|Catalog No.||6388||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Berl Lifsic: his testimony on Deksznia||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||20793ר"מ||Similar Items|
|Donor||Eilati Shalom||Similar Items|
|File name||עדותו של ברל ליפשיץ על דקשניה||Similar Items|
|Collection||Kaplan Israel||Similar Items|
|Period||During World War II||Similar Items|
|Author||ליפשיץ ברלליפשיץ ברל||Similar Items|
|databank||Collections Section||Similar Items|
From the Israel Kaplan collection:
Berl Lifsic: his testimony of events he experienced during the war and of the fate of the Jews of Deksznia (Salo), an agricultural settlement in the Vilnius (Vilna) district. Undated; 42 pages, handwritten, in Yiddish.
On June 24, 1941, Deksznia was conquered by the Germans. Various edicts were imposed on the Jews and they were sent to forced labor. On July 15, 1941, German tanks and armored vehicles surrounded the town. The Jews were herded together near the prayer hall , during which time their homes were looted. A young man, about 20 years of age, was shot and killed. On Aug. 10, 1941, the Jews were again gathered and ordered to bring hoes. The Jews were gripped with panic, as they supposed they were being sent to dig their own graves - although in the event they were taken to a forest and put to work repairing roads. On the eve of Rosh Hashana (Sept. 21, 1941), armed Lithuanian nationalists of the Siauliu (Riflemen's Union) entered the town and announced that the [Jewish] men were going out for three days of forced labor. Several men tried to flee and were shot; likewise those who faltered on the way were shot. Upon their reaching Valkininkai (Olkeniki) they were locked into stables with men from Lipon [sic; Leipalingis; Leipun] and from Olkeniki. They were divided into groups and set out on foot to Eisiskes (Eisishuk). The Siaulists* from villages in the vicinity, who were well-acquainted with [the Jews], abused them; some 70 men didn’t survive the trek. The women and children from Deksznia, Leipun, and Olkeniki were added to them. In the nights, Lithuanians broke in and robbed the Jews of what valuables they had remaining to them. On Sept. 24, 1941, the Jews were brought by fours to the horse-trading marketplace, where they were robbed of their valuables under torture. The commander of the Aktion was Ostrovski, a Lithuanian from Eisiskes. The next morning, the Siaulists took the first group of men. Those who remained heard the reports of the shots. B.L. turned to those around him and suggested they take some action, but they hushed him. After approx. three hours the Siaulists returned and took another group of men. B.L. evaded them and hid among the women. The men who were taken were transported to the Jewish cemetery and shot. The remaining Jews made an outcry, and in response the Lithuanian guards opened fire on the crowd; three people were killed. After a brief cessation in the shooting when the ammunition ran out, the Siaulists returned and forcibly took out another group of men. B.L. too was taken and made to stand in line. With the realization that he had nothing to lose, he took off to the side and fled to the stable, climbed on its roof, and from there saw how two groups of women were being taken and murdered. Over 5,000 people were shot that day. The murderers were their victims’ neighbors.
B.L. then escaped to Radun and told the town’s Jews about the massacre, but they thought he had lost his mind. The next day, Yom Kippur, he set out in the direction of White Russia. He stayed for two weeks in Lida and then continued on to Vasilishki (Vasilishok) and registered at the offices of the Judenrat. On Nov. 15, 1941, the Jews of Vasilishki and the towns of Wawiorka (Vaverka), Skriwna, Sobakince (Pervomayskaya) and Nowy Dwor, some 2,200 people, were herded into a ghetto with dreadful living conditions. Polish policemen, headed by Jazewski, rioted against the Jews and abused them. On May 10, 1942, a Selektion was conducted by the regional governor, [Hermann] Hanweg; his bureau chief, [Leopold] Windisch, and his aide, Wasjokewicz; the mayor, Smigire; Commander Jazewski, and the commander of the Hamburg gendarmerie. Those who were sent to the left were beaten and then taken to the cemetery and shot. B.L., a gardener by occupation, was among approx. 180 Jews left alive. After the massacre, the murderers held a feast and sang German folksongs. 130 Jews, who had succeeded in escaping during the Aktion and were caught, were shot the next day.
In late June the Jews remaining alive were brought to Szczuczyn. Some 600 people from the vicinity were at that time interned in the ghetto. In March 1943 B.L. was sent to the Lida camp and put to work at forced labor. In early April 1943 he escaped to the forest and joined the partisans. On July 16, 1944, he was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. He returned to Deksznia to take revenge on the murderers. Close