The Empty Market Square
“Like a wounded man I flew to Vilna Street, where I was born and where my mother [may she rest in peace] sang me lullabies by my crib. …How many times had I run along this street and called "Mother," and each time she would come out with a glowing smile! This time I found Vilna Street with grass buds pushing through and animals wandering around. Today Vilna Street is an open field.” Zalman Leib Hoffman, "I Saw Mir in Ruins", Mir, pp. 356-357
At the end of the war, the few individuals that had survived began to return to Mir. They found only a few dozen Jews in their town. Scenes of destruction and ruin were visible from every angle. The market in Mir that had been surrounded by Jewish shops – was no longer. On the right side of the market only three houses with storefronts remained, in which non-Jews had taken up residence. None of the traders, shopkeepers or their stores had survived. The synagogues had been destroyed.
“The remaining ones returned to Mir, and found a destroyed city. The non-Jews, it seemed, took pity upon us after they had inherited all our possessions. We met non-Jews in the street wearing the clothes belonging to we knew exactly which victim. … and we couldn't stay any longer in that place. We began to move west, to Poland. We knew we had a better chance of reaching Eretz Israel from there.” Dov Reznik, "Rescue and Rebellion of the Jews of Mir", Mir, p. 345
Survivors from Mir came to Eretz Israel, built new lives and contributed to all spheres of society, including building new neighborhoods, defense, trade and industry, and education. "The Mir Immigrants Association" was established at the end of WWII. At the association's core were pioneers from Mir that had arrived in Eretz Israel from the beginning of the 20th century. The first chairman of the organization was Nissan Gardi (Gorodiejski). It took care of the welfare of the survivors while they were still in the DP camps, and helped the new immigrants acclimatize in Israel. In 1950, ex-Mir residents in Israel established a fund to provide the needy with loans, as well as to receive generous donations from ex-Mir residents in the US, South Africa and other countries.
Two ex-Mir residents fell in battle in the underground and IDF during the War of Independence:
Moshe Shmukler, son of Hanan and Sarah-Itka, born in Mir, fled east on the eve of Nazi Germany's invasion of the USSR in June 1941. In 1945 he returned to Mir, and found that none of his family had survived. He emigrated to Israel in June 1948 with the Gahal unit, and fell in the ambush next to Beit Guvrin on 31 March 1949.
Zvi Schuster, son of Pessel and Israel-Shimon, born in Mir, joined the partisans at the age of 14. He emigrated to Eretz Israel in March 1948, went to live on Kibbutz Mesilot and joined the Haganah. He fell on 10 July 1948 in battles in the Jenin area.