The Wasilkower memorial book;
Memories of Our Town Wasilkow
Which Has Been Annihilated By the Nazis

(Wasilków, Poland)

53°12' / 23°13'

Translation of
Pinkes Vashilkover yisker-bukh; a spetsyele oysgabe
vegn lebn mord un toyt fun a yidishn yishev

Author and editor: Leon Mendelewicz

Published in Melbourne 1990

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
for the submission of the necrology for placement on the JewishGen web site.

Our sincere appreciation to Genia Hollander
for typing up the English text to facilitate its addition to this project.

This is a translation of: Pinkes Vashilkover yisker-bukh; a spetsyele oysgabe vegn lebn mord un toyt fun a yidishn yishev
(The Wasilkower memorial book; memories of our town Wasilkow which has been annihilated by the Nazis)
Author and editor Leon Mendelewicz, Wasilkower Committee, Published: Melbourne 1990 (Y, E 491 pages)

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

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 Yocheved Klausner

A word from the author Leon Mendelewitz 1
To our Wasilkow friends The Book Committee 3
Acknowledgments and Thanks   6
Bibliography   7
Wasilkow of old times Leon Mendelewitz 9
  The beginnings of the Jewish settlement    
  Historical, topographical and agricultural review    
Roads (poem) Leon Mendelewitz 17
History of the Jews in Wasilkow   18
Life Conditions
Taverns and inns   23
Crafts and craftsmen   25
Jewish blacksmiths   26
Bakeries   27
Shoemakers   29
Quilt-makers   30
Tailors   31
Butchers   32
Cart owners   34
Shops and shopkeepers   35
Harness-makers, glaziers and others   38
Avraimel Moldovian the great philantropist   39
Sabbath and Holiday
Preparations for the Holy Sabbath, tradition and rest   41
The High Holidays - Rosh Hashana [New Year] and Yom Kippur   43
Sukkot in town   44
Chanuka, the festival of Lights   45
Purim   46
Pesach, the festival of Freedom   47
Lag Ba'omer festivities   48
Wasilkow Rabbis   51
  Rav Avraham David Margaliot    
  Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Rabinowitz z”l    
  Rav R'Gershon Meir Bayarski z”l    
  Rav R'Refael Gordon z”l, the Great Scholar    
The Great Scholar Rav Israel Halperin z”l, the last Wasilkov Rabbi   52
Rav R'Yitzhak Yevarkovski (R'Itche)   53
R'Israel Moshe Margaliot, scholar and writer   55
Wasilkow Cantors, Wasilkow Torah People
Cantor Heinich Sivowitz   56
Cantor and slaughterer Kovalski   56
Cantor Mordechai Spector   57
Torah-people in Wasilkow   58
My Shtetl Wasilkow Rivka Perlstein/Lassman 61
The economic basis: the wood industry Leon Mendelewitz 62
Textile industry Leon Mendelewitz 67
Long time wandering (poem) Leon Mendelewitz 74
Life and Entertainement   75
  Drama groups    
  Silent movies    
  Musical groups    
  Forest and lake    
The Great Fair   82
A Glimpse to the Distant Past 86
Anti-Semitism in Wasilkow?   87
Episodes, Sayings and Nicknames
Nicknames   90
Sad events   91
An extraordinary happening   93
Traditions or superstitions   94
Documents from Distant Past   97
  Religious institutions    
  Statistics of yearly births    
  Jewish emigration    
The Ban   105
My memories Chana Perlstein/Gedel 107
Schools and Education Leon Mendelowitz 110
   Heders and Melamdim    
  The Jewish Sholem-Aleichem School    
  Tachkemoni and Yavne Schools    
   Eliezer Ben Yehuda, pioneer of Hebrew    
Political Organizations   117
  Development of the Zionist Organization    
  Bundist ans communist parties in Wasilkow    
Before our Aliya Zvi/Hershele Halpern 121
Wasilkov pioneers, Moshe Schlachter the Halutz [pioneer] Leon Mendelewitz 123
My friend Zvi - his life Leon Mendelewitz 126
The Beginning of the End - 1939   129
  Anti-Jewish propaganda war    
  Pain and fear    
  The German march into Wasilkow    
  Acts of terror    
  Jews in church    
  Marching out    
Wasilkow under Soviet Rule   134
Nationalization & Russification    
Attempt to liquidate the “Great Bet-Hamidrash” (synagogue)    
Political and cultural activity    
Avraham Cohen - his life and experiences   140
Holocaust and Destruction   143
June 22 1941 - Germany attacks Russia    
Bombing panic and despair    
June 27 - Nazi Anti-Semitism and terror are marching in    
The Ghetto - overcrowding, shortage, lack of water and sanitary aid    
Attempt of the Polish Anti-Semitists to drown the Jews in the river    
Murder near Trilling's plant and in the neighborhood    
November 2 1942 - final liquidation of the Jewish life in Wasilkow    
Rescued from the Great Destruction   152
List of survivors    
Yankel Sokolowitz - his horrible experiences   153
Survivors Mendel Melnitzki and his sister: their testimony before the Special Committee in 1945   156
Important Remarks   161
Analytical remarks concerning the number of Jews killed in Wasilkow    
Treblinka, where Wasilkow Jews perished   164
Remember (poem)   166
Jonah Panimanski, the 11-year-old boy who was saved through a miracle   167
Announcements of the Bialistok Judenrat   168
Resistance in the Bialistok Ghetto, an article on the 45th Memorial Day   175
Problems   177
The negative side of Anti-Semitism accompanied by murder and terror and the humane reflection of some Christian individuals who have not lost the belief in human values. General Mikarski and his postulates concerning Jews    
Uprising: The Struggle for life   182
The roots of Anti-Semitism   184
The history of Anti-Semitism as a product of erroneous interpretation of the Christian doctrine    
The YIZKOR list (Necrology)   198
A list of the murdered Wasilkow Jews (possible errors or omissions)    
Literary Works Leon Mendelewitz 211
Moments in Jewish History   213
Part 1 - Jewish history as an integral part of World History    
King Saul, the first Jewish king of the independent Jewish monarchy    
The first regular army stabilizing the monarchy    
Moments in Jewish History   217
Part 2 - King David, the second Jewish king, who fought heroically to strengthen the monarchy and founded the capital Jerusalem, is considered the best king in Jewish history    
Moments in Jewish History   221
Part 3 - King Solomon, the third king, a wise and talented ruler, enjoyed a rich and tranquil life, improved the country's economical conditions, built the First Temple, introduced cavalry and charriot-riding; negative moments: many wives    
King Solomon and the Peakocks, a poem by Leib Alitzki, a fable about greatness   224
Is a New Crusade Possible? The biased attitude of the media towards Israel   230
My Country   231
Has the Devil Left our Planet? (essay)   232
The Jewish Name (poem)   232
Bialistok (poem)   234
Apartheid and Terror - revolution. evolution and practical life   235
Our Jubilee! 40-year anniversary of Israel   236
Documents and Letters Connected with the History of Wasilkow    
Rabbi Israel Halperin's Last Letter 1939   237
A Letter from Rav R'Chaim Heikel Greenberg about the fate of Rav Halperin in Vilna   238
The Textile Manufacture   239
A Letter to the Archives   240
Minutes from the Court Session - an explanation   241
Documents from the Murder-Akzia   241
Letters to the Wasilkow Magistrate, the Jewish Historical Institution and the Polish Ministry of Interior, and replies from the above   242
A Letter from Barbara Lewis, Shimon the Glazier's granddaughter from America   245
Births Register 1898 (written in Cyrillic letters)   247
A Russian Passport, belonging to Shaye Garfein, immigrated to America 1906, citizen's certificate 1916   248
Registered Enterprises 1927   249
Letter from the Wasilkow Magistrate and Jewish Institutions   250
Jewish Documents from the time of the Prussian Occupation 1797 (in German, translated to English)   251
A false explanation   253
Simulated photographs   254
Invitation to the unveiling of a tombstone   255
A list of the Vinik families   256
From the “Folks Stimme” to the “Wasilkow Tageblatt”   257
Notes from original books   258
An authorization to research original material   259
Exchange of letters on restoring the Wasilkow cemetery   261
Letters from YIVO and Hoover institutions   264
Exchange of letters with Yad Vashem   266
A letter from a Polish historian   269
Registered shops before 1927   270
A Letter from the Wasilkow Committee   272
An appeal from Moshe Schlachter   277
A Document from the Wansee Conference   280
The Nazi German culture, cutting off beards, despotism   281
Unforgettable Pictures   282
The Press on Wasilkow before 1939  
An evening of mourning, Lag Ba'omer festivities, Collecting money for the Jewish Land, A theft on Yom Kippur, Opening a Chanuka bazaar, The Balfour Academy and others   283
A Wasilkow Officer writing to a Cousin in Brooklyn 1947   292
Wasilkow in Photographs   293
New-Year Cards   294
Part of the market   295
Part of a Bialistok street    
The Great Wooden Synagogue and the Little Beit Hamidrash   296
Rav Israel Halperim with part of his family    
At Yad Vashem    
The JNF Committee in 1937   297
A group of Maccabi Sports Club    
Hashomer, Brit Yosef Trumpeldor    
The Tachkemoni School   298
Dana Mendelewitz in Kiryat Binyamin School in Israel    
JNF Committee in 1927    
The First Wasilkow Zionist Organization in Wasilkow 1923-1924   299
The Tachkemoni School 1925   300
Yavne School    
Teachers from Yavne School    
Organizing a Chanuka Bazaar for the Benefit of JNF   301
The Committee of the Tachkemoni School    
A Meeting in Israel   302
A meeting in Poland    
Friends from the distant past    
Noah Cohen and Family, the first members of the Zionist Organization in Wasilkow   303
A joyous occasion in a Wasilkow family in Israel  
The Panimavski and the Werniger families   304
Wasilkow young men: Zalman Panimavski and brother, the teacher Maskovski and others    
Avreim'l Moldovan Zadoraranski, the Great Philanthropist, on a Visit in his Home Town   305
Gravestones in the Wasilkoow Cemetery 1989   306
Brothers Feivel & Jonah Wiebick   307
Jonah Panimamski with his father    
A Little Street   308
Jewish Houses   309
An old house    
Gravestones in the Cemetery 1989   310
Wasilkow Cemetery   311
Gravestones with Inscriptions   312
A Jewish Street, Jews   313
Feive'le the shoemaker's house; in Pinie's garden    
R'Lipa Perlstein   314
Itzel Cohen from Tartak; Leizer Cohen (Peipeches); Pesach the regiseur    
Jewish Houses on the Main Street (Bialistoker St.)   315
Avraham Mendelewitz   316
Leon Mendelewitz; Zalman Mendelewitz    
Jonah Panimanski arriving in Wasilkow, 1989   317
Farewell Evening in Honor of Zvi Halperin's Aliya 1935   318
Zvi with the survivors; Zvi and his wife    
The Firefighters Orchestra   319
A Reunion in Israel   320
Yankel Sokolowitz and wife with Chana Perlstein; Zalman, Gitel Panimanski and friend; Rachel Inker (Australia)    
Kibbutz Training   321
Moshe Schlachter in the British Army; Moshe with his Brigade    
Yankel Sokolowitz and Wife Ida (Melbourne)   322
Chaim (Artchik) Pollack, Mrs. Sheine Schlachter and Chana Perlstein    
In the Czar's Army 1912   323
Avraham Mendelewitz    
Avraham Mendelewitz with Jewish soldiers    
In the Polish Army   324
Leon Mendelewitz    
Hershel Schlachter    
Yerachmiel Zelevianski before 1939    
A Parade in Zamosc 1947   325
A group of high-rank officers 1954    
Captain Leon Mendelewitz    
Wasilkow Jews Around the World   326
Emigration tendencies in view of economic conditiona and anti-semitic acts    
Shalom Krapinski   327
Rivka, daughter of Shimon the glazier, as a young woman    
Rivka and family, in America    
Shalom Cohen (Peipiches)   328
Esther Cohen, America    
Mordechai Spector, America    
David Katz, Mexico    
Rebecca (Rivka) and Family, London, England   329
The Jewish Cemetery in Wasilkow (Photographs 1989)   330
Motke Farber and sister-in-law   331
Baruch Farber    
Jewish Houses in 1989   332
The Old Jewish Cemetery after the War (1945)   333
Unveiling the Monument at the Chamber of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem   334
In memory of the Wasilkow Community, 1962    
The Faretzki-Gawenski Spinning-Mill   335
Workers at the Mill, first row from right: Sarah Moed, Sarah-Sheine Toychem, Esther Mazur; the others are Polish workers    
A Bialistok-Wasilkow wedding before the war   336
Shimon Stavinski in Argentina 1959   336
Dveirtche Parazovski (Ragovski)   336
Leibetchke Parazovski   337
The leaders of Linat Tzedek   337
Solke Parazovski   337
The Parazovski family    
Shaye Garfein (brother of Mendel the wood merchant) and wife, in America   338
Shaye Garfein and daughter   339
Shaye's son, Reuven   339
Never Forget   340
List of photographs    


English Section

Topographical Map
Main name of this book Leon Mendelewicz 1
From the Editor 2
To Our Wasilkower Friends 4
Hearty Gratitudes
    Leon Mendelewicz
    Wasilkow Roots
The History of the Jews in Wasilkow 10
    Economic conditions 13
    The Road Inns 15
Craftsmen and Handcrafts 18
    Blacksmiths 19
    Bakers 21
    Shoe Makers and Boot Repairers 23
    Shoe Top Makers 25
    Tailors 26
    Butchers 28
    Horse and Cart drivers 31
    Shops and their keepers 33
Holy Days And Sabbath Days 36
    Days Of Penitence 38
    Yom Kippur 39
    Succos – Tabernacles 39
    Simchas Torah 40
    Chanukah 40
    Purim 42
    Pesach – Passover 42
    Lag Ba'Omer 45
Wasilkow Rabbis 47
    Rabbi Abraham David Margulies 47
    Rabbi Mordchai Elijahu Rabinowicz 48
    Rabbi Gershon Meir Boyarski 48
    Rabbi Raphael Gordon (The Longest Serving Rabbi) 49
    Rabbi Israel Halpern (The Last Rabbi In Wasilkow) 50
    Rabbi Itzhak Yevorkovski 54
    Reb Israel Moshe Margolis (Novelist And Dramatist) 55
Wasilkower Cantors & Precantors 56
    Cantor and ritual slaughter man Kowlaski 56
    Cantor Mordechai Spektor 57
Cantors, Readers & Scholars 60
Schools & Education 62
Wasilkow Jewish Organisations 68
    The Bundist Organization 70
    The Communist Party 70
Excommunication Hairem 72
Life & Entertainment 74
Wasilkow Pioneers 80
    Tzvi Halpern 84
1939 – The beginning of the end 89
Wasilkow Under The Soviets 92
Holocaust & Destruction 96
Abraham Kane 104
Jewish Historical Commission 108
Mendl Melnicki 113
Various Pictures Of Persecution Against The Jewish People 116


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