Our Town and Area
History of our town
by Mendel Eisland
Unfortunately, there was no historical documentation available to narrate the
story of our town. Occasionally, the name of Radomysl has come up, but,
regrettably, the material provided was insufficient.
In the Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom (published in 1880) we
find that Radomysl Wielki was founded in 1581 an important date for
Polish Jewry, marking the year following the establishment of the
"Committee of Four Countries". If Jews lived there as early as that,
then by the time of the 1942-liquidation, the Jewish community would have
existed for 360 years; for fourteen generations. The study of the community's
growth during the above years, is of great challenge, necessitating a complete
reconstruction of our forefathers way of life.
We shall try to shed some light on the past by introducing all available facts
concerning the area of Radomysl. The works of such prominent historians as
Prof. Meir Balaban, Prof. Rafael Mahler, Dr. Jacob Szacki, Dr. N. M. Gelber and
others that dealt with the history of Western Galicia shall be used as
reference; Jewish newspapers and periodicals since the beginning of the XX
century, as historical resources.
Our town was called "Groys Radomysl"; "Groys" (great in Yiddish)
was added at the end of the 19th century, or the beginning of the 20th century.
In Polish it was spelled Radomysl Wielki.
The Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom (Slownik Geograficzny
Krolewstwa Polskiego) provides the following information:
"Radomysl is a small community in the Mielec district located between the
rivers Wisla and Wisloka, on a plateau 205 meters above the sea level, 38 53'
longitude east, and 65° latitude north
At the outskirts of the town, the stream Rabka, a tributary of the Partinia
River, which in its turn is a tributary of the Bren River, flows by. There are
routs branching out in three directions: South heading towards Czarny (a
railway station, 26 km,), Northeast heading towards Mielec, 15 km. away,
West heading towards Dombrowa, 21 km. in a straight line.
There are coniferous forests near Radomysl, especially northeast and west of
town. The soil northeast and west of town is a mixture of sand and clay.
The town was founded by Nikollaj Firlej "Kastelan", the military
official from Biecz. In 1581, with the consent of the Polish king Stefan
Batory, he appropriated lands that had belonged to the villages Ruda and
Dulcza, and which were the property of his wife Liegenzianka.
It is reasonable to assume that Jews have lived in Radomysl ever since, though
Prof. Balaban does not include Radomysl in the list of Jewish communities which
existed in the Krakow-Sandomierz territory during the 16th century, (unlike
Rzochow, Polaniec, Zabno, Dombrowa and Mielec). Considering the fact that at
that time Jews were driven out of the royal towns, like Biecz (1569) and Pilzno
(1577), which had the privilege of the so called "de non tolerandis
Judeais" (not tolerating Jews), it is possible that Radomysl was built as
a "private town" by the mentioned "kastelan". Since Jews
were expelled from the town he was in charge of, he had to accommodate them
somewhere else. Therefore, we accept the possibility that Jews have lived in
Radomysl from the very beginning of its existence.
Dr. R. Mahler in his work "Jews in Old Poland in Figures" (published
by the "The Jewish Book Co.", Warsow 1958), offers some numerical
information of a Jewish-population census taken in 1764 65. Very little
is told about Radomysl, but by way of comparison, one is able to discern
vaguely what our town was like 200 years ago.
According to Table 11-111, 302 persons aged one year and above, were recorded
to have lived in Radomysl, and 62 in the surrounding villages. Only persons
aged one year and above were counted, since they were required to pay the
"head-tax". One can add 18 infants aged below one year, as babies
were about 6% of the population, although according to Dr. Mahler, up to 20% of
the population was not counted. The 302, plus 18 babies and the 60 in
surrounding villages, totals 380 Jewish inhabitants living in Radomysl during
1764 65. According to the royal administration at that time, Radomysl
was located in the Pilzno region; so were Tarnow, Dobrowa, Dembica, Kolbuszowa
and other towns. They were all in the Sandomierz territory.
Poland's newly born independence in 1918, caused a series of Pogroms against
Jewish communities in Western Galicia. Radomysl suffered violence during those
days of November, but fortunately without human losses. L. Chazanowicz in his
work called "The 1918 Nov. Dec. Pogroms", mentions that Jewish
stores in Radomysl had been broken into. Ready carts wheeled away the stolen
merchandise. When the gendarmerie had taken over control from the Militia; the
P. K. L. (Polska Komisja Likwidacyjna The Temporary Government
of Western Galicia, M. E.) an investigating committee was appointed. A
wide correspondence about the pogrom that has not taken place thanks to
governmental intervention we find in Nowy Dziennik of 19.5.1919.
"One week had passed since that danger of a "pogrom had hung over our
community. News pouring in from surrounding regions and towns kept the Jewish
population in constant anxiety.
Regardless of that fact that the market day, Thursday, the 8th of May, was
cancelled, some 1,000 peasants; men and women appeared in town. The majority
had never lived in the area nor taken part in market days and fairs. Local
gendarmes were patrolling the entrances to town under the command of officer
Lustig. In town, a regional officer named Zarzecki took over. The Police
confiscated all odd-looking tools and empty carts intended for the purpose of
carrying away the loot. It was a difficult job for the security men, since the
peasants stubbornly opposed their instructions. Thanks to the wise and
energetic management of Lustig and commander Lonczak, nothing serious had taken
place. At ten o'clock, Thursday morning, the mob turned ruthless. Then
commander Lonczak with nicety and common sense requested the people to return
quietly to their homes. The mob encircled the gendarmes shouting: "Hurray!
Let's get at the gendarmes!" and tried to attack, but the police struck
back using their clubs. A machine gun that had been placed on a balcony
overlooking the market place, opened fire scaring the crowds away. The crowd
turned wild with panic and scurried away, though meaning to return soon after
and begin the looting. The Jewish population, though saved for the time being,
lived in constant fear.
Thus our town was spared a pogrom thanks to determined efforts of official
organs; a proof of the saying that if the government wanted to prevent Pogroms,
it could do so.
It is essential to point out that Radomysl was part of the area in which
radical peasants leaders lived and functioned. In January 1919 during the
election of the Polish legislative, Sejm (parliament), five out of six
representatives of the Tarnobrzeg district, which the Mielec region was located
in, belonged to the leftist P. S. L. Among those were the founders of
the Tarnobrzeg Republic, who refused to recognize the rightist movement,
P. K. L. The priest Okun, along with Tomasz Dombal and Lancucki, was
the founder of the first Communist legislative body in the Polish Sejm. Later
he served as chairman of "The Peasant International" in Moscow.
The calendar published by "The Austrian Israelite Union" mentions the
leaders of the Jewish community during the years 1897-1914. The leaders in
office ("Board of Trustees") were as follows:
The Town Rabbi at that time was reported to have been Shmuel Engel. The
secretary of the Jewish community since 1906 07, was Jacob Rand.
Associations in existence then were: "Chevra Kadisha", "Bikur
Cholim" and "Talmud Torah". In the years 1897 98, an
association named "Menachem Avelim" existed, but there was no mention
of "Chevra Kadisha".
1897 1900 Bert Silberman, Moshe Rappaport, Refael Issler.
1901 1905 Jecheskel Eisland, Izik Kaufman, Moshe Rappaport.
1906 1907 Chairman Berl Lev, vice-chairman, Mordechai David
Silberman and Pesach Kaufman.
19091" 1913 Chairman Izik Mahler, vice-chairman
Sender Wiesen and Pesach Kaufman.
1913 1914 Chairman Sender Wiesen, vice-chairman Israel
Green and Pesach Kaufman.
During the elections of March 1929, out of 310 eligible voters 303 cast their
vote. There were 119 votes for the "National Opposition Lists!' 3
mandates, 140 votes for the "Rabbinical Party" 4 mandates and
42 votes in support of the 'United Workers" 1 mandate.
At the period of Polish sovereignty (1918 1939), elections to municipal
offices took place; in 1920 1927 according to the Austrian system, in
1934 according to the "Proportional System". (The 1939
elections did not take place).
During the 1920 27 term, when the Jews held a mandate, the mayor was Mr.
Jarosz and his deputy mayor was the prominent Jewish leader Jacob Pelc.
We know that in the 1934 elections the "Christian Party""
received 5 mandates, the "Christian Democrats" 1 mandate, the
"Orthodox Jews"' 4 mandates and other Jewish parties together 2
mandates. The municipal council consisted then of 12 members. Jeremiah
Leibovitz was elected deputy mayor.
by Baruch Jechiel Wind
The early years of the 1930's marked a crucial period of change in the lives of
the Jews in Radomysl, and the beginning of an economic decline. Although the
area of Radomysl did not suffer the brutality of an economic war, one could not
avoid sensing the approach of ruin, for over a prolonged period of time many
regions in Poland were subjected to brutal anti-Semitic activities.
During those years, small commerce declined rapidly. Most affected by the
change was the lower middle class, their weekly earnings averaging 20 gold
coins per family. A few Jewish merchants were quite well off the rest
lived on their savings. Jewish philanthropic organizations intervened. They had
done wonders, especially the "Gmiluth Hesed Fund", founded in America
by the charitable Mrs. Suratt. Many of the Jewish inhabitants were able to
maintain themselves due to the help offered them in their time of crisis. In
the years 1936 39, more than a hundred families were in need of loans;
close to one-third of the Jewish population, while half that number needed them
The craftsmen sector was economically the most stable since skilled
craftsmanship was in demand in both Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Tailors
and other skilled artisans worked independently. The sons worked with the
fathers no hired hands. Only cobblers hired laborers. It is essential to
point out that till the beginning of the war, most craftsmen were Jewish.
All professions, including the number of workers in each, are listed below:
If we add to the list a number of public servants, Jews of religious
occupation, bathhouse attendants, "melamdim" and those of the
academic professions, then 25% are Jewish worker families, though mostly
independent in making and selling their products.
The population could be grouped in the following manner:
The social aspects of our 300 years old community had undergone a fundamental
change in the period between the two World Wars. The years 1900 1917,
are justly considered a period of awakening enlightenment. Concepts sacredly
adhered to by the majority of the community were shaken, breached. Within one
generation Radomysl became modern, daring and rebellious. A complete
transformation of values had taken place; as if leaping from the middle ages
into the enlightened world of rational, practical historically purposeful
concepts. The fact that the majority of the Jewish population continued to hold
onto the old religious pattern does not alter our historical appraisal.
by David Pelz
The Austrians divided their territories into districts and status; the
Courthouse and the Tax Collecting Office. In spite of the fact that Radomysl
was part of the Mielec district, it had a Courthouse and a Tax Collection
Office smaller by only one third than the one in Mielec. Hundreds of people
from all over the district came daily into Radomysl to look after their
affairs. This made every day a market day ("yarid").
The Austrians divided their territories into districts that were limited by
natural boundaries. The river Wisloka was such a boundary, therefore the
jurisdiction of government offices of our town served over a large area, from
Borowa (30 kilometers away) up to Przeclaw.
Conscious of the great possibilities, Jews all over moved into Radomysl and
settled there. Among them there were lumber traders as woods could be purchased
Thanks to that particular situation, the Jews of Blonia became the majority of
the town's population.
On Thursdays, at the time of the weekly "yarid", the market square
was full of peasants who came on carts heavily loaded; eggs, cattle, horses and
grain were on sale in tremendous amounts.
The Radomyslits were the purchasers of all that, but also the sellers of goods
like clothing, tools, fabrics, shoes and groceries.
Thursday's earning alone were sufficient to allow a good living during a whole
week. Those "yarids!" became reputable to the extreme envy of the
neighboring towns and of Mielec especially.
Five judges and twenty clerks were kept busy in the town's Courthouse. The Tax
Collecting Offices employed a similar amount. There were two lawyers, one
notary-public, two physicians, one pharmacist and a few Post Office clerks. all
of them made the town's intelligentsia.
Once Poland became an independent state, and a bridge was constructed across
the Wisloka River, Mielec started a strong economic competition with Radomysl.
Except of diverting business away from our town, they also erected roadblocks
on market days. Envious of the prosperity of our town, Mielec instigated
successfully managing to take over the judicial and tax collection functions.
This converted our town overnight from a successful township into
a poor and oversized village, whereas Mielec flourished at its expense. The
people of our town headed by Yarosh the mayor, my father R. Jacob Pelz, and
other undertook measures to regain the lost functions; they went to
Varsow together with the villages' heads. They appealed, with partial success
only, to Witos, the Prime Minister of those days restoring only the judiciary
function, though for a smaller area (only 22 out of the 48 of the previous
period). The number of functionaries was also decreased: 2 judges and 2 clerks.
The town had also been made to pay rent for the courthouse, the jail, and the
lodgings of the courthouse manager.
About the Gaon R' Shmuel Engel
by H. Cynowicz and A. Reichman
The Gaon was born in Tarnow, 1853. His father the Hasidic Rabbi Ze'ev Wolf died
when he was an infant. His mother Esther determinedly brought her sons up,
thoroughly trained in the ways of God and the Torah. Their mentor was the Gaon
R' Haim Halbershtam from Sanz, the author of D'vrai Khaim, Words to
R' Shmuel, from a very young age, was considered a great "iluy" (a
very bright and talented student, in the study of the Torah. He was looked upon
as a wonder child when his holy ways have been noted. Everybody expected him to
become a great authority later on.
W hen fourteen years old he was already thoroughly versed in most of the
Commentary of the Talmud.
He was already known as the "Iluy from Tarnow". Even then, he had
already known by heart the books of The Gracious One of Judah and
Seer of the Book. He was used to say that their authors were sent
from Heaven to lead the people of Israel with Halachot. His most special
teacher was, no other then the Gaon author of D'vrai Khaim, R' Halbershtam from
Sanz, who expected R' Shmuel to become one of the greatest lights of his
generation. Therefore he closely followed and consistently encouraged R'
Shmuel's studies in the Torah while injecting him with the ways of his Hasidic
Indeed the image of the Gaon was always in front of R' Shmuel. He closely
followed him, faithful to his spiritual goals. Even when later on he was
considered a genius, his spiritual ties with the Rabbis from Sanz, descendants
of R' Haim were never severed. When in the presence of such greats as R'
Yechezkel from Szvnawy and R Baruch from Gorlice. he considered himself to be a
plain Hasid and therefore scrupulously kept on with his ritualistic visits with
them. When still a youngster he was considered to be a bright star in the
rabbinical circles. Many famous Gaons carried his praise most noted among them
were R' Joseph Shaul Nathanson, author of Hashoal V'Mosh'v and chairman of the
religious court in Lwow, the famous Rabbi and Teacher R' Yssachar-Dov Rokach
from Belz who said "To the Rabbi from Radomysl people should pay
visit with utmost devotion". The youngest Gaon R' Haim-Elazar Shapira
Chief of the Rabbinical Court of Munkatz called him the Song of the Torah , the
greatest of Teachers, the illuminator of Torah, the Glamour of Chosen
People". Whenever he became ill, and that happened many times, he had his
holy way of being mentioned to the generation's Zadikim (holy persons), and
especially the Rabbi from Szvnawy mentioned above. He was the spiritual leader
of the Jewish masses, their patron father and support. He encouraged those who
failed and helped them to solve their problems. So glad he was to do mitzvot as
if by doing it he would gain a fortune. In everyday matters he did not care for
being honored, in matters of Rabbinate he was most particular disciplining his
students and the town folks so that the honor of the Torah would be preserved.
He did not take part in any political life. Once representatives of a certain
party confronted him and asked his support claiming that both Judea and Israel
will be saved by their activity. The asker and the answerer
answered: "Let it be known to you that the power of survival of our people
lies in the Torah. The only thing we should do is encourage the study of it
throughout the Diaspora, because it is the heart of the nation and the source
of its existence."
R' Shmuel Engel passed away on the 19th of the month of Adar Alef, 1935. He was
82 years old when he died.
An Evaluation of Rabbi Shmuel Engel's Personality
When sixteen years old, he married the daughter of a prominent citizen in
Bilgoraj located in the Lublin District. He then was appointed Rabbi of
Bilgoraj with the support of the well-known Gaon R' Shneor Zalman, author of
Torah of Kindness, and chairman of Beith Din (religious
court) in Lublin. R' Shneor said then to the Rabbi : "Let the people hear
when I speak to you and they will believe in you forever". His rabbinate
in Bilgoraj lasted for seven years until he was expelled as an alien and had to
leave the town. He was then appointed chairman of Beith Hadin in Dukla, then in
Radomysl and the district. There he broadened his fruitful work, until he
became the fountain of wisdom for all to follow. Radomysl became famous in
Jewish history due to his prolonged stay there. His whole being centered around
one objective to bring out the greatness of the Torah and its true meaning in
order to enlighten the young. He would plunge through the Halacha to its
outmost depth, considering matters thoroughly till all doubts were swept away.
He immersed himself completely in the problems of deserted women. He therefore
attempted to bring salvation to thousands of widowed women whose husbands were
lost in battle during World War I. Eminent Rabbis from other countries came to
seek his counsel and bask in his glow. His counseling was received unanimously.
The Release of the Deserted
by Shraga Fayvish Halperin
(Grandchild of the Gaon of Radomysl)
His activity in releasing Jewish women from marital bondage to missing
husbands, was known to all. He had shown extraordinary capability, almost
beyond human comprehension. One who delves into his books would comprehend how
profound his judgment was. Both the Gaon of Lwow and Brzezany supported his
judgment. Our Rabbi, blessed be his memory, explained his way of teaching the
"My teachers taught me to use my own judgment dealing with a juridical
problem, then find out what the Torah says. The solution based on the nations
needs, logic and the Torah will be adopted and stuck to."
For 65 years, since he became the Rabbi of Bilgoraj, Dukla and Radomysl, then
for 18 years in Kosice in Slovakia, he had brought the light of the Torah to
thousands. When he passed away in 1935 at the age of 82 he left behind
thousands of original solutions to juridical problems, commentaries in Torah
and Halacha of which only part his yet been published.
The Rabbi R' Chaim Engel
by Rabbi Szymon Yechezkel Fraenkel-Teumim
The "Gaon" Rabbi Hayim Engel, blessed be his righteous soul, was a
son-in-law of my grandfather (the father of my father), the late Rabbi
Frenkel-Teomim of Podgorze. Since the "Gaon
was an uncle of mine, I
visited his home frequently, especially for the purpose of studying the
teaching of the Scriptures. I studied at his home Yeshiva with a few other
young men from Radomysl and was authorized to teach.
Sometimes we would study in the wood near the house of the Rabbi's father; the
late Gaon Rabbi Shmuel Angel.
Among the students I met was Rabbi Reuben Dorf; one of the excellent students
in the Yeshiva. When I was younger, about eleven years, I studied in the house
of Rabbi Eliezer Pistrong of Radomysl. He owned a wine shop in the center of
the market. In Radomysl I also met the R. Jechiel Kline, his son R. Israel. R.
Mendel Honik, R. Moshe Padaver, R. Jacob Green, R. Shimon Eisland and a few
other Jews among the leaders of the congregation. My uncle, apart from being a
scholar. was considered a great arbiter in matters of complicated nature. He
served as one of the arbiters in the case of the "Shochet u'Bodek from
Chrzanow with the Gaon Rabbi Nahum Wiedenfeld of Dombrowa, the brother of the
Gaon of Trzebinia (may he live a long and lasting life, Amen) and the Gaon
Rabbi Zetelnik of Wadowice, blessed be his righteous soul.
When my uncle was absent, Rabbi Laybush Berenknop, a well-learned scholar would
take his place.
Rabbi David Hacohen
by Mendel Ebenholz, Bnei Brak
Around the year 1765, a Jewish scholar and "Zadik", Rabbi David Magid
Hacohen, settled down in the town of Radomysl. According to the testimony given
by the Visionary of Lublin, R. David Magid Hacohen was a descendant of Ahron
the High Priest. A line of his offsprings, highly orthodox Hasidim, stayed on
in Radomysl until they were wiped out by the murderous hands of the accursed
Some of his grandchildren arrived at Eretz Israel in 1873. (As a follower of
the Hasidic congregation of Sanz, he had been told by the righteous Divrey
Hayim, blessed be his memory, to migrate to Israel). They settled in the town
of Zefat where some of them still live. The Cahana family of Zefat and also the
Brizils of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.
Also R' Mosh'l Kohn Bikowsker who died in the hands of the Nazis may
their names be wiped out in Radomysl, R' Pinchas Kohn the cantor and his
children, Elimelech Kohn, Ziporah Torn and their family and the grandchildren
of R' Nutele Blass. There were also the Wigdor family, Mindel the wife of R'
Saul Bethheil and Mailechel Bizgaier and my grandmother Haya Mindel the wife of
R' Eliyahu Evenholtz the cantor Zivia Krzeszowitzer and R' Pinchas Wigdor and
many others of the large family, offsprings of R' Magid Hacohen.
Torah in Radomysl
by Rabbi Jakov Flanzgraben, New-York
Radomysl wasn't an ordinary town, it was a metropolis of Torah and greatness at
the same time. More than at other places there were two prominent scholars one
the great Gaon R' Shmuel Engel and the holy Gaon Mofet Hador the Rabbi of
Plancz. At those days everybody, from young to old studied Gemara with
commentaries. The Kloyz (Synagogue) was the fortress of the Torah, as from
morning till the late hours of night (on Thursdays throughout the night) the
learning continued. Two old men, Talmidey Hachumim (let their merits defend
us), taught the youngsters. One of them, R' Meir Kalman, was seated at the
southern corner of the Kloyz and the other, R' Alter Santzer, at the northern.
They taught Torah to the whole town. The lesson began at 5 o'clock in the
afternoon every day. R' Alter was a merchant. He owned the agency of the firm
"Shantzer Mel" of Tarnow, which served the whole neighborhood. To his
trade he gave only a few hours a day, the rest of the time was for his students.
The eastern corner (Mizrach) of the Kloyz was owned by the 'gevirim', the fine
wealthy Chasidim. Their wealth was estimated one million dollars. Torah and
greatness side by side! Among them was seated R' Srulish Poylisher who at a
certain seasons of the year fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. Also R' Meir
Kalman sat and studied from 12 o'clock at midnight till the morning. There was
a lesson in the middle of the day given by the town's Rabbi
Only a few young men took part in it and I was among them. The town's Rav, R'
Shmuel Engel was a humble man, he treated us as a friend not as a teacher.
The young Rav, R' Shmuel Engel was also a very persistent scholar. He studied
with students the Torah. His diligence was somewhat unnatural; he slept and ate
very little. (We were informed lately that Rabbi Jakov Flanzgraben passed away.
May His memory be blessed).
R' Alter Sanzer
by Yechezkel Kaufman, New-York
I have been R' Alter's pupil for three years; a period that gave me the
opportunity to get to know him.
Besides being a great scholar, teacher and educator, R' Alter had his own
unique approach to teaching. Once, having concluded his lesson, he elaborated
on it: "It is a common practice for the teacher to prepare the lesson
beforehand, so that everything goes smoothly. I do not approve of it. The
student should not think that the teacher knows everything, and whenever the
Gemarah is opened he is ready with his 'Pshat' (simple explanation). On the
contrary, let the student see how much of an effort it is for the teacher to
get at the 'Pshat' of a piece of Rashi or Tossafot. By observing him they learn
how to study and how to find out the answers on their own, and get the true
meaning of 'Yagata Umazata'.
R' Alter's system, I believe, has been proven to be effective, as many of his
students have become prominent scholars. His attitude towards his students was
warm and hearty. He would glow with happiness whenever student had made a
discovery. He would proudly tell the student's parents about it. He was fond of
human beings and easy to get along with. Though he was a very orthodox person,
he was far from being a fanatic.
by A. I. Mahler
The new cemetery was quite a distance from the center of the town, in the Kloyz
The old cemetery was near the synagogue. As children, we were afraid of passing
there during the night. We had heard all sorts of tales about the dead who used
to meet in the synagogue. Only on the 9th of Av did we all go to visit the
It was considered a great honor to be a member of the Hevra Kaddisha (the
Burial Society); all the duties were done voluntarily. The number of members
was not great. The Chevra Kaddisha was an independent body and did not belong
to the community.
In the Society there was a section of Pallbearers, because in order to give
honor to the dead the bodies were not taken to the cemetery on wagons, despite
the distance. There was a group of people who washed the bodies. Funerals were
held at night too, according to the time of death. And in order to show respect
for the dead, bodies were not kept overnight, not even at the height of winter.
Visiting the Sick in our Town
by Jaakov Mahler, Tel-Aviv
In Radomysl as in other places in Galicia there was a Bikur Holim society
(visiting the sick). This group would help the sick and their families by
sitting with the patient during the night, or even giving financial aid to
those in need of it
The town did not have a hospital and when the need arose, and there were many
such cases in the autumn and winter. A person sick for a long period of
suffering from some chronicle disease made him a burden to his family. The
Bikur Holim society would come and sit with the patient, during the day and
during the night, purchase and administer medicines, call and pay the doctor,
wash him and give him every possible help.
Political, Social and Cultural Life
Activities of various organizations as reported in different periodicals
(collected by Mr. Mendel Eisland)
General Zionist Organization
The first chronicles about the Zionist movement in Radomysl are to be found in
the Zionist newspapers from 1903.
"Yiddishe Wochenblatt" published in Stanislawow:
"Radomysl, July 16th 1903. Also here in Radomysl, Zionism has broken
through the wall of fanaticism and began to shine in the yellowish faces of our
Jews. They began to realize that Zionism is the Jew's only rescue.
On Tuesday, the 14th of this month, a national assembly has been called.
Zionist speakers arrived from Tarnow; Bienenstock, Szudmak, Kener and Tisch. In
spite of the strong anti-Zionist propaganda by our religious Zion-haters, 50
60 people besides women and children, listened to the missionary
The whole town was full of rumors that the Tarnowian missionaries came to
convert Jewish young boys and girls. R' Aharon Fertig was elected chairman;
after a short introductory speech he opened the session.
Bienenstock explained (in German) what Zionism was all about. Szudmak talked
about the organization of the movement, Kener (in Yiddish) introduced its
demands and also answered questions. Tisch delivered a fine speech in Hebrew
about the Zionist idea. The audience was strongly inspired; on the spot
founding a party was proposed. A committee of six was formed; 36 joined the
party as members. Money was donated and a general meeting was scheduled in
about four weeks. The temporary committee, as well as the members, were deeply
grateful to the people of Tarnow for having come to Radomysl."
With Zion's greetings
The same story appeared in Lwow's Vschod" in a form of a letter from
Radomysl differing in the following: "Thinks to Mrs. Peltz for his hearty
reception given to the speakers."
A notice in "Die Welt" 30.10.1903 says: "Radomysl's
"Zion" (the name of the first Zionist organization has elected
Blumenblatt, Y. Netz, Geldzeiler, Fleisher, Fertig Kartaginer, M. Lev.
Zilberman, Poloniecki, Strabing and Feder." On the same page we find a
notice as follows: "Radomysl A farewell party was given in honor of
Reuven Eisland of the "Zion" organization on August 27th."
In 'Nowy Dziennik" we read: "Letters of the 8.8.1924. Lately a
meeting took place in our town dealing with the subject of Alia to Eretz
Israel. Mr. Richtiger, who lately came from there, delivered a speech which
aroused great interest. (The Palestinian movement had recently gained power).
Many young people would like to immigrate to Eretz Israel, but regretfully
there are not enough certificates for all. Also there are no suitable places
for training the Chalutzim in farming, in spite of the fact that there are many
Jewish landowners in the area. Our townsman Mr. Alter Mahler, has been an
active member on a national scale. During the all-country elections to the
first Zionist Congress, Mahler was a candidate of Wadowica, Rabka, Makow and
Jordanow. In the Radomysl Tarnobrzeg Baranow area, the candidate
was R. Rafael Rozenzweig of Baranow.
The same Newspaper, in a letter dated 18.7.1925 Says: 2 "Radomysl Wielki;
the anniversary of Theodor Herzl has been celebrated by the Jewish population
of our town. The windows were decorated with portraits of our leader. The event
was celebrated in the evening. After a few opening words by Mr. Spielman, Mr.
Szymon Eisenberg spoke about T. Herzel's thoughts. The choir conducted by Mrs.
Malka Weis sang the Hatikva and other songs Mrs. Gertner recited a few poems.
The whole evening was in the hands of Mr. Gershon Eisland."
From a notice in the same paper dated 23.10.1926 we learn that on the 7th
yearly Zionist conference the following Radomyslits were elected: A. Mahler,
Sz. Eisenberg, M. Weis.
In the same newspaper, in a letter from 28.12.1026 we read : "Hanukah and
the Jubilee of the K. K. L. were celebrated in a Casino hall, in the
form of a Maccabi evening, a banquet and a dancing. The event in which the
local youth took part besides many of the Baale' Batim and guests, was
successful to the very last detail. It was opened by the youth choir. Then Mr.
Szymon Eisenberg spoke shortly and Ing. Lewinstein of Krakow delivered an
enthusiastic speech. The program ended with recitations by Mrs. Gitel Garen and
Mrs. Gross and Horowitz's men and women choir.
The evening was closed with Mr. Eisenberg's announcement that Ing. Lewinstein
has formed a local committee of Zionists in which there were 16 members."
Nowy Dziennik: 7-7-1934
"Radomysl Wielki: Two month ago, thanks to the great effort of Dr. Spiegel
and David Gross a local committee of the General Zionist Organization was
formed with Dr. Leon Spiegel as presiding chairman.
The new local committee has already done a lot of Zionist work like reading and
disputing with the left. In spite of the dirty work of some elements, we
managed to get hold of one mandate to the congregation. Dr. Spiegel became
deputed of the local assisting committee for Chalutzim. For a whole week money
was being collected in the streets. The results were quite satisfactory. In the
name of Tarbuth and thanks to the work done by Dr. Sarah Spiegel, a
kindergarten has been opened Let us hope that it will be the foundation of a
Hebrew school. Thanks to the efforts of K. K. L. a lecture has been
given by Dr. S. Spiegel on the subject : "What has been accomplished by
the Keren Hakayemet Lisrael"
On the 15th yearly conference of the Zionist Central Organization Dr. Sarah
Spiegel was elected delegate and Rafael Brand vice."
The Zionist Youth Organization
In Nowy Dziennik of the 4-1-1931- we read; "On Sunday, 21st of December
and the last day of Chanukah, the "Ken" (nest) of Hanoar Haivri had a
Chanukah Evening with a very rich program. After the singing of Haneyroth
Halalu by the choir, J. Bienenstock of Tarnow delivered a speech full of fire.
The rest of the evening was dedicated to recitations of poems and the witty
"Confession of a Zionist deported to Siberia."
At the end there was a 4-act show by the name "Isha Ra" by Loteiner,
under the well-experienced direction of Mr. M. Fogelfang. Mr. Keller deserves
mentioning, and also Fogelfang. Part of the income was donated to
K. K. L."
And further we read: Letter from the 24.6.1933 Radomysl.
"The Zionist movement Akiva has lately celebrated its 5th Anniversary.
Representatives of the Tarnow and the Krzyz City Hall and the Plugoth Hachshara
took part in the festivities. From the platform where representatives of the
grown up population were seated many speeches were delivered. Among others
these was a hearty greeting by the chairman of the patronizing organization
Mrs. Dr. Spiegel."
Conventions of different Zionist groups in Western Galicia took place in
In a different chronical of March 1934, we read:
"The meeting of the Southern part of the Tarnow region will take place on
Monday, April the 2nd. All the Kinim of the sub-regions like Bochnia Tarnow,
Mielec and Radomysl will participate. The place of the meeting will be Radomysl
And again from the end of 1937:
On 11-11-1937 "Akiva" is being moved to a new location.
"The opening of the new "Akiva" lodging took place at fortnight
ago. It was marked by a festive report and the installment of a new working
The Revisionist Youth Party
In Nowy Dziennik of the 3.5.1933 we read:
"Last Tuesday, thanks to the "Ken of Brit Trumpeldor a
protesting assembly took place in our town against the discriminating laws in
Germany. Facing an audience of 300 people Mr. A Issler of Tarnow made his vivid
speech. Later certain resolutions were taken".
From 11-1-1934 we read:
Radomysl Wielki. During the Chanukah holiday Akiva and Bejtar organized a
Maccabi evening. The tireless chairman of K. K. L. Dr. Spiegel
cooperated with them. "The income was all for the Usyskin project. Also
the Arlozorov project was successfully dealt with under the management of Dr.
In the "Trybuna Narodowa" of 9-11-1934, No. 39 we read :
"Radomysl Wielki. On the 20th of the month Tamuz a mourning assembly was
organized by the local Beytar. The evening began with the singing of Hatikva,
then Chaver Jacob Eisland greeted the audience giving the stand to Avigdor
Eisland the commander of Beytar. Also Chaver Karp spoke. The event was closed
by the singing of Bshuv Adonay. The income was donated to the Tel-Chay fund.
(The Tel-Chay committee has done a good job in our town with fair
In the same newspaper (No- 41) on the 11-10-1935 we read:
"Radomysl Wielki. Our Beytar under the leadership of commander Avigdor
Eisland is very active; the program includes Hebrew, Geography of E. Israel,
History of Zionism, Beytariut, scouting and physical education.
Elections to the congress have been successful beyond expectations. In spite of
the left" propaganda we have gained 262 Votes.
Some time ago, our ex commander Moshe Goldfinger arrived from France, having
concluded his training as gardner in Tulise. He spoke about the Medinat
Hayehudim (Jewish State) Chaver Goldfinger is one of the founders of
Revisionist movement in southern France."
"Radomysl Wielki (1-5-1936 No. 17)
On Shabbat, the 18th of April 1936 in the Beytar auditorium there was a
farewell party given in honor of brother commander A. Eisland who is leaving
together with his wife to Eretz Israel. After the singing of Beshuv Adonay the
evening was opened by the chairman brother Jakov Eisland who gave a detailed
description in Hebrew of brother Avigdor's achievements as commander of our
Ken. Then spoke the chairman of the help-committee for Halutzim Dr. S. Spiegel.
She delivered a long speech about A. Eisland's work for the national funds. In
name of Beytar spoke brothers Horovitz and Bierenbaum, in name of the
Grossmanists Chaver D. Wind, of the Histadrut Akiva Chaver G. Wind, of the
local committee Chaver Sz. Wind and in the name of national library A.
After the farewell speech of brother Comm. Avigdor Eisland himself the event
was closed with Hatikva".
(taken from M. Eisland publication)
In a letter from Radomysl printed in Krakow's Poaley Zion periodical 'Der
Kämpfer' from the 22.8.1919 we read:
"The local Rescue Committee consists of very important well-off people who
know very well how to take care of themselves. The committee receives every
month 300 crowns (a coin known as "korony") for the needy of which
500 800 is given to the relatives of its members. 300 400 crowns
are given to different Baaley-Batim who are to be protected and the rest goes
to the unemployed, 30 40 crowns for each. A member of the committee
gives to his brother-in law 700 crowns each month and to his son-in law 60
Another member gets 800 crowns for himself. How much is left for those who
really need it can easily be imagined."
In a letter printed by the Warszawa's Poaley Zion periodical named 'Befreiung
Arbeiter Stimme" (No. 36 from 16-3-1927)
"After years of splits and differences our working youth has found the
need to organize a large group of Poaley Zion members invited Chaverim Laufbahn
and Grünberg of Dembica.
They dealt with the goals of our party and with general politics as well.
The large audience listened attentively to their speeches. Meanwhile our party
counts only 50 members, though many sympathizers will join us as soon as we
have our own place and our work will improve. A while ago at the elections to
the City Counsel we were given a mandate for Chaver Sz. Eisenberg (Szymon
Eisenberg was elected as the craftsman representative because at the time of
elections Poaley Zion had officially not existed yet. M. E.) The general
Zionist opposed us violently claiming that we have no right to exist".
Another bundle of correspondence published in the "Befreiung
Arbeiter-Stimme": (No. 1, 6.1.1928):
"The third conference of our organization in Western Galicia. The regional
conference of our party in W. Galicia was opened on December 25th, 1927 in
Krakow and lasted two days. Present were: Eisenberg of Radomysl etc
No. 23, 15.6.1928 Radomysl:
"On Sunday the 3rd of this month Chaver Grunberger of Dembica, delivered a
speech on the subject: "The fall of Europe and the rise of Asia".
Ch. Grunberger was carefully listened to and applauded as his speech made a
deep impression. Ch. Grunberger took part in a conference about the community
elections and the youth movement "Freiheit".
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