The following article was published in the Forverts (Yiddish language newspaper) on May 8, 2009
The first “memorial books,” although the expression had not yet existed, were published in the 1920s and 1930s in memory of the communities that were destroyed during the pogroms that the “White” forces carried out against the Jews in the years following the Bolshevist revolution of 1917-1920.1 The second memorial book in history was Dos Felshtin Zamlbukh, The Felshtin Anthology, which was published in New York in 1937 in memory of the Ukrainian town of Felshtin where six hundred Jews fell victim (murdered) to a pogrom in February, 1919. Thanks to the “Anthology,” there still exists a Felshtin Society that gathered Sunday, May 3, 2009, to observe the memory of the martyrs killed in the pogrom, ninety years after the tragic event.
The leader of the Society, Sid Shayevitch (Shaievitz) has already worked ten years to translate the (670 Yiddish page) “Felshtin Anthology” into English, which he now believes to be completed (except for editing). At the gathering at Mendy’s Restaurant, Shayevitch became the first recipient of the “Sid Shayevitch Award,” which his two daughters solemnly presented to him. Professor David Roskies (of the Jewish Theological Seminary) was present and gave a speech about the place of the shtetl (Jewish town) in Yiddish literature, in Jewish memory and the few Jewish remnants which are today found in the Ukraine.
Among the participants was a woman who is perhaps the last Jewish woman to be born in Felshtin (Polina Lerner).
Units of the Ukrainian national army carried out the pogrom in Felshtin and most of the pogroms in the Ukraine. ↩