Lene Naidus Yudevich




Pruzhany was a strange village!  Very different from other towns of Poland. Social life was continually in effervescence. A town of five to six thousand Jewish inhabitants, had two popular schools, a school in Yiddish, one in Hebrew, and a high school  in Hebrew. In all Poland were ten Hebrew high schools, and our town had one of them. Two organized libraries were maintained by the Congregation, was a Society " Toz " with an own children rest place in mount Liachi for 250 children. (Liachi was three miles of Pruzhany). Other bigger cities didn't have colonies for children. A orphans home in own building, an asylum for old men, and a society of social help.


Two weekly newspapers were published, "Pruzener Shtime" and "Pruzener Lebn" .I remember that  visited us a Jewish writer, B. SHEFNER, who in an opportunity wrote a note in a Warsaw's  Jewish newspaper. He said about Pruzhany: "A strange city, has two newspapers and one single horse cart for human transport".  With these words he highlighted the importance of Pruzhany. All  Zionist groups were active, and during a Zionist encounter, the celebration of Balfour Declaration,  women take out their jewels, and  donated them for Eretz Israel. It was very characteristic the attitude of a poor Jew, BORUCH YOSEF SELETZKY. All his fortune was a seven pearls necklace  and he donated it for Eretz Israel. The Committee, when finding out his precarious situation,  requested him to take back his donation, but BORUCH YOSEF SELETZKY refused, adding categorically that he regretted not to have another thing to donate. 


In the terrible days of last war, the responsibility of Pruzhany Jews was a behavior model. The Committee worked with soul and life for population's well-being, and for Jews that entered expelled of other towns. It was written and was spoken about the Committee, as if they were sacred people. After the liberation, most of the survivors met in Feldafing camp in Germany, and established a collective society , where reigned  unity and disinterested work. With a lot of effort they tried to locate people of Pruzhany and they transferred them to Feldafing. They shared groceries portions with those recently arrived  .


In New York, the Relief Committee was a model for other Landsmen Organizations. At the beginning was impossible to be connected directly with survivors, siblings and sisters, to transmit them words of comfort, and material help. But the Relief Committee found the roads to help  the unhappy . People that had been born in Pruzhany and they are now in Philadelphia, Chicago, Argentina, Cuba and Canada,  sent their help to survivors. 


My town Pruzhany is not any more!  Was all exterminated. Everything was destroyed. We, born in Pruzhany and now dispersed for all ends of world, should continue knitting the golden threads of our dear Pruzhany, and build in our own country, Israel, a Memorial for our dear village Pruzhany.