Zareby Koscliene

By Eliohu Ben-Zion Dorfman (Alex Dorfman)

When we began preparing this journal, we formed a special committee whose task was to gather contributions in the Bronx.  The committee was made up of the Silverman brothers, and Revke and Isidore Steg.  Since Pevke could not be present that Sunday, I took his place. At 8:45 we met at Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse.  After we sat a while over cups of coffee, we sat out to visit the "Landsleit".

We knocked at the door of the first Zaromber and told the small boy who opened the door who we were.  "Come in," he said, "I will wake up my father."

Half asleep, the landsman came toward us, but when he saw who we were, he smiled and gave us each a hearty "Sholein-Aleichem” (hand shake of greeting).  When we began to explain the purpose of our visit, he did not even let us finish, but handed us $10 and thanked us for coming to him.

Another Zaromber lived only a few houses away.  He and his wife were so happy to see us and asked us to sit.  The woman said, "It is so early, you probably haven't had anything to eat yet.  I will make you some breakfast. " We assured her that we were not hungry and that we could not stay long.  We understand.  We understand," they said and gave us $10 and a blessing.

When we came into the third house, we found another landsman who liked to sleep late on Sundays.  When he came out of the bedroom and saw us, he was overjoyed and immediately began asking us about our families.  After talking for only a short time, we told him why we had come.  He handed us $10 and apologized, "Too bad I am working only a few days a week.  I would have liked to make a bigger contribution."

The fourth landsman met us on the steps of his house.  We all knew him well because he often attended our meetings. He told us, "Take off your coats and make yourselves comfortable.  You do not need to talk to me at length about this matter you come about.  He brought in a bottle of brandy and something to eat from another room.  We talked
about the parcels of clothing we had sent to the survivors from Zaromb.  He gave us $10 and said he was sorry he could not give more and that we had to rush away.

When we got into the car, Steg said, "Now we're going to one of my relatives.  He found the woman, her husband and a sister who was visiting from out-of-town.  The man put all sorts of liquor on the table, his wife brought a plate of honeycake, and the sister put up coffee.  In a few moments, the table was set with all sorts of good things.  When we sat down at the table, the woman, who was a Zaromber gave us $30 for the journal and her sister gave $15.  To celebrate this large contribution, we each had another small glass of brandy.  After such a reception, we could not leave abruptly, so we stayed a while and talked about the work of the relief committee.

Once back on the street, Steg said, “The next relative is also to a relative of mine.”  This landsman was a Jew with a fine white beard who was well known and well respected while still in Zaromb.  He greeted us and asked us to sit.  He spoke of what had happened to our shtetele, to our relatives.  He was enthusiastic about the work of our relief committee, about our accomplishments, gave us $20 and blessed us for our good work.

Silverman announced that we had one more address to visit that day - a candy store.  When we came into this Zaromber's store, he did not know who we were because he had left Zaromb a long time before.  However, he did remember our parents.  He could not talk long because he was busy customers, but quickly gave us $10.  Our day's work was finished.

When we got home, we were besides ourselves from the receptions we received from our landsleit.  Our joyous feelings were, however, mixed with tears of great sorrow for the 1,600 Jews of Zaromb who had perished and for the Jews of all the other Jewish Kehillas who were killed.  The best way that we can honor our martyrs is to continue our work on behalf of those who somehow survived.