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[Page 7]

To our Brethren from Klobuck
wherever they may be

by the Committee of people from Klobuck

Translated from Hebrew to English by Asher Szmulewicz

We are a group of people originating from Klobuck. We took it upon ourselves to establish, willingly and with devotion, a “Yad Vashem” (Remembrance) to the victims of our town, who were persecuted and tortured, and to those that died from unnatural death, together with the six million Jews, by the Germans, the Nazis and their collaborators, impure and damned. Everything disappeared and is no more. Indeed, a tombstone of paper must be erected. Day and night the saints and the pure come with a silent claim. Brethren and Sisters! The ones who survived! Do not forget. Tie us with the knot of life. We establish for them a modest and simple remembrance, and by doing this we honor their memory by writing their memories in Yiddish, the same language they lived with for generations, (the language) they were created with and also (the language they) went to the furnace and burned with.

Dear Brethren from Klobuck.

When you browse through the pages, do not look for beautiful literature, for a novel or for genius or for science. This is a book about blood and tears, described by simple and ordinary people, who worked for a living. Each one did his and her best. These memories are from days of youth, full of nostalgia, days of the past that are gone; (memories) from the coachman with the whip in one hand and a psalm book in the other hand; from the student, and Torah scholars navigating through the sea of Talmud and Chassidut; from the breakthrough of the Enlightenment into Jewish towns; from the limited Intelligentsia of the villages, the libraries, the zionist political parties and social political parties who cared for the future. All of them good and dear Jews, with a heart and a soul, and now there is only a vacuum! We, the survivors, have to erect a sanctuary of paper to consecrate their souls. We do not have any historical documents left, so we had to use our memories and with the passage of time, errors occur or we become forgetful.

That is why Brethren and Sisters,

We apologize for the living and for the dead. If some facts are not completely accurate, some of the inaccuracies and errors introduced here and there, will be corrected afterwards by the historians.

[Page 8]

This modest book should be a remembrance for our small town Klobuck, and a pillar in the “Yad Vashem” building that the People of Israel are erecting in the Land of Israel. We will remember for our entire lives our small town, and mourn together with the People of Israel the great destruction that occurred in our generation. With the building of our nation, bringing back the survivors being attached to the People and the Land, we will find our consolation.

Please, receive this book of remembrance, should it be an eternal true kindness[1] for our community.

Committee of people from Klobuck

Translator's Footnote

  1. Chesed shel Emet (This expression is used in Hebrew for the last respects given to a dead person, it is a true kindness because the deceased will not be able to “pay back”) Return

 


[Page 9]

Preface

by the Committee of people from Klobuck

Translated from Yiddish to English by Asher Szmulewicz

It is said that when the Germans were about to kill the martyr historian Simon Doubnov, he shouted to the people around him: “write and describe!”

We, the Klobucker survivors, who built our homes in Israel, took it upon ourselves to fulfill the last words of this martyr and scholar. We undertook the difficult task of gathering all of the materials, testimonies, and memories of the suffering and persecutions that the Klobucker Jews went through by the Germans, into a Sefer Yiskor (Memorial Book), which will remain for the generations to come as a memorial document to describe the bestial behavior of the Germans against the Jews.

It was not easy to fulfill this sacred mission. We could not get the archive materials that described the history of the Klobuck Jewish Community (Kehilah). The Germans also destroyed the Jewish Archives. That is why we made the strenuous effort to induce the people originating from our town to write their memories: those who survived the German extermination of the Jews should describe their pain, the hard labor, and the extermination camps where the Klobucker Jews were.

Our endeavor bore the expected results: the Jewish survivors of Klobuck did not forget their annihilated community (kehilah), and in the “Sefer Klobuck” they described the lives of those Jews and their communities: the religious ones, the national-cultural and social institutions, the charity organizations and the varied political parties that constituted the society’s political life of the Jews in this little shtetl.

[Page 10]

The Klobucker survivors fulfilled their duty to the murdered ones: the living Klobucker Jews made public their descriptions of the memories of the German extermination. Unfortunately there is no exact statistical data and no full list of names to assert the number of the exterminated Jews. But from the memories alone we get a clear picture of the great destruction of our community of Klobuck.

It is our duty to express our gratitude to all of the people originating from Klobuck who helped us assemble the Sefer Klobuck – the secretary of the association of people originating from Klobuck: Baruch Szimkowicz, who did not spare anything and gave all of his free time to gather memories and organize the fund raising to finance the expenses; Mrs Adele Unglick in Australia, who drew the memorial candle, the Klobuck synagogue, the map of the shtetl and did other things in favor of the Yiskor book; the people originating from Klobuck living in France: Moshe Wejnman, Yaakov Moshe Unglick, Noach Rypsztein and Israel Azjner; and the association of people originating from Klobuck in Australia.

We thanks our friend A. Wolf Jasny for his devotion and initiative while editing our book about Klobuck.

With profound respect we present the “Sefer Klobuck” to our people originating from Klobuck, who carry in their hearts the memories of our martyrs. In the Jahrzeit for our martyred community, standing close to the memory candle lit to elevate their souls we will read chapters from the Yiskor book, in order to reunite with our dear relatives who succumbed to sanctify the Holy Name and the People.

The Commitee

 

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