My Trashkuner Grandparents
An Appreciation by Selwyn Bolel
Videos recorded in the U.K. in 2017
Selwyn Bolel grew up in South Africa, listening to the stories told by his beloved bobe and zeyde about their early lives in Lithuania and the Itzikovich and Yuzent relatives they had left behind in Trashkun. Dov Ber Ichikovich and Chane-Golda Yuzent, his maternal grandparents, had married after World War I and emigrated to South Africa when their daughter Feyge (Selwyn's mother) was still a young child. When Feyge grew up, she married Izzy Bolel, whose family came from Rogeve (Raguva). The two families had met years earlier in Russia, where they and thousands of other Lithuanian families had been expelled during World War I.
Selwyn, now a physician practicing in the UK, holds a deep love and respect for his grandfather Dov Ber and the values he embodied. Selwyn says that while he bears a physical resemblance to the Bolel side of his family, he and his brother Cyril (Shem) have the temperament of an Itzikovich, which he describes as "patient, thoughtful, not very impulsive, and well thought out." He adds, "There is no doubt that my brother and I are who we are today because of my zeyde."
Selwyn Bolel's tribute to his zeyde, Dov Ber Ichikovich. [3:26]
Dov Ber was forced to serve in the Russian army in World War I. [1:25]
Dov Ber's marriage to Chane-Golda Yuzent and their emigration to South Africa. [2:35]
Selwyn Bolel shares memories of his Yuzent relatives. [3:33]