HaShomer HaTzair

HAKHSHARA (Agricultural Training Camps)

Hakhshara is a Hebrew word that literally means "preparation", and often refers to agricultural institutes similar to kibbutzim where Zionist youth would learn technical skills necessary for founding new settlements in Israel.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakhshara)

An excerpt written by Jacob Hornstein regarding the Hakhshara camp. (Source: Harriet)

HaShomer Hatzair

The Archive of HaShomer HaTzair

which is located in Givaat Chaviva.

It is a very big archive, extremely well organized and the stuff members were very friendly. However, their orientation is not towards the members of this community [or those communities] but a more ideological and historical one.

The "super-goals" of this archive as appear on their Hebrew web site may explain better what I tried to say. Those goals are :

"1. To preserve the collective memory of the movement.

2. To foster the heritage of the values of the movement and to distribute data about its achievements.

3. To research and study the social and ideological ways of the movement.

4. To struggle against the recent trends of blurring the character and causing to forget the achievements of the movement. "

Their files are organized accordingly and, for example, all of their materials about a certain subject are clustered in the same file without any distinction between the various Shtettles or even between Congress Poland and Galicia.

I picked up 5 files from the 13 that the keyword "Rohatyn" appeared when making a search on the inventory s/w.

So, on the file about the 13th convention of "HaShomer HaTzair" which took place in Kruszelnica in August 1934 I could find that the following members of the Rohatyn Center [KEN in Hebrew] were invited :


2. Pinkas Osziass SPIEGEL



5. Elimelech KANFER

6. Hersch Majlech BRATSPIES

7. Abraham Chaim HOLZ

8. Israel KRIEG

9. Menachem Mendel ROTHRAUBER

In Aug 1934 there were 52 members of HaShomer HaTzair in the Rohatyn Center.

Among the Rohatyn members who were invited to the 1933 conference were Chaim HOLZ and Etka GOLDHABER. Later also Arie TEICHMAN was invited to another conference.

They have also lists of people from different Shtettles who were chosen to make Aliyah to Eretz Israel in 1934. I just browsed through those lists to find any familiar names but did not photocopy them. [The reasons were that many of the people could be still with us and many changed their surnames to Hebrew ones.]

One last word about the photos holdings : I found some scanned photos from Rohatyn of those years [ca. 1920-1935]. Those were mainly photos of people without all of their names. The policy of the archives about photo was not 100% clear to me and the general director was not there to clarify it. My understanding is that they want a certain sum of money even if the photos are for private use.

I'm attaching one photo that I made with my digital camera, only for a sentimental reason. If you find it appropriate Alex can you upload it to the album section of the group. Please however remove it from there after a certain time as all this copyright thing is not clear and I do not want to heart anyone or to break any rule. It is the cover page of the leaflet of HaShomer HaTzair in Rohatyn district, issued Apr. 1931.

The above information is from Micha.

Offsite information on the Hashomer Hatzair of Rohatyn can be found:

Rohatyn Yizkor book translation p191-198.

Hashomer Hatzair - wikipedia

List of names of those found to belong to Hashomer Hatzair.

This is the year of 1930. I, together with a group of 36 young women and men, occupied a small farm house. A dedicated group of Hanoar Hatsioni in the Biala part of the city, Bielsko-Biala, known as the textile center of Silesia...not far from ....Oswiecim (Auschwitz), the known center of extermination of millions of people who died in the fight for freedom to come.

We worked in textile factories. I myself worked in a Tartok, a wood mill where they cut lumber. The main idea of this Hachszara the center of preparedness for the hardships of Israel, was to get use to work and love work. The paramount ideology was to transform and educate the Jewish masses to be productive, to love manual work. Ha-avoda hi chajenu ("Work is our life") was our motto. It wasn?t easy at all to convince our parents loved ones that we are on the right trail.

We were in a revolt to our parents and teachers. I must tell you that we had a feeling of the coming catastrophe of our people. I will tell you 2 striking incidents that I will never forget.

One morning we found one of our meager cows in the barn dead with slashed head all in blood. This was a very unusual feat of bestiality because farmers have a love of animals. This was done in cold blood only to discourage us from working and from succeeding in bringing Jewish boys and girls to farm. But Af al pi keyn lamrot hacol anachnu lo nazuz mipo [but in spite of that we will never budge] and we didn?t.

Riding on an international train for the first time in my life enroute to the port of Brindisi, Italy, I came in contact with young fresh Nazis. You could feel the catastrophe nearing and coming to you. A poor Jewish peddler came on the train.. In speed the poor guy was thrown out of the train. Those incidents only re-enforced my beliefs of building a new society in an old new land of ours, the land of Israel, built on standards of productivity and work.

From Bielsko-Biala, I made Aliyah after one year to Petach-Tikva. In Brindisi, I boarded the ship Italia, and remained in the hold of the ship for a 6 day trip to Palestine.