EXTRACTS FROM "A NOTEBOOK FROM SHAVLI - A DIARY FROM THE LITHUANIAN GHETTO" (1941 TO 1944)
BY ELIEZER YERUSHALMI
17th December 1942
There were again new arrests at the ghetto. Yesterday a clerk from the Lithuanian Security Police demanded from the Labour Office that they delay at the gate of the ghetto the Jews from Linkuva, namely, Borkum, Blumzon and Girsch, and not to let them go to town. This morning a clerk came and took them to the police and from there they were taken to prison. The reason is not clear. It is assumed that it is connected with happenings in Linkuva. It is suspected that they left gold and other valuables there. Blumzon told before his arrest that a few weeks ago the previous person in charge of Jewish affairs came to visit him and mentioned their first meetings in Linkuva immediately after the occupation. This person and others arrested Blumzon and took 2 gold watches, a gold ring and other valuables from him.
They pretended to make a list of the items that were taken. Afterwards they tore up the list and took the valuables for themselves. The Jewish Affairs Commissioner could not tolerate the evil and resigned from his post in Linkuva. It seems from the whole story that he wanted to absolve himself from his previous deeds in front of Blumzon.
Blumzon was a wealthy linen and fabric merchant in Linkuva. He lost his wife and his sons during the slaughter. Girsch and his two sons were saved from the slaughter. One of them was arrested and died later. Borkum is a shrewd person and was previously arrested twice.
29th December 1942
The Jewish prisoners from Linkuva and the Lithuanian political prisoners stay together in one big room. This complicates the distribution of food for the Jewish prisoners and puts their lives in danger.
The prisoner, Blumzon, is seemingly the scapegoat for the evil schemes of the murderous Lithuanian gang headed by the previous person in charge of Jewish Affairs. Blumzon was previously a very rich man and many Lithuanians owed him money. All his assets were confiscated (robbed of all his goods). Blumzon was an obstacle to these people and they wanted him out of the way. It is said by some people from Linkuva that some people owed him up to 20,000 Lithuanian pounds.
6th January 1943
There is more hope for the prisoners of Linkuva. Yesterday they worked in the courtyard of the prison. They were given bread, butter and tobacco. Two women, Ibeyanski(?) and Meltz, were arrested because they were in possession of bacon and peas.
4th February 1943
Today the three prisoners from Linkuva, Blumzon, Girsch and Borkum were released from prison. This is the first case were accused who committed crimes against the State, are released from prison, and they should be specially thankful to the committee.
13th March 1943
The well-known person called "A.G.", who was accused in prison of exploitation of fellow prisoners, did a shrewd (sly) thing. He split on Blumzon, Borkum and Girsch and told the Security Police that these prisoners received food and letters while in prison and because of that the warden in charge was fired. Isn't it ironic that the committee tried at all costs to save him from death?
22nd March 1943
The Lithuanian Security Police came to question Blumzon, Girsch and Borkum, the three released prisoners from Linkuva, and managed to establish that Abrasha Glitzenstein, (the well-known "A.G.") told the chief warden that Borkum smuggled a watch and a ring into prison and sold them to the first-aid orderly. Borkum used to go every day to the orderly pretending he was sick and used to get from him bacon bread and other foodstuffs. Also the two other prisoners from Linkuva ate from the same food. "A.G." also told that the wardens gave the three from Linkuva letters and other foodstuffs. The Head Warden notified the Security Police and they sent a clerk to investigate the three ex-prisoners from Linkuva. Hopefully this matter will be resolved in their favour.
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