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feiga tregerene

Finally, Hanna decided to tell us the truth to save us from the pain of uncertainty. She found out that Fayvel, Falk and a large group of Komsomol members were detained at the former Soviet border in a small Latvian town. It turned out that the Soviet authorities didn't let everybody across the border. We were lucky that Riva had a party membership card. Younger and stronger men and women were left to create a living shield on the way of the enemy. My brothers had a chance to cross the border, but they decided to wait for Hanna. They didn't know that Hanna had already left without them. Then Fascist landing troops killed all the Komsomol members: my brothers and many of our acquaintances and friends. Learning this terrible news was very hard for us. Mama was grieving and never found peace till the end of her days.
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When the Soviet Army [8] came to Lithuania in June 1940 [9] and the Soviet rule was established, my brothers and sister were just happy. Poor people were happy. Shortly after the Soviet rule was established many food products disappeared from stores. Nationalization began: property was taken away from those, who had worked hard to make their living. The wealthiest individuals were relocated to Siberia [10]. My school friend Perez's family was sent to Siberia. After the war people told me that Perez survived, returned to Lithuania after the war and moved to Israel later. I never saw him again. In autumn I went to the new Soviet school organized on the basis of our former Jewish school. The term of education was extended by two years. I was happy to go back to school and see my school friends again. My sister Hanna became an active Komsomol member. Shortly before the Great Patriotic War began she joined the Communist Party. She worked in the passport office in Kaunas. My brothers Fayvel and Falk also became active Komsomol members. Fayvel was seeing a Jewish girl from Birzai and was thinking of marrying her.
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My father's sister Riva, who was much younger than him, was an underground movement activist. She was a Komsomol member and later she joined the Communist Party. In the early 1930s, during the rule of Smetona [4], she was arrested and put in jail for eight years before the Soviet rule was established in Lithuania [5]. Riva was released and married Kodulu Stupas, her Lithuanian friend. He was also a member of the Communist Party. On the first day of the war Riva, who was seven months pregnant, left Birzai, and I was to accompany her. I was 14 then. I will describe our mishaps and our long trip into evacuation later. I accompanied Riva and her daughter Nadia, born in August 1941, through all the years of the war. After the war Riva was reunited with her husband, who had been kept in some Fascist concentration camps on the occupied territory. Riva gave birth to another girl, but it wasn't her destiny's will to let her raise her children. Her imprisonment in jail, and then lack of food and hard work in evacuation affected my aunt's health. She had a poor heart. Riva died in the late 1950s. Her children live in Israel.
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My father's brother Meishe Glezer, born in the 1900s, had two children: daughter Chaya and son Fayvel. They were members of the Komsomol. When the war began, they left Birzai with a group of Komsomol activists. They worked in a kolkhoz [3] in Udmurtia [a region in the north of Russia, 1500 km from Moscow]. They survived, but Meishe and his wife as well as other Jews, were killed in Birzai in 1941. After the war Fayvel and Chaya moved to Israel. As far as I know, they still live there.
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One of Chaim Berl's sons was a convinced Zionist, who moved to Palestine in the late 1930s. He was one of the pioneers of the kibbutz movement. He became the director of a large kibbutz. Chaim Berl's other sons, Perez and Chaim, joined the Komsomol [1] like many other poorer Lithuanian Jews. They perished at the front during the Great Patriotic War [2]. All the other of Chaim Berl's children survived. He had four or five daughters, and I remember their names: Chaya Sora, Feiga, Paya, Zipa, though I can't remember, who was born after whom. Leibl, the youngest son in the family, had turned six before the Great Patriotic War.
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One of Chaim Berl's sons was a convinced Zionist, who moved to Palestine in the late 1930s. He was one of the pioneers of the kibbutz movement. He became the director of a large kibbutz. Chaim Berl's other sons, Perez and Chaim, joined the Komsomol [1] like many other poorer Lithuanian Jews. They perished at the front during the Great Patriotic War [2]. All the other of Chaim Berl's children survived. He had four or five daughters, and I remember their names: Chaya Sora, Feiga, Paya, Zipa, though I can't remember, who was born after whom. Leibl, the youngest son in the family, had turned six before the Great Patriotic War.
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Wilhelm Steiner

Ab 1934 [4] war ich im illegalen Kommunistischen Jugendverband. Das war eine militärische Zeit damals. Die haben mich mit einem Rucksack, in dem Waffen waren, durch Wien geschickt, damit wir in einer Wohnung mit den Waffen trainieren können - Wehrsport wurde das genannt. Der Hitler war in Deutschland, in Spanien der Bürgerkrieg [5], und ich wollte für die Revolution der Arbeiter trainieren. Ich wäre wahrscheinlich auch mit der Waffe in der Hand für meine Ideale kämpfen gegangen. Ich habe überhaupt nicht begriffen, was dadurch alles auf mich hätte zukommen können. Abends war ich fast nie zu Hause. Ich habe mir ein Brot mitgenommen, und wir haben dann unsere Abende zusammen verbracht. Wir saßen an der Donau - das war 1937 illegal - weil zu der Zeit in Österreich die Kommunistische Partei, die Sozialdemokratische Partei und die Nazis verboten waren.
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Richard Kohn

Mein Vater sprach nur von der Politik. Zuerst war er Sozialdemokrat, ein verbissener, und dann, nach dem Putsch im Februar 1934, wurde er Kommunist. Ich war zuerst ein illegaler jugendlicher Sozialdemokrat und dann ein illegaler kommunistischer Jugendlicher. Ich verteilte Zeitungen und nahm an Demonstrationen teil.
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Yankl Dovid Dudakas

There were Jewish Zionist organizations [9] in the town, including ones for young people, and there were also underground Komsomol [10] members. We were too young to distinguish between these political inclinations. We followed the older guys, Komsomol members, to where they were secretly meeting in the forest out of town. This was funny and strange: all townsfolk were aware of these undergrounders, the time and the place of their meetings, but somehow the police ignored them.
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Robert Walter Rosner

Meir, der Jüngste, war Kommunist. Er hat in Rumänien wegen politischer Tätigkeiten im Gefängnis gesessen, ist dann nach Frankreich gegangen und hat in Spanien gegen Franco gekämpft. Danach hat er in der Sowjetunion eine Militärkarriere gemacht und ist nach dem Krieg Oberkommandierender einer Grenztruppe in Rumänien gewesen. Er hat sich natürlich nicht mehr Meir Rosner sondern Mihal Boico genannt. 1972 ist er an Krebs gestorben. Seine Kinder und seine Witwe sind in den 1980er-Jahren nach Paris übersiedelt.
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Simon Meer

I don’t remember them having organized any special events here, in Dorohoi, I couldn’t say they have. I only remember this, that the legionaries and the head of Security [4] from the Police station, commissioner Mercur, entered the synagogue during a Jewish wedding. There was a chuppah in the synagogue for performing the religious ceremony. And as the chuppah was of a dark red color: “That is the Bolshevik flag.” And they arrested everyone in that synagogue attending the wedding – one of my brothers-in-law was among them –, they gathered them, took them to the police station, boarded them on a train and sent them to the Targu Jiu Labor Camp. There was a labor camp for political prisoners there, for communists. As it were… They convicted you for being a Communist without your being one. Who knew then what communist politics was, what Bolsheviks even were? For them, Bukovina [5], Bessarabia [6] especially was Bolshevik; they were on the border with the Russians, the Soviet Union. For my wife – she was a child of 10 – tells me that where she was taken in Transnistria, near the Bug river, there was a German occupation, and if the Germans heard you were from the Romanian Old Kingdom, they didn’t treat you the way they treated those who were from Bukovina – for they were considered to be Bolsheviks, all those who were from Bukovina and Bessarabia.
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Iosif Yudelevichus

Father’s younger sister Pera, born in 1900, married Emmanuel Katsnelson- a mirthful and witty man. He well-read and possessed encyclopedic knowledge. Pera and her husband lived in France for a while. Emmanuel was involved in revolutionary movement in Russian and was an adherer of communist party, so he talked Pera into leaving for Russia. In 1926 Pera and Emmanuel happened to be in Moscow. They were lucky not to have come in the period of repressions. Emmanuel and Pera had a serene life in Moscow. Emmanuel was acquainted with outstanding activists of Soviet regime and communist party. He knew most of them from the underground. Either somebody gave him a hint, or Emmanuel himself understood what was going on, he decided ‘not to stand out’. Thus, he was assigned to inconsiderable positions and escaped almost inevitable arrest in his position – native of bourgeois Lithuania and resident of France. Emmanuel died at the age of 70. Pera died shortly after him, in 1997. Pera’s son Yuri, born in 1930s, is currently living in the USA. Younger daughter Nina, born before war, is currently living in Israel. She was not happy in her marriage. She got divorced. She does not have children. Now Nina is living in kibbutz.
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My mother was the last-but-one daughter, and the youngest was Bluma. She was born in 1904. Bluma’s husband Jacob Epstein was an expert electrician engineer. He had lived and worked in France for couple of years with his family. He was involved in lineup of high-voltage power lines. When grandfather died, grandmother insisted that Bluma came to Jonava. By that time Bluma had daughter Anna, born in 1930. She and her family came back to Jonava. In 1937 their younger daughter Dalia was born. Jacob was a very gifted man. He was fond of theatre. He had the main parts in town Jewish amateur theatre. Jacob sympathized with communists. He had connections in communistic underground. Thus, when the Soviets came in the Baltic countries in 1940 [Occupation of the Baltic Republics] [8], he was assigned Jonava’s mayor at once. Jacob had not worked for a long time. [Great Terror] [9] commenced in Lithuania as well as all over USSR. He was also getting involved in the process. He was supposed to make the lists of people who were not wanted by new regime, walk from one house to another, taking away people’s things and exile people to Siberia [Deportations from the Baltics] [10].
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Liza Lukinskaya

Our class was transferred to Vilnius University. I moved into the hostel. I had a modest life like any student from another city. As earlier, all subjects were taught in Lithuanian. We started studying Russian, which was familiar to me as my mother spoke Russian with my father. The Komsomol organization was founded [14], but I didn’t manage to join it.
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Eta Gurvichuyte

The only serious consequence of my unaccomplished political career was my expulsion from the lyceum. I had studied at home for the last year and passed exams pre-term. Now, I was not involved in komsomol activity. It was not safe to meet in my place. They also did not want to give any assignments to me either, as they thought that I was spied on. I was gradually digressing from my komsomol unit.
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