Siedlce Memoir Book

Project Name Translation of Siedlce Memoir Book (Żydzi w Siedlcach 1850-1945) by Edward Kopowka

Project Coordinator

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated to fund the translation of Żydzi W Siedlcach 1850-1945 by Edward Kopowka from Polish into English.

The town of Siedlce is in Warsaw province in central-eastern Poland, about 55 miles east of Warsaw. A Jewish presence in Siedlce is attested since the mid-16th century. Just prior to World War II, it had a Jewish population of around 15,000. About 10,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka in August 1942; the remainder of the Jewish community was liquidated in November, 1942. This approximately 300-page book chronicles the life of the Jewish community of Siedlce from the mid-19th century through its destruction during the Holocaust.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots to Siedlce and its region constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or died in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

Project Description

At the inception of this project, agreement has been arrived at with the translator to complete the translation for $5000. Pledges have already been obtained by prospective donors to fund this amount. The designated translator is Dr. Dobrochna Fire, who is a credentialed scholar in Slavic languages and literature (Harvard Ph.D.), who has native fluency in English and Polish and has done translation from Polish for YIVO, as well as professional scholarly editing, and who is under contract with Jewish Gen to translate the Table of Contents and selected portions of the Staszow Yizkor Book into Polish. Leonard Levin will assist with coordinating the funding and will also be in regular touch with Dr. Fire during the progress of the translation. Upon completion of the translation, he will submit it to Lance Ackerfeld for posting on the Jewish Gen website.

Completion of the translation of the book from Polish into English has been promised by Dr. Fire for $5,000.


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Updated 8 Mar 2013 by LA