Preface and Introduction

Translation of  Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

Morris Wirth

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

Our thanks to Phyllis Goldberg for scanning and proofreading the Preface and Introduction

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Polin:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume 1, pages VII - XV, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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{Pages VII and VIII}

Preface

This book is the first in a series of volumes dedicated to the Jewish communities of Poland and is part and parcel of the Pinkas Hakehillot project, whose aim is to establish a memorial to European Jewry which was destroyed in our lifetime.

The volume on the city and district of Lodz opens the series of volumes on the Jewish communities of Poland (according to the Polish boundaries upon the outbreak of World War II). For obvious reasons, the volumes of the series were divided according to "Jewish geography"--the unique aspects of the historical, social and cultural development of Jewish society in each region--rather than according to the administrative divisions of Poland at that time.

The first volume, as well as those which will follow (the volume on the communities in Eastern Galicia is currently being prepared) are arranged according to entries, which relate the history of every individual community from its foundation until its destruction.

Special emphasis was placed on presenting as much material as possible on the history of small communities, about which very little has been written and which consequently were likely to disappear without leaving a trace. In the preparation of the entries priority was given to the events and problems of the period of the Holocaust.

During the l6th and 17th centuries, Poland, which was the home of an enormous Jewish community--enrooted yet variegated--for many years, became the center of European Jewry and of the entire Jewish world (alongside the second center in the Ottoman Empire). In the course of time, the Jews who settled in this large and important center created a community of intellectual, social and economic capabilities which possessed unique qualities both on a regional and national level. A particular Polish Jewish way of life was created whose features may still be discerned throughout the Jewish dispersion, in the countries where Polish Jews found shelter during the 19th and 20th centuries.

From the end of the l6th century the communities of Poland were a center of Torah and the authority of the Polish Talmudic scholars was accepted even in the most remote Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora. Despite periods of deprivation, and perhaps because of their influence, the light of Hassidism, which illuminated the Diaspora in Eastern Europe until its destruction, shone for the first time on Polish soil in the l8th century.

The wonderous vitality of East European Jewry was also manifested during the dramatic events of the 19th and 20th centuries, a period during which the great majority of the Jewish communities in this area underwent tremendous changes and suffered harsh blows. When the failure of the Emancipation was already in the offing and the results of modern anti-Semitism were beginning to be felt, the Jews of Poland founded community organizations and political parties and created the conditions for a flourishing and variegated national and cultural life. Zionism, the movement of national liberation, and the Jewish labor movement flourished in Poland. During the period between the two world wars, Poland was the major center of the Zionist parties, as well as of the Bund and Agudat Israel.

The initial buds of the Haskalah found fertile soil in the Polish Jewish community and eventually yielded superior fruits in all the areas of cultural creativity---Hebrew and Yiddish literature, modern education, Jewish theater and modern art.

During the Holocaust, Polish Jewry was exterminated and with its liquidation one of the largest Diaspora centers in the history of our people was destroyed. Poland was chosen by the Nazis as the mass graveyard for all of European Jewry. All the extermination camps were built on Polish territory. During this difficult period as well, during the gloomy stages of its decline, Polish Jewry bravely resisted the waves of death and destruction. Isolated, enclosed in ghettos in a hostile environment and without any help from the outside, Polish Jewry proved its spiritual and moral strength. During the final period of its existence, the characteristic features of the vitality displayed by Polish Jewry throughout its thousand year annals were revealed in the firm resistance in daily life, in the struggle for existence, in the armed resistance in the ghettos and concentration camps and in the ranks of the partisan movement.

The history of Polish Jewry, its glory and destruction, which is recorded in these volumes will undoubtedly serve as a most useful lesson to future generations.

Yitzhak Arad
Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate


{Page XV}

Introduction

The first volume of the series on the Jewish communities of Poland includes articles-entries on the history of the Jewish settlements in the city of Lodz and 116 towns in the region. The region includes those subdistricts which from an administrative point of view belonged to the district ("wojewodztwo") of Lodz during the years between the two world wars (regardless of the period during which they belonged to the district). Thus the subdistricts of Kalisz, Kolo, Konin and Turek were included despite the fact that in 1938 they were detached from the district of Lodz and added on to Poznan. Similarly the subdistricts of Kutno, Lowicz, Skierniewice and Rawa Mazowiecka, which were detached from the Warsaw district in 1938 and added on to the district of Lodz, as well as the subdistricts of Konskie and Opoczno, which in 1939 were detached from the district of Kielce and added on to the district of Lodz are included in this volume.

The most important factor in determining the borders of the region was not the official Polish administrative divisions which were in effect during the interwar period but rather the dictates of "Jewish geography". Thus, for example, the Jews in the above-mentioned sub-districts, which in 1938 were added on to Poznan, were undoubtedly closer in terms of their professional structure, culture and way of life to the Jews from the Lodz district than to the Jews of Poznan, who were closer in these respects to the Jews of Germany.

The choice of the region of Lodz as the subject of the first volume in the series on the Jewish communities of Poland was by no means accidental. Many Jews, approximately one-seventh of Polish Jewry lived in this area. The city of Lodz had the second largest Jewish community in Poland (Warsaw was the largest) and it was one of the biggest Jewish centers in the world. Moreover, the Jewish communities in this region, despite their unique characteristics, to a large extent represented the Jewish settlements throughout Poland--their historical development, legal status, economic-professional structure, culture and way of life.

Among the communities in this region, are several whose origins date back to the initial settlement of Jews in Poland (13th-15th centuries)--for example, Kalisz, Piotrkow Trybunalski, Leczyca. Besides the communities in those royal towns where Jews were not forbidden to reside, several of the communities in this region were established following a prolonged and tiresome struggle for the right of settlement (towns which belonged to the clergy, royal towns with the special privilege forbidding Jews to reside within their limits). The region also includes communities in private towns, which belonged to the nobility. While Jews were allowed to reside in such towns, they were totally dependant upon the good will of the nobles. Jewish quarters were established in several towns in the course of the 19th century and in other towns Jews were absolutely forbidden to reside due to their proximity to the borders of Congress Poland. Besides the long-established Jewish communities, the region also includes several fairly new communities which were founded during the period when Lodz was becoming an industrial center (the first half of the 19th century) such as Lodz, Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Zgierz and Zdunska Wola. In several of the above cities, Jews were not only restricted in their choice of residence, but also in their choice of livelihood--due to the initiative of new settlers, artisans who were brought from Germany.

The problem of the migration of the Jews of the villages who were forced to move from their farms to the small towns and later migrated to the cities--a process which lasted from the early 19th century until the outbreak of World War II--is reflected in the annals of the Jewish settlements in this region.

The industrialization of the Lodz region began in the 1820's. During the latter half of the 19th century industry developed following the abrogation of the tariff boundary between Congress Poland and Russia, and the opening of the enormous Russian markets. The region became one of the largest textile centers in Europe and the city Lodz became known as "the Polish Manchester". The professional structure of the Jewish population in Lodz and other industrial towns--Belchatow, Brzeziny, Lask, Leczyca, Piotrkow, Sieradz, Pabianice, Tomaszow, Zdunska Wola, Zgierz--was unique, and had a high proportion of workers in the productive professions (industrial contractors, suppliers of raw materials, wholesalers, factory workers, artisans). The Jews played a significant role in the textile industry and they constituted between 80 and 100 per cent of the artisans.

Besides industrial cities, the region also had communities which were typical of the Jewish townlets in Poland, in which the Jewish economic base was dependant on the role of the town as a center for commerce, crafts and services for the rural agricultural surroundings. Thus in these small towns there was a large number of merchants, artisans and peddlars.

In the Lodz region we also see an example of the typical cultural and political developments which took place in the Jewish communities of Poland. Outstanding representatives of the Jewish intelligentsia grew up or settled in the communities in this region. The seats of the rabbinate of Piotrkow, Kalisz, Leczyca, Lask and Kutno were among the most respected in Poland, and were occupied by noted scholars, whose books and halachic decisions served as guidelines for Polish Jewry, as well as for Jews outside Poland. The yeshivas in these cities produced great rabbis and Talmudic scholars. Piotrkow Trybunalski became one of the greatest centers of Jewish printing in Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Piotrkow edition of the Talmud was second only to the edition published in Vilna. In the Lodz region, as well as in the rest of Poland, the Hassidic movement enjoyed tremendous growth during the 19th century. In the cities and towns of the region Hassidic courts and dynasties of Hassidic rebbes were established, whose influence went far beyond their immediate vicinity, such as the dynasties of the rebbes of Alexander, Radomsk, Pshische, Rozpshe, Radoshitz; and Skirnivitz.

Modern Jewish culture developed in this region (as well as in the rest of Poland) at the end of the 19th century and reached its peak during the two decades between the world wars. In addition to the traditional heders, yeshivas and batei midrash, in which the learning of Torah did not cease until the Holocaust, a network of modern Jewish schools was established in the region. Elementary schools and high schools belonging to the "Tarbut", "Horev", "Javne" and "Zisho" networks were founded, as were modern heders such as those established by "Yesodei Hatorah", "Beit Yaakov", and the "Heder Metukan". In all of these schools the language of instruction was either Hebrew or Yiddish. In addition, elementary schools and high schools were founded in which the language of instruction was Polish, but whose curriculum included Jewish studies. The number of elementary public schools for Jews in which the Sabbath and Sunday were the official days of rest, was quite large.

As far as culture and the arts are concerned the Lodz region was considered to be a suburb of Warsaw, the adjacent metropolis. Among the factors which contributed to this situation were the industrial character of the region and the preoccupation of the majority of the population with business and the professional, social and political aspects involved therein. Another significant factor was the ascendancy of the Hassidic way of life in many Jewish communities. Nonetheless the general awakening of the cultural life of Polish Jewry during the interwar period produced a significant number of cultural activists. There were several tens of Hebrew and Yiddish writers in the region, some of whom were so outstanding that they achieved renoun throughout Poland and the entire Jewish world. The same is true in music and the arts. Lodz was the second largest center of Jewish theater in Poland (Warsaw was the largest) and practically every town in the region had a drama circle or amateur theater. Local Jewish periodicals were published in Lodz and other cities, such as Piotrkow, Tomaszow, Pabianice and Kutno.

As in other areas of Poland, there was a tremendous flourishing of Jewish political life in the Lodz region during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. A broad spectrum of diverse political parties and youth movements operated in the area and they increased their activities during the two decades between the wars. The Zionist movement, including all the various parties and factions, was very strong in the Lodz region and it was successful in various activities (such as the Parliament elections, the demonstrations of identification with the Palestinian Jewish community during the Arab riots, the boycott of Nazi Germany, etc). The Hassidic way of life, which was prevalent in many towns in the Lodz area made the region the stronghold of Agudat Israel and its affiliated organizations. Thus, for example, the branches of Poale Agudat Israel in the region of Lodz were the largest in Poland. However the professional-social structure of the Jewish masses in the area, as well as the economic situation served as a solid foundation for the activities of the Bund and the growth in the influence of the Communist organization in the large centers of Jewish laborers.

The flourishing of the social and political life in the Jewish communities during the period prior to World War 11 parallels the (in most cases futile) struggle waged by Jewish institutions, such as the kehillot, political parties, and economic and social organizations, against the rising wave of anti-Semitism--the struggle to maintain economic positions, to ameliorate the material situation of the Jewish population and the fight for equal rights. The fact that the Jews were always discriminated against and the hostility of the non Jewish environment to a large extent decided the fate of the Jewish population during the tragic period of the Holocaust.

Despite the fact that during World War II part of the Lodz region was annexed to Germany (Reichsgau Wartheland--Warthegau) and part to the General Government (which included the area of central Poland), the fate of the Jews in these two sections was similar because the plans and tactics employed by the Nazi authorities vis-a-vis the Jews were based on the same principles and took the same forms throughout occupied Poland. Therefore, the various problems dealt with in those parts of the entries relating to the period of World War II and the Nazi occupation are identical (with slight variations) for every Jewish settlement. Thus, the different forms of persecution suffered by Jews and the decrees issued against the Jewish population are described: beginning with the first kidnappings in the streets, murder of individuals and groups, degradation of national honor, badges of shame, and restriction of movement; continuing with economic measures, such as the denial of the sources of livelihood, and robbery of property; up until the mass expulsions, concentration and isolation in the ghettos, biological extermination of the Jews under ghetto conditions (hunger, epidemics. exploitation of the labor force, etc.), deportations to forced labor camps; and finally the liquidation of the ghettos and the mass deportations to the extermination centers. As much attention as possible was devoted to the problems of Jewish administration (the Judenrat and its institutions) and its role in organizing the Jewish society under the conditions of the occupation and terror (welfare, health services, concern for sources of livelihood), as well as to the attempts of individuals and groups to preserve their existence and human dignity. If possible, information is provided on the political underground which functioned among the Jewish population, as well as about the activists of the resistance movement and the Jewish partisans.

There were, however, certain differences in the history of the Jewish communities in the Lodz region during the Nazi occupation depending on whether they were in the Warthegau or the General Government . The differences are manifest in the timing and direction of the mass expulsions and the "spontaneous" migration; in the process of the emptying of certain subdistricts of Jews in the wake of these movements; in the chronology of the establishment of the ghettos, their liquidation and the mass extermination; in the participation of Jews in the partisan movement.

A. Most of the territory of the region of Lodz -11 subdistricts-was part of Warthegau during the occupation. Of these subdistricts, Lodz, Brzeziny, Lask, Wielun, Leczyca, Sieradz, Kalisz and Turek were included in the "Regierungsbezirk Kalisz" (eventually the name was changed to "Regierungsbezirk Litzmannstadt"); while the subdistricts of Kolo and Konin were part of the "Regierungsbezirk Hohensalza" (Inowroclaw). The Germans changed the borders of several subdistricts. Thus, for example, they eliminated the subdistrict Brzeziny and divided its territory between Lodz and the new subdistrict of Tomaszow Mazowiecki; they also enlarged the subdistrict of Lask at the expense of Piotrkow, and the Wielun subdistrict at the expense of Radomsko.

Since the Warthegau underwent an intensified process of Germanization, most of its territory was cleared of Jews relatively early. In late 1939 and early 1940, there was a mass expulsion of Jews to the General Government . In addition, Jews from various areas in the Warthegau were concentrated in selected towns in order to "Purify" these areas as quickly as possible and to make room for the new settlers--Germans from the Baltic States, the Lublin area, Volhynia and Bessarabia. It is noteworthy that besides Jews, many Poles, residents of towns and villages, were also expelled to the General Government. According to the intial plan of the central occupying authorities, which was never realized, all the Jews of the Warthegau were to be concentrated in the General Government, and especially in the Lublin district. In the course of these expulsions and concentrations, and because of the "spontaneous" flight of Jews (who feared the terrible conditions they would be subjected to during the expulsion) almost all the Jewish settlements in the new subdistrict of Lodz ceased to exist in December 1939: The Jews of Aleksandrow, Konstantynow, Strykow and Zgierz were expelled to Glowno in the Warsaw district (General Government ) and the Jews of Tuszyn were sent to other places in the same district. From December 1939 to April 1940 the Jewish population of the city of Lodz was reduced by approximately 70,000 people, who were expelled or fled to the General Government. Following these expulsions, there were only two large Jewish settlements in the Lodz subdistrict: Brzeziny (until May 1942) and Lodz (until September 1944). Almost all the Jews of Zloczew (Sieradz subdistrict), which was badly harmed during the war, were also expelled to the Lublin area in November 1939. In late 1939 and early 1940 most of the Jewish communities in the Kalisz subdistrict ceased to exist (Kalisz, Blaszki, Stawiszyn, Kozminek and others) as most of the Jews were expelled to the General Government and the remnants were concentrated in a camp established at Kozminek. Shortly thereafter, in July 1940, the Jews from almost all the towns of the Konin subdistrict were concentrated in the villages of Grodziec and Rzgow, and in the town of Zagorow in the same subdistrict. In the majority of cases, the isolation of Jews in ghettos in the territories annexed to Germany was carried out at a fairly early date in 1940. By the same token the liquidation of the ghettos and the mass extermination in these areas also took place relatively early. As early as October 1941, the remnants (following the expulsions to the General Government) of the Jewish population in the subdistrict of Konin, approximately 3,000 people who were concentrated in Zagorow and the villages of Grodziec and Rzgow were murdered en masse. These Jews were shot in the forests near Kazimierz Biskupi. On December 8, 1941 the first camp in Nazi occupied Polish territory designed solely for mass extermination began functioning in Chelmno (Kolo subdistrict). From December 1941 until early February 1942 all the Jews of the subdistrict were murdered in this camp; the extermination process continued until September 1942, by which time only the large Jewish community of Lodz remained in existence in the Warthegau and even it was reduced by the deportations to the Chelmno camp. During 1942, the year of the mass extermination, the Nazis concentrated thousands of Jews from the settlements in the Warthegau which were liquidated, who were either capable of doing physical labor or were artisans, in the enormous production complex of the Lodz ghetto.

The main places to which the Jews from the ghettos of the Warthegau were taken for forced labor were the camps in the. Poznan area. There they worked paving the highway ("Reichsautobahn") from Poznan to Frankfurt-on-Oder. Deportations to other work camps in the Warthegauor in Germany were infrequent. Most of the labor camps in the Warthegau were liquidated by the summer-fall of 1943, and only a few remained in existence until 1944.

B. In the subdistricts of Lowicz and Skierniewice, which were part of the Warsaw district (General Government), there was a considerable influx of Jews (from the territories annexed to Germany) in 1939-1940. These newcomers--those who were expelled as well as those who fled--concentrated for the most part in the larger cities: Glowno, Lowicz and Skierniewice. The Nazi authorities began establishing ghettos in the western part of the Warsaw district in May 1940. The liquidation of the Jewish settlements in the two sub-districts was achieved by the expulsion of the Jews to the Warsaw ghetto in spring 1941.

C. The following subdistricts were included in the Radom district (General Government): Konskie (the entire subdistrict), Piotrkow Trybunalski and Radomsko (with alterations in favor of the subdistricts in the Warthegau, as mentioned above), and the new subdistrict of Tomaszow Mazowiecki (which was made up of the areas which formerly constituted the subdistricts of Opoczno and Rawa Mazowiecka plus part of the former subdistrict of Brzeziny which, as mentioned above, had been eliminated).

During the years 1939-1941 thousands of Jews (especially from the areas annected to Germany: Warthegau and the Ciechanow region--Bezirk Zichenau"--as well as several towns in the General Government) fled or were expelled to this area. Most of the ghettos in the area were established in the spring and summer of 1941, about a year after ghettoization took place in the Warthegau and the western subdistricts of the district of Warsaw, although it should be noted that the ghettos in the large cities of Piotrkow and Radomsko were established at an early date (December 1939 and January 1940), even before the first ghettos were set up in the Warthegau (Lodz, January-April 1940 and Pabianice, February 1940). The mass extermination of the Jews in the Radom district was carried out in October 1942, later than the Jews had been exterminated in the Warthegau. The Jews from these settlements were murdered in the extermination camp in Treblinka, (Warsaw district). Following the liquidation of the ghettos, there remained in the subdistricts of the Radom district which are dealt with in this volume, remnants of the Jewish settlements in Piotrkow, Tomaszow, Radomsko and Ujazd. The first two were work camps (the camp in Tomaszow was liquidated in fall 1943, while the camp in Piotrkow existed until the latter half of 1944), while Radomsko and Ujazd were ghettos which were reestablished in order to concentrate the Jews who had remained alive either "legally" or "illegally" following the mass extermination in October 1942. These reestablished ghettos were liquidated in early 1943. In Konskie as well, a group of Jews was allowed to remain alive until January 1943, three months after the liquidation of that Jewish settlement. Work camps which were established on the area of the original ghettos after their liquidation, as well as the reestablished ghettos were typical not only of the Radom district. Such camps and ghettos also existed in other regions of the General Government, but not in the Warthegau.

The Jews of the Radom district were deported for forced labor mostly to camps established in that district which had many important industrial centers. In 1940-1941, however, there were also deportations to the forced labor camps in the Lublin area. Following the wave of mass extermination more than ten work camps, which were located in industrial centers, remained in operation in the district. The two abovementioned camps, as well as the one at Zagacie (Konskie subdistrict) were in the area under review in this volume.

Only in this part of the Lodz region, which during the Nazi occupation was part of the Radom district did a substantial number of Polish partisan units operate in the local forests. A number of Jews who had fled the ghettos and survived the liquidation wave served in the partisans (especially in the leftist partisan movement, "Armia Ludowa"). In the vicinity of Opoczno and Drzewica a Jewish partisan unit, commanded by Julian Ajzenman-Kaniewski, operated from late 1942 until the summer of 1943.

This volume includes all the settlements in the region of Lodz whose Jewish population during the period between the world wars numbered several hundred. However in order to preserve the memory of smaller Jewish settlements as well (even those which numbered only several tens of Jews), those communities on which there was any documentation were included in the volume. Thus, for example, the village of Andrzejow in the subdistrict of Lodz (approximately 100 Jews) and the village-industrial settlement of Wola Krzysztoporska in the subdistrict of Piotrkow (about 60 Jews) were reviewed in this volume. On the other hand the urban settlement of Opatowek in the Kalisz subdistrict, which in 1921 had a Jewish population of 186 and which existed during the Nazi occupation until February 1940, was not reviewed because there was no documentary material available on this community. Attention was especially devoted to the small settlements, which were turned into concentration points for Jews during the Nazi occupation, such as Kowale Panskie in the Turek subdistrict. However the labor camps established by the Nazis do not appear in this volume as separate entries.

There are marked differences in the length of the various entries. Some consist of only a few lines, while others run for tens of pages. The longest entries relate to the large Jewish communities, and to those settlements which played a unique role economically, culturally, etc. The entries on long-standing communities are also naturally longer than those dealing with communities which had been established relatively recently.

It should be noted, however, that there is also an unintentional disproportion in the scope of several entries, which resulted from a lack of documentation or the inability to obtain material (from certain archives abroad), factors which rendered these entries incomplete. Thus entries on important communities were in several cases shorter than they should have been as, for example, in the case of Piatek. As for the proportion between the sections of the entries, special emphasis was laid on the period of the Holocaust. In certain instances, however, other periods or specific problems were treated extensively due to their uniqueness and/or the abundance of relevant documentary material,

The heading of every entry gives the name of the settlement in Hebrew phonetic transcription, as well as the original name in Polish as it appears in "Skorowidz miejscowosci Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej" (published in the 1930's), one of the sources included in the general bibliography for this volume. The traditional names in Yiddish-Hebrew and the popular Yiddish forms of the names are given in those cases in which they significantly differ from the original name (Warta-Dvart, Sulejow-Silev, for example). Following the name of the place is the subdistrict to which it belonged in the 30's (according to the same source--"Skorowidz"). The abovementioned administrative changes instituted by the Nazi authorities after September 1, 1939, according to which several places were allocated to other subdistricts (for example Ujazd and Koluszki--Tomaszow subdistrict; Brzeziny--Lodz subdistrict) were not taken into account in the headings of the entries. These changes were noted only where it was necessary in the context of the entry.

In the beginning of most of the entries there are tables of the Jewish and general population. Tables were not included in the entries on several smaller settlements due to a lack of information.

The structure of the entries generally follows a set pattern. The chronological framework emphasizes three major periods: from the earliest information on the settlement until 1918, the interwar period, and the period of the Holocaust. In the chronological framework the material is arranged according to subject. In the shorter entries the topical and chronological outline were often combined. Subdivisions and subheadings, both chronological and topical, were introduced in several of the more comprehensive entries (Lodz, Lask, Piotrkow) for the sake of clarity.

Within the entries the geographic locations appear only in the phonetic Hebrew transcription while the name of the place which is the subject of the entry is referred to in the text by an abbreviation. Variations on names of locations appear in the text in the case of the titles of Hassidic rebbes or the names of various Hassidic movements. Thus, for example, the name of the town Przysucha appears as such, while the hassidim and the Hassidic dynasty are referred to as "Pshische". These "Hassidic" forms were not included in the index of place-names at the end of this volume. The names of persons appear either in Hebrew transcription or in their original form in Yiddish. In several cases individuals were referred to by their names of endearment, such as some Hassidic rebbes, for example "Reb Shiyale" (instead of "Reb Yehoshua") of Kutno. Names of endearment were also used in cases where the individuals were known mainly by these names or because this was the only form which appeared in the available documentation (this latter is especially true of the period of the Nazi occupation)--for example names "Moniek," "Izio," "Motke," etc.

In order to avoid the use of specific terms and the names of offices or official titles, the above were translated whenever possible into Hebrew. Thus, for example, the term "privilegia de non tolerandis Judaeis" was translated as "the privilege prohibiting the residence of Jews" in a town; "wojewoda" was translated as "governor (or head) of the district," "Bank Kredytowy" as "credit bank," "Wehrmacht" as "the Nazi Army." Nonetheless quite a few of the well-known or most popular terms and names or their abbreviations appear in a Hebrew transcription of the original such as "Endeks," "Warthegau," "Gestapo," "S.S.,” Volksdeutsche," "Judenrat." Several of these terms are accompanied by explanations, for example "P.P.S. (Polish Socialist Party)," "Shabasovka (a public elementary school for Jews)". In most cases names of kings, bishops, nobles and officials were not mentioned unless the names were essential in the context of the entry.

Two types of lists of sources appear in this volume: a "general bibliography" at the end of the book (the publications listed contain information on many of the settlements in the Lodz region) and a list of "sources" at the end of each entry, which pertains solely to that entry. It should be noted that the materials listed in the latter are not always the major source of documentation for an entry. Detailed information on certain settlements was missing (this was especially true in the case of small communities) and thus the entries were composed on the basis of the material contained in the general bibliography. The lists of sources were arranged according to the following order: archival documentation, books or articles in periodicals, newspapers.

The source of the maps which appear in the book is: "E. Romer, J. Wasowicz, Polska; mapa polityczna," published in 1939 (it is listed in the general bibliography). Most of the small Jewish settlements which are reviewed in the book do not appear in the map of the Lodz region because more detailed topographical data was not available.

The book contains photographs of 20 synagogues from towns in the Lodz region; they symbolize the Jewish world which was destroyed. The photographs are from the collections of the Yad Vashem Archives, the book: "M. and K. Piechotkowie, Boznice drewniane" (listed in the general bibliography) and the Memorial Books of the various communities of the region. In choosing the illustrations the artistic and historical value of the synagogues was taken into consideration as well as the clarity of the original photographs.

Danuta Dabrowska, Abraham Wein


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