Vilnius
that lists more than 2,500 Lithuanians who helped save Jews during the
Holocaust (though whether all have been recognized by Yad Vashem I don't
know.) I had some correspondence a few years ago with Viktorija Sakaite,
who was working on this book. At the time, a book had come out by a
Lithuanian, Antanas Gurevicius, listing more than 10,000 Lithuanian
rescuers. Sakaite was attempting to verify as rescuers the people named in
Gurevicius' book. It's obvious that she was able to do so with only about
25% of those listed by Gurevicius. See:

http://www.ncsj.org/AuxPages/022602Rescuers.shtml

Marjorie Rosenfeld

Following my prior post about Jewish orphanages, and the one in Kaunas
in particular, several people wrote and asked about the location, etc.
A reference to Jewish institutions as of July 10, 1941 is found in
the document: "Memorandum submitted to the Lithuanian municipality of
Kovno by the Jewish committee in Kovno, concerning the suburb of
Slobodka-the planned area for the Ghetto."

The document is mentioned in the book "Surviving the Holocaust" by
Avraham Tory, Martine Gilbert, Dina Porat and Jerzy Michalowicz, Pages
15-16.

Here is the list:

Jewish Hospital, 3 Jakstu Street
Jewish Orphanage, 15 Fire Brigade Street
Jewish Home for the Aged, 15 Puskos Street
Well-known restaurant, 10 Mapu Street
Jewish Community Centers, 14 Rotuse Square and 12 Luksio Street
Mikvah, 3 Luksio Street
Hebrew Gymnasium, 25 Nieman Embankment
Talmud Torah School, 17 Ugnagesiu Street
Jewish Clinic, 7 Pilies Street
ORT School, 86 Jonavos Street
OZE Jewish Health Organization, 1 Misku Street
Jewish Central Bank for the Support of Cooperatives, 76 Laisves Boulevard

Ann Rabinowitz

The Internet is a rich resource for locating references for Jewish
orphanages which were established pre-World War I, during World War II
and post-World War II in Lithuania. Some of these references can be
found at YIVO in New York, others in various books and other resources
includng JewishGen. Sometimes, the orphanages were called kinder hois
or kinder heim and you can find them that way.

One reference I found some time ago and posted about then was for the
Kovner Yidisher Kinderheim. It was found in the records of the
Kupishok Benevolent Society in Cape Town, SA. Evidently, the Society
had sent money to the orphanage after World War II.

There was a listing of 108 children with the names of their parents,
where they were from originally and their year of birth. Of course,
not all of the information was provided for each child.

An example of what is found in this listing is the orphaned SAPLICKI
family of five children, all born in Kaunas, Lithuania, whose parents
were Sholom and Rose: Genie, born 1934, Malka, born 1935, Moshe and
Sheine (twins), who were born 1936, and Chone, born 1938.

Another family of children in the orphanage were the STOLIARSKI
family, no parents' names given, all born in Salakas, Lithuania:
Avrom, born 1935, Eda, born 1936, and Reise, born 1940.

Two other families were those of WAINER from Taurage, Lithuania, whose
parents were not listed: Yankel, born 1938 and Raine, born 1940; and
ZIMAN from Lazdijai, Lithuania. whose parents were not listed: Sheine
and Shmuel (twins), who were both born 1937.

There were even three children listed who had no first name at all,
but their parents names were provided: Zalman and Freda GITLIN's
child; Rachmiel and Dina LACHOWITZKY's child; and Dovid and Slave
SHNEIDER's child.

The shtets represented in this listing were the following: Dusetos,
Daugavpils, Janova, Kenigsberg, Klaipeda, Kaunas, Krekenava, Kretinga,
Lazdijai, Oriol, Panevezys, Prienai, Raiseniai, Riga, Salakas, Shantz,
Siauliai, Taurage, Vandziogale, Viesintos, Vilnius, Vilkaviskis,
Vitebsk, Ukmerge, and Utena.

All in all, these references can provide valuable clues to the
whereabouts of relatives.

Ann Rabinowitz

Back to Kovno

 

http://forward.com/articles/122195/
Exhibitions

The ‘Where Is Konvo?’ Team

By Claudia B. Braude
Published December 30, 2009, issue of January 08, 2010.

This year, the first comprehensive collection of South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer’s nonfiction works will be published. Consistent with a more pervasive silence of her generation, it is unlikely to include more than scant reference to her father’s Lithuanian background.

A younger generation of Jewish South African artists of Lithuanian descent, including textile designer Yda Walt and artist Cheryl Rumbak, is starting to fill in the gaps in memory and consciousness.

Exhibitors in Kaunas’s 2009 Textile Biennial, these artists attended the Kaunas Jewish community’s annual Holocaust memorial ceremony at the notorious Ninth Fort. The date specifically commemorates the Aktzion on October 28, 1941, when a third of the Kovno ghetto’s 30,000 Jewish residents were selected for death at the fort.


South African Jews Look for Support
How a Buttonhole Camera Kept Kovno’s Past Alive

The ‘Where Is Konvo?’ Team
Murder Map: Lithuanian World War II history is rendered on this adapted tallit. (click for larger view)

Unlike many South African Jewish visitors to Lithuania
Standing between them at the ceremony, Fruma Vitkin Kucinskiene told Walt and Rumbak that she was a child witness of the selection, which left no family untouched. Only their emigration from Lithuania and relocation to South Africa in 1928 spared Rumbak’s grandparents and aunts, born in Kovno (as Kaunas was known to Jews), the same fate. Like Walt’s grandparents (and Gordimer’s father), they were among the 40,000 Litvak (Lithuanian) Jewish immigrants into South Africa between 1880 and 1920, with a further trickle arriving in the ’30s. Predominantly Litvak, South Africa’s Jewish community is uniquely homogenous in its Lithuanian origins. Largely erased in Lithuania, prewar Litvak culture was preserved in South Africa.

Vitkin Kucinskiene attended the opening of Where Is Kovno? the South Africans’ exhibition that explores the repressed memory of Kaunas’s Jewish life. The exhibition was born when Walt, part of a community of artists newly reflecting Johannesburg as a vibrant post-apartheid African city, accompanied her other work, which was included in a South African exhibition at Kaunas’s 2007 Biennial.

The ‘Where Is Konvo?’ TeamMurder Map: Lithuanian World War II history is rendered on this adapted tallit. (click for larger view)Unlike many South African Jewish visitors to Lithuania since the demise of the Soviet Union and apartheid, Walt was uninterested in “the rootsy thing.” The “emotional response” and “weird sense of discomfort and connection” she felt in Kaunas were unexpected.

Spending nights in her hotel room, Googling the city’s Jewish history, she learned that 40,000 of 240,000 Jews in Lithuania before the 1941 Nazi invasion had lived in Kovno, and that by 1945, only 4% of this community survived.

“I felt the community’s absence. I want to shout, where are the Jews?” she told fellow artists who encouraged her to bring related work to the next biennial.

Later, with a guide, she explored Kaunas’s previously Jewish buildings. “I felt angry: Why are none of these buildings marked?” she said.

Through its presidential historical commission assessing the legacy of the Nazi and Soviet occupations, Lithuania has officially acknowledged its devastating history. Freed from Soviet historical distortion, historians largely agree on the events of the Lithuanian Holocaust. “Integration of Lithuanian culture into that of the West is possible only through acknowledgement of the extent of the Holocaust,” said Emanuelis Zingeris, commission chair. But reshaping public memory is difficult. “On some very basic level, the history is totally unacknowledged,” Walt said.

In collaboration with Rumbak and composer Philip Miller, Walt submitted a proposal to the 2009 Biennial.

A decade after the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s rewriting of apartheid history, the artists used their experience in Kaunas “to trigger memory” of prewar Jewish history in the city’s residents. They did so in collaboration with Goda Volbikaite, a Lithuanian doctoral student of Yiddish literature who was introduced to them by the biennial organizers.

At university, Volbikaite had chanced on a novel by the Russian-Jewish Grigorii Kanovich, representing Jewish life in Yanove. “He described a town I thought I knew,” said Volbikaite, who spent holidays visiting her grandparents there. She asked herself the Lithuanian version of Walt’s question: “Why do I know nothing about this? Where are the signs?”

Consulting with Simon Davidovich, Sugihara Museum director and Jewish tour guide, Volbikaite produced a map of Kovno’s Jewish buildings for visitors to the biennial.

In workshops with university art and music students, the South Africans used “Rewind,” Miller’s cantata on the TRC, which included recordings of apartheid victims’ testimonies, to discuss the artist’s role in facing difficult histories and representing traumatic histories.

The project’s heart, in the biennial’s main gallery, was the “Kaddish” installation, “a space to mourn [and] respect the murdered Jewish community of Kaunas and Lithuania.”

A black-and-white photograph of forest trees covered the back wall. Miller’s sound score, his recordings in forests where massacres occurred, transformed wind and forest sounds into an accompanying memorial of Jewish absence.

On the opposite wall hung a textile map of more than 200 Lithuanian sites of mass murder. Inspired by African textiles, Walt and Rumbak joined together five black-and-cream Xhosa blankets, traditionally used for funerals, to produce their template. Alluding to South Africa and also the Jewish tradition, it resembled the tallit, the prayer shawl in which Jewish men are traditionally buried.

Marking murder sites, buttons hand-dyed in colors that Walt imagined to be found in forests in summer provided the installation’s only color.

“I thought about red and orange flowers in the summertime. Those became the colors for the biggest graves,” Walt said. Red signified 5,000 to 10,000 Jewish victims, orange 10,000 to 25,000. In broken English, a woman survivor indicated where her parents were murdered. “My mutter there…”; “my vater there….”

Pinned beneath the installation were drawings of domestic and Jewish objects (combs, keys, candlesticks, tefillin). Some were exhibits at Kedeiania’s Old Synagogue and the Sugihara Museum (the heroic Japanese diplomat’s telephone and typewriter); others had been exhumed from mass graves. “House keys were among people’s last possessions — they thought they were going home,” Walt said.

The floor and remaining walls were covered with pages from Lithuania’s 1939 telephone directory, used by Davidovich to help his (often South African) clients locate people and places of origin.

Highlighting Jewish names, the pages confronted viewers with Kaunas’s strongly Jewish past. Triggering memory, the installation also reinforced nationalist denial: One viewer told Volbikaite that the directory was fabricated.

Dividing the room, a white curtain, the Kaddish prayer for the dead printed in white on white, signified ruptured domesticity, windows emptied of occupants.

Nine yizkor memorial candles burned along both walls, a total of 18 candles — representing and commemorating chai, 18 in Hebrew, life itself. Standing in the “Kaddish” space after the Holocaust commemoration, a survivor told Walt that he felt immersed in a world he didn’t want to leave.

The installation flowed between South Africa and Lithuania. Miller layered recordings of Lithuanian students singing “Afn Pripetshik,” the popular Yiddish song, with South African Litvaks, their voices now poignantly “connected back to Lithuania through their families.”

The poignancy relates to the generational silences not just in Miller’s family (“My parents wanted nothing to do with their parents’ history,” he said), but also, until recently, in the emigrant community more widely.

Miller’s primary collaboration has been with William Kentridge, composing the scores for the videos of this pre-eminent South African artist. Kentridge descends directly from a family of cantors in Lithuania’s town of Utian (Cantorowitch/Kentridge) before his great-grandfather’s immigration to South Africa. His otherwise intellectually acute body of work devoid of reference to this history, he questioned Miller’s involvement in the Kovno project: “Why are you writing music for a tablecloth?”

Alice Kentridge, William’s daughter, countered this dismissive relation to the Eastern European legacy of South African Jewry when she accompanied the team to Lithuania, documenting the project. (William Kentridge’s subsequent promotion of the project to a potential funder helped to secure half the team’s budget).

Building on the biennial’s receptivity, the South Africans intervened powerfully in Lithuanian history. By inserting survivors into a public space that triggered Lithuanian memory, rather than a specifically Jewish one, they bore witness to the survivors’ trauma and experiences in a different way. New Lithuanian historical consciousness converges in the exhibition with the vicissitudes of post-apartheid, post-TRC South African Jewish memory.

Walt, Rumbak and Miller know, however, that the installation is only the beginning of a broader project to join the dots between Lithuania and South Africa. They have glimpsed an answer to their question: Kovno’s culturally, spiritually and ethically rich Jewish life and consciousness endure in Cape Town and Johannesburg.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Claudia Braude was in Kovno to cover the Biennial she conducted a transcontinental interview with the South African artists and local Jewish specialists. With Braude in the Sugihara Museum in Kovno were Goda Volbikaite, a Lithuanian student of Yiddish literature and Simon Davidovich, the museum director. She also speaks with rtists Yda Walt and Philip Miller, who are were in the studio in Johannesburg, Braude’s report from Lithuania was broadcast on Johannesburg radio on November 15 and is reproduced here courtesy of Moshe Chaim Wegener, station manager of ChaiFM.

---------------------------------------------

At the Center for Jewish History on September 3, traumatic recall was the subtext of Solly Ganor’s remarks at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s reception for his book, “Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Tale — From Lithuania to Jerusalem.”

“It took me 50 years to write my diary… I had nightmares,” said Ganor, who survived the Kovno ghetto and Dachau. His book inspired YIVO’s “Light One Candle” photo exhibit by Kovno ghetto photographer George Kadish, aka Zvi “Hirsh” Kadushin, whose images of children, taken through a buttonhole in his overcoat, include one of a young Ganor.

Postwar U.S. Army photos show Ganor in an Army uniform, as well as members of the U.S. Third Army’s Japanese-American 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Combat Team from Hawaii, which helped liberate Dachau.

An emotional Ganor recalled how “Clarence Matsumura rescued me during the death march from Dachau to the Tyrol.” Ganor learned English in the Kovno ghetto and became a translator for the U.S. Army. “Trailing around the D.P. camps…. I had the satisfaction of ferreting out Lithuanian Nazi collaborators…. It was easy. Those with the S.S. had a tattoo under their left armpit.”

“In 1948, when I was 18, I decided to go to Israel,” he continued. “It was important to have a state of our own…. I was told, ‘You’re going to another Holocaust.’ For me it was the single most important act of my life.” In Israel, Solly Genkind changed his last name to Ganor, which, he explains in his book, means “garden of light.”

Ganor and I first met in July 1994 on a mission to Japan for the dedication ceremony on the Hill of Humanity at Yoatsu that honors Chiune Sugihara, Japan’s consul in Kaunas who in 1940 issued 2,139 visas that saved 6,000 Jews, including my mother and me.

Led by Eric Saul and Lani Silver, the 1994 mission was sponsored by the Holocaust Oral History Project of San Francisco. The mission’s participants included members of the 522nd who helped liberate Dachau and Yukiko Sugihara, the consul’s still-vital widow.

For Ganor the trip to Japan had additional resonance. As a 10-year-old, Ganor had invited the Sugiharas to his home in Kovno for a Chanukah celebration. Unfortunately, he and his family missed getting those precious life-saving visas.

At the YIVO reception I was delighted to see Ganor’s wife, Pola Ganor; was introduced to George Mukai, a member of the 442nd and a new Ganor friend, and met author Allison Leslie Gold, who had interviewed me by phone and mail for “A Special Fate: Chiune, Sugihara — Hero of the Holocaust,” which showcases Ganor’s and my childhood recollections of the Vilna-Kovno-Sugihara saga.

* * *

Miriam Hoffman, a professor of Yiddish at Columbia University and a Forverts contributor, just back from teaching at the Vilna Summer Yiddish Program, where, along with teachers from Estonia, Argentina and Los Angeles, she taught 60 students from Italy, Belgium, Poland, Canada and the United States.

She told me of the demise of Jewish Vilna — the onetime “Jerusalem of Lithuania.” An embittered Hoffman recalled Ponar, the lush forest outside of Vilna, the eternal resting place for 40,000 slaughtered Vilna Jews. “It was like being in hell,” she said.

“The ground is so fertile…. the trees huge, and there are no markings around the gravesites,” she said. “The last signs of [Yiddish] letters on buildings [in Vilna] are being painted over. In two years, no one will know Jews ever lived here.”

Joshua Cohen’s “Litvak-less Birthday Bash,” a chronicle of Vilnius’s 750th birthday celebration (in the August 29 Forward) offered me painful “closure.” The only photo I have of my parents and me was taken in Vilna in 1940 at the Gaon’s gravesite. Cohen’s article reports: “The original site of the grave of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, better known as the Vilna Gaon, is now a sports complex.” Soon Vilna will become Lithuanian Jewry’s Ground Zero.

* * *

Roman Kaplan, owner of Manhattan’s Russian Samovar restaurant, was excited about the recent television shoot of co-owner Mikhail “Mischa” Baryshnikov and actress Sarah Jessica Parker for an episode of HBO’s “Sex and the City” (to air September 14).

What did they eat, I asked. “They chose what [late poet and a Samovar founder] Joseph Brodsky liked: kholodetz, veal in aspic vinaigrette, Russian beet salad and herring. Mischa drank water; she drank martini.”

* * *

Famous actress she may be, but I was appalled by Parker’s interview in the September 15 Newsweek “Newsmaker” column. Asked “in case of a fire in your home, which pair of shoes she would save — Manolos or Jimmy Choos?” Parker replied: “Oh well, it’s like ‘Sophie’s Choice.’ It’s an impossible situation.” How dare she compare the choice of a fashion accessory to a mother forced to choose which child will live or die in Auschwitz!

LitvakSIG is pleased to announce that the Kaunas Family List Project is now
complete. Eighteen files were translated resulting in nearly 23,000 lines
of data. The last of the eighteen files has been added to the Kaunas
Family List site at http://kaunasfamilylist.shutterfly.com/

Finding that files like these exist is just the beginning of a project. It
is the contributors who made it happen and because we were able to afford
two translators, it was possible to complete this project in less than two
years. Without the support of our contributors, the translation of this
list of almost 23,000 lines of data spanning a time frame from 1858-1915
could not have happened.

The entire project has now been given to the Kaunas District Research
Group . A surname list can be downloaded at http://kaunas.shutterfly.com/
Please scoll to the bottom of the page and select KFL surname list.

From the outset, it was obvious that this was a very important list for
researchers. Quite a few brick walls were breached for those fortunate
enough to find their families listed. The information originally recorded
was gleaned from all sorts of documents which were presented to
the authorities.

Many links to former shtetls of residence were found as well as details
of extended families. For some, it provided the confirmation that a family
they thought might be theirs did indeed move to Kaunas or left Kaunas for
other places.

Dorothy Leivers
Co-ordinator
Dorfleiv@googlemail.com

LitvakSIG (litvaksig@lyris.jewishgen.org) is hosted by JewishGen

The program can be heard @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vc51h

Here begins an extraordinary journey to Lithuania and Belarus for
broadcaster and writer Michael Freedland and his son, Guardian
journalist and best-selling author, Jonathan.

These two countries once thronged with Jewish life, a life that was
all but extinguished by successive regimes- Russian Czarists, Soviets
and then the Nazis who, with the help of some Lithuanians, managed to
totally decimate many towns and villages, or shtetls. Knowing that
their forebears settled in the UK in the late 19th century they set
off to try to find any trace of the Freedlands who came from Baisogala
in Lithuania and the Mindels from Dunilovichy in Belarus. As the
journey progresses, it becomes a broader search- a search for Jewish
life. They are taken to Janova and Kedainiai, both once busy shtetls,
alive with Jewish businesses, shops and culture. Sadly in such places
where there was once a high proportion of Jews, few now remain and
synagogues have disappeared or fallen into disrepair.

In Kaunas, an interview with Professor Egidius Aleksandrovicius lays
out the entire history of Jewry in Lithuania. In Vilnius, the family
focus is re-established as they visit the National Archives where they
learn a lot about the Freedlands and the Mindels, discovering
crumbling nineteenth century archives that refer to what could be
Michael's ancestors. The trail now points clearly to Baisogala, what
was once a tiny shtetl in the Lithuanian countryside. Simon the guide
knows of a Jewish cemetery on the outskirts, but it's a cemetery he
hasn't seen for ten years, as it's been flooded for a reservoir, but
by an amazing stroke of luck, the team tries a wooded hillside
and...there it is, remnants of old and mostly illegible Jewish tombs,
where, no doubt, Michael and Jonathan's ancestors are buried."
(Producer: Neil Rosser //A Ladbroke Production for BBC Radio 4).

Stacye Mehard
Virginia

Studying the Families of
Alperovich of Kurenets; Ipp of Kaunas; Krokin / Krokinovsky /
Crockin of Crockin of Kaunas and Baltimore and Norfolk, Va;
Lewitan of Kobylnik, Dokshits-Dokkshytsy, Lithuania and Belarus;
Luloff / Lulow / Lulove of Dokshits-Dokkshytsy and Minsk;
Piastunovich of Kurenets & Dokshits-Dokkshytsy;
Rapoport of Kaunas; Rosenthal / Roszental of Dokshits-Dokkshytsy;
Sass / Zess of Lithuania and Poland; Smigelsky of Grodno and
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

Dear Kaunas Researchers !

Once again I am delighted to announce that we have added new material to our site http://kaunas.shutterfly.com/

Now completed are the 1922 – 1940 Prisoner Lists and at our site you can check the Surname Frequency List to see if your family appears.

Recently added are also the 1901 Draftee Lists – these lists again hold a "mine" of information.

Our continued research projects are dependent on your support so if you are researching your family in the Kaunas area this is certainly the time to join our group.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Ralph Salinger

Coordinator Kaunas District Research Group

The database and discussion group of LitvakSIG (litvaksig@lyris.jewishgen.org) are hosted by JewishGen

From: Ari Goldberger <ari@esqwire.com>

Krakow, Goldberger

My Dad is the 3rd standing from the left in the below picture. He is
86. Here is another picture taken the same day. My father said an
SS Officer shot it. It seems the timing on the pictures is more than
just a minute since one picture has a motorcycle (maybe the SS man’s).
Maybe this pic shot by someone else. My father also wrote a book:
Prisoner of the Gestapo.
Image number 62
http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/krakow/krkw_pages/krkw_ghetto.html
-------
My grandfather, Leon Lefkowitz, (mom’s dad) was a well known Cracow
artist. His pics and documents and photos are at
http://esqwire.com/leon

 
My great grandfather is buried at Mt.Hebron .
He was a Kovno member.
William Epstein.
We have no information and about Rose or Rosie my great grandmother.
My grandparents are bth gone. My Dad told me nothing about the Epstein side of my family.
he died in 1973 at age 45.
I am looking to see if I have any relatives.
I was told many Kovno wives are not buried near their spouses.

Thanks,
Madlyn Epstein-Steinhart
 

From left to right, Sara, Yitzhak, and Beyla Peshkin.  It must have
been taken around in the mid-1920's, as the boy, the youngest, was
born in 1920.  Beyla Peshkin (Beile Feinberg nee Peshkin was born in
Kowno in 1919 to Hirsh and Sheine. She was married to Yosef. Prior to
WWII she lived in Kowno, Lithuania. During the war she was in Germany.
Beile was murdered in 1945 in Sonnenberg, Germany report by her brother), Sara Peshkin
Stolbov and Yitzhak Peshkin ( who was in Siberia during the war)  emigrated to Israel
( Yitzhak lived in Beer Sheva) in the 1970's.
Adrienne Baxt Lasky
Granddaughter of Ethel Chesler Baxt, aunt of the Peshkin kids

PESKINAS / [PESHKIN], Itskhok

 


son of Hirsh 

 

born in 1920 


Kaunas 

 


 


3270/48606 

pupil 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/3270 

PESKINAITE / [PESHKIN], Beyla

 daughter of


Hirsh 

 

born in 1918 


Kaunas 

 


 


1606/8041 

pupil 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/1606 

PESKINAS / [PESHKIN], Hirsh

 


 

 

born in 1889 


Kaunas 

 


 


1021/55621 

merchant 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KR

 

PESKINIENE / [PESHKIN], Sheyna
(CESLERYTE / [TSESLER])

 


 

 

27 in 1920 


Kaunas 

 


 


15886/456983 

housewife 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/15886 

 

PESKYN, Girsh

son of Yosel, grandson of Itska 


son of Freide,
 grandson of Girsh  Beker


 

born 4/7/1889


17 Tammuz 

Vilijampole 


Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Family origin from Slonim, Grodno guberniya

Vilijampole 


18

 

Vilijampole 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 


20/1/1884 
5 Shevat 

Vilijampole 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 


20/1/1884 
5 Shevat 

PESKIN, Yosel Ber


BEKER, Freida

Itsko 
  
Slonim 


Giirsh 
  
Vilkija 

23 


21 

 

BORKER 


YOSELOVICH 


MONES 

Vilijampole 


1884 


Marriage 


2291674 / 3 
 
LVIA/1226/1/1974 


BEKER, Freida

Itsko 
  
Slonim 


Giirsh 
  
Vilkija 

23 


21 

 

BORKER 


YOSELOVICH 


MONES 

Vilijampole 


1884 


Marriage 


2291674 / 3 
 
LVIA/1226/1/1974 


Yosel ber Peskin

born in 1861 in Slonim his wife BEKER, Freida

born in 1863 in Vilkija , Vilna

 

 

 

 

 




Lithuania. During the war she was in Germany.
Beile was murdered in 1945 in Sonnenberg, Germany report by her brother), Sara Peshkin
Stolbov and Yitzhak Peshkin ( who was in Siberia during the war)  emigrated to Israel
( Yitzhak lived in Beer Sheva) in the 1970's.
Adrienne Baxt Lasky
Granddaughter of Ethel Chesler Baxt, aunt of the Peshkin kids

PESKINAS / [PESHKIN], Itskhok

 


son of Hirsh 

 

born in 1920 


Kaunas 

 


 


3270/48606 

pupil 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/3270 

PESKINAITE / [PESHKIN], Beyla

 daughter of


Hirsh 

 

born in 1918 


Kaunas 

 


 


1606/8041 

pupil 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/1606 

PESKINAS / [PESHKIN], Hirsh

 


 

 

born in 1889 


Kaunas 

 


 


1021/55621 

merchant 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KR

 

PESKINIENE / [PESHKIN], Sheyna
(CESLERYTE / [TSESLER])

 


 

 

27 in 1920 


Kaunas 

 


 


15886/456983 

housewife 


 

Internal Passport Card 


KRA/66/1/15886 

 

PESKYN, Girsh

son of Yosel, grandson of Itska 


son of Freide,
 grandson of Girsh  Beker


 

born 4/7/1889


17 Tammuz 

Vilijampole 


Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Family origin from Slonim, Grodno guberniya

Vilijampole 


18

 

Vilijampole 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 


20/1/1884 
5 Shevat 

Vilijampole 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 


20/1/1884 
5 Shevat 

PESKIN, Yosel Ber


BEKER, Freida

Itsko 
  
Slonim 


Giirsh 
  
Vilkija 

23 


21 

 

BORKER 


YOSELOVICH 


MONES 

Vilijampole 


1884 


Marriage 


2291674 / 3 
 
LVIA/1226/1/1974 


BEKER, Freida

Itsko 
  
Slonim 


Giirsh 
  
Vilkija 

23 


21 

 

BORKER 


YOSELOVICH 


MONES 

Vilijampole 


1884 


Marriage 


2291674 / 3 
 
LVIA/1226/1/1974 


Yosel ber Peskin

born in 1861 in Slonim his wife BEKER, Freida

born in 1863 in Vilkija , Vilna