Haya Elboim - Dorembus : Regards...

From the book in Yiddish: "Oyf der aryszer zeit" , written by the author and published in Tel Aviv 1957.

This paragraph was published in the Yizkor book of Plock, "Plock, a History of an ancient Jewish Community in Poland, editor Eliyahu Eisenberg, Tel Aviv , 1967, pages 565-566, and translated from Hebrew by Mrs. Bianca Shlesinger March 1999

...

...Here is Plock. My Plock. Its barely one year since I left and the town is not the same anymore. Rows of deserted houses on which red flags fluttered bearing large swastikas. Streets empty of people. Everything is full of the life that isn't anymore. At every corner - shadows of the past. The awakened shadows are kind of accompanying me, whispering with sad voices remembrances from the past. The eyes take in, with love and sadness, all that once was so near, so familiar. All the windows are hidden by curtains, most of the shops are closed. Silence everywhere, as in a cemetery. Here is Somkat street and there, by the corner, what was once my house. The shop, the window.

The gate. Should I go in? Go on, go on. My steps resound with a faint and frightful sound. There, the coffee house of Gozakwitz. The door is closed, bolted. Does Rozke sill leave in her previous room? I wish she would be home. Three more houses, and two more.

Suddenly steps. What do I hear, the Hatikva song here? I stand as petrified by the gate and am unable to move. A large group of Jews, with working tools on their shoulders, is nearing. They march in lines of four. A black square under the guard of two Germans.

"Sing, Sing! Loudly! - Shouts one of them, rising the bat of his rifle.

The loud song of Hatikva fills the empty street and rises above the roofs of the houses. The first Jew in the row is drenched in blood. Did they beat him in the eyes? His face is familiar to me, who is he? Yes, yes, it is Weinberg. His shirt and jacket are drenched in blood. He cannot see me. With his lonely eye he looks head, far away, his mouth open, full of blood, mumbling the words of "Hatikva". The German is not aware what kind of song this is.....

"Louder, louder !"

* * * *

Kolgialna 11. Breathless I go up the steps and reach the door of Rozke's flat. I stop for a moment and then, gathering strength, I knock. I hear Rozke's voice. A boundless weariness overcomes me. The room spins around, together with me. Rozke holds me in her arms and cries, cries bitterly.

That same evening I went to see Weinberg, in his flat on Seroka Street. In the small room, in the corner by the sink, flickered the feeble light of a candle. His wife went about the room , silently, like a silent shadow. Weinberg lay on the bed, fully clothed. A wet cloth covered his mouth. Suddenly he jumped up and the cloth fell off, discovering a mashed face.

"You are here in Plock? How did you dare to put yourself in danger and come into this hell?"

Broken words were exchanged, words of suffering and answers. I tell him the reason for my coming. Two burning hands press into mines:

- "How I wish you to succeed to reach your home in safety. All my life I have dreamed of the Land of Israel, of a plot of land; of green pastures, of cows and sheep. I wanted to be a shepherd, a Jewish farmer in a Jewish village and eat form my own bread"....

He was completely detached from the reality of his present life and hovered about on the wings of his vision. He looked at me with his one good eye as from the depth of an abyss and whispered to me his dreams. The yellow light of the candle added to the horror of his wounded eye. The eyelashes trembled and twisted. Suddenly, In the heavy silence, a bitter crying erupted. His head fell on the pillow. His wife came forward and put a fresh wet cloth on the would. Under the cloth red tears were flowing.

- "Mr. Weinberg - I muttered - maybe you have a parents or a friend in Israel to whom you wish to send regards? If I will reach it , maybe I will reach it"......

Weinberg sat up brusquely.

- A friend? A parent? All the Jews are my friends and parents; regards? I send them as regards our today's "Hatikva", that is our "hope". Take with you the song to your new life. The day will come and the promise will be realized : "And there they will dwell until they will be commanded, God's words. And I will rise you and return you to this place". -

He fell silent. The tremulous, quivering light wandered around the room as if seeking refuge.

Outside reigned the night, silver-green, and a sense of doom prevailed in the empty streets and in the silent houses, on which hovered the red flags with the big swastikas . A pale, sickly moon crawled toward the sky, with a wounded eye and a mouth twisted by pain.


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