The list of titles already published -- at the end of the volume
together with the
BELCHATOW SOCIETY IN ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AND SOUTH AMERICA
BUENOS AIRES, 1951
[The above title page was translated from the Yiddish
by Dr. Khane-Feygl (Anita) Turtletaub]
With this volume we begin a new cycle of important works in our book series. Although many of the books that have been published to date are Yizkor Books, although a many of the books have been dedicated to the history, struggle and demise of various towns and villages, they were always written by one author and therefore had to have one point of view representing the personal feelings and thoughts of one individual.
This present volume contains the works of a variety of authors, some of them professional scholars and writers. The majority, however, are informal describers and portrayers of the world which they experienced in their town. [They write of] the times of great changes in Jewish societal, political, social and cultural life as well as the difficult years of struggle and death.
It is an eternal monument, a monument to the history of the Yiddish shtetl in living Yiddish words, an eternal reminder of all our dear ones who were martyred, a Yizkor Book to the memory of Jewish life that was destroyed.
It is possible that in the individual chapters of memoirs written by individual authors, which are presented in this Yizkor Book, there are facts, episodes, events which are repeated. But these repetitions are the result of various points of view and various worldviews, and therefore, bring out more clearly the coloring of the described period, showing all the aspects of the pulsating Jewish life of the erstwhile Belchatow.
The Society of Belchatowers in Buenos-Aires, with the help of other Belchatowers living elsewhere in the world, in Israel, Poland, South America, Brazil, Australia and everywhere they happened to find themselves dispersed in the world, felt the great debt that they owed their deceased brothers and sisters and the town of their birth, and they assisted morally and materially in the publishing of this Yizkor Book. By means of this Yizkor Book, the people of Belchatow have erected an eternal memorial in Jewish history in general and in Polish Jewish history specifically to their town that disappeared.
The editors of the book series Polish Jewry feels an obligation to acknowledge the Belchatower Society, the Yizkor Book Publication Committee, and especially the members of the Editorial Committee, Avraham Laib, Zainwel Przedborski, and Hershl Goldminc, for their valuable and companionable assistance, so that this book will fulfill the intentions and objectives that we had set for ourselves.
Buenos Aires, July 1951
As soon as the Second World War ended, the Assistance Union was created to help the refugees of our town, which were dispersed in other lands and in camps. And the thought was born that, together with those who has remained alive, the people of Belchatow should create a work that would memorialize those who had been martyred, those who had died during the Holocaust. We wanted to honor our dear departed and at the same time erect a monument to our dear town of Belchatow, the site of our early years, of our struggles, hopes and strivings.
We will indeed mention our friends who first brought up the idea of publishing a Yizkor Book, and the officials of our Belchatow Society, who undertook and carried out this initiative. This was in the year 1946, and the officials at that time were the following:
|Toybe Przybilski, Leyzer Huberman,|
|Fishl Szmulewicz, Chaim Grunwald|
Those who helped financially should also be mentioned. We received [funds] from our fellow Belchatowers in Brazil and in South America. We want to especially recognize and give thanks to our fellow Belchatowers Zisl and Berl Laib for their financial contribution to this book in honor of the memory of their unforgettable daughter Sarah Leah , who was torn from them in the blossom of her youth and who was always a paradigm of willingness to help those Belchatowers who remained alive after the Holocaust. We remember her here with great honor to her memory.
We thank all the coworkers on this Yizkor Book: the professional writers Dr. Philip Fridman, Yakov Botoshansky and F. Wald for their assistance. [We also thank] all the other Belchatowers both in this country and outside it who through their memoirs, documents and pictures had a part in actualizing our efforts.
It gives us special satisfaction that this Yizkor Book, dedicated to the town of Belchatow, is part of the series of books entitled Polish Jewry, which the Central Federation of Polish Jews in Argentina publishes and which has attained such importance in the world of Jewish culture.
It is understandable and quite possible that there would be some errors in some of the articles in which facts and people are mentioned, so we ask your forgiveness in advance.
Our only intention in publishing this Yizkor Book was to give a complete picture of our town -- [to show it] as everyone saw it, to show the Belchatower Jews in their pain and in their joy, in their struggles and strivings up to the time of their demise.
With this Yizkor Book we wanted to erect a memorial on the unknown graves of our martyrs and to create an eternal monument to commemorate our town Belchatow.
The Yizkor Book Committee of the People of Belchatow
Buenos Aires, July 1951
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