A Monument on the Ruins
of an Annihilated Jewish Community
(Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland)

50°56' / 21°24'

Translation of
Sefer Ostrovtsah: le-zikaron ule-'edut

Editor: Gershon Silberberg, Meir Shimon Geshuri

Tel Aviv 1971



Project Coordinator

Avi Borenstein


Our sincere appreciation to Helen Rosenstein Wolf & Genia Hollander
for typing up the English text to facilitate its addition to this project.

This is a translation of: Sefer Ostrovtsah: le-zikaron ule-'edut (Ostrowiec; a monument on the ruins of an annihilated Jewish community),
Editors: Gershon Silberberg, Meir Shimon Geshuri, Society of Ostrovtser Jews in Israel,
with the cooperation of the Ostrovtser Soc. in NY and Toronto, Tel Aviv 1971 (H, Y, E 800 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Ostrowiec (1971)

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Translated by Yocheved Klausner

Introduction Yehezkel Ereli (Erlich) 13
Foreword Yehezkel Erieli 15
History of the Town and the Jewish Community
On the Rivers of Ostroweic M. S. Geshuri 17
On the Rivers of Ostroweic M. S. Geshuri 37
Rabbis and ADMORs in Ostrowiec M. S. Geshuri 59
The Rav and ADMOR R'Meir Yechiel Halevi Halstock
Rabbi Yechiel Meir Halevi Rav Yitzhak Yedidya Frenkel 70
The poor people's ADMOR, standing firm against the powerful Yehoshua Altman 71
Hassidim telling stories about their rabbi Yehuda Leib Zuker 72
Lover of people Yoske Apter 74
The man who has become a legend Yakov Hocherman 79
Meetings with the rabbi A. Halevi 80
Din Tora [trial in a religious court] at the Ostrowiec Gaon Yehoshua Altman 81
The Ostrowiec method of study Rav Isser Frenkel 83
The greatness of the ADMOR Yechezkel Ereli (Ehrlich) 85
The Ostrowiec rabbi (poem) A. N. Stentzel 86
The Ostrowiec rabbi and his environment Leizer Kuperman 87
The Ostrovtser Y. Opatoshu 93
The Ostrowiec Rabbi Foresees the Holocaust Dr. Chaim Shashkes 95
Ostrowiecer Gaon [Genius] Sh. Pietruszka 97
Good words from the rabbi Ben-Zion Ratler 98
The great holy man from Ostrowiec Hillel Zeitlin 100
A forty-year struggle against the body S. Palmoni 102
The last minutes of the Ostrowiec Gaon I. Bronstein 103
Bibliography on the Ostrowiec Gaon M. S. Geshuri 106
The Rav ADMOR Rabbi Yechezkel'e, May God avenge his blood
The Last of the Ostrowiec Rabbis Chaim S. Palmon 108
Rabbi Yechezkel in the days of fury and destruction A. R. 110
The last hours before he was executed Moshe Friedensohn 112
A lament for the Rav Rabbi Yechezkel S. Almoni 113
The Martyrdom of the Last Ostrovtser Rebi Aron Tsaytlin 116
The death of a martyr, the last ADMOR of Ostrowiec   118
There Once was a Jewish Town…
Ostrowiec, the town where I grew up Simcha Mintzberg 122
Ostrowiec in the eyes of a visitor Yosef Wishnograd 127
Two worlds in one town Yakov Bildreich 128
My Ostrowiec Yehoshua Altman 130
A town between two rivers Eliezer Kuperman 133
Pastime of the Jewish youth Yechiel Magid-Rosenberg z”l 141
The town of my childhood Max Grossman 143
The Shul–hoyf – The Center of Jewish Life Efrayim Vartman 145
A vanished world of the past Miriam Wattman-Rosenberg 146
Streets and People in Ostrovtse Shmuel Shtraytman 148
From my childhood years Aharon Urbass 149
A story Yehoshua Altman 152
“Sabbath and Holyday Jews”
Deep-rooted Jews with an original way-of-life Pinchas Soroka 155
An incident caused by the “Blessing after meal” [Birkat Hamazon] I. Birnzweig 156
Sabbath at my home Feigush Weintraub-Fertzig 158
My father on Sabbath Aharon Urbass 158
A mute prayer Chaim Goldsatz 159
The Days of Awe in Town Mendl Hartshteyn 163
Shabes and Yontiv in Ostrovtse Yekhiel Magid–Rozenberg 165
Kol Nidrei Chaim Goldsatz 169
All the people escorting a Torah Scroll to the synagogue Yechiel Magid-Rosenberg 170
My grandmother's prayer Chaim Goldsatz 174
Figures and Types
R'Meir Ehrlich, may God avenge his blood Arie Liebman 175
The Community activist and Public worker Moshe Lederman z”l Yechezkel Arieli 176
R'Chaim Aharon Silberberg Arie Zhavner 177
R'Aizik Mendel Shochet (slaughterer) Pinchas Soroka 178
R'Mordechai Shimonowitz Pinchas Soroka 179
R'Mordechai Shimonowitz Rav Dov Zeid from Zwiehl (Berl Zwiehler) 179
Esther, the modest and humble widow Moshe Rosenberg 180
The Rav R'Blankman, may God avenge his blood Rav R'Avraham Goldshmidt 181
Rav Avrehme'le Brieftreger (postman) Yehuda Leib Zucker 182
R'Mordechai Alter Naftali Alter 183
R'Yehoshua Riba   183
R' Leibush Pesach and Chaya Fuchs Shprintza Matel Blumenfeld 184
Leon Beigelman Helena Vasko 185
R'Chaim Yakov Yosef Nagel z”l   186
Henech Halpern I. Birnzweig 186
My friends Chana Hurwitz 186
Yiddish Section
Figures and Types
Yochanan's Shtiebel (Hassidic synagogue) Yehoshua Altman 187
R' Leybush Halshtok of Blessed Memory Iser Boymfeld 188
Ruben and Khay'ele Shpilman of Blessed Memory Yehude and Mordkhe Rozenberg 189
R'Israel Rosenberg Yehuda and Mordechai Rosenberg 190
The Rise and Destruction of a Family Moshe Zaltzman 192
Ostrovtse Barber–Surgeons Mayer Blankman 196
Types from Ostrowiec of old times Aizik Beinerman 198
Ostrowiec types Meir Blankman 203
Nothing will be lost Chaim Goldsatz 205
The Ostrowiec water-carriers Meir Blankman 207
The Ostrowiec insane Meir Blankman 209
Mother, I can never forget you! (poem) Yehoshua Urbass 212
Heders and Yeshivas
The Ostrowiec melamdim [teachers] Meir Blankman 214
A Town of Bote–medroshim and Khadorim Yekhiel Magid–Rosenberg 218
The Yeshiva of the Moralists “Bet Yosef” Yechiel Rozenberg 220
Ostrowiec Becoming Modern
The Development of Modern School Systems Iser Boymfeld 224
Charitable Jewish Institutions in Town Paltiel Brikman 227
Chevra Kadisha [burial society] is asking a price Ch. Fleischman 229
Parties and Associations Eliezer Kuperman 230
The socialist movement Aizik Beinerman 232
New Winds Are Blowing Isser Boymfeld 233
Ostrowiec is becoming modern M. Piltzmacher 235
Jewish Labor life Eber Beinerman 236
Social movements in town M. Piltzmacher 239
Hechalutz wins over the youth Moshe Rosenberg 245
The activity of young people in our town A. Halevi 246
“The Zionist Youth” Arouse the Jews to Aliyah Moshe Blajberg 248
Hashomer Hale'umi Feivel Kerschenblatt 252
The Revisionist Zionist Movement in Ostrowiec I. Birnzweig 252
Mizrahi and Tze'irei Mizrahi as reflected in the press   253
Agudat Israel as reflected in the press   257
Holocaust and Destruction
Eli Ostrowiec (poem - lament) Yakov Baharir 258
My life and experiences in the Nazi hell Shlomo Horwitz 261
The beginning Yehoshua Urbass 271
Chelunia! (poem Aizik Beinerman 276
The liquidation of the Ostrowiec ghetto Leibush Millstein 277
The Zabchinski brothers Friedman 294
The Szczebrzeszyn rabbi dies as a martyr I. Bernstein 295
Burying the Torah Scrolls in the days of terror Chana Wittenberg-Gutholz 296
A mother's eulogy Bina Weintraub-Shapira 297
The destruction of Ostrowiec (poem) Yehoshua Urbass 298
Our Attic Machtche Zilberberg-Zhabner 305
Hazkarat Neshamo [Memorial Service, lit. remembering the souls] Aizik Beinerman 309
My Uncle Reb Chaim Aaron Silberberg Leibel Zabner 311
Photographs of the Ostrowiec Ghetto Simcha and Itche Meir Birnzweig 313
The Tragic Death of Reb Mordechai Shimonovitch, May His Blood Be Avenged Leibel Zhabner 315
My Mother Goes to the Marketplace Leibel [Arie] Zabner 318
Ostrowiec my home Mordechai Rosenberg 320
The Night of Slaughter April 28 Mokhtshe Zshabner–Zilberberg 321
The Night of the Execution Yechiel Magid–Rosenberg 322
The Gruesome Bartholomew Night Yisroel Aaron Friedental 323
My father's Yahrzeit [memorial day] Yechiel Magid-Rosenberg 326
The Lipsker Tzadik Aharon Urbass and Yehuda Rosenberg 327
Memorial to the soul of Moshe Lederman z”l Yechezkel Arieli 328
Reb Moshe Yaakov Toppel Brings Victims to Kever Yisrael [Jewish Burial] Mordechai Zev Toppel 329
An orphanage in the ghetto Yechezkel Mandel 330
I remember Isser Gerber 335
The Savers Yehuda Rosenberg 340
The bunker Rachel Gutholz- Kamsinski 342
Ostrowiec youths fighting in the Warsaw ghetto   345
Ostrowiec in the days of the Holocaust Bella Schribner 346
Ostrowiec, I shall never forget you Malka Appelboim 351
Only ruins have remained M.Grossman 354
Polish Murderers A. Almoni 355
Ostrowiec during the Holocaust years Nechemia Warman 356
The young mother from Badzhichov camp Aizik Beinerman 363
Gutholz's heroic death in the labor camp M Bromberg 365
The Nazi roll-call (poem) Yosef Rosenberg z”l 366
The Maker of Aryan Papers Berish Brikman 368
In the forced-labor camp in Germany as Christians Helena Pirkawska 369
A letter to my sister ShamayKodlowitz 370
Among Christians in Warsaw Helena Kaletzka 376
Poems and improvisations in the ghetto Amnon Eisenstadt 388
A prayer (poem) Mordechai Rosenberg 390
Surviving the Nazi hell hiding in a grave Yerachmiel Waldman 391
Oh, How bad I feel! (poem) Mordechai Rosenberg 394
The sole survivor from Kinev Shmuel Nudelman 396
Extermination Camps
Ostrovtse Jews Are Transported to a Death–camp Paltiel Geshri–Brikman 401
I “Was” in Treblinka Miriam Gutholz–Feldman 403
“We have not lost our hope” (the Jewish anthem) Aizik Beinerman 412
I Survived the Nazi hell Azriel Urbass 415
Out of the gas chamber and down from the gallows Menashe Unger 419
At “Kever Avot” (parents' grave) in Majdanek Meir Blankman 422
A visit in Auschwitz Meir Blankman 425
Graves Israel Gurfinkel 430
Ostrovtse Partisans Wolf Fajnsztadt 433
A group of partisans from Ostrowiec   435
Murders by the Polish partisans Shlomo Zweigman 436
Reports from the labor camp The Testimonies Committee 440
Official Documents Concerning the Extermination in Ostrovtse   443
One Righteous in Sodom - the Christian Eva Shaminska Ariela Reuveni 446
Ostrowiec without Jews
The First Memorial Day in Ostrowiec Y. Baharier 449
At the grave of the Jewish partisans   452
The Terrible Disappointment of the “Liberated” Jews of Ostrovtse   455
Ostrovtse without Jews Dr. Chaim Shoshkes 456
A Visit to a Destroyed Home Amnon Eizenstadt 459
About the Violated Jewish Cemeteries in Poland Mayer Blankman 469
My consolation Mordechai Rosenberg 472
A Report of Nazi Crimes in Ostrowiec (Poland)   474
The Hunt for the Criminals   478
Rievele Spillman's violin Dr. Yakov Schatzkin 480
Imagination Eliezer Kuperman 481
A stone Israel Gurfinkel 482
The Surviving Remnant - Dispersed and Scattered
Activity of the Organization of Former Ostrowiec Residents Yechezkel Ereli 487
The Organization of Former Ostrowiec Residents in Israel Yechezkel Ereli 495
A stormy meeting of the Organization   500
Remember and never forget! Yechezkel Ereli 502
The destroyer felled our town - massacred without mercy Yechezkel Ereli 504
The blood of our best sons have sanctified the soil of this land Yechezkel Ereli 506
Ostrowiecer who fell in Israel's wars and sanctified its soil   508
Ostrowiecer who died in Israel
R'David Toppel z”l Shoshana Toppel-Israeli 511
Chana Bogyeski z”l S. Choresh 513
Yafa Rosenberg z”l Moshe Rosenberg 513
Genia Levi z”l - a noble and fighting figure Shaul Goldman 514
Dear sister A. H. 516
Yechiel Meir Levi z”l Halevi 517
Binyamin Meir Eisenman z”l Tzipora 518
In memory of a fiend, Shmuel Nafrastik Yechezkel Ereli 519
Attorney Rabbi Israel Aharon Friedental z”l Abraham Friedental 520
Simcha Mordechai Zhabner z”l Arie Zhabner 522
Friendship through the chain of generations   522
Ostrowiecer in Toronto Dr. Chaim Shoshkes 523
A friendship of three generations   524
The Committee for Ostrowiec Lansleit A. Vilenski 525
Ostrowiecer in Toronto erect a Memorial for the martyrs   526
Ceremonial unveiling of the Ostrowiec Memorial Eber Beinerman 526
A symbolic tomb of the Ostrowiec martyrs Shaya Zweigman 528
A well deserved Memorial Eber Beinerman 529
Ostrowiecer in Toronto helping with the Yizkor Book   532
The Ostrowiec Synagogue in Toronto   533
New York
The lonely Landsman Eli Rasberg 542
A public call to the New York Landsleit   543
R'Zev-Wolf Weiss z”l Eliezer Kuperman 544
We May Not Forget the Murderers and the Jewish Helpers A. Boymfeld 547
My Hometown Ostrovtse! A. Boymfeld 549
We Do Not Pardon the Jewish Collaborators Eber Beynerman 553
Ostrowiecer in Argentina Erect a Memorial to Martyrs I. Branden 554
English Section
Initial pages 4
An Idea Realized Yehezkel Ereli (Erlich) 9
A Town Between Two Rivers M. Sh. Geshuri 13
Surviving Child of Hitler's Regime Eva (Cukier) Singer 46
The Annihilation of a Jewish Community Leibush Milstein 47
Ostrowiec Societies in NY & Chicago   99
A Tribute to Our Martyrs Allan Grossman 105
Ostrovtser Shul in Toronto   111


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