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


Bruce Drake
 

“As I finish writing these words I am just 55 years old. I find myself satisfied in rich, large America. However, I am still in exile. I remained the only one of my family, the inheritance of my family – the ash dispersed over the world, that is a part of the six million annihilated Jewry. I absorb this. I will carry this for as long as my eyes see the world.”
So wrote Rafal Federman in a chapter titled “From My Life” from the Yizkor book of “The Jews of Czestochowa, Poland which was published in 1947. She was born in a struggling household in the 1890s and lived through a pogrom in 1902. She went on to live an increasingly political life including risking herself to preserve stores of illegal literature written in Yiddish, and then became an active member of the Polish Bund, a socialist party which promoted the autonomy of Jewish workers, sought to combat antisemitism and was generally opposed to Zionism.
Like many Polish Jews in 1939, she was one of an estimated 15,000 Polish Jews who found temporary refuge in politically independent Lithuania, most of them in Vilna. But ultimately, she and her comrades found themselves in danger there, and she escaped to America. But still in her heart was what she left behind.


Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

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