Word of Introduction
When publishing the following "Book of Life" for Jews liberated from the concentration and death camps, or as these persons are called in English, DPs, I set myself the goal of making a modest contribution to future historical research and assisting the historian in his labor.1 I strove to establish the likeness, character, and mindset of the remainder of East European Jewry: the individuals who have been given the particular name "surviving remnant" after the horrible destruction of the years of the Second World War, 1939-1945.
In undertaking the work of recording and registering every fact and event from life in our camp—both the material-economic and the spiritual, and perhaps mainly the spiritual—I aimed to provide an accurate reflection of temporary life here in Zeilsheim to the best of my ability and power. With the help of photographs and pictures I sought to bring to full expression the spiritual and psychological moods and considerations of the Jews of Kibbutz Zeilsheim. I sought to document their honorable participation in the Jewish people's difficult struggle for complete liberation and normalization in a free home of their own, the Land of Israel!
Yet at the same time, being as objective as possible, I do not want to omit the dark sides of the Zeilsheim Jewish settlement. These shadows have manifested themselves as a result of the debilitating effect, spiritual and moral, of the unfortunate concentration camp years. They have been caused to a no lesser extent by the demoralizing life of "relief aid" under the UNRRA.2
I am making this book accessible to any individual who has an eye for seeing and observing things and phenomena. He may also include his impressions and observations in this book.
My Zionist activist comrades and I (the undersigned) created the first forms of political-Zionist and social organization in Zeilsheim, assuming leadership over the Cultural Office that had just been created. Now I move forward to this new useful and important project with full responsibility and the best of intentions to accomplish my task honestly and in its entirety.
The Director of the Cultural Office in Camp Zeilsheim:
December 1, 1945
A newspaper is created in Zeilsheim.
"…There will be a newspaper in Zeilsheim," he said, and stubbornly took a seat in the small room that he designated as "Editorial Offices." And he began to create a newspaper. It began as a wall newspaper and then was printed on a hectograph;3 [he] pled and chased after just one more article, begged for paper. Infected several other comrades with the newspaper fever, like Chenstokhovski, Reichgot, Gershonovich, etc. And they made it their goal to put out a journal. And it was born first via a typewriter, then through a real Yiddish printing press, a pleasure to look at and read. And it was given a name, "Our Courage" [Undzer Mut]: yes, it is precisely courage that we lack, we lacked courage for many things, and so we named it "Our Courage." A few editions of "Our Courage" are included here. In a short time, "Our Courage" became "On the Way" [Untervegs] and from a journal we shifted to a newspaper. That is how it happened.
…And the editor, Sauko, achieved his goal. May his efforts be blessed!
Publisher: Zionist organization in Zeilsheim
[English] Frankfurt-Zeilsheim December 25, 1945
[Yiddish] Frankfurt-Zeilsheim, Tevet 5746 No. […]
Table of contents
1. Our memorial—Sauko
2. Our minimum demand—Eib.
3. Eyes (poetry)—Reichgot
4. A Sabbath celebration in captivity, with Jews from the Holy Land—Aryeh […]
5. Let us learn from the past with a step forward—Shlamovich S.
6. Silence is golden; to demand is honorable—Asirovski A.
7. Report—Shlomek's brother
8. Impressions and reflections—Sauko.
9. Celebration of Hanukkah—Moshe G.
10. Reports and announcements—editorial board.
Editorial board: Sauko, Gershonovich, Reichgot, Shlamovich, Eibushiz