Former Secretary of the Zinkov Society
Translated by Yael Chaver
The Society's protocols for 19621963 detail how the decision was reached to erect a monument memorializing the martyrs of Zinkov, murdered so brutally by Hitler's killers. The special committee for this purpose that was set up started their work immediately. The task of the committee was not a simple one. A large sum of money needed to be raised in order to erect the monument, and the committee made every effort to this end. People were asked to donate according to their abilities. Large sums came in from Zinkov natives who were not members of the Zinkov Society but lived in New York, other locations in the United States, and even in Canada. Much time and work were invested until the committee was finally able to gather the means and set the monument up in the Zinkov Society's cemetery.
On the day the monument was unveiled, many Zinkov natives, and many members of the Zinkov Society, gathered in the cemetery. Natives of Zinkov came from outside New York, and even from Canada. I stood with my wife among fellow Zinkov natives, when the rabbi began the eulogy for our slaughtered brothers and sisters, our Zinkov martyrs. Suddenly the monument before me seemed to vanish, and my imagination transported me thousands of miles away, to my home town of Zinkov. I saw myself standing next to a great pit, into which the cursed murderers threw thousands of
murdered men and women, elders and children of my home town, including my entire family. I saw many of my childhood friends whom I left behind forty years ago, when I parted from my home and went to America. A shudder went through my body. I stood there petrified, thinking for a minute that it might be a bad dream; unfortunately, it was a bitter reality.
When I awoke from that terrible nightmare and saw that I was standing at the monument with my wife, and listened to the rabbi's eulogy, I posed myself the question: What is the purpose of erecting this monument? Is it possible that we built it only so that we, here in America, should remember the terrible catastrophe that happened in Zinkov twenty years ago? In an instant, I had the answer: No, that's not the only reason! The monument is mainly for our children and grandchildren, those born and brought up here, in America; when they come here to visit their ancestors in the future, let them see the monument and read the inscription. Let them grasp the disaster that overtook their people in Europe, during the period of Hitler (may his name be blotted out). It will help them remember what they read in books about this tragic era of the Jewish people and all of humanity. They will remember their murdered grandparents with respect and honor, the ancestors of their tribe, as well as the partisans and the ghetto fighters, who met the menacing vandals with weapons. Let them give the same respect and honor to the brave Jewish fighters who overcame all hardships and defeated their enemies, laying strong foundations for the State of Israel, the great world center of the Jewish people. May the monument we dedicate here remind our descendants in future generations of the bitter, tragic past, and strengthen their desire and determination to help build the State of Israel, and to support the builders in every possible way, so that we will no longer be at the mercy of murderers and vandals, and Israel will be the eternal home of the Jewish people.
This is the noble national project for which the Zinkov Society's committee has been admired and congratulated. It richly deserves everyone's acknowledgement of their work and care, which has preserved forever the memory of Zinkov, our town, where Jews lived for generations. By so doing, they have also preserved the eternal existence of our Jewish people.
by Moyshe Garber
Translated by Yael Chaver
The historic call to protest, by the famous French writer and humanitarian thinker, Emile Zola, against the libel trial of the time in France, brought against the Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus, of the French Army, opened with the following incendiary outcry: I accuse! These two words shook the entire world and aroused the conscience of every decent person. We too shout it out to the whole world, in great sorrow and wrath: We accuse!
Every page of the centuriesold martyrology of Jews is dipped in seas of blood and tears, and throbs with pain to its foundations. But the murders and the brutal and terrible deeds carried out against our helpless people by the Nazi villains are unparalleled in all of human history, down the centuries and generations. They have outstripped by far all the mass murders in history, such as the massacres by Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition led by that pious mass murderer, Torquemada, may his name and memory be blotted out! Even the massacres perpetrated by Khmelnitski and Petlyura were child's play, compared with the sadistic, bloodthirsty deeds of the civilized German cannibals. And the socalled dignified, honorable, civilized world was silent, shut its eyes, blocked its ears, turned its face away, and did not want to hear the heartrending cries coming from the dark slaughterhouses, from the murder and torture factories called concentration camps. They did not want to hear and see the outstretched, emaciated, twitching hands of millions of Jewish men, women, elders, and tiny innocent children, who begged in their last agonized moments, as they were taken en masse into the gas chambers and kilns, Save us! Save us!
But no help was forthcoming. When it finally did arrive, it was too late. The wild animals in human guise had carried out their devilish mission. It was too late when people finally realized that their feigned ignorance and unwillingness to see, as well as their continued silence, helped the growth and empowerment of the disgusting, hateful, monstrous, sadistic Hitlercreature, the golem, who turned against its maker with its armored forces, its welltrained brown hordes, and with its bestial murderers and throatslitters.
There was a time when a single regiment would have been enough to clear out and destroy the murky den of the dangerous psychopaths, and do away with their devilish plans, but that wasn't done. The warnings and alarms sounded by Professor Feuchst a German, actually who was a bitter enemy of German Junker militarism and an even stronger enemy of the Hitler Nazi machine, were ineffectual. Neither the French nor the British diplomats would listen to him. His final warning to them was: If you do not use your eyes for seeing now, you will use them later for weeping. Sadly, his prophecy was fulfilled. It was not long before Churchill spoke to his people, and to the whole world, using the famous phrase Blood, sweat, and tears. Alas, how much blood and how many tears could have been avoided!
Yes, the whole world wept and bled, and paid a horrible price for the negligence and shortsightedness of its leaders. But our unfortunate and helpless Jewish people paid a higher price in blood than anyone else. When the plans were laid out at Nuremberg for the complete eradication of the Jewish people, with all the particulars required by the cursed German attention to details, Chamberlain hastily flew to Munich, holding his umbrella, to sell off and betray England's best friend and ally, Czechoslovakia. Since then, Munich has become a byword and a synonym for shameful political and diplomatic treachery, and will remain so in history.
But the world has forgotten so quickly. The German wolves have decked themselves out in the pelt of innocent lambs, and have supposedly become a people like any other. Thousands of sadistic übermenschen, executioners, their hands still wet with spilled Jewish blood, live in luxury and pleasure
and hold high government positions. They remain unpunished for their fearful crimes. To our great sorrow, it seems that the world has still not learned from the immediate and distant past. We are told to forget: Let bygones be bygones. But we cannot and must not forget. Is it possible to forget such horror? We will never, never forget, and never forgive! Let our curses, and God's wrath, follow them down all the generations!
Far, far away across the sea, on Ukrainian soil, our impoverished Jewish town of Zinkov had stood for centuries. Dozens of generations came and went, and, like waves breaking on the shore, new generations came. Life was hard, with the Czarist pogroms and persecution. Earning a livelihood was not easy. And yet, Jewish mothers and fathers sacrificed, denied themselves food, so that their children would have a Jewish upbringing. Our town produced more and more fine, intelligent, idealistic young people, good merchants, teachers, and proud artisans. Life in the town was not always monotonous and harsh. There were moments of spiritual uplift and pleasure, such as on the quiet Shabbes days with their twilight walks; the joyful holidays; the peace and beauty of the magnificent natural surroundings, Jewish celebrations, weddings, etc. We continued our Jewish national, religious, and cultural life, until…
Until the coming of the greatest enemy of the Jews of all time, who with boundless brutality cut down this way of life, and uprooted all that was Jewish. The brown vandals turned you into a heap of ashes, ruins, and a wastelandyou poor, beloved, and unhappy town of ours. And you, dear, cherished, beloved old friends, what happened to you?! In which gas chamber did your holy souls rise up to heaven? In which crematorium were your emaciated, starved, tortured bodies burned and charred, and your bones turned into ash for fertilizing cursed German fields? Your bodies were not interred in a Jewish cemetery, and your souls are wandering in the abyss, seeking salvation. Your graves bear no markers; your names were not carved into stone.
Therefore we, the living remnants of Zinkov, have set up a monument to you. Today, on the twentieth anniversary of your death, we stand here with pained, suffering hearts and mourn your terrible murders, along with the slaughter of onethird of our Jewish people.
No, this monument is not a lifeless stone, as some skeptical pessimists have tried to convince us. A stone is lifeless only when it lies within the mountain, before it is quarried. We, however, have seen to it that the stone is shaped and polished. We designed it according to our understanding, wishes, and feelings. We burnished it, and carved words and dates on it words that give it meaning, content, purpose, and, most importantly, a soul. A melancholy Yiddish song describes a daughter standing at her mother's grave, weeping and mourning, and while sobbing tells the gravestone, Oh, stone, beloved stone, you were once a mother, after all. Can anyone say that such a stone is lifeless?! From now on, this monument is not just a piece of stone, but an eternal symbol of that which was so beloved and dear to us, and no longer exists, and will never exist. Let this monument stand here, on Zinkov ground, and remind our future generations of the terrible destruction of the Jewish people during the years of animal, blackbrown brutality, the years in which the Hitlerite Nazis, the inhuman murderers danced their devilish dance. Let the stone ensure that nothing is forgotten, and serve as a warning and a reminder that we must always be on guard, and never allow a catastrophe such as this to happen again, God forbid. This is the monument for the four thousand Jews of Zinkov, who were murdered because of their faith during the Second World War, in 19421943, as part of the systematic extermination of six million Jews. Here, the souls of our martyrs will find salvation. Every year, we will gather here to mark the anniversary of their deaths, mourn and weep, and say Kaddish for them.
by Moyshe Grinman
Translated by Yael Chaver
Dear fellow natives of Zinkov, and distinguished Rabbi Shore!
For the past 21 years, we have mourned the terrible disaster. For the past 21 years, day in, day out, we have been unable to forget the great calamity that befell us, the Jews of Zinkov, along with the entire Jewish population of the world. Every year, we remember and retell what this new Amalek did to our brothers and sisters. Let the world not forget how gruesomely they exterminated six million Jews, among them 3,200 of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and innocent children. The 3,200 Jews of Zinkov are no more. They were annihilated by the Nazi murdererswho by water, who by fire, who by hunger, who by poison gas. Our Zinkov people were killed by fire, on the ninth day of Av, 1943. The great synagogue with its magnificent eastern wall, is no more. It was completely handcarved. Such synagogues were rare, and it was a great source of pride to us…It is now overgrown with grass.
When we Jews of Zinkov mourn the terrible destruction of our town, we cry out, Remember what the Amalekites did to you, do not forget! Do not forget! They took away all our dearest ones. Where are our little Moyshes, our little Sarahs, our little Rivkas? Where are they?! On the day of our great and boundless sorrow, we must remember our murdered fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters; and not only with tears. We must also remember them with the firm wish that such a great catastrophe will not recur, and that our people, along with all other peoples, shall be spared mass death and murder, and live in a world of peace and friendship.
Let this monument also be your gravestone, my dear parents, sisters, and brothers! I am the only surviving member of my entire family. Not one of you was buried in a Jewish cemetery. This is why I carry a world of sorrow and wrath in my heart.
by Avraham Rappaport
Translated by Yael Chaver
I want to speak in Yiddish, my mothertongue, and hope everyone will understand me. I will speak as briefly as possible, clearly and plainly, because it is very important for our young people to gain an idea and knowledge of what is happening here.
Our Zinkov Society is in mourning. We mourn for our immense loss, for the tragic murder of the martyrs of Zinkov. Our heads bowed and our eyes filled with tears, we stand here before the monument that symbolizes their memory. It is true that One generation goes and another generation comes, but the earth remains forever, meaning that people leave the world, people come into the world, and the earth is eternal. But these martyrs, the martyrs of Zinkov, the men, women, and children, like all martyrs of our people they had barely lived; they were torn away from us in the midst of their lives. Many were gruesomely murdered as they began to flourish.
We are persecuted and hounded in every generation. But who could believe that such a terrible catastrophe would occur in this century?!
Our pain is enormous.
Our sorrow is endless.
What comfort can we find in the unveiling of this monument? What consoling words can I say to the brothers and sisters of this Society on their great loss? What words of comfort can we say to all the natives of Zinkov, who have responded so warmly with their contributions and have made possible the unveiling of this monument? Consoling words can echo only weakly in all our hearts. There is no consolation at all for the immense loss of those nearest and dearest to our lives.
I would like to say only that the martyrs are deeply rooted in our hearts. We will mention their names at every chance, and never forget them. It is impossible to explain their deaths cannot be explained, nor can they be erased from our memory. Each one of us is a living monument to these eternal martyrs. We therefore unveil this monument and gaze at the Hebrew, Yiddish, and English inscriptions carved in large letters; they will preserve for eternity the bright memory of our martyrs.
It is very possible that the letters on the monument will eventually disappear, washed away by rain and snow. It is also possible that, generations from now, the monument itself will be eroded by storm and wind and turn to dust, to be completely blown away. But we swear, brothers and sisters, we swear that our hearts, the hearts of our children and their children, and the hearts of future Jewish generations, will forever bear the indelible memory of the terrible catastrophe that overtook Europe during the Second World War, when the dark and fearsome Nazi murderers rampaged freely. The memory will remain carved in the hearts of the entire Jewish people, and in the hearts of the finest sons and daughters of all humanity.
We will never forget, we will never forgive!
I want to shout out, as loudly as possible:
It is a pity about those who have been lost and are no longer among us!
Cries of pain for those who were murdered, but will never be forgotten!
ZinkovPodolia Benevolent Association
Translated by Yael Chaver
Dear friends, brothers and sisters, and friends from our home town!
As you all know, we decided to install a fence around our cemetery. We therefore wish to notify you, sisters and brothers, that we have achieved this, and the fence has been installed. God willing, on Sunday, October 22, all of us, sisters and brothers, need to be at the cemetery to celebrate this event, as done by every society, and we will have a fine time. Sisters and brothers, be at the cemetery no later than 10 a.m., please come on time, and bring along all your friends. We will eat and drink, and wish each other life and not death.
Every member that will not attend our celebration will be fined 2 dollars.
The leader of the celebration will be the householder Rabbi Alter Efrayim Orenshteyn. You are therefore asked to come on time. In case of rain, the event is postponed until the following Sunday.
For the Zinkov Benevolent Association's Arrangement Committee,
Nathan Furel, Chairman
Khayim Levenshteyn, Secretary
Take the Canarsie train from Delancey St. Change to City Line L, go as far as the last stop. Then take the traction car to Springfield Ave., where the cemetery is located. A truck will wait for you there and take you to the cemetery.
Translated by Yael Chaver
We are very happy to announce that the Monument Committee is planning to publish a Yizkor Book for our town. The book will be a living monument dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of Zinkov.
This Yizkor book will illustrate, in word and image, the Jewish life of our home town, from its earliest days to the last destruction by the Second World War. We will also describe the social, communal, religious, and political life of the town.
Also included will be the history and activity of our Society in New York over the past 55 years.
We are working together with Yad VaShem in Israel, which already has a picture of our Monument.
We are in need of various documents, stories, and pictures that are connected with the life of our home town, Zinkov, as well as of financial help.
We therefore appeal to you, our fellow townspeople, near and far, to participate in this project, and send us materials for this purpose, as well as financial contributions.
We appeal to you: Fulfill your sacred obligation, and help us to attain our goal of publishing the Yizkor Book, just as you helped us to erect the beautiful, imposing monument.
For the Committee
Moyshe Grinman, Chairman
Translated by Yael Chaver
Below are the names of those who are now, and will in the future be, mentioned with praise, respect, and wonder, for their noble brotherliness and warm solidarity. These are Zinkov natives and nonnatives, members and nonmembers, whose generous contributions have helped to forever preserve the particular memory of the four thousand martyrs of Zinkov, the bloody victims of the horrible, gruesome Nazi plague, as well as the memory of our beloved home town Zinkov, in general.
These are the names of those who, like us, understood the goal of the ethical and spiritual obligation that gave us no rest and finally urged us to erect the memorial monument. Thanks to their financial help, and their warm letters, they wholeheartedly joined in our thought, and efforts, and, as one, handed us the mandate. They motivated us to make every effort and continue regardless of any obstacle, until the monument project came to full fruition.
Now the monument stands tall and proud on our Zinkov soil, and Jews who pass by stop and look at it with wonder. They approach, and read the inscriptions, carved in three languages, which explain the reason, the purpose, and the creators of the imposing monument that stands here. More than one Jew wipes a tear away and leaves the memorial with aching heart and bowed head. We hope that, for many years to come, we will continue to gather every year at this memorial, the symbol of our great disaster, and pray Kaddish on the anniversaries of the deaths of our martyrs, mourning their tragic end. May this monument bring us all nearer to each other and inspire us to friendship and brotherliness, as well as to devotion to our Society and to ensuring its continued existence.
|This is the honor roll of those who contributed to the memorial:|
|Zinkov Society||Pessie Burd, California|
|Sam Darman, Miami||Bob and Shirley Shpigel|
|Shloyme Hofrichter, Baltimore||Mr. and Mrs. Laskin|
|Ezra Gorenshteyn, Baltimore||Sadie Horovitz|
|Anna Kusher||Mr. and Mrs. Khayim Davidovich, Hazleton|
|Mr. and Mrs. Pini Brill||Meir Mandelblit, Philadelphia|
|Mrs. Akivis||Abe Schwartz|
|H. Stoyr (or Stein)||Irving Fink|
|Dr. Buchalter||Khane Heshl Levine, Reb Moyshele's daughter|
|H. Toker||Mrs. An. Vinakur|
|Shimen Rozental||Mrs. Rose Silverman|
|Sam Hershman||Jack Hofman|
|Volf Brothers, Canada||Berish Vaysberg (may he rest in peace)|
|Mr. and Mrs. Smith||Pessie Saliternik|
|Mrs. Celia Feld, Philadelphia||Yisro'el and Khane Roytburd and son Moyshe|
|Elka Berger, may she rest in peace|
|DovidJohann Kirshners||Levi Greenberg|
|Mr. and Mrs. Landau||Irving Federman|
|(Cookie Gladshteyn)||Avrom Shenkman, Philadelphia|
|Eva Nesis (wife of Velvl Nesis, Canada)||Helen Klesik|
|N. Taytlbaum, Canada||Marsitshizever, Baltimore|
|Gitl Buchalter||Hershl Vaserman|
|Abe and Rachel Rapoport||Hershl Rapoport|
|Mr. and Mrs. Ben Shilley||Melvin Gaferman|
|Moyshe Garber and wife||Becky Shapiro|
|Yoysef Krantz||Sam Volfbayn|
|Sam Buchalter||Mrs. Ziman|
|Moyshe Grinman and son||Levi Berger, Canada|
|Dovid Fuks||Fania Trachtenberg|
|Sylvia Shafi (Polenski)||Sam Greenberg|
|Benny Zaltzman||Sid Klurfeld|
|Dave Fisher||Philip Kestman|
|Gary Graferman||Sam Lesser|
|Max Frayfeld||Esther Zayontshik, Philadelphia|
|Harry Diamond||Sonia Zem, Peretz Gelman's daughter|
|Lyuba Dyechtayarova, California||Louis Blecher (may he rest in peace)|
|N. Pearl, sister of Rokhl Rapoport||Esther Yashever, Philadelphia|
|Weinstein Funeral, Director|
|President of the Zinkov Society: Dovid Fuks
Chairman of Memorial Committee: Moyshe Grinman
Secretaries of the Committee: Yisro'el Roytburd, Moyshe Garber
The Memorial was unveiled on the 20th anniversary memorial ceremony, June 23, 1964.
Translated by Yael Chaver
|Moshe Averbukh, moshav Havatzelet||Moshe Yoshpeh, moshav Kfar Hess|
|Amnon Ben David (Blinder), Netanya||Nakhum Yoshpeh, Eilat|
|Yosef Ben David (Blinder), Netanya||Khava Lakhterman, wife of MatiTsirls (may he rest in peace), Tel Aviv|
|Shlomo Ben David (Blinder), Netanya|
|Yisra'el Ben Shacher (Shvartzman), Haifa||Aharon Nesis, Haifa|
|Shlomo Goldenberg, Haifa||Avraham Segal, moshav Kfar Hogla|
|Yekhiel Grabelski, son of Fanny GrabelskiYoshpeh (may her memory be for a blessing), Jerusalem||Menachem Saliternik, Holon|
|Buni Federman, Tel Aviv|
|Yisra'el and Khaya Vekselman, Tel Aviv||Pearl Feldman (may she rest in peace), wife of David the carpenter, Tel Aviv|
|Ahuva Vartsman, wife of Zvi (Hershl) Vartsman||Khanokh Frenkel, Tel Aviv|
|Henikh Vartsman, Tel Aviv||Yitzchak Frenkel, Haifa|
|Batya Vartsman, wife of Yosef Vartsman (may his memory be for a blessing), Tel Aviv||Netanel Frenkel, Haifa|
|Shmuel Koren, moshav Neta'im|
|Zev and Mara Vartsman, Tel Aviv||Reuven Rozental, Haifa|
|Rachel Zelikman, Tel Aviv||Masha Raydman, wife of Ya'acov (may his memory be for a blessing), Tel Aviv|
|Ya'akov Zaltzman, Haifa||Tova Shtaynbas, kibbutz TelYosef|
|Fishl Zaltzman, Haifa||Yeshaya Shtaynbas, moshav Kfar Vitkin|
|Yosef Yoshpeh, Jerusalem||Brayne ShlayerSegal, Hadera|
|In the U.S. and Other Countries|
|Dr. Hayman Buchalter||Peysi Gorenshteyn, Baltimore|
|Moyshe Buchalter||Dave Greenburg|
|Polin Burd, Los Angeles||Sam Greenberg|
|Pini Bril||Yoysef Grinman|
|Moyshe Garber||Moyshe Grinman|
|Ezra Gornshteyn, Baltimore||Davidovich family, Hazleton|
|Sam Darman, Miami||Cantor Avrom Fligman|
|Sam Hauptman||Cantor Benjamin Fligman|
|Ezri Halen, Baltimore||Izi Federman|
|Ya'akov Hofman||Itsi Federman|
|Paul Halen, Baltimore||Celia Feld, Philadelphia|
|Sadie Horovitz||Rivka Katz|
|Sam Hershman||Henny Kusher|
|D. A. Volf, Canada||Jack Kipnis|
|Volf brothers, Canada||Khayele (Helen) Klasik|
|Sam Volfbayn||Sid Klurfeld|
|Hershl Vaserman||Vili Kesman|
|Shloyme Vaysberg, Los Angeles||Dovid Kreytshmar|
|Esther Zayentshik, Philadelphia||Shimen Rozental|
|Lina Zelikman||Avrom Rapoport|
|H. Toker||Mrs. Rubinsteyn|
|N. Tenenboym, Canada||Yisro'el Roytburd|
|Rivka Katz, Philadelphia||Milton Roytburd|
|Beni Laskin||Sylvia Shapi|
|Gitl Malin, Pittsburgh||J. J. Shvarts, Philadelphia|
|Haskel, Monuments||Heyb Shvarts|
|Vayzner and Fefer, Monuments||Mrs. L. Shvarts|
|Vays, Monuments||Ben Shiley|
|Sprang, Monuments||Avrom Shenkelman, Philadelphia|
|Chapel, Midwood||Ida Sherman, Los Angeles|
|Phil Maidanik, Gravestones||Sore Shpialter|
|Eva Nesis, Canada||Sima Shraybman|
|Pessie Salant (Saliternik)||Haskel Monuments|
|Esther Zayn (Zayontshik)||Vays Monuments|
|Esther Silver||West End Chapel|
|Sarah Postel (Shpialter)||Sprang Monuments|
|Dovid Fuks||Shvarts Real Estate|
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