Zareby Koscliene

By Miriam Lash


Where are you, friends of my childhood and youth? Where were you during the terrible days of murder and annihilation?  Did you make your home in some cave in the forest or were the dark nights your protectors which led you to the holy war to help demolish the enemy?
And you, my dear ones, who remained in your homes, were robbed of all your belongings by the peasants.  The Germans told you you were moving to Tzshitchev to live in a ghetto, but led you to Sember where they tortured you and shot you and even buried some of you alive in the prepared pits.

What has happened to the sound of your voices, the shine of your eyes?  What has happened to the wisdom and the spirit with which you were so richly endowed?  Pieces of the past come back to me.  For short moments, I forget the terrible reality.  I see us strolling, laughing, our hearts shining, our faces flushed, our hands pressed together in true friendship and loyalty. ... Where are you?

Your last cries for help sound in my ears.  Your last calls told of unfinished dreams and unfulfilled desires, of longing and love and lofty ideals and of a thirst for revenge on those who took your young lives, cut your lives short.

I will never see you again but, like a lost ship, my longing keeps wandering around, looking for you in all that I see.  I hear your voices as others speak to me; I see your hand in every fine work I see.  Every child is a bright
promise of tomorrow.  To work with even great determination is a way of memorializing you.  Each achievement of ours is your accomplishment.  In my voice I hear your voices which call for life.