Houston doctor Robert Zurawin is commemorating his father by retracing part of a 1932 bicycle trip his father took through Poland. His father, Raymond Zurawin, made the trek as part of the HaShomer HaTzair (The Youth Guard), a secular Jewish youth movement.
Raymond Zurawin is the fourth from the left.
Now, Dr. Zurawin, along with his wife Rebeca, and grown children Jonathon, 26, and Natalie, 24, will be riding through Poland during the next two weeks on the route that his father took at the age of 19.
“My Dad died in 1983. My kids never knew him,” he said.
Zurawin’s father’s trip went beyond Poland. His was a six-week ride with 10 friends through Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Israel.
The youth were recruited as emissaries in connection with the 1932 Maccabiah Games, which were opened with the release of 120 carrier pigeons (10 pigeons for each of the 12 tribes of Israel).
Zurawin’s father arrived in Israel, where he settled down there before taking a fateful visit to America. During his visit to America, World War II broke out and prevented him from getting back.
“To make a very long story short, he lived here” and had a family. But he never saw most of his family again; they were killed in the Holocaust, Zurawin said. I think “his life was very heroic.”