Zawiercie, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Name Translation of “A Yizkor Book for the Martyrs of Zawiercie and its Region”

Project Coordinator
Ruth Wilnai

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the 621 page Yizkor Book. The goal is to eventually provide a complete translation of this book to JewishGen. The online translation will appear at:

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots to Zawiercie and its region constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.  In particular, as has been the case with other such books, Polish gentiles with an interest in the Jewish community of Zawiercie or the general history of Zawiercie will likely take interest in the book.

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 died in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

Prior to the outbreak of WWII, Zawiercie had a Jewish community of approximately 7,000 souls. The community was wiped out, with the final aktion taking place in 1943, and was not reconstituted after the war. Survivors, descendents of survivors, as well as descendents of those who emigrated from Zawiercie prior to the war are known to exist in Israel, the United States, Canada and other places. This Yizkor book is the major formal source for documented history of the town, and will result in the creation of the primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its Jewish community.

Project Description

As funds become available, all Hebrew and Yiddish pages will be translated into English. To accomplish that JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The translator will likely be Jerrold Landau, a prolific JewishGen translator, who also has family roots in Zawiercie, and who provided the translation of the skeletal elements of the book over a decade ago as one of the first JewishGen endeavors in Yizkor Book translation. Jerrold agrees to revise the skeletal elements, providing a table of contents usable by the JewishGen format, as well as a separate list of photos, as his own donation to the project prior to the commencement of the funded translation.

In the unlikely event that there should be a plethora of funds, and a single translator cannot contain the workload, additional translators may be hired as well.

The project coordinator will select the order in which the chapters will be translated and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Those who donate money to the project will be given the opportunity to select the chapters of interest for priority in translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost

A full translation is currently estimated to cost $15,000. This estimate will be revised and refined as the project progresses.


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Updated 12 Dec 2011 by LA