|Catalog No.||6390||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Pesia Golubok, a native of Iwje: her testimony||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||20788ר"מ||Similar Items|
|Donor||Eilati Shalom||Similar Items|
|File name||עדותה של פסיה גולובוק, ילידת איוויה||Similar Items|
|Collection||Kaplan Israel||Similar Items|
|Period||During World War II||Similar Items|
|From Date||27/06/1941||Similar Items|
|Author||גולובוק פסיה||Similar Items|
|Date of event||01/07/1947||Similar Items|
|databank||Collections Section||Similar Items|
From the Israel Kaplan collection:
Pesia Golubok nee Abramson, born in 1914 in Iwje (Ivye) in the Novogrudek district: her testimony about what happened to her family and her town during the wartime period. The testimony was delivered in the Hofgeismar DP camp on July 1, 1947. 24 pages, handwritten, in Yiddish.
On June 27, 1941, the Soviet Red Army retreated from Iwje; several young people went with it. The neighbors exploited this opportunity to riot against the Jews. The following day the Germans arrived and locked up 220 Jews from the educated class. After several days of abuse, they were taken out of town and shot to death near the village of Staniewicze. The [remaining] Jews were abused and taken for forced labor. A Judenrat and Jewish police force were set up in the town, who carried out the Germans’ edicts. According to Golubok, when the Germans imposed ransom payments, the Judenrat would take more than was demanded, and the Jewish police acted with cruelty.
In early May 1942, the town was surrounded by SS troops and Polish police and a curfew was imposed. Workers were taken to Staniewicze to dig pits. After four days an Aktion was conducted and all the Jews were herded out to the market square. Golubok describes children questioning about the death awaiting them and the means by which parents coped. After being gathered together, the Jews were marched in foursomes to a place where a Selektion was conducted, that would determine their fate: life or death. The Selektion was performed by the chief of [?], the chief of police, and the city’s mayor, all of whom were drunk as Lot, and a group of collaborators. Golubok’s husband [Shalom] remained alive thanks to his occupation, a leatherworker, and his family with him. After them went P.G.’s mother [Zelda], sister and brother. (Her father [Szmul] had died the previous month.) Some 1,200 people survived the Selektion, the other 2,800 were marched out in foursomes to their graves, with music accompanying them.
The commander [Leopold] Windisch delivered a speech to the “skilled professionals” who remained alive. The next day they were interned in a walled ghetto and their living conditions worsened. Anticipating another Aktion, it was decided to bring kerosene to the ghetto, ignite it, and escape. It was [further] decided to arm themselves and flee to the forest. P.G. queried the chairman of the Judenrat how he would act when demanded to hand over Jews in hiding, and he replied that he wouldn’t be content with handing them over, but would do his all to discover them. P.G. and her comrades equipped themselves with weapons and stationed guards.
On Jan. 1, 1943, the Judenrat was summoned to the German headquarters. When this was known, several hundred people (individually) left the ghetto and took weapons with them. P.G. and her daughter [Jocheved], age two, fled without being wounded by German gunfire. Upon reaching the forest, she separated from the rest of the refugees and went to the factory where her husband worked. He told her that no one had been executed and that only 80 people [? or men] had been taken to the Borisov labor camp. In reaction to the escape, the Germans announced that any Jew found outside the ghetto would be shot on sight. P.G. decided to hide with her daughter in the dugout hidden behind the factory, in temperatures of minus 30 degrees C. (minus 22 degrees F.). On Feb. 5, 1943, the ghetto was surrounded by SS troops, and those who had remained there were boarded onto a train heading for Borisov. Only 15 Jews remained in the factory, P.G.’s husband among them. At night she walked to the village and gave her daughter over to a peasant woman who had agreed to provide her temporary shelter. When the woman saw how difficult it was for the child to separate from her mother, she allowed the latter to remain for another few days until her daughter adjusted.
Then P.G. returned to the town and intended to join a group escape to the forest; however, this was delayed. She therefore returned to the village and persuaded the woman to conceal her in an attic. After three months (upon the arrival of spring), there began manhunts in the area, searching for Jews. The peasant woman demanded that P.G. leave so as not to endanger the girl’s life. P.G. went to the city, to the factory, but her comrades did not insist on the requisite urgency of escaping to the forest. One day a vehicle came to the camp and took everyone to the Lida ghetto, where at that time there were some 3,000 Jews, who suffered from starvation and frequent Aktions. Some of the youths [i.e., teens] were in contact with the partisans, who from time to time would take groups out to the forest. With rumors of the ghetto’s upcoming liquidations, B.G., her husband, and four other Jews took weapons and escaped to the forest. They swam across the Niemen River and sought the partisan battalion named for the Bielski brothers, but to no avail. So they joined the Iskra [Russian: spark] Battalion that operated in the Naliboki forests, and were warmly welcomed into their ranks. They took part in all the combat activities. There were 100 Jews in the battalion. When a German attack commenced, the battalion commander evacuated the elderly and the weaker women to a family camp of the Bielski battalion; 30 Jewish fighters remained with him. Golubok’s husband was recruited to make shoes for all the partisans in the battalion, using leathers that partisans had obtained in the area. Once, upon arriving at a village, the partisans encountered Germans. After heavy fighting the Germans retreated, leaving behind them some ten casualties [fatalities].
In July 1944, the Soviet Red Army liberated the area. Some of the battalion joined the Red Army and went to the front. Golubok went to the village to take her daughter and found her strong and healthy, though the child refused to come with her. The peasant woman explained the difficulties of raising her, more than once the girl was in the hands of murderers but the woman succeeded in saving her. After several days in the village, Golubok left with her daughter for Lida. Close