There were hundreds of members in his funeral entourage, who came to give last respects to the deceased a number that was then seldom seen at a funeral in Radomsk.
The Bugajski family was large and widespread in Radomsk. as there were several brothers with children. However, Reb Dovid was exceptional, both in his virtues and in his wealth. To everyone he was a simple Jew; he did not hold himself [above everyone]; he was affable to all.
Even when he was no longer the Synagogue Warden, he was interested in Kehile affairs and always was ready to help when it was necessary to intervene with the official organs of the regime, who were drawn to him with trust and respect. In 1917 for example, his intervention assured that there was matzoh for the whole Jewish population, and it happened this way:
The Austrian occupation powers levied on special flour (that was then a rationed item) a tax that was so high that it was impossible for the majority of the population to be able to pay the price for the matzohs. Reb Dovid Bugajski courageously undertook to go alone to the power holders and obtained a decision that Passover flour would not cost more than non-Passover flour and thus all of the Jews ate Matzoh for Passover.
(Photo of Yosef Behm)
Yosef Behm was one of the prominent businessmen in the city, an active Zionist, a Hebraist, an expert in Hebrew and Yiddish literature. If there was the appropriate acceptance by the other side, he willingly carried out his correspondence in Hebrew. In addition to a traditional Jewish education, his sons received worldly knowledge, too, and studied Hebrew with Mr. Fajnzilber. Yosef Behm was one of the few subscribers to Hatzfire (Translator's note: A periodical published in Warsaw from about 1862 to 1931).
His knowledge of Torah and his general education served him very often in carrying out arbitration among merchants and among other strata of the population, both Jews and Poles. He was very active in the city's philanthropic societies, particularly in Linat ha-Tzedek (the poor house).
Invitation from Mateusz Bensman to a concert of his compositions in the National Philharmonia in Warsaw.
at the time, Radomsk also created Hazamir and the Radomsker youth with the help of several older social workers invited one of the most eminent musical forces in Poland at that time, Mr. M. Bensman, as director of musical training in the Radomsker Hazamir .
Not many cities in Poland can boast [as can Radomsk] that in the years 1912-13, the Radomsker Hazamir presented the first act of the opera Di Yidn by Halevi in Hebrew under the direction of M. Bensman. If Radomsker landsleit who took part in that performance are still found anywhere in the world, they remember how much effort this cost. It was, indeed, one of the great artistic performances both by the Radomsker youth and by the great musician M. Bensman.
It was difficult for Hazamir to maintain M. Bensman as conductor, but despite the difficult material situation, he did not want to leave Radomsk. He had to add and produce the light operetta, Dos Pintele Yid in order to strengthen the financial situation a bit.
His students and sympathizers would often have great spiritual pleasure when he failed to turn off the gas lamps (there was no electricity in Radomsk at that time), sat down at the piano to play classical creations and simultaneously gave short clarifications about the creations.
M. Bensman was not only a great musician and conductor, but also an author of great musical compositions; a symphony with the title Eretz-Yisroel was performed by the Warsaw Philharmonia and in America, where M. Bensman later died.
(Photograph of Prof. Yisroel Bromberg)
He came to us as a teacher from faraway Kolomyja; it was not easy for him to find a common language with his surroundings and even more difficult for him to win general sympathy. His first public communal outings ended with
Time, however, did its work. It did not take long and soon one began to see in this inconspicuous bent over teacher, a dear person and a good friend.
His knowledge was wide and deep there was no field in which he did not feel at home, there was no subject that would be strange to him. He showed great respect to those listening to him, whoever it was, and felt a tremendous responsibility for the spoken word. This was his style in school and during his numerous lectures at the Folkes -University of the Sholom Aleichem Library, where he was the chief lecturer.
Yisroel Bromberg was not a Zionist; he, however, was united and bound with everyone in the Jewish community who were creative, rejoiced like a child at every accomplishment in the cultural field and with every revelation of a new talent.
The war found him in his birthplace, Kolomyja. When the storm passed, his surviving friends and students hoped that perhaps he had survived. This hope, alas, was not fulfilled.
(Photograph of Haim Hartman)
The first photograph already said that there was no mistake; from under the glasses peered sharp, searching and unsatisfied eyes. First of all unsatisfied, unsatisfied with himself and with the whole world.
He understood and wanted everyone to understand that each donüm (22 acres measurement used in Eretz-Yisroel ) of redeemed land is a step closer to the Jewish redemption. When the Zionist organization renewed its activities, Haim became an active member in it. He never lost his hunger for aliyah ; however, his dreams were not fulfilled. Haim Hartman, one of the builders of the pathways towards a Jewish state, perished by murderous hands together with his thousands and thousands of brothers.
(Photograph of Mikhal Waksman)
Born the 14 th of Nisen 5647 (8 th of April, 1887) to Moishe-Hirsh and Leah Waksman an old and many branched Radomsker family. After kheder , he studied in the Radomsker Yeshiva , while at the same time studying Jewish bookkeeping, and prepared himself as a Torah reader with Sztatler, the fervid Zionist, from whom he was inoculated with the Zionist spirit and became one of the most devoted religious Zionists of that time. He was one of the first subscribers to Hatzfire in the city. After finishing at the Yeshiva and with the bookkeeping course with Sztatler, he became a business manager in Minczel's manufacturing business.
He married Gitl, the daughter of the fervid Amshinower (Mszczonow) Hasid, Reb Abrahame-Yitzhak Feldman (the ribbon maker) in 1913 and opened a business, 20 Kopikes . He had four children three sons and one daughter. Two sons survived the Nazi gehinum and live in Israel.
Mikhel Waksman led a warm religious-Zionist house and raised his children in this spirit, permitting them to learn in the only Hebrew School in Radomsk of Dovid Erlikhman.
In 1923 he already had a Certificate of Immigration, but had to decline to immigrate because of family problems. Because of all of his later troubles, he could not fulfill his life's wish aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel .
Mikhal Waksman was very active in Radomsker communal life. He helped found the Artisans' Union and the Y.L. Peretz Library, was the co-founder of Mizrakhi , secretary of the Palestine Office and co-worker in the Interest-Free Loan Fund in the city.
He dedicated his principal activity to the Artisans' Bank, which he founded with Wajnberg in 1925. He was treasurer of this bank for many years and, later, Vice Director.
Because of his work in the bank in which he was totally absorbed, he was forced to liquidate his business in 1928. A harsh economic crisis broke out in Poland in 1929 from which the Artisan's Bank also fell victim (ceased to exist in 1931). A difficult era began for Mikhal Waksman, who had already liquidated all of his private businesses and so it ran until the outbreak of war in 1939.
Shabbos , the 2 nd of September 1939, when the Germans bombed the city, Mikhal Waksman and his family, like all Radomsker Jews, ran from the city. Returning to Radomsk after a certain time, he found he no longer had a roof over his head. Shlomoh Glikman's house at no. 11 (in the Market), together with half of the Jewish houses, was burned. Mikhal live with relatives and later moved with a large number of Jews to the Ghetto.
On the 9 th of October 1942 during the first selection in Radomsk, Mikhal Waksman and his family were hiding in a bunker. The German discovered the bunker after three weeks and the 60 Jews found there were sent away to the transport to Czenstochow.
There is a hypothesis that Mikhal Waksman, Itzele the Cemetery Jew and six more Jews were not taken to Czenstochow, but that they were imprisoned in the Radomsker jail, tortured an entire night and shot in the Jewish cemetery in the morning.
The photographer, Ludwik Wajnberg only spoke Polish and this created a great distance between him and his Jewish clients. However, Ludwik Wajnberg possessed a natural inclination for community work for Jewish society. The Radomsker youth had begun to organize (in 1915-16), creating the Youth Union (in the attic room over Ahron-Wolf Szwarc's soda-water factory). When
(Photograph of Ludwik Wajnberg)
it became necessary to move to a larger meeting hall (in Mr. Karp's house), it was requested that the contract be signed by a businessman and not by an ordinary young person. The responsibility then fell on photographer Ludwik Wajnberg, and he became the chairman of the Youth Union.
Jewish Society in Radomsk built its institutions and when a Jewish Artisan's Union was organized, L. Wajnberg became the chairman of the Union and he helped the Jewish artisans organize and advance higher in their productive position.
Before the First World War, there was also a communal bank in Radomsk supported by Y.K.A. (Translator's note: organization founded by Baron Hirsch in Paris, which created loan offices in Poland). However, the war liquidated the bank. When a new Jewish Cooperative Bank was created (after the First World War), Ludwik Wajnberg was placed at its head. He led the institution with all of his abilities in the most difficult economic times It is certainly not his fault that the strong anti-Jewish wave of the Polish regime on the eve of the Second World War ruined this institution.
Ludwik Wajnberg, in the term of his 20 years as a communal activist in Radomsk suffered greatly. His comrades naturally showed all human weaknesses, such as opposition, slander and the like, and he could no longer maintain his income. His health weakened due to all of these quarrels. Thus he experienced everything that community workers must be ready to experience
Berl Witenberg (Text in Hebrew)
Leizer Tencer With Reb Leizer Tencer, a particular type was introduced to the Radomsker community. He was of middle height, a Hasid, the owner of a large and beautiful hotel and restaurant in Ferszter's house. However, his wife Miriam was occupied with the restaurant and Reb Leizer was busy with the hotel and the buffet. His guests were Polish lords and landowners, who kept their carriages in the nearby inn.
Reb Leizer Tencer always was esteemed for his splendor and respectability. In his middle and later years, he was occupied with Kehile matters, was the synagogue warden for a long time and coworker in other community institutions. He sought the golden middle in everything, nothing too extreme, so that peace would reign.
Many rich Hasidim, who would come to the Rebbe for yom-tov , would be lodged in the hotel for the Days of Awe. Reb Leizer Tencer was a Hasid of the best kind, always ready to help with whatever he could and with whatever was needed. His wife, Miriam helped in many homes with warm food, clothing and other needed things.
In 1906, Moishe Lewkowicz played at a wedding after Shabbos Nakhamu (the Sabbath of Consolation after Tisha B'Av ). It was a few weeks after the beating of the heart of a Sar Vegodal b'Yisroel (leading figure among the Jews) had stopped. The moan that left the fiddler's heart cried with the great loss of the Jewish people. At that time in Vienna, the great Jew, Dr. Herzl, of blessed memory, was buried.
Six years later I again heard him play at a wedding. I was reminded of his moan of six years before. I now understood the lamentable tones that had then torn out of his fiddle. When he now played Hatikvah and Bemakom sham Arazim (The Place of the Cedar Trees), it was easy to perceive that this was not a klezmer playing for a ruble, but a fiddler who speaks, fantasizes and
I met him a third time in 1915. It was in the very fervor of the war, when the optimists from Zionist camps were in despair with their ideals and thought that the war would make a ruin of all that had been achieved in Eretz-Yisroel . With such extinguished ideals, with such withering pessimism about Zion, I met Moishe Lewkowicz and we spoke for a few hours. It is more accurate to say that he spoke and a wonderful thing happened. The faith, the belief that had withered in me for two years, the holy light about Zion was revived and reignited in my heart by his persuasive words, by his naïve belief in the great thing that will never again be extinguished.
( Undzer Zeitung , 22.1.1926, on the 5 th Yahrzeit of M. Lewkowicz)
(Photograph of Dr. Y. Mitelman)
Dr. Y. Mitelman belongs to the figures who are in their actions and deeds so deeply humane that the smallest contact with them is engraved in one's memory for an entire life. His external serious countenance always shone with a kind smile and ended with a finely cut angular beard. Dr. Mitelman would drop into Reb Mikhal Melamed's kheder from time to time, because from him he could receive the special milk water that he was famous for that served as a good remedy for burns. Later it was known that remedy was prepared according to the precepts of Dr. Y. Mitelman
Dr. Mitelman was mobilized during the First World War as a doctor in the Czarist army.
When war covered the city, hunger and need began to penetrate more into poor Jewish homes and epidemics began to spread that took away many victims. Moishe Fiszhof, a devoted friend and student of Dr. Mitelman, then started to build a Jewish Epidemic Hospital (in the old wooden building on Przedborzer Street, in two small rooms).
When Dr. Mitelman came back from the front in 1917, he took over the direction of this hospital and with double energy began to organize the people's medical help for Jewish Radomsk. The hospital was later moved to a second, more appropriate location and was active under Dr. Mitelman's management.
At that time, Dr. Mitelman acceded to the request of the organized youth and would appear each Thursday evening in the workers' home with a lecture on medical-hygienic themes. This did not last long as Dr. Mitelman became ill with typhus and, alas, did not get up from his bed again. The cruel death that Dr. Mitelman fought in others cut short the life of a beloved Jew, a wonderful person who faithfully served with his knowledge the widest strata of the Jewish population in Radomsk.
On the night before erev Yom-Kippur in 1914, when a group of Jews came in a horse and wagon from Czenstochow, they were detained on the Plawno road by a German Patrol and led to the City Hall. The German soldier on duty awoke the sleeping Polish clerk to see if he could identify them as Radomskers. The first words that the clerk said on waking from his sleep were, Abramche niema . Abramche is not here
Reb Abramche was the model of a clerk. He knew exactly where one must search in the thick books, when the Zeide (grandfather) or the father was born, where he lived or when or where he had to submit for military conscription. In that respect, he literally was a walking archive. One could come to him at any time and if he was not found in the office, he was not upset if one came to him at home. He was always the good, polite and devoted Jew, ready to serve and help everyone.
(Photograph of Guta Najkron)
Guta Najkron, the wife of Haim-Benimin Najkron, born in 1897, was the daughter of Meir Fanziker, one of the founders of the Ludzia factory in Eretz-Yisroel . Despite her affluent, aristocratic ancestry and widespread family life, Guta Najkron was dedicated completely to the social-philanthropic activities among the broad masses in the city. She was active in the committee for Keren-Kayemet , in the Sholem Alcheim Library and in almost all organizations and institutions.
Guta Najkron established the Zionist Women's Organization, WIZO, but categorically refused to be a presidium member. This trait of humility, modesty and reserve always accompanied her activities and way of life. In addition to the activities in the framework of organizations and institutions, she did important work privately and covertly. She distributed challahs on Shabbos to the poor, provided them with medical remedies, sent clothing and footwear, gave a few zlotys , etc. Only individuals knew of her private contacts among the rich woman and the poor
In her full splendor, Guta Najkron shone, too, in the dark day of the annihilation. Finding herself in the Piotrkow camp, she cared for all of the unfortunate Jewish orphans who had lost their parents there as a mother cares for her own children. She hid a 5-year old girl, Ela Faszenskia an orphan who had lost both her mother and father, with her for the entire time and covered the girl many times with her own body when a special children's aktsia was carried out.
Guta Najkron died from want and hunger in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, on the last night before the liberation
(Photograph of Eng. Y. Poliwoda)
Engineer Poliwoda came to Radomsk as a teacher in the Yiddish gymnasium , at the end of the First World War. He quickly became acquainted with the general Jewish social life and particularly interested himself in the Jewish youth who thirsted for knowledge both in the Jewish and general culture.
Engineer Poliwoda helped greatly with his papers and lectures that always made a hit with their national and cultural contents. He was versed in the rich gallery of Jewish cultural creativity in Western Europe and the young benefited greatly from his knowledge in all fields.
After becoming the son-in-law of a Radomsker, he rose in status materially, but did much for communal and cultural life. He was a representative of the artisans on the City Council, the bank and other communal institutions.
(Photograph of Mendel Fajnzilber)
Mendel Fajnzilber died in March 1930. He was one of the first pioneers, who built a road among the thorns and stones for the revival of the Jewish people. He was among those who with one hand did their work and with the other held their weapon, who with one hand together with others developed the Zionist Idea and with the other hand eliminated the persecution of the clique that persecuted him without pity and caused him personal pain and hurt. Yet, he remained in the struggle for the Zionist ideal.
He occupied the office of Education Minister in the Zionist Beis-Yakov for years. As an adherent of the Enlightenment and a sage he spread the spiritual teaching of Zionism to every twilit area of the Jewish quarter.
In his last years he was estranged from active Zionist work. This is the personal tragedy of thousands of the first dreamers and fighters who were estranged from active work when Zionism became a reality. However, he left behind a rank of young people and students who followed the Zionist road that he had shown them.
Breindele Rapaport always had time to listen to requests for interest-free loans from poor merchants and craftsmen in her home. She also knew those who did not have enough courage to come to her at home; she went to them and helped with whatever was needed. The social work was never too much for her. She always carried on this work with a special smile.
Breindele Rapaport had time for everything, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, particularly widows. This refined and pious woman always had an appropriate word for every sufferer and provided the needed help for every one in need. By herself, she almost represented a social communal institution in the best sense of this concept.
Dr. Leon Ruzewicz (Text in Hebrew)
During a conflict that broke out between the students in the government school ( Szandowki ) and Golomb, the students decided to organize a strike and to go to Yosef Szac's business to demonstrate, in order to enlighten him, the synagogue warden, with the actions of the teacher and to seek help from him against their grievance. Reb Yosef, with his beautiful grey beard, thoughtfully listened to the complaints, calmed the students and told them to go back to school. He would take care of the matter with the teacher.
Reb Yosef sat near the rabbi in the Beis-Midrash , near the eastern wall. He looked particularly joyful during celebrations of the birthdays of the Russian emperor and his family, or when he stood near the mayor who wore a Napoleanic hat adorned with a gold edge. The mayor represented the city and Reb Yosef Szac, the general Jewish population.
Reb Yosef also filled a number of official functions in the city. If a Jew received money in the mail, the pink notice had to be certified. If a son or a brother was abroad and could not appear for conscription, his father or brother was punished with a fine of 300 rubles, which had to be paid at city hall. In such a case, Reb Yosef Szac, as synagogue warden, and Gabrial Goldberg as special Jewish representative, had to sign that the person challenged was not able to pay. If a close relative died and Reb Mendl Faierman, the gabbai of the Khevra Kadishe , could not immediately take care of the grave, one ran to the synagogue warden, Reb Yosef Szac.
It was rare that someone would know where to find the Kehile meeting place. Therefore, everyone knew Reb Yosef Szac's store and the writing desk in which was found the large round seal, the seal of the synagogue warden.
Reb Yosef Szac belonged to the community workers of the old generation who brought with their kindness a ray of light to the gray day-to-day life of the people.
I still see him clearly before my eyes, a tall person with his back bent a little, a long, beautiful, combed grey beard, with bags under his grey eyes. He was always pensive, absorbed in the other world, the better, eternal one.
Henekh, the Przedborzer Melamed, as we would call him, came from the shtetl of Przedborz and from good lineage. He was the first cousin once removed of the Tiferes Shlomoh's rebbitzin, Gitele, and was a constant visitor in the Noworadomsker Rebbe's court. It was, however, Henekh's luck to become a melamed; he taught Gemera students and many of the teachers of the youngest children in Radomsk would come to him on Friday nights to study the Torah portion of the week.
My childish mind absorbed those divine notes of the Gemera for eternity. I was then eight or nine years old when Yentl would take me with her to her parents' home. At night she would open the bunk bed that was the bed for both of us and I was content to go to sleep. A strange bed in a strange house always enticed me. My wander-blood already boiled during my childhood. If I had somehow been offended, my mother could not make it up to me with candy, chocolate or even a doll She would only have to promise me that I would spend the night in someone's home or visit a family and I immediately became happy, jubilant.
My mother would complain that other children of my age would clasp their mother's apron, But not my daughter. 'Something not good' must be sitting in her. Give her a suitcase, a horse and wagon, and 'We're off.'
One of my favorite houses then, besides my mother's house, was the house of the Przedborzer Melamed's. I remember how at dawn when the streaks of grey light of the rising sun would break through the shutters such heartfelt voices of the Gemera students would carry from the study room and above all the others one could hear the voice of their rebbe. I would then snuggle deeper into the featherbed, edge closer to Yentl's warm body and be lulled into a deep, sweet sleep.
There was also a sort of inn at Henekh's for Jews who came to collect money for Eretz-Yisroel. They would eat, drink and sleep in his house and he was happy to fulfill the mitzvah of tzadekah (commandment of giving to charity). His greatest dream was to settle in Eretz-Yisroel and that for over one hundred years, his bones would rest in the Holy Earth. It very often happened that cunning beggars took advantage of his good Jewish heart. As long as they told him that they were collecting money for Eretz-Yisroel, they became guests in his free inn
The Przedborzer Melamed lived near Otskowsk in the court and the Rozprzer shtibl was also there. When his wife died, he was broken and alone; only the dream of living to reach the holy earth of Eretz-Yisroel kept him alive. Now the story of how Reb Henekh Melamed became my step grandfather.
My Grandfather Yokhanon, who was a great scholar and the oldest gabai in the court of Reb Yekhezkele Radomsker, also had a dream of settling in Eretz-Yisroel. However, because of his poor health which came from fasting every Monday and Thursday, he had to give up his dream. However, my Grandmother Haya who was a strong, firmly built woman and the principal breadwinner, could not on any account part
A year after my grandfather's death, my grandmother married Henekh Melamed. The principal dowry that she gave to him was the promise that she would go with him to Eretz-Yisroel Four weeks after the marriage, they left Noworadomsk (half the city accompanied them at that time to the train station). They also fantasized and made plans to bring their married children and grandchildren to Eretz-Yisroel.
However, after six months in Eretz-Yisroel, Henekh Melamed died (1914). A year later my grandmother went on the eternal path, too. But their great dream to rest in the Holy Land of the Patriarchs was realized (they rest on Har Hazeitim [Mount of Olives]). Their children did not live to make aliyah. However, his and her grandchildren are in Israel.
However, Kopel was not only a strategist, but also a devoted Lover of Zion. When the first bonds from the Jewish Colonial Bank for Eretz-Yisroel appeared in Radomsk, Kopel campaigned that they should be bought. He also campaigned for Keren Kameyet L'Yisroel. Thanks to Kopel, among the other plates put out in his Beis-Midrash on Erev Yom-Kippur, there were also plates for the National Fund (in other prayer houses at that time this was prevented). Courage and willingness were needed in his time to advocate and be engaged for Eretz-Yisroel and only a few people did this. Kopel Shamas was one of the few.
Every evening, between Minkhah and Maariv, seeing a cluster of dreamers in a circle, he read Hatzfire aloud to them. He came to shul dressed in his Shabbos clothing and beamed with joy on the day of the University opening in Jerusalem.
Kopel Glidman died on Pesakh 1929 at 70 years of age. Several thousand people and the rabbinate with the Amshinower Rebbe at the head attended his funeral, which took place at the end of Pesakh.
Shlomoh Zaks (Text in Hebrew)
In the circle of the family and very close acquaintances, the following episode would be told about Shlomoh Zaks.
Prince Lubomirski and the Princess took part in a wedding at the home of a very rich Jewish farm lessee on the Prince's estate. When the loud, lyrical voice of Hazan Shlomoh Zaks singing the blessings was carried from under the wedding canopy, the Princess could not conceal her amazement. In the morning, the Prince brought Shlomoh Zaks to the royal palace in a coach. There, the Princess asked him to sing a series of arias from well-known operas and she accompanied him on the piano.
Shlomoh Zaks would have sent back the coach if not for the pressure of acquaintances and [he would not have] gone to the royal palace However, after the aria concert, when the Prince proposed to send him to study at the Warsaw Conservatory at the Prince's expense, Shlomoh Zaks nervously got up and quickly left the royal palace
Rona Zombek (Zaks)
(Photograph of Mendel Lakhman)
(Text in Hebrew)
Noakh Rubinsztajn (Text in Hebrew)
This was right after the First World War, when the first democratic elections to the local self-managing committee took place. According to the election ordinances, a candidate for the City Council had to be at least 30 years old and there were not many members in the ranks of the Poalei-Zion party who were. And so the role fell on the Zionist-Workers Movement sympathizer, Itcze Urbakh, who was over 30 and had a good command of the Polish language. He willingly accepted the nomination and together with other members was elected to the first City Council in Radomsk.
For many years he had occasion to struggle for national and social rights for the Jewish workers and the struggle was not easy. It was necessary to argue not only with the anti-Semitic representatives in the City Council, but also with the comrades in the Polish Socialist Party, P.P.S., and others. Itcze Urbakh filled his mission with great responsibility and devotion. All his appearances on the forum of the City Council and in its committees were permeated with a feeling of national pride and social consciousness. Itcze Urbakh did not bend even to the dictatorial Azon clique that ruled with a strong hand against the Jewish population and, therefore, he always had the trust of the Jewish voters.
Eli Alebarda He was born in 1880 in Tomaszow-Mazowiecki, studied in the yeshiva in Lodz and received a rabbinical diploma while very young. However, heretical thoughts that were being spread by the Jewish weavers and other artisans reached him in the Beis-Midrash. Eli still sat at the open Gemera and secretly looked into the treife (Translator's note: unclean) books, too, which he held covertly. When the secret
Photograph of Eli Alebarda
was uncovered, the young good teacher was driven from the Beis-Midrash. He was married immediately so that he would no longer stray from the righteous path. He was settled in Radomsk, where he was also provided with an income an agricultural store.
However, once a revolutionary, always a revolutionary. Eli Alebarda remained a Jew externally, like all Jews; a long coat, a small Hasidic hat and a beautiful long yellow beard; a well-to-do middle class Jew, with a wife and 2 sons and 3 daughters, but he did not live the way others did.
In Czarist times, he took part in many of the most responsible and most serious work; the gendarmes visited him many times. His last work in this area was organizing the border for the delegates to the 8th convention of the Bund that was supposed to take place in Vienna in the summer of 1914 and did not take place because of the outbreak of the First World War.
Alebarda demonstrated his connection with the Bund often. In the revolutionary times of 1905, he would leave his business for the whole day, spend time on the stock exchange or marching in demonstrations and struggling against the dragoons and Cossacks. He also did not make any secret of his heresy and led a consistently free life.
Yet, in his younger years, he was seen from time to time on Shabbos mornings going with a talis bag under his arm. His road led to a secret apartment; soldiers from the Radomsk garrison were there. With a smile on his face, he took packs of revolutionary appeals to the military out of his talis bag that the members of the secret military organization spread in the barracks.
He was active in communal life for the entire time, helped every needy person, was extremely modest about it and would protest when he was called Reb Eli (Do not call me Reb, he would scold).
Alebarda settled in Czenstochowa in the last years before the Second World War. When the Germans took the city and began their reign of terror, the old revolutionary placed himself completely in the service of the underground Bundist movement. He walled in a good radio apparatus in the attic of his house in order for the Jewish population to know what was happening in the world.
Here an obstacle occurred. A Polish woman who distributed the appeals of the underground Bund was arrested and as a result revealed the name of a Czenstochower worker. From the worker, who the Gestapo terribly tortured, it was learned that Alebarda had a connection with the matter. It was demanded of the Judenrat that it deliver Alebarda, but a friend warned him and he left the city. His last words when saying goodbye to his family were a promise not to carry any resentment for the arrested comrade because they had torn out his nails, caused him other pains and he simply could not hold out.
Eli Alebarda left for Piotrkow, for Sulejow and in the end for Warsaw where he again joined with the underground Bundist movement. In the Warsaw Ghetto, where he lived under the name Alpe, he succeeded in remaining until the Ghetto Uprising (in 1943), Then he left for the Aryan side. Thanks to the underground Polish Socialist Party (P.P.S) he remained among the Poles until the summer of 1944 when the Warsaw Uprising broke out.
Every trace disappeared of this special revolutionary Eli Alebarda, who in his young years prepared to become a rabbi. He gave his life in the struggle against the inhuman Nazi enemy.
(Photograph of Nakhman Gold)
The young spontaneously came to life when Radomsk was occupied by the Austrian Army during the First World War (1914). A movement of cultural activity arose and the brothers Nakhman and Dovid Gold stood at the very center of this movement.
The two brothers were caught by the Haskhalah (Translator's note: the Enlightenment) even earlier, sitting by the Gemera in the Gerer shtibl, and led cultural activities among the shtibl-sitters and the young men in the Beis-Midrash. Later, the Gold brothers, with their dynamic strength, were the living nerve of the work.
With the founding of the Library and of the organization Kultura, Dovid was occupied as its head. Thanks to his knowledge and intensive work, all circles of the Jewish progressive population were concentrated around the Library and there they derived their cultural and national fulfillment.
The beginning of the revival of all Jewish workers' parties began in 1916 and Kultura was a collection point for their activities. This had a bad effect on the impartial cultural activity and the Gold brothers did not remain indifferent to this phenomenon. They called the young to Zeiri-Zion, which was concentrated around the Zionist school, Beis-Yakov.
Nakhman became a member of the Central Committee of Zeiri-Zion in Warsaw.
In 1920 he managed the Palestine office in Krakow.
Dovid left Radomsk in 1917 and became the chief secretary for the Central Committee of Zeiri-Zion in Warsaw. He fulfilled that assignment until he left Poland and made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel.
Both Gold brothers brought with them to Eretz-Yisroel their great baggage of national and cultural knowledge. However, bitter fate wanted these two blooming trees to be prematurely cut down in their best years
(Photograph of Abner Gurfinkl)
Abner Gurfinkl was a Zionist community worker, the one who revived the Zionist organization in our city in the last years of the war, a tireless shnorer (Translator's note: beggar) for the National Fund. After kheder, he joined Freiheit and there he received his Zionist education.
Abner Gurfinkl was a quiet hero in the ghetto, a friend willing to sacrifice for the helpless and persecuted. In the atrocious ghetto conditions, he went on his
Standing with his back to the ghetto rulers, he turned his face to the persecuted and tortured. And this face always expressed belief and courage, although his heart was always filled with anxiety and fear. In the dark ghetto, where everyone struggled to survive, Abner, first of all, cared for the sick, the helpless, the old and the orphans. He gave away his own shirt and shared his last bite.
Abner Gurfinkl was sent with the last Radomsker Jews to Pawiak and there, too, kept faith with himself and his suffering comrades. Shabbos festivity radiated from him on his last day. He was later sent away to Auschwitz and there perished.
Yakov-Shmuel Haze and his family survived the Second World War by hiding in a bunker. He emerged physically free, and spiritually broken and died during the first year after the liberation.
Adash Horowicz was drawn to the Jewish workers movement at the time of the First World War, learned Yiddish and for many years was the representative of Fareinikte in the City Council. Together with other Jewish worker representatives, he defended the rights and requirements of the Jewish workers and the masses.
He perished together with his family in the general annihilation of the Jews.
As Poalei-Zion carried on widespread economic activities, created food cooperatives, a bakery and the like, Yeheil Tiger was one of those who showed the greatest energy and initiative. He was then elected from P.Z. in Radomsk to the City Council and there defended the general interests of the Jewish working masses.
During the entry of the Hitler Army, the German assassins murderously beat him on the road to Czenstochowa. He did not recover. In 1940 he breathed out his soul. His wife and little daughters perished in Czenstochow.
(Photograph of Shmuel Najman)
(Text in Hebrew)
Fishel Paris was born in 1895 in Piotrkow. His parents moved to Radomsk in his very early years and took over the food shop of his grandfather, Wolf Winer.
Fishel joined the Paolei-Zion movement very early and faithfully served it to his last breathe. As the son of a very fervidly pious father, his liberal and revolutionary beliefs often led to sharp conflicts in his family. Being literally totally occupied in party work, he did not have the time to complete his education as a locksmith.
He always carried around great plans to create institutions of a social-communal character, such as an Interest-Free Loan Fund for the not well-to-do comrades, and a Lanit-haTzedek (inn for the poor) for nightly tours of duty with sick comrades, and the like.
Later, when he married and his family grew larger, naturally it was not easy for him. He never complained. We will soon work our way up, was his saying.
In 1939, when the dark, bitter gehenem (Translator's note: hell) had already begun, Fishel's entire family perished. He alone, sick and broken, survived the horrible years. At the beginning of 1946 Fishel was in a government sanatorium for lung diseases in Lower Silesia. He left the sanatorium at the end of 1947, took over the position of secretary with left Paolei-Zion in Legnica and tried to rebuild a family life. He exhaled his soul at the end of 1948, hoping that his health would become better.
(Photograph of Simkhah Kalka)
Simkhah Kalka was the dynamic driving force in the S.S. Party in Czenstochow. As a member of Tiferes-Bokherim (Translator's note: splendid young men) in Radomsk, he had already shown great organizational abilities. When he ended his apprenticeship as a printer with Leibl Gelbart, he left Radomsk, moved to Czentochow and there worked at Baczan in the printing shop until 1913 when he departed for America.
He faithfully served the party and was devoted to it with life and soul. Something happened in 1906 that puzzled the S.S. Party. The case that occurred showed that a provocateur was present in the party. A secret meeting had taken place at a comrade's and suddenly a great host of Cossacks and guards arrived and all of the members were arrested. Then Comrade Simkhah took upon himself to find out who had provoked the meeting.
It did not take long and Comrade Simkhah delivered a report of his investigation. With facts, he showed who serves the guards. This was one who knew the secrets.
A death sentence for the provocateur was issued at a secret meeting and Comrade Simkhah took the sentence that the Party had issued and carried it out.
It was enjoyable to hear him speak because he spoke and explained with emotion. Nature had gifted him with talent and wisdom that he had inherited from his father, Reb Tuvya Kalka, who was a sage and distinguished Hasid in Radomsk.
In 1919, after the First World War, Comrade Simkhah prepared to come to Poland. However, fate wanted him to die in America during his prosperous years.
(Photograph of Hershel Krojze)
Hershel Krojze was the acknowledged worker-volunteer in Radomsk. He was the clay-former and brick carrier for the Radomsker Jewish workers movement, which he
He ended his kheder studies with Haim-Dovid Melamed in Shul Street at fourteen. His parents wanted him to continue as a Beis-Midrash bokher (young man). Therefore, his father gave him into the hands of two then Beis-Midrash bokherim, Leibl Zilberberg and Yeheil-Shlomoh Szitenberg. He studied in the Beis-Midrash for two years; at the same time he studied Russian and Polish with the Lelewer teacher and read the Hebrew newspaper of that time, Hatzfire, in secret. After two years of study in the Beis-Midrash, it became tedious and he began to look for a [purpose in life]. He began to learn a trade at 16 and it did not last long and he became the leader of the Radomsker Territorialist Workers' Party, S.S.
Although he was an outspoken opponent of Eretz-Yisroel, he supported emigration there. He was the founder of a consumer cooperative and, during the First World War, a representative in the Joint [Distribution] Committee and the Jewish Loan and Savings Office, achieving the trust of everyone.
When Poland became independent and voting took place in 1918 he was elected as a Councilman and courageously defended the Jewish workers' interests. He always won over the anti-Semitic councilmen with his talent for speaking and they withdrew their proposals that were aimed at hitting the Jewish artisans and retailers.
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, when anti-Semitism in Poland strengthened, he was urged to leave Radomsk and go to Eretz-Yisroel. He responded that when a fire is burning, one must not run away, but attempt a rescue He died in 1941 in the Radomsko Ghetto.
He was one of the founders of the society, Tiferes Bokherim and its chief speaker and he could really speak. His language was ebullient and said with conviction that brought along the listener. Mordekhai-Zelik was one of the original founders of the Poalei-Zion movement in Radomsk.
In 1909, he was already a delegate of the Radomsker Jewish Workers to the Second Poalei-Zion Conference in Krakow, in which Ber Borokow took part.
Before the First World War, Mordekhai-Zelik received permission from the Russian regime to open a library and reading room in Radomsk. He did not open a reading room at that time, but the young did have Jewish books. He joined with the large publishing houses in Poland and America and the Radomsker young were given the ability to read the newest published of original and translated Yiddish books.
(Photograph of Mordekhai-Zelik Rozenblat)
1915/16 arrives. The First World War rages. However, Mordekhai-Zelik does not rest. He calls together the older worker-activists (of 1905/6) and creates the first cultural circle and later the Youth Organization with the permission of the Russian regime. Kutlura already had its legalization from the Austrian regime. M. Z. Rozenblat was one of the most active workers at that time in organizing the Jewish youth, and their guide.
In the later years, when the workers' parties were organized, the oldest Poalei-Zion activist was again very active in the revival of the organization in Radomsk. He remains faithful to his Zionist-Socialist world view and cannot make peace with the more leftward turn of the Poalei-Zion Party in Poland. He then lives through a communal tragedy, seeing how his students take over the management and he the veteran who was devoted to his world view must move to a side. He did not bend then and life shows its justice; he stands again in front of the ranks of the Zionist-Socialist movement in Radomsk.
Years pass. Mordekhai-Zelik becomes a father of two children. Radomsk needs a school for Jewish children that will encompass both the kheder and the beginning of national studies, Hebrew and the like. As a Hebraist and pedagogue, he opens such a school and dozens of Jewish children came to him for the first education in the modern nationalist spirit.
Mordekhai-Zelik Rozenblat takes part in communal work in all areas. Between the First and Second World Wars, the greater flow of support from the Radomskers in America begins and this is divided according to the old system of philanthropy. Then he is aroused and writes an open letter to the landsleit in America: Do not make us beggars; help the Radomsker Jews with constructive help!
His youth was difficult, born and raised by very poor parents. His independent life, too, was not
When the devoted children of the Jewish people also want to save Yiddish and Hebrew books at the beginning of the Second World War from the Hitlerist assassins, they find in M. Z. Rozenblat their devoted helper. He takes in a large part of the Sholem Alechiem Library, takes an active part in the creation of the underground movement and, at the end, endures the fate of the whole of Radomsker Jewry.
(Photograph of Mordekhai-Ahron Rajcher)
According to his appearance, Mordekhai-Ahron Rajcher was a deeply Jewish artisan; he had a grayish-blondish beard, wore a Jewish hat on his head and a short jacket. Those who knew him, however, knew that this quiet tailor was ready to sacrifice himself for the Jewish Workers Movement.
Although he was an active member of the Bund, it did not prevent him from maintaining the warmest friendly relations with member of other groupings. The inter-party conferences mainly took place in his apartment. In 1930 he joined Poalei-Zion (Ts.S.) and was sent by the party as councilman in the Kehile.
In the era of annihilation, Mordekhai-Arhon went around shut inside himself and surveyed with his blank eyes the horrible realities in the Radomsker Ghetto. All of the Jewish grief and pain looked out of these eyes.
(Photograph of Wolf Szpira)
take over his old father's iron business and thus his hopes were dashed until the outbreak of the dark Second World War.
In 1942 he directed the Ghetto kitchen in the meeting hall of the Jewish Kehile for the unfortunate Jewish population (together with member Abraham Kamelgarn the former secretary of the Kehile). They both were later exterminated together with the other Jewish martyrs.
Two types, publicly distinct but similar, were distributed among others in our locale. One of them with a blond beard always wore a Jewish hat on his head this was Alebarda. Everyone knew about him, that he had carried the red flag in 1905. The second, Zakin Szreiber with pointed long whiskers, turned up in the style of the Poles, and with a bicyclist's hat on his head, was also known as a worker-activist from the stormy year of 1905.
Zakin Szreiber sewed children's clothing, like all tailors. However, he was never seen at Minkhah-Maariv services in Zylberszac's shtibl, and where he davened on Shabbos, no one exactly knew
With the tailor of children's suits was found
Zakin Szreiber actively participated in communal life in the era between the two world wars. After the unification of Poalei-Zion with Ts.S., he was elected to represent the party in the Jewish Kehile. He belonged to the active members of the Kehile and his suggestions received great respect from his political opponents, too. He was also active in the retailers' union and in other communal and social institutions, where he devotedly served the interests of the Jewish working man.
Zakin Szreiber earned his livelihood from tailoring his entire life: he sat alone at the work table and sewed beautiful modern clothing for Jewish children.
Zakin Szreiber was lonely in his ghetto-lair during the German occupation. He and his wife were bent and broken. With tears in his eyes he would tell how much pain and suffering the Germans, and even more the folks-Deutsch, had caused him. During a meeting in the Ghetto between Zakin Szreiber and Dovid Koniecpoler (Autumn 1941), he took out a nicely packed envelope and with a raised voice said; The human animals did not permit me to bring my things from my apartment to the Ghetto and murderously beat me. This letter, from our great Yiddish poet H. Leiwik, written to me, I did bring under a hail of blows. Perhaps one of us will live through these bitter ruthless times. My great friend H. Leiwik should know how strongly I valued him.
After the great destruction, D. Koniecpoler fulfilled the request of Zakin Szreiber and gave the letter to H. Leiwik.
First row, top (from the right):
Fincze Koniecpoler, Moishe Dudkewicz, Leibish Wloszczowski, Mordekhai Moszkowicz, Wajnstok, Naftali Flatek, Ite Zylbersztajn, ..
Yisroel Wajsberg, Hershel Liberman, Gala Wloszczowski, Yeheil Tiger, ...., Rozenblat, Feiwel Haze, Yeheil-Meir Rozencwajg.
Yakov-Shmuel Haze, Zosha Rotsztajn, Miriam Wargon, Fishel Pariz, ..... , Khine Birncwajg, Ruszke Koplowicz-Heftler.
Holding the poster:
.., Moishe Wloszczowski, Ruszke Hampel.
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