Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Jewish Russian Soldier: Arje PRICKER

Some questions relating to soldiers who fell in 
World War One in Lubaczow:

1. Where did the German Army bury their soldiers who 
    fell in that war around Lubaczow? 
    Perhaps in one of the bigger towns, like Przemysl?
    Perhaps behind the local hospital where they buried German 
    soldiers in WWII? 

2. Where did the Russian Army bury their fallen soldiers 
    from the Lubaczow area in that war?

3. Then the mystery, based on the information in the
    Death Register: Why was the Jewish Russian soldier 
    Arje PRICKER buried at the Jewish cemetery?
    Who was he? Where did he come from?
    His death date is noted as Oct 6th 1915. 
    This would be Tishrei 28th or 29th 5676.
    The Jewish community in Lubaczow must have taken 
    an active role in the burial of Arje PRICKER.
    It is also important to note that 50 of the Jews
    of Lubaczow had died on that same day. 
    Did they all die from warfare or from an epidemic?
    Checking for the family name PRICKER in Alexander
    Beider's books about family names in the Kingdom
    of Poland and in the Russian Empire, I found none.

    Checking Pages of Testimony, I wondered if 
    the family name could be PRICKER with the 
    pronunciation PRITZKER. 

   Going back to Alexander Beider and his "Dictionary of 
   Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire" I then found  
    that the family name PRITSKER was found in Kanev, 
    Uman, common in Vasil'kov and Kiev and that it 
    originates from the village  Pritski in the Kanev d.

    A very wild guess:
    A Page of Testimony was submitted in 1986, in Russian,
    for Mulia born 1915 in Kiev, the son of Malka
    and Leib (could be Arje), and Mulia's son Romele born 1941.
    Mulia's wife was Etel nee Shapira. Etel does not have
    a Page of Testimony. Mulia and Romele were murdered
    at Babi Yaar, according to the Pages submitted.

    I can not read Russian but the family name has 
    been transcribed like this in Latin and Hebrew letters
    From my limited Polish I know that C can be pronounced
    TZ, like in Calel Tzalel Bezalel.

    Could Arje  PRICKER (/ PRITZKER?) have been a young 
    soldier from Kiev, married to Malka, the father of a son 
    named Mulia (Shmuel) who was born in 1915, the same 
    year Arje PRICKER fell in the war ?

    Kosha Pakman directed me to

     No PRICKER there.

    To my understanding that database only covers
    "Polish" gubernias, so if, f.ex.,  Arje PRICKER was from Kiev,
     he would not be included.
    If you read Russian, perhaps you could check the scanned
    images for fallen Jewish soldiers from Kiev on the
    Russian State Library's website?

    Perhaps we can solve the mystery.


  1. As of 1 and 2 I dont really know and its hard for me to find a source who might know although I have still some relatives in Lubaczow as my father was born there and his younger brother still lives there. Unfortunately the eldest of the clan who knew most passed away a while ago in Canada and that source is unreachable. I might still try to reach out either to second oldest in the clan although his health state is not very good one and his memory might be playing tricks. It could still be the elders of village or their relatives could help to rebuild the parts of the knowledge.

    As of 3 it is definitely interesting one.
    -Yes, polish "c" is "ts" in latin/english or "tz" in German or (usually) "צ" in Yiddish.
    -Btw what is the source on Malka and Mulia (Shmuel) story?
    -As of his absence in jri page, only polish towns/villages/gminas where they were born are included in this snapshot on jri page so he wont be present there. I will try to look him up in original russian database but knowing by experience their registers are less than good so it may be hard to find him. In either case I find him or I dont, I will let You know.

  2. I was also never very good in history but from what I can naively find is Mr. Pritsker might have fallen in what was known as "great retreat" of russian army forced in that area by Germans with leading BUG group. More data here:

  3. Thank you for your comments.
    It is always good to hear different points of view, and especially good when the person who writes has a connection to Lubaczow.
    For 1.and 2. the local museum should be able to help me.
    Now to the Russian soldier.
    The information about Mulia and his son Romele came from two Pages of Testimony submitted to Yad Vashem as symbolic gravestones for those murdered in Holocaust, both submitted by Sorl Michelson, the sister of Mulia's wife Etul Etel Pritzker nee Shapira.

    As to the "great retreat" of the Russian Army you mention , I will look into that.
    Thank you!

  4. Did you read these two stories on Zwoje?