The extermination of 20000 Kielce Jews, who had owned before the war 20,7% properties, 56,7% craftsmen's workshops and 61,8 % shops was done within only 5 days of August 1942. The time of annihilation came at a very inopportune moment, when the murderous Nazi machine was ruling from the Pyrenees to Stalingrad and when the Polish military resistance was taking its first steps. In Poland, like nowhere in Europe, the punishment for helping Jews was death. It required a lot of civil courage to stretch out a helping hand to a Jew. From the several dozen memories and letters we learn that the help had mainly an individual character and only in a few cases we could talk about an interest of Polish institutions and the underground in the fate of the Jews. The Jews of Kielce found death not only by the Nazi hands but also in the lagers of the USSR. Under German occupation they were dying of gas and bullets and under Russian occupation they were killed by hunger, coldness and slavery labor. The most faithful description of the experience of deportees in the USSR was written by Gustaw Herling Grudziński (Inny Świat, Warsaw 1989). The forests of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship weren't secure hiding places for Jewish fugitives from ghettos and camps, either.
A.Birnhak titled one of the extracts of her memories the miracle of surviving. One had to have luck, luck on the verge of a miracle, to survive. And only a handful of people survived, 1% of the population inhabiting Kielce before the outbreak of the war. The Jews from Kielce were dying in Treblinka, Auschwitz, Majdanek, Gliwice (a branch of Auschwitz), in the Kielce ghetto, in labor camps in Kielce, Skarżysko Kamiena, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Pionki and Częstochowa, they were dying of typhus and dysentery, in gas chambers, hanged and shot. The Jewish property, their culture: libraries, cinemas, schools, prayer houses and the synagogue were destroyed.
About 200 Kielce Jews survived the war and the occupation. On the basis of the files of the Polish General State Attorney and the memories of the surviving people we can, however, give the names of the people who were lucky. Of the Zagajskis and the Wilners, the owners of the quarries Wietrznia survived: Henryk, Mieczysław and Eliasz Zagajski and Abraham Wilner. The last director of the Kadzielnia, Jerzy Ehrlich survived in a war prisoners' camp in Germany. His brother Julian survived in England. They couldn't return to Poland, though, because as officers of the sanacja regime [introduced by Józef Piłsudski in 1926-1939, E.W.] they were deprived of the citizenship by communist authorities. Of the Nowaks, who owned among other things, grange Głęboczka, survived Jerzy, Stefan's wife Irena and their minor son Piotr. The Zelingers were less lucky Salomon's wife, Róża, survived and their son Henryk. From the side line only Bernard Zelinger survived. Of the well known doctor family of Rotmans survived only Henryk, hiding as Kadera. Of the Pelces survived Janusz, who had left Poland before the war, of the Strumws only Oskar's daughter Alicja. Survived Alfred and Szymon, the sons of doctor O. Fleszler, shot in Katyń. From among the Lipszyces and Goldmans, who owned the quarries Międzygórze, survived Mieczysław Lipszyc and Smycha Goldman. The families of Maurycy and Leopold Gringras had been in camps in the USSR but survived. Of the Kahans, who had traded with cars on a large scale before the war, survived Icek, Mojżesz and Szarlota Kahane. Not wanting to lose their citizenship they were exiled. Only Icek Dębski survived of the family that before the war produced wooden packages in Kielce. Of the Plumapol owners Pesla and Perla Fried survived. From among the Machtyngers who owned a saw mill in Kielce, only Maria survived, out of the Bekermans, who had a tannery Judka, out of the Rabinowiczes, owners of the brick-field Wietrznia Rywka Rabinowicz. After 16 years of lagers to Kielce returned A.Biedny. Other survivors were: Wigdor Abramowicz, Pikus Ajzenberg, Eliasz and Leon Albirt, Chil Alpert, Abram, Natalia and Rywka BaAlicki, Mojżesz Bahn, Perla Barankiewicz, Icek and Mojżesz Baum, Alter, Chaja, Icek Białobroda, Izrael Bimka, Mordka Birenbaum, Chaim and Rafał Blumenfeld, Szloma Bońko, Józef Borensztajn, Uszer Braun, Hudesa Bromer, Szmul Brukier, Mojżesz Brykman, Szmul Bursztyn, Ignacy Celer, Szmul Charendorf, Chana Chmielewska, Izrael Cieśla, Berek Cukier, Perla and Brandla Cymrot, Chawa Dizenhaus, Chawa Drukarz, Mendel Dutkiewicz, Izrael Działowski, Pinkus and Abram Ejzenberg, Mendel Elbirt, Chaim Eliasiewicz, Abram Ellenberg, Gitla Englerd, Szapsia Englender, Chaim Erpalbaum, Henryk Fajner, Gołda Fajgenblat, Dawid Fajnkuchen, Jankiel Feldsztajn, Salomon Ferster, Fiszel Figa, Machel, Dora and Sara Finkielsztajn, Mojżesz Fisz, Alter Frajtag, Berek, Chaim and Lejba Frydman, Szloma Fuks, Sara Garnfinkiel, Alter German, Mordka Gertler, Samuel Gerszonowicz, Rachela Goldbach, Calel, Lola and Mordka Goldman, Lejbuś Goldgrób, Saul Goldman, Aba Goldszajder, Herszel Goldszajd, Izrael Goldsztajn, Julian Goldwasser, Icek Gotfryd, Chaim Granek, Chaja Graubart, Rachela Grosfeld, Nuta Grynberg, Aron Grynblat, Rywka Gryszpan, Aszer and Hersz Gutman, Mindla Helfgot, Zyzla Herling, Aba and Herman, Lejzor Herszkowicz, Lejb Herszman, Abram Hoffman, Dwojra and Jakub Holcman, Chaim and Natalia Horberg, Lejb Horowicz, Mirla Jaskiel, Bluma Joskowicz, Mendel Kajner, Mosze and Henoch Kaminer, Henryk Kamrat, Alter, Mordka and Rywka Kaner, Chaja, Sara and Szmul Karp, Dwojra Katz, Szloma Kersz, Izer Kersz, Mendel Kiersz, Łaja Kirszenbaum, Chaskiel Klajman, Maria Klajnerowicz, Eliasz Knobel, Chil Kochen, Mordka Kochen, Chaskiel Korenwasser, Fajwel Korona, Mojżesz Königstein, Łaja Krajzman, Estera Krawczyk, Abram Kryształ, Icek and Wolf Kuperberg, Jenta Kuźmierska, Małka Kurc, Alter Laks, Chaim, Estera, Izer Lamberg, Hersz Lederman, Chaim and Cyna Leichter, Szaja Lejwa, Abram Leśniewski, Lejb Lewi, Gerszon Lewkowicz, Nuchym Lewenstein, Chaja Lieberman, Herszel and Szmul Lipszyc, Idel Luksenburg, Dawid Lebertowski, Lejzor Łajewski, Nuchim Mały, Szmul Manela, Regina Manela, Józef Majerzon, Chana and Władysław Mendlewicz, Chawa Meppen, Mandel Mikułowski, Maria Miller, Estera Mincberg, Icek and Izaak Mincberg, Mojżesz Mintz, Barbara Morawiec, Lejzor Morawiec, Chil Moszenberg, Hilel Moszkowicz, Barbara and Izrael Najman, Chaskiel Nissengarten, Pesla Nuchim, Nysel Manela, Blima Orzechowska, Gitla Osia, Szloma Ostrowicz, Josek Paciorkowski, Aba Passyrman, Mindla Perl, Lejzor Perl, Ruta Płockower, Naftula Płótno, Icek, Lejzor and Wolf Pomerancblum, Chaim Posłuszny, Izaak Preis, Hendla Proszkowska, Mordka Rajzman, Szlama Rajzman, Lejb Recht, Abram Richter, Lejb Rozenblum, Mindla Rozenberg, Estera and Smycha Rozenblum, Chil Rozencwajg, Mosze Rozenfeld, Jechiel Rosenkranz, Łaja Rozenek, Józef Rozenwald, Cejwa Różycka, Bajla, Mindla and Pesla Rubinstein, Joachim Rubinstein, Mojżesz Rutkowski, Frymeta Siniarowska, Chil Sokołowski, Rywen Sokołowski, Moszek Stolarz, Hersz Sonczow, Wolf Sosnkowski, Moszek Spiro, Zelman Spiro, Chaim Sternfeld, Perla Strawczyńska, Chana Szajndla, Mojżesz Szała, Majer Szapsiewicz, Henryk Szarogreder, Juma Sztarkman, Aba Szeftel, Chil Szlezynger, Izrael, Cyrla Szmulewicz, Ruchla Szafir, Mosiej Szlafman, Zew Szperling, Zyzla Szpiegelglas, Hudesa Szwer, Jakub Szykman, Dawid Szczekociński, Cesia Światło, Abram Świeczarczyk, Menesa Tajtelbaum, Józef Targownik, Abram Tauman, Brandla and Chaim Tenenbaum, Mordka Tenenblat, Pesla Tepfer, Josek Tuchwurcel, Josek and Rafał Urbach, Sara Urbajtel, Chaja Wajsbrot, Chaim Wajsbrot, Moszek Wajsman, Frymeta Waksman, Hindla Wal, Jakub Wargoń, Zelda Wasser, Lejwa Wiśniewska, Wolf Włoszczowski, Gołda Wodzisławska, Szanjdla Wolfsztat, Mindla Wygańska, Fiszel, Majer, Perla and Ruchla Zając, Leon and Tobiasz Zajączkowski, Blima Zajdenwasser, Fajgla Zalcberg, Perla Zelmanowicz, Mojżesz Zielonedrzewo, Czarka Zilberszpic, Emanuel Złoto, Szmul, Wolf Zylberüng, Etla Zyscholz, Mojżesz Zwinkler, Izydor Zimnicki and Abram Żarnecki.
Survived doesn't mean returned to Kielce. Some of them settled where they were at the moment the war ended. Many people from Kielce lived in Lower Silesia, sometimes they moved to big municipal agglomerations, such as Warsaw, Łódź, Cracow, Stettin. Some others couldn't for different reasons return to Poland and decided to stay in Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark.
Most of those who got to Kielce decided later on to emigrate. Their families were dead, their property was plundered, the political atmosphere was tense and, which is important, they had a perspective of life in their homeland. The most important factor constituted, however, the total destruction of economic, cultural and family life of the Jews by the occupier. The events that occurred in Kielce in 1946 were only, according to the Committee of Productiveness of Jewish Population: oil on the flames of the emigrational atmosphere. The Jews who left Kielce in 1945-1946 usually settled in Argentine, the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain and Palestine. Today about 4000 Kielce Jews or their descendants acknowledge their links to Kielce.
More significant Jewish associations in Kielce in the years 1918-1939
The Society of Aid to the Poor of the Jewish Faith, the seat at 6 Nowowarszawska Street, the leading activists: Mordka Fiszel Kaminer, Herszel Zagajski, Moszek Ferster
The Society of Aid to Poor Ill Jews Linas Hacedek, the seat at 1 Duża Street, the leading activists: Mojżesz Pelc, Jerzy Fleszler, Markus Rawicki, Mojżesz Kaufman.
The Society of Aid to the Poor Tomchaj Enyim, the seat at 4 Warszawska Street, the leading activists: Alter Hochberg, Chaim Krauze, Beniamin Lew, Moszek Złoto.
The Society of Aid to Poor Women in Childbirth, the seat at 1 Duża Street, the leading activists: Tekla Mauerberger, Lea Taumanowa, Stefania Zimnowoda, Ida Fleszler.
The Society of Aid to the Poor Achi Ezer, the seat at 4 Warszawska Street, the leading activists: A.Rapoport, Fajgla Rozenkranc, Rachela Cukierman, Sara Rapoport.
The Society of Aid at Getting Married, the seat at 3 Silniczna Street, the leading activists: Dora Rapoport, Fajgla Rozenkranc, Rachela Cukierman, Sara Rapoport.
The Society of Care of the Jewish Orphans' Home, the seat at 3 Aleksandra Street, the leading activists: T.Mauerberger, M. Pelc, J. Fleszler, S. Rapoportowa.
The Kielce Branch of Central Organization of Care of the Jewish Children, the seat at 5 Duża Street, the leading activists: Izrael Herszkowicz, szmul Strawczyński, Jochweta Ginzberg, Abram Kirszenbaum.
The Association Old People's House of Brothers Zagajski's Foundation, the seat on Seminaryjska Street, the leading activists: Abram Mincberg, Izaak Tauman, Herszel and Chaja Zagajski, M. Pelc, J. Lewinson.
The Charity Rabman, the seat at 4 Warszawska Street, the leading activists: A.Rapoport, Idel Preis, Judka Cukierman, Arom Moszkowicz
Societies Supporting Jewish Health Care
Society of Health Protection of the Jewish Population, the seat of the Kielce branch at 40 Nowowarszawska Street, the chairman of the board doctor J.Lewinson.
Anti-tuberculosis Society Marpe, the seat at 15 Leonarda Street, the chairman of the board doctor J.Fleszler.
Societies Supporting Jewish Education
Society Talmud Tora, the seat on Planty Street, the chairman of the board H.Zagajski.
Society Jesode Hatora - the seat on Rynek, the chairman of the board Chaim Szenfeld
Society Jeszybot, the seat on Rynek, the chairman of the board J.Fiszman.
Society of Jewish Public and Secondary Schools Przyjsciół Wiedzy (Friends of Knowledge) , the seat on Poniatowskiego Street, the leading activists of the board: Abram Kohn, Aron Moszkowicz, Salomon, Feuer.
Committee of Aid to Jewish Students Auxilium Academicum Judaicum, the seat at 2 Mała Street, the leading activists of the board: J.Lewinson, J.Fleszler, Herman Frejzynger, Stanisław Zylberszlak
Circle of Friends of the Jewish Male Secondary School, the seat on Poniatowskiego Street.
Circle of Friends of Zimnowodas' High School, the seat at 1 Słowackiego Street.
Association of Evening Courses, the seat at 44 Bodzentyństa Sterrt.
Societies of Different Trade Groups
Association of Jewish Craftsmen, the seat of the board at 2 Kozia Street
Association of Jewish Merchants, the seat of the board at 22 Wesoła Street
Association of Producers and Timber Merchants, the seat of the board at 18 Leśna Street
Society of Jewish Masters Craftsmen, the seat of the board at 3 Mała Street
Union of Jewish Home Aid, the seat of the board at 4 Orla Street
Union of Tailor Workers Igły , the seat of the board at 4 Orla Street
Union of Jewish Doctors
Union of Jewish Barber-surgeons, the seat of the board at 50 Kolejowa Street
Circuit Union of Merchants, the seat of the board at 19 Śniadeckich Street
Union of Office Workers, the seat of the board at 4 Czysta Street
Jewish Union of War Invalids, the seat of the board at 1 Leonarda Street
Union of the Participants in the Independence War, the seat of the board at 36 Sienkiewicza Street
Association of Jewish Real Estates Owners, the seat at 4 Bazarowa Street (Śniadeckich)
Source: AP Kielce, SPK, call No. 589; ibidem, SPK, call No. 1903, p.66.
The List of Hostages in Kielce in 1939
Uszer Ajchler, Izrael Albirt, Jakub Apfelbaum, Emanuel Balwim, Jakub Balicki, Szlama Barankiewicz, Icek Blank, Lejbuś Bruk, Henryk Bruner, Rafał Charendorf, Edward Charin, Jakub Chmielnicki, Alter Cymerman, Szmul Cymerman, Szlama Cymrot, Moszek Cytryn, Icek Czarny, Josek Dębski, Moszek Elbirt, Maks, Ellencweig, Henoch Fajgenblat, Lejzor Finkielstein, Henryk Fruks, Dawid Frydman, Joel Frydman, Nuchim Garlicki, Eliasz Goldblum, Wolf, Garnfinkiel, Fiszel Garnfinkiel, Abram Gotlieb, Icek Hefler, Abram Lejb Herszkowicz, Fiszel Herszkowicz, Izrael Herszkowicz, Todorys Herszkowicz, Izrael Hanelsman, Jakub Ickowicz, Majer Jasny, Kalman, Kluska, Dawid Knobel, Fiszel Kochen, Jakub Kuperberg, majloch Laks, Szymon Leśnicki, Dawid Leśniewski, Bernard Lew, Szmul Lewartowski, Dawid Lis, Moszek Lubecki, Szmul Markiewicz, Abram Mącarz, Lejzor Mandlewicz, Abram Mincberg, Lejzor Mincberg, Izaak Mundsztuk, Chaim Passyrman, Nuchym Passyrman, Herszel Piasecki, Moszek Pleszewski, Dawid Prajs, Herszel Prajs, Elisz Szmul Przednówek, Herszel Ocal, Chaim Orzech, Herman Ostrowicz, Dawid Rosenblum, Szloma Rotman, Szlama Rottsztajn, Abram Rozenblum, Izrael Rozenblum, Szymon Rozenberg, Josek Rozenholc, Moszek Rozenholc, Chil Szlama Strosberg, Oskar Strumw, Moszek Szajnfeld, Leon Szarogreder, Berek Szlamowicz, Szulim Sztajner, Lejzor Tauman, Szeftel Tauman, Chaim Tenenbaum, Jakub Wittlin, Hersz Zalcberg, Eliasz Zylberberg, Josek Zylberberg, Izrael Zylberman, Lejb Zylbernagiel, Szlama Zylberstein and Majer Zylberszpic.
Source: AP Kielce, Records of the city of Kielce, call No. 2652.
Archive of New Records in Warsaw
Representation of the Government, Department of Information and Propaganda, call No. 202/III/8, vol.2
Branch VI, Home Army, call No. 203/III-10
Branch VI, Personal files, file of A. Biedny, call No.6861
State Archive in Kielce
Records of the city of Kielce
Poviat Headquarters of the State Police
Municipal School Council
District Court in Kielce, the Department of Commercial Registry
District Court in Kielce, Penal Department
Poviat Starosty of Kielce
Voivodship Government in Kielce
Prison in Kielce, Register of the inmates of 1939+1945
Former KW PZPR, Records of the District Court in Kielce
Delegation of the General Office of the State Attorney of the Republic of Poland
State Archive in Radom
Governor of the Radom District 1939-1945
Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Warsaw
Records of Town Courts
Circuit Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Kielce
Investigating records, call No .Ds. 1/61, vol. 1-6; Ds. 21/68, vol. 1-3; Ds. 22/68, Ds. 23/68.
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem - Israel
J.Alpert, Testimony, call. No. 03-2985 (27255-197 C)
L.Serwetnik, Testimony, call No. P.III.n. (Kielce) No.676
Archive of the Jewish Institute of History in Warsaw
Testimonies, call No. 301/66, 301/254, 301/1309, 301/1705, 301/3012
Museum of Independence in Warsaw
Kielce Prison, Smuggled messages, call No. 3255-59, 3261-66, 3270-71
Personal card of M.Pelc, call No. D.A. I-29 139
Polish Radio in Kielce. Collection of tape recordings
Saga of the Pelc family, call No. 3324
Str. 164-165 w książce po polsku
Nr zmieniæ na No.
Anyst M .
Rokicki A. k.2 zmieniæ na p.2
(zbiory WBPK) zmienić na (collection of WBPK)
(zbiory autora) zmienić na (collection of the author)
(w posiadaniu rodziny autora pamiętników) (in the possession of the family of the author of the memories)
(w posiadaniu rodziny autora) (in the possession of the author's family)
Bauminger R ..
Warszawa - Warsaw
Nr- zmienić na No.
Warszawa - Warsaw
Londyn - London
Pod red edited by i potem nazwiska w mianowniku
From page 197
Abela Rapoport a Kielce rabbi (the interwar period). Private collection of H. Zelinger (Israel)
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.
Kielce, Poland Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright ©1999-2014 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 22 Apr 2012 by JH