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[Page 448]

The Youth Organization in Niesandz

by Baruch Stern

Translated by Renee Miller

Today, on the Niesandzer cemetery, among all the gravestones of past generations. among the oyelim [structure over the tomb of an important person] of tzadikim [saintly men] and rabbis there is one great stone. After the war it had been placed there, on the brider-kaver of those murdered by Hitler gangs in the first great action in Niesandz, the so-called “May Action”.

An haskore [memorial] evening is held every year, on the yortsayt [anniversary of death] of the first Hitler action in the city which occurred on April 30, 1942. After the story of the Niesandzer Jewish kehile [community] has been told, some two hundred or so working people among the returned Jews and some of the non-Jewish residents, place wreaths and hold yortsayt services at the grave of those murdered, those young Jewish workers and intellectuals upon whom the worst murder of the time was carried out.

 

Union of young workers and established merchants “Yugnt” in Sandz, 1919
Sitting from right to left: Sh. Landau, Chaim Lustig, Dovidl Horowitz, Shmuel Gutwein, Hershl Meirfeld, N. Henig, Shtrachner, Yehushue Mann, L. Shindl

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[Page 449]

The date alone shows this action was not an accident. In the first row, the Nazis aimed their guns at the hearts of those who had sworn eternal hatred of Nazi-Fascism that had instilled fear everywhere. They were the working masses, aware of their cause. In this particular example, in Niesandz, those were the organized Jewish working youth and the some of the grown generation, who joined them.

Who recorded the information about the group that was murdered in that first action in the city?

In one of the first letters that came here right after the war from A. Segulim, one of those who were grabbed in the May-Action and taken to the cemetery, and only by some miracle, at the last minute, were saved. It is told: almost all of those grabbed up were children of laborers, workers, businessmen, small shopkeepers or busy market workers with whom our city was blessed, people who spent their entire lives slaving away for their existence. This was the generation who went to the same workers' school, the school with the strongest youth organization in our city – “Yugnt” of the Linke [Left] Poalei Zion. Those were – with minor exceptions – people all with one and the same philosophy of life, dreamers and fighters for a new, just societal order. (The small exception was made up of several people whose names resembled those who had been sought according to the military list but not found).

As it was told, it all dragged on for several days, according to the list of members of the youth-organization that was found over several years, in the hands of the provincial government. Over the years, such lists of members were delivered to legal institutions along with yearly accounts. This list, even in “pre-Fascist Poland” was used as part of a plan for the repression of individuals from the “Yugnt” organization and their institutions and finally even the great, beloved library in the city. The list included about 400 names, almost all from “Yugnt” or known friends of the “Yugnt”, or members of the folks-university and others and “Maks Rozenfeld” who had served as the one who attested to the legality of the activities of Poalei-Zion. One day, before May first, they were all taken away to the cemetery, where they went to their slaughter like heroes.


The story of the “Yugnt” organization in Niesandz falls in the period of the serious struggles of the young generation between the two world wars.

The “Yugnt” organization in Niesandz, in the first years of its existence, carried out its activities under certification as “Jewish Youth Workers and Commercial Employees Union 'Youth' in Niesandz”

[Page 450]

However, it was always under the partial influence, before the split – of Poalei-Zion in general, and after 1920 -- of the “Linke Poalei Zion”.

After the permit was voided in 1924, the work was carried out under the certification of the “Community Evening-Course for Workers”, whose central office was in Warsaw.

Image:

Poalei-Zion “Yugnt” with Emanuel Ringelbum (in the third row above),
one of the officers of the “Yugnt” organization

In the first row from right to left: Moyshele , Eydl Meir Seifert, Baruch Stern, Hyml Rosenzweig, Yankel Marek, Melech Kluger, Aron Arm, unknown, unknown, Aron Soyer.
In the second row: Izik Landau, Wolf Malawsky, Moyshe Glassner, Berish Knobel.
Third row: Aron Eisenbach, Baruch Spira, Hendl Waldman (later Ginter), Motl Ferber, Frieda Keil, Yekhizkal Ginter, Dovidl Horowitz, Emanuel Ringelblum, Lea Keil, Aron Stern, Hershl Rothenberg, Hershl Meyerfeld, Rekhl Lewniowski, (today Grunberger), Yakob Leyb Koyfteig [spelling?], Miriam Korn, Shmukhe Grossman
Fourth row: unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Yankl Kindermann, Fridenbach, unknown, Royze Hochhauser, Miriam Kempler, Yosl Birkenfeld, Yankl Katz, Wachsmann, Itche Mahler, Itche Getz, Funye Mahler, Hene Goldberg
Fifth row: unknown, Shieradzki, Yekhizkal Soyer, Bruch Rozenfeld, Yosl Rozenfeld, Aron Katz, Moyshe Englehart, Shmuel Bloy, Wolf Morgnshtern, Sheyndl Mandel (then Rozenfeld), Zener, Alek Shieradzki, Lea Pentsak, Shpilman, Malke Pentsak, Benek Landau, Shaul Goldfinger

[Page 451]

Any objective observer who pays careful attention must acknowledge every one of the significant accomplishments of “Yugnt” in its educational work during its existence in Niesandz, This was exemplary work, and in addition, it was the strongest organization of workers in Neisandz.

Even before the First World War an organized group of young Jewish workers and commercial employees existed, but the rise of an independent, class-conscious youth organization had just begun at the end of the First World War. Here it is important to remember the social situation at that time, of the Sandzer Jews, especially the youth.

Poyel-yotse [as a consequence] of the war, the majority of the Sandzer Jewish population suffered great hardship, hunger and epidemics. Many Jewish families lost their meager means of making a living because the breadwinner, the men and fathers were away in the military. When these fell in battle, the fate of the orphans and widows was bitter. In the main, families were large, and the widows had to bring up the children alone, searching for some little income. Upon the grown children, left without care and without parental attention, fell the burden of the being the “provider” of the house. Because of all this, they were forced to leave school. A significant number of them did not even completed elementary school. They began to look for any place where they might get into a workshop, a factory or as an employee in a shop. There they were used, working endless hours for starvation wages. To learn a trade, they they worked bloyze kest [only for room and board]. They even worked entirely without pay, until they learned a trade. As it was done then, they worked from early in the morning until late at night. That is how it was in the shoe and tailoring workshops, bakeries and other shops. (I won't mention there names here). That is how the condition of the workers in Neisandz was presented, according to the investigation carried out by the “Yugnt” organization in 1925 of nearly 2,100 young people.

A very sad picture was revealed by that poll. A case where an eleven-year-old boy had worked 16 hours in a bakery in a mes-les [24-hour period], is sharply embedded in my memory. There were similar cases among tailors and shoemakers.

Minor children grabbed all sorts of employment, such as, for example, sellers of newspapers, cigarettes, or kindling wood, or lugging valises from the train station in order to have bread for themselves and often for their family.

The neediness and suffering during the 3 to 4 years while minor children learned a trade, was indescribable.

[Page 452]

They were treated like slaves, insulted and humiliated, and often umberakhmonesdik [heartlessly] beaten. They were used for all sorts of housework, caring for the children and performed chores of a maid servant. Only the smallest amount of time was left for them to learn a trade. A number of the so-called ”zelbstshendike” [independents] became dejected, with yiesh [depression], demoralized and spent any free time left after making a living in a tavern or saloon, playing cards, drinking and so forth.

There was no kind of community administrative body in Niesandz at that time that could concern itself with these young people, that could worry about whether they had anything to eat or to take them under their protection.

Collecting them, organizing them and transforming them into useful, normal, healthy workers was not considered an urgent problem.

Image:

A group of “Yugnt” from Linke Poalei Zion, October 1924
First row: Aron [Arek] Eisenbach, Baruch Spira, Lehrhaupt, Shmuel Gutwein, Yosef Gutwein
Second row: Chaim Lustig, Israel Herszthal [Heltsl?], Ezekiel Ginter, Baruch Stern
Seated: Meir Spira, Hendl Waldman [later Ginter], Ratske Goldberg, Aron Stern

[Page 453]

Hershl Rothenberg

At the end of the first World War, when the fires stopped on the battlefields, those who had previous experience in organizational life, began to return from the military. Before the war, thanks to them, and partly to the grown-ups, a certain activity among the youth had begun.

Among the first who took on this work, was the noble figure of the unforgettable and sensitive friend Hershl Rothenberg. Himself, a former commercial employee, he understood the conditions of the young workers very well. With his devotion and with might and main, with his brotherly respect for youth, he quickly developed great popularity among the Jewish workers, especially among the young ones in Niesandz. Searching for a way to come into direct contact with the young people, he first connected with a few of the youths from the larger workplaces. He mashpie geven [exerted influence] over them until he won over the young men as his active co-workers. At that time, eighteen young people worked in Scheingut's iron [bar?] factory. Rothenberg succeeded in enlisting Mr. Leizer Zimmerman and others in his work. In M. Mahler's chemical factory he succeeded in getting the energetic and faithful youthful Mr. Aron Stern z”l and others, involved in the work. When he found out that in the folks kitchen (at that time, it was in a room in Kresch's house on the Piekle and was supported by the “Joint” [JDC, The Joint Distribution Committee] a large number of young people would come to eat, he came to help serve the food. This gave him the opportunity to come closer the the young people. He asked about the services they received at work and about their situation at home. On occasion he would invite them for a chat Shabes nokh mitog [midday Saturday] at the club, that was on Piaraka Street and belonged to Poalei-Zion at that time.

There, in the club, he was the chief manager of the educational work, to assemble groups of young people and hold talks for them on the need to organize in order to carry out joint actions in the fight for more humane working conditions, and on the importance for young workers to deepen their knowledge through systematic education. Hershl Rothenberg, on his own, went to the owners asking that they free the young workers in order to make it possible for them to attend evening courses. He, the lecturer of the courses, also on his own, sought a warm, light and clean space for the courses.

With his extraordinary mesires nefesh [[self-sacrifice, devotion] and goodness, he earned great love and derkherets [respect] among the youth. Often he would pause in the street with a young worker or an errand boy while he carried the pack of merchandise to the post office, or go around in the shops, chatting, looking for a way to help lighten their load. He spent time with them, encouraging and reading to them – with so much zest – as best he could, and awakened their interest in Yiddish books. It's not a surprise that he had such a great influence.

[Page 454]

One could say that he laid the cornerstone for the future “Yugnt” organization in Neisandz. As we know, this work was only a small part of the communal activity in Neisandz to which he gave his best years. He was always devoted until his last breath. This exemplary person, this gentle figure will always live in our memory.

To a Mass Organization

A steady, strong flow of fresh strength and the active cooperation of a group of friends, among whom were Kuba Koyfteyl, Ezekiel Ber, Hersh Meyerfeld, David Horovitz, Shtraber, I. Mann, A. Stern and others, greatly strengthened the work of the young, under a permit as a section of the “Jewish Youth Workers and Commercial Employees Union 'Yugnt' in Neisandz”. It had a great number of active sections, throughout all of Galicia. The Sandzer “Yugnt” carried out he most difficult tasks. Without help from outside, the young organization, “Yugnt” would have stopped growing, spreading, branching out to include in its activities educational, cultural, social, professional and political fields. Beginning with elementary education, they went on to self-education circles, seminars and so forth, without omitting physical education. In one period, the number of members reached 500.

At the time, when other youth organizations in the city had friends among the supporters and funds from various freedom-movements, the “Yugnt” organization, right from the first years of its existence, had to struggle with repression from the government powers and chicanery on the part of the business owners' groups.

The police would suddenly conduct a search during the lectures, and not knowing the content of the lecture, immediately made accusations of propaganda. There were examples of arrests made for finding a legal newspaper that was available to buy in every newspaper kiosk, or if one of the officials did not like the leader he would close the local

The organizers began from the standpoint that organized strength would be mesugl zayn [equal to the task] of improving the conditions of the young workers. First they strove for the 8-hour workday, to make it easier for the young workers to get to the lessons held by the youth organization.

[Page 455]

At that same time, energetic activities were developed to wipe out illiteracy and raise the cultural level: systematically holding evening courses, lectures, friendly talks, literary evenings, etc.

The youth organization came to be a second home for the young workers. There they spent all their free time after work, meeting with their equals - yederer mit zayn pekl tsores [each with his own troubles] – they could talk intimately with one another about their troubles. The warm friendly atmosphere that each of them needed so badly reigned there.

Then, an era of intervention began. In the name of the youth organization, several friends went to those who handed out the work. They discussed with them salary, working hours and better working conditions, etc.

Friend Kuba Koyfteyl carried out a great portion of the work. It required a lot of boldness and an understanding of how to encourage the youth in their actions against the owners in organizing workshops and undertaking a strike.

They started this effort with the small workplaces and later, with the factories.

The Youth Press

A great experience for the youth of Neisandz occurred in1921 with the publication of a youth newspaper dedicated to the interests of young Jewish workers in Poland.

We must not forget the difficulties of the times connected with the spread of such a newspaper as “Der Yunger Kemfer” [“The Young Fighter”]. Although it was published legally, for distributing the paper among the youth, Dovidl Hertzog and Aron Katz were once punished with up to three weeks in prison.

Aron Stern

Aron Stern got out the first issues of the newspaper “Der Yunger Kemfer”. He alone was the first one who spread them among the youth.

It is worthwhile remembering that in those days paying a few groshn for a newspaper was a problem. More than once Aron Stern would have to give his hard-earned groshn to straighten out the debt in the newspaper's administration.

The newspaper made the task of enlightening the youth much easier by conveying information and also writing about the activities of the young people in all of Poland.

[Page 456]

Also, because of the newspaper, the youth of Neisandz joined with the great makhne [hoard] of young fighters..

The first actual connection of the Sandzer youth with the youth organization of all of Poland was Aron Stern, who was also the representative at the first national conference in Krakow after the [First-ed.] World War and at other conferences. Aron alone, from among the working youth, understood their situation very well, and immediately became beloved by them and exerted a great influence over them. With extraordinary mesires-nefesh [self-sacrifice], he would dedicate all his free time to the young workers. After a day of hard work in the factory, he was the first to come to the local and the last to leave. After the free hours of the day had been set aside for lectures, he would sit and prepare the next day's lectures. Only then, when he was sure that everything would proceed without a problem, would he sit down at home working on a lecture for half the night, or reading a book. It was not unusual for him to rise from the table when there were only a few hours left before it was time to go to work in the factory.

Thanks to his initiative, the young people created a committee called “Ikh” [I, self, ego], which had as its aim the fight against hefkeyres [neglect, arbitrariness] and the demoralization that broke out among some of the young workers in Neisandz: that is, shikres [drunkenness], gambling in the taverns and so forth.

Under his leadership, a great number of actions were successfully carried out. A number of young people were lifted out of the abyss, and transformed into good, virtuous artisans. Later, these very people themselves were drawn into the work of fighting against the demoralization of the young.

Aron Stern, the faithful organizer, gave up his best years to the “Yugnt” organization. His name is bound up with the history of youth workers in Neisandz.

Dovidl Horowitz (O. Herzog)

It is worth noting that in all the years of its existence, the youth organization did not know of paid work for the activities that were its function, or for giving lectures. The work was always carried out without payment, and more than that, the groshns from the charge for membership was not enough to pay the rent much less lighting and heating.

At the end of the First World Dovidl Horowitz came to Neisandz (his real name was Obadiah Herzog), a young energetic person and a good organizer.

[Page 457]

He helped a great deal in those first difficult years of creating the organization. Later, held the position of leader for a long period of time. He was drawn to this work with great love. He was a good leader. He concerned himself with every small detail: hanging pictures of Yiddish and Hebrew writers, and opposite them, the fathers of Socialism, Marx, Engels and Lasalle and above them, the slogan: “Visn iz makht - bildung makht fray” [“Knowledge is Power – Education Makes You Free”]. For many years it shone on the wall. He organized various activites that brought income to cover the administrative costs, street fairs for the library, etc. Incidentally, he laid the foundation for the great library in Neisandz. More than once he covered the necessary expenses for the local out of his own meager earnings and did without breakfast or even a noontime meal because of it.

Thanks to his efforts, he succeeded in getting appropriate provisions from the Jewish Help Committee in the years after the First World War. After several years, the needy young workers were able to get a dinner every evening in the kitchen on Dunayewski Street.

The Borochov Circle

The “Yugnt” became stronger in 1920 because of an influx of new strength. The “Borochov Circle” (as it was called at that time), had existed as an independent group until then, when they joined the youth organization. They helped a great deal in broadening activities in all areas. Among them was the discovery of the extraordinary companions Ezekiel Ginter, Ratske Goldberg, Leizer Ringelblum, Funye Mahler, Aron Eisenbach, Baruch Spira, Rokhl Lewinyanski and others.

The businessmen and those who gave out the work to the young people in Neisandz, began to feel the effects of the organization's activities now more than ever. They began to search for a way to undermine the existence of the “Yugnt”, not entirely without success. An era of repression and hardship began for the young. On one side, the owners tried to repress the “Yugnt” organization with the help of the police, and on the other side, with firing them from the work. They also tried to work on the parents in order to win them over to their side, and they often succeeded. Parents had begun to persecute their children at home, and there were times when parents would come to the “Yugnt's” local, outraged and often inflict blows on their children.

[Page 458]

The First Great Strike of the Young Workers in Neisandz

One of the first and perhaps the most successful strike that left a strong impression on the city, was the strike of the young workers that occurred at the beginning of 1922 in Scheingut's iron factory. It included 21 workers (three older workers, among them, one Christian). The workers' justification was that work there was very hard. Underage children worked there. The working hours were unlimited and the pay was by the hour. The workers there knew nothing about yearly vacation time. The pay was very low, since the factory had moved here from Timbark. There the majority of the workers had been Christian rural youths who were accustomed to Middle Ages-like conditions.

We have to say that here in Neisandz, the businessmen displayed understanding in employing Jewish workers and only tried to institute old working customs on the rural Christians.

The “Yugnt” organization intervened in the protection of their young co-workers. The strikers demanded a monthly salary for the first workers in the factory, and for all the others, an eight-hour workday and an improved salary, as well as yearly vacation time. The strike lasted 8 days. The workers managed to supported themselves, and finally had a complete victory. Because of this, the prestige of the youth organization in the city increased.

Later, a series of strikes were successfully carried out, for example, in Sheradzki's sugar factory, at the chief tailor Kempler and a string of strikes in the tailoring workshops, carried out by the tailors' union, where the youth section was the strongest.

A Summer Colony of Young Workers

In 1920, the Krakow “Yugnt” organization with friend Yakob Kener and Yakob Alter berosh [at the head] arranged a summer colony for young workers in Kominki.

At that time, the Sandzer “Yugnt” organization did not have the strength or the means to carry out such an undertaking on their own, so it was decided: since the Krakower colonists had to travel through Neisandz, lekho lapokhes [at least] several of the needy young workers of Sandz would join the Krakower colony group The ability to do this was created by various responsible groups partially with the support of the Jewish American Aid Committee.

[Page 459]

That is how some of the young people came to enjoy two to three weeks of rest at the cost of only the travel.

This attempt left such an impression that the leaders of the youth organization then began to evaluate the significance of the sun, air and water for the young workers who struggled the entire year, under the most severe conditions. As a result, almost no single year went by that smaller or greater groups would not be out in the surrounding villages, in pleasant surroundings on a summer rest (or summer colony, as they used to be called)

One of the nicest and most successful summer colonies, was the one organized by “Yugnt” in 1928 in the village of Raztore (?) near Rytro, where about 60 young people enjoyed a two or three week rest. The responsibility for carrying this out fell on the shoulders of the friends Kopl Braugfeld [this may be a misspelling of 'Braunfeld' which is found in the “List of Nowy Sacz Surnames”], Pinye Appel and the writer of these lines.

The Yugnt Local is Farkhasmet [sealed up]

In the fall of 1924, in the evening when the annual reporting meeting took place, the hall of the local was fully-packed with young workers, suddenly bedlam broke out in the house in which the “Yugnt's local was housed. Two policemen, with the secret agent Yartshok, came into the local and gave notice that the present legality of the “Yugnt” was now voided and demanded that everything connected to the local be dissolved. In addition, everyone was searched. The members of the management were arrested, and the local was farkhasmet.

The work of the youth group was severely curtailed. It became much more difficult, but it was not stopped. Under the worst conditions, in private rooms, among friends, in good or bad weather, under the free heavens, the work took root, until it was possible to open the local under the legalized “The Society of Evening Courses” and as a section, continued the work in a much broader way.

The Shabes lectures, from that time on, were held publicly. The circle of lectures was broadened by the participation of the best academic sources in the city, such as Dr. Sh. Holzer, Dr. B. Landau, Dr. Wadler, friend Funye Mahler, and also E. Ringelblum, Dr. R. Mahler (during vacation) and others. The lectures would take place, instead of the way it had been in the crowded local in the larger room, in places such as “Peretz” Culture Home, or in the Evangelical room. Often they would bring writers, poets and artists for literary lectures and performances, such as, for example, in those days Peretz Markish, Leyb Melekh, Joel Mastboym and others would come to Neisandz.

[Page 460]

The Chorus

The chorus, that had been lead these many years by the sincere friend, Gershon Rothenberg, had koyne-shem [earned a reputation] in the city with his evening performances of songs arranged under the aegis of the “evening courses”. The chorus participated in the celebrations arranged by the “Yugnt” or Poalei Zion. It was very popular among the Sandzer Jewish public.

To The Algemeynem heHalutz

In Neisandz, at the beginning of 1923, a section of the Algemeynem heHalutz [The General Halutzim] was organized. Registration took place in the office of Dr. Sirop l”z.

[Page 460]

At the beginning of 1923, a section of the General hehalutz was organized in Neisandz. Registration took place in Dr. Syrop's z'l office.

After a short vikuekh [debate] in the “Yugnt” organization, it was decided that all those who wanted to go to Eretz-Yisroyl, have to pre-register. The striving at that time among the young to emigrate was so strong, that within a short time, the greater portion of “Yugnt” members had pre-registered. After several weeks of registration, through the efforts of friends Landerer, Knebel and others, the first general meeting was convened in the “Ezra” local. Of course, the majority of those who came, were from “Yugnt”, they exerted the greatest influence in management. However, a conflict with “Ezra” 's central office arose immediately. According to a ruling from above, the youths had not participated in the the work of spreading the “Shekel”* and they did not participate in the sale of any “Shekels”. The Palestine Workers Fund (now the Histadrut Campaign) was our most beloved .We only took part in the Palestine Worker Fund [mid-1920's ...” Habonim Dror North America, The Labor Zionist Youth Movement].

Consequently, they were only able to tear loose a few members of “Yugnt” while the rest remained in heHalutz.

The rov immediately understood the lack of purpose among the fellow workers and broke off the contact.

*”..a contribution to be paid by persons who wished to become members of the Zionist Organization and to have the right to vote in the elections for the Congress delegates. Several suggestions were put foward, such as "contribution", "Chevra money", and "tax", but David Wolffsohn finally found the right word – "Shekel"” from “The History of the Shekel” 1952 by Joseph Fraenkel]

The Yugnt Library

The library was the nerve of the culture-and-education work during all the years of the existence of the “Yugnt” organization in Neisandz.

In 1918 Poalei-Zion gave over its local on on Fiarska Street to “Yugnt” for its independent use. At that time, I n the local, there was a table, several chairs, pictures, and a primitive hand-made shafke [cabinet {from the Polish}] with books, whoe number, at that time, was not more than one hundred.

But, a great effort was immediately made by collecting money and books and functions where the income was stipulated to go to the library. first for manuals needed by the teachers, and later, for the best works of Yiddish literature, either poetry or fiction.

[Page 461]

Several friends were chosen upon whom the duty was placed to support, maintain and develop the library.

Meir Braunfeld z”l

Tsum shvakh [in praise], we remember the constant effort made by Meir Braunfeld z”l so that the library should not only serve the members of the organization, but should also include the largest circles of Sandzer youth. This also contributed to the fast development of t he library.

We must also here remember the unusual mayles [virtues] that distinguished our extraordinary friend, Meir Braunfeld. He gave all his free time to this work, days and nights, without reservation, he loved every book, a thing seldom found in any other library. After he left Poland, his work was taken over in its entirety beyerushe [as an inheritance] by his younger brother, that good friend Kopl Braunfeld z”l perfectly having taken a library course, and continued the work with the greatest care and responsibility.

It became one of the greatest Jewish libraries in Western Galicia.

The Sport Club “Shtern

In all its years, a lot of attention was paid in “Yugnt” to physical education. After “Yugnt” became part of the “Community Evening Courses” with which the sport club “Shtern” was connected, a specific ”Shtern” sport club was formed in Neisandz.

The sports club was concerned with all sorts of physical education, not omitting any kind of sport and tour, organizing large and small outings in the surrounding beautiful mountains, created a strong football section and other sections. The club also would conduct special activities at the summer colonies.

Shtern” was very popular among all the Neisandzer youth.

The originators of this club and their loyal members were the friends Leybke Amkroyt, z”l, Shimon
Funk, z”l, Munye Lustig, z”l......

[Page 462]

...Pinye Grunberger, Naftali Seipert, Nusbaum and others. They dedicated a great deaal of energy to and sacrifice to this work, maintaining their own local, with their own stock, carried out independent activities.

Yisker! [A prayer commemorating the dead]

We see a picture before us of a club of 300 young workers, horepashnikes [drudges, toilers] all ---as we knew them – full of ebullience, who built their future of an honest, humane life in a yoysherdik [just] society. Without the smallest khet [sin], their young lives –all in one day—akhzoyesdik [savagely]
cut off before their time. Only a few of them succeeded, by chance, to save themselves. It is hard to imagine, how much sorrow and kharpe [shame] our elders would feel to have survived when khas-vekholile! [G-d forbid!], someone in the family, a relative, or a friend would have been left without a stone on his grave. So, what kind of terrible pain overcomes us to have remained alive when so many of our nearest and dearest are left without a gravestone.

I, therefore, felt it to be my duty to write these lines, zikhroynes [memories] about my brothers, my very dearest and best comrades, men and women, and other friends, so that they could be included in the list, among the best, in the yizker-bukh. This will have to stand as a gravestone for the entire murdered Sandzer Jewish kehile.

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