KONOTOP Jews Past and Present


A special little walking excursion to the notable places of the town was organized for me. I saw a green park, streets that were asphalted and not asphalted as well, modern and decrepit houses. Even signs on the walls, posters, and street banners, were talking with me. On one of the streets, where on both sides were standing one-story houses, stooped from age, wrinkles on the walls, strange things began to happen. Something hit me on the head. At the beginning, I thought something was falling from the mulberry trees growing on both sides of the road. But the hits became more frequent and it happened that it was hail accompanying the drizzle. We couldn't run anywhere and that's why we stood under the tree, which sheltered us from the hail, but not from rain. That rain added the sweet taste of mulberry to the taste of rainwater.

Soon the rain was over and the sky became clear. Everywhere was flooded with the streams of the sunshine. We were standing wet as if we took a bath in the river and the moisture on our faces was sweet. I was taken to the building, which in a month was going to be a new community center. You ought to have a good imagination for seeing ulpan classes full of life where there was now only noise and dust of the construction. When I came for the second time, some weeks later, the house was almost ready. One of the classrooms was ready to greet pupils. Other rooms were light and clean. And you didn't need any imagination to see that place full of people, young and old, who came there to study and have a rest, to get a consultation, and to be entertained, people arguing and listening. You know my heart is with them. I saw them all, although they hadn't come yet, because the building, which was being repaired for them, would be officially opened in only two weeks when I would be so far from that place.

And my heart was turned towards the people, who came to open the new classroom of ulpan. I was treated in their houses and they accompanied me to the places of the former pain and sorrow of the Jews of their town.I saw two monuments to people killed by Nazis. Both of them were located on the territory of the military unit. We were followed by a Ukrainian officer. I saw stones that were crying. On the one of them I read the name in Hebrew of a Jewish woman, who died a long time ago.


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