Eva Kaminska Etkin Memorial


Read the original in Hebrew.
Our Dear Eva (Chava),
 
After 65 years, we are here as the representatives of the family of Michael (Mishka) Etkin, your son, in order to perpetuate your memory – our dear, beloved and brave woman. Unfortunately, we did not have the privilege to know you in person, to hear your voice, to know your views and ideas. However, thanks to your wonderful son Michael (our father), who never stopped telling us about you with a lot of pride and nostalgia, at every opportunity, until the day he died, we were able to build for ourselves a view of your short life story.
 
Over many years, we saw your young beautiful face looking at us from two specific old photos, which told us about your happiness. One photo was from your wedding day with Menachem-Mendel. The  second was photo taken on an ordinary day with your family, but now  preserves a fateful moment of a transient happiness. In this photo, you are looking at us while leaning on a stand at your house' entrance, and your husband and your small twins are sitting on the stairs beside you. In the background, we imagine the garden with the fruit trees in it. Michael always told us about this garden with the fruit trees. He forced himself to remember the smell of their blossoms, in order not to forget the brief happiness  which he had experienced with his beloved parents, his twin brother, and the rest of the extended Etkin family, who lived nearby. Your life, Eva (Chava) Kaminska-Etkin, led you to choose a profession of giving and helping the others : you became a medical nurse at the Glubokoe hospital, and that decision had actually determined your fate. Your independent and brave character, together with your needed profession during a time of war, did not allow you to stay in the ghetto with your children and with your sister Leah, and to wait there for the worst to come without taking any action. 
You felt that you can contribute much more outside of the ghetto. So you joined the partisans in the forests of Belarus, and fought with lots of courage until the fatal end.
 
Did you guess that your son Michael (Mishka) wanted to join you and emulate your actions ? Did you  know that he was somewhere out there in the woods? Michael told us that you had sent a written message to your son in the forests of Belarus, without mentioning his name. In this message you asked him to be brave and to take care of himself. Did you guess which one of your twins had survived from the Glubokoe's burning ghetto?
 
You experienced so many sad and difficult moments during your short lifetime: the loss of a dear, talented and beloved young husband, while you were still a very young woman. You were left alone with the twins (Michele & Shepsele), while the sounds of a coming war are starting to be heard at the background. You did not give up even in such difficult times, and you chose to act and to fight for life and for freedom.
 
We would like to tell you, dear woman, that your son did just the same. He fought with lots of courage, in order to stay alive, and to tell the world your entire family's amazing life story.
 
Michael came to Israel, he served in the Israeli army with lots of pride, he studied, and established a wonderful family, with 5 sons & 13 grandchildren! He touched every soul that he met, and continued to tell his life story with lots of pride and courage.
 
Your character escorted him during days and nights, and for many years he tried to search for you in every possible way, and his stubborn character did not allow him to quit searching and trying to find your grave.
 
During his lifetime, Michael was unable to realize this dream, and we are here in order to fulfill his will. Your photo will be hung at the Glubokoe hospital, with a few words about your courage. This memorial monument, which we had erected here at the Dokshitsy Jewish cemetery for you, is the least we could do to preserve your memory. Please forgive us if we made a mistake regarding any detail, such as the date or place of your death. Please rest in peace. Your husband and your sons are already with you, and we are here in order to continue telling your entire family's life story for many years to come, and we promise that your legacy will be passed on to our future generations.
 
This is actually your victory, Eva (Chava) Kaminska-Etkin. Because of you, we are here – proud of our legacy, of our Hebrew language, and of our land of Israel in which we live as very proud Jews and Israelis.
 
With lots of love from all of us,
 
Michael, Rivka, Menachem, Haim, Nitzan, Amit-Rafael, Idan, Mazal, Taly, Michal, Meital, Inbar, Shani, Keren, Hilla, Lior, Eyal, Bar, Shay, Iddo, Noam, Ben, Noa, and Lihi Etkin.

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