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[Column 107]

A Small Detail That Can Serve As An
Introduction To The History Of The Jews In Czyzewo

by F. Artur H. Szrajer / Brooklyn, N.Y.

Translated from Yiddish by Judie Ostroff Goldstein

Dear Mr. F. Szrajer:

We received your letter with the question about the shtetl Czyzewo that is mentioned in Dr. E. Ringelblum's book.

The book, in which the shtetl is mentioned is The Polish Jews in the Kosciuszko Revolt – 1794 and was published in Warszawa, 1937 as an edition of the History Department of the Institute for Jewish Research YIVO. The book is available at YIVO. The episode about Czyzewo is on page 63-64. Enclosed please find the text that we copied for your Landsmanshaft.

Best regards,
Dina Abramowicz

“In the region, in which Jews were not taken to serve in the military, unrest broke out with some of the Christian population.” We read about this funny little revolt in a report from Commissar Olszewski. And the story went like this. – When the gentry of Czyzewo (Czyzew 37) were called up for military service, they stated that they would not leave as long as the Jews would not go with them. What were the Jews needed for – the cavalry and the experienced storekeepers. What did the Jews have? Maybe the Jews would bring them merit and they would win the battle? But it was something else entirely. They were simply afraid “the Jews who were left at home should not…slaughter their wives and children”… in other words, “they were afraid of a pogrom by the Jews”.

The enraged Czyzewo gentry and peasants were not satisfied with threats. “they searched for Jews everywhere (from the shtetl), dragged them to the military exercise grounds and stuck weapons in their hands”. Furthermore the stirred up gentry and nobles stated that if the Jews returned home, they would do the same. As this was a critical condition, it was referred to the central government. When they learned of the situation, they advised the commandant to yield “to the will of the people”.

37) Arch. Kr. Pol. 388, P.185, 24. Vi.

[Column 109]

The Development and Growth of Czyzewo

By Dov Gorzalczany

Translated from Yiddish to Hebrew by Yosef Avni

Translated from Hebrew by Jerrold Landau

Coordinator's Note: This Hebrew article is equivalent to the Yiddish article that begins on page 76. Because it is the same article, we are not reproducing it again here; but, rather, what follows below are a few of the minor additions found in the Hebrew translation.
In the section on the Economic Structure, the following two sentences are added:

However, for the sake of precision, we should not ignore the existence of the tzitzit (Jewish prayer fringes) factory that marketed its wares to literally half of the Jewish world. Approximately 30 families made their living from this endeavor.

The last Yiddish paragraph is further embellished in the Hebrew, as follows:

Czyzewo Natives in Israel

        From among the natives of Czyzewo who arrived at different times, there are also those lone survivors, who put their souls in their palms and fled for their lives from the terrible inferno. They set a goal for themselves of perpetuating the memory of the residents of Czyzewo.

        With the assistance of the natives of Czyzewo in New York, Mexico, Argentina and other places, we publish this Yizkor book in order that it might serve as an eternal testimony and monument of witness to the memory of the town of Czyzewo, which once was and is no more.

Communal Life

czy0109.jpg [13 KB]
The Beis Midrash. A photo from 1959.
The building now serves as a grain storehouse.

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