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Translation of StromiecZagajnik; chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem
Anita Frishman Gabbay
Yad Vashem for permission
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of
Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume VII,
pages 350-351, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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(Region of Radom, District of Kielce)
Translated by Jerrold Landau
Donated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
StromiecZagajnik is a small, remote village that belonged to the kings of Poland. It was primarily settled by the monks of the monastery that was set up there in the 13th century. Jewish residents of StromiecZagajnik are first mentioned in the latter part of the 19th century, and they formed the majority of the village at the beginning of the 20th century. Almost all earned their livelihoods from peddling and trades, as well through small home businesses. The Jewish population of StromiecZagajnik dwindled during the interwar period, to the point where only a few Jewish families remained at the eve of the Second World War. An independent community was never founded there. The Jews received their needed religious services from the nearby community of Bialobrzegi (see entry), and buried their dead in that cemetery.
Several Jewish families remained in the city even after the outbreak of the Second World War. A delegation of the J.S.S. (Jewish Self Help) from Radom (see entry), who were visiting all communities of the region to determine their needs, visited in 1942.
We have no knowledge regarding the end of the Jews of StromiecZagajnik. We can surmise
that they were transferred to the Bialobrzegi Ghetto in the autumn of 1942, and were deported from there to Treblinka, along with the rest of the Jews of the ghetto.
Published in Stromiec, September 1992.
Office of the Commune of Stromiec. Social Committee for the Commemoration of the 750year Anniversary of Stromiec.
Page 85. Jews in Stromiec. By Jozef Kaminski and Henryk Stawiarski
Even though Stromiec belongs to a typical agricultural category of settlements, the Jewish minority were not interested in cultivating the land. The great majority of the Jewish families occupied themselves with trade. They also ran services and cottage industry such as shoemaking, tailoring, glass making, tanneries etc. The flour mill accepted grain for milling the flour and chaff. An oil mill that produced vegetable oils served the needs of Stromiec and the vicinity. Numerous shops were supplied well, so there was no need for them to be divided by specialty. Next to grocery items, one could buy threads, needles, kerosene, nails and even drugs. The grocery store was very popular, run by the Jewess called Fajga and her husband, Gerson Wajsbrot. There were also tailors, Aron Wjzenszmid, Icek Fryszman, Dawid Fryszman and Szainteld Szulim, glass maker Wagner Bensje, carpenter Josek Szpajzer, and baker Mendel Cholekonor [Holtzkener] with his wife Fryszka. Tailors Moszek Dolman and Hena Ninerberg[Nirenberg] accepted orders for the most fashionable clothing, and they even repaired old damaged garments. There were also merchants with capital resources such as Uzer, Herszek, and Siolek, sons of the wellknown Aron, and also poor peddlers who dealt with buying discarded items.
Jews of Stromiec had their own faith organization called gmina, with a secretary by the name of Josek Fryszman. They also had their own house of prayer (boznica) and a cemetery located on the road to the village Wola Stromiecka. They did not belong to the social group that followed the principles of hygiene, and because they lived in houses located on the street leading to the church, the view of waste water poured on the road became often the source of conflict between the Polish and Jewish inhabitants. We cannot say however that sporadic (p.86) conflicts turned into long lasting animosities of the antiSemitic nature. It is hard to say on the basis of any documents when the Jews first appeared in Stromiec because any documents of these nature were destroyed.
Jews constituted an integral part of the community, despite their separate culture, customs and religion. They played a serious role in the economic life of the village.
When the Hitlerite armies arrived, the Jewish community enjoyed freedom only for a very short time. Forced to wear armbands with the star of David, in 1941 they were forcibly moved to a special district in nearby Bialobrzegi the ghetto. Horrible living conditions caused widespread disease and led to the deaths of dozens. Units of the German police and the Jewish Judenrat guarded this settlement. Hunger forced the Jews to organize sporadic attempts to escape from the ghetto to the neighboring villages in search of food. The Polish population helped the Jews despite the fact that helping or assisting any escaped person could be punished by death. It was 1942 early autumn. In Bialobrzegi, the evacuation began, or rather the liquidation of the ghetto. The whole population was formed into a marching column with the gendarmes and SSmen from the Wlasow units (Ukrainians and Latvians who went to serve the Hitlerite armies), and it was directed toward the railroad station in Dobieszyn. About noon this tragic conduct of about eight thousand Jews reached Stromiec. Mothers with fear in their eyes were holding their children, sometimes infants close to their breasts, trying in this way to calm them down, silence the crying caused by hunger and thirst. Fathers were carrying on their backs their belongings, their own and of those who could not hold their own bodies on their weakened legs. Those who could not walk anymore were dragged along with their companions in despair, trying to save themselves from lashes and prolong their lives by even one more kilometer. The eyewitnesses stated that one could hear common laments of the elders: O majne got! Jahwe have mercy on us, Jesus Christ, you who performed miracles, make us free. Jesus, crucified by our ancestors, do not remember that deed. These laments however did not (p.87) disappear in the clouds of dust stirred up by the heavy legs treading on the parched soil of the road. The miserable persons, wasted by the hunger in the ghetto, faces covered with sweat, begged with their eyes for water. Attempts to answer their calls ended with the hits of the nightsticks, breaking the dishes, or even shots. SSmen of the escort, even Wlasow guards, in these tragic moments did not restrain themselves from enrichment, taking advantage of the human misery and tragedy. Promises to offer relief to mothers and children in exchange for wedding bands and other precious goods were not fulfilled. But what mother would not offer help to her child? They were losing strength quickly. Gmina secretary, Jozek Fryszman fell under a stick and was shot in the back on the ground, finishing his road of misery and suffering around Ksawerowo Nowe. Then came the end point of this tragic conduct the railway station in Dobieszyn. On the side tracks there were cattle cars ready, filled with chlorine and calcium powder. Nobody of the condemned could sit down because even for this, what irony, they would be punished by death. Embarking on the trains was accompanied by horrible screams. One could hear a mix of Polish, Hebrew, and above everything ruled the shouts of SSmen and Wlasow soldiers. Instinct of selfpreservation did not allow the Jews to climb up on the train but the hits of sticks and pushes of bayonets did not let them back down. Filled in this way, the train cars were left under guard until the evening, when the screams of the condemned almost died down. The strain of the march, chlorine and calcium did their work. The transport moved on. The writing on the cars spelled out the destination station Treblinka. The Death Camp!
One would not have to look long for traces of this crime. They are well displayed in many places of martyrdom of the nations of Europe.
The Poet, Adam Zych, dedicated his poem to Jews:
from which Jews
and poisoned in crematoriums by gas
thoughts and naked bodies
in long gowns
in a conversation loud
and not silenced
stand in memory
in which they shot
thousands hundreds or even single persons
in the conscience of the world
they persevere in a scar
until today even.
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