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Our story of the Bunewicki family began in the early 20th century, while Mr Izaak Buniwicki and his wife, Batya-Bashka (Berman) had settled down in a farm.

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Presentation on theme: "Our story of the Bunewicki family began in the early 20th century, while Mr Izaak Buniwicki and his wife, Batya-Bashka (Berman) had settled down in a farm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our story of the Bunewicki family began in the early 20th century, while Mr Izaak Buniwicki and his wife, Batya-Bashka (Berman) had settled down in a farm house near Polonka. The history records show that in the early 20 th about 206 of the 440 residents in town (almost 50%) were Jews, how they lived and managed their life in town. We also know that another Bunewicki family had also lived in that town, and immigrated to the USA in early 1908. The main employment of the family was selling turpentine, made out of trees, and according to the documentation these business work out quiet well. POLONKA / Палонка POLONKA JEWISH FAMILY IN POLONKA – BELARUS The story of BUNEWICKI family

2 In the memories of Batya’s sister, named Hana Sara Rabinowich, it is mentioned that Batya grew up as a child in a small village near Derechin, called Szhara (named after the famous river, Szhara ). The family had 4 boys (Wolf, Shimon, Mendel And Berl) and two daughters (Hana Sara and Bashka- Batya). As a traditional Jewish family the children used to learn the Jewish book “Talmud”, but they also learned foreign languages, an important tool for international trades. Their father, Rabbi Shneor Zalman Berman from Sczara, was famous as a tree trader in all Slonim district, and was known in his good working relationships with traders. Many trades were used to host in the house, while coming to buy trees to reach them out in the river all over till Danczig. In her memory she mentioned especially the fact that the family was well known as hospitable, and closely associated with the local count and local farmers in the area for dozens of years. in 1910, after the marriage of Batya to Izaak, the family expanded, with the birth of the elder boy, wolf. Soon the family grew, adding the second child Haim (1912-3), the third child Rachel (1915), and the forth child, the youngest baby Moshe (1918).

3 In 1919, in the end of WWI, but before the Polish authorities had reorganized, the family house was attacked by a murderess rioters, who killed the parents, Bashka and Izaak, and left behind their young children as orphans. These attacks on the Jews’ homes weren’t rare at all at that time, and many Jews often were victims of these brutal attacks,mainly involved anti- Semite groups. We also know that in that year died Rabi Shnieor Zalman in the city of Slonim. As a result of the murder, the family ceased to exist as a family; the orphans were separated and sent away to family relatives all over the area: Suvalk-raczki, Derechin, Bialystok, Kosow-poleski. POLONKA

4 WULF (ZEEV) BUNEWICKI 1910-1979 Wulf Bunewicki was the elder son in the family, born in 1910. After the murdered of his parents he was sent to relatives in Bialistok, where he grew up. After finishing school, as a young boy he worked as carpenter, taking advantage of the fact that selling trees was a tradition in his family. He Joined The Zionist Organization Called “Ha-Haluth” Which Encouraged Jews To Settle In Israel As Pioneers In The “Kibbutz”, And Was A Guide Several Years Before Leaving Poland. After Wulf arrived in Israel in 1933 he joined the “Hagana” organization, which fought the British mandatory occupation in Israel, wishing to establish an independent Jewish state.

5 He settled down in Tel Aviv city and marriage his wife, Tova, who also came from Poland, leaving behind her family who were later killed in the holocaust. His elder daughter Batya, was called over his mother Batya-Bashka name. Until his death in 1980 he refused to change his family name, hoping, unsuccessfully, that his brother Haim had survived in the holocaust and will able to find him. Wulf (Zeev in Hebrew) had 2 children 6 grandchildren and many more grand children, all of them leaving in Israel.

6 RACHEL BUNEWICKI (LIPKOWICH) 1915-1997 Rachel was the third child, was only 4 years old witnessing the terrible murder of her parents. She was sent to her uncles Shimon and Heshel (Hasia) Berman, How owned gristmills in Mali Racki (near the city Suwalki). Rachel Was Raised In The Farm House Of The Family, And Grew With The Children (Etka, Rivka, Rachel, Shinka, Malca.,Shmuel And Zalman). All Of Them Were Murdered Later In The Holocaust.

7 In 1935 Rachel left Poland on her way to Israel. she married Shmuel Lipkowich and settled down in Haifa. The couple had 3 children (Batya, Dalia And Haim) and many grand children naming the eldest daughter Batya, in memory of the mother, BATYA-BASHKA. In her last years Rachel preserved more and more the Jewish tradition, as much as she could remember from her childhood.

8 Haim was the second child of the family, 8 years old at the time of the murder. He was sent to his uncles Mendel and Haya Berman in Kosow Poleski, in Slonim district. He grew with his uncles and their children: Yacob,Elyaho, Etl and Rivka, and from “Yad Vashem” testimony his name appeared as adopting his uncles surname, Berman. According To ”Yad Vashem” Institute records, we know that the Berman family ran away after The German invasion To Kosow Poleski, hiding in the forests, joining the Partisans. HAIM BUNEWICKI -BERMAN 1912-3- ?

9 As far as we know, except of 2 grand children, none of the Berman family in kosow had survived. The last information that was received about Haim was that he joined the partisans. After the end of WWII no sign was received from him, i.e. there is no information whether he is alive or dead.

10 MOSH BUNEWICKI -BONE 1918- Moshe was the youngest child, being less than 1 year old when the murder happened. He was sent to his uncles, Hana Sara (Berman) and Wulf Rabinowich who lived In Derechin. Moshe joined his brother Wulf and cousin David Rabinowich in Israel in 1935. He joined the British army in North Africa, taking part in the mission to stop the progress of the German troops in Africa.

11 After the end of WWII Moshe came back To Israel, married Nechama and Settled in Tel Aviv. The couple had one child, Irit, and many grandchildren, all living In Israel.

12 The orphans built new families in their new home in ISRAEL


14 Monuments immortalized the Jewish’s communities were Bunewicki & Berman’s families had leaved

15 JEWISH COMMUNITY IN POLONKA Jews first settled down in Polonka in the 16 th century, probably after the reservation from the princes of Radziwill family. According to history records, in 1765 there were about 124 Jews, and in 1900 their number reached 549, out of 645 of the population (85%). Most of the Jews were traders and artisans, and were especially reputed as furniture carpenters. The Jewish community had its own cemetery, a place of Tora study, a local rabbi and social organizations known as “Linat Tzedek”. Two Jews owned gristmills on the river bank. In 26.6.41 the Germans invaded Polonka, fulfilling their goal to kill all the Jews, known also as the “end solution”. The German troops gathered the Jews in a Ghetto, forced them to wear a “yellow badge”, took their properties and forbade them to leave. In 18.4.1942 the Germans and local police gathered and killed 300 old people and children. Two months later the troops started to dig a huge pit, few hundred meters from town. in 12.8.42 they gathered all the Jews, took them to the dig and shoot them. Among the assassinated were also 7 children who were given to the monastery. In summer 1944 the Russian army released the town from the Nazi occupation. Only 4 Jews survived.

16 A Jewish family in Polonka Writing this history of my family was a difficult and challenge mission, since not only the “pogrom”- murder event had taken the lives of my great grand parents, but it also had cut the circle of life for all their young children as well. Unfortunately, the years passed by and we never documented their stories. Although it was a command that time, none of the children – our grand parents, ever wanted to put their sorrow on our shoulders. These orphans, our ancestors, chosen to carry on with their lives, raising new families and building new homes in Israel. I dedicate this memory to them. MEIRAV SAGI (BUNEWICKI) Wulf’s grandchild ISRAEL

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