Category Archives: Soviet Union

A Comment on Hirsh Bloshtein

After reading my post about Hirsh Bloshtein, and the memoir “A Return to My Birthplace, Keidan,” posted here, Aryeh Shcherbakov submitted the following commentary, which I have edited. Shcherbakov, of Tel Aviv, was born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania. The … Continue reading

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Yudel Ronder

I first heard of him in 1994, from a Philadelphia photojournalist who was documenting Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuania. At the time all I knew about Keidan came from my grandfather’s articles, which predated World War II. I … Continue reading

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Yudel Ronder’s Story

Yehuda “Yudel” Ronder (1923-2016) was among the small number of Keidaner Jews who remained in Lithuania after the Holocaust. His story is both singular – a heroic tale of survival and persistence – and representative of the lives and experiences … Continue reading

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The Problematic Hirsh Bloshtein

Among the pages I’ve added to the Keidan archives this week is this 1958 article from the Yiddish newspaper Morgen Freiheit by the Keidan-born poet and novelist Hirsh Bloshtein. Morgen Freiheit was a publication “affilitated with the Communist Party USA” … Continue reading

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Hirshel Bloshtein, Yiddish Poet

By Monty Starr (Birmingham, UK) Hirshel Bloshtein 1895-1978 My mother’s uncle was the well-published Yiddish author Hirshel Bloshtein. Hirshel lived in Czernowitz from 1932 until his death in 1978. Hirshel was born in Kedainiai, Lithuania to Dovid Bloshtein, a poor … Continue reading

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A Return to My Birthplace, Keidan

This article, by the Soviet writer Hirsh Bloshtein (1895-1979), was published Oct 22, 1958, in Morgen Freiheit, a New York City-based Yiddish newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party USA. By H. Bloshtein A journey back to childhood and early youth … Continue reading

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Exodus, Interrupted

The story of Keidan’s Sroelov and Smilg families By Tamar Dothan (Jerusalem) My grandparents, Chaya Smilg and Chaim Ber Sroelov, were married before World War I. Chaim Ber was operating the family’s wholesale beer business, as his father had passed … Continue reading

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My Brother

By Hirsh Bloshtein First published in the anthology “Horizons” in Moscow in 1965. (“Composed after the author’s visit to the mass grave in Keidan.”) Reprinted in the 1977 Keidan Yizkor Book.  “In memory of my brother, Mane-Yosl, the wonderful storyteller.“  … Continue reading

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My Youth in Keidan

By Hirsh Bloshtein From the 1977 Keidan Yizkor Book.  My youth in Keidan, come back to me, I just want to hear your voice once more It’s not yet time to say the final “stop” and cut the string for … Continue reading

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A Flag Comes Home After 16 Years

Originally published in “Israel Horizons” magazine, Dec. 1956. Miracles can happen even to a flag. Recently, the flag of Gdud Maapilim, of Ken Keidani of Hashomer Hatzair, was brought to Israel, the only flag of the Lithuanian youth movement to … Continue reading

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