Memorial Book of Zyrardow,
Amshinov and Viskit

(Zyrardów, Poland)

52°04' / 20°26'

  (Mszczonów, Poland)

51°59' / 20°31'

  (Wiskitki, Poland)

52°05' / 20°24'

Translation from
Pinkas Zyrardow, Amshinov un Viskit

Edited by: M. W. Bernstein

Published in Buenos Aires, 1961 (Yiddish, 699 pages)

In memory of Yosef (Jose) Funtowicz



Project Coordinator

Renata Singer


Our sincere appreciation to Mr. Bezalel Tigel, of the Zyrardow Landsmanschaft in Israel,
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Zyrardow, Amshinov un Viskit (Memorial Book of Zyrardow,
Amshinov and Viskit), ed. M. W. Bernstein, Association of Former Residents in the USA, Israel, France and Argentina,
Buenos Aires, 1961 (Yiddish, 699 pages).

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: 1718

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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Translated by Renata Singer and Martin Jacobs

Foreword   15
1. The Birth of Zyrardow
The beginnings of the town and the development of the factory   19
A whole regiment of soldiers and Cossacks fight several hundred strikers Victor Shulman 22
Documents and materials about the first strike in Zyrardow   24
Zyrardow[1] histories Y. Polski 28
From Phillippe Girard to Marcel Bussac   29
Zyrardow: the casualty of capitalism Nusn Haldzband 31
The Yiddish shtetl of Zyrardow Rabbi Dr. Heszel[2]Klepfisz 33
For the history of the shul   37
The oldest inhabitants of Zyrardow   39
Zyrardow subscribers to a book written about 60 years ago   41
2. Before the First World War
Zyrardow L. Feld 49
Zyrardow in my memories Marcus Yakubovitsh 70
What I remember of Zyrardow Gedalye Shmulevitsh 83
Memories of our hometown to keep forever Aaron Tupman 86
Memories of old times Max Kriger 89
People of our home town Avrom Birnboym 93
The butchers of Zyrardow commission a Torah scroll K. Grushka 97
From a stormy time Harry Koyfman 99
A glance backwards – to Zyrardow Sam Meppen 102
Zyrardow Station Meylekh Rotshtayn 108
The birth of Yiddish theater in Zyrardow Gershon-Meyer Shmetanke 113
The Wagner family   114
3. Between the Two World Wars
The Zionist Movement    
Memories of bygone days and years Yosef Nisnberg 119
Jewish social and political organizations Mordkhe Bauman 138
The Library and the Drama Circle Gele Nisnberg-Goldberg 155
“Pod Gviazdem”[3] Dovid Yacoby 160
The Free Loan Society in Zyrardow   164
A stormy “Matn Torah”[4] Bet-Shin 171
Shoes for the Talmud Torah children   174
The Zionist Movement Yosef Nisnberg 176
The Establishment of the Bundist Organization in Żyrardów after the First World War Hertzke Shwartzshtayn 183
This is how Zyrardow lived Reubn Vaynberg 188
Indelible memories of my unforgettable shtetl Leybl Tiger 192
A chapter from a stormy period Yitsik Benek 197
A life that was viciously destroyed Itshe-Yosl Shmitnikov 202
Zyrardow 1926-36 Yosef Funtovitsh 208
Between World War I and the Holocaust Avrom Shmulevitsh 220
“Die Stimme”   229
What I remember Yidl Koyfman 229
Sewing the first flag Feyge Kurdelas-Miller 233
We act in the theater Meylekh Nisnboym 235
From “Behind the Woods” Elye-Ber Kaltan 236
When we were young Avrom Zimler 245
The Mizrachi Movement in Zyrardow Bezalel Tigel & David Frydman 252
The Butchers’ Union Leah Krakov-Yakubovitsh 254
Memories of the “Bleykh”[5] Mindl Tiger 256
A story of the desecration of the dead Yosef Funtovitsh 261
The Women’s Zionist Union “WIZO” Malke Khanakhovitsh-Goldberg 269
Homey Chronicle Hersh Koyavski 270
My shtetl Zyrardow Avrom Kshantshenitser 276
The Yiddish shtetl of Zyrardow[6] Rabbi Dr. Heszel Klepfisz 277
Zyrardow diary[7] Isruel Sama 280
Documents and photographs of life in Zyrardow between the wars   283
Chronicle of the Zyrardow Press   289
4. Individuals – Personalities – Families
Zyrardow’s “First Man” Avrom Zimler 297
The Blind Man of Shimanov   298
Shloyme Viskitski   301
In the [course] of generations and families Yosef Nisnberg 303
About Aaron Albek   307
Figures of Zyrardow Mordkhe Bauman 308
Rabbi Avrom-Mendl Khanakhovitsh   314
Rabbi Zalman Klepfisz Rabbi Dr. Heszel Klepfisz 316
The “lamed-vovnik” Hershl Koyavski 320
The Amshinov Rabbi: Rabbi Yakob-Dovid ben Yosef Kalish   321
Reb Khayim-Yosef’s relief society Yosef Funtovitsh 322
Reubn Sobol Leah K. Yakubovitsh 324
Memorial lights for friends Yosef Nisnberg 325
Yehoshua Shtrazburg & Aaron Haldzband Nakhman Vayntroyb 328
Reb Moyshe Milenbakh   329
Commemorating Zev (Volf) Nayman[8] Yosef Haldzband 330
The Yiddish-Polish school and its director Gomolinski Sabina[9]Holshtayn-Bauman 332
A page of memories Gitl-Klepfisz-Yakhsen 334
My aunt Hana’s golden chain Hana Vayzman 337
My Kaddish for their unknown graves Yosef Haldzband 338
On the orphaned roads of my home Yosef Nisnberg 341
A tombstone for my destroyed home Avrom Khanzenitzer 345
Chronicles and memories Malke Khanakhovitsh-Goldberg 348
Around the pump Tevye Rotshtayn 350
Left is a splinter of memories Feyge Kimelfeld-Kalikshtayn 351
Nothing more than memories are left Leybl Brikman 353
Bio-bibliographical details Avrom Vevyorke 354
Yom Kippur (a poem) Avrom Vevyorke 356
Clouds Avrom Vevyorke 356
Bio-bibliographical details Volf Vevyorke 359
About Volf Vevyorke Moyshe Dlusznavski 360
The creative road of Volf Vevyorke Avrom Vaytz 366
Homey Kvass Volf Vevyorke 366
5. Amshinov
A glance at my annihilated shtetl Amshinov[10] Avrom Mendelevitsh 381
My beloved Amshinov Yirmiyohu Hershman 387
Our destroyed Amshinov Leybish Goldshtayn 395
Bio-biographical details Hersh-Dovid Nomberg 403
A lullaby H. D. Nomberg 405
Chapters from smugglers Oyser Warshawski 406
Biographical details Moyshe Apelboym 412
A few concluding words to the Amshinov chapter A. B. Koltan 414
6. Viskit
History of the community   417
My Home Town, Viskit[11] Gershon-Meyer Shmetanke 423
Viskit between the two World Wars Toivye and Shama Goldman 432
The “House of Bread” in Viskit   448
7. Destruction – Resistance – Holocaust
Zyrardow (Report from the ghetto)   453
Documents from the Zyrardow ghetto   456
A refugee in hospitable Zyrardow Itzhak Lipski 463
In those days M. Boymerder[12] 464
The lament of the Zyrardower ghetto Rukhl Fogel 468
Witness of the Holocaust Mordkhe Bauman 474
The first pogrom and after Isruel Milnbakh 481
In dark days Simkhe Haberman 486
Zyrardow in the abyss of the Warsaw Ghetto   493
The 5 Zyrardow heroes of the Warsaw ghetto uprising   497
Between Life and Death Freydl Sheradzki 501
Sobibor – the slaughter-house for people Avrom Margulis 505
A child fights with an army of murderers Arye Dreval 511
My brother falls a hero Khayim Lipshits 513
How we saved ourselves from the Nazis Berel Vaytser 517
Living through the Holocaust Rivke Yakubovitsh-Kribus 521
Just one left: remnant of the Holocaust Atara Blumenshtayn 524
On 'Aryan papers' Sabina Holshtayn-Bauman[13] 527
So I survived Ikhoyl Elert 539
Of the destruction of Amshinov in the world Isruel Ayzman 542
Across the hell as Irena Kovalska Ite Kirshboym-Albert 543
Through pain, hunger and murder Yente Nashelevitsh 547
The tragic bloodletting of the Zyrardowers in France L. Tiger 555
From Av. de Versailles to Auschwitz-Birkenau Rashel Zelmanovitsh-Vaytzner 559
A voice from the other world   561
Meeting with Zyrardow Jews during World War II Yosele Yakubovitsh 564
My visit to my ancestor’s graves in Poland in 1948 L. Tiger 573
How I found my home Pincus Meppen 575
Wars, destruction, wandering, without a home Itshe-Yosl Shmitnikov 576
My visit to Zyrardow in 1948 L. Feld 579
Our shtetl has remained altogether… Avrom Shulevitsh 583
Where are you my beloves ones? Mindl Tiger 585
On the ruins of my home Avrom Zimler 587
How Amshinov looks now S. L. Shnayderman 595
The end of the sentence Yosele Yakubovitsh 598
The death of the last Jew L. Tiger 603
8. Our Landslayt Around the World
The Creations of Workmen’s Circle Branch No 301 Yosef Shmulevitsh 609
Memories of our branch Max Skurnik 611
Branch 301 and the co-operative movement A. Grushka 613
Important dates and facts in the life of the branch L. Feld & B. Kahan 614
The Zyrardow Progressive Society in New York, established March 1924   617
The activities of the Society of those in Israel who left Zyrardow   619
The activities of the Zyradowers in France Leon Tiger 627
Heroes and Martyrs born in Zyrardow and then lived in France   634
Deported from France   634
The Landslayt Union of Zyrardow, Amshinov and Viskit in Argentina   635
List of those born in our towns Zyrardow, Amshinov and Viskit who died in Argentina   644
Listing of the Zyrardow martyrs   647
Photos of the dead from Zyrardow   659
Listing of the Amshinov martyrs   671
Listing of the Viskit martyrs   677
Necrology   681
A few concluding words Mordkhe V. Bernstayn  


1. Pronounced Zyrardov. Usually known as Zerdov in Yiddish but not in the Yizkor book return
2. His name is not directly transliterated but as it appears on his books translated into English return
3. Polish for "Under the Star" return
4. The day on which the Jews received the Torah from God  return
5. The Bleykh is probably the name given to the area where the linen was hung to bleach return
6. Written in Hebrew return
7. Written in Hebrew return
8. Written in Hebrew return
9. aka Shifra Holshtayn-Bauman return
10. Mszczonow in Polish return
11. Wiskitki in Polish return
12. aka Mordkhe Bauman return
13. aka Shifra Holshtayn-Bauman return


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