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The Book Committee
(l–r): Moshe Spiegel; Moshe Sabitzki, Treasurer; Shmuel Berger, Chairman; Michael Suknik, Secretary; Avraham Ya'acov Wlavromski

 

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A Word from the Publishers

A. Ben–Azar

Translated by Selwyn Rose

A memorial book is, by its very nature a collection of subjective descriptions and experiences. The principal strength of the testimonies lies in their innate truth while at the same time they immortalize figures and events precious to the hearts of the writers. For this reason we were asked not in any way to compromise the tone of what is written without the involvement of the writer. We have preserved the popular style and avoided changing the style of the narratives. We have used, as written, local expressions whether they be in Yiddish or Polish as they occur frequently throughout such as: “Schloch” (untidy slob); “Rebbitzen” (Rabbi's wife); “Chodesh Gelt” (a financially good month {a wishful blessing}, etc.

Here and there we encountered varying versions of the same events, dates etc., and even opposing interpretations. We attempted in very case to verify and authenticate these details, either by historically reliable documents or even verbally clarifying with a number of the contributors themselves. Where it was impossible to make an unequivocal decision, we went with the majority opinion and even on rare occasions from force of circumstances, we have used two very different versions of the same event (as in, for example, the correct date for the installation of the first Rabbi of a town).

For the sake of easier reading – especially the Miechów and the surroundings children and their children's children who are unfamiliar or not fluent in Polish, we have partially introduced the Hebrew vowel system for the names of people and places and where possible the accompanying Polish name or expression in Hebrew.

The spelling system we have adopted is the non–vowel system according to the rules of the Academy of the Hebrew Language (April 1970); the transliterations from Polish and Yiddish are according to the accepted phonetic usages. We have made every attempt to maintain maximum consistency but since there are no clear rules for the spelling of names and places in Yiddish, we have been obliged to stay with the spellings used by the individual writers themselves.

A similar problem arose with family and first names that are written in many different ways in the monographs. We made strenuous efforts to be as accurate and as consistent as possible but it was not always possible. We rely on the understanding of the reader.

A. Ben–Azar,
Editor and publisher.


[Unnumbered pages]

Foreword

by Shmuel Berger

Translated by Selwyn Rose

We have succeeded in publishing the Memorial Book of the communities of Miechów, Charsznica and Kshoynzh. Throughout a long period of preparation we made the utmost efforts to collect all possible records and lists, material, photographs, documentary material and in particular we recovered and rec-orded memories as they were remembered by those of the communities who remained alive.

We wanted to resurrect on these pages the way of life of the Jewish people in our communities as they were throughout many decades and to implant a “memorial candle” to the memory of our dear parents, brothers and sisters and to all the Jews of the towns and villages, Torah scholars and traditionalists, business men and Zionists thousand of honest, simple folk and public benefactors.

We have tried to give a faithful picture of community life mainly between the two world wars until the liquidation during the Holocaust.

Most of the material in this book is the result of the writings of people who make no claim to be counted among authors of note. Each of them expressed his or her deepest thoughts as remembered and saved by them in memory. The unaffectedness, the good will and the soul-searching truth – these were the distinguishing excellence of those who assisted in this work.

These pages in this Memorial Book are a living testimony of the communi-ties of Miechów, Charsznica and Kshoynzh, and in them we have per-petuated everything that was dear to us. From now on they will be the living only witness to us and our children.

This book will be used as a faithful, accompanying mourner for the rem-nants of our communities for the rest of our lives for the souls concealed within them were our families and dear ones who were cruelly exterminated and for whom there is no requital.

And if perchance our children will ask us what were these little towns and villages in which we were born and educated we will unfold before them these scrolls of our dear communities and they will see what a wonderful world sank into the depths of blood and fire.

In this book, the reader will find sketches, drawings, memories and lists of public businessmen, people and images, descriptions of public disputes and struggles for social rights and justice and the individual existence up until the day of destruction.

In a special article in this book I have detailed the story of the publishing of the book in full detail (see page 291).

In closing I must give thanks to all the survivors of our towns who an-swered our call and offered articles, lists, memories, pictures and documents, recounted their stories and helped in any way they could to reconstitute the life of the communities.

My grateful thanks go to the honorary president of the organization Mr. S. D. Yerushalmi (z”l) and the president A.L. Lavi , may he be spared for a long life, for their contributions to the book; and especially to the members of the national committee and the book's committee the honorable gentlemen Moshe Sabitzki the treasurer, Michael Sukenik the secretary and Moshe Shpie-gel, all of whom worked with me throughout the whole period with eagerness and staying power in order to overcome all the pitfalls and difficulties in get-ting this book out; and also to Mr. Avraham Walbromski of Kshoynzh, on whose shoulders fell the burden of accumulating and editing the material from Kshoynzh and on his own wrote most of the monographs in this book concern-ing his community. The entire surviving community of Kshoynzh owe him their deepest thanks for perpetuating their community.

Lastly my thanks to the management of Yad Va-shem who took it upon themselves to publish the book; to the editor Mr. Natan Blumenthal for editing the material; to Mrs. Aviva Ben–Azar who, in effect, completed all the work working tirelessly and dedicatedly and faithfully in the final styling and editing of the book and brought it to press; the proof-reading was executed by Mr. Michael Broschi who coped successfully with all the special problems that arose in the publishing the memorial; and to the staff of the print-ing–house “Zohar”.

Shmuel Berger,
Chairman of the Organization
And the Committee for producing the Book of Remembrance.


[Unnumbered page]

Waterfalls of time

by Y.L. Bieler

Translated by Selwyn Rose

My G–d, my G–d, my soul cries
Cry, daughter of Israel
Lament, and breathe
The fire consumed Israel

For destroyed communities
And for the catastrophe of the synagogues
Wood for fire
The beautiful cities of Israel.

For the generations who were cut down
Tears of fathers on tears of their children
In the valley of Auschwitz, they ended their lives
For the bonfires of the furnaces.

(Y.L. Bieler “Waterfalls of time” – excerpt).


[Unnumbered page]

Miechow – general view

 

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The Church and the Monastery

 

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The Town Square – “The Rink”

 

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The Town Square – Sports Day

 

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