Bukachevtsy Memorials

We wish to give the descendants of Bukachevtsy an opportunity to remember and memorialize their families.  We include those Bukachevtsy residents who left as emigrants and those who survived the Holocaust as well as those who did not. 

Please share your stories and memories from Bukaczowce by sending them to us.

Our first contribution comes from Chaya Blitz Rosen in memory of her father Joseph Blitz (Z"L).  In Chaya's words "It is a memory I have of him while growing up in the early days - post Holocaust in Israel."

I used to be somebody

He would say bending down to lace up the deformed shape of his shoe
Making me think of how he came to believe in G-d
Once when the wet icy newspapers and rags tore and uncovered
His foot on the snow-wrapped forest floor
Which was quickly covered with flying bullets that fast flew over him that day
In the woods filled with fleeing Jews so he too was there

I used to be somebody
He would say holding the brown plastic portable radio
Chipped on the top left corner of its frame
Every Wednesday the ritual of holding on to that radio would produce the sacred sounds
of Sonatas to which we were frozen in silence
Least no moment of musical magic would be broken
By us children who wondered why he would think to say …
I used to be somebody

Joseph, playing the violin at the Music Conservatory in Lemburg (Lviv) in 1936

Dedicated in loving memory of my father Joseph Blitz also known by his grandchildren as Shosho, Chaya Blitz Rosen  

The following was read by Chaya Blitz Rosen 1998 at mass gravesite in a Rohatyn ceremony to commemorate the destruction of its Jewish population.  Many of our Jewish relatives from Bukachevtsy were living in the Rohatyn ghetto and killed there.  So it is an appropriate way of memorializing all of our families.

Remembering Rohatyn

Chaya Blitz Rosen

Crawling out of their hiding place
A hole dug deep in a polish forest
They escorted two children

Blinded by the light of day
Not seen for eighteen months
My seven year old brother and three year old sister
Were gently consoled
Don’t be afraid it won’t hurt

Expecting an onslaught of bullets in the forest
Not far from where we stand today
My starved and deprived of all hope parents
Were instead approached by Russians
Announcing that it was all over
What a strange notion that it was all over

In a land fertilized by human char
With hallowed heaps of bones that used to be lives
Uprooted overturned stumbled over not liberated
My parents and their two children made their way
Out of this place which used to be called home

Marching bands did not herald their freedom
Victory songs were not heard
No medals were pinned
No martyrs were mourned
And their nightmares never ceased

Crossing three continents
They carried their satchels children and pride
Handing us their legacy
It would become mine
I am the daughter of survivors

At age four I sat on my mothers lap
Watching her serve small sandwiches and tea
To a sobbing circle of women
Who bemoaned their failed efforts
At saving their babies who had been thrown to the fires

Quietly I heard their voices
In seven languages whispering stories of starvation and death
By the time I was seven I desperately wanted to fix things
But I didn’t know how so I vowed that I would never stop listening

At fourteen I decided to shut all of this out
Ashamed I spend most of my time trying to figure out
How to disguise our isolation and pain

Then I discovered a family photo
The Faust family musicians
Klezmorim from here in Rohatyn
Faces of my grandfather David Faust his father and brothers
Jewish musicians with violins clarinets and saxophones
Dressed in black bearded men peered out of the photo
What were their faces doing to my heart
Why were they beckoning me as if calling me out by an old forgotten name
They spoke without moving their lips
I understood them with my soul
They knew me we were connected

By the time I reached my mother’s age
The age she was when she flew past flying bullets
With bare feet that raced across frozen fields
Climbing over barbed wire that ripped her flesh
As she fled and fought her way out of holes under the ground
Stealing stale potato peelings
Grasping on to her children
By the time I reached this age
The sounds of the Klezmer music returned

Their old melodies echo and reverberate
Taking us where words cannot
Creating sparks holy sparks
Reviving a renaissance of
Jewish spirit passion and pride
Evoking deep feelings and thoughts
Fixing me
Evolving and repairing you
In dozens of new ways
Their joyous music swings and cries
Beckoning healing reminding us of
Who we used to be
Compelling me to return here
To this place Rohatyn to touch the walls that held the Mezuzot
My grandfather’s frail fingers
Fixed upon the door posts of his home

You who pass through these doorways
Know that a descendant like me
Mourns and returns to resound this lifelong lament
I rip my cloth tear out my hair come back to Rohatyn and
Howl like a dog

All of us remember
We’ve come here to restate the following vow:
From generation to generation
We must look upon ourselves
As if we personally came from sacred sites
Such as this killing field
Here in Rohatyn

This poem is dedicated to the memory of my beloved mother Bertha Faust (z”l) and father Joesph Blitz (z”l) and in honor of my sister Cipora Blitz and brother Avi Blitz  

Click here for more information on the Faust Family Musicians


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