PRUZHANY YZKOR BOOK
THE PRUZANA LANDSHAFT ASSOCIATION IN ISRAEL
By Yitzhak Zutta
Most of the Jews of our town were members of the Zionist movement and educated in Hebrew institutions. Some immigrated to Palestine at the beginning of the century in the Second Aliya. They were absorbed in the towns and in the pioneering settlements and not only maintained contact with their home town but also among themselves. However, they did not maintain any real organization until they received the reports about the fate of Pruzana Jews in the Holocaust. They were aroused to action to help the survivors, and established an organization of land shafts men in Palestine for locating survivors and providing them with organized aid in all possible ways.
On March 1, 1945, all our townsmen met in Tel Aviv and discussed how to take care of the remnants of the Pruzana “ kehila ”. The conference decided: to distribute a report of the discussion to all Pruzana Landshaftsmen, immediately send food and clothes parcels according to the addresses already located, maintain contacts with landshaftsmen in the United States and other countries and organize all aid work through volunteers. A committee was set up that included Eliyahu GELMAN chairman, Aryeh HADAR secretary and Zvi LUBOSHITZ -treasurer; the other members were Reuven VINOGRAD, Yehiel ZUTA, Asher POMERANIEC and Zorah RUDY.
The committee members sought ways to make contact with the survivors in Europe and used all the possibilities for getting information about their location and condition. The committee also appealed to Pruzana men serving in the allied forces to locate the survivors and submit all possible help. The first survivors were located in this fashion: Avraham BRESKY, Ephraim ZEIDMAN, the MANDEL brothers and Baruch AUERBACH, Yaacov VOLOVELSKY, Yosef BRESTOVICKY, Dr. Olya GOLDFEIN and others.
The second conference was held on October 11, 1945, with the participation of the first survivors Avraham BRESKY and Yaacov VOLOVELSKY. They reported the whole story of Pruzana Jewry, told about life in the ghetto and the camps, the exemplary organization of mutual help mainly to the weak and the organization of groups of partisans among our townsfolk. The descriptions of the survivors shocked all those present.
The meeting decided: to convene Pruzana landshaftsmen annually on the memorial day of the destruction of Pruzana Jews, publish a Pruzana Pinkas for immortalizing the life and death of the Jews of our town, extend help to the survivors everywhere, help the survivors who wanted to immigrate to Palestine and ensure their placement in work. Since that year, memorial meetings are held for the martyrs of Pruzana.
Landsmen in Israel gladly contributed funds to the committee, which continued sending money and parcels to all survivors of the Holocaust whose address was tracked down. The flow of survivors who immigrated to Israel increased and the committee was fully employed in providing help to the new immigrants. The help was not only financial or finding sources of work and livelihood, but also social and moral to encourage the survivors after they had been liberated from the terrors of the ghetto and the death camps. The number of immigrants reached several hundreds.
Over the years, new members joined the committee: Yaacov SCHREIBMAN, Avraham BRESKY, Dov KIRSHNER, Yitzhak ZUTTA (KLEINERMAN), Kalman GOCHMAN, Asya LUBOSHITZ, Zvi BEN-DOV and Avraham HARSHALOM. Eliyahu GELMAN (GALIN) served as chairman until his death in 1979. Yaacov SHREIBMAN fulfilled the role of secretary and treasurer until the day he died.
As the years passed, the committee established several enterprises in cooperation with landshafts men in the United States: a clinic of the Histadrut Kupat Holim in Kiryat Ata, a memorial plate in the Holocaust chamber at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the planting of a wood in memory of the Pruzana martyrs in the Martyrs forest.
The committee maintains strong links with Landshafts in New York and Buenos Aires in Argentina. The committee also helps needy Pruzana people in Israel. The main activity in recent years has been to publishing of the Pruzana Pinkas in Hebrew and English, with the participation of our townsmen in New York and Philadelphia.
The members of the committee today are: Yitzhak ZUTA chairman, Asya LUBOSHITZ secretary, Kalman GOCHMAN treasurer, Zvi BEN-DOV, Avraham BRESKY, Avraham HARSHALOM, Zvi LUBOSHITZ and Dov KIRSHNER.