alternate spelling: Konkurowich
Chaim Sholem Konkurovich (born ~1858), son of Moyshe, was married to Chaya Sora (Levinson) Konkurovich (born ~1862). They had ten children. We know the names of seven of them:
- Abram Yudel, born ~1879
- Ester Bluma (Etel), born ~1884, married Yosef Brazg or Bresky (born 1904 in Kurkl/Kurkliai)
- Tzipa Rachil (Rochel Tzirel), born ~1897, married Yankel Hartsman (born ~1894)
- Frida Gita (Gitl) (born 1899), married Mortchel Chayet
- Chana, married Edel Gurvich
- Itzhak Eliezer (Itzik), born in 1912, married Bluma Sondak
In 1910, Chaim Sholem Konkurovich went to South Africa and later sent for five of the family's children, one of whom was Berl. Chaya Sora and the remaining five children continued to live in Trashkun. Among these were Chana, Etel, and Gitl, and Itzik. Chaya Sora and her daughters were all teachers. Berl Glezer wrote of them in his memoir, “You could always hear laughter coming from their house.”
During World War II, Chaya Sora was killed at Pajuoste in 1941, along with the rest of the Jews from Trashkun and nearby towns. Chana Gurvich also was killed at Pajuoste in 1941. Etel and Yosef Brazg lived in Trashkun during the war and were killed at Pajuoste in 1941, along with their daughters Batia and Rachel. Gitl and Mortchel Chayet lived in Birzh (Biržai) during the war and were killed there in 1941. The fate of Tzipa Rachil and Yankel Hartsman is unknown.
Itzhak Eliezer (Itzik) Konkurovich was born on 22 February 1912. He had been studying in Kovno when World War II broke out. He was caught in the Kovno ghetto, where he helped his friend and fellow student from Trashkun, Miriam Shumacher (later Krakinowski). Itzik's friend Shmuel Kovnovich stated in an oral history interview that Itzik escaped from Kovno and joined the Lithuanian Division of the Soviet Army. After the war, Itzik settled in Vilnius, married Bluma Sondak, and had a daughter named Chana (now Anna). In 1972 the family moved to Israel, where Itzik died on 12 October 1990.
First in Vilnius and later in Israel, Itzik Konkurovich, along with his friends Berl Glezer and Miriam Krakinowski, was instrumental in maintaining ties among survivors from Trashkun, no matter how far away they lived. He provided important written testimony about what happened in Trashkun during the war. He also wrote a remembrance of fellow Trashkuner Avram Elye Puner and his family, giving us an engaging portrait of life in prewar Trashkun.
LETTER “Reb Avraham Elye ‘der Got’” (letter about Avram Puner)
PHOTO Itzik Konkurovich, Berl Konkurovich and friends
PHOTO Berl Konkurovich visits Itzik and friends in Vilnius (1961)
PHOTO Itzik Konkurovich with his friend Shmuel Kovnovich in Vilnius (1957)
PHOTO Itzik Konkurovich with his friend Shmuel Kovnovich at Pajuoste (1957)
PHOTO Itzik Konkurovich with other Trashkuner survivors at Pajuoste (1959 and 1961)
PHOTO Itzik at reunions of Trashkuners in Vilnius (1963) and Israel (1987)
PHOTO Gravestone of Itzhak Eliezer Konkurovich
Frank Joseph Massis (the English version of his name) was born in Troškūnai on 4 July 1890, the son of Joseph and Frances Massis. No other information is available regarding his parents.
According to stories passed down through the family, troops came to the Massis home in Troškūnai sometime after 1900. His parents hid Frank and his sister in a wood pile so they survived, but his parents and an unknown number of brothers and sisters were killed. Frank and his sister escaped and somehow found themselves on a grain ship to New York, arriving at Liberty Island in 1911. In the United States, Frank lived for a time in Boston before settling in Farmington, Maine. He married Lena Dustin on 10 December 1916, and they had a daughter Marguerite in 1919. Frank Massis died in Farmington in 1968.
Avraham Elye Puner, son of Mortchel and Pesa, was born in Trashkun in 1871. He married Michla Grinshteyn, who was born in Trashkun around 1867. The seven children of Avram and Michla Puner, all born in Trashkun:
- Yeshiahu (Yeshike, Shaya), born 1899, married Rivka Glezer. Their children were:
- Chaim Puner, born in Trashkun in 1938-39
- Michla Puner, born in Trashkun in 1941
- Chaya (Chayka), born ~1901-04, married Henech Yuozep
- Sheyndl Pesa (Peska), born ~1903-05
- Shmuel (Shmulke), born ~1905-06
- Yakov (Yankele), born ~1907-08
- Nechama (Nechomka), born ~1909, married Leybe Zalk
- Miriam (Mirele), born ~1913-14
Avram's wife Michla died in 1929. In August 1941, Avram and most of his grown children were killed in Pajuoste, along with the other Jews of Trashkun and the surrounding towns. The two young children of Yeshike and his wife Rivka—Chaim and Michla—were killed with their parents. The only known surviving child of Avram and Michla was Nechama Puner, who went to Palestine before World War II and married Aryeh (Leyb) Zalk, also from Trashkun. Nechama and Aryeh Zalk had three children.
In 1988, Itzhak Eliezer Konkurovich wrote a delightful letter about Avraham Elye Puner, whom the Jews of Trashkun nicknamed “Avraham der Got.” The letter describes Avram and his family, and at the same time it gives us a good sense of life in prewar Trashkun.