Our Town and Area

History of our town


by Mendel Eisland

Unfortunately, there was no historical documentation available to narrate the story of our town. Occasionally, the name of Radomysl has come up, but, regrettably, the material provided was insufficient.

In the Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom (published in 1880) we find that Radomysl Wielki was founded in 1581 – an important date for Polish Jewry, marking the year following the establishment of the "Committee of Four Countries". If Jews lived there as early as that, then by the time of the 1942-liquidation, the Jewish community would have existed for 360 years; for fourteen generations. The study of the community's growth during the above years, is of great challenge, necessitating a complete reconstruction of our forefathers way of life.

We shall try to shed some light on the past by introducing all available facts concerning the area of Radomysl. The works of such prominent historians as Prof. Meir Balaban, Prof. Rafael Mahler, Dr. Jacob Szacki, Dr. N. M. Gelber and others that dealt with the history of Western Galicia shall be used as reference; Jewish newspapers and periodicals since the beginning of the XX century, as historical resources.

Our town was called "Groys Radomysl"; "Groys" (great in Yiddish) was added at the end of the 19th century, or the beginning of the 20th century. In Polish it was spelled Radomysl Wielki.

The Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom (Slownik Geograficzny Krolewstwa Polskiego) provides the following information:

"Radomysl is a small community in the Mielec district located between the rivers Wisla and Wisloka, on a plateau 205 meters above the sea level, 38 53' longitude east, and 65° latitude north

At the outskirts of the town, the stream Rabka, a tributary of the Partinia River, which in its turn is a tributary of the Bren River, flows by. There are routs branching out in three directions: South heading towards Czarny (a railway station, 26 km,), Northeast – heading towards Mielec, 15 km. away, West – heading towards Dombrowa, 21 km. in a straight line.

There are coniferous forests near Radomysl, especially northeast and west of town. The soil northeast and west of town is a mixture of sand and clay.

The town was founded by Nikollaj Firlej "Kastelan", the military official from Biecz. In 1581, with the consent of the Polish king Stefan Batory, he appropriated lands that had belonged to the villages Ruda and Dulcza, and which were the property of his wife Liegenzianka.

It is reasonable to assume that Jews have lived in Radomysl ever since, though Prof. Balaban does not include Radomysl in the list of Jewish communities which existed in the Krakow-Sandomierz territory during the 16th century, (unlike Rzochow, Polaniec, Zabno, Dombrowa and Mielec). Considering the fact that at that time Jews were driven out of the royal towns, like Biecz (1569) and Pilzno (1577), which had the privilege of the so called "de non tolerandis Judeais" (not tolerating Jews), it is possible that Radomysl was built as a "private town" by the mentioned "kastelan". Since Jews were expelled from the town he was in charge of, he had to accommodate them somewhere else. Therefore, we accept the possibility that Jews have lived in Radomysl from the very beginning of its existence.

Dr. R. Mahler in his work "Jews in Old Poland in Figures" (published by the "The Jewish Book Co.", Warsow 1958), offers some numerical information of a Jewish-population census taken in 1764 – 65. Very little is told about Radomysl, but by way of comparison, one is able to discern vaguely what our town was like 200 years ago.

According to Table 11-111, 302 persons aged one year and above, were recorded to have lived in Radomysl, and 62 in the surrounding villages. Only persons aged one year and above were counted, since they were required to pay the "head-tax". One can add 18 infants aged below one year, as babies were about 6% of the population, although according to Dr. Mahler, up to 20% of the population was not counted. The 302, plus 18 babies and the 60 in surrounding villages, totals 380 Jewish inhabitants living in Radomysl during 1764 – 65. According to the royal administration at that time, Radomysl was located in the Pilzno region; so were Tarnow, Dobrowa, Dembica, Kolbuszowa and other towns. They were all in the Sandomierz territory.

Poland's newly born independence in 1918, caused a series of Pogroms against Jewish communities in Western Galicia. Radomysl suffered violence during those days of November, but fortunately without human losses. L. Chazanowicz in his work called "The 1918 Nov. – Dec. Pogroms", mentions that Jewish stores in Radomysl had been broken into. Ready carts wheeled away the stolen merchandise. When the gendarmerie had taken over control from the Militia; the P. K. L. (Polska Komisja Likwidacyjna – The Temporary Government of Western Galicia, M. E.) an investigating committee was appointed. A wide correspondence about the pogrom that has not taken place thanks to governmental intervention we find in Nowy Dziennik of 19.5.1919.

"One week had passed since that danger of a "pogrom had hung over our community. News pouring in from surrounding regions and towns kept the Jewish population in constant anxiety.

Regardless of that fact that the market day, Thursday, the 8th of May, was cancelled, some 1,000 peasants; men and women appeared in town. The majority had never lived in the area nor taken part in market days and fairs. Local gendarmes were patrolling the entrances to town under the command of officer Lustig. In town, a regional officer named Zarzecki took over. The Police confiscated all odd-looking tools and empty carts intended for the purpose of carrying away the loot. It was a difficult job for the security men, since the peasants stubbornly opposed their instructions. Thanks to the wise and energetic management of Lustig and commander Lonczak, nothing serious had taken place. At ten o'clock, Thursday morning, the mob turned ruthless. Then commander Lonczak with nicety and common sense requested the people to return quietly to their homes. The mob encircled the gendarmes shouting: "Hurray! Let's get at the gendarmes!" and tried to attack, but the police struck back using their clubs. A machine gun that had been placed on a balcony overlooking the market place, opened fire scaring the crowds away. The crowd turned wild with panic and scurried away, though meaning to return soon after and begin the looting. The Jewish population, though saved for the time being, lived in constant fear.

Thus our town was spared a pogrom thanks to determined efforts of official organs; a proof of the saying that if the government wanted to prevent Pogroms, it could do so.

It is essential to point out that Radomysl was part of the area in which radical peasants leaders lived and functioned. In January 1919 during the election of the Polish legislative, Sejm (parliament), five out of six representatives of the Tarnobrzeg district, which the Mielec region was located in, belonged to the leftist P. S. L. Among those were the founders of the Tarnobrzeg Republic, who refused to recognize the rightist movement, P. K. L. The priest Okun, along with Tomasz Dombal and Lancucki, was the founder of the first Communist legislative body in the Polish Sejm. Later he served as chairman of "The Peasant International" in Moscow.

The calendar published by "The Austrian Israelite Union" mentions the leaders of the Jewish community during the years 1897-1914. The leaders in office ("Board of Trustees") were as follows:
  1. 1897 – 1900 – Bert Silberman, Moshe Rappaport, Refael Issler.
  2. 1901 – 1905 – Jecheskel Eisland, Izik Kaufman, Moshe Rappaport.
  3. 1906 – 1907 – Chairman Berl Lev, vice-chairman, Mordechai David Silberman and Pesach Kaufman.
  4. 19091" – 1913 – Chairman Izik Mahler, vice-chairman – Sender Wiesen and Pesach Kaufman.
  5. 1913 – 1914 – Chairman Sender Wiesen, vice-chairman – Israel Green and Pesach Kaufman.
The Town Rabbi at that time was reported to have been Shmuel Engel. The secretary of the Jewish community since 1906 – 07, was Jacob Rand. Associations in existence then were: "Chevra Kadisha", "Bikur Cholim" and "Talmud Torah". In the years 1897 – 98, an association named "Menachem Avelim" existed, but there was no mention of "Chevra Kadisha".

During the elections of March 1929, out of 310 eligible voters 303 cast their vote. There were 119 votes for the "National Opposition Lists!' – 3 mandates, 140 votes for the "Rabbinical Party" – 4 mandates and 42 votes in support of the 'United Workers" – 1 mandate.

At the period of Polish sovereignty (1918 – 1939), elections to municipal offices took place; in 1920 1927 – according to the Austrian system, in 1934 – according to the "Proportional System". (The 1939 elections did not take place).

During the 1920 – 27 term, when the Jews held a mandate, the mayor was Mr. Jarosz and his deputy mayor was the prominent Jewish leader Jacob Pelc.

We know that in the 1934 elections the "Christian Party"" received 5 mandates, the "Christian Democrats" – 1 mandate, the "Orthodox Jews"' 4 mandates and other Jewish parties together 2 mandates. The municipal council consisted then of 12 members. Jeremiah Leibovitz was elected deputy mayor.



by Baruch Jechiel Wind

The early years of the 1930's marked a crucial period of change in the lives of the Jews in Radomysl, and the beginning of an economic decline. Although the area of Radomysl did not suffer the brutality of an economic war, one could not avoid sensing the approach of ruin, for over a prolonged period of time many regions in Poland were subjected to brutal anti-Semitic activities.

During those years, small commerce declined rapidly. Most affected by the change was the lower middle class, their weekly earnings averaging 20 gold coins per family. A few Jewish merchants were quite well off – the rest lived on their savings. Jewish philanthropic organizations intervened. They had done wonders, especially the "Gmiluth Hesed Fund", founded in America by the charitable Mrs. Suratt. Many of the Jewish inhabitants were able to maintain themselves due to the help offered them in their time of crisis. In the years 1936 – 39, more than a hundred families were in need of loans; close to one-third of the Jewish population, while half that number needed them permanently.

The craftsmen sector was economically the most stable since skilled craftsmanship was in demand in both Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Tailors and other skilled artisans worked independently. The sons worked with the fathers – no hired hands. Only cobblers hired laborers. It is essential to point out that till the beginning of the war, most craftsmen were Jewish.

All professions, including the number of workers in each, are listed below:

Bakers 5
Smiths 3
Carpenters 3
Tailors 5
Confection-tailors 6
Dressmakers 6
Midwifes 1
Lingerie-seamstresses 6
Cobblers 5
Book-binding workshop 1
Barber shop 1
Dentists 2
Watchmakers-smelters 2
Road paver 1

If we add to the list a number of public servants, Jews of religious occupation, bathhouse attendants, "melamdim" and those of the academic professions, then 25% are Jewish worker families, though mostly independent in making and selling their products.

The population could be grouped in the following manner:

Workers 180 families
Shopkeepers, peddlers 100 families
Merchants 60 families
Academic professions 12 families
Dependents 40 families
Unclassified 40 families

The social aspects of our 300 years old community had undergone a fundamental change in the period between the two World Wars. The years 1900 – 1917, are justly considered a period of awakening enlightenment. Concepts sacredly adhered to by the majority of the community were shaken, breached. Within one generation Radomysl became modern, daring and rebellious. A complete transformation of values had taken place; as if leaping from the middle ages into the enlightened world of rational, practical historically purposeful concepts. The fact that the majority of the Jewish population continued to hold onto the old religious pattern does not alter our historical appraisal.



by David Pelz

The Austrians divided their territories into districts and status; the Courthouse and the Tax Collecting Office. In spite of the fact that Radomysl was part of the Mielec district, it had a Courthouse and a Tax Collection Office smaller by only one third than the one in Mielec. Hundreds of people from all over the district came daily into Radomysl to look after their affairs. This made every day a market day ("yarid").

The Austrians divided their territories into districts that were limited by natural boundaries. The river Wisloka was such a boundary, therefore the jurisdiction of government offices of our town served over a large area, from Borowa (30 kilometers away) up to Przeclaw.

Conscious of the great possibilities, Jews all over moved into Radomysl and settled there. Among them there were lumber traders as woods could be purchased easily.

Thanks to that particular situation, the Jews of Blonia became the majority of the town's population.

On Thursdays, at the time of the weekly "yarid", the market square was full of peasants who came on carts heavily loaded; eggs, cattle, horses and grain were on sale in tremendous amounts.

The Radomyslits were the purchasers of all that, but also the sellers of goods like clothing, tools, fabrics, shoes and groceries.

Thursday's earning alone were sufficient to allow a good living during a whole week. Those "yarids!" became reputable to the extreme envy of the neighboring towns and of Mielec especially.

Five judges and twenty clerks were kept busy in the town's Courthouse. The Tax Collecting Offices employed a similar amount. There were two lawyers, one notary-public, two physicians, one pharmacist and a few Post Office clerks. all of them made the town's intelligentsia.

Once Poland became an independent state, and a bridge was constructed across the Wisloka River, Mielec started a strong economic competition with Radomysl. Except of diverting business away from our town, they also erected roadblocks on market days. Envious of the prosperity of our town, Mielec instigated successfully managing to take over the judicial and tax collection functions. This converted our town – overnight – from a successful township into a poor and oversized village, whereas Mielec flourished at its expense. The people of our town headed by Yarosh the mayor, my father R. Jacob Pelz, and other undertook measures to regain the lost functions; – they went to Varsow together with the villages' heads. They appealed, with partial success only, to Witos, the Prime Minister of those days restoring only the judiciary function, though for a smaller area (only 22 out of the 48 of the previous period). The number of functionaries was also decreased: 2 judges and 2 clerks. The town had also been made to pay rent for the courthouse, the jail, and the lodgings of the courthouse manager.


Religious Life

About the Gaon R' Shmuel Engel

by H. Cynowicz and A. Reichman

The Gaon was born in Tarnow, 1853. His father the Hasidic Rabbi Ze'ev Wolf died when he was an infant. His mother Esther determinedly brought her sons up, thoroughly trained in the ways of God and the Torah. Their mentor was the Gaon R' Haim Halbershtam from Sanz, the author of “D'vrai Khaim,” Words to Live By.

R' Shmuel, from a very young age, was considered a great "iluy" (a very bright and talented student, in the study of the Torah. He was looked upon as a wonder child when his holy ways have been noted. Everybody expected him to become a great authority later on.

W hen fourteen years old he was already thoroughly versed in most of the Commentary of the Talmud.

He was already known as the "Iluy from Tarnow". Even then, he had already known by heart the books of “The Gracious One of Judah” and “ Seer of the Book.” He was used to say that their authors were sent from Heaven to lead the people of Israel with Halachot. His most special teacher was, no other then the Gaon author of D'vrai Khaim, R' Halbershtam from Sanz, who expected R' Shmuel to become one of the greatest lights of his generation. Therefore he closely followed and consistently encouraged R' Shmuel's studies in the Torah while injecting him with the ways of his Hasidic enthusiasm.

Indeed the image of the Gaon was always in front of R' Shmuel. He closely followed him, faithful to his spiritual goals. Even when later on he was considered a genius, his spiritual ties with the Rabbis from Sanz, descendants of R' Haim were never severed. When in the presence of such greats as R' Yechezkel from Szvnawy and R Baruch from Gorlice. he considered himself to be a plain Hasid and therefore scrupulously kept on with his ritualistic visits with them. When still a youngster he was considered to be a bright star in the rabbinical circles. Many famous Gaons carried his praise most noted among them were R' Joseph Shaul Nathanson, author of Hashoal V'Mosh'v and chairman of the religious court in Lwow, the famous Rabbi and Teacher R' Yssachar-Dov Rokach from Belz who said – "To the Rabbi from Radomysl people should pay visit with utmost devotion". The youngest Gaon R' Haim-Elazar Shapira Chief of the Rabbinical Court of Munkatz called him the Song of the Torah , the greatest of Teachers, the illuminator of Torah, ”the Glamour of Chosen People". Whenever he became ill, and that happened many times, he had his holy way of being mentioned to the generation's Zadikim (holy persons), and especially the Rabbi from Szvnawy mentioned above. He was the spiritual leader of the Jewish masses, their patron father and support. He encouraged those who failed and helped them to solve their problems. So glad he was to do mitzvot as if by doing it he would gain a fortune. In everyday matters he did not care for being honored, in matters of Rabbinate he was most particular disciplining his students and the town folks so that the honor of the Torah would be preserved.

He did not take part in any political life. Once representatives of a certain party confronted him and asked his support claiming that both Judea and Israel will be saved by their activity. The “asker and the answerer” answered: "Let it be known to you that the power of survival of our people lies in the Torah. The only thing we should do is encourage the study of it throughout the Diaspora, because it is the heart of the nation and the source of its existence."

R' Shmuel Engel passed away on the 19th of the month of Adar Alef, 1935. He was 82 years old when he died.


An Evaluation of Rabbi Shmuel Engel's Personality

by Ben-David

When sixteen years old, he married the daughter of a prominent citizen in Bilgoraj located in the Lublin District. He then was appointed Rabbi of Bilgoraj with the support of the well-known Gaon R' Shneor Zalman, author of – “Torah of Kindness,” and chairman of Beith Din (religious court) in Lublin. R' Shneor said then to the Rabbi : "Let the people hear when I speak to you and they will believe in you forever". His rabbinate in Bilgoraj lasted for seven years until he was expelled as an alien and had to leave the town. He was then appointed chairman of Beith Hadin in Dukla, then in Radomysl and the district. There he broadened his fruitful work, until he became the fountain of wisdom for all to follow. Radomysl became famous in Jewish history due to his prolonged stay there. His whole being centered around one objective to bring out the greatness of the Torah and its true meaning in order to enlighten the young. He would plunge through the Halacha to its outmost depth, considering matters thoroughly till all doubts were swept away. He immersed himself completely in the problems of deserted women. He therefore attempted to bring salvation to thousands of widowed women whose husbands were lost in battle during World War I. Eminent Rabbis from other countries came to seek his counsel and bask in his glow. His counseling was received unanimously.


The Release of the Deserted

by Shraga Fayvish Halperin

(Grandchild of the Gaon of Radomysl)

His activity in releasing Jewish women from marital bondage to missing husbands, was known to all. He had shown extraordinary capability, almost beyond human comprehension. One who delves into his books would comprehend how profound his judgment was. Both the Gaon of Lwow and Brzezany supported his judgment. Our Rabbi, blessed be his memory, explained his way of teaching the law:

"My teachers taught me to use my own judgment dealing with a juridical problem, then find out what the Torah says. The solution based on the nations needs, logic and the Torah will be adopted and stuck to."

For 65 years, since he became the Rabbi of Bilgoraj, Dukla and Radomysl, then for 18 years in Kosice in Slovakia, he had brought the light of the Torah to thousands. When he passed away in 1935 at the age of 82 he left behind thousands of original solutions to juridical problems, commentaries in Torah and Halacha of which only part his yet been published.



The Rabbi R' Chaim Engel

by Rabbi Szymon Yechezkel Fraenkel-Teumim

The "Gaon" Rabbi Hayim Engel, blessed be his righteous soul, was a son-in-law of my grandfather (the father of my father), the late Rabbi Frenkel-Teomim of Podgorze. Since the "Gaon… was an uncle of mine, I visited his home frequently, especially for the purpose of studying the teaching of the Scriptures. I studied at his home Yeshiva with a few other young men from Radomysl and was authorized to teach.

Sometimes we would study in the wood near the house of the Rabbi's father; the late Gaon Rabbi Shmuel Angel.

Among the students I met was Rabbi Reuben Dorf; one of the excellent students in the Yeshiva. When I was younger, about eleven years, I studied in the house of Rabbi Eliezer Pistrong of Radomysl. He owned a wine shop in the center of the market. In Radomysl I also met the R. Jechiel Kline, his son R. Israel. R. Mendel Honik, R. Moshe Padaver, R. Jacob Green, R. Shimon Eisland and a few other Jews among the leaders of the congregation. My uncle, apart from being a scholar. was considered a great arbiter in matters of complicated nature. He served as one of the arbiters in the case of the "Shochet u'Bodek from Chrzanow with the Gaon Rabbi Nahum Wiedenfeld of Dombrowa, the brother of the Gaon of Trzebinia (may he live a long and lasting life, Amen) and the Gaon Rabbi Zetelnik of Wadowice, blessed be his righteous soul.

When my uncle was absent, Rabbi Laybush Berenknop, a well-learned scholar would take his place.


Rabbi David Hacohen

by Mendel Ebenholz, Bnei Brak

Around the year 1765, a Jewish scholar and "Zadik", Rabbi David Magid Hacohen, settled down in the town of Radomysl. According to the testimony given by the Visionary of Lublin, R. David Magid Hacohen was a descendant of Ahron the High Priest. A line of his offsprings, highly orthodox Hasidim, stayed on in Radomysl until they were wiped out by the murderous hands of the accursed Nazis.

Some of his grandchildren arrived at Eretz Israel in 1873. (As a follower of the Hasidic congregation of Sanz, he had been told by the righteous Divrey Hayim, blessed be his memory, to migrate to Israel). They settled in the town of Zefat where some of them still live. The Cahana family of Zefat and also the Brizils of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.

Also R' Mosh'l Kohn Bikowsker who died in the hands of the Nazis “may their names be wiped out” in Radomysl, R' Pinchas Kohn the cantor and his children, Elimelech Kohn, Ziporah Torn and their family and the grandchildren of R' Nutele Blass. There were also the Wigdor family, Mindel the wife of R' Saul Bethheil and Mailechel Bizgaier and my grandmother Haya Mindel the wife of R' Eliyahu Evenholtz the cantor Zivia Krzeszowitzer and R' Pinchas Wigdor and many others of the large family, offsprings of R' Magid Hacohen.


Torah in Radomysl

by Rabbi Jakov Flanzgraben, New-York

Radomysl wasn't an ordinary town, it was a metropolis of Torah and greatness at the same time. More than at other places there were two prominent scholars one the great Gaon R' Shmuel Engel and the holy Gaon Mofet Hador the Rabbi of Plancz. At those days everybody, from young to old studied Gemara with commentaries. The Kloyz (Synagogue) was the fortress of the Torah, as from morning till the late hours of night (on Thursdays throughout the night) the learning continued. Two old men, Talmidey Hachumim (let their merits defend us), taught the youngsters. One of them, R' Meir Kalman, was seated at the southern corner of the Kloyz and the other, R' Alter Santzer, at the northern. They taught Torah to the whole town. The lesson began at 5 o'clock in the afternoon every day. R' Alter was a merchant. He owned the agency of the firm "Shantzer Mel" of Tarnow, which served the whole neighborhood. To his trade he gave only a few hours a day, the rest of the time was for his students.

The eastern corner (Mizrach) of the Kloyz was owned by the 'gevirim', the fine wealthy Chasidim. Their wealth was estimated one million dollars. Torah and greatness side by side! Among them was seated R' Srulish Poylisher who at a certain seasons of the year fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. Also R' Meir Kalman sat and studied from 12 o'clock at midnight till the morning. There was a lesson in the middle of the day given by the town's Rabbi

Only a few young men took part in it and I was among them. The town's Rav, R' Shmuel Engel was a humble man, he treated us as a friend not as a teacher.

The young Rav, R' Shmuel Engel was also a very persistent scholar. He studied with students the Torah. His diligence was somewhat unnatural; he slept and ate very little. (We were informed lately that Rabbi Jakov Flanzgraben passed away. May His memory be blessed).



R' Alter Sanzer

by Yechezkel Kaufman, New-York

I have been R' Alter's pupil for three years; a period that gave me the opportunity to get to know him.

Besides being a great scholar, teacher and educator, R' Alter had his own unique approach to teaching. Once, having concluded his lesson, he elaborated on it: "It is a common practice for the teacher to prepare the lesson beforehand, so that everything goes smoothly. I do not approve of it. The student should not think that the teacher knows everything, and whenever the Gemarah is opened he is ready with his 'Pshat' (simple explanation). On the contrary, let the student see how much of an effort it is for the teacher to get at the 'Pshat' of a piece of Rashi or Tossafot. By observing him they learn how to study and how to find out the answers on their own, and get the true meaning of 'Yagata Umazata'.

R' Alter's system, I believe, has been proven to be effective, as many of his students have become prominent scholars. His attitude towards his students was warm and hearty. He would glow with happiness whenever student had made a discovery. He would proudly tell the student's parents about it. He was fond of human beings and easy to get along with. Though he was a very orthodox person, he was far from being a fanatic.



Hevra Kaddisha

by A. I. Mahler

The new cemetery was quite a distance from the center of the town, in the Kloyz Street.

The old cemetery was near the synagogue. As children, we were afraid of passing there during the night. We had heard all sorts of tales about the dead who used to meet in the synagogue. Only on the 9th of Av did we all go to visit the cemetery

It was considered a great honor to be a member of the Hevra Kaddisha (the Burial Society); all the duties were done voluntarily. The number of members was not great. The Chevra Kaddisha was an independent body and did not belong to the community.

In the Society there was a section of Pallbearers, because in order to give honor to the dead the bodies were not taken to the cemetery on wagons, despite the distance. There was a group of people who washed the bodies. Funerals were held at night too, according to the time of death. And in order to show respect for the dead, bodies were not kept overnight, not even at the height of winter.



Visiting the Sick in our Town

by Jaakov Mahler, Tel-Aviv

In Radomysl as in other places in Galicia there was a Bikur Holim society (visiting the sick). This group would help the sick and their families by sitting with the patient during the night, or even giving financial aid to those in need of it

The town did not have a hospital and when the need arose, and there were many such cases in the autumn and winter. A person sick for a long period of suffering from some chronicle disease made him a burden to his family. The Bikur Holim society would come and sit with the patient, during the day and during the night, purchase and administer medicines, call and pay the doctor, wash him and give him every possible help.


Political, Social and Cultural Life

Activities of various organizations as reported in different periodicals

(collected by Mr. Mendel Eisland)

General Zionist Organization

The first chronicles about the Zionist movement in Radomysl are to be found in the Zionist newspapers from 1903.

"Yiddishe Wochenblatt" published in Stanislawow:
"Radomysl, July 16th 1903. Also here in Radomysl, Zionism has broken through the wall of fanaticism and began to shine in the yellowish faces of our Jews. They began to realize that Zionism is the Jew's only rescue.

On Tuesday, the 14th of this month, a national assembly has been called. Zionist speakers arrived from Tarnow; Bienenstock, Szudmak, Kener and Tisch. In spite of the strong anti-Zionist propaganda by our religious Zion-haters, 50 – 60 people besides women and children, listened to the missionary speakers.

The whole town was full of rumors that the Tarnowian missionaries came to convert Jewish young boys and girls. R' Aharon Fertig was elected chairman; after a short introductory speech he opened the session.

Bienenstock explained (in German) what Zionism was all about. Szudmak talked about the organization of the movement, Kener (in Yiddish) introduced its demands and also answered questions. Tisch delivered a fine speech in Hebrew about the Zionist idea. The audience was strongly inspired; on the spot founding a party was proposed. A committee of six was formed; 36 joined the party as members. Money was donated and a general meeting was scheduled in about four weeks. The temporary committee, as well as the members, were deeply grateful to the people of Tarnow for having come to Radomysl."

With Zion's greetings
A Zionist.

The same story appeared in Lwow's “Vschod" in a form of a letter from Radomysl differing in the following: "Thinks to Mrs. Peltz for his hearty reception given to the speakers."

A notice in "Die Welt" 30.10.1903 says: "Radomysl's "Zion" (the name of the first Zionist organization has elected Blumenblatt, Y. Netz, Geldzeiler, Fleisher, Fertig Kartaginer, M. Lev. Zilberman, Poloniecki, Strabing and Feder." On the same page we find a notice as follows: "Radomysl – A farewell party was given in honor of Reuven Eisland of the "Zion" organization on August 27th."

In 'Nowy Dziennik" we read: "Letters of the 8.8.1924. Lately a meeting took place in our town dealing with the subject of Alia to Eretz Israel. Mr. Richtiger, who lately came from there, delivered a speech which aroused great interest. (The Palestinian movement had recently gained power). Many young people would like to immigrate to Eretz Israel, but regretfully there are not enough certificates for all. Also there are no suitable places for training the Chalutzim in farming, in spite of the fact that there are many Jewish landowners in the area. Our townsman Mr. Alter Mahler, has been an active member on a national scale. During the all-country elections to the first Zionist Congress, Mahler was a candidate of Wadowica, Rabka, Makow and Jordanow. In the Radomysl – Tarnobrzeg – Baranow area, the candidate was R. Rafael Rozenzweig of Baranow.

The same Newspaper, in a letter dated 18.7.1925 Says: 2 "Radomysl Wielki; the anniversary of Theodor Herzl has been celebrated by the Jewish population of our town. The windows were decorated with portraits of our leader. The event was celebrated in the evening. After a few opening words by Mr. Spielman, Mr. Szymon Eisenberg spoke about T. Herzel's thoughts. The choir conducted by Mrs. Malka Weis sang the Hatikva and other songs Mrs. Gertner recited a few poems. The whole evening was in the hands of Mr. Gershon Eisland."

From a notice in the same paper dated 23.10.1926 we learn that on the 7th yearly Zionist conference the following Radomyslits were elected: A. Mahler, Sz. Eisenberg, M. Weis.

In the same newspaper, in a letter from 28.12.1026 we read : "Hanukah and the Jubilee of the K. K. L. were celebrated in a Casino hall, in the form of a Maccabi evening, a banquet and a dancing. The event in which the local youth took part besides many of the Baale' Batim and guests, was successful to the very last detail. It was opened by the youth choir. Then Mr. Szymon Eisenberg spoke shortly and Ing. Lewinstein of Krakow delivered an enthusiastic speech. The program ended with recitations by Mrs. Gitel Garen and Mrs. Gross and Horowitz's men and women choir.

The evening was closed with Mr. Eisenberg's announcement that Ing. Lewinstein has formed a local committee of Zionists in which there were 16 members."

Nowy Dziennik: 7-7-1934
"Radomysl Wielki: Two month ago, thanks to the great effort of Dr. Spiegel and David Gross a local committee of the General Zionist Organization was formed with Dr. Leon Spiegel as presiding chairman.

The new local committee has already done a lot of Zionist work like reading and disputing with the left. In spite of the dirty work of some elements, we managed to get hold of one mandate to the congregation. Dr. Spiegel became deputed of the local assisting committee for Chalutzim. For a whole week money was being collected in the streets. The results were quite satisfactory. In the name of Tarbuth and thanks to the work done by Dr. Sarah Spiegel, a kindergarten has been opened Let us hope that it will be the foundation of a Hebrew school. Thanks to the efforts of K. K. L. a lecture has been given by Dr. S. Spiegel on the subject : "What has been accomplished by the Keren Hakayemet Lisrael"

On the 15th yearly conference of the Zionist Central Organization Dr. Sarah Spiegel was elected delegate and Rafael Brand vice."


The Zionist Youth Organization

In Nowy Dziennik of the 4-1-1931- we read; "On Sunday, 21st of December and the last day of Chanukah, the "Ken" (nest) of Hanoar Haivri had a Chanukah Evening with a very rich program. After the singing of Haneyroth Halalu by the choir, J. Bienenstock of Tarnow delivered a speech full of fire. The rest of the evening was dedicated to recitations of poems and the witty "Confession of a Zionist deported to Siberia."

At the end there was a 4-act show by the name "Isha Ra" by Loteiner, under the well-experienced direction of Mr. M. Fogelfang. Mr. Keller deserves mentioning, and also Fogelfang. Part of the income was donated to K. K. L."

And further we read: Letter from the 24.6.1933 Radomysl.

"The Zionist movement Akiva has lately celebrated its 5th Anniversary. Representatives of the Tarnow and the Krzyz City Hall and the Plugoth Hachshara took part in the festivities. From the platform where representatives of the grown up population were seated many speeches were delivered. Among others these was a hearty greeting by the chairman of the patronizing organization Mrs. Dr. Spiegel."

Conventions of different Zionist groups in Western Galicia took place in Radomysl

In a different chronical of March 1934, we read:

"The meeting of the Southern part of the Tarnow region will take place on Monday, April the 2nd. All the Kinim of the sub-regions like Bochnia Tarnow, Mielec and Radomysl will participate. The place of the meeting will be Radomysl Wielki."

And again from the end of 1937:

On 11-11-1937 "Akiva" is being moved to a new location.

"The opening of the new "Akiva" lodging took place at fortnight ago. It was marked by a festive report and the installment of a new working year."



The Revisionist Youth Party

In Nowy Dziennik of the 3.5.1933 we read:

"Last Tuesday, thanks to the "Ken” of Brit Trumpeldor a protesting assembly took place in our town against the discriminating laws in Germany. Facing an audience of 300 people Mr. A Issler of Tarnow made his vivid speech. Later certain resolutions were taken".

From 11-1-1934 we read:

Radomysl Wielki. During the Chanukah holiday Akiva and Bejtar organized a Maccabi evening. The tireless chairman of K. K. L. Dr. Spiegel cooperated with them. "The income was all for the Usyskin project. Also the Arlozorov project was successfully dealt with under the management of Dr. L. Spiegel."

In the "Trybuna Narodowa" of 9-11-1934, No. 39 we read :

"Radomysl Wielki. On the 20th of the month Tamuz a mourning assembly was organized by the local Beytar. The evening began with the singing of Hatikva, then Chaver Jacob Eisland greeted the audience giving the stand to Avigdor Eisland the commander of Beytar. Also Chaver Karp spoke. The event was closed by the singing of Bshuv Adonay. The income was donated to the Tel-Chay fund. (The Tel-Chay committee has done a good job in our town with fair results.")

In the same newspaper (No- 41) on the 11-10-1935 we read:

"Radomysl Wielki. Our Beytar under the leadership of commander Avigdor Eisland is very active; the program includes Hebrew, Geography of E. Israel, History of Zionism, Beytariut, scouting and physical education.

Elections to the congress have been successful beyond expectations. In spite of the left" propaganda we have gained 262 Votes.

Some time ago, our ex commander Moshe Goldfinger arrived from France, having concluded his training as gardner in Tulise. He spoke about the Medinat Hayehudim (Jewish State) Chaver Goldfinger is one of the founders of Revisionist movement in southern France."

"Radomysl Wielki (1-5-1936 No. 17)

On Shabbat, the 18th of April 1936 in the Beytar auditorium there was a farewell party given in honor of brother commander A. Eisland who is leaving together with his wife to Eretz Israel. After the singing of Beshuv Adonay the evening was opened by the chairman brother Jakov Eisland who gave a detailed description in Hebrew of brother Avigdor's achievements as commander of our Ken. Then spoke the chairman of the help-committee for Halutzim Dr. S. Spiegel. She delivered a long speech about A. Eisland's work for the national funds. In name of Beytar spoke brothers Horovitz and Bierenbaum, in name of the Grossmanists Chaver D. Wind, of the Histadrut Akiva Chaver G. Wind, of the local committee Chaver Sz. Wind and in the name of national library – A. Kanengiser.

After the farewell speech of brother Comm. Avigdor Eisland himself the event was closed with Hatikva".

Pinchas Bierenbaum


Poaley Zion

(taken from M. Eisland publication)

In a letter from Radomysl printed in Krakow's Poaley Zion periodical 'Der Kämpfer' from the 22.8.1919 we read:

"The local Rescue Committee consists of very important well-off people who know very well how to take care of themselves. The committee receives every month 300 crowns (a coin known as "korony") for the needy of which 500 – 800 is given to the relatives of its members. 300 – 400 crowns are given to different Baaley-Batim who are to be protected and the rest goes to the unemployed, 30 – 40 crowns for each. A member of the committee gives to his brother-in law 700 crowns each month and to his son-in law 60

Another member gets 800 crowns for himself. How much is left for those who really need it can easily be imagined."

In a letter printed by the Warszawa's Poaley Zion periodical named 'Befreiung Arbeiter Stimme" (No. 36 from 16-3-1927)

"After years of splits and differences our working youth has found the need to organize a large group of Poaley Zion members invited Chaverim Laufbahn and Grünberg of Dembica.

They dealt with the goals of our party and with general politics as well.

The large audience listened attentively to their speeches. Meanwhile our party counts only 50 members, though many sympathizers will join us as soon as we have our own place and our work will improve. A while ago at the elections to the City Counsel we were given a mandate for Chaver Sz. Eisenberg (Szymon Eisenberg was elected as the craftsman representative because at the time of elections Poaley Zion had officially not existed yet. M. E.) The general Zionist opposed us violently claiming that we have no right to exist".

Another bundle of correspondence published in the "Befreiung Arbeiter-Stimme": (No. 1, 6.1.1928):

"The third conference of our organization in Western Galicia. The regional conference of our party in W. Galicia was opened on December 25th, 1927 in Krakow and lasted two days. Present were: Eisenberg of Radomysl etc…"

No. 23, 15.6.1928 Radomysl:

"On Sunday the 3rd of this month Chaver Grunberger of Dembica, delivered a speech on the subject: "The fall of Europe and the rise of Asia".

Ch. Grunberger was carefully listened to and applauded as his speech made a deep impression. Ch. Grunberger took part in a conference about the community elections and the youth movement "Freiheit".


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