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Kirshenbaums trip to Kupel, 2005

 In 2005, Joe Kirshenbaum from Nebraska, born in the Kupel in 1921 and brought by his parents to the United States in 1923, when he was just 5 months old, ....

             See English text below.

В 2005 году Джо Киршенбаум из Небраски, рожденный в Купеле в 1922 году и привезенный в Америку родителями в 1923-м, поехал в Купель вместе с женой и двоюродным братом. Он хотел на закате жизни увидеть место, где он был рожден, где были убиты его родственники. Перед поездкой он связался со мной (нашел мой сайт в интернете) и попросил дать ему имеющуюся у меня информацию о Купеле. Я послала ему карту Бейдера и фотографии обелиска. После поездки он прислал мне фотографии современного Купеля и рассказал, что карта оказалась очень точная, все географические ориентиры сохранились, но ни одного еврейского дома больше нет, все уничтожено. На кладбище, заросшем травой и кустами, сохранилось несколько старинных надгробий, но обелиск разрушен и сровнен с землей (Хаим Бейдер рассказал мне в 2003 году, что в семидесятые годы прошлого века он с товарищами-земляками, купельскими евреями собрали деньги и установили в Купеле мемориальный обелиск на еврейском кладбище в память о погибших родственниках, передал мне любительские фотографии обелиска).

              

            ... Как будто и не было еврейского Купеля с его тысячным населением, не гуляла молодежь вдоль шоссе на закате, не спешили ученики в школу, не причитал кантор в синагоге, не шумел воскресный базар, не собиралось правление еврейского колхоза.

 

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                   In 2005, Joe Kirshenbaum from Nebraska http://www.database.to/association_upload/1969/htmlarea/Oct%202012%20NH.pdf, born in the Kupel in 1922 and brought by his parents to the United States in 1923, when he was just 5 months old, went to Kupel  with his wife and cousin. He wanted to see at the end of his life the place where he was born, where his relatives were murdered. Before the trip, he contacted myself (found my website on the Internet), and asked for any information about Kupel. I sent him Kupel map and photos of the memorial obelisk at Jewish cemetery (made in 1970th). After the trip, he sent me a pictures of modern Kupel and said that the map was very accurate, all geographical landmarks are preserved, but all Jewish homes are gone, all destroyed. At the cemetery, overgrown with grass and bushes, there were survived several old tombstones, but the obelisk has been destroyed and razed to the ground. (Chaim Beider told me in 2003 that in the seventies of the last century he and fellow countrymen, Kupel’s Jews raised money and set in Kupel the memorial Obelisk at the Jewish cemetery in memory of the dead relatives gave me amateur photos of the obelisk).
... As if it was no Jewish Kupel at all with its more than thousand populations, not the youth was walking along the highway at sunset, no students were to go in a hurry to shuls, no cantor sang in the synagogue, not noisy Sunday Bazaar, no Jewish collective farm…

 

            There is an article published by Carol Katzman in “Jewish Press”,  Omaha on 10/14/2005 about Kirshenbaum’s trip, “Kupel, Ukraine, 2005: What once was a scene from Fiddler on the Roof”, see attached photos.

 

            Some excerpts from the article:

 

              “Overturned headstones, heavy underbrush and moss-covered gravesites are all that left of what was once a large shtetl. Of the six synagogues, all are gone; even the former marketplace, where jewish peddlers sold their wares, there is no more than a pile of the foundation stones. 

 

              There is not a single Jew left in Kupel today, but in 1921 there were nearly 1000…

 

              Big Joe (Joe Kirshenbaum) was actually born in Kupel in 1921, the year he left with his parents, Meyer and Dora, and older sister Rose (Becker). They went to Volochisk to Warsaw, in four months to Antwerp to board a ship to America…

 

              In addition, he has another manuscript, entitled “The family of Rav Itzhak Meir Glaser”, by Nina Bolshakova. In it, she writes of her family history in Kupel, relatives, friends, the war years and the Holocaust…

 

              One of the stories was familiar, Joe said, “I remember my mother telling us this one. It seems that Zalman Glaser was born during the Russian Civil War on July 15, 1919. One day the town as occupied by the Red Army, the next day, it would be White Army in control. And even the Ukrainian gangs got into the act. Zalman’s brit was only possible because some Polish soldiers helped them to get a doctor. That’s the way life was then.”

 

              Rav Glaser was tortured by Nazis, but escaped. Recaptured, he was killed along with 50 other Jews; they’re buried in a single grave somewhere near Kupel.

 

              …When in Kupel, Kirshenbaums , with the help of a neighbor , found the path to the jewish cemetery. “The Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua Raskin was able to translate some of the headstones,” Little Joe added, “but we weren’t able to find any Kirshenbaum graves.”