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[Pages XIII-XIV English [Pages VII-VIII Hebrew] [Pages 149-150 Yiddish]

Introduction

The Zychlin Memorial Book is published on the 32nd anniversary of that bitter day when town's ghetto inmates were deported to the extermination camp at Chelmno and the Jewish community of Zychlin was no more.

Our beloved hometown was only a small provincial township in the middle of the vast central plain of Poland, surrounded by drowsy villages and situated several miles from the nearest railway station. Nevertheless, it was full of life. The Jews of Zychlin never numbered more than 3,000 people. But that small community, although poor and facing hardships most of the time, led a remarkably rich and active community life. There was hardly a trend in Jewish life, whether religious, Zionist or otherwise, that was not represented in the public ideological struggles that took place in Zychlin. Our townspeople took an active part in every development involving European Jewry, thus enriching their own lives and the collective life of their community.

Between the two World Wars, the Jewish community of Zychlin flourished as never before in its two-hundred year history. It was then that Zionism began taking an ever stronger hold among the people. Many Zychliners joined the Third Aliyah movement and contributed their share to the rebuilding of Israel. Others emigrated to the United States –where a Zychliner organization was soon established–and still others went to Canada and Australia, but deep in their hearts they all continued to cherish the hometown of their youth.

Those staying in Zychlin could never foresee the horrible end that was to befall them. But the unthinkable nightmare became a cruel reality. In September 1939, the henchmen of Hitler conquered Poland and in less than six years nearly all of the three million Jews of Poland were exterminated. Among the many thriving Jewish communities liquidated by the Nazis and their accomplices during the Shoah was the community of Zychlin. Nothing of it remained. Even the Jewish cemetery, where our loved ones were buried, was completely destroyed.

The following pages tell the story of the Jews of Zychlin, their history, their affairs, their joys and their sorrows. The book was written and edited–in Hebrew and Yiddish–by Zychliners who remember with deep affection their beloved hometown that is no more.

The publication of the book, undertaken by the Zychliner organization in Israel, was made possible through the generous help of landsmen in the United States, Canada and other countries.

The Memonial Book is dedicated to the martyrs of Zychlin, our brothers and sisters who were so tragically taken away from us. We can only hope that their sacred memory will remain an inspiration to posterity.

 

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