KARTUZ BEREZA 1993 YZKOR
Chapter VIII - L
I SURVIVED TO CONTINUE THE CHAIN
By Kalman Karbachik
I am sure my grandsons will be interested in my past and they will investigate my past. They will ask many questions about the history of my life. Their grandfather, Kalman Karbachik, who was born in Kartuz Bereza, Poland, is the only survivor of WWII of our huge family.
In next lines I will tell important facts of my biography. My name is Kalman Karbachik. I was born November 11 1917 in a Polish town called Kartuz Bereza. My father was Eliezer of the village called Chulitz, and my mother was Chaia Potak. She was born in Bereza. When I was two and half years old, in 1920, my mother died. It was after WWI.
In those years it was difficult to get doctors, because there were only a few and they lived in distant places. My father was a widower with five small children. The oldest was called Ziska and was 11 years old, the second was Perl, the third Reizel, followed by Rivka, and the last and younger one was Yona Kalman.
Three children: Miriam, Israel Chaim, and Asher were offspring of my father's second marriage. There were, in all, eight children and providing for the family was very difficult. When my older brother Ziska was 18 years old, he went with a group of Jews to distant Argentina, and because of this, he survived, the only one, besides me, of a large family that did not perish in WWII.
Ziska lived in Argentina, in La Plata, and married Hodes SHLOSBERG also of Bereza. They have two children, who, at the moment live with their families. My brother Ziska died in 1988 and I am the only survivor that can write these memoirs.
In 1939 when I was 21 years old, I was mobilized into the Polish army and I served about eight months. On November 1, 1939, WWII began. The fighting was hard and difficult. The Polish army surrendered because it could not overcome the German conqueror's overpowering force.
When the Germans defeated the Polish army, I was taken prisoner. I was one year in Germany, and later I was transferred to Lublin with prisoners that belonged to the German area. Jews from the Russian group were not accepted and therefore we had to organize ourselves and plan our escape. We contacted the PPD, left our homes and escaped to the Pertzab forests. There we joined with Jewish partisans, under the leadership of Yechiel GREENSPAN.
I then wanted to come closer to the town in which I was born, to my house in Kartuz Bereza. I tried to join the unit, called Kalanin. Then I found out the worst news of all: the Nazis had murdered all of my family as well as all the other Jews of my town - pious, respectful of tradition, and clean of all sin.
Continuing on the road of life until the end of 1945, I understood more and better that my place is not in Russia or any other place in that area, so I decided to immigrate to Eretz Israel. After the war ended, in 1946 I married Miriam SHIVBITZ, of the city of Sint in Hungary. In Italy we met survivors' groups that sailed on the ship "Chaim Orlozorov" which went from Sweden to Eretz Israel. We joined the group and sailed to Eretz Israel, but the English Government that was in Palestine wouldn't allow us to disembark, and they transferred us to Cyprus. In Cyprus we waited one year and there, in 1947, my daughter Rachel was born. After two years, in 1950, my son Eliezer was born in Israel.
I now have five grandsons: Tania, Asaf, Eitan, Ma'ayan and Oren. I am sure that by contributing my memoirs of our community, it will enrich the worlds of my grandsons, and I will have closed a new chapter in the war for the existence and survival of Jewish people.