[This begins the transcription of the pages printed in English]
New York, May, 1946
* * *
EMERGENCY RELIEF COMMITTEE
FOR GLINIANY AND VICINITY
|For information write to
This booklet is devoted wholly to the memory of the brethren of our home town, Gliniany and Vicinity.
Its chief object in publishing, is to acquaint our landsleit, their children and relatives, with the horrible facts of wholesale murder, shooting and slaughter committed by the Nazis and Ukranians[sic] against our sisters and brothers.
Until recently we have had in our possession very little authoriative[sic] material concerning the sufferings of our people in Gliniany and Vicinity. Now an attempt has been made in the booklet (both in English and Jewish) to give the reader quotations from letters written by the male and female survivors of the Nazi horrors and received by the committee and friends.
These letters deal with the period which witnessed the climax of Nazi brutality and the height of our brethrens' martyrdom. These letters were not written for publication, but since they express so genuinely the grief and misery suffered, we are convinced that they are of vital value as historical material. These letters contain facts and dates of a time when the Nazi murderers were free to spend their murder lust on innocent civilian Jewish people.
It is our firm belief that by disclosing these letters we will, with your moral and financial support, be enabled to preserve a historical chapter of our kindred, and to rehabilitate our survivors.
With these facts confronting us as a grim reminder of the tremendous task yet to be done, we place this booklet in your hands.
As Chairman of the Emergency Relief Committee for Gliniany and Vicinity, I consider it a great honor to express my sentiments and to extend my greetings to all of you through the medium of this booklet.
The record of progress reviewed in the enclosed list is most gratifying and again I wish to express my profound appreciation to my colleagues, the committees, and to all the participants for their steadfast and stimulating cooperation.
As I sit and ponder, trying to find a keynote to this introduction, I am confronted with a number of alternatives that struggle within me. Shall I weep over the complete devastation of the land of my home folks, or shall I try to perpetuate the beauty and spiritual meaning of my childhood memories? Or shall I try to recapture the remnants which are scattered the world over and try to help them rebuild their loves[sic] so they would be an eternal symbol of the tradition that we cherish so much?
We have a dual responsibility, to ourselves and to them, which cannot be evaded or postponed. And again I pause, trying to review the life of my early surroundings, and words fail me to give expression of my emotions to the beauty and lure that my beloved town still holds for me, and I am unable to fathom the strong influence and spiritual guidance that never leaves me. Although I have lived in these United States the greater part of my life and have enjoyed the blessings offered me, nevertheless, I find myself physically and mentally attached to the land of my birth and stand ready to give all the help to the surviving victims so that they shall be able to rehabilitate themselves and so that the name GLINIANY shall never die...
How many of us, who were born and raised in Gliniany, cherished the idea of some day paying a brief visit to our old home town? Just to see our aged parents once more--to find out what all the old friends were doing. That dream will never come true...There is no Gliniany to go back to...
Dead silence hangs over the little alleys and streets that once resounded with our laughter when we were kids. A ghost town stands there now. Our old homes are wrecked--even the building materials were carted away by our kind neighbors. Our synagogue was converted into a dining hall. What ever happened to all the Torah Scrolls and the thousands of volumes of holy scriptures? God knows! They desecrated the cemetery, obliterated the tombstones and plowed over the ground!
What happened to our people followed the well known pattern that was fashioned by the Nazis and which was tacitly approved by the civilized powers of the world. The very day the Nazis set foot on the soil of our town the Jews were condemned. The law of the jungle took effect.
In 1941 the local Ruthenians staged a mock trial and condemned 9 innocent Jews to be dragged to the forests and shot. At the very entry of the Nazis, another group of people who stayed in Kurowice were murdered en masse. Reign of terror was established. Thereafter starvation and epidemics took their terrible toll of the population.
By 1942, Nazis set up a camp of slave labor at Jachtorow, with Ruthenians in full control, who hanged and butchered at will. In town they set up a Judenrath who faced these thugs all the time in defense of the community until they themselves were put to death.
Amidst this terror and misery our people clung to their traditions and organized a relief group to sustain the most unfortunate amongst them. Thus we are told that our women were trudging for 8 kilometers carrying kettles of food in freezing weather for the slave laborers in Jachtorow. There one could see our children of 12 building roads under the whip of the Ruthenians.
The final extermination drive began in April 1943, when all the Jews were driven from Gliniany into the Przemyslany ghetto. Only some of the younger folks escaped to the woods, where they secured arms and formed a group of partisans.
The people who were in the Przemyslany ghetto were taken out by the thousands to a forest at nearby Korosienko[sic], where they dug a large pit at which all were slaughtered and buried.
Our partisans had constant battles with the Ruthenian thugs until we find one group that had originally numbered 60, finally reduced to 6 survivors. Yet a number of them held out almost to the very end, i.e., three - four weeks before the Russians arrived. Life and freedom seemed to be within arm's reach.
At that point the bloodthirsty Ruthenians sensed that their game was up and in final desperation they tracked down our remaining brothers and literally hacked them to pieces.
Thus was written the final chapter of the history of our beloved community, steeped in an ancient tradition of culture, famous all over Europe for its devotion to the ideals of Israel and Zion.
Letter of Ingeneur Salomon Speiser (abridged)
In the fall of 1941 the Ruthenians staged a people's court on the Gestapo style. The presiding judge was Fashkiewitz. They condemned 11 people to die, took them to the woods and shot them all. Of these were: Drescher (the teacher), Eichenholz (a young man related to Pineles), Arych Barer (Shrager's youngest son of 14), Yehuda Hochberg (son of Israel Hochberg), Zalman Levin, Itzhak Freindlich, Polack the carpenter, Nutele of the zamden.
Zenia Tuz, who took a prominent part in this murder, is somewhere in Germany. Fashkiewitz was probably taken away to Russia.
After this the S.S. Nazis formed a Judenrath headed by Aaron Hochberg assisted by Ohring, Ing. Semensieb, Dentist Billinger, Selig Zang, the sons of Pinchas Nadler, Gassenbauer. They defended our people to the very day when they themselves fell victim to the murderers.
In Jachtorow the Nazis set up a slave labor camp for 1000 people with Ruthenians in full control. There they shot and hanged the tired and weary.
In Gliniany a welfare organization was formed headed by Dr. Shlomo Mehlman.
In freezing weather our women carried kettles of food for 8 kilometers to sustain our people in labor camp at Jachtorow.
In Kurowice Dr. Feiler (son of Yehuda Feiler) and his wife, Henie Allerhand, managed a sanitation station. With them was Mordecai Allerhand and his wife and a grandchild. The Nazis killed all those people the day they entered. Along with them were murdered: Joseph Davidsohn and wife (daughter of Angstreich from Jachtrow[sic]), also their daughter and her husband, a journalist.
In August 1942 on my way from Przemyslany to Gliniany, I saw our youngsters, some not quite 12 years old, repairing the roads. Peasants carted the tombstones of our cemetery, with these the roads were covered.
In the summer of 1943 the Nazis began their extermination. The Jews that remained in Gliniany were then driven to Przemyslany, from there 1000 at a time were driven out to a forest near Krosienko[sic], forced to dig their own graves and then mowed down with machine guns.
[second] Letter of Dr. Berta Mehlman (abridged)
(Daughter of Gershon Mehlman)
Dated October 10, 1945
[note: This date of this letter is printed as October 14 in the Yiddish portion of the book.]
Even those of us who went through the extermination drives ten times -- having escaped by miracles -- when we tell of infants being thrown into burning houses, of women and old men being forced to dig their own graves, even we are lacking words to express our pain and suffering. One would have to be a prophet like Jeremiah to translate into human language the vast tragedy brought upon us by the Germans.
Here was the burning hatred of a tradition of pogroms dating back to Chmielnitzky; this combined with perfected German Kultur technique, all bent on murder of defenseless children and old folk.
Gliniany exists no longer...a dozen or so houses are left standing like a monument. The local population having torn up the houses for building material. Of the Jewish population only some orphans are left; not one family is left intact. The few who saved themselves either joined the Red Army or just escaped to Russia.
[Letter of] Shulem Kanner (abridged)
I have been free for the past 3 weeks; it is still hard to believe it. All we have left is our body and soul, yet we are happy to have lived to see the downfall of Hitler and his gang. For three years we walked around under a death sentence. Of our own family only Aaron's daughter-in-law is left alive. My brother-in-law Moshe Rubinstein and his wife were in hiding. When on June 15, 1944, they fell into the hands of the murderers his wife immediately took poison, and he with his brother Nahum were sent to a concentration camp.
For those years we were robbed, beaten, killed and drowned, our children burned alive while Jewish musicians were forced to play at the scene of these horrors.
For 9 months I stayed in the ghetto in Lwow. Sick with typhus, with a temperature of 104 we were driven to perform slave labor.
Those who could not leave their sickbed were instantly killed. In May 1943 I miraculously escaped from the ghetto and for 14 months roamed the woods with my wife and boy, undergoing untold hardship and suffering.
Letter of Channa Hochberg (abridged)
(Daughter of Aaron Hochberg)
In 1942 all the Jews of Gliniany were driven to neighboring Przemysliany[sic] and put into a ghetto. Przemyslany[sic] was the last town in Galicia to be made Judenfrei. At that time many Jews of Gliniany along with those of nearby localities were sent to a concentration camp. The younger people were sent to labor camps. After six months, orders came out to liquidate the concentration camps; that is, liquidate our Jews. In April 1943 they were led out into the woods and all shot dead.
Two weeks before the liquidation, a number of our younger Jews formed a defense group, secured arms and took to the woods. We were in the woods till 1944. Of the original 60 in my group, we remained 6. I was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans as a Jewish partisan.
In the woods we had with us: Shulim Rubin, Meyer and Aaron Wolf, Yechiel Leinwand and his family, Melach Nass and his niece, Dr. Shlomo Mehlman. The sons of Pinchas Nadler (were hidden by a peasant in Wyzniany), Eliezer Damm with his wife, Nahum Damm of Korowice, Isaac Kamer and his younger brother and sister, a son of Ely from Laszek (with his wife), Moshe Kamer from Uniuf.
What happened to all of them since I don't know. My father Aaron Hochberg together with Dr. Billiger was shot dead over the grave of his father. Five days later my mother was taken out with many Jews who were all hiding in the synagogue and led to the cemetery where they were all shot dead.
By good fortune, I was liberated and started on my way to Eretz Yisrael through Zwi Koreach (the son of Usher Buchbinder) who served in the Jewish Brigade.
Letter of Moshe Rubinstein of October, 1945
Quite unexpectedly I came back from a concentration camp near Leipzig. Not only my relatives, even I myself considered that I was dead. How I came through alive, I hope to relate some day. But here I wish to record only one typical incident.
Exactly a year ago today, our masters recalled that they had still left a grave of several thousand Jews, left from the days before they resorted to burning up the bodies. At once they put us to work digging up those bodies. We all suffered from skin diseases. I myself had 89 boils on me. Yet with such hands I had to dig up the corpses and carry the decayed pieces to the pyre. The work took 19 days -- then they put a torch to it all. We ground the bones and packed them into sacks -- the rest was carried off by the wind...
Letter of Chayeh Kanner (abridged)
(Daughter of Jacob Roth)
The few Jews of Gliniany who saved their lives were hiding in the woods near Zeniow. The Polish peasants of that village supplied their food. When they took to the woods in May 1943 they were a large group of young folks. But continued battles with the Ruthenians thinned out their ranks. Thus many of our sons and daughters lay there a long time unburied to be devoured by the dogs and crows. To this day it is impossible to bury any of them, for such an attempt one risks to be murdered even now. Thus the son of Josel Bass, who was released from the Red Army, was murdered by the Ruthenians while on his way from Lwow.
The few who are now left in Gliniany will run away from there. There is no Jewish community left, even the cemetery was ploughed over. The synagogue remained intact, having been converted into a dining hall.
The one thing you -- in America -- can do for us is help us get away from Europe. Nazism is still very much alive here. They took from us our faith in God, in justice, in human dignity.
One can expect more sympathy from a German than a Ruthenian militia man. They were the murderers who cast our infants into burning houses, while they themselves were singing and dancing. And now the world is ready to forget and forgive these criminals...
[Second] Letter of Ingen. Salomon Speiser (abridged)
Today stories of heroism and deep devotion to the Jewish cause are told of the brothers Kamer of Podhajce and Alferdowka. In the woods of Krosienko, Larodow, Hasczow, they organized partisan groups who caused many losses for the Germans.
Dr. Wyszynski, a Pole of Wyzniany, reported that in 1942 were speaking with fear about our Jews hiding in the forests whom they could not eliminate.[sic]
The Polish underground press of 1943-1944 recorded unsuccessful attacks of Ruthenians on Hanaczow where Polish peasants held out with the help of our partisans.
Also a family from Gliniany, that of Nahum Damm, 40 men strong, held out for a long time in bunkers whilh[sic] they dug near Bogdanowka. There they fought with lolal[sic] gangs of Ruthenians until finally overwhelmed by superior forces...
Condensed from [first] Letter of Dr. Berta Mehlman (abridged)
(Daughter of Gershon)
May 4, 1945
By a lucky incident I found the envelope of a recent letter you had written to Gliniany and that is where I got your address.
I came through alive -- but I am not the least happy that I did -- since I am now all alone from our numerous family. I was evacuated to Russia due to my being a physician. That is why I remained.
When I went to Russia I left my seven-year-old son with my parents. He met the fate of my parents and that of all the Jews -- he perished. My parents were sent to the ghetto in Busk. From there my father was shipped to the extermination camp at Belzec. My mother then escaped with my boy but was caught and killed on the road to Slowita. My brother Yonah with wife and child held out in a bunker in the forest till May 1944 (almost till the liberation) when they were tortured to death by Ruthenian thugs from Rozworzany. Beile (my aunt) and her children were murdered; Srul Hochberg, her husband, committed suicide after that. So many of our friends finished up with suicide. Chaye (my aunt), who had the drug Store in Zlaraz, was killed by the Germans in Zlaraz; so were her two grown-up daughters and her husband Bodian. Our dear Shlomo (my uncle), who tried suicide a few times and was stopped, held out till spring 1944 on the Polish estate in Zadworze when he was beaten to death by the Ruthenian dogs. Kind neighbors handed over his wife Dr. Chaye Vogelfanger and all their children to the Gestapo in Lwow. Bezio (my uncle) was tortured in the Lwow ghetto a long time, finally they stamped out his life at the Janowski camp. Bezio's son lives somewhere, but he too lost his wife.
Of the family of uncle Avram Mehlman, only Genia and her husband Dr. Nass are alive.
From the entire family of Vogelfanger, only Berta, the youngest daughter, remained. From Jacob Vogelfanger they extorted money, valuables and gold and then delivered him to the Gestapo. His wife and daughter were lost after the ghetto uprising. Rose, Teresa and both their families, Chaye and her four marvelous children perished. Chaye's husband Siegler remained.
As you know I spent quite some time in Russia and when I reached Lwow and got all these reports I had no more strength left to proceed to Gliniany. And what was the sense to go there?
Life has lost all meaning to me. The dead will no longer come back to life. Now I do not know what to begin? The surviving Jews here are but human shadows. We can not[sic] remain here. But where shall we go? Who is going to admit us?
Relief work, as we have seen practiced by the members belonging to the organizations that bear the name of our home town, originated with a group of individuals who felt a definite responsibility towards the less fortunate people left in the old home town. Never condescending, it was always successful because it numbered among its workers, people of all shades of opinion, devoted to their respective task with unlimited idealism.
Organized relief came into being after the conclusion of World War I in 1918. The war left two-thirds of the town in ruins, scores of orphans and widows, the Synagogue burned down and very little or no help from local authorities.
But thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic, there were hundreds of its sons and daughters whose emigrations in some cases dated back to the late eighties. Without waiting for appeals from across, committees got busy and organized themselves into the Glinianer Relief. Thousands of dollars were collected and sent across, supporting the orphanage, the Free Loan Fund, rebuilding the Synagogue, supporting the Talmud Torah and otherwise helping individuals in every possible way until some semblance of economic stability was established. Relatives were located and influenced to bring their kin out of Poland in the early twenties.
It was the arrival of the new immigrants with their stories of economic boycott and discrimination against the Jews in Poland that gave a new impetus to relief work after a short interruption. Appeals began to come by mail to support the poor orphans in the Talmud Torah, to send clothes and shoes. There was need among the poor for fuel and potatoes during the harsh winter days. There were old Hebrew scholars who gave a lifetime to teaching and study of Hebrew culture, who suddenly found themselves deprived of the common necessities of a livelihood.
Once more, it was a group of individuals, supported by old-timers, who came to the rescue. They knew the people of their home town. They knew their economic condition, their habits of life. How could they let them down? How could they desert their very flesh and blood? How could they forget the poor simple people, living in tiny cottages built of mud and straw and cherishing dreams of remaking their world into a world of justice and humanity? How cauld[sic] they neglect the very people among whom they heard the songs of a people reborn and better days to come?
So the call went out to all the landsleit. Relief was given to the needy. Funds were collected for fuel and potatoes. The orphans and poor children were kept at their study in the Talmud Torah and were supplied with shoes and clothes. Poor scholars were supported, and every year for Passover, hundreds of poor families were receiving money orders, individually to each, according to the number in their family.
We can state without exaggeration that about $30,000 was collected and expended for relief work during the period between 1918-39. It was living up to highest Jewish traditions of charity. We of the Relief, and you dear reader of these lines, can justly be proud. We did a job that was also in the true American Tradition. Thus we proved ourselves True Americans, True Jews.
Our present task is as enormous as is the tragedy that has befallen our people through most of Europe. It is the task of saving the pieces of a shattered people. It is a task of locating lost individuals, who miraculously escaped the gas-chambers, extermination camps and mass graves. When located, it is our job to bring them out of a continent whose earth is soaked with the blood of their most precious.
This, we pledge to do with your generous help as good Americans, as good Jews.
To answer this question we have to appeal to your heart and conscience.
When we started our relief organization a little over a year ago, and you responded so magnificently, we were in total ignorance of the task that was and is in store for us. We were still thinking in terms of the relief activity that followed the first World War. The Nazis and Ruthenians saw to it that we cannot help Gliniany and Vicinity in the old style.
Instead we find today a handful of our fellow-Jews from Gliniany scattered all over Europe, without a roof over their head, without clothing and without means for a living.
They cannot stay on, because every sight reminds them of the terrible agony they were forced to endure for the past five years, and as if this were not sufficient, Hitler left many able pupils in Poland to continue to make life miserable for our brothers there.
Under the circumstances, it is up to us to deliver this handful of our fellow Jews from Gliniany and Vicinity, from darkness to light.
They look to us for means to live again.
We must assemble the means to make it possible for them to come to us here in America or to settle in Palestine.
We must make sacrifices in order to bring this about, but remember, what does our sacrifice amount to, when compared to the sufferings these few chosen to survive Hitler's butchery, had to go through?
Has any of us enough money to compensate them for their sufferings?
Brothers and Sisters! Let us be thankful that we are called upon to help the survivors of Gliniany and Vicinity and that we have the means to do it.
The task ahead of us is very big, it will cost about $500 - $1,000 to take care of each person to be helped to a new existence.
Think about it, and ponder what will be your share in this important salvation work!!!
|A||ALLERHAND, Dr. Yonah|
|B||BAUM, Meier (Son of Rifke Beile)|
|BRATTER, Dr. Joseph (Wife and Daughter)|
|BLOCH, Fannie, brother Frederick, grandchildren of Rachmiel BAUM of Podhaujczyki|
|BRATTER, Nesche and Scheindyl (Zamoscie)|
|D||DUCKLER, Yitzchak (Son of Abraham Kotchelab)|
|DAM, Liusha (Daughter of Leizer KUROWICE)|
|E||EHRE, PESHE (Lipe Ehre's Daughter)|
|FEILER, Scharlotta, granddaughter of Nute RUBENZAHL (She married Bernardo GUTMAN and died in NY in 1983)|
|F||FEIRING, Jacob and Mendel (Sons of Deborah ELKUNE's)|
|FRIEDEL, Elie (Son of Moses Leib)|
|FERSTER, Dr. Sigmund (Son-in-law of SPEIZER)|
|FOGELFANGER, Moses, of Laszki Krolewskie|
|G||GESUND, ARTHUR, Wife and Child (Son-in-law of Yur Halpern)|
|GERSTEL, Izaar Aron and Wife|
|GRAUBARD, Hersh Leib (and brother's daughter)|
|H||HECHT, ZISCHE (Son of Chaskel the Carpenter)|
|HESHELES, Chanah (Daughter of Moses & Golde)|
|HABER, Peretz and brother's son|
|K||KANNER FAMILY of Pohorylce|
|KANNER, Moishe (Son of Abraham PODHEITCHYKE)|
|KRUSH, David and Isaak and Herzl|
|KLINGHOFSTEIN, David, Wife and 2 Children (Son-in-law law of Lipe EHRE)|
|KANNER, Shulem, Wife and 2 Sons|
|KRIM, Hilel (Son of Gitshe Jankel SLOVITER)|
|KATZ, Hertzel (Son of Psachie)|
|KANNER, Leib, Rachel and Child, Izak and Sister and Brother, all children of Moses of Podhajczyki|
|L||LEINWAND, Yechiel and Wife and Child|
|LEIST, SIMCHE (of Zamoscie)|
|LEIST, Neshe (of Zamoscie)|
|LINDENAUER, Menashe (Son of Gershon of Polivchow)|
|LINDENBAUM, Daszke (Son of Advokat LINDENBAUM)|
|LWOW, Beile and Child (Daughter of Menashe VOGELFANGER)|
|LEIST, Moses (of Zamoscie)|
|M||MAHL, Feige and Michel (Daughter and Son of Henie Eidel)|
|MEHLMAN, Dr. Roth Bertha [sic; printed Berta in the letters] (Daughter of Gershon)|
|MILLER, Miriam (Daughter of Zivie)|
|MEIER, Feiwel (related to Itchele ENGELSBERG)|
|METH, Benjamin and Wife|
|MEHLSAK, Moses (Son of Leiser MEHLSAK)|
|MAUER, Shulem (Son of Moses)|
|MEHLMAN, Son of Bezie MEHLMAN|
|MAVER, Leitsche, of Kurowice|
|N||NASS, Chaim Meilech (Brother of Dr. Nass)|
|NASS, Sruel and Wife|
|NASS, Yente and 3 Children|
|NASS, Leitsche (Granddaughter of Sure Eite)|
|NADELSTECHER, Leiser (Son of Moses MEHLER)|
|NASS, Israel (Brother of Dr. Nass)|
|NEUMAN, Moses (Son of Abesh)|
|NASS, Dr. Solomon and Wife and Son|
|NADELSTECHER (Son of Abraham)|
|P||PARNES, Safran Max (Russia)|
|R||REINHERZ, Frimet (Daughter of Jidel SCHLUMPER)|
|RUBIN, Ethel (Daughter of Abraham)|
|RUBIN, Sarah (Grandchild of Sender)|
|RUBINSTEIN, Moses (Son of Jacob ROTH)|
|REINHERZ, David (Son of Azriel)|
|ROTH, Yehuda (Grandchild of the Red David)|
|S||SCHLUMPER, Markel and Mendel (Children of Berish)|
|SOHN, Moses and Lilian (Children of Vovtche)|
|SCHLUMBER, Abraham (Son of Yidel) and Daughter Frimet|
|Engin. SPEISER, Solomon and Wife and Grandchild|
|STRICKER (A niece of Szabse STRICKER)|
|SAUL, ELI (Son of Abraham)|
|SEKLER, Sarah (NADELSCHTECHER) and Child|
|SCHATZ, Meier, Rose, Schimon|
|Son and Daughter of Leib KRIEG (Kurowice)|
|STEINWORZEL (Son of Henach)|
|T||TENNENBAUM, Julia, Rolia (Wife and Daughter of Dr. TENENBAUM [sic])|
|TEITELBAUM (Son of Teacher TEITELBAUM)|
|U||URBAND, Leah (Daughter-in-law of Miriam URBAND)|
|W||WOLF, BUNI (Son of Elicune)|
|WACHSGISSER, Regina (Daughter of Elkune Fogelfanger)|
|WEITZ, Chaim Moische|
|Wife and Daughter of Jankel SAFRAN|
|Wolf, Jacob and Mechel (Elcuna's Grandchildren)|
|HERZBERG, Meier and two Sisters|
|P.S.: -- The above list of names is a compilation of letters and reports received by our committee.
There might be a slight oversight of some names that may not be accurate.
[This begins the translations from the pages printed in Yiddish.]
Every activity undertaken for the benefit of the public is valuable from a historical point of view, especially when it is done in order to save survivors of a great catastrophe, and also when it is imperative to remember the memory of the lives and work of the martyrs of that devastating catastrophe whose lives and work were annihilated by sword and fire.
Therefore, in view of the fact that the letters our friends and we have received from some surviving Gliniany Jews are of historical importance, we have decided to publish a large portion of these letters as an everlasting memorial in the form that is before you.
Although these letters were not originally intended for the public, we consider their historical value so important and useful that we selected those letters we deemed having significant historical importance for the general public, and especially for the people of our shtetl Gliniany.
Publicizing the horrific words and events described in these fiery blood-soaked letters is an important and utterly necessary piece of news. This is the only way we could bring you the most horrific of all horrors: the great disaster that our flesh and blood and we experienced. Perhaps a Gliniany survivor will decide to write about the entire tragedy, the entire destruction of Gliniany in all its details. That person may also make use of the facts we included in this book from witnesses who survived the disaster.
We can attest to the fact that all the citations and selections from the original letters are precise transcriptions from the letters that we have received from various Jews from Gliniany and surrounding villages who lived through all the suffering pain and bloodshed.
The original letters are stored in the archives of our Gliniany Region Emergency Relief Committee.
|On behalf of the Publicity Committee,|
|Henoch Halpern||Irving Goldstein|
|Jonah Mehlman||Notta Leitner|
In the English parts of this brief book the reader will find a short overview of our relief aid work and also a list of all our living survivors.
Woe! What has become of us?!
A part of long-standing Jewish life that developed over generations is now destroyed and ruined, desolate and disrupted. Among the ruins lie our own people, the Jews of our hometown, the holy community of Gliniany, a major Jewish community.
I am seized by fear, my blood thickens and I burn from rage and pain. I ask, 'why' and 'what for.' The storm carries my cries a lament, a wail, curse withheld. Hear O Israel!!! Their last cry.
For just a few hours, let's go back to the hell of the recent past to the horrible events of savage killings and murder from which we suffered so much and so horribly, and in which we made such an enormous holy sacrifice. Let's return to those gruesome, bloody nights, and .then we will have to listen further, remembering the tragic events. In our description, we will not only notice the bloody pictures; not only the pieces of our own loved ones who were killed to sanctify G-d's name, but also how people who were our own neighbors, the gentiles, among whom we lived and worked for innumerable generations, could turn into savage beasts for a bit of booty.
We Jews say that whatever the earth covers should be forgotten, but to this very day, we observe the death anniversaries [yahrzeits] of our dead. This shows that we do not forget those who have left us forever, those whom the earth has covered. We visit the graves of our ancestors
We shall proceed in the same way with the description contained in this book about the great destruction of Gliniany. We hope that the words of this small book will serve as a memorial and eternal memory of all of our martyrs who were murdered, slaughtered, burned, and some of whom were even buried alive.
We want to recount what the savage German Nazis did with the aid of our gentile neighbors and Ukrainians and Poles, among whom we, our parents, and their parents lived for generations. Our neighbors from our own hometown, and the nearby gentile neighborhoods and villages not far from Gliniany, helped to exterminate our beloved fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, brothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and colleagues they wiped them out and turned all of them to ash.
The savage animals in human form ravaged and destroyed everything we considered holy and dear, our own flesh and blood. As a memorial to our martyrs who sacrificed their lives to sanctify the name of G-d, we would like to present, to the best of our knowledge and ability, a description of what happened to our brothers and sisters of Gliniany and the neighboring villages. This should also serve as a source of material about our history for future historians to use. At the same time, it should serve as a black spot, a new mark of Cain for civilized people who consider themselves Christians, and as evidence of how far they have come with their goodwill on earth and peace among men.
The events described in the letters in this book took place during World War II, especially between 1941 and 1944. We are also including a short overview that describes what the shtetl Gliniany actually was like the place we American Gliniany émigrés come from. The overview discusses those of us who left Gliniany in their youth, and those who were young unmarried men and women, and even those who were even middle-aged. We all left behind our families, friends and colleagues. We left behind a warm Jewish life, the place from where each of us here in America or elsewhere in other countries carries some nostalgia about that hometown life.
Each of us still has that holy indescribable feeling when we think back to a Friday night; a Yomtof [religious holiday] eve; the holiday of Shavuot in synagogue when it would be as if we were coming in to a forest of trees with fragrant grass [translator's note: this is because of the custom of placing leafy tree branches and leaves in synagogues for the holiday of Shavout]; the beginning of Yom Kippur evening for the recital of the Kol Nidrei prayer with real heartfelt crying, real fear and awe, and then getting up before sunrise to attend the early morning penitential prayers [Selichot]; with all Jews in town observing the fast day of the Ninth of Av with its recitation of Lament poetry; the solemnity of the Purim holiday meal, the Passover seder meal and the holiday of Simchat Torah with the recitation of multiple mourners' prayers; standing at a marriage ceremony under the chuppa at the synagogue. Yes! There where our little cradles stood, where our own flesh and blood lived, in that place and now, it's all gone, wiped off of G-d's earth.
Only a small remnant of Jews from Gliniany and the neighboring villages survived the hand of the murderers, and still fewer were able, or wanted, to describe the great catastrophe that they experienced and what they underwent and suffered, both physically and spiritually.
When we collected the letters and indicated the citations, we were careful to provide an entire picture of all events, but that the same event should not be described repeatedly (which can happen).
I am the man who has seen poverty in the rod of my wrath! (Ecclesiastes 3)
A Letter from Engineer Salomon [Shlomo] Speiser-Nussbaum (unabridged)
I received your letter that was given to me by Dr. Summerstein, and I am rushing to answer you in detail. As with all shtetls in eastern Galicia, all we can share with each other about our Gliniany is grief and mourning. I was still in Gliniany until August 1942 and took part in so-called actions there with everyone else. Before discussing the facts and portrayal of what I went through, and heard from other close friends, I would like to describe a few episodes that took place in Gliniany.
In the winter of 1941, immediately following autumn, the Gliniany Ukrainians tried their hand at following the example of the Gestapo. There wasn't yet a Judenrat [Jewish committee established by the Nazis], but they had set up a so-called authority under the chairmanship of the former Judge Fashkiewitz [Fashkovich] (who used to pretend to be a good Jewish friend to me. At that time I was away from Przemyslany [Przemyslan]. Who knows had I been in Gliniany I would also have been among those sentenced). The authority sentenced 7 or 11 people to death and led them out to the woods where they were all shot. These victims included: the teacher, Drescher [Dresher]; the youngest brother of the Shragers [Shraggers] a 14 year old boy; Israel [Yisrael] Hochberg's son, Zalman Levin [Levine]; Itzhak [Yitzchak] Freindlich; Polack [Pollack] the carpenter; and Nutele [Nottaleh] of the sands.
The dead were left in the forest for two weeks, until permission was granted to bring their bodies into town for a funeral. The whole town showed up and the cemetery was undamaged. A role was played in the gangster activity by the famous anti-Semite, Zenia Tuz [Zenio Toz], who I am told is still somewhere in Germany today. Fashkiewitz [Fashkovich] was taken away to the Soviet Union by the Russians.
Some time later, the Germans created the so-called Judenrat, which represented the Jews and carried out the orders of the S.S. men. Aaron [Aharon] Hochberg was the chairman; the other members were Ohring [Ahring], engineer Semensieb [Zenenzieb], dentist Billinger [Billiger], Selig Zang [Zelig Zank], the Nadler brothers, sons of Pinchas the road builder. They put their lives in danger defending other Jews, until they too died.
In Jachtorow [Yoktarov], a village between Gliniany and Przemyslany [Przemyslan], they built a labor camp of over 1,000 people. There the Ukrainians followed orders and, in their famous manner, shot the suffering lot. In Lemberg [Lvov], under the chairmanship of the well-known Dr. Landau, they created a so-called Z.S.S. (Jewish Social Self-Help Organization). I ran it in Przemyslany [Przemyslan], and in Gliniany it was led by Dr. Shlomo Mehlman. For three or four months, we took in two or three thousand zlotys each month. When there was enough money, our wives would carry the cases of food by foot to the labor camps, 8 kilometers away in Jachtorow [Yoktarov].
In Kurowice [Korvich (Kurvitsa)], a village not far from Gliniany, Dr. Feiler, a son of Yehuda Feiler [Yudel Filer] and his wife, Henie Allerhand [Hensy Alerhand], was working as a director at the sanatorium since before the Soviet occupation. His father-in-law, Mordecai Allerhand [Motya Alerhand], lived with them, together with his wife and grandchild, as an assistant to Perl Seltzer, daughter of Aharon. Right after the Germans arrived, they were all murdered. Joseph Davidsohn [Yossi Davidson], his wife from the Angstreich family of Jachtorow [Yoktarov], their daughter and her husband, a journalist from Lemberg, and their child were all murdered at the same time. Before I left to be with my son in Warsaw, I was in mortal danger from the well-known peasants and was beaten. I would have been killed if I had remained among them just a bit longer.
In August 1942, I left Przemyslany [Przemyslan] and traveled to Gliniany. There were children working on the street; among them 12 year-old children. On the way I saw gentile peasants traveling with gravestones they had removed from the Gliniany Jewish cemetery; they used them to pave the roads. The Jewish cemetery in Gliniany is now completely plowed over. There's not a single remaining grave or gravestone. In those days, the Jewish community didn't have an inkling of what was in store for them. They worked for the Judenrat and quarreled with them at every opportunity.
In the summer of 1943, the Germans began their action in Gliniany. The remaining Jews were transported to Przemyslany [Przemyslan] and a thousand were taken out to the woods near Krosienko [Krosyensky], where the men had to dig pits. They were then all machine gunned down and buried in the pits. Lucky for them they weren't transported to Belzec where there was already a gas chamber and crematorium.
I was soon transported to a concentration camp, however, I was fortunate that
the Gestapo officer at the entrance to the camp pushed me forward and didn't let me go, since I didn't appear to him to be a Jew. Later I lived with a gentile family under false papers as a Pole with the name of Dvorkovski, until my son took me to Warsaw where I live today.
A few Jews were able to hide out in the forests surrounding Gliniany, Zapus, Slavet and Lohodov for quite a while. It's hard for me to say how many of them survived.
A gentile who I knew used to tell me that the naked bodies of Jewish men and women were scattered around in the woods, and the gentiles from the surrounding areas didn't even bother to bury them.
Letter from Dr. Berta [Bertha] Mehlman-Rothava (unabridged)
I received your letter, and on behalf of all surviving friends and fellow-residents of Glinna [Gliniany] and myself, I wish to thank you for the interest you have shown in assisting us. It is impossible for me to share with you all the facts connected with the savagery that took place during the German occupation. It's impossible to describe the suffering people went through until death put an end to their tragedy. There are no words to describe all the cruelty of the Germans and their local collaborators; it's impossible for people who haven't gone through this to understand it. Even those who experienced that hell, who went through dozens of Jewish ethnic cleansing aktsias [actions] and who somehow miraculously survived, don't have the words to describe all the pain and suffering, when such people, who lived for months and years in hiding in bunkers (protective pits) and cellars and forgot the difference between night and day, tell stories of the horror of how little children were murdered and thrown into burning houses, and how women and the elderly dug their own graves. We need the pens of new prophets, of a new Jeremiah, to immortalize the events of the German occupation in human language: the hatred of savage thieves, aged participants of pogroms who carried on the old pogrom traditions of 1648 [the Chmelnitsky massacres of 1648-49], hand in hand with the cold calculating German culture-technique, that used the newest methods of civilization and technology to slaughter unarmed old people, women and children.
The town of Glinna doesn't exist anymore; there are only a few dozen houses standing as a memorial. Houses were sold and the local population tore them down and used them for building material. The remnants of Glinna Jews are only orphans; not a single intact family remained. Out of a whole family there might remain a single child, or perhaps a woman without her husband and children. A large number of survivors were saved thanks to the fact that they were in the Russian army, while others escaped to Russia.
Letter from Shulem [Shalom] Kanner (unabridged)
Although I have been free for the last three weeks, this is my first letter. I am so broken up from the terrible calamity, that I was really unable to write. It's hard for me to believe that my wife, younger son and I survived Hitler's massacres. My older son escaped to Romania with false papers when he was 16 years old. I hope to G-d that my son survived and is still alive. In the meantime, we haven't heard anything from him. All we own is the clothes on our backs, but we are happy to be alive and to be able to see the fall of Hitler and his band of murderers.
The human mind cannot comprehend what they did to us. Miracles happened to us every minute. For three years we wandered the earth carrying a death sentence. Of our whole family in Wisznian (a village near Gliniany), only Aaron's [Aharon's] daughter-in-law survived. Not a single Kanner living in Lemberg [Lviv] and in surrounding areas survived. No one in my wife's family survived (except for Moshe Rubinstein [Rubenstein], who was later found. See his letter). Through tremendous efforts, Moshe Rubinstein's [Rubenstein's] wife, and his brother, Nahum [Nuchim], and Nahum's [Nuchim's] wife hid out until June 15, 1944, when they fell into the hands of the savage murderers. Moshe's wife immediately poisoned herself, and the others were taken away to a camp somewhere near Cracow, where they were all hanged. Before they killed them, the Nazis tortured them; no one who saw this could ever describe or even believe the horrors of destruction that the beasts did to us.
They beat us and robbed us. They murdered us, drowned us and burned our children alive. While they were doing it they forced Jewish klezmer musicians to perform while the Nazi murderers' horrible savagery was going on. For nine months I lived in a closed-off ghetto under the most awful inhuman conditions.
They created man-made typhus by forcing 15 of us into a room of 14 square meters at a high temperature of 40 degrees (over 104 degrees Fahrenheit). Suffering from typhus we had to perform slave labor, while those who couldn't get out of bed were killed. I had to work while I had a terrible case of typhus.
Even if I could write properly, I wouldn't be able to describe the wrestle with death that we were going through. I remained in the ghetto until the end of 1943. My wife and son were in hiding with a Polish family. In May 1943, the ghetto was dismantled, and I miraculously escaped and managed to get to the Polish family where my wife and child were located. I stayed there until the Red Army liberated us.
For 14 months we experienced tremendous misery while in hiding and while the cold winter rolled through outside. We stayed alive on cold potatoes when we could find some. As soon as I get my health back, I will write about our experiences, suffering and torment.
Letter from Channa [Chana] Hochberg (unabridged)
It is impossible to describe everything that happened. It would only be possible to do it orally. However, I will tell about a few brief episodes about how Gliniany Jews were liquidated.
During 1941-42 the Jews were in Gliniany. In 1942, they were transported to Przemyslany [Przemyslan] and other towns where they were put into concentration camps and ghettos. Thereafter, when Galicia was declared Jew-free, Przemyslany [Przemyslan] was also declared Jew-free. Many Gliniany Jews, together with Jews from other town, were sent to the gas chambers.
The youth were mostly in concentration camps, and afterwards, when the Jews had spent 6 months in the camps, an order was given to liquidate all the Jews in the camps. In April 1943, the Jews were led out to the forest, and all the young people were shot.
Two weeks before the extermination, some of the young Jews organized themselves for self-defense, armed themselves, and escaped into the forest. I was among them together with my youngest brother, Yehuda. We stayed in the forest until 1944. Of our group of 60, only six survived. I was wounded, and the Germans took me prisoner as a Jewish partisan. I survived thanks to the German doctor. He got me false documents and I was able to travel to Austria, where I remained until the end of the war.
While we were in the forest some people were in Jachtorow [Yoktorov] Forest, and others hid out among the non-Jews. Among those in Jachtorow [Yoktorov] Forest were Shulim [Shalom] Rubin, Meyer [Meir] and Aaron [Aharon] Wolf, Yechiel Leinwand and his wife and son, Melach [Melech] Nass and Nichta [his niece], Dr. Shlomo Mehlman, Pinchas [Pinny] Nadler's son (who was living with a non-Jew in the village of Wyzniany [Wiszlan]), Eliezer Damm [Dam] and his wife, Nahum Damm [Nachum Dam] from Korowice [Kurowitza], Isaac Kamer [Yitzchak Kanner] and his younger brother and sister, a son of Ely [Eliyahu] from Laszek [Lashek] and his wife, Moshe Kamer [Kanner] from Uniuf [Onyov]. I don't know, however, what happened to all of them because at that time I was held captive by the Germans.
I also want to briefly describe how my father, Aaron [Aharon] Hochberg, was shot. After the Juden-aktsia my father went back to Gliniany from Przemyslany [Przemyslan]. In Gliniany the Ukrainian militia took him out, at his wishes, and shot him and the dentist, Billiger, at the grave of my father's father. My mother, who was hiding out with other Jews in the Gliniany synagogue, was taken away with everyone else five days later and shot in the cemetery.
I was lucky that one of Usher [Asher] Buchbinder's sons, who was serving in the Jewish brigade and was in Austria, became interested in my situation. I told him where I came from and who I was. At the request of his father and Mordechai, the son of Yechezkel, he did everything he could for me to get me to Palestine. He first got me to Italy, and then his brigade section made sure that I was able to travel on to Palestine.
Letter from Feigele Leinwand
At the end of October, 1942, I left Gliniany. Their parting words were: 'Try to see if you can do something for us from America, at least to save the little children, unless perhaps it's already too late.'
What you have read in the newspapers is not the whole truth. What we went through is more than that, and it's impossible to describe the entire truth. It's impossible to believe that I actually got out of Hell.
Just five weeks ago they were alive. Many were ill and in bed with typhus, however, I have no way of knowing whether or not they are still alive. There was extreme danger, and death stood before them every minute. The week I left the attack had already started, and everyone had to leave Gliniany. The first place was Pshemishlan [spelled this way in original]. I am doing whatever I can to bring children here from Gliniany. Is there anything you can do for us in America? When I calm down and take a rest, I'll write more.
Letter from Moshe Rubinstein
[The letter from Moshe Rubenstein printed in Yiddish at this point was also printed in English in its entirety. See the transcription of the English portion of this yizkor book.]
Letter from Royze Nass
We were able to flee to Glina [spelled this way in the original] from the Pshemishlan [sic] ghetto at 12 midnight. When we got there we didn't know where we should hide from the murderers, since death stood before our eyes. That night we made our way to our neighbor, Hopolovsky, and hid out in his attic and struggled against hunger for 14 months. When we were finally freed and went outside, all we found in Glina was an empty place. Our dearest, best and finest were gone, and we won't see them again, since each one died. Don't think for a minute that the rich or intelligent stayed alive and we were just lucky ones, since we didn't have any money to recover. We survived only because we hid out with Hopolovsky. Of the more than two thousand Jews in our Glina, only 25 survived, and of the 25, we are the only intact family. The rest were lone survivors of a few families. Everyone else died horribly in Hitler's horrific extermination.
Letter from Chayeh [Chaya] Kanner (unabridged)
The handful of Glina Jews who survived the hands of the butchers hid out in the forest near Zeniow [Chenov]. The Polish gentiles in the village supplied them with food. When they fled into the forest in May, 1943, they were a larger group of young Jews. However, their ongoing battle with the Ukrainians thinned their ranks. Some of our dead young sons and daughters were left unburied and were food for the ravens and dogs in the whole area.
Even if now it's not possible to provide a Jewish burial for some of the dead, at least there should be no more sacrifices.
Along the road to Lvov [Lemberg], the Ukrainians killed Avraham 'Tsigeiner' [the gypsy], Josel Bass' [Yosel Boss'] son, who was liberated by the Red Army.
As you can tell from the list, the few survivors have scattered and dispersed. Even those who are still in Gliniany will soon move there, to the West. You in America are now the community of Gliniany Jews. There aren't any more in Europe. The Jews in town were wiped out, houses demolished, the cemetery plowed over. I don't know how the synagogue managed to remain standing, but it was turned into dining rooms. The best thing you can do for us is to enable the survivors to get out of Europe, since although Hitler was defeated, his shadow remains. They even took away our belief in G-d, justice and in the value of mankind.
It's even possible to expect some mercy and compensation from a German, but never from a Ukrainian militiaman. They were the ones who threw our surviving little children into burning houses, and then sang and danced about it.
They smashed the children's brains out on rocks, and the world is now prepared to forgive and forget their murder.
Second Letter from Engineer S. [Salomon / Schlomo] Speiser-Nussbaum (unabridged)
It's very hard for me to respond to your request. What can a person write about individual people after such a horrible tragedy that hundreds, thousands and millions of our people experienced? Everybody has heard and read about these poor people. Anyone who hasn't seen and experienced these things with their own eyes doesn't or can't believe that such a thing could take place in our time. The memory of the shtetl and its people remains, but none of them lives anymore!
I already told you in my previous description that I received a letter from a gentile acquaintance. She writes that 'even in the labor camps no one remains. Everyone was shot down.' They had to dig pits in the forest near Przemyslany [Pshemishlana], and row after row fell dead with Hear O Israel and Our Father, Our King on their lips.
There were also cases where our Jews made the murderers pay with their lives for what they did to us: we were told how Kamers [Kanners] from Podhajce [Podaitschik] and Alferdowka [Alferdrovka] (two villages near Gliniany) commit acts of bravery and self-sacrifice against the enemy on behalf of Jews. In the forests of Krosienko [Kroisenka], Hasczow [Khonochov] and Larodow [Lohodov] (all near Gliniany) they organized partisans and inflicted losses and misery on the Germans.
While I was in Warsaw, Dr. Wyszynski [Wishinski], a Polish gentile from Wyzniany [Wisznia], told me that in 1942 the peasants in the area said that the Germans were afraid of the Jewish partisans and couldn't defeat them. In 1943-44 I read twice in the Polish underground newspaper reports that Ukrainians had attacked the village of Hanaczow. The murderers attacked the village three times, and were turned back each time, because the Hanaczow gentiles were helped by Jewish partisans in the forest.
We have been told that members of the Gliniany family of Nahum [Nachum] Damm had a camp of 40 people, built a bunker in the forest near Bogdanowka [Bordanovka] (a village near Gliniany) and stored food supplies in the bunker, which was so well camouflaged that no one knew about it for a long time. However, the surrounding village hooligans eventually discovered the bunker and attacked it. The Jews heroically defended themselves for a while, but had to surrender.
Letter from Ida Halpern-Gezunt
As you already know, my husband, child and I survived. With great pain I can tell you that no one else remained alive from my family besides us.
My father died and the Ukrainians killed my mother. My brothers Solla and Yunka [Saul and Jacob] and their children were shot by the Germans at the cemetery.
We survived a horrible period. It was a miracle we survived. I hid out with a farmer and later in the woods. My husband was in a concentration camp. He escaped from the camp, and only G-d knows how we managed to be reunited. Perhaps I will write in greater detail about the pain and suffering we experienced.
We would like to be able to settle in a safe location so we can be sure about tomorrow. Therefore, please do what you can and send us papers.
Second letter from Dr. Berta Mehlman-Roth (unabridged)
[Translator's note: elsewhere the name is spelled Rothova]
It is very painful for me to repeat the same thing in each of my letters about the great tragedy that befell the Jewish People in Poland, including our own loved ones. Out of our entire family that used to be so large, only you in America and I remain alive. Other distant relatives who survived are cousin Berta Fogelfanger and her child, and Genya and her husband and child. I survived because I was evacuated to Russian. When I left for Russia, my little boy was staying with my parents near Lemberg. My husband died at the beginning of the war. I don't take joy in the fact that I survived, because all of my loved ones are gone, and I am the only person remaining.
My mother was killed with my child when they escaped from the ghetto. They were killed on the road. My father was killed in the Belzec camp. My brother lived until 1944 and hid out in the woods with his wife and child. He was then tortured to death by the Ukrainians from Rozworzany [Rozvoran] (a village near Gliniany). This took place in the woods outside of town. The Ukrainians killed Dr. Shlomo Mehlman there. His neighbors turned his wife and children over to the Germans, who didn't return alive.
Chaye [Chaya] Mehlman and her husband and two daughters were killed in Zlaraz [Zbarasz]. Uncle Dov (Bezio [Bezshe]) Mehlman suffered for months in the Lwow [Lemberg] ghetto and then in the Janowski [Yanov] camp until he was killed. His son is alive somewhere (editor: he lives in Italy), but his wife was murdered. Srul [Yisrael] Hochberg committed suicide, and his wife Beile [Beila] and all his children were killed.
Very few in town were rescued. Only Berta [Beila] remained alive from the huge family of Menashe Vogelfanger [Fogelfanger]. Her brother, Jacob Vogelfanger [Yaakov Fogelfanger], was handed over to the Gestapo in Warsaw. Jacob's [Yaakov's] wife and daughter were also murdered after the Warsaw uprising. Rose [Royze], Teresa [Drezel] and Chaye [Chaya] and all her children were killed. This is everybody from the family.
Remaining Jews where we are is very difficult. Hitler injected strong poison here. It will take decades for the poison to dissipate. The question arises as to where we can go now. Thus, we live from day to day with a memory from there. The single remaining consolation is that I have someone to write to.
Letter from Max Parnas-Safran
No one remains of our loved ones; none of Regina's or Avi's loved ones survived. Only a few distant relatives survived. In Pohorlietz only Moshe Weitz survived from his whole family. Our parents are no longer alive. They were murdered in May, 1943, together with thousands of Jews in the forest near Przemyslany [Premishlana].
Rachmiel Baum, Koppel Richter, Leib Weintraub, Shlomo Weitz were shot by the Germans in 1941.
Devorah was killed in the forest, and Montsik in the camp. Very few survivors remained there. Sheindele escaped to the Krasienko [Krasienka] Forest and hid there, but was shot by the Germans. None of the Bergers survived, and Uncle Kanner and his sister, Rivka, were killed.
The preceding quotations are from postcards written to her relatives in Brooklyn: November 15, 1944, December 18, 1944, February 27, 1945. It's possible that the whole thing is different now. We want to hope that many of them are still alive! (editor).
Second Letter from Channa [Chana] Hochberg (unabridged)
I received your letter, but it's very difficult to respond to your recent questions. The tall handsome son of Aharon Zang, Benyu, was in a concentration camp in Korvitz, where he was injured by a car. He was taken to a hospital in Przemyslany [Premishlan], and instead of treating him, they shot him. This was on December 4, 1942.
They took more of the healthy Gliniany Jews to Belzec to be gassed. His wife, child and sister were gassed on May 23, 1943 with all the other Gliniany Jews.
Selig [Zelig] Zang and the entire Beitel family were taken to the Bosk ghetto and tortured. They were exterminated on May 22, 1943. I realize that what I am writing is cold and hard, but this is what happened.
[Translator's note: The writer of these pages (Henoch Halpern, the book's editor) first expresses his feelings about the importance of mentioning various individuals in Gliniany, and then proceeds to name them.]
.and for each worthwhile historical fact that occurred in town over the generations, a separate book ought to be written. Perhaps someone will do it. I will briefly mention what I know and remember at the present time:
R. Shlomo Zalman Rosen, the rabbi of Gliniany; R. Mechelen; Rabbi Betzalel, the Good Jew of Gliniany; his son, R. Chaiml; R. Yosef Horowitz, who later became a rabbi in Providence, RI, and the rabbi of the 99-er group in New York; R. Baruch Boseches, the rabbi in Bardeszany, Romania; R. Chaim Greenberg, rabbi in Lemberg; R. Berl (Goldberg) Rochtshes, rabbinical court judge in Gliniany and later in Premislany; R. Yechezkel Hochberg, head of the rabbinical court in Gliniany; Rabbi Hershel Frenkel, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, Rabbi Yonah Banner, Rabbi Shlomoleh Shickler, R. Mannes Lieberman, who was asked to become rabbi in Lemberg, but who refused the honor; R. Yosef Shaul Frenkel, R. Avraham Chaim Dayan, R. Mordechai Beer, R. Nechemiah Boseches, R. Yonah Goldberg, R. Chaim Falik, R. Simcha Melamed, R. Itschele Chasid, R. Hersh Yoel Nadler, Shimon Freindlich, R. Yosele Shochet and his son-in-law, R. Yehoshua, R. Shmuel Leib Nescheles who was a town trustee for many years; R. Abbale Shochat Gerstel, R. Yaakov Alerhand, R. Yaakov Hescheles, R. Yankele Chaya Esther's [this appellation is one that refers to the person's mother, rather than a last name. It's possible this also applies to other last names ending in S]; Hersh Luzer Teller, Leib ([either 'writer' or the name Schreiber]) Wolf, Shlomo Unger, Shlomo Cohen, Aharon Rubentsal, Ephraim Katz, Mordechai son of Yechezkel [Mordechai Halpern], a writer about Chassidism, an essayist about Jewish philosophical issues and author of the book, Sefer Ha-Ma'asiyot [Book of Stories]. Uri Zvi Greenberg, Hebrew-Yiddish lawyer and publicist, Ephraim Fogelfanger, contributor to the newspaper, Lemberger Tagblat and previously a member of the Young Judea movement in Galicia; Yonah (Shmuel) Nadler, (A. Galizian[?]), Yiddish poet and publicist. David Rubentsal, Jewish community leader and director of the Jewish Orphanage in Lemberg. Dr. Yaakov Korkiss, one of the first Zionist leaders in Galicia, and for many years a leader of Gliniany Zionists. Dr. Attorney Yaakov Fogelfanger, a well-known journalist in the Jewish Polish press in Galicia and Poland; Asher ( name Buchbinder or the book binder) Burk, a community leader and author of In Exile and in Our Homeland; Abba Stoltzenberg, a Yiddish poet; Yirmiyahu Hescheles, a Yiddish storyteller and poet; Morris Blumenreich, worker leader; H. Halpern, an active union leader in speeches and in print and in other Jewish organizations. Leib Zweck, a famous cantor who was a town cantor in Brody, Sambar and Tarnapol. Moshele Stamm, a famous comedian throughout the region; Leibishel Batchan, a speaker and singer at most weddings of rabbinical families. There were many other Jews from Gliniany and the surrounding villages who played an important role in the life of our town besides the people listed above, especially in the last two generations.
Over time, spiritual life in town changed. Between 1905 and 1910 the kloiz synagogue had almost no young men in attendance. Instead of sitting and studying in the kloiz for the sake of study, or to become a rabbi, rabbinical judge or other position in the religious life of the community, many of the more promising young fellows were sent to secular high schools and universities to study to become doctors, lawyers, dentists and other high-profile professions. I should hasten to add that it wasn't as if the study of Torah, Talmud and other Jewish books ended people did study with enthusiasm. However, it wasn't like it was in earlier times. A new generation grew up with new people involved in business, most of whom were Zionists. They took over they religious community, and the head of the community, as well as the council members, were usually Zionists. For several decades, Zionists in Gliniany, especially the devoted Ephraim Katz, collected large sums of money; each year they sent tens of thousands of crowns or zlotys to various Zionist funds, and hundreds of shares in the Jewish Colonial Bank are sold in Gliniany. Hundreds of names were inscribed in the Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund. Thousands of trees were planted in Palestine on JNF land. Huge sums were collected for Keren Hayesod [Foundation Fund].
The first pioneer to travel to Palestine from Gliniany during the Second Aliyah [Immigration] in 1907 was a young unmarried man and member of Poalei Zion [Workers of Zion], Henoch Halpern. Now in 1945, there are approximately one hundred and fifty Jews from Gliniany in Palestine, may their numbers increase.
The first Jew who migrated from Gliniany to America was Feiga, the Kotlierer's son. [Translator's note: This may be a printing error, since Feiga is a woman's name.] He left over twenty years ago. Afterwards, Gliniany Jews started slowly emigrating to America, and in 1945, there are over four hundred Gliniany Jews in the United States (not including their children born in the U.S.).
Gliniany had a really religious, nationalist and Zionist Jewish intelligensia. For many years Gliniany had its own Jewish judge, postman, Jewish lawyers, doctors and pharmacists. There were also Jewish merchants and artisans, as well as many educated workers involved in honorable positions in community life in Galicia, Poland, Palestine and America.
As mentioned earlier, this isn't the place to describe all facts, personalities and events. My task was to save as much as possible of the old Jewish tradition of transcribing in a record book all significant events in the city or town covered by the book so that each succeeding generation could learn about the traditions and practices of the community and its leadership.
Now, however, since our hometown has been destroyed, the community record book was destroyed together with the Jewish community. At least a few pages with some brief descriptions should remain as to assist future historians.
It's such a pity that things are lost and not found!
Honored Friends and Fellow Emigrés from Gliniany and Surrounding Villages!
In the letters that we are issuing, and in others we have received, we are not excluding the possibility that somewhere there are Jews from Gliniany or surrounding villages who are alive. We must not give up hope. It's possible that some survived among those who served in the Red Army, some of whom may be in hiding. It is also possible that some of them who we think are dead may show up alive. However, before we can check and corroborate the information we have received, we have to say, unfortunately, that we don't expect many more survivors, except for some who were taken away to the Soviet Union.
Whatever may be the future fate and luck of our surviving Jews from Gliniany and surrounding villages, whether they wish to return to Gliniany or not, we wish everyone the best of luck, with G-d's help! With all of our efforts and material assistance, we will be with you! We all want to help with all of our abilities, wherever survivors may be!
May G-d remember we should always remember how our loved ones lived there and how they died to sanctify G-d's name.
May G-d remember the souls of the members of the holy community of Gliniany who died, were killed, slaughtered, burned, drowned and strangled to sanctify G-d's name.
May His Great Name be Exalted and Sanctified ..
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