by Zanwel Fisz (Paris)
Translated by Avi (Abraham) Stavsky
Chaim Wajnreich, born in Zawiercie, came as a youth to Dąbrowa to learn the tailoring profession from his father, Berel Kanarek. Deft with his hands, he learned the trade quickly, but he did not take to this willingly. He would study and learn until late evening by a flickering light, educating himself about sociology and Marxism. He was greatly admired by all his friends and would participate voraciously in all discussions and conversations, and asserted his political views to all who asked. He [therefore] fell under police suspicion. After his military service, he went off to Belgium and set himself to higher education. He took an active part in the political life of that country. In 1933 he was expelled [from Belgium] and began residence in France. Almost as soon as he was established there, he involved himself with those from Zagłębie who were assisting political refugees arrested from Będzin and Piotrków. He remained active in this until the outbreak of the war. When the war reached France, he was among the first who volunteered to defend their second fatherland. He soon joined the defense forces, and because of his military experience, was quickly sent to the front lines against the enemy. With a weapon in his hand, he fell in battle in May, 1940, on one of the battlefields, at age 35.
His body was brought to Paris and he was buried in a local cemetery, in an area reserved for foreign volunteers who fell for France.
May his memory be for an honor.
by Josef Piwniczni (Nitzani)
Translated by Lance Ackerfeld
Chanina Rudoler zl was a resident of the suburb of Łabędzka, in which individual Jewish families lived. Of them three are known: The Rechnic family, the Ajzenman family and the Rudoler family.
Reb Chanina was a Jew who was observant and maintained tradition. He was a naive man, honest and simple, without any pretensions. As a loyal member of the Jewish community he donated willingly, whatever he was able, to all the philanthropic societies in the town. During the period that there was no minyan [prayer meeting] there, Reb Chanina zl traipsed to the Dębniki neighborhood, a distance of three kilometers, in order to pray with the minyan in the Bet Midrash [Yeshiva] of Efraim Śiwek zl. For him it was a necessity of life, from which he drew his spiritual strength to withstand life's hardships.
Like most of the Jews of the time, he was the owner of a convenience store,
from which he made an honorable living. During the weekdays then, he struggled
and toiled, in order to supply the goods needed for the store, whilst his wife
looked after the customers and took care of the needs of the home and the
The Shabbat [Sabbath] was holy for the spiritual food of the over soul. A day that was completely devoted to rest, to the children's problems and a little enjoyment from this world.
He educated his sons and daughters in a traditional manner. He endeavored to instill his sons, Aron zl and Jakob, long may he live, with religious education from the best scholars. And if he wasn't able do this, it was because the conditions at the time. He sought to find educated men, from the best families in the town, for his daughters. It should be noted that his son-in-law was Cwi Rechnic zl, who was a decent, gentle and good spirited Yeshiva student. He was a Hassid of the Rabbi from Kromołów.
All of the Rudoler family, apart from the son Jakob, were killed in the Holocaust together with all the Jews of Dąbrowa, may G-d avenge their blood.
His son Jakob managed, with the help of Aryan papers, to extricate himself from
the claws of the Nazi beast and stay alive. He made aliyah and lives today with
his family in Holon.
by Juda Londner
Translated by Lance Ackerfeld
In the street he was called Chaimel, an affectionate name being that he was a man of the people, a man involved in the life of the society and worked for it.
Chaim Lewi zl and his wife Malka zl arrived in Dąbrowa Górnicza in 1920 from the town of Zabrze, from a religious home. His father was a grain merchant, he took care to endow his daughters with childhood education from the best Torah teachers, and when he was older he also studied in a yeshiva. This study provided good provisions for this journey in life, in his struggle with the Poles on the right of a little Jewish man to live and exist. He spoke excellent, fluent Polish, accompanied with the idioms of this language, of the street and also of the higher classes. Since his father was a grain merchant from Zabrze, he knew that it wasn't enough to endow the boy with knowledge in Torah, rather he needed to be equipped with a general education, and hence he sent the boy to a Polish commerce school. This education, in addition to the traditional education, formed his personality.
Dąbrowa in the year 1920 was beginning to be organized as a kehila [community]. Political parties and organizations fought for their right to be represented in it. Chaim Lewi was just beginning to be financially stable. During a later term he was elected as representative of the tradesmen and minor traders, and in this position he came in contact with the town administration, and was known as a very active man in this field. More than once these connections determined the fate of many Jewish families, whether they were poor or rich. In particular he helped minor tradesmen in distress who didn't have a permit be self-employed workers, or minor traders who were occasionally fined for the misdemeanor of trading at forbidden times. He prevented the detention in jail of Jews by the authorities for not paying civic taxes or failure to carry out civic laws because of a lack of money.
Being that he spoke fluent Polish, and was a good lecturer, he represented the
Jewish community at mass Polish rallies as their spokesman. As a representative
of the little man in his hardships he always had to remove
obstacles that the authorities placed in front of him, and often anti-Semitic
anger was directed at him because of his proud defense of the Jews, and he was
called Hartosh's righteous man (the rabbi in the monastery).
|Chaim Lewi (Chaimel)
a public figure
He took care of stabilizing the cooperative Jewish Bank, which was mainly a
bank for tradesmen and minor traders, who were assisted with loans at a low
When they couldn't pay he deferred the payment to a later date. He served as the deputy bank manager.
In 1937 he was elected as a representative in the town council, however he didn't serve in this position for long, because of the invasion of the Germans.
On Sabbaths and festivals he went in front of the Holy Ark. His pleasant voice and his childhood education assisted him and presented him a place of honor amongst the worshippers.
In spite of his public activities he did not neglect his family. His main concern was for the education of his children, all of whom were born in Dąbrowa. He gave them a traditional as well as a general education. His family consisted of four sons and one daughter, the eldest. She was a talented and pretty girl, and a number of times it was said of her in Christian circles, who didn't acknowledge the beauty of Jewish girls, that she was too beautiful to be Jewish.
She was sent to Auschwitz and following a bout of typhoid fever she passed away in the camp. Her fate was similar to that of her brother Szlomo: two days before the end of the war he was murdered by the Germans on the death march in the Blechman [?] camp. Her brother Mosze aged seven was turned in by Poles, who informed on the Polish family that hid him in the cellar of their home.
Juda (Levach) survived and lives in Israel, and the two brothers Lajzer and
Heniek live in the USA. Chaim Lewi zl and his wife Malka were taken to
Auschwitz where they were killed.
by Juda Londner
Translated by Lance Ackerfeld
She came to the Hashomer Hatzair center during the interim period, when the
founding generation didn't accept the premises of hagshasma atzmit [self
realization]. A young group had yet to form in order to be an influencing and
appealing factor for the Dąbrowa youth.
in her youth and longing for Eretz Yisrael,
killed by the Nazi murderers
Youths from all levels were attracted to the center, coming without knowing exactly what was expected of them. One thing they knew: that the center fulfilled the desires and aspirations of youth. For this reason Chana was also attracted to the center.
Her father was considered in the town as a religious Zionist, and popular in his surrounds. He gave his daughters a typical Polish education: they studied in the Polish gymnasia and their day to day language was Polish. It seems that the religious Zionist home of her father had a greater influence on Chana than the rest of her brothers and aroused a spark in her of belonging to the Zionist organization.
She didn't go by herself to the center: A group of girls came together with her who studied with her in the Polish gymnasia, and their lifestyles were different; they spoke only Polish and thought in terms of the Polish society. And a miracle occurred: After a short time in the center, we are revealed a Chana, who is pretty and friendly, full of her Jewish stature, taking interest in Jewish problems, in poverty and the reasons for it, in particular she was fascinated by the stories of Eretz Yisrael, the heroism of Hashomer and personal sacrifice, and identified with them.
She became close to me because I was preparing myself for aliyah. It was from
me that she heard the basic concepts of a working life and belonging to the
family of workers. She didn't quickly digest these concepts: Whole evenings of
discussions in the shadow of the Huta Bankowa chimneys, proved to her that
there is something in these values.
I made aliyah in 1932, leaving her with a spark of belief that she would some time also make aliyah, however she didn't know that during this period the aliyah was illegal, and considered by the British as trespassing.
When immigrants came later from our town, they told me that Chana is still waiting for a sign, and that she yearns to make aliyah.
Years followed years. Chana became tired of waiting and raised a family. The Holocaust that came upon Polish Jewry hurt her as well, and she so wanted to live; she did everything to avoid the bitter fate, however this chased after her incessantly. In one of the selections she ran away, with her daughter in her arms, and was shot to death.
She couldn't realize the aspirations of youth, you pretty and likeable Chana,
you added so much beauty and appeal to your surroundings. May this article be
witness that your name will be entwined with life in the land of Israel that
you weren't able to see.
by Shayke (Kibbutz Ein Hashofet)
by Szlomo Bornsztajn (Kibbutz Ein Hashofet)
Translated by Lance Ackerfeld
Born 16th of Tamuz 5671 11th July 1911
Died 28th of Iyar 5722 1st June 1962
The neighborhood lived in a traditional lifestyle like most of the towns in Poland. A young generation began to sprout up within it, striving more and more to escape the usual stereotyped lifestyle. It was one that no longer saw a future in the traditional and narrow lifestyle of the neighborhood, and searched for ways and new ideas for the problem of the Jewish youth. The ears paid attention, and the heart was open to all that was happening in the world and in the area, and no power could stop it from heading in the direction of its goal.
In the 1930's it was not easy or simple to introduce their logic into the hearts of the parents, since indeed there was no getting round the traditional ways of the Jewish way of life, and the boys had to take a new direction. With all the sentiments and the connection of the Jewish home to Eretz Yisrael, the idea of pioneering and making aliyah was considered, more than once, as a family tragedy. Amongst the youth groups competing in our town, at the forefront stood the pioneering movements and the proportion of Hashomer Hatzair was considerably large. Amongst the youths who strove for a new world, to make aliyah, Pinchas Rozenblum was found, from a traditional and distinguished family in Dąbrowa.
From his earliest childhood we were connected one to the other and knew each other well. My thoughts returned to one scene that remains engraved in my heart, how this friendly and neighborly relationship became a movement connection for the next few decades.
I recall a group of young girls and boys, aged 14 to 15, holding their first
meeting as a group in the center. We were in a blossoming forest and the group
leader told us about the book of a famous Polish author, Zaromsky, and through
the eyes of the author he opened up for us the character of the new society
based on honesty and justice.
|Pinchas Rozenblum (Puti)|
He was amongst the first to make aliyah from Kibbutz Banir and his first steps he executed as a hired building laborer in Hadera. He learnt the building profession, built and founded houses for others in the hope that in the not too distant future, with the practical knowledge that he acquired, he would dedicate himself to the building of houses on the land when the kibbutz was settled.
He was amongst the first to settle in Juara and over the years dealt with others in the marking out of the plans for the settlement. With his own hands he built and founded the first houses in Ein Hashofet, and there, in spite of the wide experience he had accumulated in his profession, he was forced for various reasons to abandon the profession and change over to other work. Nevertheless over all the years he assisted and supported those who followed after him.
In spite of this, during these years, in his new profession, it was if he had sprouted wings: There was not a project within the field of his trade that he wasn't willing to contend with. Over the last years he initiated a number of large projects whose influence was dominant in many branches of the farm. Many of the members who didn't know him well, since he was introverted and modest in his ways, suddenly saw him in a new light.
The metal workshop, which served as a major artery in service to the branches, and the workers amongst them, brought him in contact with him with most of the members of the kibbutz. It seemed that there wasn't a member that know how to appreciate his pleasant manner, his patience to listen, his willingness to carry out any request, small or large. For this over the years he gained many friends and acquaintances, who knew how to respect and value his talents and good manners.
I cannot not talk about one event, which testifies like one hundred witnesses to his personality and personal traits: More than once I was present when Pinchas would leave any important work he was involved in and make himself available to listen to the request of a member who had come into the metal workshop at the time, and for the most part he would immediately carry out their request, or give the order to others to fulfill it. I asked him once how can he avail himself in this way to every supplicant and he replied in this way: You know, there are members of the kibbutz that when they come into the workshop and request something from me, I carry it out immediately. They are very sensitive and any anxiety could harm their health. These words were said in seriousness and in honesty.
The trait, of patiently listening and being considerate of one's fellowman, is a precious trait and of great value in our everyday life, and not many of us are blessed with this, and this was a guiding principle in all his deeds and activities. I will recollect Pinchas as a proud Jew, as a loyal friend steadfast to the kibbutz principles, maintaining his basic values and committed with all his heart to his home, to his family and the members in general.
When the time comes and the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren
will recreate the history of Ein Hashofet, and when once again the legend of
the first days of the kibbutz will be spun, it will be Puti amongst
the personalities that will be talked about in respect and admiration. A friend
and a human being, who for all the years of the life till his last days,
contributed a considerable and important part in the establishment of our
kibbutz home on these green hills.
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