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[Page 11]

Introduction

Some years have passed since the destruction of Suchowola yet we have not come to terms with our loss, our hearts still ache when we recall what the Nazi monsters perpetrated against us.

Since the establishment of the “Organisation of former residents of Suchowola” in 1951, we sought a way to immortalise our town and the memories of our holy ones, and to establish for them a monument.

When we decided to publish a “Yizkor” book we did not realise how difficult our mission would be in every respect. In the early stages we had doubts about obtaining materials. It was not easy to convince our friends to put their memories onto paper. We did not ask for scholarly articles; our appeal was to all former residents of Suchowola, wherever they were to be found, in Israel and the Diaspora, to provide their support to this holy endeavour. At first only a few answered our call. We approached this task with no experience, but did so with much love and with endless sacrifice. Nothing was immediately available or ready to be published; we had no historic or archival material. We walked an impassable path. Not scholarly writers, but rather laypersons from every walk of life wrote this book and immortalised their little community in the same way as other much greater communities have done.

The submitted material is not “conventional” – but it does reflect our town. We wrote to the best of our ability, we told that which we remembered and were successful in immortalising a picture of our town. We described every household and erected a monument to their dear souls.

We described the daily lives of residents beginning from the previous generation, we told of the values on which we were educated. We gave extensive details of our town: The houses of prayer, the businesses, the institutions, the political parties, and above all we described Suchowola's destruction from the mouths of its scattered remnants.

It was our great privilege to deal with these Yizkor materials. However, the pain and the sorrow of obtaining the eyewitness accounts of Suchowola's destruction and the tragic extermination of our holy ones weighed down on us, these were days of horror and of sleepless nights in performing this work, but there were also hours of reconnecting to the past, as if our households and our town were alive and well…

In the light of these memories, these forgotten images rise up and seem as only yesterday came back to life…

This Yizkor book is of priceless value to all former residents of Suchowola wherever they may be found. We wish to praise the members of our community in America and Mexico who provided us with financial support. We also wish to thank and bless those involved with the “Encyclopaedia of the Diaspora” and particularly Mr. Chaim Berlas whom we got to know well and who was attentive to our needs and sympathetic to our mission.

You children who have no knowledge of your parent's past, we wish to dedicate a few words to you with this publication. You have been brought up in the land of salvation and freedom, and the afflicted Diaspora of generations upon generations is not close to your hearts, and for you the life stories of your parents may seem foreign.

In our holy quest, the publication of this Yizkor book, we have fulfilled our obligation not only to our holy ones and the memory of our town, but to you as well, our young ones.

You have not merited, children, to have your grandparents close and to hear from their mouths the stories and times of what were…Please look through our precious “book”, the only remaining memory that remains, that tells the story of Suchowola, and to your eyes will be revealed a typical Jewish township, one of hundreds in the Diaspora, that were, are no longer and will be no more…

We have told to ourselves, and have now told you, what was and has gone forever…

Our book is also your book, please honour it and read it…

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