Born in Czenstsochow on the 6th of July 1898. Came to America from Germany in 1913. He was a member of the Czenstochow branch 261 of the Arbeter Ring [Workman's Circle] in New York. His son, Gustav, served as a sergeant in the American Army.
The Oderbergs had a Czenstochower lineage. Moshe, one of their sons, was born in 1891. He received a traditional and frume [pious] Jewish upbringing in his parents' house, later in the Krimalowner yeshiva in Czenstochow.
In 1904/5, the freedom movement, which penetrated the yeshiva and the shtibl [small prayer house], carried him away. Against the tradition of his home, he put on a worker's shirt at age 14 and began to work as an apprentice with a locksmith.
Welwel, the Bundist who worked with him in the locksmith shop, made a strong attempt to get M.O. to join the Bund Youth. However, this idea had no impact on him. He was drawn to Poalei-Zionism; particularly, because several of his yeshiva friends has already joined the movement.
He was called Ben Akiva in the Poalei-Zion organization. He decided to open a locksmith shop in his home, in order to serve the party better, which was in need of weapons that were brought in from out of the country and often needed many repairs. His carried out his plan together with Meir Grajcer a good lock worker.
The second location of his locksmithy was in a cellar in Josef Oderberg's house on Warsawer Street. This house adjoined Marcusfeld's men's hat store. Once the police surrounded the house where the lock workshop was located and carried out a rigorous search. At that time, not only were revolvers and revolutionary [literature] in the cellar, but also two soldiers, pepesovtzes [members of the illegal Polish Socialist Party] who had run away, one of whom had shot his officer; the second escaped from a military prison where he was imprisoned for spreading literature that called for an uprising. With luck, the police did not find the cellar. However, after the sudden attack of the police, the workshop was no more.
Later, Moshe was forced to escape to Germany. The police arrested his brother Nusen as a hostage. His parents succeeded in ransoming him with a large sum of money.
After a time he returned to Czenstochow and, in order not to be arrested, he left for Lodz. He remained there from 1908 to 1913. He mostly gave up party and cultural work. During this period, underground party workers made use of the cultural unions as a legal means for their activity.
Moshe Oderberg returned to Czenstochow in 1913 and was elected with Moshe Ceszynski as a delegate to the third Poalei-Zion convention in Krakow.
He left for America a short time after the convention. Here he did not find in either the landsmanschaft organization or in his own Poalei-Zion party the lively fire that burned and glowed in the Jewish masses in his birthplace. He decided to found party organizations for the young that would become the pillars of fire for socialism and Jewish liberation.
While in Chicago, together with a group of comrades he founded
the Poalei-Zion Social-Democratic Branch 2, a union of true Borokhovist [followers of Ber Borokhov, a Russian Socialist-Zionist labor movement leader] with Borokhovism as its slogan. He was also the co-founder of Social-Democratic Br. 3 in Chicago, taking in a wide range of young people.
When Poalei-Zion's school movement begins, he finds himself in the front ranks. He becomes the administrator of the Maccabi schools in Chicago. Also active in the aid work for our old home. He becomes an active co-worker in People's Relief and when Mendl Szukhter resigns his office as administrator in Chicago takes his place.
At the same time, he is also district-secretary of Poalei-Zion and co-editor of the Chicago edition of Yidishn Kempfer [Jewish Fighter], under the editor Dovid Pinski. Later under the Borokhov-Zbubovl [Jacob Zerubovel, Leftist Poalei-Zion leader] editor.
In 1921, when there is a split in the Poalei-Zion World Movement he participates in the founding meeting of the Leftist P.Z., becomes a member of the central committee and co-editor of the central party organ. He moves to New York. He writes articles for many years under the pen name M. Neyman, and publishes articles under the names M. Berglson and Josif Neyman in the Argentinean Yiddishe Prese, in the Arbeter Welt [Workers' World] in Warsaw, in the Nei-Welt [New World] in Eretz-Yisroel and in Proletarishn Gedank [Proletarian Thought] in New York.
When the movement for the Borokhov Children's Schools comes to America, Chicago founds two schools and Moshe Oderberg is their administrator.
In the late years he is active in the P.Z. party in addition in the Jewish Workers' Committee in the union's Histadrut campaign, in the Arbeter Ring and in the Czenstochower landmanschaft organization.
Moshe Oderberg was one of the founders of the Czenstochower Independent Union in Chicago; was chairman for three years and actively assisted in all of its undertakings.
Son of Josif and Margula. Born in Czenstochow in January 1890. He married Ceshe Konicepolski. Came to America on the 2nd of July 1913. He is a member of the Czenstochower Educational Alliance in Chicago. His sons Willy and Martin and his son-in-law, Morris Ginsberg, have served in the American Army.
Son of Pinkhas and Yentl. Born in Czenstochow on the 15th of March 1886. Came to America on the 9th of January 1909. He is a member of Branch 295 of the Arbeter Ring. His son Saul served as a sergeant in the American Army.
Son of Josef and Chana. Born in New York on 15th January 1903. He is an executive member of the Czenstochower Aid Society in Chicago. His son, Leibl, served in the American Army.
Son of Haim and Rifka. Born in Czenstochow, April 1895. Came to America in 1923. He is a member of the First Dzialoszyner Khevra Anshei Bnei Achim in New York.
The son of Wolf and Ester. Born in 1915. His received his social education in the Zionist-Socialist youth organization, Freiheit [freedom] and in Gordonia [Zionist pioneer youth movement]. In 1932 he became secretary of the Zionist-Socialist Workers' party, Histadrut. Later a member of the party council. After the deportation of the Czenstochower Jews, he fled to Bedzin and joined the ranks of the underground struggle that was mainly made up of the young; he saved himself in dozens of cities and shtetlekh in Poland. Later, the underground effort carried him to Upper Silesia.
He succeeded in assignments by the movement in saving many young people from concentration camps and ghettos and hid them in the bunkers (popular name for a hiding place). He traveled with the false papers of a volksdeutsch [ethnic Germans living in another country]. He helped with smuggling across the Polish-Slovak border and, later, the Slovak-Hungarian border.
In Budapest he was again active in organizing the young. He was a member of the Haganah [defense] council and Hatzalah (self-defense and rescue committee). In May 1944, he was the first to cross the Hungarian-Romanian border and arrived in Bucharest. Later, hundreds of refugees went the same way. A large number of them reached Bucharest. Subsequently, he legally left Constanza for Eretz-Yisroel where he arrived on the 25th of May 1944.
Daughter of Moshe and Feiga Rubel; born on the 25th of July 1894 in Piotrkow. At age 9, her mother gave her to a woman tailor where she worked for two years. Her older sister, Rifka, who works in Czenstochow then takes her with her to Czenstochow where she works with her sister making cheap clothing. At 12, Yokheved Israel enters the Bund and takes part in the strike that the Bund leads among the tailor workers. In 1913 she marries Itzhe Dovid, a grandson of the Kraserkes, and, with her husband and her sister, she comes to America.
Harris (Israelowicz) Israel
Son of Dovid and Jean. Born in 1867 in Czenstochow. He came to America in 1888. Was a director and member of 22 organizations in New York, as well as the United Czenstochower Relief in New York. Died in June 1941.
Son of Moishe and Malka. Born in Czenstochow on the 2nd of January 1892. Came to America on the 4th of October 1910.
Born in Plomieniec near Krzepice (Poland), husband of Mindl Eisner and the father of Lemel, Pinkhus, Leibish, Willy, Harold, Mary, Beatrice and Frances. Died in New York on the 30th of July 1940 at age 90.
Son of Isidor and Mina. Born on the 7th of March 1892 in Czenstochow. Came to America in 1907.
Son of Mordekhai and Sara. Died at 79 in Czenstochow in 1937.
Son of Kopel and Feigel. Born in Przyrow in March 1887. Came to America in July 1920.
The son of Abraham and Guea. Born in 1903 in Amstow near Czenstochow. Member of the B'nai-Brith Shalom Sofer. His son Gustav is a major in the American Army.
The son of Abraham and Gwendolyn. Born June 1890 in Czenstochow. Came to America in 1902.
The son of Yoel and Perl. Born on the 20th of May 1881 in Czenstochow. Came to America in 1905. Member of the Warsaw Socjal.
The son of Yehoshua and Mindel. Born in Lelew (Poland) on the 15th of September 1888. He married Haya Weisfelner and came to America in April 1913 from Czenstochow. Is a member of the Bendiner Society, Hebrew Progress and the Czenstochow Educational Society in Chicago.
Born in 1882 in Lublin of frume [pious] parents. At 14 he became an apprentice in bronze work and at 16 he left for Warsaw, from which he returned to Czentochow in 1903.
While in Warsaw he had already joined the Bund. In Czenstochow, he became acquainted with Dovid Malarski, Mendl Szukhster, Meir Fajnreikh and Kopl Gerikhter and became one of the most active wokers in the S.S. [Zionist-Socialist Workers' Party) workers organization. During a strike in Wajnberg's factory, he met Josif Number 1 (Dr. Josif Kruk) who in Dovid Akerman recognized the type of Jewish class
conscious worker and harnessed him in party work, Together With Ahron and Nukhmen Singalowski, they helped build the S.S. organization in Czenstochow.
When Dovid Malarski was arrested in 1905, Dovid Akerman was sent to Warsaw to Zalman Burszu who familiarized him with a technique that would help free Malarski from prison.
During the workers' strike in 1905, Dovid Akerman, as committee representative, ran the supplying of food to the striking Jewish workers in Golda's teahouse.
In 1906 he married Hana Eichl from Lublin
In 1909 he left Czestochow for Warsaw. A year later to London. There he first worked as a silversmith, then arranged for a stall with costume jewelry. In time he developed an export and import business with costume jewelry and various haberdashery articles with which he is active to this day.
Until 1924-25, he was connected with the S.S. group which Dr. Josif Kruk led at the time of the First World War. Akerman, along with D. Dawidowicz, took part in the founding of ORT in London and took part in a whole range of communal and aid activities.
His house in Stepford Hill was the place where Dr. Josif Kruk and a full range of leaders of communal organizations would live when they visited London.
In the summer of 1946, Dovid and Hana Akerman visited New York. Their reception was at a meeting of United Czenstochower Relief and and contributed to the Aid Fund for Czenstochow.
Dovid and Hana Akerman are active to this day in various communal organizations in London. They have three sons: Jerome (in the R.A.F. during the war), Henry and Mory.
(photograph, caption: The father of Zine Orszek)
Son of Aba and Feigl. Born on the 4th of June 1893 in Czenstochow, came to Canada on the 26th of January 1926. Member of the Arbeter Ring; founder of the Bundist Branch; founder of the Czenstochower Aid Society; and of the Aid Union of the Bakers' Union.
Orszek Zine, a baker by profession, became an active worker in the Prof. Union in Czenstochow, an old Bundist worker even in the Czarist period. Also a co-worker in the Czenstochower Arbeter-Zeitung [Workers' Newspaper].
In 1938, Orszek visits his birthplace, Czenstochow, where he is solemnly received by his former comrades.
The son of Yitzhak and Beila. Born in 1891. He lost his mother at age 5 and was raised by his grandmother. He went to kheder until he was 12, then began working in Feiga's candle factory at Kasze Street 5. He was already working as a hairdresser with Isidor Pola (Iser Pakula) in 1910-11. He left for London in 1912, and in April 1913, he left from there and came to America, where he settled in Chicago. In June 1914, he graduated from an English primary school and entered John Marshall Middle School. He later studied at the Lewis Institute, the University of Chicago and in 1921 received his philosophy diploma, after further studies.
In 1924 he studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and visited a wide range of countries in Europe. In June of the same year, he married Felicia Rubinec of Warsaw. Their daughter Guta is 16 years old. In America, he took his mother's childhood family name: Baron. He was a French and Spanish teacher for a time in various Chicago primary and middle schools and now is a teacher of the same languages at the De Paul Academy.
Son of Yitzhak and Frimet. Born in Pilicia (Poland). He died in Czenstochow in 1918 at age 39.
Daughter of Yehoshua and Mindel Szercz. Born in Lelew in 1879.
The son of Leibl and Leah. Was born in Czenstochow. He was one of the oldest and best known members of the Khevra Kadishe [burial society] and was active there until the last years of his life. He also took an active part in the groups Hakhnoses Orkhim [to provide hospitality to poor visitors on Shabbos] and Malbesh-Arimim [to clothe the poor].
Died on the 19th of March 1938 in Czenstochow at age 102.
The daughter of Fishel and Chana. Known in the city as a righteous woman. She died in 1916 in Czenstochow at age 70.
Son of Meir and Ita. Born in Czenstochow on the 10th of December 1883. In 1903, he left Czenstochow and came to England. He came to America in 1907. He is an active member of the Arbeter Ring, former president of the Czenstochower Educational Society in Chicago and the secretary of the Relief Committee of the Aid Fund under the name Saul Boim.
Daughter of Naftali and Sara. Born in Czenstochow in 1885. She came to America in 1905. She is active in the communal field in a series of women's institutions, such as the Federation of Polish Jews, Hadassah, Ezra and the Czenstochower Aid Society in Chicago.
Son of Wolf and Devojra. Born in Czenstochow on the 15th of July 1898. Came to America on the 15th of November 1913. Member of the Zionist organization and of the Czenstochower Educational Society in Chicago.
Daughter of Berl and Haya Bromberg. Born in Grojec. Came to America on the 11th of June 1911. Her son Herman served in the American Army.
Son of Mendel and Miriam. Born in Czenstochow on the 10th of June 1893. Came to America on the 13th of November 1913. He is a member of Czenstochower Young Men in New York and vice president of the Federation of Kosher Butchers.
Son of Daniel and Eidl. Born in Pajeczno (Poland) on the 10th of July 1881. Lived in Strasbourg, France. Came to America on the 9th of September 1939. He has two sons in the French army.
The wife of Hilel, she has been in France since 1939.
The daughter of Avraham and Yente. Born on the 21st of May 1898 in Czenstochow. Having an inclination toward scenic art, she left Czenstochow and traveled to London in 1912. There she met Rusze Szklarz, the wife of actor Max Brin who engaged her as an actress in the Yiddish Pavilion Theater. The first role she played together with Jakob Zilbert then a guest player from America in Tzinele Di Blinde [Tzinele the Blind] and in Yeshiva Bukher [Yeshiva Boy]. In 1913 she performed in Paris with Jakob Libers, under the
(photograph, caption: Yente Bida)
In 1916 Helen Bida came to America. The first season she performed in the theater under the direction of Shor and Lipman at the Lyric Theater. Later she played in Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Winnipeg. The last years in Brooklyn, in Parkview and in the Hopkinson Theater. She also appeared at the Bronx Art Theater in the last season.
She also appeared as Rifkele in God of Vengeance with Joseph Schildkraut as Lancelot in Shylock. She also played with Joseph Scheingold, Boris Thomashefsky, Leon Blank, Bertha Kalisch, Jacob Ben-Ami (The Deserted Inn]; also as Maita in Di Grine Felder [The Green Fields]. Also with Ludwig Satz and Celia Adler in Gozlin [Thief].
Her father, Avraham Bida, the son of Reuwin and Haya, was born in Dzialoszyn. In 1930, at age 78, he died in Czenstochow.
Her mother, Yente Bida, daughter of Noakh and Breindl Szapranski, was born in Dzialoszyn; in 1937, she, too, died at the age of 85.
Son of Yitzhak and Beila Birencwajg. Born on the 1st of May 1900 in Czenstochow. His parents, middle class people, tried to give their three sons and a daughter a good education. In the conflict at that time between the haskhala [enlightenment] and hasidism, Shimeon, like all other Jewish children in their bright youth, lapsed in kheder. With luck, his kheder rabbi was Tanski, a modern type of teacher and he taught the children without a whip, as was the habit with other teachers in those years. His received his first worldly education from the teacher Edelist.
When Shimeon was 10, he entered the Polish gymnazie, Mickiewicz. Here he made his first acquaintance with anti-Semitism. The Polish students had the Jews at their mercy: the abusive word Beilis [Mendel Beilis was accused by the Russians of having murdered a young Christian boy to obtain his blood for ritual purposes]. The Jewish students had a bigger card against them: Macoch. And Damazy Macoch [a priest in the Czenstochow area accused of murdering a married woman with whom he was romantically involved] was indeed a good answer.
At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the schools were closed, and the Germans began catching young men to work in the ironworks and coal mines in Germany. Shimeon, with a group of Czenstochowers, was brought to
Konigshutte, an Upper Silesian coal mine. The German foreman was brutal, the hunger great; many of the captured Czenstochower workers escaped to other cities in Germany, without papers and without money, to look for a piece of bread.
In 1917, Shimeon succeeded in returning to Czenstochow. During that time, the workers unions S.S., Bund, Poalei-Zion and the Social Democrats managed to build up a half legal workers' movement and conducted many-faceted cultural activities. He then joined a larger club. This was the Bundist cultural institute that stood under the leadership of the teacher from the Czenstochower artisan's school, Josef Aronowicz.
Shimeon Biro could not remain in Czenstochow for long. He again left for Berlin. There he joined the then Independent Social Democratic Party.
There was then a group of Czenstochowers in Berlin, one a leftist Bundist leader Leibel, Dr. Ahron Singalowski, Feigele Fajnrajch and others. Almost all carried on anti-war activities. At the beginning of 1918, Shimeon was arrested by the German military secret police. He sat in the Berlin military prison for 6 weeks; then, he was sent to the Modliner Fortress near Warsaw, where about 150 political arrestees, men and women, were held. Among the women political prisoners were: Madam Groser, the wife of Bronislaw Groser, and Feigele Fajnrajch of Czenstochow. Later the Czenstochower S.S. [Social Zionists] member Kaneman was brought, too. With the end of the war, after a 5-day revolt in the Modliner prison, they were freed.
Shimeon returned to Czenstochow and he again began to be active in the workers' movement and was elected to the local rada rabotnicza (workers' council) that was short-lived because of the upper-hand of the reaction. He again traveled to Berlin where he met Mendl Szukhter, who helped Shimeon come to America.
In America, Shimeon Biro was sometimes more, sometimes less, active in Czenstochower organizations; at first in A.R. [Arbeter Ring] Branch 261, later in A.A.O. Czenstochower Br. 11, and in the Czenstochower division for the aid of political victims in Poland and in Czenstochower Relief.
Her family lived at Warsawer 72, near the three crosses. There were ten children. Her father Moshe Josef came from Lelow. He was a frumer [pious] Jew and a scholar. His income came from buying dairy goods from the non-Jews in the surrounding villages. Her mother, Haya, came from a Hasidic, aristocratic family. Her mother's father, Ziskind Zigelboim, had a watermill with a large estate near Klobuck. One of Fela Fajnrajch's uncles, Moshe Zigelboim, had a mill on Dombiye near which illegal meetings would take place.
In the years of the liberation movement, heated discussions took place in the home of the Fajnrajchs between Meir and Dovid members of the Social Zionists and Shimeon a Bundist. Later, Meir and Dovid were arrested. Dovid was imprisoned together with Dovid Lewenhof (died in prison) and Josl Berliner for six years. His mother cried many nights, took food to Meir and brought packages to Dovid.
In contrast with her father, her mother was enlightened and quietly supported the liberation movement. Fela Fajnrajch's parents died before the Second World War. The rest of the family was spread over the entire world. Meir (Meir Fajnrajch) and Shimkhah are in Eretz-Yisroel; Avraham in the Soviet Union, one in Argentina and Izak, Dovid, Yankl and Ruchl (lived in Lodz) and Sara, with the greatest bad luck, remained in Poland.
Fela studied davnen [praying] and Yiddish in a kheder [religious school]; other languages in a private school on Garncarska. She began to work in Wajnberg's factory at a very young age; then for a short time she studied corsetry at Hygiene (the wife of Yakov Rozenberg). She also learned sewing with Waldfogl.
Meir was a lover of literature and theater and he, himself, took part in amateur performances. The rehearsals took place in the home of Fela's parents. Preparations were taking place for the play, Di Tzvei Kuni Lemels [The Two Simpletons] The performance took place in the large ballroom of the Bem Hotel on Second Avenue. Manya Szaferanko played the beautiful Karolina. This play was Fela's first encounter with the theater. From then on she did not miss any Yiddish performance in Czenstochow.
Shmuel Frank brought her on stage. Her first role was Teibele in Yidishn Kenig Lir [The Yiddish King Lear]. The play was staged in Noworadomsk Hazamir [choir group; the name is Hebrew for nightingale]. She played with the amateur troupe in Lodz; Zimbalist, Madam Glikman, Waksman, Ajzenberg and others under the direction of Wajsberg. Later she joined the amateur troupe of Lira. This was at the time of the First World War. Then, the popular movie theater, Odeon, in Czenstochow presented a supplement of vaudeville, in addition to movies. A Yiddish supplement was presented for several weeks in which she took part under the direction of the well known actor Zimbalist. The Yiddish vaudeville was a great success.
Fela joined the Groser Klub that was
directed by Josef Aronowicz, Jakub Rozenberg, Avraham Yehoshua Sztorim, Lederman, etc. In 1918, she left for Berlin where a large number of Polish refugees from the Czarist times still lived. She was arrested in the spring of 1918 for taking part in the anti-war movement. After two months in the women's prison, she was sent to Modlin. Among the arrestees in the Modliner fortress, she met Mrs. Slava Groser and the Bundist Manya, Emanuel Novogrudski's wife. In 1918, she again left for Berlin. There she joined the Yiddish theater under the management of Herr Schudlower. Aleksander Granak, who would later become famous, was also a player in the troupe. In 1923, with the help of her friend Mendl Szukhter, she came to Montreal, Canada and there performed in the Monument National Theater.
Fela came to New York in 1924. When the Vilner Troupe came here, she joined it and performed in a wide range of plays. With the Vilner, she learned to pay attention to and maintain the clarity of the language. Later the Freiheit Dramatic Studio was founded that was transformed into Artef. Under the direction of famous professionals, they first studied theater arts, staged a wide array of plays and tried to uphold the best type of Yiddish theater.
Fela also took part in Maurice Schwartz's Art Theater, playing in a wide variety of plays in New York and in the provinces and enjoyed the great creative joy that the art theater gave their performers and spectators.
Fela Biro dedicated these last years to the great purpose of bringing the creative Yiddish word to the wide masses at their meetings and gatherings. Appearing on stage in solo recitations of classic and modern Yiddish poetry and with songs and poetry of the Jewish catastrophe in Europe, she expresses in an artistic form the great silent grief that presses heavy stones on the spirit of hundreds of landsmanschaftn [organizations whose members were born in the same city or town], whose fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters were annihilated by German cruelty.
Today Fela Fajnrajch lives in New York.
Son of Avraham Dovid and Malka. Born in Szczekociny (Poland). He died on the first day of the Second World War [September 1] in 1939 in Czenstochow, at the age of 93.
Son of Yitzhak Mendel. Born on the 7th of November 1896 in Czenstochow. Came to America in February 1920. One of the founders and active members and secretary of the Czenstochower Regional Union of Detroit.
Daughter of Moshe Shmuel and Pesel. Born in Sosnowiec in June 1907. Came to America on the 15th of July 1920. Active in the Brandeis Club in Detroit and in the Women's Pioneer Organization.
Blima Birman is now in New York with her uncle and aunt, Max and Jenny Grosman. She is a member of United Czenstochower Relief.
Son of Moshe and Leah. Born in Sosnowiec on the 30th of December 1876. Came to America in 1913. Member of the Czenstochower Regional Union in Detroit.
(photograph, caption: Leizer Bajgelman with his wife and daughter)
Son of Tzaduk and Ruchl. Born on the 18th of May 1896 in Radomsk of Hasidic parents. His father died when he was 10. His closest relative, the Amshinower [Mszczonow] rebbe, wanted to take him under his guardianship; however, he refused this and became a hat maker. Being under the influence of the socialist agitation, he joined the S.S. [Social Zionist] Party where, in a short time, he became a leading person. Led a strike of the hat makers. Later, he gave up his vocation and together with Hershl Kraus, led an S.S. cooperative children's home. Became a member of the committee to distribute aid after the First World War. The homeless arrived in the city. He married one of the homeless women. His father-in-law then sent him the required papers and he came to America in 1921.
Here he again became a hat maker. Became acquainted with a group of workers in the same occupation, led enlightenment work among them. After carrying out a successful strike, he was ejected from the hat making trade because of a denunciation and threw himself into communal work, becoming a representative of the Morgn-Freiheit [Morning Freedom] in Rochester, N.Y., where he lives to this day.
During the war, Bajgelman took part in the sale of war bonds and reached a sum of three hundred thousand dollars. Therefore, he received an award from the Treasury Department. He also took an active part in the clothing campaign for the needy, suffering Jewish war victims.
Born in Czenstochow in 1892. Came to America in 1907. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias.
Josef Bezborodko, one of the pioneers of the mirror industry in Czenstochow, was expelled by the Czarist government from his residence in Russia that was outside the Pale of Jewish Settlement. He settled in Czenstochow in 1907 when he was already 40 years old. He became rooted in and bound to his new hometown, so that later when he had the opportunity to settle legally in Petersburg, where his brother lived, he refused, placing the Jewish environment and education of his children above material privileges.
Born in Slutzk, a city in Belarus known for its learning, with a father who was a glass-maker, he migrated with his parents to Moscow where he attended a Russian gymnazie [secondary school]. Not having the standing to enter a university because of a quota, at age 20 he began to work with his older brother in the mirror factory that his father had founded in 1891.
With the expulsion from Moscow, he had to leave the city within 8 days, while his older brother could remain for another year in order to liquidate their assets. He settled in Orsha, which was located within the Pale of Jewish Settlement; founded a mirror factory there, but it was not successful. He was then 24 years old. He gave up the factory and together with his brother founded a little factory in Praga near Warsaw. When it was not successful, he left for Lodz, where the stream of Russian Jews from Moscow went. Here, he founded a textile factory (of Polish quilts) with his brother, but the factory was also quickly liquidated. He married a daughter of an estate owner from Nezwich, not far from his home and himself became a landowner in Andrzejow near Lodz. Several years later, he decided to return to his trade mirror fabrication. Meanwhile his brother had set up a mirror factory in Petersburg and communicated with Czenstochow. This led Bezborodko to the idea of founding a mirror factory in Czenstochow.
At that time, in 1907, the entire mirror industry in Czenstochow produced 2-3 crates of mirror glass a week. However, Bezborodko foresaw that Czenstochow could become a better place for mirror fabrication than Moscow because Germany and its modern methods of production were next door and because of the rapid development of industry in Czenstochow in general.
Being acquainted with the demands of the Russian market, he appropriately advised his customers, the small manufacturers of celluloid and metal frames. Thanks to this, their production grew and more mirrors were used. The mirror industry in Czenstochow
grew from 2-3 crates to 30 crates a week in the Bezborodko factory alone, in addition to around 6 in the remaining mirror factories.
Bezborodko was a man of stately appearance and a sage. In addition he was also a person with a good Jewish soul and a great philanthropist. He was both frum [pious] and worldly. He permitted his children to study in the Polish and Russian gymnazies and also was concerned with their Jewish education. As a Russian Jew, a Litvak, a misnagid [opponent of Hasidism], he was viewed with great sympathy by the diverse Hasidim, who by nature did not think highly of Litvaks. He made his entire home Jewish at Dojazd 21 (where he established his factory and also his residence), which was previously a Christian neighborhood. He founded a shul for praying in the courtyard of the house and for a time, gave his own apartment for that purpose. He was one of the founders of an interest-free loan fund and often he himself helped with interest-free loans. He worked in the Makhziki haDas [Supporters of the Faith] Talmud Torah together with the Gerer and Pilcer Hasidim. As a longtime worker with ORT in Russia, he helped the Czenstochower Artisan's shul and the gardner's farm. He belonged to the founders of the communal Tevunah [Understanding] which was led by the Grajewer Rebbe, a Mizrakhi leader, who had the goal of teaching yeshiva-bohkerim (students) worldly subjects and a trade. He was also active in the Lodz Hazamir [choir].
During the pogrom of 1919, the Christian workers from his factory came running from Stradom and Rakow to protect his house and family.
Although he suffered from a weak heart the entire time and had frequent heart attacks, his illness grew greater during the pogrom. He died in 1922 at age 55, leaving a wife with 10 children. [Translator's note: It is stated that he had 10 children, but below the names of 11 are given.]
The Jewish kehile [community] in Czenstochow gave him the best [burial] place near the ohel of the Pilcer Rebbes, although he was a Slutzker misnagid.
Josef Bezborodko's children, 4 sons and 6 daughters Hilel, Bashka, Asnakh, Dovid, Miriam, Perl, Haya, Israel, Sara, Ryfka and Boris (the last 4 born in Czenstochow) all settled in France. A number of them created mirror and glass industries there.
The pioneer among them was Dovid (Dave) Brezborodsko, who went abroad on business in 1924 and, by chance, became ill and as a Russian citizen found that his return visa had expired and he remained abroad. After wandering, he settled in France, created several important inventions in the pharmaceutical field, mirrors for instruments, and founded two mirror factories there one in Saverne and later a second in Paris. In 1929, with his assistance, his entire family came to France.
The mother and all of her children, sons-in-law and grandchildren survived the tragedy of the Hitler occupation. Three sons and two sons-in-law served in the French army. The youngest son, Boris, who graduated from a lyceum [secondary school] and was an officer and two sons-in-law were in German captivity, one of them wounded. However, they successfully escaped from the prison camps and came home, then to Lyon, in the so-called free zone. The family stayed together and survived with the help of a Christian friend. The sons were active in the armed underground. Boris, in particular, excelled as a leader of a Jewish group. A scout leader as a youth and knowing the paths in the Alps, his assignment was to smuggle Jewish children across to Switzerland. He was arrested and terribly tortured by the Gestapo. However, he successfully escaped and continued further his rescue work. He was arrested a second time and sent to Oswiecim [Auschwitz]. Through a miracle, he saved himself from the lime kiln. He came home after Hitler's defeat a skeleton with sunken eye sockets; several months passed before his strength and human appearance returned.
A second victim was the son-in-law Ginsburg, an agronomist, who was occupied in providing food for the underground fighters. He was arrested by the Gestapo several days before Paris was liberated and until now has not returned.
His two sons, Jack and Seymour, served in the American army.
Izzy Berger was one of the first founders of the Patronet to help political prisoner arrestees in Poland and the first meeting took place in his apartment. He was the treasurer of Patronet. He also helped to organize the Nowaradomsk Patronet; in addition, he helped create 22 Patronets that did their important work for several years.
During the war, he worked very hard with Czenstochower Relief.
She died in 1946.
The well-known banker Bronislaw Berkman occupied a very distinguished place among the personalities and communal workers in Czenstochow.
Born on the 20th of December 1861 in Boczkowice (near Czenstochow), he showed great capabilities in his youth while still a student in a gymnazie. His father, Shimeon Berman, a maskhil [enlightened] Hebraic writer and a co-worker at the journal Yudshenko, wanted to give his son an academic education in addition to a national-progressive upbringing. However, the weak condition of Bronislaw Bergman's eyes caused him to end his studies and enter the world of trade and industry.
He worked a short time outside Czenstochow and in 1890 came back and took over the management of his brother's bank business, where he later became a partner.
In addition to the field of banking, he also excelled as a founder of various industrial undertakings that played a role in Polish industry. He was also one of the founders of the Czenstochower Credit Society.
The years of crisis after the revolution of 1905, as well as the state of health of B.B.'s eyes forced him to reduce his social and commercial activities. In 1923, he completely lost his sight and, on the 29th of December 1929, he died.
Bronislaw Bergman was also very knowledgeable about the law. Often, even lawyers would turn to him for advice and he always showed them how to emerge from difficult entanglements.
He participated in the social work of our city in Dobroczynnosc [charity] and also with the creation of the Czenstochower synagogoue. As a great philanthropist, he and his wife, Tekla, aided many of the poor of our city.
Daughter of Bronislaw and Tekla. Born on the 2nd of February 1904 in Czentochow. After finishing gymnazie in Czenstochow, studied at Warsaw University and graduated as a lawyer.
After practicing in various cities in Poland, Lodz and Piotrkow, she settled in Czenstochow where she was active as a lawyer. In 1935, she married Engineer Haltrekht of Lodz and because of this moved there, where she was further active as a lawyer.
Shared the fate of the martyrs in the years 1939-1945.
Born in 1887 in Czenstochow. In 1903 he came to Lodz to work as a tailor for 80 rubles a year. The work hours were from 6 in the morning until 12 at night.
In 1904 Yosel Berliner took part for the first time in a meeting in the woods around Lodz. After the meeting, a demonstration took place that led to mass arrests. He was one of those arrested and he served three months in jail. After, he came back to Czenstochow. He joined the S.S. [Social Zionists] and worked for the liberation movement, where he
excelled in his boldness and heroism. Once he was wounded in a clash with the police and Yankl the cane maker took him home to Warsaw. After two months, he returned to Czenstochow and his friends sent him to rest in a village. A friend went along to help him. The friend had a revolver with him and it fired unintentionally. The police came and began to shoot at them. They shot back and the police ran away. He and his companion had to go to a safer place.
Once, the committee sent Berliner to Klobuck to prevent a pogrom organized by the Endekes [anti-Semitic nationalist party]. According to the information, the pogrom was supposed to start after the mob left the church. He took a group of firemen in Klobuck with him and left them at the entrance to the church. He went inside alone and warned those assembled that if a pogrom took place, much blood would flow. The leaders became frightened and promised that no pogrom would take place and at that time they kept their word.
He was arrested in the summer of 1906, with Dovid Fajnrajch and Dovid Tavenhof, while collecting money for the party in the provinces and served three years in the Kelce prison. One of the many prison episodes was when he was locked up in a dungeon. The political prisoners all protested, broke everything in the prison and declared a hunger strike.
After being freed from Kelce prison, he left for America. At the Austrian border, he was arrested because he had a letter from the party with various addresses with him. The gendarmes beat him murderously in order to extract the names of his friends.
In America, he joined the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and helped the organizational campaign of that time. Later he moved to the Cloak Makers Union. The working conditions were then terrible. The workers were not easy to organize. They would throw bottles and stones and poured water through the windows of the shops on the organizers. It was difficult and bitter work to convince the workers that the union would better their situation. It was a long time until success in creating one of the best unions in America.
Yosel Berliner can be recorded as one of the fighters for workers' rights in his birthplace and in America.
Born in Czenstochow. After serving for a year and a half in the Polish army, he left Czenstochow and settled in Berlin where he lived until 1923. In 1923, he moved to England and remained there until 1926. From England he came to America in 1926. Member of Branch 13 of A.F.F.A. in Norfolk. Also a member of Branch 11.
Born in Lelew (near Czenstochow) in 1891. He belonged to the S.S. organization in Czenstochow during the years of the liberation movement and, was one of its active workers. He took a strong part in the organization of self-defense and directed its sections when a pogrom was expected in Czenstochow or when the sections were sent out to the shtetlekh around Czenstochow. A large number of revolutionary and conspiratorial undertakings were carried on with him taking part. He was recognized by the leaders of the party and beloved among the large number of party comrades. He was known in the party under the name the dark Mendl.
He came to America in 1908.
Max Brody was a member of the Order of B'nai Brith and was also one of the founders and first president of the Czenstochower Educational Union in Chicago.
Son of Mordekhai and Rakhel. Born in Czenstochow in 1864. Came to America in 1884. Married in 1888 and has 5 grandchildren in the American army. Is a member of the Czenstochower Chasam Sopher shul [located at 8 Clinton Street in NYC], Bnai Israel Society. Was also a founder and treasurer of the Czenstochower Aid Society in New York. Today, a member of the United Czenstochower Relief in New York.
Son of Feiwel and Gitel. Born on the 20th July 1904 in Kamyk. Came from Czenstochow to America on the 23rd of November 1922.
Daughter of Ahron Wolf and Tema Lajpciger. Born in Dzialoszyn. Was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the first Dzialoszyner Khevra Anshei Bnei Achim. Died on the 4th of December 1943 in New York at age 62.
Chairman of the Jewish regional committee in Czenstochow, member of the C.C [Central Committee} of the Bund in Poland. Born in Turyisk on Wolin of Hasidic parents who were intimates of the Trisker rabbinical court. He studied until age 13 in khederim [religious primary schools] and yeshivus [religious secondary schools] and teaching courses. Was one of the builders of the Jewish school systems in Wolin and pedagogues of the peoples' schools in Wolin, Lublin and in the Peretz school in Czenstochow. In 1925 lost the right as a teacher and educator because of his public political appearances. In 1936, he took over the management of children's insurance of TOZ [Society for the Protection of Health] in Czenstochow and in the entire Czenstochow area. Carried out this work until the outbreak of the Second World War. During the war until the liquidation of the Jews in Czenstochow, was one of the chief individuals with TOZ in Czenstochow, which carried on widespread activity. In the course of the German occupation until the deportation of the Jews, carried on an illegal children's club (Swietlica), where two thousand children received instruction, education and complete support. Ran a similar Swietlica illegal underground school] for 120 surviving children in the small ghetto. At the order of the Bund, during the entire occupation, he carried on conspiratorial work for the party in Czenstochow. While in the concentration camp of the HASAG [private German company Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft-Mentalwarenfabrik that used concentration camp inmates for arms production] in Czenstochow, carried on constant contact with party and with the aid organization in Warsaw and Krakow. On the 17th of January 1945 when Czenstochow were liberated, he stood at the head of the Jewish regional committee in Czenstochow.
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