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[Hebrew page 5 & Yiddish page 157]

A Word from the Committee

In the annual memorial meeting in Tel Aviv in1954, it was decided to establish a memorial for our relatives who perished in sanctification of the Divine name during the Holocaust.

It was impossible to actualize this by erecting a memorial monument in our town, the place of the murder. Therefore, we established the idea in two particularly fitting and appropriate forms:

  1. We planted 1,000 trees in the Martyr's Forest on the land of the Keren Kayemet LeYisrael, at the approach to Jerusalem. 900 trees were named for the victims whose names were given to us by their relatives. 100 trees were in memory of the anonymous victims who left no relatives to perpetuate their memory.

    A monument was erected in that grove upon which is inscribed “To the martyrs of the community of Bolechow”.

  2. The memorial book. Its publication was delayed for four reasons.
  1. As long as the pledges for the grove were not collected, we could not become involved with the publication of the book.
  2. Because of the lack of replies from our brethren, natives of our town, from the Diaspora.
  3. Because of the difficulties that piled up in the collection of material, pictures and photographs.
  4. Our paltry budget did not allow us to hire external people for editing and translations. (We received material in Yiddish, German and Polish.)
It is conceivable that this book is lacking in breadth, content, and number of photographs. However, in contrast to the few resources that we had at our disposal for this purpose, this was also a benefit!

Our esteemed friend, a native of our town, the well-known historian and pedagogue Michael Hendel, edited the historical section. He did this without expectation of recompense. He invested the best of his talents, spirit, power and love to his native town. He invested the best of his time and energy to this task. We express our sincere thanks to him!

Other parts of the book – the Holocaust and day to day life – were handled by Yonah Elendman-Eshel and Moshe Chanina Hausman-Eshel. They edited, translated and corrected these sections in a voluntary fashion, with dedication and tireless diligence. They never despaired despite the many trials and tribulations. They continued their work without flinching.

Moshe Chanina Eshel must be singled out for special recognition. He toiled tirelessly. Thanks to his dedication, seriousness and great persistence, we overcame all the obstacles in our path. He directed the publication of the book. He actualized it. Blessings of grace upon he and his wife!

With satisfaction and joy we announce that we succeeded in actualizing our plans solely though out own efforts. We succeeded at the difficult endeavor.

We offer our thanks to Yosef Adler and the brothers Benno and Max Reisman – all three of them eye witnesses to the Holocaust – for their participation in the section about the destruction of our city. May blessings come upon them!

Thanks to the efforts of the scholarly Dr. A. Y. Brauer, we were prepared to publish the “Memoirs of Reb Dov of Bolechow” in the historical section. However, we were forced to forego this on account of the paucity of our financial resources. Through the intermediary of Professor B. Tz. Dinur, we turned to the Mossad Bialik (Bialik Institute). The institute promised us that at the soonest appropriate time, a proper volume of the writings of Reb Ber Bolichower would be published, edited by Dr. A. Y. Dinur.

To Professor B. Tz. Dinur, Dr. A. Y. Brauer, Mossad Bialik, we express heartfelt appreciation for your willingness and good intentions.

We hereby thank all institutions and individuals who assisted us at the time of the publication of the book.

We express special thanks and appreciation to our friend Shlomo Altbauer-Katz, a native of Stryj, for his kind agreement to translate Dr. Hendel's historical chapters into Yiddish.

We must make note of and thank the “Ot” publishing company which attempted to impart a beautiful form to the book. We would especially like to thank Aryeh Shen-Tal for his great efforts.

We were only able to carry out our difficult double task of planting a grove and publishing a book through the toil, sincere dedication discipline and seriousness of all members of the committee, who did not recoil from any obstacle, and did not spare any effort. Each person fulfilled what was asked of him. Congratulations!

To the Righteous Gentiles from among the population of our city who provided refuge to our Jewish brethren during the Holocaust, who took their lives into their hands are were slaughtered along with those they hid – honor and appreciation! With holy awe and deep appreciation we will bind their memory along with the rest of our martyrs!

This Yizkor Book is dedicated to the memories of the dear victims who were cut off, murdered and strangled with satanic cruelty; as well as to those who endangered their lives with humanitarian gestures as they saved Jewish souls.

May this Yizkor Book be a reliable testimony for generations to come about a tragic chapter in the annals of the era of the most frightful atrocities in human history.

In the name of the committee,

Michael Schneeweiss
Members of the committee:
(In Hebrew alphabetical order)
Eshel, Yonah
Eshel, Moshe Chanina
Hendel, Dr. Lipa
Weber, Avraham
Turkel, Dvora
Lustig, Pnina
Messinger, Yehuda of blessed memory
Reinhartz, Shmuel
Schneeweiss, Michael

[Hebrew page 7 & Yiddish page 159]

A Word from the Editorial Board

We have approached the task of editing the book with trembling, with holy awe, and with a sincere feeling of responsibility.

Layer by layer, we laid the foundations.

Honorable reader!

We ask your forgiveness for the material that is lacking in the historical section after the year 1900. To our great dismay, we were missing oral and written sources.

The chapters on experiences and folklore are not the fruits of the pen of professional, experienced writers. Rather, these are solely collections of memories and experiences, a slice of life in our city, of its people, happenings, struggles, desires and aspirations.

For reasons beyond our control, we are missing from the second part of the book aside from youth groups, such organizations as: various charitable organizations, the elder aliya (during the period of the partition), synagogues, kloizes, and prayer groups, bands, workers' organizations, and specific professions that characterized Bolechow and its environs.

You will find duplication in the chapters about the destruction of our community. Mr. Adler wrote his words in a general fashion, whereas the Reisman brothers described the events as personal experiences.

With regard to the spelling of “Bolechow” (Beit Vav Lamed Yud Chet Vav Veit), we relied on sources – the memoirs of Reb Dov of Bolechow.

To our dismay, not all of these chapters were translated from Yiddish to Hebrew.

The Yiddish translation in the book is not uniform for two reasons: 1) the translation was not done by one person; 2) we wished to speak to the reader in simple “Bolechow” language. [1] 

We take responsibility for all lacunas and extraneous facts.

Despite its many lacunas, may this book serve as a modest comfort for the natives of our city and our friends! Would it be that every person can find in it an echo of what was, what was lost and is no more!

May it be that this book will not remain in the bookshelves as a stone that is not turned over!

May it be that our descendents take interest in it. As they study it they will realize that their predecessors were a living limb in a vibrant body, and that the most difficult conditions of the exile forged their essence of life. They will realize what was lost to the national pantheon in the tragic destruction!

Please, accept the book as it is!

Our intentions were sincere.


[Hebrew page 9 & Yiddish page 161]

Yizkor

Bolechow

To you, our tiny town, negligible in the map of the world,
Your splendid, glorious tapestry was wide for us,
A tree with much splendor,

To you,
To mothers and fathers,
Grandfathers and grandmothers,
Brothers and sisters,
Friends and acquaintances,
Your scholars and erudite ones,
Workers and simple folk
Elders and children,
To the vibrant youth who dreamt of actualizing (aliya} and did not merit –
We will erect a modest monument!
Your pure images will forever blossom in our memories!
That which was perpetrated against you and all of Israel
By the impure evil ones

We will remember and not forget!

We give our oath!

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Translator's Footnotes

  1. This paragraph only appears in the Yiddish version.. Return


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