Chapter 101


Mordechai Ber Segal


The survivor Jews from Pruzhany and other towns added to the Pruzhany's Ghetto, will surely remember the name "Lehman's Bandits"!  It was a group of Germans that occupied a house behind the Seminar. This was a German military base, named "Shter-Trup 6.H" leaded by the Major "Veichmaister" Lehman. Its duties were to protect the link telephone line between the general nazi commando and the frontline. They were exclusively military men. Their hate for Jews was 100 times bigger than the Gestapo's or SS's. Every two days, they used to enter the Ghetto, trap some jews and knock them fiercely. They always had some excuse to do it. Once because Roosevelt was a jew, another because Stalin was, and a third time because he was a dirty "Jude" himself... (TN: Jude was the inscription with the Yellow David Star, that prisoners wore on their clothes and meant "Jew").

These murderers dragged the Rabbi of Pruzhany DAVID FAIGELBOIM out of his house, dressed in his ritual tunic (talit) and the "tefilim", and they pushed him through the streets under a punch rain, to the quarters behind the town.

During 48 hs. he was cruelly tortured without any reason, until the Judenrat payed a ransom in order to free him from those criminal hands.

About these bloodthirsty dogs, the "Lehman's bandits" as they were called in the Ghetto, it's necessary to emphasize some deeds, so the Jewish hearts full of sadness for their beloved people annihilated by the nazi killers, will found a little consolation in what we next tell. The few Jews that got to leave the Ghetto, before and after the annihilation, escaped and hid in the woods. It was impossible to get a closer contact with the Russian partisans, and these Jewish groups, with no guns and no food, were certainly in a sad and critical situation. Fortunately, later came an order from the superior power of the Russian partisans, in order to join them to the regular fight groups , whose superior chiefs were settled in the big forest and "Pushkas" of White Russia, and they were active on an area of hundreds of kilometers, behind the frontline.

A high chief of Kirov , of "Ponamerenko" brigade, that was settled on the Ruzhinoi forest, received the largest number of Pruzhany partisans. The Jews who just yesterday were on the Ghetto, and now carried guns in their hands, became into fighting soldiers and longed for the moment to face the German killers, not as "filthy Jews" with their yellow patches, but as Jewish partisans defending the honor of the Jewish people. The word "revenge" was floating in the partisans eyes, and, although it seems painful, the only aim was to kill some Germans and then die in peace.

Suddenly something happened, and made their dream come true. This is the way it went: a new commandant was appointed, whose name was JOZEK SAMOILIK, a Russian of polish descent. The preceding commandant was a quiet and calmed man, and he tried to avoid the big struggles with Germans. This new commandant, was a man of anxious nature, forceful and fight spirit. He specially had an indescribable hate for Germans. The Pruzhany partisans told him about the "Lehman's bandits" who cruelly ruled the Ghetto, and the suffering they caused. He answered: "Ladno!", they'll get their deserts! On that night of July 1943, six months after the annihilation of the Pruzhany Ghetto, this commandant got his best fight brigade together, including all the Jewish partisans, and set off to the route Pruzhany-Rozhinoy. As they were getting closer to the route, the commandant informed the way the action would accomplished. In his words, the Jewish partisans understood the time had come for Lehman bandits to pay in their blood for the bloody deeds they committed against the Jews in the Ghetto.

They took the corresponding places beside the route, and teh group spread along 1 km., and on the same area they destroyed and cut the telephone lines so the Lehman bandits, whose duty was its good working, would have to come to fix it, and then they would get their punishment.

After three hours of being hidden on the thistles in the route, their hearts were beating hard because of the emotion of seeing two leading trucks with the emblem "Shter-Trup 6.H", which meant the plan was getting achieved.

According to the instructions formerly arranged with the partisans, we let them pass as close as possible, then we surrounded them, and opened an intense fire, that prevented them from defending themselves. With the heart full of revenge, the partisans with their commandant ahead, threw themselves with such an impulse, that the "great heroes" started to run up and down, leaving on the field two trucks with ammunition and 25 dead and injured. The ammunition was removed by the partisans, who later burnt the trucks. Two hours later, they returned to the base, enjoying their victory on the German killers, and the Jews thanked with all their hearts their heroic commandant for giving them the wonderful chance to enjoy at least one drop of the revenge's cup, for the rivers of blood spread, innocent blood of the Jewish victims.