This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #poland #yizkorbooks


Bruce Drake
 

Many of the Yizkor book excerpts I post here are dramatic accounts of struggles against poverty, terrible suffering, death at the hands of the Nazis, and acts of heroism and devotion. But you also can find a deep satisfaction in evocative accounts of ordinary Jewish life in a shtetl, from loving descriptions and memories of the streets people once walked and the characters who walked them.
Here are three short chapters from the Yizkor book of Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland — "Conjunctions in the Past Tense," "Peretz Street" and "City Stereotypes — written by Ben Giladi who settled in New York, Marya Pigus, in Paris, and Yakov Leber, who emigrated to Qiryat Tiv'on in Israel.
Perhaps Giladi speaks for all of them when he writes, “Youth passed quickly for us. Our minds are charged with vivid memories of the only place on earth where we experienced the greatest thrill of all – our childhood and our youth.” Or, when Marya Pigus thinks of the old, neglected streets in the town which “cradled the poor houses in her arms, as a loving mother, and felt the joy and pain of its inhabitants.” Or, when Leber recalls “Once, every city and town in Poland had its characters, at whom the people poked fun, thereby gladdening the sad moods of the inhabitants.”
So spend a day in Piotrkow Trybunalski.


Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

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