Joshua (Yehoshua)  Urbas

Joshua Urbas was born in 1920 in  Ostrowiec to Daniel and Pella (née Goldman).

His siblings were:

Jacob Shimon (b. 1905) -married Mina and later moved to Bendzin where he was murdered.

Mordechai (b. 1907) -murdered in Holocaust

Raizel/Rose (b. 1915) murdered in Majdanek

Jochebed (b. 1919) murdered in Majdanek

Jerachmiel (b. 1921) murdered in Majdanek

Chaim Jonatan (b. 1923) murdered in Majdanek

His brother Aron survived.

His parents were killed in the Holocaust -his mother mentioned by him as being killed in Majdanek in 1942 along with several siblings.

During the Holocaust, he escaped to the Soviet Union, resided briefly in Kyrgyzstan and served in the Red Army. In 1946 he was reunited with his brother in  France, then went to Israel where he was active in the Ostrowiec descandants committee of Israel  . Around 1952, he settled in Canada .

He was the author of “Der Onhoib” (The Beginning), a collection of short stories published in 1970.

He eventually settled in Montreal, where he published a collection of short stories titled Der Onheib (The Beginning). He met and married his wife, Jeanette and moved to Toronto and worked as a tailor. " In addition to Der Onheib, Joshua contributed to the newspaper A Home in Ulm, Germany. He was also one of the few foreign authors to be published in Sovetish Heimland, the Soviet Yiddish literary monthly publication.

Joshua and Aron's poems/articles were published in Ostrowiec Yizkor Book 1971.

Joshua passed away on 10 February 1981 in Toronto .

Joshua wrote poems in Yiddish , which we will be posting soon along with more details of his  family's history in Ostrowiec.



-Ontarios Jewish Archives (1)

-Ontarios Jewish Archives (2)

-his testimonies at Yad Vashem Victims database




Yehoshua Urbas (from Ostrowiec Yizkor Book, 1971)

Mother, I Can Never Forget You
Translated by: Ted Steinberg

I cannot forget you, Mother, no!
My heart longs woefully for you. I remember
I prepared a bundle to go on the road
--You came forth with a cry, Mother, with a cry…
You wanted at least to have another look at your son
You called out that I should remain
Your hand trembled. You could not say goodbye
Your heart was moved—but your mouth was locked…
Only your eyes spoke, Mama, for a son can understand
Your tears sparkled like pearls and asked to where?
--Be well, Mama. Surely the road will take me
Don’t wait for me, for the days will drag out…
I wander with my bundle alone in foreign places.
By day it is a sack and by night a pillow
A bit of my shirt remains as a reminder
To dry up my bitter tears…
I remember with longing how gentle was your hand
Your heart filled with pain—I feel, Mama, your tears
Your son among strangers in another country
He should not be lost, a star should not be extinguished…
Mother's tears are pleading, mother's tears
May there be peace, peace, may there be peace…

Link coming soon

details soon...