The beginning of aliya (immigration) from our town to Eretz Yisroel was at the beginning of the 20th century. Reb Elimelech Lichtenstein, who was the head of a large family, was among those whose great desire was to find his eternal rest in the soil of the Holy Land. While deeply absorbed, together with others, in study at the ancient Hebron Yeshiva, he was murdered in the light of day and in cold blood by Arab rioters in the riots of 1929.
After the events of 1921, two idealistic young people from our town arrived, filled with desire to settle. The first one, Zalman Tzvi Lichtenstein dried the swamps of the Sharon. Later he went over to the surveying department of the Barron's project in Zichron (Yaakov). The second one, Ephraim Eidelman, the grandson of Reb Liebl Nachtingal was the first to be employed by the railroad at the time of the Mandate. Later he joined those who laid the foundations for the electricity generating station in Naharayim. From there he moved to the Reading Station in Tel Aviv where he is one of the labor leaders to this day.
When the Fourth Wave of immigration began, it brought with it the graduates of the pioneering youth organizations, first and foremost those from Hashomer Hastzair and some from Poele Zion and others who were unaffiliated. Some of them did not have the strength to overcome suffering and the terrible conditions of that time and returned to Poland.
Where did our people go to in Palestine at that time? Being graduates of Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guards) and with unbounded love for the land and pioneering movement, most of them joined the Ein Harod company of the G'dud Haavodah (Worker's Battalion) and participated in the establishment of Kibbutz Tel Yosef and Ein Harod in the Jezreel Valley and Ayelet Hashachar in the Galilee. The rest joined settlements in Judea and Sharon areas where they participated in the struggle for Hebrew labor and in securing the rights of hired laborers in the orchards, vineyards, building trade and workshops during the unemployment and suffering of that period.
The reverberations of the 1929 riots in Palestine raised the desire for immigration to Palestine among the youth in Radzyn as well as in the other cities and towns of Poland. Groups of youths abandoned their parental homes to go to the pioneer training farms, and carried by the waves of immigration both legal and illegal, reached Palestine.
The period between 1930 and 1940 marks the expansion of immigration from our town. This was based on an astute view of the uncertain future of the Jews in the towns of Poland on the one hand, and the pioneering spirit that influencing the best of the youth, on the other. Except for a few middle class and small artisan families who immigrated at that time, the rest of the immigration was all the result of the Socialist-Zionist educational activities carried out ably and persistently for some twenty years. When they became acclimated to the new conditions and were absorbed into the society and into work, we see them spreading out into the following agricultural communities; Ayelet Hashachar, Merchavia, Ein Hachoresh, Degania, Negba, Tzofit, Gan Chaim, Nes Tziona, Hadera, Petach Tikva, Even Yehuda, Kadimah, Zichron Yaakov,and others. The rest, a small number, went to the cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.
What were the accomplishments of the Radzyners in Israel from then to now? They were never absent from the various struggles that took place in the community in all periods starting with the beginning of settlement in the Jezreel Valley and continuing on through the Haganah (Defense Forces) and the War for Independence and contributed to many social and cultural projects.
Now Radzyners can be found in Merchavia, Negba, Shuval, Degania, Tzofit and Gan Chaim following in the path of Jewish revolution as farmers rooted in their homeland and its new society.
We have seen Radzyners in the upper ranks of the Zionist movement and as leaders in the Labor parties. We have seen one who founded and managed a very important worker's publishing house and another who directed his energy to enhancing our language and publishing it in important publications. We also have seen our people involved in the planning of significant housing projects and other important projects for housing and employment. In the municipalities they were elected or appointed officials and as well as in the two universities. One even became the vice-president of the world wide Joint Distribution Committee and was active in the capitals of the world. 0n his private initiative he started many industrial projects such as flour mills, gas stations, floor tiles glass, and metal manufacturing, and also intensive agriculture. Others were found in citrus cultivation in the south and in the management of the Labor Office there, in the Sick Fund offices and in the editorial offices of the Davar newspaper.
After the Holocaust and a long and tiring journey, many survivors arrived filled with anguish and grief but filled with the Jewish spirit and the belief that they had finally arrived at a safe haven.
The local Radzyners welcomed the survivors from their home town with love and open arms. Their committee did its utmost to helping them both spiritually and materially to become absorbed as quickly as possible in their new homeland.
The new Radzyner immigrants trod in the footsteps of veterans, spread out through the whole country, went through a period of acclimatization and today they look forward to the future with confidence.
Yes the Radzyners have rebuilt their home in Israel
However there were those who were not so fortunate and fell along the way and were buried in Israel. Some died a natural death while others died while fulfilling their duties as guards or workers.
Let us remember:
Mendel the bookbinder and his wife- who died of old age in Holy Jerusalem.
The couple, Chuneh and Malkah Idelman, who worked hard to support their family and who were fortunate enough to live for many years together with their children here in Israel. They passed away in Tel-Aviv.
The young and brave Asher Rosenfeld who was killed in the riots of 1936 while guarding the citrus orchards in Ness Tziona. He is buried in Ness Tziona.
Avraham-Meir Reichenberg was a pioneer who was one of the founders of Kfar Azar and was killed by a jackal while loading local produce on a truck at night. He is buried in Kfar Azar.
Hanoch Berman was a modest, dear and lonely soul. He fell while working at hard physical labor in Haifa
Moshe Goldfarb, who went through all seven stations of hell in the progroms. He finally reached his homeland but did not survive. He is buried in Tel-Aviv.
Amalia Rosenboim-Greenberg, a good hearted and pioneering woman. She was the director of a private children's institution and died in Tel-Aviv.
Pnina Appleoig-Hochman was a graduate of Hashomer Hatzair. She immigrated to Palestine after World War II. She took sick and died while setting up her home in Ramat Yitzchak.
Yaakov Punchak arrived in Palestine after World War II. He was a partisan in the forests of Poland and an outstanding soldier in the Red Army. Was killed in a work accident in Tel- Aviv.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of the new life that is being renewed in the homeland.
His appearance was young, lively, and brave looking. He was a good friend who responded to the afflicted and the depressed. He started working at a young age and was often unemployed and suffered from hunger and hardship. He wandered back and forth between Radzyn and Warsaw the capitol.
After much suffering and hunger, he was brought to the settlement Ness-Ziona by his older brother Yaakov who had come to Palestine long before him. Here he began working as a watchman in the orchards during the riots of 1936 and was killed while on duty as he was in springtime of his life and after only two years in the country.
Abba Danilak (Toronto)
Yitzchak Zigelman editor of the book
Mendel Lichtenshtein (New York)
Y. Avi Eira
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