By David Felner (Ben Avraham)
Translated by Gooter Goldberg
The dentist Avraham Gamzu settled in Kałuszyn straight after World War I. Homeless he arrived from Pinsk and immediately grew into the social fabric (of the town) thanks to his abilities and dedication.
Gamzu was involved body and soul with the Zionist ideal and dreamt of going to Israel. Around him began to gather the first active Zionists of the town - Shlomo Layb Felner, Netl (Neta?) Bronshpigl, Mordechai Kuski and others. Gamzu became the leader and spokesman of the organization of General Zionists. His home became the centre of Zionist activity, (the venue) for meetings and conferences of the Zionist institutions and Eretz Israel funds - the Jewish National Fund and Keren Hayesod.
He tried to attract the youth of Kałuszyn, to win them over to the Zionist way of thinking, to educate them in the spirit of Hebrew culture. His first achievements were a Hebrew school, and soon after, on his initiative a Hebrew library.
It's been almost forty years since I saw and heard Gamzu for the first time. It happened in the newly established Tarbut school. It was his first appearance before us, the Tarbut students, on the Ninth of Av. A pale short man holding a walking cane got up to the front of the hall and greeted us with a loud shalom! We responded with shalom as well, and he, the director of the school started his speech with the agenda of the day - about the destruction of the Temples and the hope of Eretz Israel. He lifted his right arm as if threatening somebody, and with a trembling voice exclaimed, while tapping with his feet: If I forget thee O Jerusalem let my right hand wither . Then he told about the devastation of Jerusalem, told us about Herzl If you will it . It was the first time that I was so overcome by quotations. The oath of If I forget thee uttered with such emotion affected me more than all the verses that the rebbe drummed into me in cheder. Since then I began to listen to Gamzu attentively, became a frequent visitor in his home and a performer of various Zionist tasks under his guidance.
He liked mostly the activities on behalf of the J.N.F. and Keren Hayesod. He displayed a lot of initiative and (was full of) ideas in obtaining contributions and collecting them; he did this with enthusiasm: another penny another parcel of land. He organized sales of poppies, raffles and collections at celebrations. He also inspired many people to agree to an ongoing monthly contribution.
To these activities he enlisted the young. We used to meet at his home to receive instructions and organize the actual work. He used to greet us with affection, take us into his surgery where the patients used to groan with toothache, and then and there, while attending them, he would deal with us about the problems at hand. If we expressed our readiness to wait until he finished treating the patients, he replied jokingly: The Jewish People too, suffers from toothache and it won't wait
In his devotion to Zionist work he was keeping faith with the oath If I forget thee , and we regarded him as a model of dedication to the ideal, notwithstanding any ideological differences (between us).
With special joy did he watch the marches of the Chaluts-Hashomer youth, and would receive with enthusiasm our invitations to take part in the farewell parties for our comrades who were leaving for Eretz Israel.
All those years Gamzu was active on the City Council as councillors and alderman. He was also involved in the work of the kehilla. Everywhere he gave of his time in the interests of the Jewish community, and all sectors of Jewish Kałuszyn treated him with affection and respect.
Gamzu stood at his post till the final days of the destruction. Together with all the Jews he wandered homeless amid the ruins of the town. For a time he stayed in Stashek's Court, and there I met him a few times. He spoke words of comfort and encouragement. He believed in a change for the better.
The German authorities nominated him leader of the Judenrat . He behaved there as a proud Jew and never betrayed Jewish interests. When in 1942 (the Germans) began the aktions, and the Gestapo demanded that he deliver Jews for deportation, he replied with a resolute NO. He was shot in his home, his wife and children were deported with all the Jews of Kałuszyn to be murdered.
I still remember his trembling at pronouncing the oath If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither
We too, will never forget him.
By Sholem Soroka
Translated by Gooter Goldberg
It befell Moyshe Kishelnitzky to be burdened with the difficult and tragic task of being in charge of Jewish affairs under the cruel directives of the German overlords. When the mayor of Kałuszyn, Pływaczewski was ordered by the Germans in November 1939 to establish a Judenrat (Jewish Council), Moyshe among others was also nominated.
The restrictions and chicanery began immediately after the appointment of the Judenrat, and Kishelnitzky had to negotiate and use all means to try to alleviate the peoples' distress. The Jewish tsores  kept coming thick and fast: in winter 1939 an order to shoot ten affluent Jews unless they pay a ransom of ten thousand złotys , the amount to be delivered by the Judenrat; during Passover of 1940 thirty-eight boys were taken from Kałuszyn to Biała Podlaska (ghetto) and Moyshe Kishelnitzky tried to intercede to get them released. For this he was beaten up. It took him two weeks to recover, after which he renewed his endeavours. He travelled to Biała, and this time succeeded in freeing the boys - to the great relief of the town.
In the summer of 1940 an edict was issued establishing a ghetto in Kałuszyn yet Kishelnitzky managed to talk the authorities into allowing the Jews to remain in their dwellings. The entire town was designated a (Jewish) residential area, and for a while Jews were even allowed to move around outside the town.
Sunday, the eve of Yom-Kippur of 1942, an hour before Kol Nidrei the Judenrat was ordered to deliver the following morning, at 6 am five hundred men for (forced) labour. As the required number did not show up, German gendarmes assisted by Polish policemen dragged Jews out of all places of worship. Many were shot (then and there). Soon after, Moyshe Kishelnitzky was also arrested. The intercession of the Judenrat members Pienknavyesh and Rapoport was of no avail. They were told that the next day Kishelnitzky would be sent to Warsaw, and that his wife and children could come to say goodbye. Moyshe's son and the two members of the Judenrat waited for the car that was to take him to Warsaw, and when the vehicle did not show up set out, avoiding the open road, to the arrest house. On the way they heard the shots When they arrived, Moyshe Kishelnitzky was already dead and his body removed as if nothing happened.
The following morning all Jews came out of hiding for the funeral. According to eye witnesses, on the faces (of the mourners) one could see the extent of the loss they felt. Great was the sorrow and grieving after him, who day and night, endangering himself watched over Jewish interests and who sacrificed himself for the Jews of Kałuszyn.
His memory shall be blessed!
Translated by Gooter Goldberg
Among the first communal activists that were murdered by the Gestapo in Warsaw, during the night of 18th April 1942 were also Moyshe Goldberg and his wife Ruchtche Lis.
Moyshe Goldberg was in those days active in the circles of the underground hairdressers union, which was one of the cells of the resistance movement against Nazism.
Moyshe always carried the burden of communal activism and spared no effort for the socialist ideal.
Being a child of the Kałuszyn poor he very early had to contend with financial worries. He tried out a number of trades and finally learned upper-shoe making in Warsaw. He suffered hunger and his bed was often a hard bench; however, the greater his privation, the brighter was his vision of a new order, for which he yearned as intensely as his rabbinical ancestors longed for the Messiah.
It was the beginning of Polish independence, the honeymoon of Polish democracy. The Jewish workers' movement in Kałuszyn organized massive shows of strength with red flags and slogans. Moyshe Goldberg, the proletarian youth with a forehead of a Talmudic scholar used to join the ranks of the marchers; at workers' meetings one could hear his inspiring words and he became the venerated leader of the Bundistyouth movement in town.
His every appearance made an impression. The young simply idolised him: who else comprehended so well their deprivation? Moyshe saw his main mission among the youth, at meetings of Skif . From their poor homes, he used to take them out into fields and forests; for them he composed and sang songs of struggle and hope. His comradely bonding with every one had a great effect. The neglected, sad, and slouching children of the poor straightened their backs and marched cheerfully in the sporting teams of Morgenshtern.
Moyshe used to tell the young about great popular heroes who sacrificed themselves for freedom and at the same time, he himself served as a role model of self-sacrifice and incorruptibility. He always used to pay entrance fees to his own lectures; was always ready to answer every call and did not spare his health. Even when blood showed from his affected lungs, he did not give up his activities for the cause.
After many years of toil in the shtetl he was offered a job as a functionary in the centre. However, this did not appeal to Moyshe how could he ever take payment for party work? Instead, he took up work in a hairdressing shop, lived in a cellar-dwelling where his two brothers, Yankl and Aron died of consumption.
Then the war came, the fascist onslaught overwhelmed all of Poland and the top leaders and activists left the country. Moyshe however, remained and took up the underground activities with the degree of self-sacrifice that was characteristic of him.
I recall a song by Moyshe Goldberg published in Yugnt-Veker  - A call to a sister. He calls her to march with him:
Not on roads where roses bloom,Moyshe Goldberg walked this bitter thorny road, but instead of meeting the torch bearers for which he yearned, he met Gestapo goons. On a Friday night, in the middle of spring when everything awakes to a new life, they pulled him off his bed (in Warsaw) and on Novolipki Street brutally murdered him.
But to the cemetery where the howling of jackals
Bewails the death of brothers and sisters.
On thorns your frail feet will tread,
And from your open wounds blood will drip.
By Avrum Goldberg
Translated by Gooter Goldberg
|Shmul Layzer Sadovski
Please Note: This photograph is not in the
printed (1961) version of Sefer Kałuszyn
S.L. Sadovski was born in 1900 in Kałuszyn. His father was a shingle-roof layer. The mother, Brayndle sold dress materials at the market.
Although common people, the parents, especially the mother wanted their son to become a scholar, because he was the answer to a Rebbe's prayer.
At the age of 14-15, while studying the Gemara, he began reading secular books. By the age of 18, before the end of the German occupation during World War I he was already an active member in the Cultural Association Tsukunft, which was the forerunner of the Bund  in Kałuszyn.
After the Bolshevik invasion in 1920, Sadovski was in the first group of nine Bundists who at a clandestine meeting renewed the Bund organization.
From 1927 until the arrival of the German murderers two weeks after the outbreak of World War II Sadovski was an alderman in the Kałuszyn municipal council, representing the Bund. Although still a young person, he gained everybody's respect.
During the turmoil of the first days of the war, he joined the movement of the big mass of refugees towards the eastern border of Poland. He was troubled by the news from home that the Germans torched the entire town, house by house and that his wife (Sorele Kramarz) is homeless and without means of support. His sense of duty did not let him rest. He decided to smuggle himself across the river Bug in order to get back home.
As is being related, Shmul Layzer Sadovski was in the last group of Jews shot the 28th September 1942.
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.
Kałuszyn, Poland Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright © 1999-2013 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 15 Jul 2011 by LA