Memorial Speech in Lyakhovichi July 5, 1993
by Moshe Inditzky, translated by Luba Kustanowicz Zemel
This speech was given during the unveiling of two monuments in memory of the slaughtered Jews of Lyakhovichi. It was given by Moshe Inditzky a survivor of the Holocaust in Lyakhovichi who long led the Organization of Lechovicher Jews in Eretz Israel. It was translated from Hebrew by Luba Kustanowicz Zemel, whose family was transported by a police action of Stalin’s secret police to Siberia, the day the Nazis invaded Russia. Luba’s brother Solomon Keston, submitted this for publication on our site.
We are standing here today in this holy place, where every handful of soil is soaked With the blood of the murdered and slaughtered men, women and children of the Lachowicze Jewish community.
Around them, stood the Nazis and their Collaborators, the Lithuanians. The Jews were ordered to undress naked, And were shot one by one, and then fell from the edge into a prepared ditch. The elongated hole in the ground was dug earlier by the Jews themselves.
This is the history of the 20th century. The first time that a whole human race was planned to be wiped out. Such an atrocity has never happened in recorded history. Never before such an industry was established, Dedicated to the product called Death. It was only in the 1940s that Hitler prepared a plan to wipe out the Jewish nation.
Fifty-two years had passed since that cruel, tragic day. It was very early In the morning, on 29 October, 1941 when the Nazi soldiers with the Assistance of the local Militia, closed down the town of Lachowicze, and expelled with cruelty all the Jews from their homes to the market square, And ordered them to sit down with hands up. At 8 am came an order, that those with professions should get up and stand Aside. Over 1000 of them were then taken away and moved to the house and yard Of Bracha Tukaczinsky, which was near the marketplace. The remainder of the Jews, about 4000 of them, were then led away in groups of about 150 to Klein Latve, about 50 m from the Railway Station Viedzma, where there Were ditches that the Jews dug out before the slaughter. Around the ditches Stood Nazi soldiers armed with machine guns. Whoever ran away, were shot Brutally and lay in pools of blood, all along the way to Klein Latve. By the ditches, they were ordered to strip naked, they were checked if they had anything of value, especially those people with gold teeth had their Teeth knocked out to remove the gold. The Nazis shot the Jews group by group, Pouring chlorine on the bodies after each killing. The shooting continued till 9 PM The shouts and screams were heard for long distances. Some of the people were buried, while still alive. According to local witnesses, the earth that covered the bodies moved up and down for a long time following the event. In this way, 4000 Lachowicze Jews were murdered and some were buried alive.
The next morning, on 30 October, 1941 the Germans came and declared that the professionals that were taken to Tukachinskis place, Will not be tormented and will return home. But instead, they were placed In a Ghetto. Also, those who ran away, and hid, were placed there. The Ghetto was put up in the area of the Shulhoif and the Voinger. In the Ghetto were gathered some 1500 Jews, men, women and children. The Ghetto was very crowded and congested. The hunger was unbearable. The Germans promised that everyone will get work. Many Jews were taken to different jobs, build roads, etc but they did not get paid nor did they get much food.
On 20 July, 1942 the Ghetto was surrounded by German Troops and their helpers And began to lead group after group to Klein Latve, not far from the first slaughter Location. There, they were ordered to strip off, and were shot without mercy and buried while still alive. After this slaughter, after a few days, another few hundred Jews were gathered up, who ran away or had been hiding. After a week, in the morning, came the Nazis to take out the last Jews, but this time the Jews did fight back and killed one Nazi commander, and those left, set the Ghetto on fire. A few dozen fled to the forest and after a few months joined the partisans and with the escape and freedom , they joined the Red Army to fight against the Nazis, The monster and to revenge the blood spilled by the victims of the Holocaust. Many of them fell while fighting.
I, Moshe Inditzky on 25 June, 1941 together with my friend Yulik Rafes ran away on bikes through Kletzkto Russia, took part fighting in the Red Army against the Nazis and suffered a serious injury near Danzig. Thanks to the USSR, I and hundreds of thousands of our people were left alive.
We are the remains of the Holocaust here to commemorate with great grief, the fact that on this day, when the terrible tragedy took place, The whole world around us stood still, and was silent.
We don’t forget nor forgive. Their eyes full of fear, our brothers who went from the Land of life and did not know for what or why. Their screams, tears and cries are with us till today. We did not break down from these evil deeds, but took strength that was within us. We got up from the ashes of the victims, and established the State of Israel. For our murdered brothers, Israel arrived too late. The State of Israel promises to protect every Jew everywhere. Our blood was not spilled in vain.
Holocaust Memorial in Lyakhovichi, dedicated July 5 1993
Lechowitz Holocaust Memorial in Beth David Cemetery, New York City area
Personal Holocaust Marker at grave of Szulim and Dora Gross memorializing the first wife and children of Szulim who died to Sanctify His Name in the Days of the Shoah.