Lyubar KehilaLinks



Lyubar, Ukraine

49°55' N /27°45' E
205 km WSW of Kyyiv, 47 miles WSW of Zhytomer,
37 miles W of Berdychiv, 17 miles SE of Polonnoye





Personal Memoirs

Historical References

Genealogy Resources


Happy and Sad (literally, Grief and Joy)
by Samuel Yoffe
Beersheba, “EK,” October 16, 1998

These two emotions – grief and joy – are experienced at the annual autumn meetings in Israel today by descendants of residents of the Ukrainian shtetl Lyubar. The grief comes from reminiscences about two thousand of our nearest and dearest who were executed by the Nazis on September 13, 1941 in the Sand Pit [?], as well as about those who did not survive until today; while the joy is from meeting one another, and from the opportunity to revel in the knowledge that the ranks of Israeli Lyubarites are swelling every year. To the meeting in Beersheba this year came people who were repatriated a few months ago: Lyuba Baibik from Kursk and Manya and Abrasha Suzdalnitsky from Ulan-Ude. And there is another reason for joy: The increase in the number of young descendants of residents of Lyubar who consider it their obligation to honor the memory of their murdered forbears to meet with fellow descendants who knew their relatives who are interred with their brethren in the mass grave outside Lyubar.

For many years now the survivors of Lyubarites observed September 13 by forgathering in their native town. Today this tradition continues in Israel. Those assembled in the usual “arz” in Beersheba did not hold back tears as they listened to the obituary published in the Kiev newspaper “Khesed Avot” of the recently deceased landsman Fima Seidenberg (of blessed memory) “This was Lyubar.” Nikolai Becker, who came with his wife Nellie from Petah-Tikva, read reminiscences of his friend Fima. By the way, the spouses of Becker by rights may be called chroniclers of our shtetl. The photographs collected by them, the archival materials, and reminiscences may be used to put together a major museum exposition of Jewish Lyubar. One of the albums that contains a collection of photographs of Lyubarites fighting against the Nazis was brought to the meeting in Beersheba. Nikolai Becker read one more tragic document: A letter from the head of the Lyubar family Bilich to his children Musik and Olya. While they were in hiding with a Ukrainian family they knew, Zelik Bilich and his wife Malka realized that the end was inescapable, they wrote farewell letters which miraculously were saved and made it to their addressee.

And again the tears of the listeners were dried by joy: A call from Canada came from Olya Bilich, the
daughter of Zelika and Malka. Olya is a general favorite. She along with Yasha Kaper, Fima Seidenberg, Anatoly Kantor (may their memory be eternal), Nikolai Becker and other former residents of Lyubar (may their years be long) sought to have a memorial established on the spot near Lyubar where the execution took place. There were also other telephone calls, not only from cities in Israel where live former Lyubarites who for one reason or another were unable to attend the meeting, but from Bronya Eidelman-Vishnevsky in Philadelphia and from Odl Pilchman (her daughter Valya was at the meeting).

The phrase heard most often over several hours was “Du genechst?” And people kept interrupting each other while reminiscing about funny or poignant episodes of prewar live in our Lyubar. And at the meeting's end, we said to each other, “Mir zoln zich trefn iberaior videramol Gesundheit!”

JewishGen KehilaLinks Main Directory
Copyright © 2003-2018 JewishGen Lyubar KehilaLinks. All rights reserved.