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{Page 505}

Polish Jewry
Book Collection from the Central–Union of Polish Jewry in Argentina

Editor: Mark Turkow

Chief Publisher: Avraham Mitelberg

Translated from the Yiddish by Pamela Russ

Published until the present:

  1. Mark Turkow: Malka Owsziani Tells … – sold out
  2. H.D. Numberg: I.L. Peretz – sold out
  3. Grossman – Wiernik: Treblinka – sold out
  4. Peretz Granetstein: My destroyed City of Sokolov – sold out
  5. Yisroel Tabaksblat: The Destruction of Lodz – sold out
  6. Zerubavel: The Mountain of Destruction (Chapters of Poland) – sold out
  7. Elkhonon Ceitlin: In a Literary House – sold out
  8. Dr. Kh. Szoszkes: Poland – 1946 – sold out
  9. Z. Segalowycz: Tlumaczka 13 – sold out
  10. M. Nudelman: Laughter through Tears – sold out
  11. Dr. Meyer Balaban: The Jewish City of Lublin – sold out
  12. Yisroel Efrat: Homeless Jews – sold out
  13. Dr. Yakov Shatzki: In the Shadows of the Past – sold out
  14. Dovid Flinker: A House on Grzhibow – sold out
  15. Dr. Hillel Zeidman: The Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto – sold out
  16. Children's Martyrology (collection of documents) – sold out
  17. Khaim Grade: Refugees (songs) – sold out
  18. Sh. Koczerginski: The Partisans Are Marching! – sold out
  19. Frieda Zerubavel: Wanderings (a refugee's drawings)
  20. Mordekhai Strigler: Majdanek
  21. Yakov Leszczinski: On the Edge of the Abyss – sold out
  22. Z. Segalowycz: Burning Steps
  23. Avrohom Teitelboim: Warsaw Courtyards
  24. Tanya Fuks: Wandering through Occupied Regions
  25. Sh.L. Schneiderman: Between Terror and Hope
  26. Leah Finkelstein: The Story of Poland – sold out
  27. Jonas Turkow: This Is How It Was… (the destruction of Warsaw)
  28. Sh. Izbahn: “Illegal” Jews Split Oceans
  29. Yakov Pat: Henokh
  30. Dr. Y. Kermysz: The Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto
  31. Simkha Poliakiewycz: A day in Treblinka
  32. Mordekahi Strigler: In the Factories of Death
  33. Avrohom Nakhatumi: In the Shadows of Generations
  34. Yekhiel Leder: My Home (poem)
  35. Yosef Wolf: Reading Peretz…
  36. Tzippora Katzenelson–Nakhumow: Yitzkhok Katzenelson
  37. Y. Hirshaut: Dark Nights in Powiak
  38. Nakhum Sokolow: Personalities
  39. Rokhel H. Korn: Home and Homelessness (song)
  40. A. Almi: Moments of Life
  41. Menashe Ungar: Przysucha and Kotzk – sold out
  42. M. Bursztyn: About the Destruction of the Unknown Person
  43. M. Kypnis: One hundred Folk Songs – sold out
  44. Z. Segalowycz: My Seven Years in Tel Aviv
  45. Dr. Kh. Szoszkes: A World That Has Gone By
  46. Shloime Wago: The Destruction of Chestokhow
  47. Avrohom Zak: Years Wandering (songs)
  48. Sh. Izbahn: The Karp Family (novel) – sold out
  49. (awarded by the Tzvi Kessel Literature Foundation, Mexico 1950)
  50. Dr. A. Mokduni: My Memoirs
  51. R. Shoshana Cohen: In Fire and Flames (diary)
  52. Y.Y. Trunk: Yiddish Prose in Poland
  53. Janos Turkow: Fighting for Life
  54. Yitzkhok Perlow: The People of the “Exodus 1947” (novel)
  55. Pinkhas Bizberg: Shabbath–Yomtovdig [Jewish holidays] Jews
  56. Shalom Asch: Peterburg (novel)
  57. Shalom Asch: Warsaw (novel)
  58. Shalom Asch: Moscow (novel)
  59. Dr. Philip Friedman: Auschwitz
  60. B. Rozen: Tlumeczka 13
  61. Dovid Flinker: In the Storm (novel) Volume I
  62. Dovid Flinker: In the Storm (novel) Volume II
  63. Janos Korczak: Little Moishes, Little Yosefs, Little Yisroels
  64. Mordekhai Strigler: Factory “C,” Volume I
  65. Mordekhai Strigler: Factory “C,” Volume II
  66. Khaim Grade: The Glow of the Extinguished Stars
  67. Rivka Kwiatkowska: From Camp, In Camp
  68. Yoel Mastboim: My Stormy Years (memoirs)
  69. Eliyahu Trotsky: Exile Germany
  70. Dr. Yakov Shatski: Culture History of the Enlightenment – sold out
  71. Nakhman Meisel: Once There Was a Life …
  72. Y.Y. Trunk: Simkha Plokhta from Narkowa – sold out
  73. Yehuda Elberg: Under Copper Skies
  74. Dr. A. Mokduni: Foreign Countries
  75. Zygmunt Turkow: Fragments of My Life
  76. Yehoshua Perlow: Jews All Year
    (winner of the Peretz Prize of the Yiddish Pen Club in Poland and Literary Prize of the “Bund” in Poland, Warsaw, 1937)
  77. Yakov Leszczinski: The Eve of the Catastrophe
Soon to Be Printed and Published:
  • Daniel Czarny: Vilna
  • Menashe Ungar: Chassidus in Poland and Galicia
Being Prepared for Printing:
  • B. Mikhalewycz: Memoirs of a Jewish Socialist
  • Z.Y. Ankhi: Reb Abba and Other Stories
  • Dr. Josef Tenenboim: Galicia – My Old Home
  • Sh. Brianski: Zhelekhow Faces
  • Mordekhai Strigler: Fates
  • Rokhel Auerbach: From Ringelblum's Archives
  • Yosef Reikh: Memoirs of a Partisan
  • Dr. Yakov Wigodski: Memoirs of the Years of Occupation
  • Dr. Gershon Levin: The Book of My Life
  • Z. Segalowycz: Fifty Letters
  • Sh. Berlinski: Inheritance
  • Kodia Molodwski: Once Upon a Time
  • Hershele: Shabbath on the Stretch
  • Avraham Lev: A Song after You
  • Gershom Boder: Krakow
  • Moishe Zonshein: “Jewish Warsaw”

{Page 508}

Press Articles about the Book Collection

Polish Jewry

Translated from the Yiddish by Pamela Russ


Yitzkhok Berliner writes about the book by Jonas Turkow, “Fighting for Life” (“Der Weg” [Yiddish newspaper], Mexico, August 12, 1950):

I read Jonas Turkow's book “Fighting for Life” in one breath.

The reason for this is not because of my reading habits but because the situations of these gruesome experiences, in reality, captivated me from beginning to end.

Just as in his first book, “That Is How It Was,” in which Jonas Turkow so sharply describes life in the ghetto, the same thing is seen in “Fighting for Life,” as the writer was punished and bleeding as he wrote about his frightening experiences on the Aryan side of Warsaw and Province.

Experiences? – No! – This is not an appropriate or adequate word for these horrific things that the modern day Anusim [Hebrew: people who were coerced into something they did not want to do] went through.

To be on the Aryan side and to hide behind a Polish ID card, under the mask of an aristocratic moustache, under the constant fear of being discovered by the razor–sharp eye of a “Shmaltzovnik” [trans: pejorative Polish slang, referring to blackmailing Poles who protected Jews during the Nazi occupation], wandering from bunker to bunker, suffocating in hiding places, and trembling with each suspicious rustle in fear of being “informed” by the “friendly” Polish surroundings – all this means – playing your last card…

Playing the last card, after which, with your solitary life, you run away from the ghetto to “freedom” …

Playing the last card with your own life and also with the lives of your wife and child…


How were they able to experience and live through all this, the “Janeks” (Jonas Turkow was called Jan Tatarkewycz on the Aryan side), the “Juzheks,” the Dr. Bermans, the Dianas, the little Margaritkas, the Janinas, and the Anielas (the editor Rokhel Auerbakh)?…

You have to be physically and mentally strong to be able to conduct this fight for life, and – strong in morale, you had to be as well, in order to be victorious in this struggle…

And a strong morale Jonas Turkow did have … so he actually was able to come out of that horrible chaos as a complete person … Therefore, he was able to carry inside himself, and to tolerate and live through all the humiliations and debasements of the “goodhearted” Poles…


You think that Jonas Turokw gave his book a pretty simple title, “In the Fight for Life.” But this expression, “In the Fight for Life,” only gets its justice in Turkow's descriptions of his sufferings … The well–known global expression – “In the Fight for Life” – (La Luca por La Vida, in Spanish) is used by many nations, referring in general to the daily struggle of an individual to support himself and his household financially… and generally, for a class struggle. – The collective search to improve one's life circumstances.

This expression acquired a greater truth when it took on the name of Jonas Turkow's fight for life on the “free” side, outside the ghetto… when the actor, Jonas Turkow in reality played the difficult role of Jan Tatarkewycz… and he carried this role until the end of the final act…

If one is fighting for his life and survives these unequaled and incomparable struggles – physically intolerable struggle – mentally a miraculous fight – morally, one has to have a superhuman steadfastness and resilience in oneself that does not permit you to bend or break with any oppositional horrors.

If you lose yourself, you become an “Emilke” (a Jewish woman in Turkow's book who lives as a Pole in Warsaw).


The woman mentioned, “Emilke” (Emilia the Kosower), was so steeped in her role as an Aryan woman, that the surrounding Poles began to think of her as one who belonged to their nationality … and she herself began to waiver … until she became a business partner to the so–called goodhearted Pole, Theodore Pajewski, who saved Jews from the ghetto – according to the instructions of the Polish underground – and at the same time he negotiated and cheated with unfortunate lives and with the last few groshen [pennies] of the hidden Jews on the Aryan side…

Emilke used to look for houses for the disguised Jews with “good faces.” But that's how she used to deplete these condemned people until their last groshen, to their greatest danger…

How far did they, these dissidents of humanity and nationhood, go with their perverse behavior?

It is necessary to present a situation from Turkow's book, where he describes in all its nakedness, these morally weakened people of the Emilke type:

“And the second sister, Emilke, added:

“ ‘I never had anything good come from the Jews. If not for the Poles, my sister and I would long be buried in the ground. When the war will end, I will not have any contact with a Jew…

“ ‘Our hearts were bleeding (this was recounted by Jonas Turkow – Y.B.) when we constantly heard this topic and the “beautiful expressions” about Jewish women, to which were later added the cynical observations of Theodore Pajewski.

“ ‘When the author Rokhel Auerbakh (Aniela) came to us, we told her about the propaganda that the Kosowo sisters were putting out. Rokhel Auerbakh smiled, and told us that we should be careful with Emilke Kosower, because this is a terrible person and we had to be very vigilant with her…

“ ‘When Rokhel Auerbakh left, Emilke says to Theodore: ‘I don't understand. Why are you letting her in here? You have to forbid her to come here. She can bring a tragedy upon us here.’ ‘You're right,’ Theodore replies, and then he turns to me. ‘If she comes here again, then you, Yanku (Turkow's Aryan name – Y.B.) tell her that I don't want her to come to me because the neighbors are already talking anyway that Jews are coming to me…

“ ‘I won't tell her that,’ I reply. ‘And you do not need to tell her that either because she belongs to the underground organization. Just like she has been coming to you until now and no one has been thinking that she is Jewish, no one will even thing that she is guilty.’

“After that discussion, I was afraid to present to them my sister–in–law Ruzhe Blumenfeld as a Jew. When she came to us, I introduced her as Frau [Mrs.] Doctor Stepa – one of the most important activists in the Polish underground. With that, she earned their highest respect.” (page 204)

Fortunately, these Emilkes were few in the martyred lives of the Jews in Poland under the Nazis and also under the Poles and Ukrainians. The Jewish people held themselves proud and strong against all the stumblings, and accepted the pains with heroic and indescribable stoicism.


This is how Jonas Turkow came to play in a theater with his own life on the stage of reality…

The planks [of the stage] shook under his steps… and each minute he thought the stage would break under him…

Nearby and behind the scenes, were fellow performers, with terror and patience in their sad eyes …

The crowded room – on the Polish street – was filled with murderous faces… judgemental, sharp looks, would eat away at him … insecurity hovered over the entire theater – Poland …

He tried to hide himself behind the foreign stage make–up and in a foreign language and – he played his role beautifully…

Jonas Turkow performed in a theater under a strict rule of the horrors of life…

A terrible theater play!…

About all issues related to the Book Collection
“Polish Jewry”
Union Central Israelita Polaca
Pueyrredon 667 – Buenos Aires


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