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


Bruce Drake
 

Sura Ajzensztadt was one of many Jews who chose to leave Europe in the 1930s as the dark clouds of anti-Semitism and Nazism increasingly grew more threatening. She went to Canada while her family relocated from Kurow to Warsaw.
“I Left Only By Train and By Ship But Not With My Heart,” from the Yizkor book of Kurow (Poland) is how she begins her story about the anguish of being separated from a family she would never see again.
“The train carried me with the greatest speed farther and farther from my old world. There remained, however, memories engraved in my mind. I rescued the memories from the fire. They have strengthened me and comforted me in my loneliness, in my isolation. They have lifted my spirits and awakened faith in me in moments of despair and pain, in moments when I heard from the distance as if truly with my own ears the thunder of German cannons, when it was as if the boots of the murderers were truly treading on my heart, on my brain.”
She fondly replays in memory the gentleness and decency of her father. She recalls the happy days when she was a young girl during the time when she “could not yet see the shadows of life, the need and the want, the evil and the hatred which pressed in from all sides.” She remembers the poverty of the town, but how it didn’t stifle taking joy in its life and the human warmth of its small homes.
The people she writes about perished, but she says, they continue to “live in me, in my mind, in my feelings.”
 
 

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Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

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

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