Sochaczew, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Sochaczew, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Jan Meisels Allen

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

Sochaczew is in central Poland, 35 miles due west of Warsaw. The Germans nearly destroyed the city twice, on their marches to Warsaw during both World War I and World War II. No pre-World War I records survived that war, leaving the Yizkor Book for Sochaczew, with its many chapters on the city's history, as a proxy for those lost records.

In 1962, former residents of Sochaczew published an 843-page yizkor book, Pinkas Sochaczew (Memorial Book of Sochaczew), Editors: A. Sh. Sztejn and G. Wejszman, Jerusalem, Former residents of Sochaczew in Israel, 1962, 843 pages in Hebrew and Yiddish. As a result of a JewishGen-erosity fundraising project started in mid-1999, all the Hebrew pages have been translated. Remaining to be translated are 276 pages in Yiddish. JewishGen received permission from The Committee of Sochaczewites in Israel to put the translation online. See

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this town constitute the primary audience for the material.  However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society in this region.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The Jewish population of Sochaczew dates back to at least 1426 and experienced many waves of persecution throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. From the mid-17th century into the 18th century, Jews became a majority of the population, and Sochaczew was known as a center for Torah and Hassidism. During World War I, the Germans destroyed the city. The 4000 Jews living in Sochaczew in 1939 were deported to labor camps or the Warsaw Ghetto and then to Treblinka. After World War II, none returned. Because of the destruction of the city's metrical records, the Yizkor Book is the primary chronicle of Sochaczew's Jewish population.

Project Description

Approximately 276 pages of Yiddish text remain to be translated and put online at An excellent translator has been working on this project since it began in the late summer of 1999. As he has numerous projects on which he works as funding becomes available, completion of the translation could take 3-4 additional years, unless significant funding becomes available at one time.

The project coordinator will select the order in which to translate the chapters and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost. $4950


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Updated 26 Sep 2009 by LA