PRUZHANY YZKOR BOOK
PUBLIC LIFE AS REFLECTED IN THE "PRUZANER SHTYME" WEEKLY
paper Pruzaner Shtyme began to appear on
The regional Polish Education authorities in Brisk officially approved the name of the Hebrew High School in Pruzana belonging to the "Tarbut" Association as the A.D. Gordon Gymnasium.
On April 2-3, the town was flooded. The waters of the Muchaviecz river swelled due to melting snow and ice and reached a level of four metres high. As a result, many houses on both banks of the river were flooded and many inhabitants had to leave their homes. The municipality aided the evacuees.
The relations between the "Pruzaner Lebn" and the "Pruzaner Shtyme" weeklies were not normal and the editors and reporters were hostile to each other. Many editions of the Pruzaner Shtyme indulged in mutual polemics. We bring here excerpts of an article, "On rings, bracelets and watches," printed on March 31, 1933, which gives an account of the contributions of Pruzana Jews to the "Redemption Fund" of Polish Jewry in 1920. Apparently, this action served the editors of Pruzaner Shtyme as a means of goring their competitors, and setting out the facts.
1920, the "Redemption Fund" was declared in
It was the period of the
Polish-Russian war and the party activists were ordered to keep the precious
objects because it was not possible to transfer them to
Cunning people spread rumours that the Zionists squandered all the precious objects. Comrade,Adam, a Christian shoemaker, who served as the chairman of the former Revolutionary Committee told a public meeting that the Zionists handed over the objects to Generals Vzangel and Denikin, who fought the Bolshevik regime. The concern of the Zionist functionaries who took part in that appeal may be imagined.
After the Bolsheviks
In order to prevent tongue-wagging, a committee was set up composed of Eliezer Moshe Grinzburg, Zeiig Goldfein and Leib Wolk to examine all the receipts and documents at the home of Neidus the dentist. It confirmed that all the objects reached their destination properly.
Later, the Zionist Organisation in Pruzana received an overall receipt from
the Zionist Executive in
On March 27,
a protest meeting was held against the persecution of Jews in Nazi
of the kibbuts Sheariya group in Pruzana received permission to immigrate to
The weekly published a
section of the Yiddish paper "Moment" of
Even before the tradesman receives an assessment, i.e. prior to the date of payment, the "Cart" is sent round to boycott the goods and bring them to the tax department's warehouses. Thus his status is destroyed, because he cannot get more credit, he has nothing to sell and he cannot pay the tax. Furthermore, the goods are sold in a public tender for farthings. However, this is not all. Suddenly, Jewish tradesmen in Pruzana were suspected of dealing ... with saccharine. Shops are broken into by day and homes at night by representatives of the tax department, customs, the monopoly and police. They do not merely carry out a personal check, but strip the merchant naked and look for saccharine on his body. Actually, they look for his account books on his body. One of the senior officials in the district offices (Wojewodstwo) in Brisk told a merchants' delegations that criminals are treated in this way, but it was out of the question that tradesmen should be so treated.
On April 20, the Pruzana merchants declared a one-day strike. Shops and businesses were closed, but the director of the tax department did not change his policy. How will the Treasury respond? According to our reports, the Ministry received detailed information about the tragedy that befell merchants in various towns, especially Pruzana. It can be assumed that the ministry will not agree to sacrifice the state's economic policy and the survival of scores of Jewish merchants for the sake of the prestige of Pruzana's tax department's director".
12 students graduated in the third graduation class of the A.D. Gordon high school.
On June 16, a trial was held of Revisionist Zionism in the hall of the Hebrew high school.
On June 25, a protest meeting was held following the murder of Dr. Haim Arlosorov.
613 shekels (membership fees) were distributed for the elections to the Zionist
Congress. 542 voted in the following way: Eretz-Israel Haovedet—317;
Revisionists—70; Hitachdut—57; Mizrachi—29; General Zionists—21; "Et Livnot"—7; one vote was disqualified.
The management of the "Yavneh" school held consultations with the representatives of the Zionist youth movements and they agreed to maintain closer contacts and ensure that students from the fifth grade onwards can join the youth movements. Weak or poorly behaved students could not become youth movement members.
An editorial reviewed
Pruzana in 1933. The writer noted the increasing poverty in the town and
surrounding villages. The unemployment of artisans was increasing and the
conditions of the merchants deteriorating. The state tax system was destroying
commerce completely and the outcry of Pruzana tradesmen was being heard outside
the town. Use of electricity had declined and many homes had been offered for
sale cheaply. Large parts of the population needed the help of relatives in the
The income of the JNF (Keren Kayemet Leisrael) in 1933 Pruzana totalled 2,458 zioty. The blue boxes brought in 1,220 zioty and other activities 1,238 zloty.
The kibbutz published an announcement in the paper about a workshop for men and women's tailoring, shoe-making and basketwork. The kibbutz supplied workers for all handiwork and services.
The weekly published a letter from a yeshiva student, who was expelled from Pruzana yeshiva because he wore short trousers. 14 yeshiva students were expelled by the headmaster for similar reasons.
Over 250 dollars were collected in commitments for the Keren Hayesod appeal.
In accordance with an order from the district authorities, the appointment of Eliyahu Birenboim as deputy mayor was cancelled. During his 11 years of service, Birenboim contributed a great deal to the municipal economy and fulfilled his duties faithfully and honourably. The removal of the last Jewish representative on the town's executive aroused deep emotions among the Jewish population.
The lawyer, Leivand Handler-Levitski was elected instead of Birenboim as
chairman of the Jewish B.B. club, a sort of Jewish section of the ruling Polish
A "miracle" occurred in the Paraslavic church in Pruzana and many pilgrims came to the town to visit the site. Epileptics, cripples and the mentally ill came to the church to receive the blessing of the priest. Many of the visitors came on foot, including groups from Vilna.
On the day of the funeral of Ch.N. Bialik, Av 4, 5694, all businesses were
closed between and a memorial meeting held.
A bulletin called
"self-defence of the Polish people" written in the style of the Nazi
"Shturmer" was sold in the kiosk near the bridge on
In the Beit Yaacov synagogue, Rabbi David Halevi Faigenbaum eulogised the Chief Rabbi of Palestine Rabbi A.Y. Kook.
In an editorial reviewing the year 5695 in Pruzana, the writer moaned at the increasing poverty in the town. Trade declined and the lack of turnover increased competition and even led to informing. The latest decree on transferring the cattle market outside the town was a severe blow to the dealers. The new artisans law affected Jewish handicraft shop owners and its implementation led to disgraceful acts of informing. The heavy taxes hit the tradesmen and handicraft owners to the bone. The only ray of light was the appeal of C.K.B., which was organised by the Charity committee.
Due to financial
difficulties, the kehilla could not expand its work and support the educational
institutions with aid, despite their difficult situation. A further blow came
from the municipality which practically ended support. Aid from
62 people immigrated to
The income of the JNF totalled 3,362 zloty in 5695 as compared with 2,010 zloty in 5694.
How were wardens elected in the Beit Yaacov synagogue? A ballot box was prepared and it was placed in the beadle's care. The beadle went to the homes of the worshippers and requested that they vote for 5 out of 12 candidates for warden. Afterwards, the beadle brought the ballot box to the rabbi's home where it was opened and the votes counted. Those elected were: Moshe Aaron Rozenshein, Avraham Lacki, D. Minkovich, Zavel Wolansky and Note Kurtzel.
An ash-taking ceremony was held in the cemetery, where ashes were taken from the graves of Jewish soldiers who fell in the First World War at Pilsudski hill in Sowienice. Representatives of the authorities and community leaders were present. Rabbi D. Faigenbaum and deputy mayor Dr. M. Feingold delivered orations.
The “ kehilla's ” budget for 1936 was fixed at 8,324 zioty. The “ kehilla ” committee handed over the appeal of Avraham Gordon against a 40 pound tax to the Brisk district governor.
Two Jewish families who lived for years at Smolenice village near Pruzana maintained small shops there. Recently, a cooperative was formed in the village and the farmers stopped visiting the Jewish shops. In the last few days, they began harrassing the Jews. They smashed the windows in their homes and published notices saying: "Get out of the village quickly. If you don't leave, your fate will be bitter." The Jews appealed to the “ kehilla ” committee to intercede with the authorities.
Rabbi David Faigenbaum and kahal leader Faivel Goldfine were elected to represent the Pruzana “ kehilla ” in a protest meeting of Polish Jewry against the Schehita decrees.
On October 25, the “ kehila ” committee elections were held. 1,208 voted out of a total of 1,400 people with voting rights. Two members of the Bund and Artisans list were elected; two members of the National Bloc list; one butcher;
one Hitachdut Poalei