Zareby Koscliene

by Yakov Bergman

It was a few days before Lag b'omer, that joyous spring festival, in 1927.  The young men and women who had Zionist leanings were preparing for the celebration.  Yakov-David Fredman was teaching us to march in military fashion. There were four groups involved: the Hashomer Hatzayir, the league for working, Eretz Israel, the Yiddish school and the Freedom Youth group -- all ready and looking forward to the happy event.  But permission for the parade had not arrived.

Oyzshe Roskolenker was sent to the county official as the representative and he returned with their refusal.
Then Shmuel-Leyb Roskolenker ran to the "Kehillah" and took 2 of two "Kehilla" members, Yitzkhak Bergman and Shayke Grenshpan, and in a "Droshkell (horse-drawn cab) they went back to the county official.  Thanks to Shmuel-Leyb Roskolenker's stubbornness, the "Kehillah" got permission for the school to have the parade and that the other groups could participate.

All the young people lined up in military formation under Yakov-David Predman's leadership.  Then the school children joined and together and the rows got longer.  The school children were led by their teachers: I. Staynberg, B. Rekant and Etka Haber.  The Polish flag and the white and blue flag were carried aloft in front of the marchers. Everyone sang together as the impressive line of marchers went through the streets toward the Itchenik forest.  The entire shtetl was in the streets.  I heard Jews call out, "This is blasphemy! Where do you think you are, in Eretz-lsrael?"

A large Zionist National Fund "pushke" (charity box) was carried on 4 poles and stood out more than any of the other placards.  Our police chief, Gurski, walked along with us, gritting his teeth from anger because the Jewish flag was being carried through the streets of this Polish shtet1.

All of the young people of Zaromb came to the celebration in the forest -- the communists, the left-wingers, the Labor Zionists, and all other groups were there.

The Lag b'Omer celebration lasted until evening.  With song, the long train-like lines marched back into Zaromb to the local office of the Hashomer Hatzayir, where the marchers were dismissed.