Memorial Book of Sochaczew

52°14' / 20°15'

Translation of  Pinkas Sochaczew

Edited by: A. Sh. Sztejn, G. Wejszman

Published in Jerusalem, 1962



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Jan Meisels Allen


Our sincere appreciation to Yosef Grundwag, Secretary, The Committee of
Sochaczewites in Israel, for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation of: Pinkas Sochaczew (Memorial Book of Sochaczew),
Editors: A. Sh. Sztejn and G. Wejszman, Jerusalem, Former residents of Sochaczew in Israel, 1962, 843 p. (H,Y)

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Edited by A. Sh. Sztejn
Gavriel Wejszman

Editorial committee:
Yaakov Frydman of blessed memory
Mendel Frydman
Moshe Levanon (Brzezinski)
Yerucham Ines

{second title page, with illustration}


Dedicated in memory of the martyrs of our city

{opposite to title page}

Published by the Organization of Sochaczew Émigrés of Israel

With the participation of the United Committee of Sochaczew Landsmanschaft Organizations of America

Printed in Israel, 1962

All rights reserved

Printed in Jerusalem, 5722

Produced on paper of Hamashbir Ltd.

Translated by Jerrold Landau

(TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: In this book, pages 1-600 are in Yiddish, pages 601-816 are in Hebrew. There is some overlap between these sections, as can be seen from the article names and authors. In the Hebrew section, starting on page 600, I have marked those sections which appear to be equivalent with sections in the Yiddish section, with an asterisk (*), followed by the page number from the Yiddish section.)


From The Past 
Introduction, by Gavriel Wejszman 
From the Editorial Committee
The Jewish community of Sochaczew from the Olden Days until the 19th Century, by Yeshaya Trunk 
Sochaczew takes on a Yiddish character, by Julian Niemcewicz  29 
The History of the City and Area of Sochaczew and its Jews, by Mrs. Janina Swierzynska
A Score of Years as the Rabbi of Sochaczew, by Nachman Blumental  40 
The Rabbi's Court  
The Inscription of the Tombstone of Sara Tzina  56 
A Spiritual Center, by A. Chetzroni  57 
The Voice and Echo, by Eliezer Sztejnman[1]  64 
Reb Avrahamele Sochaczever, by Aharon Cejtlin  79 
The Rebbi's Court, by M. B. Sztejn  85 
The Rebbe's Funeral, by David Wolrat  92 
The “Shem Mishmuel”, by A. Chetzroni[2]  97 
Social and Spiritual Life  
Sochaczew between the Two World Wars, by Menachem Frydman  103 
The Destroyed Home, by Moshe Szwarc  141 
Organized Institutions, by Sh. Swiatlowski  154 
The Birthpangs of Organized Zionism, by S. Grundwag  158 
The Pioneers of the Hebrew School, by Yaakov Frydman  164 
Hashomer Hatzair, by Yaakov Frydman[3]   168 
The Worker's Movement, by A. Shtshafa  173 
The First Amateur Theater, by David Wolrat  175 
Yiddish Theater, by Yosef Grundwag  180 
The Wind Orchestra, by Yitzchak Weinstock  186 
“The Sochaczever Newspaper”, by Yaakov Frydman  189 
“Chevra Tehillim”, by Elchanan Kac[4]  193 
“Chevra Kadisha" (Burial Society), by Yitzchak Frydman  199 
Life of the Spirit, by Meir Goldfarb  201 
The Cooperative People's Bank, by Shlomo Swiatlowski  207 
The Teacher of Children, by Leib Fursztenberg  213 
Rabbis of Sochaczew  
Rabbis of Sochaczew, by Moshe Levanon  227 
Rabbi Elazar Hakohen, by M. B. Sztejn  238 
My Father of Blessed Memory, by Zeev Wolf Yechiel Landau  244 
Sochaczevers Their Role in Cultural and Spiritual Life  
Alexander Zisha Frydman, by M. B. Sztejn  249 
Ozer Warszawski, by Lea Kenig  257 
Biographical Notes, by Melech Rawicz  268 
Shmuel Lehman of blessed memory, by Yeshaya Trunk  271 
Pinchas Graubard, by Y. Frydman  274 
Pinchas Graubard, by A. Alemi  276 
Wolf (Vove) Rozenberg, by Moshe Szwarc  280 
Figures and Characters  
Frejman Hirsch (Shalom Tzvi Frejdman), by Yaakov Frejdman 285 
Simcha Grundwag, by Yaakov Frydman  289 
Reb Menashe Czemerynski, by Elchanan Kac 292 
Communal Activists of Sochaczew, by Shlomo Swiatlowski  295 
Reb Hershel Kluska of blessed memory, by Shlomo Swiatlowski  298 
Happenings Herein, by Yaakov Frydman  300 
Moshe Aharon Shulklaper, by Yaakov Frydman  301 
Reb Meir Binyamin, by Yaakov Frydman  304 
Avraham Meir Lejzers, by Yaakov Frydman  306 
Chaikel Baal Agala (Chaikel the Wagon Driver), by Yaakov Frydman  307 
Chaikel the Wagon Driver, by Leib Fursztenberg  309 
Common Happenings and Memories  
Anski Questionaire, by Yaakov Frydman[5]  320 
In Those Days, by Pinchas Graubard  330 
The Lamed-Vavnik, by M. B. Sztejn[6]  336 
Did He Not Promise You, by Moshe Levanon  338 
From the Book “Poland”, by Y. Y. Trunk  342 
Smugglers, by Ozer Warszawski  351 
Unkosher Merchandise, by Pinchas Graubard  365 
At the Bzura, by Tzvi Cohen  370 
From my Experiences, by Machla Lewin-Boteler  372 
Moshe Festman, by Yaakov Frydman  376 
The Zionist Minyan[7], by Yaakov Frydman  379 
Yosef Wolkovitch, by Yaakov Frydman  382 
Yechiel Meir Telman, by Yaakov Frydman  383 
The Murder of the Regional Official Baragow, by Yaakov Frydman  384 
The Destruction  
The Martyrdom of the Elders and the Youth, by M. Rajc  389 
The German Murderers, by Lewkowicz  414 
In That Time, by Reizel Rozenberg (Rosenkopf)  423 
My Frightful Days, by Tauba Moszenberg   437 
My Experiences Under the Nazi Regime, by M. Sh. Frejdenberg  446 
Memories, by Moshe Geier  448 
Dates to Remember, by Chaim Weisz  450 
Expiring from Hunger and Cold, by A. Sochaczever  452 
On the Aryan Side, by Rosa (Wejnberg) Goldsztejn[8]  455 
From Aryan Documents, by Leib Lurie  463 
Thus Was the Sochaczew Community Tortured, by B. Jarlicht  470 
A Few Words, by Hersch Gothilf  478 
Recall me – Remember, by Esther Shoham  490 
Memories from my Time in Hiding, by Tzvi Taubenfeld  493 
A Letter to the Grundwag's Children, by Yozka Grosman  499 
In the Ghetto, by Mordechai Gebirtig  504 
Numbers Thousands, Millions, by H. Lejwik  505 
What I Saw and Heard in Sochaczew in 1939, by Yitzchak Telman  506 
From the Last Days of the Warsaw Ghetto, by Miriam Flajszman  510 
The Partisans of Sochaczew, related by Yechiel Silber  514 
The Last Ones of a Family, by Machla Lewin-Boteler 533 
From Among the First Victims, by Rozka Szmulewicz  536 
A Memorial to our Fellow Native Yechezkel Adamczyk, by M. L.  538 
My Grandfather's Home, by Esther Shoham  539 
The “Transfer”, by Y. P.  542 
The Publication of the Book Du Prel, by Magistrate Blumental  544 
On the Ruins, by L. Fursztenberg 546 
Sochaczevers in Israel, by Yerucham Ines  558 
A Monument for a Dear Soul Sh. Swiatlowski  566 
Yizkor  568 
Eliezer Meir Libert, by Yaakov Frydman  572 
The Sochaczew Mutual Benefit Organization of Chicago, by Louis Libert 574 
Sochaczevers in New York, by Ch. L. Ludzki 577 
The Activities of our Women's Help Organization in New York 592 


Introduction, by Gavriel Wejszman (* 3) 601 
From the Editorial Committee (* 7) 603 
A. Chapters About The History of the Community  
The History of the Community, by Y. Trunk (* 11) 607 
B. In The Rabbi's Court  
The Voice and Echo, by Eliezer Sztejnman (* 64)  612 
The Admor Reb Shmuel of blessed memory, by A. Ch.[9]   628 
The Admor Reb Dovid of blessed memory, by Rabbi Y. M. Aaronson  632 
Reb Dovid Bornsztejn the Admor of Sochaczew, by B. Zemach  639 
C. Between the Two World Wars  
Between the Two World Wars, by Menachem Frydman (*103)
The Local Theater, by Yosef Grundwag (* 180) 659 
Sochaczew as I Remember it, by Y. Ines 664 
The Birthpangs of Zionism in Sochaczew, by S. Grundwag (* 158) 669 
Moshe Jacobowicz, by Moshe Jacobowicz  672 
D. Personalities  
Reb Alexander Zisha Frydman, by Dr. Hillel Zeidman  674 
A Shining Personality Reb Zisha, by Pesia Shorashewski 686 
Simcha Grundwag, by Yaakov Frydman (* 289)  692 
E. Characters  
Men of the People, by Y. P. 696 
A) Freiman Hirsch (Shalom Tzvi) Frydman (* 289) 696 
B) Moshe Aharon “Shulklaper”[10]  698 
C) Meir Binyamin  698 
My Parents' Home, by Shlomo Frydman  700 
My Father of blessed memory (Avraham Rechtman), by Yaakov Tzidkoni
The Courtyard of Moshe Rechtman, by Yaakov Tzidkoni 708 
Bernard Kampelmacher, the Teacher of the City, by Yisrael Rozen 710 
Mrs. Chaikel the “Wagon Driver”, by Leib Fursztenberg (* 309) 712 
F. Happenings  
The Lamed-Vavnik, by M. B. Sztejn (* 336) 716 
Did He Not Promise You...By Moshe Levanon 718 
Delights, by Y. Tz. 721 
Episodes, by Y. Tz.  
       Father was Sentenced to Death  722 
       The Blind Man  723 
       The Death of the Rabbi  723 
       A Desire which was Fulfilled 724 
       “Lusovniks"  724 
       Early Morning Excursions  725 
G. The Holocaust Jews of Sochaczew on their Final Journey  
The Martyrdom of the Elders and the Youth, by M. Rajc (* 389) 729 
The Destruction of Sochaczew, by Reizel Rozenberg (Rosenkopf) (* 423)
Thus Was I Saved, by Tova Moszenberg 741 
In the Skorzisko Camp, by Zeev Shinold 742 
In the Villages and Forests, by Hersch Gothilf 743 
Pinchas of blessed memory (Pinia), by Rachel 747 
Who Would Make It That My Head Would Be Water[11] , by Chana Frydman 
H. The Deceased  
In Memory of my Mother of blessed memory, Thirty Years after the Passing of My Father of blessed Memory, by Chana Frydman[12]
Aharon Ish-Shalom (Frydman), by Y. P. 756 
Tzipora Baum (Albert), by Y. P. 759 
Tzipora Baum, by Yisrael Rozen 763 
Yaakov Frydman of blessed memory, by Yisrael Rozen 765 
Moshe Eliezer Bornsztejn of blessed memory, by the editorial committee 769 
Chana Kaplan (nee Greenberg), by Y. Ines 771 
Those That Fell in Battle for the Homeland  
Shmuel Avraham Bornsztejn   774 
Shmuel (Shmulik) Jasinski , by Y. P. 775 
Tzvi (Hershele) Lewin , by Y. P. 776 
Meir Orbach  778 
Epilogue, by Yaakov Tzidkoni 780 
Names of the Martyrs 782 
Index 817 
Index of the Hebrew Section 836 

List of photographs
Sochaczew Map
The Committee of Sochaczewites in Israel
The Sochaczew memorial
Poland Trip 2001 (July)
Photographs from Treblinka
Aerial photographs of Sochaczew
World War II German Captured photographs
Sochotzover Society of Greater New York Membership List 1977-1978

Translator's Footnotes

  1. The word used for 'echo' is 'bas kol'. This phrase is difficult to translate into English. It means literally 'daughter of a voice'. It refers to a 'divine voice', i.e. an echo of divine inspiration that is not of the level of prophecy. Return
  2. This literally means "The name from Samuel", and is a pseudonym for Rabbi Shmuel Bornsztejn, 1856-1926, the head of the Aleksandrow Hassidic group. Return
  3. Hashomer Hatzair, literally "Young Guard" is the youth group of the extreme left wing Zionist movement. Return
  4. Literally "Organization of Psalms", referring to an organization of men who would gather together on a regular basis to recite Psalms.  Return
  5. I am not sure of the translation of this. The Yiddish is "Anski-Ankete". Ankete is a poll. Return
  6. Lamed Vav is the numerical equivalent of 36. This is a reference to a Jewish legend that in every generation, there are 36 saintly people who are not known to society in general. A 'Lamed Vavnik' would be a reference to someone as one of these 36 saintly people, and would refer to an extremely righteous, modest and unassuming person. Return

  7. Minyan (in Hebrew/Yiddish literally 'quorum'), is a quorum of ten adult Jewish males necessary for Jewish public prayer services. Return
  8. In the 'arisher' times. Meaning of 'arisher' is unclear. Return
  9. Admor is a title used for a Chassidic Rabbinical leader. Return
  10. This work translates from Yiddish as "the knocker of the synagogue", who may have been the person who knocked on people's doors early in the morning to wake them up for synagogue services, or alternatively may have been the person who knocked on the synagogue's lectern to quiet the people. Return
  11. A quote from the book of Lamentations "Who would make it that my head would be water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, and I would weep day and night over the destruction of my people". Return
  12. From the context of the table of contents, it is not clear if this refers to thirty days or thirty years. 'Shloshim',the Hebrew word used here, is often used as a reference to the thirty day mourning period that follows the death of a close relative. Return

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