Gombin: The Life and Destruction
of a Jewish Town in Poland
(Gąbin, Poland)

52°24' / 19°44'

Translation of
Gombin: Dos Lebn un Umkum fun a Yiddish Shtetl in Poylin

The Editorial Board:
Jack Zicklin
Yetta Rafel
Henry Grunbaum
Jacob Cyrmelinski (Celemenski)
Abram Zeideman
David Burns (Brzezinski)
Paul Tiber

Secretary Editor: A. Shulman

Published in New York, 1969



Project Coordinator

Leon Zamosc

Ada Holtzman z”l


Our sincere appreciation to Genia Hollander for her assistance
in typing up some of the English text to facilitate its addition to this project.


This is a translation of Gombin: Dos Lebn un Umkum fun a Yidish Shtetl in Poyln
(Gombin: The Life and Destruction of a Jewish Town in Poland),
Editors: Jack Ziklin, et al., New York, Gombiner Landsmanschaft in America,
1969 (English and Yiddish 390 pages).

Purchase details for a printed copy of this book can be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ybip/YBIP_Gabin.html

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
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JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

How I got a copy of the Yizkor book of Gombin

The Yiddish part, translated to Hebrew by my late father, Meir Holtzman, who was born in Gombin 1914 and left the shtetl on July 1939. He died 16 September 1998, before seeing his work, for which he dedicated the last months of his life, completed and published in Hebrew. He was very hopeful that the Yizkor book will be published in Hebrew so that descendants from Gombin will learn about the heritage of their ancestors, their life in the shtetl, their dreams and their tragedy... He worked very hard to achieve this, but his sudden illness followed by his death, kept him from seeing this project fulfilled. This web page is dedicated to his memory.

Translation from Hebrew to English by Ada Holtzman - Israel.

Dr. Ida Cohen Selavan Schwarcz - Israel translated from Yiddish the monograph of Jacob Rothbart: “Yiddishe Baalei Mlachot in Gombin”.

We Remember Jewish Gombin!

Ada Holtzman z”l
Tel Aviv, 16 January 2000

Preface to the English translation Leon Zamosc  



A Poem – Memorial Monuments… Mikolai Gibs 5
Words of Introduction Jack Zicklin 7
Sam Rafel - Deserved Recognition Louis Philips (Pochekha) 9
First Part

Gombin's History Until The First World War

From the Earliest Days to the Beginning of the 19th Century A. Sh. 13
Gombin and the Events of 1905 Jacob M. Rothbart 21
Jewish Craftsmen and Occupations in Gombin Jacob M. Rothbart 28
Second Part

Between the Two World Wars

Social and Cultural Life M. Guyer 49
The Social Assistance Work Chaim Rafel (Szacher) 53
Gombin and its Rabbis Michael Rozenblum 60
Religious Life E. Finkenstein 64
My Bundist Years in Gombin Jacob Celemenski 65
The Bund's Socialist Children's Association “SKIF” L. Wolman 72
The Zionist Movement Rivka Frenkel Halpern 74
The Beginning of the Zionist Movement Louis Philips (Pochekha) 77
Pioneers Zelig Etinger 82
Hashomer Hatzair Abraham Etinger 84
Leaving to the Land of Israel Bella Tiber-Tzifris 87
The Jewish Library Sidney Guyer (Simcha Chaja) 89
The Drama Circle Sidney Guyer (Chaja) 91
The Sports Associations Wolf Maintczik 94
Third Part

The Years of Destruction

The Devastation   99
Poems Rajzel Zychlinsky 100
The Destruction of Gombin Jacob Grziwacz 102
In Gombin Ghetto and the Nazi Camps Ben Guyer (Benjamin Chaja) 104
The Synagogue is Burning Hania Shane Tajfeld 115
Survived as an “Aryan” Rose Greenbaum-Dinerman 116
Saved by a Peasant Family Albert Greenbaum 128
Gombin Children in Nazi Camps Jack (Yankl) Frenkel 141
Survived in Soviet Russia Abraham Zeideman 146
Fourth Part

Personalities, Images and Characters of Gombin

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Zlotnik A.I. 165
The Poems of Rajzel Zychlinsky Abraham Shulman 167
Hanoch Goldshmidt M. Guyer 170
Marek Wolfowicz Dzunia Wolfowicz 173
Reuven Potchekha Louis Philips (Potchekha) 175
Meir Zeideman Abraham Zeideman 177
Types and characters from Jewish Gombin Jacob M. Rothbard 179
Arieh Zilberstein, the candlemaker Julius (Jonah) Green 197
Folk sayings from Gombin   201
Yizkor   215
Fifth Part

The Gombiner Landsmanschaften

A Sacred Task Sam Rafel 205
A Visit to the Gombin House in Tel Aviv Louis Philips (Pochekha) 212
Words of Introduction Jack Zichlin 5
Sam Rafel - Deserved Recognition Louis Philips (Pochekha) 9
Gombin - The Life of a Jewish Shtetl in Poland
A Monograph of the Shtetl Gombin Jacob M. Rothbart 13
My Shtetl Gombin Henry Greenbaum, M.D 25
The Years of Destruction
In Gombin Ghetto and the Nazi Camps Ben Guyer (Benjamin Chaja) 45
Saved by a Peasant Family Albert Greenbaum 56
Survived as an “Aryan” Rose Greenbaum-Dinerman 67
Gombin Children in Nazi Camps Jack (Yankl) Frenkel 79
Survived in Soviet Russia Abraham Zeideman 83
The Activities of the Gombiner Societies
A Sacred Task Sam Rafel 99
History of the Gombiner Young Men's in New York Jack Zicklin 105
The Activities of the Ladies Auxiliary Mrs. Yetta Rafel 111
Some of the former presidents of the Gombiner Organization   112
The Organization in Newark Nathan Kleinert 115
The Gombiner Society in Detroit Louis Philips (Pochekha) 119
Chicago   123
In Memoriam…   125
Additional Memorial Pages
Register of Gombiners who perished in the Shoah Leon Zamosc  
The German Occupation of Gombin Leon Zamosc  
The Gombin Society's Memorial Initiatives in Poland Leon Zamosc  


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