Translation of the
Belchatow Yizkor Book
(Bełchatów, Poland)

Published by the JewishGen Press

Original Yizkor Book Published by
The Central Federation of Polish Jews in Argentina together with the Belchatow
Society in Argentina, Brazil, and South America, Buenos Aires, 1951
Translation Project Coordinator: Roni Seibel Liebowitz
Editors: Mark Tarkov and Abraham Mittleberg
Layout: Donni Magid
Cover Design: Nina Schwartz, Impulse Graphics, LLC
Name Indexing: Bena Shklyanoy
Hard Cover, 11” by 8.5”, 486 pages with all original illustrations and photographs.

Available from for $41.00



In the early 19th century, Bełchatów was owned the Kaczkowski family. To stimulate the local economy, the family invited a group of prosperous Jews, providing them with construction sites, a cemetery, and a prayer house. As more Jews began to settle in the town, they worked first in trade, then in manufacturing. The first Jewish textile workers were employed in Leon Kaczkowski's workshop. Jews also started their own weaving mills. In 1867, 13 out of the 16 small weaving workshops in Bełchatów were Jewish-owned.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a new synagogue was built. A number of Jewish political parties began to be active: Agudat Israel, the Bund, the Mizrachi, Poale Zion and Hitachdut. Many community leaders were chosen to serve in the municipal government: in 1925, Jews won 13 out of 24 seats. Two years later, in 1927, seven Jewish politicians were elected to the Municipal Council.

In 1939, German forces occupied Bełchatów, terrorizing the Jewish population and burning down the synagogue. In March 1941, a Jewish ghetto was created, and refugees from surrounding towns and villages were crowded in. In August 1942, the ghetto was liquidated and nearly the entire population transported to the extermination camp in Chełmno. By the end of the war, only about 400 Jews remained in the city they had helped to build. This book tells the story of that community's rise and destruction.

Alternate names: Bełchatów [Pol], Belchatov [Yid], Belkhatuv [Rus], Belkhatov, Yiddish: בעלכאַטאָוו, Russian: Белхатув.

Bełchatów, Poland is located at 51°22' N 19°23' E, 92 miles


Nearby Jewish Communities:

    Grocholice 2 miles SSW
    Wola Krzysztoporska 9 miles E
    Zelów 9 miles NW
    Kamieńsk 12 miles SSE
    Rozprza 12 miles ESE
    Szczerców 12 miles WSW
    Piotrków Trybunalski 13 miles E
    Gorzkowice 14 miles SE
    Sulmierzyce 15 miles SSW
    Tuszyn 18 miles NNE
    Łask 18 miles NW
    Widawa 19 miles WNW
    Pabianice 21 miles N
    Radomsko 21 miles S
    Rzgów 21 miles NNE
    Nowa Brzeźnica 21 miles SSW
    Wolbórz 21 miles ENE
    Sulejów 22 miles E
    Będków 22 miles NE
    Pajęczno 22 miles SW
    Burzenin 25 miles WNW
    Zduńska Wola 25 miles NW

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Updated 15 Oct 2022 by LA