Memorial Book of Plonsk and Vicinity
(Płonśk, Poland)

52° 38' / 20° 23'

Translation of
Sefer Plonsk ve-ha-seviva

Edited by: Sh. Zemah

Published in Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Plonsk in Israel, 1963

Seeman Plaque



Project Coordinator

Aryeh Wanderman

Harriet Brown (emerita)


This is a translation from: Sefer Plonsk ve-ha-seviva (Memorial book of Plonsk and vicinity),
Editors: Sh. Zemah, Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Plonsk in Israel, 1963 (H,Y, 775 pages).

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Plonsk

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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Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

History of the Project:

I particularly want to thank three wonderful women: Debra Korman, who gave me a photocopy of the necrologies at the Los Angeles Jewish Genealogy seminar in July 1998; Harriet Brown, who also suggested that we get this material online and thus prodded me into action; and Beverly Schulster, who volunteered to translate the necrologies even though she has no ancestors from this shtetl and, in fact, wanted no credit for her considerable work.

Emerita Yizkor Book Project Manager,
Joyce Field




Translated by Yocheved Klausner

I. – Jewish Plonsk from its beginnings to WWII
History of the Jews of Plonsk and its Surroundings Dr. N. M. Gelber 9
My Youth in Plonsk David Ben–Gurion 31
Hassidism in Plonsk Shlomo Tzemach 42
Yakov Levi's memories from the Polish rebellion 1830–1831   62
My childhood Yitzhak Greenboim 86
Years of childhood and youth Shlomo Lavie 96
Avigdor Green's house Bracha Chabas 118
A bundle of memories Israel Krieger 132
The cholera epidemic and a wedding in the cemetery, summer 5654 Motl Michaelson 135
Moshe Hirsh the builder Yechiel Rosenberg 137
The “Tushiya” books in the Bet Hamidrash Moshe Elya Henschel 141
Talks with the ADMORs about Zionism Avraham Green 143
II. Plonsk in the Hebrew Literature
Not with a strong hand Yehuda Leib Gordon 153
An opponent of Copernicus David Frishman 158
Two stories Shlomo Tzemach 161
III. Plonsk in the Jewish Press
Founding the Dorshei Hatora Vehachochma (Torah and Wisdom) Society   167
The Dorshei Hatora Vehachochma School   169
The murder of a Jewish tailor; The charity fund; The hospital and the cemetery; R'Zalman Pozner's Jews   171
A dispute in the shtiebl (chasidic synagogue) on Simchat Torah   174
Jews join the fire–brigade; Cleaning the Heders; A converted to Christianity who repented; A cornerstone for Yitzhak Cohen's Bet Midrash   175
The story of a man bitten by a mad dog; A disqualified shochet [slaughterer] – and the rabbi who stood by him and protected him   176
The innauguration of Yitzhak Cohen's Bet Midrash; In memory of Avraham Eshkol   177
Rav Zvi Yechezkel Michaelson comes to Plonsk; The rabbi thanking the charitable persons who donated to the poor during the epidemic; Collecting donations for the Holy Land; A swindler who deceived a widow   178
A meal for 600 poor people on “The Emperor's banquet;” The firmness of a synagogue treasurer caused sacrilege   179
A mezuza lost in a train and a talented young man; First signs of Zionism in Plonsk; List of donations for Eretz Israel   180
The proposal of the Plonsk delegate to the 2nd Zionist Congress; Words of peace and truth (concerning the question of culture in the Zionist political platform)   181
Rav Michaelson's opinion on Zionism   182
Eulogy for R'Yitzhak Cohen; Foundation of the Benei Zion Association and its books   183
The Zionist “Section”   184
R'Eliyahu Green, may God protect him, visits Jerusalem; Zvi Chaim Tzemach (eulogy)   185
Lectures on Jewish history and Chanuka festivities; Foundation of the Mizrahi in Plonsk; Zionist activities and collecting donations for the Land of Israel   186
Performance of a Hebrew play by Ha'or; The foundation of Maccabi in Plonsk and the Hebrew Literature Society Ha'or   187
Benot Zion [Daughters of Zion] and Benei Zion [Sons of Zion] Association; Sukkot festivities; Mourning Tchlenov; R'Zalman from Pozna   188
How the “San–Remo Decision” was received by the Plonsk Jews   191
The “Young Mizrachi” associations; Welcoming Rav R'Israel Bornstein in Plonsk   192
IV. New Winds are Blowing in Town
The first strike in Plonsk Yechezkel Yosifon 197
The second strike in town Yechezkel Yosifon 198
The days of the First World War Meir Finkelstein 200
The years 1914–1918 in Plonsk Shlomo Taub 216
Plonsk's contribution to the Hebrew language S. Hochman–Levkowitz 218
Plonsk between the two World Wars Shmuel Meiri (Klein) 220
What are the differences between our town and other towns Tova Elchanani (Schnitzer) 226
In Suchotchin before the Aliya to Eretz Israel Mary Yatziv 227
The beginnings of the Hebrew Language in our town Tova Klinitz–Vigdor 228
V. Scholars and Famous People
R'Simcha Aizik of Plonsk Shlomo Lavie 231
R'Simcha Aizik Arie Leib Rosenblatt 232
In memory of R'Simcha Aizik Yechezkel Bet–Halachmi 233
R'Hirsh–Moshe the dayan [judge in the religious court] Israel Flatau 234
R'Avigdor Green I. Yatziv 235
R'Yehoshua Chalaf Israel Yitzhak Kalish 237
Yehoshua Chalaf Israel Flatau 239
My father, Rav R'Israel Halevy Bornstein, HYD A. Bornstein 241
Kerem Israel – excerpts From the book by Rabbi Bornstein 243
Rabbi Yehoshua Mordechai Zukerkorn Avraham Degani (Zukerkorn) 244
The power of a tune (Cantor R'Eliyahu Hirshin) A. M. Netzger 247
A modest scholar (R'Yechezkel Blachman) Eliezer Blachman 248
The artist Yosef Bodko Dr. Karl Schwartz 249
The Memorial Exhibition M. Narkis 250
VI. Figures and Landscapes
Melamdim and Heders Menachem Avni (Steinhaus) 255
Batei–Midrash in Plonsk I. L. Grushkewitz 259
R'Yosef Flatau Dr. Yakov Hatarmi 261
Warsaw Street in Plonsk Tamar Eitan (nee Spiegelman–Zbirtchiadlo) 262
A visit home, from Eretz Israel Rivka Shachar 265
R'Zev Woftche Segal and his family   268
”The repentant” from the Green Market Yechezkel Yosifon 271
R'Avraham Green Israel Flatau 272
Matityahu Broder Israel Flatau 273
R'Yechezkel Steinhaus Israel Flatau 274
The martyr's–death of my father, Moshe Korta Shmuel Korta 275
In memory of Rosa Mustakov–Korta   275
My grandmother Feige the treasurer; my grandfather Moshe Rabinek Rachel Bet–Halachmi 276
The woman Shoshke Aizik, may she rest in peace Avraham Green 277
A scholar and a lover of Zion (R'David Blachman) Family members 278
From Pinsk to Plinsk (Mordechai Yashpe) Yakov Sappan (Spotzinski) 278
Figures from the Gur Chasidic dynasty Eliezer Blachman 281
Mendele the fool Yakov Neta 283
Alter, the “synagogue crier” (announcer) Israel Flatau 285
Changes in the Plonsk market square Tzipora Tennenboim 286
A Jewish young boy in our town Chaim Simchoni (Kalmanovski) 287
Jewish Holidays in Plonsk Yitzhak Aizik Kalmanovski 287
Avraham Hutnik M. K.; Israel Flatau 290
Yitzhak Lev z”l Shlomo Yoram 291
A sketch of Shulamit Perach, may she rest in peace Reena Peled 292
Kalman Gelberd – a revolutionary and a fighter Friends; Haviv Canaan 293
VII. Movenents and Parties
Zionist and pioneer spirit S. Chezkuni 297
The “League for Working Eretz Israel” in Plonsk M. Metzger 298
The Hechalutz organization in Plonsk Ch. Mordechai 302
Hashomer Hatza'ir – the mother of the youth movement Mordechai Chalamish 304
The “training kibbutz” in Plonsk Israel (Kurt) Herz 308
The Hechalutz movement in Neustadt Arie Holzman 311
The Hashomer branch in Plonsk Pinchas Tischman 312
The realization of the dream was put to the test Shlomo Scher 313
The movement branch in town – a home for the young people Tova Klinitz 314
”The Zionist Youth” in Plonsk during 1927–1935 Israel Flatau 315
”The Zionist Youth” in Plonsk before WWII Moshe Lev 318
VIII. Community, Educational and Cultural Institutions
Cultural and educational institutions Yitzhak Chalaf 325
The “Tarbut” School M. Chalamish 333
In the educational and cultural institutions Yakov Neta 335
”Children's education” Moshe Degani (Zukerkorn) 336
The Drama Circle Chaia Cohen–Kroin 342
The “Women's Association” Esther Michaelson 342
The “Visiting the Sick” Society Hella Kroin 343
Financial institutions in Plonsk Shmuel Korta 344
The “Tchlenov fund raising” Rachel Nutkewitz–Schreiber 346
The Maccabi Association during First World War Moshe Nachmanowitz 347
IX. There Were Days…
I shall never forget them… Israel Flatau 354
Builders (poem) Yehuda–Leib Byaler 355
To the town of my childhood, Plonsk Shlomo Lavie 357
A trial before the religious court, between the earthly Plonsk and the Heavenly Plonsk Israel Yitzhak Kalish 359
Torah, prayer and livelihood Moshe Gertman 362
Between Plonsk and Eretz Israel Rachel Bet–Halachmi 363
Farewell A. Jonah 366
Memories Yehezkel Bet–Halachmi 369
The great light that cannot be forgotten Tova (Gute) Tzomber (Bogen) 370
High–school education to a Hassidic family Moshe Gertman 371
The new Bet Hamidrash and grandfather R'Yantche z”l Moshe Nachmanowitz 372
Sabbath–eve in my town Chaia Gritz–Schiffman 373
Farewell to my birth town Plonsk Yocheved Eisenberg (nee Cohen) 374
A bundle of memories Esther Michaelson 375
The town Suchotchin Binyamin Fuchs 376
I was found innocent…. Yechiel Meir Grossman 379
Our town Neustadt Tuvia Ga'ash 380
I shall remember…. Tuvia Ga'ash 389
Bits of stories from the life in town Israel Flatau 390
X. Letters and Documents
A letter to Sir Moses Montefiore   395
A letter from Rav R'I.I. Reines to Rav I.I. Esterson   397
A letter from Nachman Green to Rachel Bet–Halachmi   398
A letter from Yehoshua Chalaf to Rachel Bet–Halachmi   399
A letter from Shalom Aleichem to Mordechai Michaelson   399
A letter from Prof. Yosef Klausner to “The commission for the Western Wall” in Plonsk   400
A letter from Mordechai Yashpe to Simcha Aizik in Eretz Israel   401
A letter from David Ben Gourion to Yehoshua Chalaf   402
XI. “Slain upon the High Places…”
(from II Samuel 1:19)
Chaim Yitzhak Bulman   405
Mordechai Guttman   406
Aharon Grushkewitz   406
Avraham Dovno   408
Yitzhak Dovno   408
Israel Danziger   409
Avraham Zisserman   410
Chagi Chezkani   411
Moshe Aharon Chalaf   412
Zvi Taub (Ma–Yaphit)   413
Avraham Cohen (Avrahamik)   414
Yerubaal Lavie   414
Hilel Lavie   416
Shoshana Lunski   418
Chaim Pashigoda   419
Yikhat Rubinstein   420
Levi Spiegelman   421
XII. The Holocaust – The Ruin of the Town and Surroundings
We shall remember (poem) Aba Kovner 425
The annihilation of the Jewish communities of Plonsk and surroundings Olga Bernitz 426
From the outbreak of the War to the annihilation David and Sara Kalmanovski 432
The town is captured by the Germans Bendet Lefkowitz 446
This is the way it began… Zelig and Chaia Kroin 449
The labor camp in Nosazhibo Dov–Ber Kroin 458
Forced labor for women in Sherpatz Rosa Gamburg 459
The behavior of the neighboring farmers Halina Lichtage 460
In the Plonsk ghetto Yitzhak Pashigoda 462
Mafia organizations in the time of the ghetto Yakov Stamberg 465
I was the ghetto doctor Prof. Arthur Barr and Dr. Irena Barr 468
Nova Miasto (Neustadt) during the Holocaust Avraham Blotnik 487
The annihilation of the Nova Miasto community Chaia Admoni, Miriam Erpe, Zvi Erpe, Bella Barr, Chaia Torover 500
In the Pomikhovk camp Pages from the Ringelblum archives 508
From Plonsk to Auschwitz Albert Salomon 510
Historical questionaire on destroyed Jewish settlements and murdered Jewish personalities   511
The last transport Shoshana Shidlo–Kahana 512
Two letters from the Judenrat to the JOINT (?)   513
Jewish uprising in Auschwitz Moshe Aharon Pashboznik 514
The Jewish struggle Ian Ptashinski 518
Memories from the darkness (my way from the Neustadt ghetto to a kibbutz in Eretz Israel) Zvi Rosenberg 520
The last years before the Holocaust Yakov Neta 524
The flight to Bialistok Yakov Neta 526
The Plonsk refugees after the Holocaust Yakov Neta 527
One day in Plonsk Meir Shachar 528
The desolate and mournful roads (Plonsk without Jews) Mordechai Chalamish 532
XIII. Jewish Plonsk and its Tragic End
With the publication of the book Shlomo Tzemach 549
A word about the book The Book Committee 549
Introduction Mendel Man 551
David ben Gourion – the Plonsker who bore two crowns: the Crown of Torah and the Crown of Royalty Yehuda Erez 553
Kolakotka Yitzhak Greenboim 558
Rav Zvi Yechezkel Michaelson N. Shemen 561
My memories from Plonsk Mendel Man 570
Plonsk chapters Yechezkel Yosifon (Blatnik) 591
I shall never forget you Israel Flatau 597
Memories Yakov Zaushnitza 598
My hometown Melech Gute 601
The disappeared home Dobtche Zhezhak–Gute 614
Memories from my youth Yakov Yosef Lidina 609
The Plonsk youth after the First World War Adele Metzger 617
My years in Plonsk Nachum Gelfand 619
Jewish Labor in Plonsk A. Tcherniker 622
The “fifth year” in Plonsk I. Segal 629
The “Workers' Home” Shmuel–Yakov Taub 633
My grandfather, the Rabbi from Plonsk Moshe Gershon Cohen 635
My town Shimon Gelbart 637
Sochocin, the small town near Plonsk Binyamin Fuchs 639
Przibrowitz Avraham Scharfstein 641
Memories from Pszibrowitz A. Boimgart 644
The well and the devil Shmuel–Yakov Taub 646
Yosef Bodko – the great Jewish artist Yosef Sandel 648
The painter of the Jewish Street Mendel Man 651
If it were not for the poet (poem) Leibel Frankenstein 655
Sarah the midwife Menachem Avni (Steinhaus) 656
Moshe Feldsher (barber–surgeon) Yakov Robotnik 657
The Plonsker Landsmanshaft Organization in Argentina Yakov Robotnik 659
History of the Plonsk (and surroundings) Landsmanshaft in Argentina Yakov Robotnik 662
A page from the history of Plonsk and surroundings Landsmanshaft in Chicago Harry Borenstein 667
Testimony of survivors:    
   Itche Tcherniker   670
   Sarah Scheiman–Gelbard   672
   Hersh Pshewozhnik   674
   Yakov Stamberg   676
   A. Blotnik   678
My visit in Plonsk, Ben–Gourion's birth town S. L. Schneiderman 680
List of Jews from Plonsk and the Surrounding Area who Perished in the Shoah   690
List of Neishtat Jews who Perished in the Shoah   717


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