Thursday, April 19, 2012

What happened to the Jewish Cemetery? Also, News Item! The Book Is Complete

The citizens of Radziejow have now did a "180" and are confronting the sad history of the Jewish Cemetery.  The 2012 seminar at the public library in Radziejow revealing tombstones found, indicates a move in the proper direction. However, let us face the facts.  The tombstones are readily visible throughout the town in sidewalks, walls, and other places.  Please read the two articles I found on the net that give a history of what happened to the cemetery.  Then you be the judge.  You decide whether the citizens of Radziejow have made every effort to honor there fallen fellow citizens.

Article One :
CEMETERY: Normal 0 Establishment of the Jewish cemetery in Radziejow probably was in the early 19th century. Located in the southern part of the city at the end of the current street Ogrodowej and Sosnowej. During WWII, the Germans ordered destruction of the cemetery. On Sunday, April 22, 1942, a few days after the deportation of remaining Jews from Radziejów, the Gestapo Beck arrived at the estate called Gory and told the workers to destroy the Jewish gravestones in the cemetery. Even today, fragments of gravestones are in the steps of houses in the village. Thieves and vandals and the local authorities destroyed whatever remained of the gravestones after the war. The district council in 1956 marked the part of the slope on which the cemetery was located for excavating gravel. This continued for several years leaving a huge excavation site. Finding this site is very difficult. A few dozen meters from the road, a path leads through pine forest and the vegetation choked edge of a ten-meter high slope. Human bones may be visible.

 Article 2 -translated from Polish by Google: (the automated system causes some sentences to be hard to understand)
. During World War II on the orders of the German cemetery was vandalized. We quote here from a letter was sent in 1992 by one of the residents Radziejow the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw: "On Sunday, 22 April 1942, so a few days after the deportation of the remaining Jewish population Radziejow, Beck Gestapo came to the estate known as the Mountain, drove people to work and told them to destroy gravestones in a Jewish cemetery. So far, there are still parts of gravestones here and there, used as the entrance steps to the houses. "Stolen from the land of tombstones were used for construction work. . Launched by the Germans after the liberation, the destruction was completed by vandals and local authorities. Decision the district council in 1956, part of the slope on which the cemetery was located, was spent on gravel excavation.  For several decades hence selected soil volume of about two hundred and fifty in length, width and height of one hundred and ten meters.  Below this point, decorated in town traffic.
. Today, the Jewish cemetery in Radziejów can bring only well-oriented guide - no current map does not show the square as the resting place of former inhabitants. From the street by a few meters the path leads through a pine forest. . Somewhere along the way we cross the invisible border of the cemetery today to reach the edge of a ten meter high slope covered with bushes. . In vain at this point look for the slightest hint of infrastructure of the cemetery. When I asked my guide about the fate of the remains of those buried here, there was only an expression of embarrassment on his face. Another spoke of once lay scattered about here and there of human bones.

. In early 2012, our editors received several photographs of gravestones, found throughout the city.  Currently, activities related to their respective security.
tekst: Z. Sołtysiński & K. Bielawski text: Z. Sołtysiński & K. Bielawski
zdjęcia: Z. Sołtysiński, T. Świerczyński Photo: Z. Sołtysiński, T. Swierczynski
Radziejów - Jewish cemetery

  1.     After more than twenty years in the planning and writing my book will soon be completed about the Jews of Radziejow and my father's journey of survival during the Holocaust.  As of this date the working title of the book is The Holocaust Effect - Three Generations of Jewish Survivors.  The book consists of three sections.  The most important section is, of course, is my father's section.  That section now in its final editing. It is by far the longest and most detailed section. 
          It begins by exploring life in Radziejow before the War.  It goes into great detail concerning "Yiddishe Street", business, schools, HaShomer Hatzair Youth, public schools, and the relationship between Poles and Jews. 
          It then moves on to the WWII.  It tells about the initial exodus of many Jews from Radziejow when the Germans invaded.  It follows the battles fought and lost by the brave Poles as they tried to stop the most powerful military in the world.  It then returns to the Jews back to Radziejow and their life under the occupation. It details the personal story of the Najmans and their experiences trying to survive.   It explains how the Ghetto was set up and then administered.  It tells about the Volksdeuthe and their relationship with their Jewish neighbors.  Then it explains about the indignities suffered by the Jewish population under the constant harassment by the Gendamiares.  What follows is the actual forcing of Jews into work battalions.  Then the arrival of German businessmen looking for slave laborers.  As a result, young healthy Jews from the town were forced to work at a lagger named Luejew.
          What followed what the liquidation of the ghetto.  The gassing of the Jews and burial in the forest near Kolo.  Then the liquidation of the lagger.  Then the book focuses on my father's escape and then his nearly two year life on the run.  He tells of the many Poles that helped him and those that tried to kill him.  Then it tells of my father's final rescuers.  How they kept him alive. Then when the War ended it was up to my father to keep the rescuers alive. 
         It then moves to his life in Radziejow after the War.  How he was a police officer living in Radziejow and working in Alexandrow.  Then it tells of the violence in Post WWII Poland with the Communists fighting the Nationalists and the plight of the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust as well as the Volksdeutche.
          The book then moves to his escape from assassination and his journey to live in Bergen-Belson Refugee Camp.  The book describes the life at Bergen-Belson.  Finally, it ends with his moving to the United States and setting up his life for the remainder of his years.
         The second part of the book describes how the Holocaust effected my life and the decisions and roads I decided to travel on.  The final part of the book is an attempt to find G-d's presence through his role during the Holocaust.
         The book has an emphasis of keeping the time-line moving with the actual military events taking place.  The book has several photos of the Jews in Radziejow, the Nazi occupation, and the destruction of Jewish life in Radziejow.
         The book is very timely with the recent recognition of the Jews of Radziejow by its town officials.  This recognition includes the museum set up at the library, educational programs and the recent official plaque dedicated to the Jews of Radziejow.
         My hope is that by publishing this  historical record it will honestly bridge the gap between those that assume all Poles helped the Nazis, when in reality, thousands of simple Poles helped Jews at the same time that they were suffering under the Nazi occupation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Faces of Death

This picture was taken just before the liquidation of the Radziejow Ghetto. The picture represents a cross-section of the Jews. There are children, young men, old men, young women and older women. Their clothing is old, but appears clean. There facial expressions do not indicate that they had any idea what will happen in the near future. A few look rather happy while others have the look of suspicion. We do not know who photographed the group or why. The one common thread of all is the makeshift "Star of David" they were all required to display on the front of their shirts or dresses.
For those, if any, in Radziejow, Poland, or anywhere else on this planet that believe Jews got what they deserved during the Holocaust, they should think again. For not one person on earth is different then the people in the pictures and it logically follows, that their fate can one day be your fate.


I am happy to announce that I am about to finish my first draft of my manuscript entitled, From Father To Son.  At this time, the main emphasis of the book will be a an account of my Father's Holocaust experience.  It is based on tapes made by him before he died.  It will include factual background history, maps, illustrations, and photographs.  I am asking the people of Radziejow to send me any photos they might have or stories concerning Radziejow during World War II. Some of the characters in the book are your relatives and friends.  It is my intention to highlight those Poles and others that saved my Father's life.  Already, I have written over two hundred pages. I have specific questions that need answers.

1.  Which church were the Jews gathered in prior to the gassing.  I assume it was the Catholic Church and not the Church taken over by the Germans?

2.  What were conditions like for the Poles in Radziejow during the occupation.  Before the Jews were deported and after?

3.  Were there any partisans that worked against the Nazis in Radziejow?

4.  Does anyone know what became of a shoemaker named Antoin Claus?

Judging on the response, there will be further questions asked of the residents of Radziejow.  Now is the time for the Poles of Radziejow to join hands with the Children of the Survivors of the Jews of Radziejow to create an accurate history.  Please join me in this effort. 

The book will consists of three parts.  Part One is my Father's History. Part Two is how his suffering  effected my development.  The last part will try to find lessons to be learned concerning   G-d and Man's relationship to the Holocaust.  I will do this  by scrutinzing events that took place in my Father's experiences during World War II and see if those events hold clues about how such a tragedy could occur.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Jews of Radziejow During World War II

I have dedicated this post to the photographic evidence that has been discovered revealing the Jews being oppressed during World War II. Two of the pictures are of particular interest. One, shows Jews under arrest in front of the Synagogue and the other is a picture of the Synagogue either during the construction or after it was dynamited by the Germans. Another picture shows a Jewish forced labor battalion. The last picture is that of the Germans in the town square performing some sort of military ceremony. It is noteworthy to point out that most if not all the Jews in these pictures were murdered shortly afterwards by the Germans.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jews Under Arrest in Radziejow

Here are series of pictures from Radziejow during WWII. The pictures include two shots of what may be the Radziejow synagog, one with people in front of it and one after it was blown up by the Nazis. There is also pictures of the actual Nazis that occupied the town. There is a picture of Jews in a labor batallion.

Jews Under Arrest In Radziejow!

Here is a series of pictures that show Jews under arrest in Radziejow.

Searching the Web for the Jews of Radziejow

The testimony and evidence of the Jews of Radziejow and their life during the Holocaust can be found all over the web. Near the top are two pictures photographed in front of the Radzijow Synagogue, I believe its name was Ohel Sarah (Sarah's Tent). The Jews are wearing the Star of David, so it was taken during the Nazi occupation of Radziejow. The burnt out building next to that photo is the synagogue after the Nazis blew it up. The Nazis actually tried to blame it on a Jew that had a matchbox in his pocket. Under that photo is a picture of a Nazi standing in a doorway next to two men. One man has an armband on it. But I do not believe he is a jew because he doesn't have a Star of David on his coat, nor does the man next to him. Under that picture are two photographs of the town square where Radziejow Jews being ordered by Nazis. The Next you see a photo of the Jews in the town center during the Holocaust. To its Left, is a picture from the Sydney Australia Holocaust Museum showing Jews lined up in fron of Wysocki's Man's Tailor Shop located in the Radziejow Ghetto sometime between 1941 and its liquidation in April of 1942. The top right corner are the Nazis in the Radziejow town square performing some sort of ceremony.
There is is a photo of a man with a hat. His name is MAX SALOMON, during the war he served as a jewish policeman in Czestochowa, Poland.
"Though it's difficult to distinguish in the above photo, there is a Star of
David affixed to his hat and the word "Police" is written on the band on his
left forearm. Max Salamon was born Mordke Salamonski in Radziejow,
Poland. He was a prisoner in Czestochowa in the labor camp. Although the family
wasn't aware of it until this picture was found, he must have been a policeman
in the camp. He survived a forced march, when one thousand men set out, and only
175 survived. He emigrated to Australia after the war, married and had one
child. He died in 1964.
The next two pictures. are again from the Jewish Museum in Sydney, Australia.
"Concentration Camp Jacket Concentration camp jacket worn by George Grojnowski. George was born in Radziejow, Poland, on the 23rd January 1927. From 1940 he was interned in various ghettos and labour camps, the last ghetto being Czenstochowa, from which, in January 1945, they were bundled into cattle trucks and transported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. This jacket was worn by him while interned in the Buchenwald. At the liquidation of Buchenwald, he was on the Death March to Theresienstadt. He was liberated there by the Soviet Army on the 8th May 1945 and in whose honour and gratitude he changed the yellow triangle on this uniform to a red triangle.Donated by George GrojnowskiM2004/025Photograph of George Grojnowski taken shortly after liberation."
I am sure there are more pictures. If someone has a new picture please respond.