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Czentochower in America

 

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Documents for the Article “General Overview of Fraternal Help”

 

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A School Certificate for the Y.L. Peretz Folks-Shul
 
Report of the Division of American Monetary Aid
 
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A Letter from the Jewish Hospital to Czenstochower Relief in New York

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General Overview of Fraternal Help

by A. Khrobolowski

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

Alas, we do not have any exact statistics as to the number of Czenstochowers in America. The three large organizations in New York: the Czenstochower Young Men, Czenstochower Arbeter Ring [Workman's Circle] branch 261 and Czenstochower branch 11 of the Jewish People's Order (International Worker's Order) – together number between six and seven hundred members. However, this is only a small part of the Czenstochower in New York. It surely would not be an exaggeration to say that the number of Czenstochower and their many branched families in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities now reaches to over 10,000. The number itself shows how large is the contribution of Czenstochowers to the country in general and in particular to the Jewish community in the country.

 

Three Main Waves of Emigration

The first pioneers from Czenstochow came here [to the United States] in the 1880s. Among them were the well-known relief workers Louis Szimkowicz, Sam Goldberg, Max Karpiel and Jacob Zeidman.

The second great wave of emigration to America began in the years 1905-6. Among the emigrants of that era were the new generation of socialists and worker-fighters such as Mendl Szuchter, Dovid Malarski, Skharye Lewensztajn, Mordekhai Altman, Kopl Gerichter, Khona Gliksman, Moshe Censzinski, Yeshaya Yakov Minkov, Shimkha Grilak, Yeta Grilak, Max Berliner, Yosl Berliner, Lou Ufner, Abe Kaufman, Yosef Kaufman, Yakov Ber Silver, Avraham Yakov Senzer.

The third wave of emigration began after the First World War. This wave carried with it in great mass the social waves that the Russian revolution and the founding of the Soviet Union evoked in the world. Among them were found Yehiel Lewensztajn, Dovid Tanski, the Wajz brothers in Chicago, Abe Wenger, Sam Wenger, Rose Rozenfeld-Kaufman, Fradl Brat-Gliksman, Chayala Waga-Rojtman, the Holbergs in Canada, Fayga Ajzner, the Wilingers, the Senzer brothers and so on.

From 1924, because of the quota, emigration ceased except for a very limited number of wives and children of citizens. The last Czenstochower emigrants were refugees who survived Hitler's bloody nails. They can be counted on the fingers. They are Dr. Grinbaum and his wife and son, Dovid Guterman, who came to the World's Fair, Yitzhak Gurski and his wife and two children, who survived in Vienna, M. Kelcziglowski, Zundl Starozum, Rafal Federman, Dr. Lazarowicz, A. Haptka, Herman Zigas, the lawyer, Zigmund Epsztajn, Andja Munawicz, who had survived [going] through the Soviet Union and came here across Japan.

 

The First Pioneers

In 1923 an emigrant from Czenstochow on a ship met a Jewish emigrant who had come to America 30 years earlier and they carried on a conversation. The emigrant from 1923 traveled as a second-class passenger. The Jew was returning from a visit home, also in second-class. The old emigrant described his trip to America 30 years earlier.

“We traveled without external passports,” the old emigrant said – without external passes. Smugglers brought us across the border on a dark night and robbed us from head to foot. Then the ship agents packed us in a horse wagon and brought us to the ship like a herd of cattle. On the ship we lay around on the lower deck, were fed potatoes and herring and treated like animals.

And when we arrived in America, no dear homes of parents, brothers and sisters waited for us. Our “homes” were the dark shops where we worked up to 16 hours a day.

And they also had no unions that could support them and there also were no landsmanschaft organizations where they could meet a friend from the city. “The small number of Czenstochower landsleit” [people from the same country] – writes Friend Yosef Kaufman about the pioneers of the Young Men – “would come together every evening on

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Delancey [Street] at the corner of Norfolk after a difficult day of work and the first Czenstochower Society in America was born there.

However, the path of the emigrants who left later was in no way spread with flowers. They also endured enough hardships from the smugglers, Prussian gendarmes, ship agents and ship companies. True, during the years 1911-14 there was an organized immigration to Galvaston (Yankl Kopinski was one of those in such a group). H.I.A.S. [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] was active in Poland during the years after the First World War and at that time a division of the Workers Emigration Union was active in Czenstochow, which helped many Czenstochow emigrants of that time get their passports and visas. However, this help did not have great meaning. In general, Jewish emigration to America, which created the largest and strongest Jewish community in the world, was abandoned, unorganized, unsupported and left in God's care. No matter how much we shouted or wrote in the Czenstochow press and in other cities about the need for an emigration society to provide help and support for the Jewish emigrant – the appeal remained in the desert. In 1912 the communal workers in Czenstochow wanted to legalize an emigration division. They needed for this the signatures of 10 respected and “virtuous” people. They went from house to house asking for these signatures and did not get them…

 

Jews Go to America

However, Jews did not wait for an emigration society to be created for them, did not wait for the “territory” and were not afraid of “emigrationism,” but traveled to America. However, not alone. Jews took Czenstochow with them to America – all of Czenstochow: Warszawer and Jesienna Streets, Kacze and Yatke Streets, the old and the new markets, the Alejes, Drozdowa, Walowa, Spadek, Krutke Street, the old shul [synagogue], the new synagogue, the Yiddish Literary Society, Lira [literary and music society], the schools, the party clubs, everything with which the people had lived in their old home they took with them to America, carried and remained attached with the unbroken and strongest connection of the soul.

How great their love and connection to Czenstochow was is shown in the aid activity of the Czenstochow landsleit in almost every city in America over the course of 25-30 years.

 

Brothers in Joy and Suffering

In the Czenstochow weekly newspaper, Dos Neye Vort [The New Word] of the 3rd of September 1920, there is an estimate of the aid that was received by Czenstochow from America:

“In our history the expression of the most beautiful pages will be that everyone – and with a few exceptions, these individuals include almost everyone – received support during these bitter times from their friends, relatives, sisters and brothers and children. Not only this, but the hopes of thousands were lit to be able to leave the swamp of need in which they were sinking deeper and deeper for the past seven years (since the First World War began) to leave sooner or later. Not only this, but a series of institutions and modern schools exist with the help of our friends in America. Obviously these are very important things that cannot be swept away with the hand. But the nicest and brightest remains the humane consciousness, that all of the American aid activity and great fraternal love that flows to us speaks to us with clear language and awakes in us a feeling that we are not alone, that we possess in the world a loyal, devoted connection with our friends through life and death.

“During the war we, a group from Czenstochow, were in a prisoner [of war] camp in Austria. We were just a day's trip from home, but an entire year passed before we lived to receive a letter from there [home]. On the contrary, letters without end flowed from America. Everyone who knew us well or distantly wrote, consoled us and sent money. In addition to our brothers and sisters, Moshe Ce. wrote continuously. Yankl Kopinski, Hela Sercacz, Yetsha Grilak, Shimkha Kalka and Czenstochower Relief in New York sent money several times for the Czenstochow prisoners of war and asked how things were in Czenstochow.”

Jewish Czenstochow, in great need that began with the First World War and grew greater with each year

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found its consolation in America, with aid and hope. A letter from America in a Jewish house in the Jewish quarter of Czenstochow [brought] a holiday, particularly when the letter never arrived “empty.” America was not content with hollow words. Its help was always tangible. In many cases, America helped carry the heavy load of the thousand and one taxes that were one of the extermination methods used against the Jewish population by reactionary Poland.

At the time of the First World War, organized help from America through the Aid Union and then through Czenstochower Relief in New York reached Czenstochow in various ways. Most of the aid was sent to the organized Jewish community in the name of Rabbi, Reb Nakhum Asz. After the [First] World War a workers distribution committee for American aid for workers institutions was founded in Czenstochow. And this is a report from the committee about the sums that arrived from America in 1922.

The income of the committee arrived from New York Relief – 1,100 dollars and 100,000 marks, together – 855,300 marks; from Chicago Relief – 244 dollars or 905,240 marks. From Toronto, Canada, 52,000 marks, total – 1,812,540 marks. In addition to this the committee was supported by the Central Dinezon Committee[1] in Warsaw and by the Jewish school organization.

The committee in Czenstochow divided the monetary aid among the following institutions: the children's homes and folkshuln [Jewish public schools], evening courses for the working young, reading rooms and libraries, workers' Red Cross and Workers' Rescue Committee at the central council of the professional unions, workers' kitchen and tea halls.

In addition great sums [of money] arrived from America in the name of the general American committee, which consisted of representatives of the organized Jewish community, the Jewish hospital, DobroczynnoϾ [charity], and so on. Alas, we do not have any numbers indicating the size of the sums, but it is assumed that they were not smaller that those sent to the workers' institutions.

The following sums from America appear in a report from the Y.L. Peretz children's homes and folkshuln for the 1925-26 school year:

From Czenstochower Relief in New York   $400.
From Czenstochower Ladies Auxiliary in New York   $600.
Chicago Relief Committee   $251.
From Aid Union in Detroit   $100.
From Youth Club in New York   $20.

In a report from the Workers' Distribution Committee a sum is found designated for the evening courses. They are described separately in an article about the schools, but the great moral and spiritual effect that they had on the young students in the workshops is shown among those who survived Hitler's murders and today are helping to rebuild the life of our so few surviving brothers in Poland.

The children's homes and folkshuln that were built and supported with so much self-sacrifice were so beloved in distant America as in Czenstochow. Immediately after the First World War, a large number of friends in New York organized a separate group that supported the children's homes. With unlimited work, fraternal sacrifice and sincerity, those from Czenstochow in America gave so much to support and develop the children's homes and schools. A letter from that time provided evidence about how much effort and work it cost to erect the massive Y.L. Peretz house for the children's homes and schools:

“After Comrade Mendl Szuckter returned from his visit to Czenstochow, with doubled energy we undertook the carrying out of the plan to buy our own house for the workers' school. We exerted all of our strength. Days and weeks were devoted to this purpose; we did not even take the time to spend with our families. Theater presentations and friendly amusements were organized.

When the large number of books that were collected by all of the Czenstochower organizations in New York for the new library arrived in Czenstochow it was a great holiday for the Czenstochowers who were lovers of books – and who among the Jewish workers and men of the people did not love books! One had to be in the library in the evening when the books were exchanged and see the gleam in the eyes of our dear young men, girls and older people from all strata of the Jewish population who took the heavy books to their poor homes. They read by [the light] of oil lamps and they thought of them

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and lived with them as if they were their closest friends.”
The German murderers at the time of their bloody rule corrupted everything, killed everyone; no one and nothing was respected: old and young, old people and children – the hand of the Jewish brother and sister in America was stretched out to the brother, to his child and to the old home across the distant seas and lands but did not reach them. The fire of fraternal love that was ignited in every heart during its thousand-year history of martyrdom could not extinguish the Hitler murderers.

 

The Czenstochower Landsmanschaftn and Jewish Life

From the short or long descriptions of the Czenstochower landsmanschaftn organizations that were published in this book, such as Young Men's, Arbeter Ring, Jewish-National Workers Union and later the International Workers Order, we see clearly that here in America, too, the Jewish masses grouped together according to certain idealistic movements in Jewish life, even if not according to strongly divided party lines. Without a doubt each organization did a great deal to support Jewish life here, to raise the communal consciousness and the cultural development of their members to a higher lever. In addition to this, that these organizations provided the members with certain insurance in case of illness or other cases of need and joined the thousands of individuals and associations and did not permit the Jewish masses in America to be transformed into human dust.

The history of the activity and meetings of all of the organizations is so rich that we can in no way describe them all in this article. At the time before the split, 400 people would attend the readings at the Czenstochow Arbeter Ring branch. There were large and important gatherings where we felt pride and elevated by the old friends and the young. At a meeting of Young Men's we always felt that we were in an earnest, pragmatic and always fraternal environment. It was felt at a meeting at the Czenstochow branch of the Jewish National Workers Union (when it existed) that a great national idea lives here and has an effect. The social and cultural struggle of our time was felt in the Czenstochower branch of the Jewish Fraternal Order (International Workers Order), the youngest landsmanschaft organization in New York. The most important thing with which it distinguished itself was in the supervision of the Jewish school, an area that was so badly neglected by the leaders of the Jewish masses in America. The same spirit reigned in the unions in Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles. The younger Independent Union in Chicago brought something new and very important into the lives of the landsmanschaftn. Namely, it underlined the need to work for the culture of the Jewish masses in America itself. In addition to this a large number of Czenstochower were spread over other not-Czenstochow landsmanschaftn and lodges such as the Zaloshiner [Dzialoszyn] Chevra Anshei Bnei Achim, the Masons and Odd Fellows.

However, in the aid work carried out by the Czenstochower Relief in New York, by the Ladies Auxiliary and, later, by United Czenstochower Relief in New York – they were united for one purpose under one roof – all of the Czenstochower organizations that were spread across the breadth and width of the world, which means New York, as well as Chicago and those in other cities. All those from Czenstochow, no matter their political leanings or the order to which they belonged, were above all connected by the strongest threads of their souls to their home city where they had lived through so much and lost so much…

After the great destruction of the Jewish cities and shtetlekh in Poland became known, many false prophets predicted the end of the landsmanschaftn organizations here in America, particularly the aid organizations: “Your cities were brought to ruin; there is no one to help.” They did not grasp and did not understand that, after the horrible destruction of our Jewish cities in Europe, the cry, “O Israel! Now see to your own house…” [II Chronicles 10:16] now meant: Let us each approach in our own way the treason against our people and Hitler's accursed work of extermination. Surely, now the wonderful strength of the landsmanschaft that binds together thousands of individuals from a city in one fraternal union is needed to extend the golden chain from past generations further and from the millions of annihilated martyrs. The greatest duty rests on

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us here in America where we remain the largest and strongest Jewish community.

*

The aid work for Czenstochow demanded very great sacrifices, but also brought a great deal of joy and festivity to the usual grey and difficult life in America. The annual balls during the first years of the aid work actually were Czenstochow holidays. We came together from all of the corners of the city. We came from the suburbs, from the surrounding towns. Grandfathers and grandmothers who had been brought from Czenstochow came. The fathers and mothers came and grandchildren came.

At the balls, first the young people danced. “The children first.” Incidentally, at the home of a wedding – and every ball here was a true Jewish wedding – the young people would also dance first. Then the old danced a dance of the bride and groom. When the young emptied the place, the old began a sher [lively dance] and hopke [Russian dance] and karahad [circle dance] and everyone danced what was danced in Czenstochow at joyous occasions.

And a “finance” took place after every ball – that meant an accounting in the house of one of the relief workers. They again made a “supper,” drank a l'chaim [a toast to life], celebrated that they were in America and they could aid Czenstochow and they increased the income from the ball. They did not come together in America without a purpose…

In addition to the balls, banquets took place not

Income   Sum
zl. gr.[2]
Balance to the 1st September 1925   548/70
From Czenstochower Relief in New York $400   3,615/-
From Czenstochower Ladies Auxiliary in N.Y. $600   4,858
Czenstochower Chicago Relief Committee $251   2,254/10
Czenstochower Aid Society in Detroit $100   980
Czenstochower Youth Club in New York $20   181/60
[Assistance] through Dr. Peter Awicki $25   227.50
Subsidy from city hall for the children's homes   4,800
Subsidy from city hall for the schools   2,100
Subsidy from the Jewish community   275
Subsidy from the Central Jewish School
Organization in Warsaw
  1,777/70
Tuition   1,297/49
Projects   547/96
Saving actions for the meeting places   205/65
Objects sold   140
From the children for breakfasts   40/23
Loan of $100   980
Rent from the premises at Stroczacke 10   144
Total   24,972/93
 
Expenses   Sum
zl. gr.
Teaching personnel salaries   13,146/59
Servant personnel salaries   1,519/50
Administration (managing committee and
managing committee expenditures)
  1,686/84
Management of the schools   435/85
Management of the children's homes   337/75
Inventory   383/60
Heating and lighting   613/17
Premises [at] Strazynskiego 10 (residences
for the teachers and premises)
  1,320/30
Premises for the children's home   701/-
Teaching tools   117/28
School materials   17/55
General Worker Library   12/-
Rescue actions for the premises   15/-
Debts   1,764/20
Events   603/60
Food for the children   608/84
Sick fund   300/-
Repairs   1,160/30
Total   24,743/37
 
Balance to the 1st of September 1926   229/56

Chairman Sz. Nirenberg; Secretary Y. Jurista; Treasurer W. Fajga; Manager A. Chrabolowski; Members: Avraham Brat, Leon Zajdman, R. Federman, M. Alter, M. Weksler

 

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Document accompanying the article “General Survey of the Fraternal Aid”

 

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only with all of the good things that America possessed, but also with Jewish joy, enthusiasm and the confidence that was brought from the home [Czenstochow]. The young pioneers of Yiddish theater in Czenstochow and old, eternal aid worker, Yakov Ber Silwer, his friend Leon Teich and other singers filled the room with Yiddish melodies and we held inspired talks and collected money and, still more, gathered strength to be a Jew and we did not surrender to the riches of America.

When the opening of the Y.L. Peretz house was celebrated in Czenstochow, a magnificent banquet took place in New York at Beethoven Hall. The Czenstochowers in America certainly had the right to celebrate after such work was done in erecting a beautiful house that cost 10,000 dollars. The heroes at the banquet really were the two delegates to Czenstochow, Louis Shimkowicz and Chaim Leib Szwarc. Abe Kaufman was chairman of the banquet. The toastmaster was Friend Jacob Zeidman who spoke English, but who possessed more Jewish humor and more of a devoted Jewish heart than anyone else. At the banquet, friends Chaim Leib Szwarc, Louis Szimkowicz, Kopl Gerichter, H. Win, Abe Kaufman and Mrs. Samuels, the then chairwoman of the Ladies Auxiliary, recognized the great achievements of the Czenstochowers in America, who erected the first house in Poland for the Y.L. Peretz School. Finally at the banquet appeared Friend Mendl Szuchter, who had proposed the idea of the house in Czenstochow and the hundreds of friends at the banquet celebrated with him.

Two great holidays for the Czenstochowers were two local people's banquets.

One took place in honor of Friend Yosef Kaufman, long-time secretary-treasurer of United Czenstochower Relief, and his wife, Rachel Kaufman, a devoted activist for Relief and of the Ladies Auxiliary. The love and respect of all of the Czenstochower friends for two of their best and most devoted members was expressed at the meeting by the greeters, who represented all of the Czenstochower organizations in New York and by many personal friends.

The second banquet took place at the departure to California of the president of United Czenstochower Relief in New York to improve his health. With the large number of those assembled and with the collection of a large sum of money for Relief, the Czenstochower landsmanschaft showed how he was valued and esteemed as one of its best men of the people, who carried on himself the burden of responsibility and difficult leadership of fraternal aid activity.

A very enthusiastic gathering took place when the Ladies Auxiliary unveiled a tablet with the names of the children of American landsleit in the American army.

There was also a great holiday for the Czenstochowers in New York when the publishing of a sample (model) of the book Czenstochower Yidn [Jews of Czenstochow] was celebrated, which tangibly showed the thousand Czenstochowers in America how the book would look.

As at every enumerated holiday and celebration, as well as at many others, as at a welcome for those who were saved from the Hitler destruction, or at the return of Federman from his tour through several American cities to organize the National conference and so on, Yiddish song, Yiddish poetry and Yiddish humor recited by our own Czenstochower artist, Fela Fajnrajch-Bira and our artists and singers illuminated and enthralled the gathering and connected those taking part with the greater Jewish life that flows everywhere like an eternal spring wherever the Jewish people live or will live.

 

War Time, the Destruction of Czenstochow and Aid for the Survivors

Normal contact with Czenstochow was interrupted with the start of the Second World War. However, our hearts did not cease to ache for the Czenstochower, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. From the scant information that arrived, we only knew about individual arrestees, such as Rayzele and Moshe Berkensztat, about the ghetto into which the Jewish population had been forced and of the great need that reigned there.

The United Czenstochower Relief

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To Czenstochower Relief and Ladies Auxiliary in New York!
To the Czenstochower Aid Unions in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto and so on!
To all Czenstochower Landsleit and Relatives in America!

Comrades and friends!

        We turn to you in our present appeal with a strong cry of pain that comes from the hearts of hundreds of children, parents, friends and comrades:

Our children's home and folks-shul [people's school] [in Czenstochow] has existed for 13 years. It is only thanks to your great fraternal help as well as the constant care and the self-sacrificing work of the dedicated men and women volunteers of the Aid Union in America that these institutions were supported, where our children – the children of our relatives and friends and hundreds of children from the poorest strata of the Jewish population – received light, education and a healthy upbringing, thus bringing such joy and light to the corners of their warm and dear homes. However, now the cherished institutions [in Czenstochow], which were built with great effort and hardship by all of our devoted friends, are in danger because there is no help from anyone.

No government in Poland has ever supported our schools. Just the opposite, the Polish government wants to annihilate our children's home and folks-shul because they educate our children in the living people's language of the Jewish masses – in Yiddish – and because our school is educating a new, healthy generation that will truly be capable of fighting every flagrant injustice being done to us and [to meet the] needs of the Jewish masses. At this moment it is even worse; the dictators in Poland suppress with their brutal hands and destroy everything that has been built by the working masses with blood and sweat and they do not exclude our children's homes and folks-shuln that were created with so much sacrifice and devotion.

The city hall, which during the course of recent years did subsidize our institutions, now under the influence of the government commissar took away this long fought for subsidy (over 10,000 zlotes) that the school received until now and they have refused to support the children's home and folks-shul in the future.

At the same time, there is terrible need in the land, hovering unemployment. The need and poverty of the Jewish masses is even greater. The poverty of our parents, who because of their own critical situation cannot pay tuition and [are unable] to support the school, is particularly obvious and our beautiful school building in Czenstochow is in danger.

Over 200 of our poor workers remain in the streets without education and schooling and [in danger] of losing their warm places if immediate help does not arrive, to the delight of our enemies.

Can we let that happen?

Mendl and Chaya Bat
Mordekhai and Miriam Bernard
Shlomo and Fanya Borzykowski
Leib And Sura Grinsztajn
Yokim and Ester Grinszpan
Gershon and Fradl Gliksman
Shlomo and Ester Dilewski
Mordekhai and Sura Herszlikowicz
Hersh and Mirl Wiewiorowski
Ayzik and Leah Zajfert
Avraham and Dobra Zajdenknopf
Yisroel and Zlata Jaranowski
Ziskind and Zisl Laska
Meir & Rayzl Zusman
Meir and Chaya Sura Mitelman
Aba and Mirl Michlasz
Alta and Fradl Naparta
Itshe and Ester Poslaniec
Mordekhai and Yeta Flachte
Avraham Foringer
Yehiel and Pesa Szarf
Zalman and Chana Richter

Hercka Fiszbajn
Yehezkiel and Dwoyra Frajmowicz
Moshe and Perl Krawczyk
Yankl and Ester Kaczka
Meir and Sura Kupfer
Shayndl Rajber
Avraham and Franya Rozental
Hinda Ruszin
Moshe and Leah Rajnharc
Dovid and Ruchl Rotensztajn
Hershl and Golda Szwarc
Yeshaya and Shifra Szpic
Yosef and Chana Szwider
Shlomo and Manua Szmulewicz
Yitzhak and Gitl Moszkowicz
Moshe Braun
Moshe Leib and Rywka Szimkowicz
Avraham and Rywka Lubinski
Eliyahu and Brukha Fawlowicz
Moshe and Mariem Gobrowski
Moshe and Rayzl Berkensztat
Berl and Sura Berkowicz
Zalman and Sura Bulwik
Makhl and Pesa Beser
Avrahm and Leah Berman

Dwoyra Teper
Liba Jakubowicz
Borukh Shimeon and Chava Jakubowicz
Hershl and Bulove Lewkowicz
Arin and Royza Lewkowicz
Moshe and Chava Lederman
Zalman Lederman
Hershl and Ruchl Markowicz
Pinkhus and Perl Secemski
Yankl and Sura Ester Poslanec
Yankl and Sura Cygler
Dovid and Dwoyra Rotensztajn
Leibl and Fradl Rozenstajn
Moshe and Royza Sztarlman
Ahron and Rywka Opoczinski
Fajnski
Mabinc Balzam
Berl and Mindl Dorfman
Chaim and Eidl Ezring
Ahron Furberg
Mirl Grinbaum
Shayndl Jakubowicz
Shlomo and Chaya Krakowski
Kopl and Faygl Poslanec
Golda Szliwka

Brothers and Sisters!

        You know well that with our own poor strength we cannot support our school ourselves without your support. When we, on our side, exert ourselves and do everything we possibly can, this is not enough because the school is in need, particularly now – due to the catastrophic situation created – [we need] your great fraternal help. We also know very well about the great crisis now reigning in America, but despite this, we strongly believe that you will make every effort so that our children's homes, which are dear and precious to you, will continue to exist and work normally.

Therefore, we appeal to you:

Save our educational institutions that have been supported by you until now! Send your fraternal support quickly!

Save our consolation – our children! Do not let our children be thrown out into the street … without education and have them suffer from hunger and the cold!

Create a large rescue fund that will make possible the existence of our school!

Support the rescue campaign with whatever you can! Convince your friends and acquaintances to also give their fraternal support. You will do a great thing, thus fulfilling your fraternal and human duty to the children of your old home.

Help further to support the only warm and bright children's homes!

Care for the further existence of all of our beautiful work – the Jewish school!

With a comradely and fraternal greeting

The Managing Committee
of the Workers Children's Homes and Folks-Shuln
named for Y.L. Peretz in Czenstochow

Sh. Girenberg, A. Brat, R. Federman, Z. Krakower,
M. Szlezinger, L. Berkowicz, D. Jakubowicz, W. Fajnc,
M. Lederman, M. Entelis, L. Tenenbaum, H. Zawadski.

*

The Parents of the Children

Leibush and Yentl Berkowicz
Szaya and Yoska Makowski
Mordekhai and Faygl Figlasz
Berl and Shifra Sticki
Leib and Liba Rozenberg
Avraham and Shprintsa Litewski
Meir and Dora Zeligman
Leibush and Fradl Kayzer
Elihu, Manya Czerwonajagoda
Shlomo and Fradl Richtiger
Arin and Zisl Altman
Yitzhak and Ester Bendit
Eidl and Leah Bomba
Mordekhai and Rayzl Buchwalter
Yosef and Miriam Berkensztadt
Shlomo and Sura Wajnbaum
Mendl and Frimet Wajs
Shmuel and Sura Czarny
Melekh and Hendl Chlewicki
Melekh and Nakha Lublinski
Meir and Rodl Merin
Pinkhus and Chana Markowicz
Meir and Chaya Sura Mitelman
Mordekhai Dovid and Hela Salem
Arin Friberg

Henekh and Leah Frajermauer
Luzer and Rayzl Eizner
Yitzhak and Manya Eisner
Yisroel and Leah Orbach

(illegible)

Moshe and Royze Warszawski
Shajndl Jakubowicz
Yisroel and Tsirl Unglik
Yitzhak and Chena Lubinski
Avraham and Faygl Libeskind
Khonen and Ruchl Majerczyk
Asher and Brayndl Szklarz
Leib and Tauba Erlich
Kopl and Faygl Poslaniec
Zelig Piatigorski
Rajzl Pramisel
Yosef and Chava Furberg
Yakov and Dwoyra Fraylech
Dwoyra Ruszecka
Shlomo and Manya Sztarkman
Mendl and Tauba Babrowski
Yankil and Brayndl Brat
Nakhman and Chaya Gutman
Mordekhai and Sura Herszlikowicz
Yitzhak and Tauba Wolski

Avraham Ber and Leah Oberman
Zalman and Leah Brat
Chaim and Chana Bendet
Avraham and Royza Brat

Shaya and Rayzl Wajntraub
Mendl and Fraydl Wajs
Ester Leah Wroclawska
Moshe and Manya Zonensztajn
Yehezkeil and Shayndl Jakubowicz
Fishl and Manya Lederman
Gershon and Yakhet Krakowski
Shaya and Chaya Erlich
Hershl and Rywka Frajman
Mindl Salomonowicz
Yisroel and Chava Dorfman
Berish and Chava Jablonkewicz
Rafal and Ruchl Dimant
Yankil and Liba Wasilewicz
Hersh Leib and Dina Szeradski
Zisman and Yente Zilberszac
Mendl and Rywka Krakowski

Czenstochow, February 1930.

Document From United Czenstochower Relief

[continued from page 262]

supported the Joint [Distribution Committee], the ORT [Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor], HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society], Workers' Committee, the Russian War Relief, the Red Cross and other state aid organizations.

America had entered the war. The contact with Czenstochow ceased completely. Horrible, terrifying, unbelievable information and reports tore through the walls of fire and iron that surrounded all of Europe. The children of our aid workers and landsleit went to the front. However, the fraternal hand was not lowered in despair. We must be ready for when the hour of liberation comes became the slogan of aid work.

The victory of our armies, along with our allies: the Soviet Union and England

[Page 264]

who liberated the world from the fear of the Nazi barbarians, also exposed the horror and terror of the Jewish destruction. Czenstochow, like hundreds of other cities and shtetlekh [towns] in Poland is no more, except for a small number of survivors on the spot and in the extermination camps in Germany. It was six months after the liberation until it was clear that we had to gather all our strength for those who were saved earlier and later in America, Eretz-Yisroel and other nations in order to help the surviving brothers in Czenstochow and unite in the reconstruction after the largest Jewish annihilation since the destruction of the Temple.

A national conference was called of all of the Czenstochow landsmanschaftn in America and Canada. A central office of all aid unions was created. The conference itself, at which representatives assembled from all of the cities in America and Canada with the greatest number of Czenstochower landsmanschaftn, was a historic event.

It was the first expression of a deep consciousness that awoke in the masses of Jewish people in America that in view of the immense, terrible destruction, we could not and must not be divided into separate local groups. The aid work, as well as our entire continuing struggle for survival must be done as one, with united strength, no matter how difficult this will be and no matter what interferences there will be on our road. In this sense, the Czenstochower landsmanschaftn in America showed the road to others. They must not stray from this road. This was of the greatest importance in the current perilous hour of our history.

However, the connection with Czenstochowers in other countries also had a very great significance. In the first place was our connection with the landsmanschaft in Eretz-Yisroel, from which we were separated for so long. The contact that was made with our landsmanschaftn in Argentina, Mexico, Australia, England (London), France, Belgium, Sweden and China (Shanghai) was also important and as much as was possible with the camps of the uprooted people in Germany and Austria. Czenstochower Landsmanschaftn organizations even were created in a number of camps.

United Czenstochow Relief together with the central office of the Aid Unions in America and Canada was in constant contact with the Jewish regional committee in Czenstochow and provided it with large sums of money and goods. Packages of food products were also sent everywhere where there were Czenstochower refugees and those saved from the lime ovens as long as it was possible to reach them.

Czenstochow, Jewish Czenstochow, where generations of Jews lived is a ruin, destroyed to its foundations by the German blackguards. Only a small number survived. However, the children who were raised by Jewish Czenstochow and who are now spread all across the wide oceans and [in many] countries remain and will remain its children. And their parental home city will never be extinguished in their hearts. A friend from Chicago spoke before them from the depths of his heart and said: “If, God forbid, there had not been a living soul remaining there, we would have sanctified the stones on which our parents, our brothers and sisters had walked.”

With a flaming love in our hearts for our city, for our Czenstochower survivors, we will live, work, begin anew to come together from all corners of the world, unite like brothers to help them, to help ourselves, to continue to draw the golden chain of Jewish generations and of Jewish survival.

Translator's Footnotes

  1. The Dinezon Committee was composed of both Bundists and others who supported the creation of secular Yiddish schools in Poland. The committee was named for Yankev Dinezon, who worked with Y.L. Peretz to create children's homes and schools for Jewish children orphaned during the First World War. Return
  2. zlotesand groshn Return

 

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