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Jews in the Town

by Zeev Weinfeld

Translated by Jerrold Landau

This was the town were I was educated, grew up and lived through the terrible catastrophe that overtook the Jews of Europe and annihilated the Jewish communities in our region.

The town of Swaryczow, three kilometers from the city of Rozniatow, had a population of approximately 3,000 residents. They were mainly Ukrainians, with a large number of Poles, and only a few Jews, five families in total. The Weinfeld family of which I was a member was among these 5 families. The Fink family, who ran an inn, also lived there. The Hochman family dealt in fowl, eggs and fish. There were two Taneh families who were merchants.

The Weinfeld family was large and wide-branched, consisting of a grandfather and grandmother, five sons, five daughters and grandchildren. Our family had a farm, a large field and a watermill. The sons worked the farm and the mill with the assistance of the hired Ukrainians.

We belonged to the community of Rozniatow. We went to worship in Rozniatow on all festivals. In cases of need, a minyan (prayer quorum) was gathered in town so that we could worship and recite Kaddish. The Jewish children of the town would study in the Rozniatow school. We had a governess to teach the children and a melamed to teach the children Yiddish. My grandfather and grandmother were pious people who upheld Judaism. The children studied Hebrew in the Rozniatow Hebrew school. Their teacher was Fasberg. The school was in the home of Avraham Groll of blessed memory.

After the First World War, various nationalist organizations arose in our area. Among them was Gordonia in Rozniatow, in which I actively took part. Various cultural activities, publicity work, excursions into the mountains with music, and sports matches took place. A Jewish Delegation from YK”A, Baron Hirsch's colonization organization, came to Swaryczow in order to organize hachsharah for Jewish youth so that they could learn agriculture. In our estate, preparations were made to accept chalutzim to study agriculture, gardening and other aspects of farming and necessary work.

In the summer season of 1923, young men came to our farm to work in our fields. Among them were the following students from Rozniatow, Dolek Lusthaus, Nunik Lusthaus, Liberman, Tintcze Berge, Anda Kanner, Wolf (Wilush) Turteltaub, Lutwak and others. They participated in harvesting hay and other field work.

Each year, our close relatives from Vienna, Drohobycz, Kolomyja and other places came to Swaryczow in order to spend their vacation in the bosom of nature. Young people were among the guests who came. The young guests created a sports club in Swaryczow, and took part in various sporting activities. The chief instructor was my cousin Buni Kleiner from Drohobycz, an academic, hypnotist and telepathist. I was a fan of all types of sports. Training took place every day. Matches with sportsmen from Rozniatow, Broszniow, and Perehinsko took place. There were also excursions with the small train of the Glezinger firm of Broszniow to the Carpathian forests and Osmolodo.

Buni Weinfeld, the organizer of the Swaryczow sport club, perished in Russia apparently from starvation.


A Tear for the Beautiful Murdered People

by Yehudit Heisler-Friedman

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Already 23 years have passed since I was torn away from my family, but their images are always ingrained in my thoughts and heart. I could never imagine that a human heart could hold so much longing and sorrow.

Sorrowful tragedies began for me already in 1936, at the time of the death of my father Moshe Heisler. I, the eldest daughter, who was still then a child, wanted to lighten the load of my unfortunate mother and help her raise my sisters and only brother. Bearing such a great yoke, I lived with the hope that I would fulfill my purpose. However, in the middle of the summer of 1941, a dark cloud suddenly fell over the Jews of Rozniatow. I was torn away from my family. I left the town with the hope of reuniting with them shortly, but the hope was never realized. The Nazi German murderers who wiped out European Jewry, also murdered the Jews of Rozniatow.

The murder of my family in Rozniatow were as follows:

Uncaptioned group photo
The sign in the photo reads “The Hebrew School in Perehinsko”,
and a small second sign to the left reads “grade 1”


My mother Roza Heisler the daughter of Shlomo Yungerman, my sisters Miriam, Perl and Sara, my brother Hersch, my aunt Gittel Meisels and her children, my cousin Moshe Brenfeld, my aunt Perel Roth with her husband and children

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