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I can think of no words more suitable for a dedication than those sent to us from the past by the former Kremenetsers who formed the Organization of Kremenets Emigrants. In the first booklet they produced, in 1967, they wrote the following to us in English, the only section of all 18 booklets in English.—RDD


To the Children and Grandchildren of the Kremenetser “Landsmen” wherever they are.

Dear Ones,

We have come to greet you from the pages of this review and to express here our friendly feelings towards you.

We should like so much to have [you] read our publications and the two books printed in Hebrew and Yiddish. Unfortunately, we have not got the facilities to do it in English. But you may be helped in this by your parents. Do it, please, and you will not regret. You will learn who your folks there were, their way of life and their martyrdom.

All this may help us to establish a contact with you, a thing we have always dreamt of. And it depends upon you only to make it a reality.

We have to see to it together that the memory of our martyrs be not given up to oblivion, with the passing away of the old generation. Can there be something more terrible, more inhuman than such a perspective?

REMEMBER!! There is no doubt that our folks there, on the edge of the blood-flooded trench, waiting for their turn to be shot down, were thinking about us, so far from them.

And alongside the final groan they heaved into the ether, their hope that their so tragic end would reach our ears also wavered. And as it did reach us, will we forget them??

So join us and your parents in the effort to keep their sacred memory in our hearts forever, and remember what was done to them.

Avraham Argman-Bots, Manus Goldenberg, Shmuel Taytelman, Yitschak Rokhel

Tel Aviv, April 1967

Translation Project Coordinator's Note

This Yizkor Book is in two major sections. The first is in Hebrew, beginning on p. i. The Yiddish section begins on p. 274. Each section has a short table of contents, without page indicators. A detailed table of contents (including page indicators) for the entire book begins on p. 451, but for convenience, we have moved it to the beginning of this translation.

Images of photos and line sketches from the Yizkor Book appear on or near the appropriate pages. In addition, we have added several finding aids to the Book to assist readers in locating illustrations and people's names: a Table of Figures, a Name Index, and a Town Locator.

Much new material about the Jews of Kremenets and surrounding villages has become available since the Editors first assembled Pinkas Kremenets. We have compiled some of this material in Supplements and included it in this translation.

It was not possible to maintain pagination as it appears in the book. However, we have indicated the page numbers in the actual book in square brackets just before the first line of text that appears on each physical page of the book. In some cases, placement of the page numbers may not be exact because we tried also to maintain continuity of text. So we caution you to examine contiguous pages for the text that you seek.

In translating Yiddish proper names, we have tried to use YIVO standards, although we have spelled place names as they appear in modern usage. Thus, the proper modern spelling for our shtetl is Kremenets, but the Yizkor Book uses Kremeniec, Krzemieñca, and Kremenits in different places. The Yiddish and Hebrew spellings are קרעמעניץ (kuf-resh-ayin-mem-ayin-nun-yud-tsadi) and קרמניץ (kuf-resh-mem-nun-yud-tsadi), respectively.

Transliterating personal names from Hebrew and Yiddish to English is beset with difficulties, many of them stemming from the lack of explicit vowels in printed and handwritten materials. The Hebrew letter vav (ו), for example, may be transliterated as a /v/ or as the vowels /o/ or /u/. Thus the Hebrew name מנוס (mem-nun-vav-samekh) could be Manos or Manus. Which transliteration is “correct” depends on how the letter sounded in the area the person came from, at the time the person lived. Feldblyum indicates that the Manos spelling is found in Baltic and Polish areas, and Manus is found in Lithuania and Volhynia. Since Kremenets was in Volhynia (which was part of Poland in the interwar years) until it became part of modern-day Ukraine, Manus is the more likely spelling. We have used similar reasoning, and Feldblyum's book (Feldblyum, Boris. Russian-Jewish Given Names, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu, 1998) on other names appearing in this translation. Rabbi Gorr's book (Gorr, Rabbi Shmuel. Jewish Personal Names: Their Origin, Derivation and Diminutive Forms, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu, 1992) was used to supplement Feldblyum.

Sometimes we had to deviate from YIVO and Hebrew standards to bring names closer to common English spelling. And sometimes, the lack of “pointing” or diacritical marks in Hebrew and Yiddish can make an English transliteration ambiguous. Thus using YIVO rules, the name שטײן (shin (sin)-tet-yud-yud-nun) could be transliterated to English in any of four spellings: Shteyn, Shtayn, Steyn, or Stayn. The problem with this name is twofold. Is the first letter an /S/ or /Sh/ sound? Is the double yud an /ey/ sound as in “grey,” or an /ay/ sound as in “sky”? Or, deviating from YIVO rules but applying common English usage, the name could be spelled Stein, where ei is pronounced like the y in “sky.” In this particular case, A. S. Stein is the original Editor of our Yizkor Book, and his name is spelled Stein in current English bibliographies. However, in both the Cyrillic and the Hebrew vital records for Kremenets, a ש (shin/sin) in a proper name like בערנשטײן (bet-ayin-resh-nun-shin (sin)-tet-yud-yud-nun) always represents a /sh/. The vital records also indicate that the ײ (double yud) in such names represents an /ey/ sound. Thus, in the absence of vowel and consonant “pointing,” we transliterate the name בערנשטײן, and similar names, as Bernshteyn.

Some people use the presence of double vav (װ) and double yud (ײ) in texts as indicators of Yiddish rather than Hebrew text. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Hebrew texts sometimes use double vav and double yud in medial positions in words when the letters are consonants. Thus in Hebrew, a double yud would have a /ya/ or /ye/ pronunciation, but in Yiddish, it would transliterate to either ey or ay. We have tried to discern the proper transliteration from context and from the names in Gorr's and Feldblyum's books, but the reader should be aware that we might have erred in some cases.

A single yud (י) may be a vowel (short /i/) or a consonant (/y/). We have transliterated a single yud appearing in the middle or at the end of a word as i. However, a single yud at the beginning of a word typically is a consonant, y.

A vav-yud combination (וי) transliterates to the diphthong oy.

The double vav (װ) also presents a problem. Typically, it represents a /v/ sound. However, in some geographic regions it represents a /w/. Kremenets is in a border region where either sound may be correct. The Cyrillic and Yiddish/Hebrew vital records for Kremenets clearly indicate that usage at the time the records were created calls for a /v/. Consequently, we have standardized on transliterating double vav as v, except where context or common usage requires a /w/. Thus the name װאקמאן (vav-vav-alef-kuf-mem-alef-nun) is Vakman, not Wakman.

Other letters also raise difficulties.

  1. Should the name אוטיקר be spelled Ottiker or Otiker? According to YIVO, consonants should not be doubled, and we have tried to stick to this rule. But for clarity, there are occasional exceptions, and the reader should take this into account when examining the spelling of names.

  2. Another YIVO rule we have tried to apply consistently concerns the letters chet (ח) and khaf (ך/כ). The transliterations of these gutteral sounds are ch and kh, respectively. Applying YIVO rules to חײם (chet-yud-yud-mem) produces Chayim, not the more common Chaim. The exception is that a leading khaf becomes K, not Kh.

  3. Similarly, although some common usage transliterates a tsadi (צ/ץ) as tz, YIVO and Hebrew standards say it should be ts. We have used the ts standard throughout this book, except for certain surnames for which common English usage requires a tz ending. Thus, we transliterate כץ (khaf-tsadi) as Katz, not Kats. However, we transliterate the name יצחק (yud-tsadi-chet-kuf) as Yitschak and the patronymic ending וביץ (-vav-vet-yud-tsadi) as -ovits, not -ovitz.

  4. By YIVO standards, the letter combination tet-shin (טש) produces a ch sound as in chair. However, in Hebrew, the combination tsadi-apostrophe (צ׳) also represents a ch sound. To differentiate the two possibilities, we have transliterated tet-shin as tsh.

  5. Standard transliteration for the zayin-shin combination (זש) is zh, like the s in measure.

  6. A name like גורן or רוכל may transliterate to Gorn or Goren, Rokhl or Rokhel. YIVO suggests that no vowel should be placed before the final n or l. However, common English usage is mixed. In accord with our translators' preferences, we use a vowel before a final n or l. Usually this vowel is an e, but sometimes it is an a, depending on known English usage.

  7. Toponymic surnames ending in סקי may transliterate to -ski or -sky depending on the geographic origin of the name. We have standardized on -ski.

There are no guarantees that the “rules” we have applied in this translation are “correct,” but we have tried to be consistent in applying them, and we have tried to apply them in a way that allows the reader to work backwards to the original Hebrew or Yiddish (whoops, make that Yidish) spelling. As Editor, I take full responsibility for changes I have made to our translators' work. And, I welcome any comments, criticism, and suggestions for improving this work.

If you identify any errors in the translation, or if you take issue with the way we have transliterated specific names, please advise me of them so that we can get them corrected. You can contact me at Ronald D. Doctor

Ronald D. Doctor
Project Coordinator, Kremenets Yizkor Book Translation Project
Co-coordinator, Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP/Jewish Records Indexing—Poland
An activity of the Kremenets District Research Group
Portland, Oregon USA

Translation Acknowledgments

We are thankful to the volunteers who have generously contributed their time to this project. We especially thank Yocheved Klausner, who translated most of the Yiddish section, and Thia Persoff, who did the bulk of the Hebrew translation. Other volunteers who contributed translations and proofreading include Aya Betensky, Ite Toybe Doktorski, David Dubin, Howard Freedman, Rob Goldstein, Michael Hirschfeld, Jack Horbal, Lynn Tolman, and Steve Wien. Aya Betensky translated the Latin text and Jack Horbal translated the Polish text in the History chapter of Part One. The Project also has benefited from expert assistance on particularly difficult translations. We particularly acknowledge the help we received from David Wilk of Bar-Ilan University Central Library in Israel and Ema Horovitz from Portland Jewish Academy and Portland State University, as well as Shalom Bronstein, Jules Feldman, Nathen Gabriel, David Goldman, Alan Hirshfeld, and Sara Mages. In addition, Steve Wien secured the services of professional translators, Sari Havis (for Hebrew), Aviv Tzur (for Hebrew) and Rabbi and Mrs. Ben Friedman (for Yiddish). Grzegorz Gembala of Krakow, Poland, translated much of the new material that appears in the Supplement.

We all are indebted to all of them for their devoted work on the project. We take full responsibility for changes made and any damage done to the work of our translators.

Ronald D. Doctor
Project Coordinator, Kremenets Yizkor Book Translation Project
Co-coordinator, Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP/JRI-Poland
An activity of the Kremenets District Research Group

Ellen Garshick
Yizkor Book Translation Coordinator, Kremenets Yizkor Book Translation Project

July 2013


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