** Webmaster Note: The following
translation was generously provided by
David's daughter, Yael Burko Glaser. We have presented it here exactly as it was
translated for us.
For a long
time, my family kept the fact that my brother Moshe had passed
away as a secret. They knew of my strong love, respect and
appreciation for him. They were worried about the effect the
terrible news would have on my health.
was a little boy when Moshe left home, but his heartwarming
image always filled my soul. Whenever I thought about him, I
always had warm feelings. For so many years I nurtured the hope
that we would one day meet again, whether in the United States or in Israel.
day I learned that he passed away, I used to savor every bit of
information about him, every message he sent to me, every story
people who knew him were able to tell me about him. People who
knew him all appreciated his unique qualities.
was proud of his good
reputation. Hearing his name always brought to my mind a
pleasant modest person, soft spoken, one who does not care about
himself but rather cares for others.
I knew he
did not have an easy life. He worked hard for a living. All he
wanted was to provide a good education for his children. He
loved his wife Esther, loved his family and loved the Jewish
people. After World War II, he worked relentlessly for the
survivors of our shtetl.
One of my
friends from the Vladimirets, who spent some time in the USA, once told me, “Do you know what
Berl Chizi told me about your brother?” He said that in the busy United States,
in the country where everyone was running after respect and
money, the one man he envied was Moshe Burko. Moshe was a man in
whose house there was an enviable atmosphere. The fact that he
had neither money nor wealth was unimportant. A man who had two
children like Moshe had, a home where there was such love, such
a man was worthy of envy. In our days, days where values are no
longer important, days of a rat race after all that glitter, it
was heartwarming to hear such things.
our father’s home at the end of World War I. Those were times
when young people were attracted to far away places. Moshe left
the shtetl of Vladimirets seeking his happiness in the ‘big
world’. He was twenty-two years old when he left for
others, he worked hard. He peddled merchandize from house to
house, until he left Argentina
with the help of some family members in
Detroit, and went to the
USA. His first steps were as a
simple worker in a factory. He saved penny to penny in order to
bring over his beloved Esther. It took years until she was able
to join him, arriving by way of
remained a simple worker all of his life. As the years passed,
his health started to fail him. Years of suffering fell upon
him. He often expressed his suffering in his letters saying,
“How I would have loved to leave the American big cities with
their smoking chimneys, with their hustle and bustle. How I long
to smell the scents of the open field and the woods in our small
devastated when the news arrived about the shtetl’s destruction
and the demise of the family. He dedicated his days to help the
survivors. He was one of the first organizers of the Assistance
Committee in Detroit. He was the organization’s first
secretary. Some of the Vladimirets survivors may still have some
of his letters of condolence and encouragement – letters that
promised that help shall come.
spent time with Moshe absorbed his kindness and benevolence, the
radiance that shone from him. When they came to give me his
regards, it was as if some of that radiance was reflected on me.
much Naches from his children. They both acquired a name and
fame in their respective professions, his son in medicine and
his daughter in education.
beloved wife Esther passed away, Moshe was left sad and lonely.
dear to me, my brother Moshe, dear to all of us.