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[Page 14 - Yiddish] [Page 12 - Hebrew]


The Editors

Translated by Martin Jacobs

Edited by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

It is with holy trembling and a feeling of great responsibility that we have come to publish the “Goworowo Memorial Book”, which is to be a Book of Lamentation for our community, so tragically destroyed, and a worthy monument on the unknown graves of our dear martyrs, whose ashes and bones are scattered and spread across the woods and fields of Europe.

We are aware that a book is not sufficient to express the great pain and sorrow of a thriving Jewish community, so tragically annihilated by the German murderers, just as all the desolation of a surviving orphan cannot be engraved on a tombstone. And yet the tombstone must be put in place, and the horrible facts written down as a remembrance for us, for our children, and for future generations.

“Remember what Amalek did to you!”

It is our duty to remember and to carry the deep sorrow in our hearts, and it is also a sacred obligation to bear on one's lips an eternal curse for the Nazis and their assistants, who so brutally slaughtered a third of our people.

* * *

The collection and compilation of the material for this book was not so easily accomplished. All the historical sources and archives were destroyed along with the town. Those who died in the ghettos, concentration camps, and in exile can no longer speak. The select few who went through the seven sections of Hell, they too prefer to remain silent and not open the still bleeding, suppurating wounds, even though more than two decades have passed since the Holocaust. Few remain of the survivors who could have revitalized historical events from memory and set them down on paper. Only the feeling and strong belief that we have the sacred task and responsibility to perpetuate the memory of the destroyed town and of the martyrs, just as an orphan has the duty to say kaddish for his slain parents – only this has given us the courage and strength to begin the work, almost without resources and with our own powers.

With enormous effort, much patience, and great diligence we succeeded in procuring material – placing one brick upon another and erecting this monument. We have striven to give an objective reflection of the town – its institutions, parties, and organizations; rabbis, leaders, personages, and public figures; general descriptions, chapters on Holocaust and destruction, embroidering of town life,

[Page 15]

which strive to express what is specific and unique about Goworowo.

It must be mentioned that the financial means at our disposal to publish this “Yizkor book” were sufficient either to pay a professional editor (and then no money would have been left for paper, plates, printing, and binding, that is, we would not have a book), or to do everything ourselves, though with limited facilities. Of course we chose the latter course, and so it is quite possible that this book has not been edited in accordance with all accepted literary norms. But our goal was to build a monument and perpetuate the town, and this we believe we have accomplished. We therefore ask you not to look upon this book with a critical eye.

* * *

Although we have spared neither time nor effort in trying to make this work complete, we ourselves know that we are far from having achieved this. Much documentary material, and pictures of importance to the community, are lacking, as well as more detailed reports on institutions, on some political parties, and on important events. It is altogether possible that in “A walk through the town” and in other descriptions and notes, as also in the list of those who perished, some names were left out, or were inaccurate. It may also be that some dates do not agree with reality. Unfortunately this could not be avoided. There were several reasons for this, several obstacles bringing this about. Chief among these were the weak response to our requests and solicitations and the incomprehensible indifference of our fellow townspeople, who unfortunately did not properly appreciate the importance of this book. You must also not forget that the entire gigantic task of publishing a yizkor book – the editing, to a great extent the writing itself, and even the technical work from beginning to end – was accomplished by just two volunteers, with their best efforts and purest motives. We therefore also cannot rule out the possibility that, as a result of the great burden they bore, errors may have crept in. These errors could perhaps have been avoided with greater teamwork. If anyone is disturbed by this and thinks that we have not been sufficiently objective, we ask pardon.

* * *

May this work be a monument to our dear martyrs and an eternal light for their souls, as well as a building block in the great structure of accusation against the world of evil and crime, and also against those who were in a position to provide for the world's welfare, but who looked on quietly and did nothing. May this yizkor book also be a contribution to Holocaust literature and a source for future researchers who will describe this terrible epoch.


The Great Synagogue
[Page 13]


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