Tuesday 28 April 2015


ELYAHU-ELYOSHA GOZHANSKI (August 1, 1914-December 21, 1948)
            He was born in St. Petersburg, and at age three his parents brought him to Grodno.  He studied in religious primary school, later graduating from a secular high school.  In 1932 he moved to Palestine and joined Kibbutz Glilim, near Haifa.  The kibbutz sent him to the agrarian school Mikveh Yisrael (Hope of Israel), from which he graduated in 1936.  Afterwards, he went on a trip to see his parents in Grodno.  There he became involved in illegal political work, was arrested, and sentenced to eight years in prison.  As a Palestinian citizen, he was successful in 1938 in returning to Israel.  Back in Israel he became a surveyor and construction worker.  In 1941 the British police arrested him as a leading Communist, and after a year in prison he was freed.  He published pamphlets, as well as stories and many articles—in Yiddish and in Hebrew—in the press publications of his party.  Among his writings: Grodno (Tel Aviv, 1945), 52 pp.—“in place of a gravestone” for his father, Yitzkhok Gozhanski, a well-known lawyer who for many years was head of the community council and a member of the city council in Grodno, and who was murdered by the Nazis.  From 1947 he made three trips to Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European countries, with the aim of creating assistance for the war of independence in the Yishuv in Israel.  On his return home from Prague on the last of these, he was killed when the airplane in which he was flying crashed in the Peloponnesian Mountains.  Shortly after his death, his book appeared: Der mentsh hot gezigt (The man was victorious), “a chronicle of a city,” with forewords by Sh. Mikunis and D. Sfard (Warsaw-Tel Aviv, 1949), 220 pp.

Sources: Obituary in Dos naye lebn (The new life) (Warsaw) (December 31, 1948); “A briv fun elyahu gozhanski tsu a. pomerants” (A letter from Elyohu Gozhanski to A. Pomerants), Grodner opklangen 2 (Buenos Aires, 1948); Y. Papyernikov, “Der letster fli” (The final flight), a poem, and A. G., “Grodne” (Grodno), Grodner opklangen 12 (1948); D. Sfard, in Dos naye lebn (January 10, 1949); A. Pomerants, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (January 17, 1949).

Yitskhok Kharlash and Aleksander Pomerants

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