25 June 2017

Stimmen der Nacht • Voices of the Night


The poems written by Bernhard Horowitz, Laura (Pomeranz) Horowitz, and her sister Edith Pomeranz, in Bershad between 1943-1945, deal with daily life, emotions, fears, descriptions of nature, forced labor, and liberation.

Transnistria Deportee Identification Cards from the year 1948

Ossi Horovitz: "Thank you for your visit in Bershad [Bershad, Oy Vey Bershad], and for your contribution to not let this place to be forgotten. This is the place were my grand parents, all from Czernowitz, perished. The parents of my father, Yerma and Zirl Horowitz and the parents of my mother, Osias and Zipora (Cilly) Pomeranz, died during the first winter (1941-1942). My parents, Bernhard and Laura Horowitz and my mother’s sister, Edith (Dita) Pomeranz survived, but Dita died afterwards, after long severe sufferings, caused by the years in Bershad. After the death of my parents, I found the poems in German, which they had written in Bershad. Some of them where published in a little volume "Stimmen der Nacht", Hartung-Gorre Verlag Konstanz, 2000."

Edith (Dita), Coca and Laura (Lola) Pomeranz in 1922

Courtesy: Ossi Horovitz


  1. I was born in Czernowitz on August 17, 1941. My father was conscripted by the Russians when my mother was pregnant with me & so couldn't be there to greet my arrival to this planet -in fact we never knew what became of him. My mother, Etka Strum Neumman , spent the rest of her life looking for him, She would look at me pityingly & say, "Sylvika, your father never got to meet you." We were deported to Transnistria & through my mothers tenacity & hard work we managed to survive.

  2. I've been back in Czernowitz in 2013/15/17 where I coincided with the international volunteers who come to help clear the cemetery. I was also asked by the Jewish Museum to accompany a group of history majors from the uiversity who were assigned a project to internview elderly inhabitant as to the fate f the Jews who once lived there. The villageers all told that for a time everyone got along well, but whe the Grmans & Russians invaded they stirred up hatred against the Jews. So after that it was not uncommon for people to go down the street armed with a hammer or any kind of weapon, even wit their bare hands to murder their previously friendly neighbors. They pointed out an empty lot at the edge of town that was a mass grave.