Compilation of Memories (Memoirs)
Military Occupation by British Troops
At 11 o’clock in the evening on י באדר Saturday night, a curfew was imposed on us as it was in Jerusalem. That is to say, “Do not go out of your house, anyone who goes out will have blood on his head and will be shot by the soldier who is on guard in the street”. We were all jailed in our houses on Sunday and the following night. The following morning the curfew was cancelled. There was a shortage of food and most of the food was from Shabbat and lasted through the emergency. We knew the term “curfew” from before and this was not the first time it was imposed but this time it seemed more serious.
On the following Tuesday of this month, a more stringent ruling was imposed on us by the British Government. We were now under Military Occupation which meant that we were now under a modern method of total control. We could not leave the city without permission of the commanding officer. You could only do what was permitted. We could not send telegrams or letters and the Post Office was closed. All the public and civil offices were placed under the control of the army. There were difficulties getting supplies into the city and prices of all necessary goods increased and were not easy to find. We had no idea how long this miserable situation would continue.
Saturday night at 9:00 I accompanied a woman who visited us. We heard shooting on all sides. When I got close to the office of Ben Zion, at the beginning of Rechov Achad HaAm, I saw a group of soldiers standing on armored vehicles and shooting at passing people. I ran away with everyone and found cover in the hallway of a house on the corner of Achad HaAm and Hasmonaim. I remained there for about a half an hour until the shooting had stopped. I ran home in panic. After several hours the shooting had not stopped and I found out the following day that there were several dead and many wounded. This was revenge on the action of Jewish terrorists that killed an English soldier and an Arab lawyer in Beit “Hadar”.
We celebrated the Pesach 1947 as we did the previous year without a spark of joy.
The heart is still wounded and bleeding from the tragedies that befell our people in the countries of destruction. As last year, we received Matzot Shmurot from Meir Shlein and the Admor of Sadagorra and also from the Admor Freidman. My son David and his family, Jacob and his wife Rachel, Krenzi the daughter of my brother-in-law sat at our table. My grandson Yair asked the four questions and told the story of the going-out of Egypt and the future without the English. We sat until midnight and parted with a blessing for meeting the next year.
All the years that I lived in the country, I went swimming in the sea from after Shavuot until the end of the summer, right after the Chagim. I didn’t go every day but about twice a week or about sixty times a season. I walked to the sea, about 30 minutes, and took a bus back. The air and activity were good for body and spirit.
My son Aaron was in business contact with a non-Jewish firm in Holland. When I visited him in the summer of 1939 I took care of his accounts, dealing with his partnership with the firm “Bliss and Clavier” from Amsterdam. I found that they owed him 2,000 lei. In the years 1940 and 1941, when Stanislau was ruled by the Bolsheviks, my son wrote that 2,000 lei was due him and asked if the firm had sent me the money as he had asked.
I demanded this money from the firm, on the basis of this information. Their lawyer from Amsterdam answered that there were many losses. If there might be any profit after checking all the accounts, they do not recognize anyone but Aaron and none of his inheritors.
We gave our claim to a lawyer in the country that had a branch in Holland. His partner would deal with this matter. Perhaps he will succeed in getting some sum in memory of my son Aaron’s family.
Content last updated Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM Mountain Standard Time