Truth – Legends / Four of the Corpse-Burners
Early one morning, four of the escapees arrived in the ghetto: Israel Gitlin, Israel Lochnitski, Mendl Chas and Betzalel Tzinman. They hid in the toilets on Paneriu Street, opposite the ghetto gate. With daybreak, the four men decided to enter the ghetto by bribing the guardsman at the gate. Israel Lochnitski took on this task. He came out of the toilet, crossed the road and approached the German guard. He offered him some gold rings and when the guard agreed, Israel told him that he was not alone. The guard had certainly heard about the escape of the prisoners from enterprise No. 1005-B. He agreed to let the others in and went with Lochnitski to get them.
In the toilets where Lochnitski’s comrades were waiting, there were four cubicles, two on each side, with separate doors to each. Israel Gitlin decided at the last moment to go to the other side, for three people in two cubicles might arouse suspicions when some neighbor entered to see to his needs.
Israel Lochnitski came with the guard, took Tzinman and Chas, did not ask after Gitlin, and returned to the gate. The guardsman handed the three over to the guard at the gate.
Israel Gitlin, a printer by profession, was transferred to the propaganda department in the forest which printed pamphlets to be distributed among the population and the enemy soldiers. He participated in the battle for the liberation of Vilna, reached Kovno, brought up a family, had two sons and worked as a railway inspector in the militia. His wife died after a serious illness. He also suffered from an incurable illness and died in 1968.