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KehilaLinks

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A WINDOW TO OUR SHTETL


A New Annotated Translation of
The Mlynov-Muravica Memorial (Yizkor) Book:

Project Leader: Howard I. Schwartz, PhD

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"I realized that each family line had one piece or sliver of the whole story and by bringing together the collective memories and photos from living descendants, a more complete and robust picture of life in Mlynov/Mervits could be grasped. As a result of these efforts, it is now possible to "excavate" the Memorial volume, the same way an archaeologist might approach artefacts from an archaic site, to tease out a picture of life among these Jewish inhabitants, our ancestors, who once lived here in this corner of the Russian and later the Polish State."

--Howard I. Schwartz, PhD

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CONTENTS

About the Memorial Book | The New Translation Effort | Acknowledgments: Standing on Shoulders of Others | Thanking Financial Supporters | Background of the Writers | The Translated Essays Online | How to Purchase a Beautiful Hardcopy Print Edition

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ABOUT THE MEMORIAL BOOK

The towns of Mlynov and Mervits were less than a mile apart and, as a result, the lives of residents were deeply interwined via marriages, shared resources, religion and culture. Residents of both towns, as well as other nearby towns, were brought into the Mlynov ghetto on May 22, 1942. The ghetto was liquidated on October 8th or 9th, 1942, according to eyewitness memories.

In 1970, grappling with the enormity of their loss, former residents of the towns of Mlynov and Mervits published a Yizkor book comprised of various essays in Yiddish and in Hebrew, honoring loved ones they had lost and commemorating the place where they had been born. The result was The Mlynov-Muravica Memorial (Yizkor) book, Sefer Mlynow-Marvits (also transliterated as Sefer Mlinov-Muravica) (ס פ ר מלינוב-מרוויץ). Edited by J. Sigelman. Haifa, 1970.

The essays in this Memorial volume represent the memories of those who once lived and thrived in Mlynov/Mervits and thus provide one of the best windows into what life was like in these particular townlets. However, because the essays were published in Yiddish and Hebrew, descendants of families in America lost touch in the next generation with the stories and memories that were preserved. The generation that immigrated to America didn't want to talk about the past, especially after the Shoah, but even before, as they wanted to leave behind the life they had once lived. That is now changing.

Over the last few years (2019–2020), through the efforts of Mlynov family descendant, Howard I. Schwartz, PhD, a virtual shtetl community of Mlynov and Mervits family descendants have gathered and there is renewed interest in the lives, photos, and stories of the families from these small townlets and what became of them. The creation of the Mlynov family descendant group has in turn provided a rich source of information about who the writers in the memorial volume were and what became of them.

Photos of descendants with the new memorial book are included on a commemoration wall on this web site.

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EFFORT ON NEW ANNOTATED TRANSLATIONS

The community of Mlynov and Mervits family descendants raised funds to bring out a new translation of the Yiddish sections of the Yizkor book, which is now completed. Howard I. Schwartz, and another Mlynov family descendant, Hanina Epstein, worked together on new translations of the Hebrew essays. Howard Schwartz provided an new introduction to the book as well as the research on the background of the writers and the friends and family they mention in their essays. These have been added as footnotes and annotations to the new translation, providing a rich context to understand the essays. In addition, more extensive biographical information and photos is provided for some of the authors on this web site.

These new translations are being published on the Jewishgen Yizkor Book site for the Mlynov-Muravica Memorial Yizkor Book. A new beautiful hardcopy legacy volume is now available for purchase through either the Jewishgen website or via Amazon. This new translation Here, to accompany those new translations, is a commentary which supplements the original translations with a short biography of the author, if known, a summary of the essay and other related or additional photos that have been shared by the descendants. In the future, we hope to be able to pull the new translations together into a new version of "Mlynov-Muravica Memorial Yizkor Book."

The original Yizkor book is 511 pages and a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish essays that cover a range of topics from the Shoah, to legends, to gossip, to memories of weddings, childhood pranks, and political religious tensions and commitments in the community. It is a veritable source of information about what life was like for this one small group of Jews trying to make a go of it.

The Original Book Committee: Sylvia (Barditch) Goldberg, Lipa Halperin, Josef Litvak, Shmuel Mandelkern, Moshe Iskevitz, Aaron (Berger) Harari, Yehiel Sherman, Mendel Teitelman

The New translations: Edited by Mlynov family descendant, Howard I. Schwartz, PhD, Yiddish translations by Hannah Berliner Fischthal, PhD, Hebrew translations by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD with Mervits descendant, Hanina (Charles) Epstein. The new Yiddish translations have been funded by Mlynov Family Descendants listed below.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This effort stands on the shoulders of earlier family historians who have come before us. Partial Engish translations of the Yiddish essays were commissioned by Gene Schwartz and Irene Siegel, both Mlynov family descendants in Baltimore. These early translations were circulated informally in xerox form. Irene also preserved many photos and stories of Mlynov and Mervits families that enrich our understanding of life in those towns. David Sokolsky later pulled some of these Yiddish translations together and added summaries of the Hebrew essays to an English volume in a collection he published on Amazon called Mlynov-Muravica Memorial Book (English Translation). These earlier efforts made possible this renewed effort.

In addition, Ted Fishman also a preserved a great deal of Mlynov and Mervits history and his knowledge has been a foundation for this work as well. Subsequently, many of our Mlynov and Mervits family descendants have contributed their photos, memories, and stories which have enlivened our understanding of these towns and our ancestors' lives there.

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTORS

Descendants of families from Mlynov and Mervits contributed financially to the new translation effort. They include: Adam Marcus (Hirsch descendant) | Amy Westpy (Gelberg descendant) | Anabel Fishman (Fishman family relative) | Andrea Carter (Hirsch descendant) | Arlene Polangin (Demb/Gruber descendant) | Audrey (Goldseker) Polt (Fishman / Goldseker descendant) | Barry Lerner (Lerner descendant) | Barry Stadd (Polishuk descendant) | Brooke Zigler (Demb/Gruber descendant) | Carol Engelman (Rivitz/Hurwitz/Demb/Gruber descendant) | Charles (Hanina) Epstein (Steinberg, Wurtzel, Gruber descendant) | Cheryl Lerner (Lerner Descendant) | David Sokolsky (Tesler Family relative) | Denise Gelberg (Gelberg descendant) | Edith Geller (Goldberg / Schuchman descendant) | Eileen Reichenberg Sherr (Demb/ Gruber/ Rivitz/Hurwitz descendant) | Eileen Yoffe (Fishman/Goldseker) | Ezra Sherman (Sherman, Schuchman descendant) | Galina Graber (Berger descendant) | Gerald Steinberg (Steinberg, Wurtzel, Gruber, Lerner descendant) | Harold Goldberg (Goldberg/ Schuchman descendant) | Heidi Steinberg (Steinberg/Wurtzel/Gruber descendant) | Helen Fixler (Nudler / Polishuk descendant) | Howard I. Schwartz (Demb/Gruber/Schwartz/Shulman descendant) | Josh Klavan (Schuchman, Klepatch descendant) | Joyce Jandorf (Schuchman, Klepatch descendant) | Larry Siegel (Shulman / Steinberg descendant) | Len Feldman (Polashuk family descendant) | Lillian Rosensweig (Gelberg/Schuchman descendant) | Marc Siegel (Fishman/Goldseker descendant) | Marlene Leffell (Teitelman descendant) | Miriam Berkowitz (Gruber, Demb, Herman descendant) | Miriam Litz (Kozak family descendant) | Richard Polt (Fishman/Goldseker descendant) | Robert Shulman (Gruber, Demb, Shulman descendant) | Ronald Gaynor (Gaynor descendant) | Saul Fishman (Demb/Gruber/ Fishman/Goldseker/Shulman descendant) | Sheila Mandelberg (Marder, Tesler descendant) | Shelley and Sheldon Goldseker (Fishman/Goldseker descendant) | Sharna Goldseker (Fishman/Goldseker descendant) | Tamara Kirson (Demb/Gruber descendant) | Vivi Sadel (Sherman, Golisuk, Schuchman descendant).

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BACKGROUND AND BIOS OF THE WRITERS

When the original Memorial Book was published in 1970 in Yiddish and English, no information was provided about the background of the writers. Some of the essayists identified themselves in their essays but many did not. This new translation includes annotations and footnotes identifying the background of the writers as well as the people they mention based on the extensive research and outreach to descendants by Howard I. Schwartz.

Additional photos of and biographical information about a number of the writers supplements the information included in the new translation.

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READ THE TRANSLATED ESSAYS ONLINE

A translation of the new annotated essays is published online by Jewishgen.

PURCHASE A HARD COPY

A beautiful hardbound legacy edition is now available for purchase through Jewishgen here or via Amazon at a higher cost.



Webpage design and Content compiled by Howard I. Schwartz
Updated:October 2022 | Copyright 2021 Howard I. Schwartz

This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation. If it has been useful to you, or if you are moved by the effort to preserve the memory of our lost communities, your JewishGen-erosity would be deeply appreciated.