Memory Office: Family of Pulerevitch

Jewish Yechezkel Pulerevitch was a poet and author of the Anthem of “the Prisoners of Zion”.
Yechezkel was born in 1914 in Joniškis, Lithuania. He graduated from Tarbut Hebrew Gymnasium in Šiauliai, where he received and education in Hebrew language and Zionism. Since 1928 he worked in the Beitar Youth Federation, and from 1932 to 1933 he was a leader of it. Yechezkel supported the idea of creating a state of Israel.

After moving to Kaunas, he was a member of the Beitar Federation in Lithuania and studied chemistry at the University of Lithuania.
In 1939 in Kaunas, the son Yakov Shabi Maor Pulerevitch was born to Yechezkel and his wife Ella. The parents named the boy Shabi in the memory of a fighter for the land of Israel Shlomo Ben-Yosef. The second name, Yakov, was given in honor of Yakov Raz, one of Etzel's heroes. In Kaunas, the boy was called Jasha. The Pulerevitch family spoke Yiddish and Hebrew at home.

After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Yechezkel was expelled from the university. In 1941 he was arrested for Zionist activities, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and deported to Siberia for life with his family – his wife Ella, his young son Shabi, his wife's mother, and sister. Ella’s sister gave birth to her son Gabi Tamir, who stayed very close to the Pulerevitch family.

Yechezkel was released from prison in Siberia in 1954 and only in 1956 together with his wife and son he returned to Lithuania.
Son Shabi learned Lithuanian very quickly here, graduated from the Kaunas University of Medicine.

Yechezkel Pulerevitch was one of the first to dare to apply for permission to immigrate to Israel. He received it only after nine years and in 1965 went there.
From the day the Pulerevitch came to Israel, Yehezkiel devoted himself to public work. In 1969 together with his friends, he founded the organization "Prisoners of Zion" and was the chairman of that organization. Has published 7 books of poetry and fiction, i. e. Short Stories of the Long Death (1974), based on experiences in Siberia.

Shabi, the son of Yehezkiel was called into the Israeli army in 1966. He served in the navy as a lieutenant physician. In 1968 at the last minute he had to replace a doctor on the submarine “Dakar”, which sunk in the eastern Mediterranean. Shabi died in the service at just 29 years old. The remains of the ship were found only in 1999.
After the death of his son, Yehezkiel changed his name to Avi Shabi Maor.

The name of Shabi is inscribed on Yortzait, in Hercel mountain in Jerusalem, which is dedicated to missing persons. There is also a street in Israel named after him and a monument built.


Thanks to Bella Shirin and Roza Litay, who told a story
of Pulerevitch family and to Gabi Tamir, who shared pictures

Memory Office
Spring 2020