Photo Album of Jack Cossid, 1937

Yurburg, Lithuania

The following is based upon an interview with Jack Cossid in Chicago in 1995, viewing his photo album from Yurburg, Lithuania


The following pictures are from a photo album of Mr. Jack Cossid of Chicago Illinois. Mr. Cossid was born and raised in Yurburg (listed on maps with the Lithuanian name Jurbarkas), Lithuania. When he was 20 years old he immigrated to the the United States. Mr. Cossid departed Yurburg on August 2, 1937 and made his way to Hamburg, Germany. There he boarded the S. S. Harding and arrived in New York on August 15, 1937, and later made his way to Chicago, Illinois.

The following pictures were video recorded with Mr. Joel Alpert in March, 1995. These pictures are shared by Jack Cossid and Joel Alpert so that those who have families that came from Yurburg will have a record about the town and those that lived there.

Thanks to Steven Koppel who video taped this session.

Special thanks to Roy Thacker who transcribed the audio of the tape so that the captions and explanations could be created.

Mr. Cossid was born Yacov Chosid , but the name was Americanized to Jack Cossid when he entered the United States. The American name of Cossid is used for Mr. Jack Cossid, while the Lithuanian name of Chosid is used for his Lithuanian family.


Most of the people pictured here were murdered in the Shoah.


This picture was sent to Mr. Cossid after he had lived in the United States for four years. It is from a newspaper from " Yurburg. " Jack Cossid's father Leizer Chosid is on the left with two partners receiving an award in the town of Yurburg.


This photo was probably taken in 1940 when Lithuania became a part of the Soviet Union. Jack said he got the photo after he had been in the US for 4 years.

This picture is of was Dora Arshtein who worked with Jack in a bank in Yurburg She was a cashier of the Komertz Bank which was owned by Mr. Bernshtein in Yurburg. Given to Jack on July 30, 1937 with the message " Remembrance to Jack, I give you this present before you go to America."

Komertz Bank employees. From left to right : Jack Cossid, Miki Melnik, Schmerl Bernshtein ( the bank director ) , the sister of Schmerl Bernshtein, Fievel Chosid, (Jack's brother ) and Dora Arshtein. Jack replaced his brother at the bank when Fievel went into the Lithuanian Army.

This is a picture of Jack's sister Dorothy, and brother-in law Peisach Millstein, and Jack himself. That was taken about a week before Jack left Lithuania for the United States. Photo taken in Kovno on July 30, 1937

Yurburg from the air in the mid 1930's. The Neiman River is in the background.

Segment of above view centered on Old Synagogue and Beis Medrish

Segment of above view centered on center of picture

Segment of above view centered on Town of Shaudine across the Nieman River

Kovno Street looking East in winter or early spring possibly at the time of flooding. Foto Levinas.

George Feinberg (Gedalyah) a friend from Yurburg came to visit Jack Cossid in Chicago Illinois. This was taken at a park on Western Ave.

[George Feinberg passed away in April 1999.]

This is a picture of Jack's father, Eliezer (Leizer) Chosid , taken a few months before he left Yurburg in 1938. I believe that at that time he was 56 years old

Jack Cossid's cousin Yudka Kopinski with his new bicycle, taken outside of Yurburg at the Kaliani Forest.

This is another picture of Jack's cousin Yudka Kopinski which was the same age as Jackwas, also taken, also leaning on his bicycle. Aug 26, 1937


From left to right, Dora Arshtein, Fievel Chosid ( Jack Cossid 's brother ) , and Miki Melnick. This was taken in front of the Komertz Bank in Yurburg just before Fievel Chossid went into the Lithuanian Army. Photo taken Dec. 30, 1931.


Corporal Jack Cossid , a proud member of the U. S. Army in World War II. Jack got married and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Photo taken in 1945 in Camp Grant, Illinois.

Jack Cossid on the right and and his brother Fievel Chossid in his uniform from the Lithuanian Army. Fievel spent 18 months in the army. 1931 or 1932. [Fievel survived the war.]

This picture was taken in Lithuanian Park several months before Jack Cossid left for the United States in 1937. From left to right a gentleman from the Beitar organization from Kovno the capitol of Lithuania. Next is Moshe Krelitz. The next young lady is Chana Rickler. The next one is Bensky Hess and the next lady is the future Mrs. Krelitz. And the man on the right was from Czechoslovakia.

This picture was taken in Yurburg when jack's brother Fievel Chosid and Simka Rochzo, Eliashov (tailor's son) and a couple of others came back from the Lithuania Army in 1933. When they got through serving and this was celebration in Yurburg and at the head of the table there is his brother and the other fellow Simka Rochzo and a few others. Jack on the very right. 1933.

This picture was taken in front of the train station Kaunas (Kovno), the Lithuanian capitol Vladmir Jabotinsky, leader of the Betar movement, arrived there in approximately 1935-1936.

This is a group of Hechalutz and Betar outside of Shaudina where they worked with Lithuanian farmers to prepare for future living on a kibbutz in Israel. Shaudine is across the Neiman River from Yurburg.

Jack Cossid’s sister Dorthy , Jack’s cousin Sorah Rizman in Lithuanian Park in Yurburg on October 30, 1934. Sorah emigrated to Israel and passed away in 1990 or 1991. [Dorothy survived the war and passed away in Milwaukee in about 2001.]

The Beitar group in Yurburg honoring a fellow member Bayneski Hess ( second from the left ) after he was discharged from the Lithuanian Army. Sitting in the middle from left to right: From left to right, Weinstein , Bayneski Hess, Pulerovitz , Moshe Krelitz and Simka Rochzo. Jack standing just above Simka Rochzo. Photo taken in the Tel Aviv Park by Foto K. Levino on Oct 11, 1935.

This group picture was taken on a motorboat on the Neiman River across from Yurburg. From left to right is a fellow from Czechoslovakia , next to him is Lebka Frank, Simka Rochzo, Yudel Most, Meika Heskelovitz and Moshe Krelitz on top. March 12, 1935.

The Betar Group in Yurburg board of directors known as the "Yad." From left to right : right Simka Rockzo , Ark Rickler, Moshe Krelitz, Pinki Kopinski (Jack’s cousin) Pinchas Kopinski , and Jack Cossid who was serving as Secretary. December 1, 1937.

This is a picture taken on a steamboat that use to park during the winter in the River Mituva , and they use to do all the repairs in the winter so they could start riding in the spring when the ice melted. Photo by Foto Levinas.

This is Jack's aunt Tirza Kopinski , his mothers sister, with her younger sister with her younger daughter Sorahella in the Kalliani; July 9, 1935.

This is a picture taken of the Kvutzat Naividel (Naividel group). A group from the Macabi organization . In Yurburg was taken in Kalliani or Shremel forest, I don’t know.

Lower row from left: - a painter, Miki Melnik, - lives in Israel, ---, Hillel Naividel (attorney), ---,---, Mazur

Upper row from left: ---, Rodanski, Kaplan, Yitzhak Rochzo, Miki Melnik's sister, ---

A nice group. God knows what happened to them all. (most were murdered).


Leib Krelitz and Hillel Naividel from above photo.

[Hillel Naividel survived the war by fleeing into Kazakstan. He eventually was on the supreme court in Lithuania and died in 1969 in Vilna. His daughter is an opthmalogist who lives in Israel.]

This was taken in Park Tel-Aviv in Yurburg. The Yiddish Gymnasium (high school) was in the park too. This little structure was called Ricklerina because Rickler built it. This is a picture of the people after the Russians came in 1940. They had nothing to eat. Standing with pots and pans to see what they could pick up. These are both Jews and Non-Jews. Leibe Chone is standing near Jacl's cousin Michel (see arrow).

This was taken in front of Jack's house in 1937. His two twin brothers were Moshe-Heshelah and Zalman- Heshka and my sister Basalaa (not in this photo). These are the three children from his step-mother. But she was not like a step-mother , but a mother to me. Hitler killed them all.

This is a picture of a fellow from Yurburg, a Bisel mishuga, a little crazy. He was the son of de Turk. He was not all there. He was very very poor. You can see it with his teeth. . Taken in Yurburg on Feb 14, 1934.



This is a picture of Elke da Hotz (Elka the horse) from Yurburg. He was also a bissel mishuga, not there a little bit. His mother used to clean off his ears and face and shave him once a year for Peasach. You can see he loved horses and guns. Taken in Yurburg.

This is a picture of Vladimir Jabotinsky, who was a leader in the Betar . He was a Lithuanian. in 1936 or early 1937, Jack was in conference with him. He was part of a whole group with him up to 5:00 — 6:00 in the morning. Then he left.

This is a picture taken in Naumistis (New Town), outside of Yurburg. It is a new part of Yurburg, built later on ; and in the background is a statue of Vitaltus Vatitstis ( the first President of Lithuania). This is the same group previous taken under the bridge from Yurburg to Forest Kaliani. It includes Fievel Hess, Jack's cousin Pinki Kopinski , the young lady from Sakai ( sister of Moshe' Krelitz's wife Dora), Finka Hesh, Rochela Paraminski and Jack Cossid.

This is a picture of Moshe Krelitz in his Betar Uniform. Jack and Moshe were together in the same organization, Betar. Moshe gave Jack this picture before he left for the United States. He is also the first cousin of Joel Alpert's mother.

This is the picture from the book of music theory written by Yitzhak David Alperovitz, the town Cantor. He gave me this book as a gift as I was leaving Yurburg for America. Below is the cover of the book. It was published in 1927 in Kovno.

Not only was he the Chazan (cantor) but also taught music and was the moyel. When I left in 1937 he was 84 years old and had the body of a young man and would swim in the Nieman with all the young men.

When the Nazis came into town, the Lithuanian hoodlims tied a brick to his long white beard and forced him to parade down the street. They tortured him to death.

Book cover of Music Theory written by the Chassan Itzhak Dovid Alperovitz

Above is a note that I wrote while in the U.S. Army in 1945 about a dream that I had the night before

Below are photos not identified but sent by Jack:

Jack and Moshe Krelitz pictured on right side just to left of fellow in light coat with hand up in the air pointing. 1933

Group standing with Beis Medresh behind them. From left, man, Rochel Panamunsky, Jack in center with hat, Dora's sister and man. March 31, 1937 Passover.

Betar Group with the Moment, the Betar Newspaper. Moshe Krelitz on left sitting in front. Jack in back on right top

Betar group. Moshe Krelitz is third from the left. Jack is in middle just to the right of the five women. March 19, 1935

Beitar Group, Jack is fourth from the right. April 19, 1935

June, 5, 1934

Looks like Purim - arrow pointing to Jack Cossid Feb 10, 1934 Moshe Krelitz in near the upper right hand corner, and likely the photographer of this picture.

Parade in front of Talmud Torah School in Yurburg

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Created on Dec. 7, 2004.

Last updated on April 18, 2020 by Joel Alpert