finally received your letter which we have been waiting
for, wondering what took you so long to write. However,
having read your letter we now know you are not the one
to blame. Dear Rysiu, you want to know how we are spending
our time. We have a lot to write about, however you know
that we cannot write everything, so we will shortly describe
how we have been spending our days since you left. As
you know we have been thinking about entering the Shomer.
Not a whole 2 weeks after you left that we became members
of Shomer. Since then life has been very different. As
you remember Rysiu, during your last days in Mir, we
were not so happy. Back then we did not know what to
do with ourselves or how to spend our time.
we were going for walks, and that was how days were passing
us by. Now things are a little bit different. Almost
every day we go to Shomer where we have fun from 6 to
9 in the evening. Over there we enjoy ourselves very
much, we play games and sing. As we leave at 9 PM we
go for walk and everybody follows us The whole street
then is loud from our laughter and talk. All already
know that it Szomer coming out. Often we gather together
and we go to the wood, where we play and sing and dance
etc. and in general we spend our time joyfully. Recently
we went to (because in Nieswiez there's also a Shomer).
This excursion was a great opportunity for us. First,
we had a chance to visit Nieswiez. We liked this city
very much. Second, we could see how Shomer there differs
from ours, and what happy place it is. Was great to see
how boys and girls get along. We also learned many new
songs and dances. Because as you know, Shomer here taught
us only one dance and a single song. I imagine to myself
as if you, dear Rysiu, were here now it would be a lot
more fun for all of us. Very often we talk about you
and believe us that we are always with you in our thoughts.
We assure you that we will never forget you, will you
remember us also? Resiu, why did you write so little
in this letter about yourself? What is happening with
you? How do you feel in Montreal? How do you like the
city? Are you going to start studying anytime soon? Please
write us more about everything because as you know we
are very curious about your new life and the new place
you live in.
the girls here live in peace. I means the six of us.
As for the rest of the girls at Shomer, we do not interact
with them too much . Bronia with her sister left on
vacation to the summer resort (in the countryside). Tania
also went to a summer resort to Propasc.
year Tania will study at the Government grammar school
in Nieswicz and Bronia is planning to go to Baranowicz.
well and write us detailed letters. How are your
parents? We are sending our dearest regards to your
family and friends. Regards from our parents. So we end
this letter, but still we haven't written what we had
on our minds, because not all can be written. We are
kissing you from far.
Your sincere girlfriends who wait with
impatience for your letter.
The translation from Polish to English above has two sources.
Bob Chazonoff found a translator in Canada. At the same
time, Marek Januszewski (whose great grandfather worked
at one of the businesses in
Mir that belonged to head of the Sviatopolk-Mirski
family of Mir Castle) e-mailed a translation of the letter
written to Bob's mother. I have combined the translations.
The word Shomer is Hebrew and means "guardian" or "protector.
Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guard) began in Vienna in 1913
when two zionist groups merged. Hashomer (The guard) originated
in Galicia, and had its roots in zionism and scouting.
Ze'irei Zion (The Youth of Zion) was a highly ideological
youth organization, stressing Zionism, Jewish history and
Socialist thought. The merger gave birth to Hashomer Hatzair,
incorporating Zionism, scouting, Socialist ideas, self
education, and the independence of youth. The concept of
internal education by the membership is one that still
exists in present day Hashomer Hatzair. (See http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/albums/palbum/p13/a0680p3.html).
It is quite possible that the Shomer group in the letter
above was part of this Zionist organization.
children in Mir has photos of Sarah-Reisha Buniewickiey
and her friends.