Translated from the Yiddish by Jaime Grabinsky Steider
A Kutno and Surroundings society was founded, whose object is to preserve the memory of the destroyed communities of these districts of Poland forever, and present the significance of these places to the young generations. A committee was formed, headed by Engineer Grabinski and Mr. Kon; the honorary presidents are Messrs. Grabinski and Czonstkowski. On Thursday 27th of June (1962) at 8pm a meeting open to all the Kutners and those from the surroundings will be held at the premises of the Cultural Centre (Culiacán St 71); important subjects will be attended to, all are invited.
On the 27th of June, in the room of the Jewish Cultural Centre, the meeting of Kutners and those from the surroundings took place with a large attendance, with the participation of the young generations.
The president, Engineer Icchak Grabinski, kicked off the meeting and gave a serious and full explanation of the goals of the meeting and invited the honorary presidents, Becalel Grabinski and Majer Czonstkowski, to light the first two candles, and Mesdames Chana Bild y Genia Opoczynski-Czonstkowski, the following four.
Icchak M. Bild says the prayer El Male Rachamim, which brings tears to the eyes.
The President gives the floor to Secretary Samuel Kon, who explains the necessity of setting up a landsmanschaft, with the aim of solidarity with Kutners wherever they are. Kutno, in all aspects, developed in its daily life a true spiritual centre; he talked about the importance of Jehoszua Kutner and of the world-famous Szalom Asz, and on the necessity that all that heritage should take a privileged place in the social life of Kutners.
He reminded us of the Kutners in Israel, to participate and help to the publishing of the Yizkor Book.
The vice-president, I. Bild, tells of his visit to Israel and his meeting with Kutners who already have the works of the historian J. Trunk, which tells the history of the development of the Kutno pioneers from the 14th century until its final destruction.
He called on the audience to bring their personal testimonies, to include them in the Yizkor Book. He asks for the financial support of all in attendance to help in the publishing to perpetuate the memory of the holy martyrs of Kutno.
Lajb Bronsztajn salutes the audience and expresses his surprise about its size, for a shtetl meeting, Kutno, which had an important impact on the Jewish world with its famous personalities. He calls for the union of the group and for it to play a special part in the Jewish life.
After a short recreation, a fundraising is organised and a modest sum is collected for the Yizkor Book.
The president I. Grabinski gives a few enthusiastic words of farewell.
The assistance gives its thanks to the Cultural Centre who made it possible for the meeting to take place
On Sunday 8th of March the Kutno and surroundings' landsmanshaft commemorated a memorial anniversary, Yorzeit, for the 21 years of the holy martyrs.
The president Eng. I. Grabinski opened the ceremony by giving a long explanation, to the young generation of the significance of the mourning customs and their relationship with what happened in the old country.
After this, he lights the six lights in memory of the six million lives destroyed.
Mr. Sz. Kon invites Eng. Grabinski to light a seventh candle for the holy martyrs of Kutno and surroundings, as well as for the honorary president, Becalel Grabinski, who was recently taken away from us. The president says Kaddish for all the departed.
Kutners Genia Czonstkowski and M. Lasman are invited to unveil the memorial honouring the martyrs. I. Bild says El Male Rachamim, which gives way to some crying out loud. Then follows an outstanding rendition of F. Chopin's Funeral March interpreted by Ida Bild.
The graduate students of the Israelite College and present students at the Professors' Seminar, Dwora Majkon and Dwora Rener, brilliantly recite I. Kacnelson's Wagons [The Song of the Murdered Jewish People] and M. A. [Yuri] Suhl's ... And the Earth Rebelled, which moved the audience.
Alter Czonstkowski, who had the opportunity to visit the ghettos in Kutno and surroundings several times, pretending to be a Christian, and was able to give some help to our tortured ones, told about the moments of horror he witnessed.
ect of a cover page for the Kutno Yizkor Book, drawn by the son of our compatriot Icchak Majer Bild in México. The drawing was printed as a project for the book.
Mr. Lasman, a survivor of various concentration camps, brings an extraordinary sense of courage when he told some episodes of his memories.
Mr. Sz. Kon tells an account of all what happened from the first day the murderers entered Kutno; the creation of the ghetto and the hardships suffered there. How they organized their lives, so as not to allow their spirit to break, until its annihilation in the Chelmno death camp.
The vice-president I. Bild talks about the significance of the funeral ceremony and calls on the audience not to forget our brothers and sisters, and to honour every year those who died in that tragic way.
With repressed emotion the president concluded the memorial ceremony with a partisans' hymn.
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