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[Page 707]

S.B. Helman

Citation from “Częstochower Zeitung

S.B. Helman was the son of an old, local resident, Hillel Helman. He was known as a very energetic and capable man, who acted extensively in the philanthropic and communal arenas. He was the founder of the local “Bank Spółdzielczy” [Cooperative Bank] and its long–standing Prezes. During a series of years, he held the position of Dozór [Supervisor] in the local Kehilla and was a member in the administrative board of “Dobroczynność”. S.B. Helman distinguished himself with his large contributions to various causes, such as donating the roof for the new study–hall when it was being built.

He left three sons – Dr Bolesław, the engineer Jerzy, and Adolf Helman, who all continued running his factories and the “Michalina” brickyard, as well as his philanthropic good deeds.

[Pages 707-708]

Dr Zaks hy”d


He came from one of the oldest Częstochowa families. He studied chemistry and became one of the first, large industrialists in this field. He was also one of the city's greatest philanthropists.

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, he was living in Warsaw, but often came to his chemicals factory in Częstochowa. When in Częstochowa, he worshipped in the New Synagogue and distinguished himself with his large pledges to welfare institutions.

(In 1939, he moved with his family to Lwów. In 1941, they returned to Częstochowa and, on the night after Yom Kippur 1942, they were transported to Treblinka, together with all those who were sent to their tragic deaths.)

[Page 708]

Dr Chaim Markowicz

The Book Committee

He was born in 1898 in Częstochowa to a well–known religious family. He learnt in a cheder and, later, enrolled at a secondary school, where he excelled in his skills and attracted his teachers' attention.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Kraków University and, after training with a few lawyers, opened his own law firm.

His education, excellent memory and practical skills brought him great success. He was especially good as defence counsel in political cases.

He was a proud Jew and, in his brilliant speeches in the courtrooms and his articles in the press, he fiercely attacked the manifestations of Nazi ideology and its venomous antisemitic propaganda.

With the end of the Second World War, Dr Markowicz also appeared in criminal cases – as prosecutor on behalf of the State. At first, he was deputy to the State Prosecutor of the District Court in Łódź. He then served as deputy to the Regional State Prosecutor and – soon afterwards – as State Prosecutor in the Supreme Court in Warsaw. Eventually, he attained the high position of State Prosecutor.

For his services, the Republic of Poland awarded him the Gold Cross of Merit [Krzyż Zasługi].

In 1957, he resigned his position and returned to his work as a private lawyer.

Dr Markowicz passed away in January 1964 in Warsaw, at the age of 65, and was buried next to the graves of other prominent Jewish figures.

[Pages 708-709]

Icek Rotholc (“Forfer”)

The Book Committee

Reb Icze Rotholc was only known by his nickname “Forfer”. What the meaning of this nickname was, and what its origins were, no one knew. But the city's elders remember that he worked as a clerk at “Dobroczynność” and that he was Henryk Markusfeld's right–hand–man in his deeds of charity.

He was distinguished for his kindness and for his fierce desire to aid anyone in any possible way – and not just Jews.

In the midst of the First World War, when there was great distress in the city, Rotholc “Forfer” made the rounds with the “Dobroczynność” wagon, laden with bread to distribute among the poor, and he did not withhold his aid from poor Christians also, who turned to him. For this, he was presented with a letter of gratitude and esteem from the leader of the Catholic Church in Częstochowa.

In addition to his official work as employee of “Dobroczynność”, he also donated his time and energy and worked, voluntarily, for the soup kitchen and the orphanage.

(Although Rotholc passed away immediately following the First World War, his name was blessed and praised until the annihilation of Jewish Częstochowa, and it is fitting that his name, too, be mentioned in the Memorial Book to our destroyed community!)

[Page 709]

Reb Nachman Kryman

The Book Committee

One of the most respected “Aguda” activists, he was much beloved within Chassidic circles.

He was a timber merchant for many years, a member of the “Machzikei Hadas” administration, and the gabay of a Gerer shtiebel.

[Pages 709-710]

Reb Kasriel Lewenhof

Zvi Józef Kaufman

My grandfather, Reb Kasriel, was a follower of the Rebbe Reb Awrum Landau in Ciechanów. He was a fine singer, and all his days, especially on the “High Holidays”, he both led the prayer services and read the Torah scroll at his shtiebel.

The rabbi, Reb Menachem Mendel Landau, the Rabbi of Zawiercie, who succeeded his father as Rebbe, when visiting Częstochowa, would stay at grandfather's home. At these times, his house was turned into a meeting place for the Zawiercie Chassidim.

I should mention that grandfather's house was generally open to all wayfarers and that, at his “restaurant” in the Old Market, all the Jews of the vicinity would congregate on market day, eating and drinking to their pleasure.

Also, all the rabbis in the region would come to him when visiting in Częstochowa and he received them well with food and drink, without expecting any remuneration.

In his youth, he experienced a great miracle. A fire broke out in town and he went out to see it with his father–in–law, Reb Zyndel Rapoport [should say Proport]. A wall fell, killing several people, including his father–in–law. In commemoration of the miracle he had experienced, every year on the last day of Pesach, the anniversary of the event, he held a Kiddush to make the miracle known and to recite a blessing of gratitude.

Three sons and three daughters were born to him. The sons, Icyk Majer, Zvi and Heinrich all died in his own lifetime, and he had a Torah scroll written in their memory, which he donated to the Zawiercie shtiebel. The daughters were my mother Itta (my father Menachem Mendel's wife), Golda (wife of Reb Dov Berysz Goldrajch) and Raszka (wife of Reb Abram Juda Szczupak).

[Page 710]

Reb Dawid Pelc hy”d

Yeshayahu Landau

He was a Torah scholar, who studied the Torah for its own sake, of noble features adorned with beard and sidelocks, who spouted forth wisdom like a mighty stream. He gave good advice and had experience in the ways of life, as if contained within him was the happenings and dealings of hundreds of years. He truly served God with happiness and radiated joy of life to all those around him.

(They told of him that, on the miserable and tragic day of the banishment, he went around among the crowd, preaching encouragement and hope in heavenly aid soon to come, although unseen to the eye.

With his great faith, he even then found the way to stop the despair seizing the Częstochowa Jews. No one turned him back and some even joined him and found temporary relief in Chassidic singing, to welcome the approaching “redemption”. But it never came and the ever hopeful one shared the destiny of the rest of the pure martyrs!)

[Pages 710-711]

Reb Mosze Izrael Zomper

The Book Committee

He was one of the most outstanding Chassidic characters in Częstochowa. He was born in nearby Przyrów and settled in Częstochowa. He tutored young lads who did well in Talmud with Toisfes and had many pupils. He was a great scholar, an expert both in the revealed [dimensions of Torah] and the concealed [i.e., ], and above all, he was noted for his simplicity and righteousness. He was humble, kind–hearted and charitable towards all. Despite his own tight situation, he was a great squanderer on charity and outstanding in his hospitality to guests.

His wife Brajndla also excelled in kindness and helped him with their livelihood by running their business herself, so as to enable him to dedicate himself to Torah and good deeds.

He huddled in the shade of the Radomsko Rebbe and was one of his most important followers.

He was also a supporter of the Old Yishuv[1] [Settlement] in the Land of Israel, as well as a collector for the Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNes fund[2] and all the rabbinical emissaries from the Land of Israel were his guests.

Translator's footnotes:

  1. The ultra–orthodox Jewish communities in the Land of Israel, prior to the onset of Zionism and the Aliyah movement. Return
  2. Polish Jewish charity fund for the support of their countrymen who had settled in the Holy Land. Return

[Page 711]

Reb Mojsze Częstochowski

J.Ch. Plai

Reb Mojsze Częstochowski was one of the best among the Częstochowa Chassidic public. He came from the town Lelów and his grandfather Reb Szlojme, had been raised on the lap of the tzadik Reb Duvidl Biderman, who is famous by his title “Reb Duvidl Lelówer”.

Reb Mojsze Częstochowski was a trusted confidante of the Rebbe Reb Awrum Yissuchor Rabinowicz of Radomsko, author of “Chessed Le'Avruhom” and, later, of his son, Reb Yechezkele. Despite being the owner of a wholesale flour business, he spent most of his time at the Radomsko Rebbe s' court and usually accompanied them on their travels. All matters at the Radomsko court were carried out with his guidance.

[Pages 711-712]

Reb Juda Leib [Lewek] Kantor

The Book Committee

He was one of our city's notable figures. Of noble features, he also inspired respect with his external appearance, with his well–groomed beard, his tidy apparel and keen eyes.

Already in his youth, he emerged as a young studious prodigy and he studied the Torah all his life. He inherited from his mother, the renowned philanthropist, Kajla Kantor, much wisdom of life and, like her, he also excelled as a philanthropist, one who took in guests and who gave generously to charity.

Although he was ultra–orthodox himself (he was affiliated with the Radomsko Chassidim), he had a modern outer appearance, a pleasant demeanour and was tolerant towards all factions, including those distanced from religious or Chassidic life – unless they were uncouth or “spiteful, modern apostates”. His many friends and seekers of his advice were from all circles of the population and, among them, also many Christians.

Although in the mid–1930's he fell from his former glory, all the townspeople continued to show him great respect. Even in the days of hardship and want, he did not relinquish from taking in guests and giving to charity. He shared his bread with the poor and the needy.

His first wife, Laja zl”l, was the daughter of Reb Herszel, son of Reb Szyja Zeligman. She died at a young age, leaving him with eight children. He then married her sister's daughter [Chaja] Sura, the daughter of Reb Szlojme “Shoichet” [Fuks], with whom he had another three children. (His son Yechezkel [Chaskel], who was born in 1917, as well as his second son Józef, wrote a brilliant page in the annals of the fight against the accursed Nazis. Yechezkel was a commander in the Polish Underground State [resistance movement]. He organised groups of partisans and was among the plotters of the Częstochowa Ghetto insurrection.

When all the youth groups united around the underground organisation “ŻOB” (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa) [The Jewish Fighting Organisation], Yechezkel Kantor was one of the most active in organising the resistance and he died a hero's death in combat. (May God avenge his blood!)

[Pages 712-713]

Shoichet Reb Mojsze Zander

Izaak Zander

He was born in 5649 [1889] to his father Ze'ev [Wolf], in the town of Gorzkowice. He studied with the Head of Court of Pławno, author of “Yad Ha'Levi” [“Hand of the Levite”]. He trained in ritual slaughter and examination [of the carcasses] with Reb Leibale, the Shoichet of Bełchatów, and was ordained as a shoichet and examiner by Reb Isuchor Dov [Ber] Graubart, the Rabbi of Będzin, author of “Divrei Yisoschor” [“The Words of Issachar”].

He gained renown as an expert slaughterer with a wonderfully skilled hand. He first served as shoichet in Starczów and Kłobuck. In Kłobuck, he was also active in public matters. He gave Torah lessons to young and old, arranged the town's eruv[1], kept the books for the charity fund founded by the “Joint” and was a committee member of the “Yessod Ha'Torahcheder and “Beis Yaakov”.

In 1929, he was appointed shoichet and “second cantor” in our city's Main Synagogue.

My father, Reb Mojsze, had a pleasing bearing and received each and every person cheerfully. In his conversations with people, he would intercalate Torah undertones. He was naturally humble and distanced himself from conflicts. He was chosen as a council member of the “Shoichets' Organisation” in Poland. He was called on to rectify [differing] practices and to mediate in conflicts that arose between shoichets and rabbis and Kehilla leaders in different localities.

He was a Radomsko chassid, and when he came to visit his Rebbe, he was honoured with leading the prayer service, as well as songs at the “tables”.

Of his seven offspring, his son (the writer of these lines) and his daughter Naomi (Zysel) have survived and are both in Israel.

Translator's footnote:

  1. A technical boundary made of wire which allows Jews to carry in public areas on Shabbes. Return

[Pages 713-714]

Shoichet Reb Mojsze Szancer hy”d

S.B. Szancer

My father, who was born in 1890, was already noted in childhood for his diligence and quick perception in his studies and his teachers predicted a bright future for him. Indeed, he attained that which not every man is able to achieve – as a young, married man, just 24 years old, he was engaged as shoichet in an important city like Częstochowa – an uncommon occurrence in those days! All this was due to his extensive and exact knowledge of the laws of ritual slaughter and examination, as well as his practical, professional excellence.

Although, at first, he was only hired as a shoichet of poultry, after just a few days he was honoured with the position of slaughtering large beasts, as one of the experienced and distinct slaughterers in our city.

Also, being naturally endowed with a talent for public activism, he immediately occupied an important position in all the rulings and actions that arose around questions of ritual slaughter and those involved in it – in particular, in that period, when the haters of Jews in Poland raised their heads and began scheming against Jewish ritual slaughter.

Here is not the place to tell of his clever actions in this field, but all those, who were closely involved in the affair, glorified and praised his deeds in connection with it, which were always performed intelligently and wisely.

My late father was a follower of the Aleksander Rebbe and he was the gabay at the Aleksander shtiebel on ulica Krakowska (at Reb Zajnwel Szwiderski's house), in which he introduced various improvements for the worshippers' benefit.

He also saw to the establishment of a charitable fund by the shtiebel, from which all those in need received aid – and everything was done graciously, “in order not to shame anyone who had none” [Mishnah, Taanit, Ch.8, 4.].

My father also excelled in fulfilling the precept of hospitality to guests. Every Shabbes, and particularly on holidays, he arranged a place for every “guest” who came to the shtiebel at the tables of the [most] respected Chassidim, whilst he always endeavoured that, at his own table, should sit those “guests” whose clothes were torn and worn, who were unwanted as guests in the homes of the wealthy.

He also blew the shofar at the shtiebel, and regularly led the first section of the morning prayer.

(He shared the bitter fate of the martyrs of Częstochowa and, together with them, was annihilated by the relentless enemy in Treblinka. May God avenge their blood!)

[Pages 714-715]

Cantor Reb Zyskind [Ber] Rozental





Besides A.B. Birenbaum, there were other great cantor–artists in Częstochowa.

One of the first cantors in Częstochowa was Reb Zyskind Rozental, who had earlier served as City Cantor in Konin (Kalisz district) and in Płock. He arrived in Częstochowa at the end of the 19th century with his four sons and a choir of sixteen singers. He was of noble features, scholarly and with had a musical education. He played both the violin and the piano, composed many melodies, and enriched artistic singing in the cantor world. He began his audition with the [liturgical poem] “Yigdal” [“May He Be Magnified”] and he had a distinct tune for each [of the thirteen] verses. Immediately following the audition, he was appointed City Cantor.

His compositions were numerous. Every year, he composed new tunes for the prayers in the traditional style and, in a short time, he became popular within all the city's circles.

He lived on Stary Rynek 9. At the close of every Shabbes, he held a concert in his home, together with his daughter and the choir. He played the violin, his daughter the piano and the choir sang. The entire street was full of people who listened to these concerts.

Also the renowned prayer–leaders, who prayed with the Rebbe of Pilica, such as Szyja Błaszker[1] (Srebrnik), Herszel Wolhendler and Mordche Wajnsztok listened to Rozental's new tunes and he gained fame in our city.

Cantor Rozental sometimes appeared in public concerts. He was the conductor and also played his violin.

The characteristic features of his prayers, for which Rozental was noted, were many. Particularly well–known were his melodies for “Ki Hinei Kachomer”, “Omnan Ken” and “Ya'ale[2], which became folk tunes and were also sung by many music aficionados.

He served as City Cantor for thirty three years, a tenure which was considered a testimony of honour by the local Jews. Cantor Rozental led the prayer for the last time at the age of 73 and it is said that this prayer was particularly thunderous. He probably felt that this would be the last Yom Kippur on which he would perform his duties. On Shemini Atzeres, he did not attend the Hakufes and his last wish was that, during his obituary at the synagogue where he worshipped, his composition for “Enosh Kechatzir Yamav[3] should be sung. This request was carried out when he died, at the age of 93 [?].

Translator's footnotes:

  1. From the locality of Błaszkowa (probably). Return
  2. “For as Material (in the Hands of the Craftsman)”, “Indeed It Is So” and “Ascend”; all three prayers are from the High Holidays liturgy. Return
  3. “As for man, his days are as grass”, Psalm 103:15 Return

[Pages 715-716]

Cantor Reb Abram Fiszel hy”d

The Book Committee




Abram Fiszel was the Chief Cantor at the New Synagogue in Częstochowa from 1914 to his tragic demise in 1942. Additionally, he was also music teacher at the primary schools and the Hebrew high school, and directed several choirs.

(On a night at the end of 1940, the Nazis set fire to the synagogue. Reb Fiszel, who lived in this same building, managed to escape with his family at the last moment. Having been left without a roof over his head, he returned to live in a small shack in the synagogue courtyard, not desiring to abandon the place where he had performed his duties for most of his life. He held services in the cellar which remained from the synagogue's magnificent building.

On the Yom Kippur preceding the “Aktion”, he stood all day in prayer before the congregation. The following day, the Nazis took him out of his poor shed.

One of the murderers ordered him to run ahead of him and he followed, riding his bicycle. He pursued him thus through several streets, but when his strength failed him and he could no longer run, the cruel Nazi stood him up against a wall and fatally shot him.

(A Jewish policeman, who witnessed this horrifying event, reported the details to his daughter Lea Fiszel–Panska, who now lives in Tel–Aviv.)

[Page 716]

The Cantor Józef Badasz

The Book Committee

Cantor Józef Badasz assumed his duties at the age of thirty, replacing Cantor Zyskind Rozental. He was noted for his lyrical, artistic voice, his rendering of “Riboino Shel Oilom” [“Master of the Universe”] upon the opening of the Holy Ark and for his Yom Kippur prayer in memory of “The Ten Martyrs”[1]. His singing made a great impression on all his listeners.

He served in Częstochowa for no longer than only ten years, because he was “snatched up” by the Jewish Community in London, which invited him to be its cantor. From there, he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, to serve as City Cantor at the local synagogue, a duty which he performs to this day.

Translator's footnote:

  1. Ten rabbis who were martyred by the Roman Empire in the period following the destruction of the Second Temple. A dramatic poem is recited in their memory on Y.K. Return

[Pages 716-717]

Cantor J. Cholewa hy”d

The Book Committee

Following Cantor Badasz's departure from Częstochowa, J. Cholewa from Włoszczowa took his place. He was a great singer and, as cantor, he succeeded in organising a permanent choir at the municipal synagogue, all members of which had excellent voices. Cholewa was the last cantor in Częstochowa.

(With the outbreak of the Second World War, he suffered many hardships at the hands of the Nazis.

After suffering the inferno of torture in the “Big Ghetto” and the “Small Ghetto”, he was sent to Blizin, from where he was transported to the death-camp at Oświęcim [Auschwitz]. Even in the camp, he prayed together with his tortured brethren, but was unable to withstand the torture and he perished in the Oświęcim concentration camp.)

[Pages 717-718]

Reb Izaak Mendel Horowicz hy”d

D. Koniecpoler

Reb Mendel Horowicz, one of Częstochowa's oldest Zionists, was among the first “Hovevei Zion” in our city, along with his brother Berisz and Messrs Natan Gerichter, M. Mokraujer and Gostynski.

Reb Horowicz was the owner of a large factory and was known for the meticulousness and honesty with which he managed his business. He was also able to pass this awareness on to his whole household, until it became a tradition in his house, in which the spoken language was Yiddish and not Polish, as was then the custom in most families of his standing. He educated his sons in a nationalistic spirit and instilled in them love for the Land of Israel.

His son Eliyahu [Eliasz] made Aliyah as a pioneer back in 1921 and is now a veterinary surgeon in Israel. His second son, Ze'ev Wolf, arrived in 1924 and is a member of the “Mishmar Ha'Emek” kibbutz. His third son, Szmul, who was also a kibbutz member, travelled to Częstochowa to see to family affairs and was unable to return in time.

Reb Horowicz visited Palestine in 1924 (in the month of Adar 5684) as a tourist, with the intention of settling in the land of his boyhood dreams. Upon returning to Częstochowa, he even said, “I've come from the home”. But his dreams did not come true.

When Hitler assumed power in Germany and a boycott was declared on German products, the “Horowicz & Ptr” firm cancelled all its orders for machines and raw materials, even though this brought it great losses and hindered the factory's development.

We should mention an incident which is characteristic of Reb Mendel's attitude. Once, one of his workers stood (after working hours) in front of Jewish shops, holding up a sign calling to boycott the Jews. Upon discovering this, he sacked him at once, disregarding the threats from the rest of the Polish workers that they would call a strike. Horowicz was not intimidated and he did not allow that antisemite to set foot in the factory again.

M. Horowicz was distinguished for his generosity in giving to charity, but he treated the National Funds especially generously. In all the fundraising events for “Keren Ha'Yesod” or “Keren Kayemeth”, the “Horowicz & Ptr” firm was amongst the highest on the list and it did not suffice with this – each individual partner in the firm also made his own, private contribution.

(In 1942, his two sons Leib and Szmul were executed in his factory's yard.

On 21st June 1943, Nazi troops discovered the bunker where he was hiding with his family. The leading murderer of the Częstochowa Jews, Degenhardt, took mercy upon them and allowed them to move to the “Small Ghetto”.

On Saturday, 26th,/sup> June 1943, when the “Small Ghetto” was liquidated, both he and his wife were shot. Blessed be their memory.)

[Page 718]

Zvi [Hersz] Granek





He was born in Częstochowa in 5658 [1899], to his father Dawid Majer, from a family of Ciechanów and Stryków Chassidim. He was educated at cheders and the study–hall and, in his studies, attained the level of a Torah scholar.

With the rise of the “Ha'Mizrachi” movement in Poland and the establishment of the “Tzeirei Ha'Mizrachi” organisation, he was counted among its founders, and acted extensively to obtain adherents for the Zionist–religious cause. He was also active for the National Funds and was at the head of the “Keren Kayemeth” activists.

Due to his Zionist activities, he was more than once forced to argue with opponents of Zionism from the extremist religious camp and was also subject to their persecution. However, this only intensified his love for Zion and the “Ha'Mizrachi” movement.

He fell ill with severe pneumonia and on 28th Adar II 5679 [30th March 1919], he passed away, being still very young.

[Pages 719-720]

The “Trio” Which Once Was and Its Remnants

Sz. Oderberg

We were always considered the “three who are one” – each of us completed the other two.

We acted together, dividing the work according to each one's personal tendencies and, always, supporting each other. All three of us were graduates of the Hebrew high school, students at the university and graduates of the Faculty of Law – a “trio”, who did not continue in the profession we had studied, for we all had a common “weakness” – namely, Zionist–public service amongst the maturing student youth who were being trained.

We were three and only I remain to light a memorial candle for the other two, who perished in the Holocaust, who were an inseparable part of both my body and soul.

We stayed together everywhere in our joint life. Our “distinguishing marks” were our personal names – Jakub (Horowicz), Dudek (Dawid Kartuz), and Semek (Szlojme Oderberg), the writer of these lines).

Jakub Horowicz was born in 1911. He was always a composed individual and mindful of his appearance. He operated mainly amongst the more mature youth. He had an ability to find a rapport with different factors and acted as our natural, “Foreign Secretary”. Together with this, he was always willing to perform any task laid upon him.

He commenced his public activity as part of “Herzliya”, the Zionist Organisation and the “Zionist Youth”. When the academic kibbutz[1] was founded in our city, he immediately became one of its closest friends. He procured work for it and saw to the betterment of the living conditions of the academically trained “kibbutzknikim” [kibbutz members].

(Also, during the Nazi occupation of Częstochowa, he continued serving the public through his work in the Judenrat.


Dawid Kartuz h”yad


When the Nazis spread a malicious rumour that they would be sending the entire Jewish intelligentsia in a convoy to Palestine, it was natural for him to believe them and he joined the convoy. Of course, it later turned out that the rumour regarding the “journey” was a satanic trap by the Nazis, by which many of our townspeople, mainly members of the intelligentsia, were annihilated. Jakub Horowicz's last march towards the homeland, which ended in his destruction, was characteristic of his life and death.)

Dawid Kartuz [pic left] was born in 1912. He was a graduate of the Hebrew high school and the University of Kraksw. He was one of the organisers of “Herzliya” and of the “Zionist Youth”. He travelled to neighbouring towns and gave speeches on behalf of the Zionist Organisation and the National Funds, and he was the first cell leader, as well as a member, of the district leadership. He was a gifted orator, had a quick intellect and was always in a hurry – truly a volcano. He despised trivialities and organisational minutia. He loved public appearances and, yet, he was a disciplined soldier, who always obeyed the movement's orders, even when they stood in contrast to his own interests.

Once a new generation of instructors had grown in our city, Dudek was called on to also give of his energy further afield. He was sent to organise the movement's work in Śląsk [Silesia] (Bielsko and the surrounding area), as well as to save the horticultural farm (training grounds) in Czechowice from atrophy and failure.

Although Dudek always fled from honours, they pursued him. He was then elected to the main leadership of the nationwide movement, moved to its centre and began visiting dozens of locations throughout Poland on its behalf, bringing the movement's message to hundreds and thousands.

His speeches inspired both young and old, and strengthened the belief of the masses in a complete redemption. But the messenger, who brought tidings of the return to Zion to multitudes, did not live to see his dreams materialise. (Dudek and his wife happened to be in Wilna when Hitler's troops approached this city and, there, they met their deaths, forever silencing the song of his tempestuous life.

My grief and sorrow are immense to have lost those so dear to my soul, with whose pure souls my own soul was entwined. May my lament for Dawid and Jakub serve as a bunch of flowers on their unknown graves.)

Translator's footnote:

  1. Preparatory kibbutzim were established throughout the diaspora to train future kibbutz members. Return

[Pages 720-721]

Juda Leib Horowicz hy”d

The Book Committee

In the Yizkor Book [in memory] of the martyrs of the community of Żarki, Pinchas Laudon, a member of [kibbutz] “Ein Ha'Shofet”, who was born in Żarki, recounts his memories of the town.

In his memoirs, he describes the local “Ha'Shomer Ha'Tzair” cell and, among other things, he also mentions Leibel Horowicz – a Częstochowa man – the youth instructor.




Mu,Here is the place to mention a member, who did much in the cell's organisation and instruction in that period – Leibel Horowicz z”l (his younger brother is a long–standing member of the “Mishmar Ha'Emek” kibbutz). He was the son of the owner of a metal factory in Częstochowa. Leibel Horowicz came to town twice a week and engaged in the instruction of the older and younger groups.

When we are mindful of how little voluntary, political and organisational work is done nowadays in Israel, in all parties from left to right, we may appreciate this relatively, not–soyoung member's willingness to set aside his personal affairs and come to a small town, about two hours' journey away, to instruct a few dozen adolescent boys and girls.

I remember what spirit of happiness and joy of youth this member instilled in our lives, how much he succeeded in engaging our thoughts around every topic about which he spoke, the fervent dances to exhaustion and the impassioned singing. Indeed, a new spirit had come to the remote roadside town.

As the cell evolved, meetings were arranged from time to time with different groups from the Częstochowa cell.

(This same Leibel Horowicz was shot in 1942, in the yard of his father's factory by the accursed Nazis, may their name be obliterated. Blessed be his memory and may God avenge his spilt blood!)

[Page 722]

Reb Berl Bocian

The Book Committee

He was born in Częstochowa in 1877.

In 1891, while still a very young man, he opened a large Jewish printing–press at Aleja 6, together with his father Reb Mojsze. It constantly developed and was the first printer of the “Częstochower Tageblatt” and, later, of the weekly “Częstochower Zeitung”. For a number of years, these were the mouthpieces of the Jewish community public social opinion and a whole rank of journalists and writers rallied round them.

Following his father's death, Reb Berl ran the press together with his brother Szymon, who was also a skilled professional in the printing field.

Reb Berl Bocian, above all during his last years, dedicated himself to important, community philanthropic work.

He was to be thanked for the growth of “Tomchei Ani'im” [Supporters of the Poor], which literally kept hundreds of poor families alive.

As leader of this important institution, he saw to it that the needy should receive the aid in a dignified manner. He was able to pull to this work people who were held dear in the city and who were known by the popular nickname “little good–Shabbes Jews”.

An interesting fact should be mentioned here. In his childhood, Reb Berl Bocian learned together with Dr Batawja at Reb Ajzyk Mosze's [surname] cheder. Since then, they were friends during their entire lives and they actually died on the same week – “[Saul and Jonathan were] lovely and pleasant in their lives and, in their death, they were not divided”! [2 Samuel, 1:23]

[Pages 722-724]

Editor Szmul Frank[a]

Ezriel Ben–Moshe (Jakubowicz)


Editor Szmul Frank


I believe that in Częstochowa's last 40 years, there was certainly not even one Jewish resident who did not know the figure named Szmul Frank.

He was, beyond doubt, one of the most popular personalities in the Jewish street. Who did not know him and whom did he not know?

He came from a Jewish Chassidic home and was educated in the spirit of Torah and strict religious observance. He studied first at cheders and, later, in yeshivas. Already, in his youth, his sharp mind was revealed. He was literally a prodigy.

But, to the great disappointment of his father the scholar and his pious mother, Szmul already then “went bad”, starting, “God help us”, to read little, Jewish [secular] books and even writing in the papers.

Szmul Frank eventually also became a socialist and an orator and began preaching about the honesty of mankind as a whole. He also became a fighter for a better tomorrow for the working class and for the oppressed masses.

But it was also necessary to earn a livelihood. Honest, community work and politics require a person and his time, but cannot provide any sustenance. Szmul Frank was forced to make a profession of his writing talent.

Already, in his first articles and feuilletons, his God–given talent was apparent.

The ideas which he developed were always original and his narratives were also interesting. He was able to captivate the reader with his pen and, truly, enchant him. But Szmul was not only a journalist. He was also a wonderful actor and even a skilled stage–manager.

With various local troupes, he performed plays and theatrical pieces in Częstochowa and the vicinity, which drew an immense following and attracted large audiences.

For many years, he was the editor and the central pillar of the “Częstochower Zeitung”.

Until the German occupation, he was also active in Jewish communal and political life.

(Following the outbreak of the Second World War, he went away to Russia, where he suffered many hardships as a refugee. When the War was over, he returned to his much beloved, but destroyed, Częstochowa. A broken and ailing man, his heart exploded upon seeing the tragedy of Polish Jewry, in general, and that of Częstochowa in particular.

He could no longer endure his pain and he died prematurely in the city to which he had been connected all his life.)

His second wife, Sara Szterling, emigrated to Israel after his death and now lives in Tel–Aviv.

His name will forever remain connected with the history of Jewish settlement in Częstochowa and will forever live in the memories of his personal friends, who will mention him and his good deeds with respectful awe.

Original footnote:

  1. Ezriel Ben–Moshe (Jakubowicz), a young friend and colleague [of his] at the “Częstochower Zeitung”, dedicates the following lines to his friend Szmul Frank. Return

[Pages 724-725]

A.Ch. Sziffer hy”d

E. Ben–Moshe

He was one of the finest figures to make their mark on our city's cultural life. He was an expert on the Hebrew language, in all its forms and periods. Ch.N. Bialik, on his visit to Częstochowa and after holding conversations with him, praised him extensively and expressed his amazement at the depth of his knowledge of our national language and his mode of expression.

His outer appearance was also exceptional. He had a high forehead, a pondering and absent–minded gait, as that of a thinker, with a cigarette permanently stuck in his mouth. He was recognisable from afar.

He was an expert on Jewish and general literature, with a fertile and fruitful intellect in all branches of literature and contemporary journalism. His memory was phenomenal. He read a vast amount of books and remembered not only the names of the authors, but even of the writers of the essays and articles that were scattered in various compilations. His ability to quote from different sources was astonishing. He was truly considered a living encyclopaedia.

Besides reading and studying extensively, he also wrote. Everywhere, be it in research, a political article or poetry, in all these it was possible to discern his graceful hand in the writing and the humoristic and charming expressional skills, even when written anonymously.

A.Ch. Sziffer was on the “Częstochower Zeitung” editorial board. But, when the Zionist periodical “Unser Weg” appeared, he contributed much rich and varied material to it also, for his passion and zealousness for Zionism were very great and, in this Zionist paper, he loyally expressed his yearning for Zion. For some years, he also wrote for the Hebrew periodical “Baderech” [On The Way] that appeared in Warsaw.

(Later, he conceived and planned the publication of a “Częstochowa Almanac” and actually began carrying out his plan. But the Holocaust came and destroyed all those fine plans together with their planners and A.Ch. Sziffer shared the fate of the people of his city, on which he had pondered and for which he had acted.)

[Pages 725-727]

Fiszel Blumenkranc hy”d

E. Ben–Moshe




I had the great honour of being counted among Fiszel Blumenkranc's close friends.

As Secretary of the Częstochowa Kehilla, he became the living soul and “walking encyclopaedia” of our city. He attained this honour because he was a great scholar, in the full sense of the word, and one of the most intellectual individuals amongst Częstochowa's Jews.

He began by publishing his articles in “Częstochower Zeitung” and “Unser Weg”, among others, and he eventually accessed all the newspapers published of the time in Yiddish and Polish, in Warsaw and in the provincial cities.

His writing was most enjoyable. He was especially noted for his articles about figures in the theatre and in the world of film. He was a very capable reviewer, whose words carried much weight with both the actors and the public, for his critique was appropriate and unbiased. His reports and novels were something quite special, which aroused interest amongst the educated readers, who rallied round him.

Blumenkranc was perfectly fluent in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish and English, which was rare at the time he lived in Częstochowa.

Shortly before the War, Blumenkranc was chosen as the secretary of a committee to publish a monograph on Częstochowa Jewry. He devoted much of his time, energy and great talent to this. In one of his letters to me, written in July 1939, he gave me the news that they were to publish two volumes. The first was to be written by himself and Engineer Wilczyński, while the second would be collective and encompass the political, public and cultural life of the Jewish community in Częstochowa. It would, of course, also include detailed biographies of world–famous figures from Częstochowa, such as Bronisław Huberman, Dr Jszef Kruk and such others.

(To our great sorrow, he was unable to carry out this very valuable ambition. He was swept away in the torrent of the cruel deluge of blood. Hitler's troops “overpowered” this sensitive and very talented man. They sent him to the death camp, where his blood was spilt and merged with the blood of his fellow townspeople, for whom he had worked during his entire active and glorious life!

I must shed yet another tear, in my sorrow, for my dear and trusted friend. Fiszel had a sister named Miryam in Israel. Her husband, S. Ben–Ami, fell in the War of Independence and, due to her great grief for his loss, she too died.)

Her children – a son and daughter – who now live in [kibbutz] Degania Alef, invited me to join them in the unveiling ceremony of the tombstone for this honoured personality, in which I found some small consolation – as far as I can be consoled at all.

[Page 727]

“Mister ” Zeligfeld hy”d[1]

E. Ben–Moshe

Zeligfeld came to us from the nearby town of Radomsko. He soon turned into a “Częstochower” in every way and became a part of the city's scenery.

Over the course of time, he also began writing in the local papers under the name “Mister Zeligfeld” and became quite a phenomenon. His “commentaries” were true pearls. His articles, which were penned in a grotesque style, were well–liked and the reading public impatiently waited for the “Unser Weg” periodical to be released to find, in it, his articles, feuilletons or just his witty jokes.

This man “caught the disease” of Zionism. All his life, he aspired to make Aliyah, something for which he yearned for this day and night.

He took part in all the Zionist meetings, at which he delivered speeches reporting on all that was happening in the Zionist world. He would also always hum Hebrew songs that the emissaries from the Land of Israel would spread throughout the diaspora and, in general, breathed the air of the Land of Israel.

(He met the end of all the other dreamers whose dreams never came true. He, too, was unable to make Aliyah and perished together with the rest of his Zionist comrades who, like him, had always aspired to emigrate and were unable to!)

Translator's footnote:

  1. “Mister” in English in the original. Return

[Pages 729-730]

Abram Nuchem Sztencel

J.Ch. Plai–Filik

This greatly–talented Jewish poet and essayist was born in the small shtetl of Czeladź (in Zagłębie) in 1899.

His father, Reb Chaim Berisz, was a son of the renowned rabbinical judge in Częstochowa, the rabbi Reb Szlojme Sztencel. His mother was also of rabbinical lineage – she was a granddaughter of the old Rabbi of Będzin, Rabbi Berisz Hercygier.

At the beginning of the First World War, his parents returned to live in Częstochowa.

The young Abram Nuchem'l, a Chassidic lad dressed in long clothes, already then – being always engaged in Torah study and Chassidism – showed the signs of a “poet”. Always musing, he would sit in the study–hall at his Talmud tractate, silently muttering unintelligible words and, sometimes, a wild ecstasy would seize him and he would run around, back and forth, in the study–hall in an incomprehensible frenzy.

Already then, his closest and most intimate friend was Wolf Wiewiorka, a son of Reb Binem Mendel, the shoichet of Żyrardów and a brother of the later renowned socialist leader and writer Abram Wiewiorka.

It was with him that he held, in great secrecy, his first discussions on Jewish literature and its classics, Y.L. Peretz and Mendele Moycher–Sforim. And Wiewiorka often visited the Peretz library with him, and even got them into the “Jewish Literary Society” to hear an interesting speaker lecture on a literary subject[1].

Although Sztencel and Wiewiorka had, by then, completely changed their views, they nevertheless continued wearing Chassidic garb, being still bound to their religious homes. They did not feel at home in the Yiddishist cultural circles, feeling that they were mocked there, usually not for their presence [itself], but for their ungainly Chassidic attire. Thus they felt much better in the circles of “Tzeirei Mizrachi”, where they were met with a heartier attitude and were welcomed as brothers.

Sztencel began partaking in the Torah and wisdom [?] lessons that were held every day at the “Tzeirei Mizrachi” premises in Częstochowa.

After the War, when antisemitic winds began blowing in the fledgling independent Polish State, a great part of the nationalist, Jewish youth left Poland. Abram Nuchem Sztencel was also among those young men from Częstochowa who left.

He was in Germany for a short while. From there, he moved to London, where he published a monthly journal entitled “Lushn und Leben” [Yid; “Language and Life”].

In 1948, his collection of poems “Jerusalem” appeared in London. It contains ballads and poems which expressed his passionate love for the Celestial Jerusalem[2] and the Earthly Jerusalem to be rebuilt [in the future], as well as his affinity with the concept that “The Torah, God and the Jews are one entity[3].

In 1961, his book “The Shtetl Whitechapel of Britain” was published, which contains essays and lyrical poems on the personalities and happenings in the Whitechapel diaspora.

From Sztencel's works sprout forth the streams of the great spiritual nourishment that he received in Częstochowa's shtieblech and study–halls, as well as in the youth organisations to which he was always drawn, whether openly or secretly.

Translator's footnotes:

  1. It is unclear whether they sneaked in just on one occasion or if they went there regularly. Return
  2. See Talmud Bavli, Taanit, 5a, where it is stated that there are two cities of Jerusalem, a heavenly one and an earthly one, which are bound together. Return
  3. Although there is no known source for this exact wording, the general concept seems to originate in the Zohar, p.73a. It is interesting to note that the author of this article placed the Torah before God, which is rather unusual. Return

[Page 731]

Zvi Herszel Lipszyc hy”d

Yeshayahu [Szaja] Landau

He was the librarian at the Y.L. Peretz library.

Who does not remember the scrawny figure of Herszel Lipszyc, who deemed the exchange of books his life's purpose, as a way to propagate education and knowledge among the Jewish masses, for whom the book he lent them was perhaps their only source of education?

Whoever has not witnessed Lipszyc's interest in the reader standing before him, and his fierce determination to find the book that would interest him and broaden his knowledge, cannot estimate how devoted he was to his calling – spreading enlightenment and knowledge among the common folk!

(This selflessness was amply demonstrated in its full glory and splendour during the occupation – when the Nazi invaders had closed down the library and appropriated its premises to their “needs”.

The library was then moved to a private home, where Lipszyc conducted the exchange of books secretly, literally putting his own life at stake. The few friends–volunteers, who aided him in this dangerous endeavour, are also praiseworthy.)

Gerszon Prentki hy”d

The Book Committee

He came from an impoverished home. His father died young and his mother was forced to work hard for herself and her two orphans.

Prentki already began working, as a young lad, as an official for H.A. Librowicz, with whom he found favour.

During the First World War, he joined the “Poalei Zion” party. When his party founded the “Workers' Home”, he became one of its most prolific activists.

When the split occurred in “Poalei Zion”, he remained in the Leftist wing.

Following his nuptials, he opened his own manufacturing business, but yet remained inside his party.

(Through it, during the Nazi occupation, he was delegated to the Jewish Arbeiterrat [Workers' Council].

The Nazis sent him, among other Jews, to Treblinka, where he perished together with all the martyrs.)

[Page 732]

Józef Częstochowski





Although Józef Częstochowski was busy with his paint business, he also dedicated himself to community work, especially for “Poalei Zion” and its institutions.

Mojsze Gotlib

A. G–B.

He was the son of Reb Nechemie the shoichet, who was murdered in 1919 in Częstochowa. He was of a sensitive nature and excelled in his great knowledge. He was an active member of “Poalei Zion” right. He contributed to “Częstochower Zeitung” as a journalist and, in his stories, endeavoured to instruct the youth.

He married Reb Herszel Berliner's daughter and, shortly afterwards, contracted tuberculosis. Nevertheless, he did not relinquish his public work.

However, his illness overcame him and he died in 1929, still a young man.

[Pages 732-733]

Henoch Lapides and Emanuel Bajgele

The Book Committee

These two bound and sold books, thus performing an important task in Częstochowa. They sold prayer–books for every occasion – Mishna and Talmud books, prayer–shawls, phylacteries and gifts of religious value.

Henoch Lapides' business was located Stary Rynek 24 and he was also active as Chairman of the “Hachnoses Orchim” Society. Emanuel Bajgele's business was located Stary Rynek 22. They both used to lend out a variety of storybooks.

Henoch Lapides had set prices, without negotiation.

(Following the Nazi invasion, Jewish spiritual life came to an end. The two bookshops, which had provided Jewish Częstochowa's spiritual needs for decades, were also destroyed.)

[Pages 733-734]

Fiszele Chiap hy”d[1]

The Book Committee

Fiszele Chiap sold textbooks to the pupils of the primary schools and high schools. He had, above all, many used books, which he sold much cheaper. Therefore, student youth of all strata bought exclusively from him.

He did not have an actual shop – his “place of business” was his dwelling, a little, old house in front of “Kapeluszarnia” [the hat factory]. One had to go up several steps to reach him.

In his last years, when he was already very old, he still knew how to find everything, knew the exact content of every little book and dealt with his young clients warmly.

(He, too, perished at the hands of the German murderers.)

Translator's footnote:

  1. Spelled טשיאפ in the Yiddish original; most certainly a nickname. The meaning is as yet unknown. Return

[Page 734]

The City's Public Figures

The Book Committee

It was our obligation to mention, in our book, all the figures and activists who operated in town in various fields, such as public figures, creators and founders of industry [and] all those who lay the foundations for national, religious, communal and financial institutions. To our great sorrow, we were unable to find reliable sources by which to expound on these individuals as would have been fitting, in accordance with their good deeds and public works.

We must, therefore, suffice with these lines to immortalise their names, so that coming generations should know that, in our city, the following people were to be found – those who acted for it and for its residents:

Henoch Bryll, Izaak Bryll, Bergman, Werde, the Gajslers (a family of manufacturers), Gradsztajn, Ginsburg, Jakób Dawidowicz, Henig, Herc, Zorski, Majtlis, Mordka Markowicz, Leib Sojka, Nut'l Pankowski, Izaak Pankowski.

We are aware that many more are worthy of being commemorated, but we must make do with only those whose names we remember and on whom we were able to find details.


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