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{Page 498}

Belchatower Martyrs in France and Belgium

Translated from the Yiddish by Martin Bornstein

The Belchatow Landslayt, who had in different times during the pre (eve of the) war years (had) settled in France and Belgium, also paid a dear price for the freedom of Europe, through their active fight against the Nazi occupiers.

The group of Belchatow immigrants in France and Belgium were home manufacturers and workers (laborers). The absolute majority of them were concentrated in Paris, where there even existed a Belchatow Union (Group), carved out from a section of the Piotrkower Lands(l)and-schaft.

In the bitter end of the beginning of the second world war the Belchatower, like all Jews, almost entirely (the entirety) registered of their own free will, in the French Army and actively participated in the war against Hitlerism.

Concerning (Not) all of the Belchatower that participated in the fighting, (both) those in the regular army and those that fought the opposition, there is not available precise reports (information).

We must therefore suffice with remembering one among them, that died for the holy name (G-d).

On the 4th of June 1940, as a fighter (soldier) of the French Army, Abraham Front, age 35, fell (was killed) by a German bullet, while in combat by the Belgian border.

He came from a poor working class family (parents) and because of the great need (poverty), that had existed in his house, from childhood on he wandered from different towns and countries (cities), from (in) Poland, immigrating later to Germany, and in the year 1931 he settled in France.

All around he worked hard to earn a piece of bread ("make a living"), and when the war broke out, he belonged to (was among) the first that of their own free will went (took) to fight.

On the 25th of November 1948, his body was moved from the fighting location (battlefield), where he fell, to a grave of the Jewish Volunteers in Paris.

When the Nazis occupied Paris, all of the Jews were deported from there, and among them also (were) the Belchatower, of whom only a (small) portion managed to survive to the liberation.

Among the deported Landslayt who perished you will find: Fischel Knop, Yechezkiel Pyulah, Yankel and David Tzintzinatus (Cincinatus), Shmuel Herzkowicz with his wife and children, Yossel Feltzman, Binem Gelbart, Aaron Pigulah, the once upon a time Belchatower Dozor Shaya Yidel Zeslawsky with his wife and children, as well as our landsman Liberman, Pinchas Meirís son, who was killed as a hostage, that was taken by the Germans in Paris.

Among the perished landslayt in Belgium we only know about Abraham Novak, a devoted artisan and activist of "The Jewish Solidarity".

After the occupation of Belgium by the Nazis, Novak went over to the underground, and after being caught by the Germans on the 5th of May 1944, in a bestial way he was murdered by the Gestapo in Brussels. His dead body was able to be buried on the Brussels Cemetery.

Also his wife, who faithfully helped him in his work, was deported by the Nazis and every trace of her disappeared.

Among the deported and perished Belchatower landslayt was also found Meir Knop, who was active in the organized workers life in Belgium.

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