Wierzbnik-Starachowitz; a memorial book
(Wierzbnik, Poland)

51°03' / 21°05'

Translation of
Sefer Wierzbnik-Starachowice

Edited by: Mark Schutzman

Published in Tel Aviv, 1973


Project Coordinator


Our sincere appreciation to Wierzbniker Society, Toronto Canada for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

Sefer Wierzbnik-Starachowice (Wierzbnik-Starachowitz; a memorial book)
Edited by: Mark Schutzman, Wierzbnik-Starachowitz Societies in Israel and the Diaspora, Published in: Tel Aviv 1973. (H,Y,E 611 pages)

Purchase details for a printed copy of this translation can be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ybip/YBIP_Wierzbnik.html

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Preface and Acknowledgement

The Wierzbniker Society, the publisher of this book, is located in Toronto Canada and was originally formed in the 1930s. At the current time, the Society has 185 members. The Society's goals include conducting not-for-profit activities pertaining to the World War II Jewish Holocaust. Our Society and its name are based on a town in Poland, Wierzbnik, which merged with the Town of Starachowice in 1939 and is now known as Starachowice. Some of the Society's current members lived in Wierzbnik Poland before and during the Holocaust and many others are descendants of Jews who lived in this town.

In 1973, the Wierzbniker Society published its original Memorial book with articles on life in Wierzbnik before and during the Holocaust written by Society members or their relatives, documenting the various aspects of Jewish life in Wierzbnik. This was published for future generations to read, appreciate and remember. The contents were mostly written in Hebrew, with some articles in Yiddish and a few in English.

Since the original book, many current members have expressed an interest in the book and indicated that they, their children and grand-children would like to get a copy of the articles written in English. In 2007, the Executive of the Society undertook the project of arranging the translation of the articles from the original book into English for the benefit of the membership and their families, future generations and other interested parties. To ensure that this project was economical, the articles have been re-published on compact discs and will be made available to all Society members. It is our belief that this book will become an important and significant addition to our members' libraries and we encourage all members to give copies to their family members. Members who would like a paper book version may take the compact disc to a printing store for such purpose.

The Society thanks the following persons who assisted in this publication of the English version of the Memorial book: Ran Snir of Israel for translating the Hebrew articles into English, Judy Grossman of Israel for translating the Yiddish articles, Lisa Zukerman for retyping the original English articles and re-organizing articles, Stanley Zukerman for coordinating this project, the Society Executive for their ideas and encouragement and especially the authors of the original articles, many of whom are no longer alive, without whom this project and book would not be possible.

Stanley Zukerman
Samuel Lepek
Mel Stein

May 8, 2008




Preface and Acknowledgement i
For Eternal Memory IX
In Memoriam (Introduction) – Yizkor Book Committee 1
Introduction – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 4
In Memoriam 6
Sketches of a Town – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 7
Twenty Years after the Loss of Jewry of the Cities of Wierzbnik and Drilz (Ilza) – Gershon Rosenwald 9
Remember, And Don't Forget – Yaakov Katz 11
For the Next Generations – Reva (Naiman) Karstadt 14
German Trial Stirs Memory of Horror Camp – Wendy Tucker, Staff Reporter 16
The Sixteenth Day of Cheshvan The Liquidation of our Town – Yaakov Katz 20
It Was a Great Shock – Necha Baranek 23
My Heart Began to Pound Loudly – Sam Stein 25
In Times of Peace – Simcha Mincberg 28
Wierzbnik – Before the Flood – Simcha Minzberg 32
Jews in the Ghettoes of Poland (poem) – Malka Weisbloom 36
The Jewish People Lives! – Yaakov Katz 37
Wierzbnik: the Town, its Location and Growth – Excerpt from a Geographic Dictionary 40
A Precious Pearl Shattered – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 41
Chronicles of the Town and its Jews – Jerachmiel Singer 42
My Shtetl Wierzbnik – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 53
Religious and Traditional Life 58
Rabbis of the Community – Zvi Fajgenbaum 59
The Synagogues in Wierzbnik – Zvi Fajgenbaum 65
Heders and Melameds – Zvi Fajgenbaum 71
The Tale of a Torah Scroll – Reuven Lichtenstein 74
Traditional Folklore – Sara Postawski-Steinhardt 77
Social and Public Life 80
The Youth Movements in Wierzbnik – Yitzhak Kerbel 81
The Young Pioneer Movement in Wierzbnik – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 83
The Gordonia Movement and the National Labor Committee for Palestine Youth League – Reuven Lis Shuali 86
The Zionist Youth Movement – Rivka Greenberg (Mincberg) and Rachel Laor (Dreksler) 88
It Was our Whole World – Yaakov Katz 95
Beit-Yaakov School for Girls – Zehava Zitelna 98
The Batya Organization – Chava Fajgenbaum (Shraga) 100
The Establishment of Beit-Yaakov in our Town – Yaakov Korenwaser 101
The Maccabi Society – Reuven Lis Shuali 102
Maccabi's Youths – Pinchas Hochmitz 104
The Gviazda Sports Society – Shmuel Nudelman 105
The Beitar Movement – Yaakov Snir 107
The Revisionist Movement in Wierzbnik – Gershon Rosenwald 109
Jerusalem of Old and Jerusalem the Golden – Yaakov Katz 111
Memories 113
Memories – Reuven Shuali (Lis) 114
On Market Days – M. Ben-Yehuda 117
On Holidays We Gave Out Honey and Fish – Benyamin Weisbloom 119
A Bundle of Memories – Uri Shtramer 120
Fifty Years Ago – Yossef Kornwasser 122
The Blood Libel Miracle – Yaakov Korenwaser 124
The Tributaries of the Wisla – Moshe (Michael) Samet 125
We Baked Matzahs for Passover – Levi Brodbeker 127
The Hebrew Midwives – Zvi Faigenbaum 128
The Drama Society – Moshe (Michael) Samet 129
Kupat Cholim – V. H. 130
From Wierzbnik to Israel through the Paviak Prison – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 131
A Compilation of Memories from Wierzbnik – Yoseph Citrinbaum 136
The Carousel – Yitzhak Kerbel 139
Memories of my Home – Moshe Sali – Kerbel 140
Characters 143
Town Dignitaries (Characters) – Zvi Faigenbaum 144
Pola Laks, the Noble Woman – Jerachmiel Singer 149
Reb Shmuel Kleiner's House – M. Sali-Kerbel 150
The Admor of Chmelóv – Sara Postawski-Steinhardt 152
Memories from my Home – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 154
Memories of our Home – Mania Rosenkrantz – Bagno (Minka) 157
And His Time Never Came – Sarah Miriam Ribak 163
During the Holocaust 165
The Holocaust of the Jews of Europe – G. H. 166
Dark Days of Horror and Ruin (The Tragedy of Wierzbnik) – Jerahmiel Singer 167
Ilza, the Beginning of the Scourge – Zvi Faigenbaum 179
In the “Camps for the Correction of Man” – Pinchas Nudelman 183
The Day of Holocaust and the Extermination of our Town – Leibish Herblum 186
The Synagogue is Burning – Zvi Faigenbaum 188
A Source of Life Gone Dry – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 192
Waiting in Line for Bread – Sara Postawski-Steinhardt 194
The First Murder – Sara Postawski-Steinhardt 196
Wierzbnik, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen – Malka Cohen (Leopold) 197
On this Day They Shall Mourn – Sarah Brodbeker 200
In the Jaws of Destiny – Menachem Mincberg 201
Diaspora – M. Magen 205
On the Road to Treblinka – Menachem Efrati 207
My Journeys Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death – Rivka Greenberg (Mincberg) 211
On the Edge of the Abyss – Hanna Tenzer 216
To the Wilderness of the Taiga – Rachel Laor (Dreksler) 223
Going to Palestine – Chava Faigenbaum (Shraga) 227
In the Claws of Death's Minions – Avraham (Moshe) Minkowski 229
In Desperation – Pinchas Hochmitz 232
The Death March from Auschwitz – Ida Rosenberg (Bialik) 234
A Mountain of Corpses in Korenwasser's Yard – Gershon Rosenwald 236
We Ate Grass and Coal – Natan-Neta Gelbart 237
Only Graves Remain – Moshe Weintraub 240
Where No Birds Fly – Abe Zukerman 242
Father, I am Going to the Crematorium – Pinchas Helstein 244
From Wierzbnik to Mauthausen – Zvi Unger (Heshek) 246
A Gruesome Reality – Yaffa Barkai – Rosenwald 251
Sorrowful Reunions Tragic Encounters – Esther Zukerman-Zilberman 252
Memorial Candle – M. K. 261
Bar Mitzvah in the Forest – Malka Weisbloom 262
We were Ten Brothers – Pinchas Hochmitz 263
The Deception: “Work Sets You Free” – Malka Weisbloom 268
Echoes from the Vale of Tears – Yoseph Honigsberg 270
Aiding Children in the Holocaust – Sara Postawski-Steinhardt 276
The Little Orphaned Shoes – Esther Zukerman-Zilberman 278
Like Dark Clouds – Mindl Rosenwald-Farbman 281
The Beginning of the Downfall – Simcha Minzberg 283
Days of Misery and Ruin – Simcha Mincberg 291
Mengele's “Promise” – Zvi Unger (Heshek) 298
Polish Cooperation in the Extermination of Jews – Beniek Zukerman 300
Resistance and Rebellion 307
Led Like Lambs to the Slaughter – Zvi Faigenbaum 308
Hell's Dungeon – Chava Faigenbaum (Shraga) 317
The Policeman Shot and Missed – Abraham Shiner 321
A Hole in the Floor of the Railway Car – Pinchas Hochmitz 325
We Jumped from the Railway Car of Death – Zvi Faigenbaum 327
Aba Kumetz Dared to Swear – Jerachmiel Singer 330
Active resistance 332
In the Woods of Wierzbnik (With the Partisans) – David Sali 333
Fighting the Nazi Conqueror – Yaacov Snir 341
In the Ranks of the Polish Army – Moshe (Michael) Samet 350
He Died on the Way to Freedom – Hania Kuper (Reichzeig) 355
Shmuel Dov Faigenbaum Fell in the Line of Duty – Zvi Faigenbaum 356
Hela Sacrificed Her Life – Tzipora Snir (Faiga Lustman) 359
Guta Blass-Weintraub Snatched the Gun – Jerachmiel Singer 360
In the Shade of the Thick Forest – Gershon Rosenwald 362
Memorial (poem) – Reuven Shuali (Lis) 366
We Wished to Die as Heroes (poem) – Malka Weisbloom 367
Flames Rose from the Steam – Avraham Shiner 368
Knives by the Crematoriums – Rivka Greenberg (Mincberg) 370
Saved by Finkelstein's Sacrifice – Malka Weisbloom 372
The Heroism of Esther Manela – Malka Weisbloom 373
A Gap in the Fence – Avraham Shiner 374
Deep in the Forest – Gershon Rosenwald 376
Hunted and Murdered by Polish Partisans – Avraham Shiner 381
After the war 386
After my Liberation – Simcha Mincberg 387
Yizkor… – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 390
Murders – after Liberation – Perele Brodbeker-Unger 392
The Nazis' Followers – Chava Fajgenbaum (Shraga) 394
The Encounter in Munich – Yitzhak Kerbel 396
It Began on an Autumn Day – Dvora Rubinstein-Erlichsohn 397
I Ran Away and Returned Home – Yitzhak Edison-Erlichsohn 398
A Memorial Stone in Toronto Dedicated to the Wierzbniker Martyrs – Abe Zukerman 401
The Wierzbniker Society in Toronto – Abe Zukerman 402
Last Impressions of my Native City – Abe Zukerman 404
To the Cemetery in Wierzbnik – Sarah Postawski – Steinhart 409
The Town Elder Lied Deliberately – Yitzhak Kerbel 411
Hunted to Extinction – Moshe Neiman 414
From Slavery to Freedom – Zvi Magen (Hershel Pancer) 416
The Miraculous Journey of Mr. Hershel Wiser – M. S., Zvi Faigenbaum 419
To Mention – Through Allusion – Gershon Rosenwald 422
In Memory of the Missing Ones 424
Reb Mordechai Mendel Zilberstein, of Blessed Memory – Moshe Kerbel 425
Shmuel Morgenstern, of Blessed Memory – Yitzhak Kerbel 427
Mr. Noah Citrinbaum – His Daughter Esther 429
Hershel Froyman – Yaakov Katz 430
Israel Reisler, of Blessed Memory – Abe Zukerman 431
Shmuel Gelbard – David Plonsky 432
On the Grave of Yosef Citrinbaum – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 433
Yoseph Citrinbaum (Harari) – His Sons, David and Amos 434
Mr. Moshe David Rothschild – Zvi Faigenbaum 436
I Cry for Them – Leibl Rabinowicz 438
In Memory of my Beloved Ones – Yehoshua Jerry Rolnizki 439
In Memory of our Family – Sternkranz Family 441
The House of Mr. Shmuel Kleiner – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 442
At the Mass Grave of our Brethren – Moshe Sali-Kerbel 444
Conclusion – Yizkor Book Committee 446
Wierzbnik Necrology
In Memoriam (Introduction) – Yizkor Book Committee 3
Sketches of a Town – Moshe Sali (Kerbel) 9
The Jewish People Lives! – Yaakov Katz 12
Twenty Years after the Loss of Jewry of the Cities of Wierzbnik and Drilz (Ilza) – Gershon Rosenwald 15
Remember, And Don't Forget – Yaakov Katz 18
Dark Days of Horror and Ruin (The Tragedy of Wierzbnik) – Jerahmiel Singer 20
In the Woods of Wierzbnik (With the Partisans) – David Sali 35
For the Next Generations – Reva (Naiman) Karstadt 43
German Trial Stirs Memory of Horror Camp – Wendy Tucker, Staff Reporter 45
The Sixteenth Day of Cheshvan The Liquidation of our Town – Yaakov Katz 48
It Was a Great Shock – Necha Baranek 51
My Heart Began to Pound Loudly – Sam Stein 52
Jerusalem of Old and Jerusalem the Golden – Yaakov Katz 54
Lists (from Forced-Labor-Camps) 57


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