JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager Lance Ackerfeld
This project is being initiated in order to fund the complete English translation of the 576-page Yizkor memorial book Sefer D'Vart of Warta for JewishGen. Originally published in 1974 in Tel Aviv, the book was edited by Eliezer Astrin. A translation of the table of contents can be found online at: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/warta/warta.html. The book, written in Hebrew and Yiddish, is rich with photographs and personal reflections about life in Warta before the Second World War, and documents what befell the Jewish community during the Holocaust. The original book is online at the New York Public Library at: http://yizkor.nypl.org/index.php?id=1784.
The translation project will appeal to Jewish genealogists and a growing Polish interest in the Jewish history and culture of Warta and its vicinity. In an effort to save the old Jewish cemetery in Warta, a special friendship, a brotherhood, developed between Rubin Gelbart, a Holocaust survivor from Warta who made his home in Lucerne, Switzerland, and Ireneusz Ślipek, a Polish Catholic resident of Warta. The translation project will also be a fitting way to honor these two men who worked tirelessly together to save the cemetery, and may very well hold a role in continuing efforts to preserve and maintain the cemetery.
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 the Second World War by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, these memorial books contain narratives of the town, details of daily life, and descriptions of people that made up religious and political movements. The lists of residents are of particular genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who perished are not recorded elsewhere.
Jewish Warta dates back to the 16th century. In 1939, the Jewish residents made up at least 2,000 of the 4,400 inhabitants of Warta. The Jewish community played a major role in the development and trade in and around Warta. The town was a rich mix of Jewish colors musicians, youth clubs, sports clubs, a drama group, political groups, Hasidim. All of this is narrated throughout the memorial book.
The goal of the project is to translate the original Hebrew and Yiddish texts into English. The Project Coordinator will select the order in which to translate the book text and will work closely with the translators 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. The resulting translations will be posted, as they are completed, on the Yizkor Book Translations site at: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/warta/warta.html
The estimated cost of the translation project is $10,000 to $15,000.
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Updated 7 Oct 2015 by LA