Our Jewish Krinek, a small but important ring in the glorious chain of Lithuanian-Polish Jewry, inherited and possessed a variety of peculiar traits. During the last generation of its existence, Krinek bubbled with initiative and energy, economical diligence, and had an energetic and full-blooded social life. It sprouted from struggling laborers and young people who brought liberation and revival to the Jewish community and risked their lives as pioneers.
A community rooted in studies and Judaism, imbued with the tradition of religious law and good deeds, our Krinek in it last fifty years represented a multicolored image. There were rich manufacturers, middle-class merchants and respected citizens, artisans and storekeepers, laborers of all kinds and the principal, tannery workers a Jewish industrial proletariat!
On the religious side were learned misnagdim [opponents of Hasidism] and scholars, musarniks [ethics movement] and fervent Hasidim. There were yeshiva boys and young men as well as young married men who sit studying Torah and Ein Jankev [collection of stories from the Talmud] and Talmud as well as ordinary religious Jews. On the other side were free, worldly enlightened men, intellectuals and young Socialists and workers. And as far as the community was concerned inspired followers of various efforts according to their taste, from Sholom Emuni Israel to fervent anarchists at the beginning of the 20th century and through Communists in the 1910's.
And according to Ani Mamin there were those who were certain of the Messiah's coming, even though he was late in coming and further believed in a world redeemer who would ransom the Jewish people. And from the other side there were Zionist pioneers who dreamt about returning to Zion and dedicating their lives to establishing their people in a new and independent country, Israel.
The Krinek community, although small, competed with many bigger ones and even large Jewish centers. The rabbinical chair was occupied by great Torah scholars of their generation, prominent personalities - virtuous men. The Krinek Jewish revolutionaries were extremely militant the Krinek bitter tannery strike at the end of the 19th century established them in the Jewish labor world. Our sisters and brothers carried out a surprise victory driving out the local Tsarist government and for several days ruled the shtetl. Three Krinek freedom fighters were occupied in a number of revolutionary acts in other Russian cities, including Peterburg [St.Petersburg, Leningrad].
But Krinek was especially distinguished by competing in the realm of education. Our small community built a substantial modern school system for religious education, Jewish secular in Yiddish, and Zionist pioneer in Hebrew. And for parents, even the oppressed, it was not difficult to work and take classes.
Krinek was involved in all other activities: culture, self and mutual aid, social work. It was rich in content and spiritual a shtetl and city!
And as the terrible, unfortunate decline moved closer Krinki's Jewish youth were the first in the area to participate in the last battle against the Nazi King of the Demons. This was for the honor of the people of Israel and in order to rescue, although few, those who would have to tell the world and the children's children what happened to our people and to the martyred Krinek Jewish community as a whole.
Our Pinkas Krynki is dedicated to the martyred community Krinek that was and is no more its history, life, creation, struggle, battle and mass death.
Our martyred brothers who were tortured by the Nazi King of Demons were not favored with a burial in a Jewish cemetery. The gassed bodies were burned and even their ashes were spread over the unclean Polish fields, without even a stone over them as a marker, by the disgusting beasts.
A world of destruction led by the bearers of human culture their mouths silent and their ears deaf to the screams for help from a people, our Jewish people. Our people were condemned, laughed at by them and tortured with uncommon cunning. Not even a Satan of all Satans could have brought this about. Also, at present, old and new enemies lie in wait to annihilate our remnant. Every Jewish individual and of course every Jewish community, wherever you are, G-d forbid that you should ever forget, and not remember, every day!
Pinkas Krynki is an eternal memorial to our martyrs and a reminder to you. The Pinkas is their monument one written with a pen one that will last for generations! It is a monument that stands on its own. It is not even necessary to go to or travel to the cemeteries of which nothing remains. Our remembrance stone needs to find a place where there is still a Jewish community, a Jewish school, a synagogue, a library or institution somewhere in the world and with every person from Krynki or with descendants of Krynki families. Let our Pinkas Krynki call out from every bookcase daily, always, every hour and every moment and remember to cry out do not forget!
And the book also represents, for our children, those we lost the ordinary, shining, productive Jewish people of Eastern Europe, the ancestors of our people spread throughout the world, of which our Krynki community was an important ring.
We, the editorial board of the Pinkas, had as our assignment the reconstruction, before our eyes, of the image of our Jewish community in Krynki, and to fashion a mirror from which it would shine, as far and as complete as possible. We endeavored to bring forth the history pages of our martyred community and the events that took place from its founding, industrial power, struggles, fights and revolts. We maintained the vital outline of the generations to examine the way of life in Krynki and of its energetic, bubbling Jewish organized society and above all to uncover the glorious character of the people of this society who shone in the hearts of our people, the ordinary simple people.
And so we searched to bring out the high ideals and aspirations, to salvage what dominated our shtetl as well as the devotion to their own family and also to the community as a whole. They were prepared to pay with their lives in troubled times.
We put all of this together, whatever was left, in a story of the generations for our future generations so that they should be able to learn and know about their origins and the sources and roots from which their ancestors made a living and grew.
The small history section in our Pinkas, whether the distant or recent past or the holocaust period we based it on documentary support or reports by witnesses that were investigated. In cases where we did not have any other evidence, we went to various comparable alternatives, and therefore it was not possible to avoid certain repetitions.
In the Krynki community chronicles and documents that were gathered (such as the Pinkas HaKahal [the Community Record] records from Burial Society, for example) unfortunately, no trace remained. In this case we only have certain chapters and events. Everything was put together and composed of scattered authentic sources and there is no disputed information.
The Pinkas Krynki is, in general and in for the most part a collective book, a work of our fellow townspeople who with love and devotion wrote a great treasure of treatises, and warm images. The book is full of memories about our shtetl Krynki, its Jews and their life. Some was written while Jewish Krynki still existed. The remainder was written with broken hearts soon after the destruction.
A special affection is deserved of the survivors of the destruction who with courage managed to write for the whole world and for us, their lamentable stories of the suffering and extermination of our city and people. They should receive our highest praise.
The book was written in both languages used by Krynki Jews, Hebrew and Yiddish. We have chapters and treatises, overviews and lists translated from one language to the other.
We have enriched the Pinkas with photographs of Jewish Krynki institutions, organizations, personalities and figures to fix them in our memories. Therefore the entire Yizkor Book is dedicated to those who are no longer among us. We have refrained from putting in biographies of living people.
We have included maps and several drawings of the holocaust period done by Noteh Kozlovski, a Krynki friend. And in memory of the people we have included a list of the Jewish residents and families in Krynki before the outbreak of the destructive war.
With reverence we present this Pinkas Krynki to our fellow townspeople throughout the world and readers who are interested in the history and fate of our people.
May the Pinkas Krynki be received and kept for generation in each Krynki family, and for Jews everywhere in the world, and be placed in Jewish schools, yeshivas and institutions of high learning; in the synagogues and Temples, reading rooms, libraries and archives wherever there are Jews.
May the Pinkas serve as a permanent remembrance of the six millions Jewish martyrs, among them our Krynki community, that our enemies murdered, cutting short their lives.
Remember this and never forget it!
Sitting from the right: Benjamin Weinstein, Mashka Rokhkin, Boruch Gib, Bendet
Nisht, Sheyme Kaplan, Yerachmiel Vine.
The Krynki landsmanshaftn [associations of former residents] in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in the United States; the Krynki Union in Uruguay and Argentina; the individual in Porto Alegra and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the small Krynki settlement in Mexico Sisi; and the Krynki in Melbourne, Australia.
And to all the dedicated volunteers from our landsmanshaft in Israel and in general to everyone who helped.
Certain landsmanshaftn got together years ago and created Yizkor Book Committees and editorial boards and even published their names and those of the volunteers. But of their work, nothing is heard. Other landsmanshaftn have called for active collection of documents, photographs and other material necessary for the projected Yizkor Books and gathered a lot but are still far from the mark. It is no surprise for those who are well versed in the difficulties of preparing and putting out a true written memorial.
The Krynki landsleit [former residents] recognized that they had chosen to take on the work and get it done! Certainly people were impatient to see the Pinkas Krynki finished and published. It takes considerable time to produce any worthwhile Yizkor Book, as the road contains obstacles (the Krynki book is not alone), either unforeseen or from heaven and not every difficulty can be overcome.
It is necessary to coordinate colleagues' activities and the editing in order to be successful. Certainly deserving of our praise is the tireless, initiator, the person who was central to the creation of Pinkas Krynki, my good friend for many, many years Boruch-Bendet Nib-Nisht. From the time he took on the task and until the Pinkas was published, all those years he faithfully watched over the creation of this work, even during his travels and during difficult personal circumstances, which he put aside, he never turned away from the preparation and publishing of the Yizkor Book or from trying to speed up the publication of the Pinkas until it was finished.
He deserves a separate thank you from all Krynkers for this beautiful publication.
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