On the ninth of Heshvan 1942, the third transportation of the Jews of Hrubieszow took place. All Jews were assembled, including the Judenrat and the Jewish Police. Through various means, David, Abraham and Leibish Lehrer managed to persuade the officer Kantac to let them go free.
Of all my large family, parents, brothers, sisters and their wives, husbands and children, I am the only survivor. After hiding in a bunker for some time, I succeeded in making good my escape on 15 Heshvan, 1942. all the other occupants of the bunker were shot.
"The best thing is to disguise yourself as a Jew", Praine one said, when he got cross with the Jews, or when he expressed satisfaction at their annihilation and told funny stories at their expense.
On June 15, 1942, a new order was issued. All survivors of Hrubieszow Jews were to be concentrated in a Ghetto, in the alleys leading to the cemetery. Thus opened a new chapter of a tortures".
This was early in 1942, before the terrible April 17, the bloody day at he Warsaw ghetto. Reports had reached us of the slaughter in Vilna region; the situation in Warsaw ghetto was as yet relatively quite.
The first effect on the Nazi occupation of our town was the imposition of "contributions" to the occupying powers, with the result that our social welfare and charitable institutions came to standstill.
Shlomo Brand, of our town, was one of the leaders of the fighters for freedom at the Wilno ghetto. Eng and I asked him to admit us into his classes for training young men and women in the art of warfare. This, of course, was done deep in the woods. The military training was conducted under terrible conditions.
After Poland regained her independence, following World War I, a serious economic crisis set in, because the country lacked the natural resources which could ensure healthy economy. A marked inflationary trend gave rise to a flight from the Polish Zloty. And who should be blamed for this ruinous state of affairs if not the Jews.
The famous hero of the General Bor uprising in Warsaw, Captain Leon Poretzky, tells the story of how he and his family fled Hrubieszow.
Side by side with our home, where brought up, and with the Cheder, where we atudied the Shtiebel, where we read our prayers together with our parents, was a potent factor in the formation of our consciousness.
In normal circumstances, the various economic sectors in any town or area assume a certain mathematical ratio to the economy as whole. Not so in Poland. Its trade and commerce, which was preponderantly in Jewish hands, assumed an abnormal proportions.
In coming to write about the J.H.Brenner memorial library, I vividly remember the type of reader which one met within its walls.
The "Minyan" resolved one and for all to put an end to the band of evil spirits and witches which haunted our town. The situation had become intolerable.
A few "minyanim" are gathered in the Trisker Shtiebel; they wear their Taleisim only on their shoulders, and not on their heads. This us a Zionist "minyan". When the time for "mi-sheberach" comes, I hear: "for contributing to the redemption of the people's land".
As though a haze I see Hrubieszow, a town of some 15000 inhabitants, on the Poliah-Wolhynian border.