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The Book of Zloczew

The Project of the Public Committee to Memorialize
The Jewish Community of Zloczew

Published by the Zloczewer Landsmanshaft Committee
to eternalize the memory of the holy community of Zloczew

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The book of Zloczew- published by the public committee that was created by the former residents of Zloczew in Israel and throughout the World.

The editorial board: Yakow Freund, Mordechai Mayerowicz, Arieh Faivelowicz, Levi Laufert and Arieh Kashepitzki

Printed at Moffet publishing house, I. Rizman, Ein-Hakore St. 6, Tel Aviv.
Tel: 32968

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The memorial plaque

 

The memorial plaque written in Hebrew reads:

Memorial Tombstone

May this tombstone be an eternal memorial to the destroyed community of Zloczew [Kielce district, Poland]. To the lost parents, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends that were murdered by the Nazi thugs and their helpers, may the names of the perpetrators be erased forever, and to those that perished during the destruction and mass killings in the year [Tashab, third day of the month of Elul, Hebrew calendar, translator] 1942, August 18th.

Defend forever their memory
May their souls rest in peace
The Association of former residents of Zloczew in Israel and the World

You will never be forgotten

Remember, we will remember what the Nazi tyrant did to us.

Statement of purpose written in Hebrew


[Page 7]

To remember and not to forget

Thirty years have passed since the Nazi thugs entered our city with the outbreak of WWII. A generation of loneliness and solitude has passed since those terrible days when European Judaism was destroyed including three million

Synagogue in the shades of the past

 

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Polish Jews, amongst them the saintly Jews of our town Zloczew. We stand before you with our heads lowered, our spirit in affliction, our hearts in trepidation, and our eyes shedding tears at the unforgettable sight of the Jewish community of Zloczew. We are here to obey the commandment: Remember and do not Forget what the new enemy of the Jewish people did to us.

To remember and to reminisce about the thousands of innocent Jews from our town, decent and hard working people, spiritual people, scholars and simple people. Their lifestyle, their conversations, their occupations and work habits, their joys and sadness and everything that was connected with them that will no longer reappear since it was erased. To remember and reminisce about everything that affected the Jews of the town of Zloczew. The spirit that moved them, the forces that generated the bustling life, the essence of city life, the particular Jewish lifestyle, the street scene and the particular sounds of Jewish life. All these aspects were destroyed and devastated. To remember and not to forget what the Nazi tyrant did to us and to light a candle for our dear departed souls. May these memorial candles light up the historical past of our beloved town.

The Zloczew Jewish community was like other Jewish communities throughout Poland where our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters lived a full Jewish life, rich in spirituality and mutual assistance. The community led a full and meaningful life. The small town of Zloczew lived in the shadows of the big metropolitan city of Warsaw on one side and the industrial city of Lodz on the other side. Both cities had large Jewish populations that influenced the lives of our city – intellectually, spiritually and materially. It will not surprise anyone that our city was influenced by the various trends of these big cities that found a fertile ground in the small city and enlisted many people in its ranks. These seeds provided an outlet for the people in the small town whose existence was full of life.

Even without the necessary documents to attest to the interactive relations within the Jewish community, we know that the Jewish community of Zloczew had an intricate way of life developed over time since the first Jews settled here. The pattern was reinforced every generation to the present. These interrelationships formed the fabric of the town's Jewish life. This fabric was densely immersed in the Jewish religion, faith in the Almighty, good deeds, study of the Holy Scriptures, charity to the needy, honesty, respect for religion and love of life.

The book committee

 

During Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the streets of Zloczew took on the appearance of a holy city. The spirit could be felt in the streets and paths of the city. Here and there one could hear the sounds from the synagogue, the study center, or from the shtibelech [small room type synagogues] of the Hassidim of Ger, Alexander and Amshanow praying for a life of peace, health and income. During the weekdays, the sounds of the various people intermingled as they struggled for their daily bread. The multitude of daily job seekers, the shopkeepers, the porters, the stall merchants in the market, all met and interacted in the square. The square served to provide life to the community for generations, if not centuries. The square that gave life became a blood trap during the dark days of the German occupation. Here the Jews were forcibly assembled and trucked to the railway station of Sieradz. From there, they were sent to the death camps.

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Along the benches of the synagogue and amidst the workbenches, the Jewish consciousness began to awaken. It filled the ranks of the numerous national political parties and organizations that aimed to fulfill the aspirations of the generations and to prepare themselves to translate these aims into living reality. Notably the dream of returning to Zion and to build a homeland for the persecuted Jew. But the cruel fate intervened and destroyed all hopes that so many of our town's people had planned and struggled for. Instead of harvesting these dreams, came total destruction brought on by a cruel wind that spread destruction everywhere. How these terrible events occurred and what sufferance the people underwent until they were killed has to be told from generation to generation so that the tragedy will never be forgotten. It is the nature of things to gradually minimize tragic events with the passing of time until they are forgotten. Since our generation is the last to be in exile and the first to be liberated and resettled in our own homeland, it is our duty to memorialize and to inscribe in the Yizkor book the events that took place as they were related to us by the survivors of Zloczew. We were faced with a serious task, almost a holy command. We hope that we will succeed in writing a Yizkor book that will give credit to the town.

The book is indeed a Yizkor book. It is not a history book of the city of Zloczew as it developed throughout history. It is a depository of life testimonies on the life of the community, the essence of Jewish community life . In essence, the book describes the tragic events that overtook the Jewish community of Zloczew as described by the survivors. In conclusion, may this book and the painful lines serve as reminders of the destroyed community, and the scattered and unknown burial places of the Jews of Zloczew.

Signed with the letters W. and H.


Statement of purpose written in Yiddish


[Page 10]

To Eternal Memory

Pages 10, 11 and 12 repeat the same ideas and feelings expressed in the Hebrew statement. As a matter of fact, many sentences are similar but the words are different since the languages are totally different in syntax and structure and belong to different language families.

Zloczew memorial plaque
On the right, Moshe Beser, Mordechai Mayerowicz,
Arie Faivelowicz and Arie Kshepicki

 

[Page 12]

The statement is signed by the book committee.

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