After two weeks of work stoppage at the brewery, suddenly on a very cold day, the governor of Grodno Glock, probably a German, arrived in Malch along with two cavalry squadrons. He stopped at the Volostner Administration Building where he was supposed to give a speech to the population.
The "Uriadnik" was standing in the market place and called upon the Jews exclaiming with these words: "Jews, don't meddle, you had already suffered enough bloodshed". The Jews dispersed after listening to what he said and returned to their homes. Only a group of revolutionary leaders remained there. They wanted to show the Gentiles that they were with them
While the Governor was giving his speech he was interrupted by one of the Shumovitches who shouted loudly, "The bigger the chief, the bigger is the bribery". These words immediately created a stir. The Governor winked at the dragoon commander. He ran to the Governor and asked him, "Should we shoot them or beat them?" Then the dragoons charged the crowd with their horses and swords. Several peasants, as well as some soldiers were injured in that fight. The people were dispersed. The heckler, Shumovitch, was arrested. After that incident, the Governor was strongly reproached by the higher command for his lenient reaction at that moment and he was recalled from Grodno. The governor left in the same evening.
A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS FROM THE BEREZER BARRACKS
A few days after the Governor left, a company of soldiers arrived from the Bere3zer Garrison. They stayed at the Landlords Court and in the Jewish houses (they avoided the homes of the Gentiles). Order was established in Malch. The brewery was again in operation and it was quiet in the town. The soldiers stayed in Malch about two months until they were ordered to leave for the Far East. A small group of soldiers arrived then from the Lineve railroad station. In general, at that time, the living conditions were normalized in the whole country
The struggle for the wood was not in vain. This brought about the discovery of a new reservoir of fuel material in a different place. The landowner Zavatzki had a son-in-law, Svide, who was a man with extraordinary energy and initiative. He was also an excellent administrator. He converted large muddy and swampy areas into fruitful land in Malch, similar to what he had done in Yamnik. He discovered that there was a large area covere4d with turf on the poplaves, behind the Vigoder Woods. He began to dig out the turf and utilized it for burning material that was used in the brewery.
The same Svide also constructed a large textile factory where many people were employed. His traveling salesman was Avraham Kravchik. This factory, however, could not compete with the textile industry in Lodz and therefore it closed down.
Although the war took place far away, the impact of it was also carried over here in Malch. It is true that there were no mobilized men who were sent to the front line, however there were some in the active military service in Malch including Claim Goldshtein, Chaim Galpern and others.
On a certain day, a wailing cry was heard from Tzeitel's house. The cry was from her daughter who was notified that her husband had been killed near Port Arthur. This information was also confirmed by the Malcher peasant, Stepan Lushachok, who carried the badly wounded man to a sanitary place. The dead man lived on Kavkazer street. He was also survived by his elderly parents
A WEDDDING IN MALCH
A wedding in Malch was an important event and it was an occasion for joy, especially if the wedding happened to be magnificent or old-fashioned. Then it was considered as an important event and was the talk of the town for a long time.
The wedding canopy was placed near the entrance to the large synagogue. The bride and groom were escorted by virtually the whole town - people of all ages. The people would lead the bride and groom from where they lived to the synagogue. Regardless of the weather conditions, even if it snowed or rained, a band of Klezmer musicians walked in front of the wedding procession. Usually the well-known band, under the direction of Master Feikov from Kartuz Bereze, would play at weddings. His music would bring a sacred mood for the Rabbi's benediction with the ritual blessings. The weddings would take place in big houses, at Chava Yeshiye's, at Sarah Hinda's tavern and Golda Goldshtein's tavern. At suppertime, when Feikov with his clarinet would accompany Nachman with his violin, when they played the "Akdomuth" (the hymn recited by Ashkenazic Jews on the first day of Shavuoth) it felt as though the angels descended from heaven to adorn the wedding.
There was a very rich man in Malch. His name was Hershel der Shwartzer (Hershel the black). He, together with another man from Pinsk, were the owners of the Chvoniker court with a forest. He lived in a house where, afterwards, Berel, the baker, used to live. In the 1870's, when Heshel married off his daughter Freide (known as Freide Hereshel's), the townspeople used to relate that the road leading to the synagogue was covered with plush fabric. The groom's name was Benyamin-Aaron, a real pearl, who was the son of the Karliner Dayen (judge of Jewish laws), and was from a privileged and respected family. He was the author of the famous book "Questions and Answers" that was recognized by great scholars as a masterpiece in the scholarly world. He passed away when he was a young man.
Because of the anti-semetic edicts of the czarist regime, the Jews were prohibited from owning courts and woods. Therefore Hershel had to sell his property for 12,000 rubles. He sold it to the Gedunes, the Kamenitzer Gentiles. The tavern was the only trace that remained from the former Jewish owner where Tzvi-Reizel had lived. Heshel and his wife emigrated to Eretz Israel (Palestine).
Yosef-Chaim Rabinovitch, may he rest in peace, our respecte landsman in Buenos Aires, my father-in-law, was the son of the afore-mentioned Benyamin-Aaron.
THE POST OFFICE
At the beginning of the 20th century there was no post office in Malch. "Baruch the Postman" had a franchise that permitted him to travel to Lineve from where he brought the mail three times a week. He would also personally deliver the mail to the townspeople. He used to receive two kopecks (1/50th of a ruble) for each letter. The peasants of the neighboring villages had to come to his house to find out if they received any letters. When he emigrated to the USA in 1906, Avraham Kravchik took over the franchise.
After a long intercession, a post office was opened up in Malch. It was located in a big house , in the nicest house in town, that was built by Baruch the Postman. The post office was established in 1908. The townspeople subsidized the post office so that it could function properly. Avraham Kravchik would travel to Lineve to pick up the mail every day except Sabbath and Holidays.
The manager of the post office was a gentile from Pruzany. He advised the town's administration to purchase a large quantity of postage stamps and when the amount would reach about 700 rubles in one year then, within two years, Malch would no longer have to give any subsidies to the post office. Malch accepted the manager's advice. The quantity of the purchased postage stamps exceeded the minimum amount because the Jewish businessmen used to buy extra stamps and would pay with them, partially, for their purchased merchandise in Pruzany, Brisk and other towns. After two years, the town was no longer obligated to subsidize the post office. Shortly thereafter, a new mail carrier, Ivan, took over the mail delivery. He was a Gentile from Malch. Saturday was his best day, then he would gather a full sack of Challahs (a twisted white bread) from the Malcher Jews.
At that time Malch did not have a telegraph but later on a telegraphic apparatus was installed in the town. Incidentally, an interesting thing occurred because there was no telegraph in Malch. During the Beilis trial in Russia in 1911 this Jewish man was a victim of a blood libel charge. The mutilated body of a 12 year-old Gentile boy was discovered in a cave near Kiev. This case attracted universal attention, affirming that the blood libel charge was baseless. The post office workers accidentally received a coded message on the newly installed telegraph that Beilis was found innocent and had been released from prison. The workers hastened to tell the Jews of Malch what happened and congratulated them for their (Jewish) victory.
EXCOMMUNICATION IN THE TOWN
Excommunication was a fearful word in the Jewish community. Such a punishment and dreadful measure was taken only in exceptionally difficult cases. The mere procedure of excommunication would bring about a terrible fear. The entire community would assemble in the synagogue. They would light black candles and bring a "tahara bret" (a board on which dead bodies are laid for cleansing before burial). They would blow the shophar (the ram's horn) and the Rabbi would, with a broken voice and in front of an open ark, read the text of the excommunication that was full of terribly vehement curses. After that ordeal, the excommunicated person's name would be called out.
In 1909 there was such a case in Malch where a man was excommunicated. His name was Yankel Tenenboym and he was called "Yankel der Hoicher" (Yankel the Tall One). He was a querulous person who would constantly bicker and squabble. In those years his main livelihood was from smuggling illegal emigrants over the border to the U.S.A. For this purpose Hershel Matlovski had a special emigration office. Because of the competitive business, there was a constant quarrel between them. In order to settle their disputes, they went to Rabbi David Tebli to hear his judgment based on the Jewish religious law. However, the "verdict" was not in Yankel Tenenboym's favor. Because of that, he insulted the Rabbi and also the "Shulhan Aruk" (the book that contains a collection of laws governing the life of an orthodox Jew). This was, undoubtedly, an affront to the Rabbi who decided to punish Yankel with excommunication. The town had simply boycotted the excommunicated person and did not have any dealings with his family. The reaction of the Jewish community compelled the culprit to retract his insulting words. He went to the Rabbi and apologetically asked for his forgiveness. The Rabbi forgave him and rescinded the excommunication order. Shortly afterwards Yankel Tenenboym emigrated to the U.S.A.
THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT IN MALCH
In Malch, as in other towns, the Zionist ideas began to flourish. There were no formally organized parties which had separate programs. The adherents of the Zionist idealism participated in the same activities. I am talking about the time during the Czarist regime, when it was forbidden to have any legal activities in the Zionist movement. Despite the absence of an organization our community participated, according to our limited capabilities, in all the work on behalf of Eretz Israel (Palestine).
After the establishment of the "Jewish Colonial Bank", Malch issued bank shares. The value of each share was ten rubles, a very substantial amount at that time.
The Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth) and later on the additional fund, the Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod) was not neglected. There were always some individuals in Malch who were concerned with the yearly collection for Palestine Purim (the holiday celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from the persecution of the Persian Haman) which was on the day of the Jewish National Fund collection. Groups of people whether from the intelligentsia or from the tradesmen used to, with pleasure, go from house to house to collect money for the Palestine Foundation Fund regardless of the weather, oftentimes in a snow storm or in rain.
In order to add stimulus for the contributors, it was known that whoever would contribute a minimum of 20 Kopecks (1/5th of a ruble) then his name would be on a list posted in all the synagogues, the only gathering places that were open to the Jewish community at that time. This idea was very effective because nobody wanted to be an exception.
The Shekel (a unit of money in Israel) was worth 50 kopecs and was actively sold. I don't remember exactly the amount of shekels that was sold. I remember that there were both buyers and sellers. The children would sell "Keren Kayemeth" stamps for two, three or five kopecs. There was a real contest among them, indeed a zealous competition.
The young men from the Yeshivah would also participate in the Zionist activities. Moreover, there were individuals in the Yeshivah who eagerly reinforced the Zionist idea, created an enthusiastic spirit and engaged in propaganda that exalted Eretz Israel. However, they could not do their work openly because their managers did not tolerate such activities. I had known many of such young men from Rabbi Shimon's Yeshivah. I don't know their names because these young men were not called by their real names; they were called only according to the names of the cities and towns where they came from. I remember the name of Benyamin-Velvel Greenberg from Pruzany who was very active in Zionism work during the last years before World War I
Work for Zionism did not interfere with the support for the old institutions in the land of Israel. The "pushka" (alms box) from Rabbi Meir Bal Hanes could be found in every house. When a messenger, the so called Eretz Israel Jew, would from time-to-time arrive from a Yeshivah or old-age home or orphanage, he would be received with special attention. He would always leave satisfied with his mission.
Of those people, in those years, who left for Eretz Israel, I remember one family, Hershel Nishes Buchalter's daughter. Hershel, his wife Malka, daughter Hades and son Gabriel joined with her later on. There were also some elderly people who came to their final place of rest in the land of Israel.
With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, all activities for Israel came to an end. After the end of the war, when Poland became an independent country, our town was included. During the Balfour Declaration new opportunities emerged to continue with the Zionist activities. A new movement came into being - the "Khalutsim", the Jewish pioneers whose purpose was to leave the diaspora and make the necessary arrangements to settle in Palestine.
Malch was also drawn into the new Zionist activities. New parties and organizations came into being. I don't know about these activities and what transpired after the year of 1920. (See Shmuel Chomski's article in which he described the Zionist activities after 1920)
THE MILITARY CONSCRIPTION
In the czarist Russia where special legal codes were applied toward the Jews, the so called "Kromie Yevreiev" (except the Jews). There was, nevertheless, equality in one respect - military service. As a matter of fact, these rights had to be obtained by special endeavors. It was related that when, during the time of the Czar Alexander the Second, a decree was issued for five years of military service. The Jews however were initially excluded from this obligation. In lieu of military service, every Jew from the age of 21 had to pay 300 rubles, a colossal amount at that time. The Jews received that decree as an evil edict, and rightfully so, against which they had to beware of such an order. This system threatened to ruin many Jewish families from whom the government took the 300 rubles. Further, the Jews would be put to shame and ridiculed by their neighboring Gentiles who would consider them as citizens without rights, "Lishenie Prav" (devoid of rights). Whoever would do something to the Jews would not be punished.
The then heads of the Jewish community and leaders of schools and movements fought against the decree, which was finally rescinded. Then the Jews would be considered as equal with others under the same general decree of military service. It is true that the Jews were, nevertheless, in a lower category - they could only be plain soldiers. They were not allowed to attain a higher rank. In very exceptional cases a Jew was able to attain the rank of Junior officer. It should be noted that the majority of the Russian population were [an ??? alphabets ???] and the military administrative offices were full of Jewish soldiers who would perform all the administrative work, but to make it official, the documents had to be signed by other "Kosher" functionaries. Every year our town Malch would have from six to eight draftees for military service. In some years the number of draftees would go up to ten.
The draft commission was located in Pruzany and the procedure for the conscription was as follows:
The commission would determine the fate of the draftee. Those men who were drafted into military service would be free for about two weeks and they were allowed to go back to their towns and villages. Then they had to return to Pruzany from where they would be sent to different garrisons. The soldiers from our area would, in most cases, be sent to the far central Russian provinces, either to Siberia or to Central Asia. Some of the soldiers would come back from there a few months later. They could not withstand the harsh climate, the malaria and other plagues. When one of the new recruits ("novobrantsi") was sent to Warsaw or Lomza near the German border, he counted himself fortunate. This transfer to a new location, in very rare cases, enabled the young man's parents to visit him. In most cases the Jewish soldiers would serve in faraway provinces where Jews were prohibited from living. Those Jewish soldiers who were discharged were not allowed to stay there more than 24 hours. They were expelled shortly afterwards.
Conscription would take place after the Jewish holiday Sukkoth (the feast of booths) in September or October. The gloomy mood about the upcoming conscription had already begun with the blowing of the Shophar at the beginning of the new month of Eluk. The mothers would come to the cemetery and, at the parental graves, they would beg and implore them that their sons should not be taken to the military. They would say the penitential prayers and would pour their hearts out at the prayer of "shma koleninu" (hear our voice). The mothers' cries and tears could reach the heaven.
That was the manner how the parents would conduct themselves. The young recruits, however, would perceive this happening in an entirely different manner. They would have fun at the time, they would get together in a group and enjoy themselves, they would consider that time as a privilege, being carefree during adolescence.
There was a tradition in Malch that the draftees would demand money from the Jewish community. It made an impression as though they, collectively, embodied the sins of the community and, therefore, their conscription in the military would annul the community's sins. It was as an indisputable custom for such a sin offering. There were no exceptions, young men, workers, people with gainful occupations and others. In this respect, there was a solidarity among the people, a true fellowship. All of them would assemble in a large synagogue, no scandals were mentioned or blasphemous language spoken there. A few proprietors would communicate with the representatives of the draftees and would reach an agreement. Nobody could explain where the custom of making a contribution to the draftees came from. It stemmed, perhaps, from the time of the "Kantonisten" (when a Jewish boy was pressed into long years of pre-military service under appalling conditions in Russia during the reign of the czar Nicholas I in 1825-1855). Those "Kantonisten" caught some of the Jewish boys who were orphans or others who were the stepchildren of the Jewish community. They were given away as the redeemers for the community, indeed as scapegoats for the whole town. Later on, these men were probably compensated by the people of the community and hence this custom remained for future generations, even though the Kantonisten's evil decree had already been abolished.
Some Gentiles used this event according to their behavior - they got drunk and in the dark October or November nights they would make a lot of noise with their loud drunken cries. Such behavior would frighten the people in town, as it happened in 1905 when some drunkards broke the window panes of the Jewish houses. I remember that year, on a Sunday evening, as I was standing near a window and a band of drunken recruits ran around in the street. At the same time Yankel Michels, the blacksmith walked by (he was also a recruit who was sent to serve in a faraway place, Charbin) and the Gentile recruits picked him up and shouted loudly "hurrah Yankel" and proceeded to break our windows. This was their way to have fun in the street. Fortunately, such orgies would last only a few days. After their departure, there was quiet and freedom from disturbance in Malch. The people could breathe easier. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the contributions for the conscriptions came to an end.
THE YEAR 1914
The mobilization in the year of 1914 (proclaimed during Tishebov, the ninth day of Av, a Jewish day of fasting) occurred in the midst of an epidemic of dysentery that did not omit any house. There were some people who died from this disease. Doctor Kunin did not have a minute of rest. Despite the epidemic, the frightful word 'mobilization" attracted everyone's attention - the red slips accompanied by a litany "for the Czar, for the faith and the fatherland". This event brought about unrest in the town.
Although the people remembered the previous wars, with Turkey and with Japan, when the fear was only by those who were directly drawn into the war, that is, those who were mobilized, this time the people foresaw a calamity for the entire population. The Malcher Doctor Kunin, who studied in Germany, said that if Germany would attack Russia, they would reach Malch in a few days. The Germans, however, at first attacked France.
Our small town gave the czarist army about 15-20 Jewish soldiers for active service and over 20 mobilized reservists. Later on, more Jewish soldiers joined the army - the draftees of October 1914, January 1915, May 1915 or 1916 - for a total of around 20 men. A depressed feeling was spread through the whole area when, a few days after the mobilization, all surrounding garrisons full of reservists from the local population left for the Austrian border. They traveled by train just several hours. The following army units were dispatched: the 151st Piatigorsker regiment from Bereze, the 150th Otamanski regiment from Kobryn, the 36th artillery brigade from Brisk, the 149th - 152nd Czornomorski and Vladikovkozski brigades. Day and night about 60-80 railroad cars packed with military troops and ammunition headed toward the front line. Our mobilized Jews were assigned to military transport which operated behind the firing line on the Austrian front. This was our consolation.
The battles had already started. Trainloads of railroad cars packed with wounded Russians or with captured Austrians returned via Chvoinik. The artilllary gun shots could be heard in our town.
The post office was besieged with uneasiness. Every day the mothers and wives, Jews as well as Christians, arrived in the post office to inquire about the front line. As time progressed, the situation became stabilized. The craftsmen were busy with their work and the stores were open. There was no shortage of any products. Some families received letters from the Red Cross informing them that their sons or husbands were, luckily, in captivity either in Germany or in Austro-Hungary.
In the month of Nissan in 1915 (the seventh month in the Jewish calendar coinciding with parts of March and April), there was jubilation because of the victory of the Russian army who captured the Austrian fortress Pshemishel along with one hundred thousand Austrians. In the springtime of that year, the German-Austrian army launched a counter offensive and chased the Russians up to Lublin-Chelm. There were ferocious battles there. When the Russians retreated, they burned and destroyed everything and did not leave anything for the attackers. The inhabitants of that area were evacuated and were driven far away into Russia.
A few hundred Gentile families from the Chelmer Gubernia arrived in Malch. They brought all their possessions on their carts and stopped at a landowner's court, in Gentile barns and in Jewish stables. They were accompanied by a group from a relief committee, the "Tatiana committee" (under the name of the czar Nichola's daughter Tatiana). There were officers and nurses in that committee who provided the homeless refugees with food and other necessities. The townspeople looked at those homeless people with fear. Many inhabitants thought about the same fate that might await them in a very short time.
IN THE MIDST OF THE FIRE
The front line was approaching toward Malch. It occurred during the time which was called the conscription of 1917. As usual, it took place in Pruzany. The town was full of Russian military detachments. Some of the draftees took advantage of the chaos and did not go to the draft board. Many of the draftees, however, were conscripted into the army. One of the draftees, Kopel Friedman (Kopel Yakov's) did not return. He had perished near Dwinsk.
Malch was filled with refugees from Brisk. The Brisker military authority wanted to defend the famous Brisker fortress, therefore they evacuated the civilian population of whom 80% were Jews. The refugees from Brisk were no real burden for Malch. There were enough provisions for them, as much as they needed or wanted. Only the floor space in the houses was a little overcrowded. Brisk was supposed to be strongly defended by the Russians, however the Germans captured the fortress almost without any battles. The Russians dropped their artillery guns in the in the river Bug and, as a defensive line of the Brisker fortress, started to dig trenches around Malch.
The fear of the front (the line of battle) & the dread of being occupied by the Germans evoked panic in the town, especially when the peasants from the surrounding villages started to pack up their belongings in order to run away "deep into Russia". There was a psychological turmoil among the Gentile population. The Russian watch word "Germantsi Virezhut" (the Germans will slaughter) was on everybody's mind. Even though the people were not ordered to evacuate, they ran away in panic. As a result, all roads, wide highways and field roads were packed with echelons of refugees who obstructed and disorganized the retreat of the army from the front line. The turmoil, to a certain extent, also affected the Jewish population, whoever was able to afford, however, bought a horse and buggy.
At the beginning of Elul (the 12th month in the Jewish calendar falling in early autumn) there appeared the military detachments who directly served the front-kitchens, bakeries, laundries, etc. There were also soldiers who retreated from the front line - those remaining of the destroyed army formations. Among them were also totally untouched military detachments. Thus, the splendor of the 19th Siberian Regiment passed by and the people could not understand why they ran away. Some other detachments also retreated - the Cossacks, the Cavalry and pedestrians. The conduct of the retreated army was, in general, correct. It was unheard of that any robbery or rape was perpetrated by them. On the contrary, the Commander of the above mentioned 19th regiment paid Israel Zhuken for the wood that they used for making fire to heat up their cattle when they rested near his wood storage on Vigoder Way. It should be underscored that the fear of the townspeople was unjustified. Earlier they had anticipated a lot of trouble from the retreating military.
When the peasants left toward the East, it was already after the harvest. The barns were full of corn, oats and barley. The orchards were almost empty. The potatoes in the fields, however, were untouched. The gardens were full of all kind of vegetables.
It was Friday in early autumn, there were groups of Cossacks who rested near the church. A group of sappers constructed trenches. In order to cover the trenches and camouflage them, they used all the gates from the barns and on the disguised "roofs" they put sand and covered them with grass. The town was full of military. It was not an organized group - just a mass of soldiers, some of whom were slightly wounded. They took over all the houses, the synagogues, the market and the old cemetery. For the first time we encountered a problem with water as we had a very dry summer. The transient military fetched all the water out of the wells and then they dried up. The two water pumps supplied a little water to the inhabitants who had to wait in long lines.
There were also some local Jews; Yosel, Esther-Rivka's; Tzalke, Berl the bakers's son-in-law; his brother and one from the town of Shementzove, from the Minsker province, who was a student in the Malcher Yeshivah before the war. They had already remained in Malch.
On Monday, in the evening, Malch was empty. The infantrymen occupied the prepared trenches behind the town and the artillery was hidden in the Aneliner forest. The "Red Cross" settled in the Kabiaker Court on the way to Bereze, about 5 viorst (3½ miles) from Malch. There were no drunkards among the soldiers. When they retreated, the military authorities poured out the whisky that was stored in the breweries. All spirits in the Malcher breweries (from Levkovitches Court) and from Kabaki were poured out into the ground. The air was saturated with the smell of alcohol.
In those last days, the brass bells w ere removed from the church. All archives were taken out from the Administrative office and the "Uriadnik", the official representative of the town, departed in the Eastern direction. The Post Office with the telegraphic equipment was also evacuated. The entire zone was totally under the control of the military. There were special military units whose task was to burn out the deserted villages. In the daytime clouds of smoke filled the air and in the nighttime the red flames of the burned up villages went up to the heaven. Because of the hasty retreat of the Russian army, many villages remained intact. On the same Monday, a resounding bang shook up the town. It was the new wooden bridge over the Vinitze in Vigoda that was blown up.
The Jews stood in front of their homes along with their packed wagons. The soldiers went from house to house and gave an order, "Viyeszhai" - drive away! It was not known who issued that order or whether there was such an order. However, when the people started to move, a soldier came there and announced that the military staff, which was located in the court, ordered that nobody should leave the town. The people were confused and disoriented. When it was dark outside, The Aneliner Way, behind the cemetery was full of Malcher people who ran away. It looked like a real refugee camp. It was quiet in the nighttime. It was already cold and the people felt the taste of homelessness.
The morning started with loud shots without interruption that were steadily intensified. The noise came from rifles, artillery, bomb blasts and cannon launchers. Some places wee engulfed in fire. In the midday the artillery blasts were more intense and we could see dense smoke in the midtown. The turmoil brought about a panic and we started to run to Bereze. Some of us ran on the highway through Minke and some through Kabaki and Nievitch. All villages were literally empty. Only a few people remained in the Kabiaker Court. When we arrived at the Nivitcher forest, the entire large Kabaki village was engulfed in flames.
In the evening the heavy traffic encumbered the hasty escape. The road was packed with military vehicles and with other damaged military formations. It was very difficult to go through the highway that led from the station of Bluden (Pogodena) to Berezde city. The German planes kept on bombing the station that was completely burned down, tired and broken up. We finally arrived in Bereze and we found repose at our relatives. Malch was possibly already occupied by the Germans.