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


Bruce Drake
 

“The Story of Kopel Percowicz” is one of the accounts included in a long chapter titled “Tales of Tykocin Holocaust Survivors” from that Polish town’s Yizkor book. Percowicz details the hardships and fears of life in the ghetto and his long journey of survival during which he escaped death several times. It ranges from his low points when, in despair, he “descended into a world dominated by drunkenness and a total dependence on alcohol” and could often be found rolled up on a sidewalk “drunk as a lord,” to his moment of resistance when the “blockmeister” in the barracks of a worker compound sought to punish him with 20 lashes and he shouted ““Let me die with the Philistines!” and sprang up with the last of his strength and smashed a chair on the head of the deputy and then stood on his neck till he gasped for air, until his assailant stretched “out his hand to me said: ‘I give you your life!’”
After the liberation, he found himself in Bialystock where a Polish policeman called him “a Jew-boy.” At that point, Percowicz realized: “I immediately understood that there was no place for me in that contaminated land” and he emigrated to Israel.
 

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Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

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

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