Letters From The Pinsker Orphans Left Behind


From David Solly Sandler:

I have about 100 letters in Hebrew and English written to Alter Bobrow, the person who together with his friends rescued and looked after these orphans from the rubble of Pinsk during WW1.  He was their teacher and no doubt a father figure to them.


Liebe Klug has exercise books, given to her father, from the three Pinsk Orphanages from which Ochberg Orphans were selected. These are exercise books with messages from the children and colleagues left behind, in Pinsk. 

These booklets are very special as many of the children would have perished in the Holocaust just 20 years later. Here are a selection of the letters. The balance of the letters are in the chapters following.



Be strong and of good courage! May they live!

Our brothers and our sisters who travel to Africa

Hoorah hoorah hoorah 

In everlasting memory from the Hashomer Hastair Scouts Pinsk – Orphanage Two

Letter 101 from Rosenberg


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Letters 67 – 68

Honourable teacher and best head master, when you were here with us we knew we had someone to care for us. But now when the time has come and you are saying goodbye to all our children you can imagine, dear headmaster, how horrible we feel in our heart.  We feel even worse than before we first came to the orphanage.

We know well who established the orphanage. First G-d, then you together with Mr Holtsman. It is well known that no one was interested in the fate of the miserable suffering orphans. But G-d had pity on the poor lonely souls and sent two angels from heaven to help the unhappy orphans. It was a terrible time; no person wanted to go out into the street, the frost burnt like fire, the winds were howling and no one had pity on our orphans. Only two men had pity on us. They brought us back to life.

The streets were dangerous, bullets were flying overhead and few people came to the orphanage, but the teachers Mr Abrov and Mr Holtsman were fearless, they ran around in an effort to bring something to put in the mouths of the unhappy orphans in order to save them from hunger and keep their poor souls alive.

We are deeply grateful for everything you have done for us. We wish you a good trip and everything you wish for yourself.

Before we were taken into the orphanage we were swimming in deep water with no shore in sight. No one had pity on us, only two men, Mr Abrov and Mr Holtsman and saved us from death.

And now the day has come when we have to say goodbye, you can quite well imagine how terrible we feel. If we had a problem we came for advice to our best friend, but now that you depart we feel so terribly sad and so bitter.

We trust that when you arrive safely at your destination, you will plead for us. We wish you a good trip and arrive safely, in good health.

Remember us

from me Ceril Supoznik

To our most faithful headmaster

Alter Abrov     5 July 1921


Index of Children’s Names


                             CHILDREN AND STAFF FROM  PINSK ORPHANAGE ONE 


 Children and staff from Pinsk Orphanage One. Photo taken in 1921 or prior   

Alter Bobrow is fifth from the left and Ze-ev Lev ((secretary) is on the right end of the first row of seated adults   

 On the back of this photo shown below  is a list of the children  in the photos – see names below


PINSK ORPHANAGE ONE – NAMES WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF PHOTO                                                                       Page 63

Lev Debranshka, Trina Dan, Dvorah Dolinki, Leah Dorfman, Rafel Dorfman, Moshe Dubovsky, Miriam Epstein 119, Fellta Feldman, Chava Fridel, Mental Frozinski, Shindel Golshmit, Yitshak Gunzer, Chaya Gute, Fridel Kagan, Dina Kaplan  84, Kantsfleski, Ruzi Kimstein, Miryam Knovits, Dvorah Lev, Peshe Lev 62, Mordechai Levin, Rania Levin, Shmuel Lichtan, Chana Lichtinson, Chana Lichton, Chana Rivka Litvin 58, Malka Litvin 81, Mindel Merzel, Bashe Rachel, Rashke Rubin, Bashra Rubinshtein, Leah Rufershtein, Rachel Safanznik, Toybel Safolznik, Gushagot Shabat, Natee Shulman 75, Bracha Trushkin, Sarah Trushkin, Rosa Tshiz, Feigal Tzrel 69, Yochbad, Elman Yosef and Ginl Zavodinkov.    The numbers refer to letters written – see scection 2

PINSK ORPHANAGE TWO – NAMES WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF PHOTO                                                       Pages 64 and 65

Sheindol Aranov, Moshe Avizonshtein, Nachum Avizonshtein, Hillel Bakaltovich, Chaim Bammel, Feigel Bammel, Asher Bantshik, Nramia Basalitz, Fesh Bashevits, Benzalel Beliak, Label Belozavski, Rivka Bokliar, Necham Borman, Baruch Bregman, Hershil Bregman, Kalman Bergman, Shachar Bregman, Yakov Chomsky 7 & 105, Sarah Cosmonisim, Feivish Dalinka, Chana Dingman, Masha Dllaron, Vair (Leah?) Dorfman 61, Motil Eizenberg, Galda Epshtein, Gdala Epshtein, Chashar Fagelevits, Moshe Faladavonik, Yosef  Feldman, Rubin Fikman, Yehudit Fikman, Harshel Friedman, Izik Friedman, Itshak Abraham Fritman, Yehuda Gelfond, Shmuel Chaim Gorbooz, Avigdor Gotlieb, Esther Grets, Moshe Grets, Rachel Grooshka, Fina Haltsman, Yacob Helshtein, Leah Izluk, Eliezer Kagan, Henia Kagan, Itshak Kantor, Shmuel Katsenelson, Elke Katsenelson, Aharon Mosel Klempert, Abraham Knoosolnits, Bashke Knoosolnits, Zlota Knorvats, Nechama Kole, Gishel Koodnats, Leibel Kushner, Leibel Lamish, Chira Levin, Yacov Leviton 110, Fridol Liberman, Tsat Liberman, Yosel Liberman, Golda Libshovsky, Luby Lidvinsky, Hene Lubashavsky, Genia Luria, Gershon Luria, Moshe Lydrok, Mirle Mailin, Chaya Menasha, Asher Mashal 112, Elke Melamed, Tova Migdalovits, Chaim Sheme Pinsker, Otke Pinsker, Dov Portnoy, Nechama Portnoy, Regina Rabinomit, Michael Relznesi, Chaya Rimski, Aharon Ruchalnki, David Rubin, Malkia Rubin, Yente Rubin, Henia Shifon, Dov Silberman, Daniel Tarantsa, Rivka Teitelbaum, Yacob Telman, Chana Toranda, Chaim Torkin, Arye Tsifarshtein, Chava Tsnovats, Arye Tsoofershtein, Itshak Tsoofershtein, Miriam Tsoofershtein, Seindil Tsoofershtein, Toybel Tsoofershtein, Mendel Tsutski, Leah Vaks, Mile Vegman, Zisl Vinik  10, Yehudit Werman 115, Chaya Yerlansky, Fruma Yerlinkski, Malka Zilberman, Arye Zuberman and Sara Zuberman.

COLLEAGUES Shepshge Bragton, Breshge Gefy, Nechama Helper, Aharon Kaperplinski, Rachel Koosk, Toybe Kosol, Libentor, Sarah Raskot, Tina Rubin, Tina Zil and P. Kantor – Headmaster 106.  The numbers refer to letters written – see Section 3


R Appelman 139, Tzaba Asselman 5, Peshe Bassevitz 88 & 107, Berle Butenski 77, Feigle Calb 8, Tzeitle Cletzev 76, Lana Cohen 28, Rachel Cohen 24, Shara Cohen 34, Gittel   Davidovsky 55, Lezate Davidovsky 53, Shashke Davidovsky 52, Liba Denenberg 35, Shifra Eiberman 32, Tzachzekit Eidel 12, Esther Eisenberg 37, Rachel Eizenberg 42, Zeev Ben Meir Eizenberg 2, Itzhak Federman 4, Yehudit Fedeman 43, Chaya Feldman 20, D Ferman 135, Malka Fiska 14, Masil Gorshtein 16, Gishe Gutshabes 57, Miriam Kalton 33, Yache Kantzepleskis 83, Tvi Katzelson 41, Chaya Freidle Klempert 72, Bantze Klepatz 78, Shoshana Kuraz 27, Zeev Kushner 19, Chaya Lemoosh 29, Devushka Lev 121, Rony Levine 117, Shalom Levine 118, Chaim Lieberman 6, Tzarne Lieberman 87, Golde Livshovsky 114, Reva Lutzki 38, Nechama Lutzkit 26, Bashe Rachel Lubertan 63, Gitle Mann 86, David Marutetky 18, Rachel Pakatz 23, Bashe Patzekin 80, Chana Peikov 25, Zipora Platnik 15, Gittel Poratz 3, G Poraz 141, Lea Rappaport 40, M Retzvi 109, Chanan Sapasznikov 149, Chazke Segalovitz 113, Ethel Shelkman 22, Chana Sherman 17, Rachel Shertok 31, Hende Shifman 108, Natee Shulman 75, Tvi Shvetz  9, Malka Shvetz 30, Yosef Sopalnik 82, Tzirel Sopatznick 68, Bracha Tiroshek 59, Berle Triguch 79, Yaakov Turkenitz 73, Shena Tzelizika 39, Chaya Tzevin 64, Faigl Tzrel 69, Dasha Yosselman 147, B Zilberman 116 and Chaya Zilberman 111.                   The numbers refer to letters written – see section 2

PINSKER ORPHANS WHO WENT WITH ISAAC OCHBERG TO SOUTH AFRICA IN 1921                                                Chapter 13

Abo, Shlema and Leibl Elstein, Shmuel Garbuz, Jochevet, Braindel and Sjein-Rochel Gesunterman, Abraham and Chana Gorensteyn, Isser German, Chashe, Isaac  and Benjamin Helman, Golde, Mordehe and Shachna Kahan, Freidl and Livia Joffe, Zlata Knuboviz, Chaim, Pasha and Sara Levin,  Herschel Lidvenitzky, Sara Margolin, Chonon, Nachman and Szymon Migdalowicz, Salomon Ochstein, Yser and Szepsel Perechodnik, Dwora, Meish, Zlata, Faywel and Feyga Pinsky, Abram and Chaim Reichman, Aron, Faiwel and Sholem Ruchocki, Zlata and Sima Samurina, Hersh, Isaac and Chaskel Shteiner

CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION IN LETTER DATED 20 August 1923 FROM THE PINSK ORPHANAGE                       Page 189-192

Holelke Buchalshuk, Gitel, Zelata and David Davidsky, Leah Dorfman, Chaim Fotman, Sholem and Marsha [Menam] Fredkoff, Chaya and  Chana Gitelman, Rachel/ Rochel and Friedel Kagan, Pesel Kashitsky, Friedel and Aaron Klampert, Yocheved Kniplech, Moshke Lev, Batya and Shmuel Luchtan, Sholmo and Leibel Mattos, Michal Pickov, Yakov Poritsky, Michal Rickner, Esther and David Sherman/Sheckman, Moshe Waxman, Sholmo and Yakov Ziniuk, Mordechai and Machya Zucker

GROUP TWO (34 CHILDREN) SENT TO LONDON IN APRIL 1926 –                                                                                      Page 194

Sholoma Arenberg, Sarah/Sisie Bregman, Gitel/Gisla Davidsky, Leah Dorfman, Meyer Dorfman, Rosa Dorfman, Feigel Drel, Sime Faksman, Esther Feldman/Ferdman, Shulem Fialkow, Masha/Miriam Freilkoff, Chana Gitelman, Chaya Gitelman, Pro Hescel, Furje Higdalowicz, Chaske Isenberg, Selio Kagan, Fruma Kovalski, Hejsu Lev, Pesse Lev, Chaya Levin, Chasre Gitel Lichstein/ Luhtewstein, Chaya/Sheine Pinsker, Meyer Pinsker, Shmuel Pocrinka, Sarah Pragner, Hillel Rakalowik, David Robrowitz, Israel Robrowitz, Chaya Rubarka, Sarah Rubacka, Chasre Segalowitz, Mulka Wagman, Yizhok Ziperstein/Ciperstein

CLASS FOUR ‘TARBUT’ PUPILS SIGNING BOOK FOR ABBA ELSHTAIN Pinsk 12 November 1924                          Page 213

Nahum Hayim Anzanenschwitz, Yoev Berenboim, Mordechai  Berntshtok, Benjamin Cohen, A.S. Chovetski, Gavriel Danenberg, , Moshe Eisenberg, Yosef – David Eisenberg, Akiva Epshtein, A. Kaberson Filavski, Sara  Fishga, , Mosh Gilere, Moshe Giltski (Gisher, Avraham Glalbstein, Shlomo Gurshtel, Yehuda  Gurdentski, Moshe z, David Kalirlis, Esther Karnyuk, Yael Keshet, Moshe Kleinman – Educator, Yehiel Kleinman, Kopel Koifman, Aharon zenshtein, Yaacov Lezbenik, Shimoni  Lisorwitz, Leah  Limbinskit, M. Doverski , Baruch Negranuv, Shmuel Pinsker, Yishayahu Pizenelman, Yisrael Rabintov, Hana  Segev, Hana Sara Schuchman, Sarah  Shahatshnik, Reuven Lemen, A.Shlefman, Shmuel Shtillerman, Rivka Tishman, Yehiel Tzinivitz, Mordechai Valenski, Batya Virtsel, Zerach  Volviitski, Chaya (Wolf)

NAMES IN CHAYA GITELMAN’S GREEN AUTOGRAPH BOOK                                                                                              Page 220

Sarah Antepolski, Pialkov Asher, Feygl Bambel, Sarah Bayorski, Chaya Bernshteyn, Bracha’ke, Feygl Bregman, Hershl Bregman, Lily Dennerstein, Grushka Dobrushke, Meir Dorfman, Leah Dorfman, Dvora, Bashe Erlakhgerut[?], Fayvl, Yosef Feldleit, Y. Feldman, Sarah Fertshik, Freydl, Avraham-Yitschak Frishman, Chana Gitelman, Dina Gitelman, German, V. Goldin, Esther Gotlieb, Eliahu Holtzman, Pinie Holtsman, Ilse, Brayndl Kaminiar, Avraham Kanoboviets, Perl Kanonitsh, Dinie Kaplan, Reuven Kolodny, Moshe Lev, Zeev Lev, Meir Levin, Liberman, Chana Luchtan, Fayvl [Feygl?] Maerman, Michlie, Khonie Migdalovitsh, Tuvia Migdalovitsh, Perl Otski, Shmuel Pilkov [Filkov?], Reyzl Rabin, Moshe Leyb Rizik, Rashke [Roshke?], Tsvi Schwartz, Y. Shaykeib, Simcha, Asher Slutski, Dvora Tiukel, P. [F?] Tsaytlin, P. [F.?] Tseitlin, Alte Tshertok, Miriam Tsipershtein, Sheyndl Tsipershtein, Michlie Tsinovetsh, Perl Tsukerman, Yashpe [Yoshpe?] Zisl,

NAMES IN CHANA GITELMAN’S BROWN AUTOGRAPH BOOK                                                                            Page 220 and 221

Rivka Aronovitsh, Yehudit Aronovitch, Babl a teacher, Feygl Bambel  x2, Sarah Boyarske, Feygl Bregman x2,  Hershl Bregman x2, Yissachar Bregman, Dvoshke Damashitski [Domashitski?], Feivel Dalinka, Gitl Davidovski, Zlate Davidovski, Malka Denenberg,  M. Dorfman, Rasl Dorfman, Dora[?]  teacher, Feygl Drel, Dvora, Eisenshtat, Bashe Erlachgerecht , Seltser Eydl, Fayvl, Y. Feldman, Mashe Fialkov [Pialkov?], Chaya Gitelman cousin, Chaya Gitelman sister x2, Hershel Gitelman brother x3, Yosef Gotlieb, Leybl Gutshabes, Henia Helfand – grandmother, Izgada , Perl Kananitsh [Konanitsh?] x2, Perl Kananits [Konanits?], Avraham Kanobovitsh, Bashe Kanobovietz (Kanobovitsh?) x2,  Sh. L. Kastenski[?], Chanshe Kovalski, Peshe Lev , Zeev Lev, Chashe Levin, Chana Lichtan, Gitel Lichtenstein, Dvoshke Lieberman, Freydl Lieberman, Lutske Mayte, Tuvia Migdalovitsh, Hirsh Neyditsh, Malke Oksman, Perl Otski [Atski?], Tsinie Papeles [Popeles?] , Shmuel Pilkov [Filkov?] , Loyke Pinsk, David Rabin, Reyzl Rabin, R. Rabinivitsh, Sarah Ribakha [Ribokha?], Rivka- a teacher, Roshke Rizshik, Sarah L. [or Saraleh]  teacher, Chashe Segalievitsh, Esther Sherman, Dvora Tiukel, P. [F.?] Tseytlin, Alte Tshertok, Tsinie, Miriam Tsipershteyn, Sheyndl Tsipershteyn, Mirale[?] Vagman, Zisl Vilk, Zelde teacher

Index of Other Names

THE 35 MASSACRED IN PINSK – 5th APRIL 1919                                                                                                                     Chapter 3

Avram Sacher Borniforski, Trol Bregmann, Levy Elstein, Fischel Feldmann, Nochem Fidelmann, Josel Fischmann, Chaim Fridmann, Moshe-Leib Fridmann, Oscher –Wolf Friedmann, Pinches Gitelmann, Aron Gleibermann, Moses Gleibermann, Hirsch Gotlieb, Schoya Gotlieb, Josel Heckelmann, Loser-Chaim Hozmann, Moses Judervitsch, Schlioma Kleinmann, Daniel Kotorg, Moses Kotorg, Pinches Krasillsching, Gershen Kusnecz, Girsh Liebmann, Mnachem Liebermann, Moses Mednik, Dawid Moschkivski, Moses Nortonisohm, Siskin Palutzni, Simche Porizski, Fodor Riklin, Berl Rolnik, Felix Schifmannowitsch, Simche Schulmann, Moses Silbermann and Izchak Steinberg

PINSKER ORPHANS RELIEVE FUND LONDON COMMITTEE MEMBERS 1926                                                                Page 187

Mr Blumenfarb, Mr A Calphen, Mr and Mrs Cantin, Mr Caplin, Mr S Columboutch, Mr and Mrs Daniels, Mr Davidoff, Mr Dentser, Mr M Drusen, Hon President – Dr Feldman, Mr I Feldman, Mr H Frankel, Mr Franks, Mr Gold, Mr M Goodman, Hon Vice-President – Dr G Halperin, Mr D Handman, Chairman A Isenberg, Mr A Kinn, Mr Kisberg, Mr R Klein, Mr Lewis, Mr Saul Lourie, Mr and Mrs Melenik, Collector Mr Morgenstern, Mr and Mrs Nyclots, Mr A Polatnick, Mr I Pomeranth, Mr and Mrs Pushkin, Mr Segal, Mr Shapiro, Mr Shofer, Mr a Shwuther, Mr and Mrs Silverman, Mr A Stoksky, Mr M Vossotsky


Aronowitz 51 Clairemont Ride Satend , Anfung 228 Main Ride E 17, Arterman 88 Queens Walk N16, Canton 126 Clarence Ride E5, Chaiken 7 Cameron Place, Cohen 26 Parkland Street, Cohen 56 Artillary Lane, Cohen 52 Hero Ride W2, Collecter Laman Street, Epstein, Feigel, Feldman 6 Church Lane, Filterman 438 Mayland Ride E1, Geldman 32 Chapman Street, Gilwater, Gleider 11 Russel Street, Gold 144 Cannen Street Ride, Goldstein 380 Edgeware Ride N2, Harris Shlach 130 Kenen Street E 1, Kaplan 31 West Arbor Street, Kritz 67 Hamstead, Leder Kramer 5 Cameron Place Nelson Street, Lever 98 Rodham Street Calgton Ride, Apton Manor, Moskowitzer 272 Curwitch Street, Palashuk 3 North Place Barkston Street, Polsker 40 Lower Chapman Street E1, Reiden 28 Patterson Street, Richman 55 Chatham Ride Satend, Rodintatz 87 Warden Street E1, Sarner 153 Emerse Ride Walk N16, Silverstein 26 Bridgeport Place St Ride, Telfer 79 Sandringham Ride Dalstone E8, Yankelowitz 1 West Street Golders W1, Weitman 380 Edgeware Ride N2

All the above is in the Pinsker Orphans Book compiled by David Solly Sandler. For further info, visit:


Contact David

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