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Extracts from Yahadut Lita


Extracts from "Yahadut Lita" translated into English

In the winter of 1941/2, after the destruction of the Jewish communitiesof the villages Zitoviani (Tytuvenai), Tavrik (Taurage), Kelme, Kursan (Kursenai), Radvilishok (Radviliskis), Telsh (Telsiai), Linkuva, Posval (Pasvalys), and others, the survivors arrived at Shavli (Siauliai). The committee had a problem to obtain documents that would give the Jews the status of permanent Ghetto residents.

The authorities strictly supervised the number of ghetto residents (according to food rations).According to orders from the head of the German Security Police in Shavli (Siauliai), Dr. Charni, from the 15th December 1941 it became compulsory to inform of any change in the number of ghetto residents. On the 20th February 1942, once more the head of the German Security Police topld Mr. M Leibowitz, who was the Chairman of the Committee, that he would be responsible for every Jew that came to the ghetto from the outside, and he would have to inform the Security Police immediately of new arrivals.

But when a group of Jews came from Telsh (Telsiai) the committee members managed to smuggle them in and arranged papers for them. There were also cases of Jews who were sheltered (hidden) by Lithuanians and then betrayed by them.They were brought to the ghetto under guard. The committee attempted every possible effort to release them and to bring them to the ghetto. The committee managed to have the prisoners released and those sentenced to severe punishment and death, in different ways, by allocating more working hands to the mines and by bribery etc. Often people were severely punished for smuggling food into the ghetto. The Germans said it was the Reich's property and the Jews were sentenced to death.

Through the efforts of the committee, Shifra and David Amler were saved from death. The committee stole leather goods from the Head of the Security Police and bribed his deputy with these goods.

Some Lithuanians used to accuse the Jews of being communists. Such an accusation was very dangerous. Many times the committee saved Jews from such accusations.

In the case of Blumzon, Borkum and Hersch from the village Linkuva, the committee proved, with the help of the priest of the village that they could not be communists because of their status. They were shopkeepers and businessmen whose businesses were confiscated by the Russians.

NOTE:- The names of the places are in Yiddish with the Lithuanian equivalents in Lithuanian.

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