WE REMEMBER KRASNOSIELC!

קרסנושילץ 

Year

Population

Jews

1827

682

221

1857

981

604

1921

1942

926

RESEARCH OF THE MASSACRE AT KRASNOSIELC AND PROVISION OF A MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS

By: David Shachar

Email: sh_david "at" zahav.net.il (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam)

Ever since that day when I saw my father for the last time and ever since I heard the shocking evidence about the murder, the urge to know exactly what happened to my father would give me no rest until I knew the truth.

In 1965, by chance, I read with great interest, a book by William Shirer " The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" which had been translated into Hebrew. To my surprise I found in one of the chapters entitled "The First Day of Terror in Poland" a description of the murder of 50 Jews by German soldiers in one of the towns in the Rogan region of Poland. Although Shirer didn't give the exact name of the town the details of the incident fitted surprisingly the details of the witness Mosh Shakopaf. One passage in particular took my attention, that a court martial was held for those who were guilty during which the prosecutor demanded a punishment of death while one of them gave various excuses in his defense and in the end the murderers received imprisonment which was later reduced. It also said that the news of the incident leaked to the news media and was published in Germany.

The fact that a trial was held for those murderers interested me especially since I had a feeling, which later proved to be correct, that it was the only event for which SS soldiers were brought to trial for mass murder of Jews as a crime (in contrast later there were many trials for SS soldiers for crimes of disobedience). A short time after this, on 17th of September 1939, it was decided at a meeting of the highest authorities of the Third Reich not to hold trials for SS soldier for the murder of Jews, since this would go against the principles of the Reich. This was published in a regulation issued by Himmler on the 17th of September 1939 where they were told that SS soldiers would not be tried by the military courts of the German army but by special courts which would be established for those units. These courts would be manned by their own men so that they could realize their evil aims without limit. There was great historical importance that this would be the first case of mass murder of Jews by SS soldiers in Polish territory and that Jews who were wounded in this same massacre were hospitalized in military hospitals next to German soldiers. All of this directed me to still more to research - besides my ambition to find my father's grave and say Kaddish in his memory.

In 1988 immediately after the fall of communism when the gates of Eastern European countries were opened to visits from the West, I made my first trip to Poland with an organized tour, On one of the days of this visit I left the group with my wife and hired a local guide whom we met in Warsaw. We traveled with him in a taxi to the town of Krasnoschilz. . It was very emotional to return to the town of my birth, which I had not visited since I was about 9 years old. I didn't meet anyone in the town whom I knew since the Jewish inhabitants were replaced completely by non-Jews. I recognized with great emotion the houses in which we used to buy ice cream and other goods and houses of friends and acquaintances from those days. My own house was destroyed by fire shortly after the war. I went to the site where I said goodbye to my father, which has never left my memory for all those years. I stood there at. this place filled with emotion. I then went with my wife to the synagogue building in the town and found it still standing. However, it had been converted to a storeroom for agricultural products. Despite my request I was not allowed at this visit to enter the building.

I asked the guide to accompany me on a tour and to talk to the local people in Polish, My accent showed that I was a foreigner. The driver asked them what they knew about the Jews who lived in this place and about the the murder which took place here. Although most, if not all, avoided or refused to speak with us and others said things like, "Thank God we are rid of the Jews who were here." During this same visit I contacted the mayor of the town, a young man named Miroslav Glinka, and asked him if he knew any details of the event. He told me that he knew nothing. I asked him to let me examine the local archives where the history of the residents were documented but I received a firm refusal.

Three years later, in 1991, I again traveled to Poland to search for material about the incident and I again visited KRASNOSIELC and also at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw where the history of the Jews of Poland is documented. I did not find any important material relating to the incident except one report which was issued by the Poles and Soviets in 1945 Among others there was the evidence of Richter, who was appointed mayor by the Germans during the period of the war. He supplied evidence regarding the massacre at the regional court house at Lozmza. No mention was made in the report of where the bodies were buried.

In 1993 I contacted the military attach at the German embassy in Tel Aviv and related the story and requested that he help me find the file of the trial held for the murderers in the archives of the German government. He promised to take care of my request and turned to various archive bodies in Germany to send him the material on the subject. During the following year various documents relating to the subject began to arrive. Among them were two especially important documents in which it became clear to me beyond any doubt that the murder actually took place as described.

The first document was a report sent from the Third Army to the Headquarters of the Land Forces about the field court marshal which took place against .two soldiers serving in the armored force of General Kempf . Their family names are not found in this file. They were indicted for firing without reason on 50 Jews who were busy during the day repairing a bridge. In the report it says that the prosecutor in the trial defined the deed as murder and demanded a sentence of death for the murderers. One of them argued in his defense that a number of reasons were on their side, such as: the strain caused by the atrocities carried out by Poles on German born residents, the hostile attitude of the Jews toward Germans and the fact that they acted with youthful enthusiasm without thinking and the fact that they were brave soldiers who had never before been punished. At the end of the trial one of the accused received 9 years imprisonment and other three years.

Other documents revealed that a few days after the report was received The Commander of the 3rd Army, General Von Kuchler decided to lower the sentence of one of the murders from 9 to 3 years and the punishment of the other soldier was approved without any change.

The second significant document which reached me was a copy of the Nurenberg Trials file No. 12, which dealt with the proceedings against General Georg von Kuchler, the command of the Third Army, In the course of the trial, General Kempf the commander of the armored division which operated in the area testified that his soldiers attacked the Jews apparently because they constituted a danger, although she stressed he was against that approach. He added that the massacre was carried out by four SS men and another solder and that the soldiers who started the killings belonged to an artillery unit from the same division and in the course of time other soldiers joined in.. Kempf said that the news about the massacre reached him only the day after at dawn and that he reported immediately to the main headquarters of the Land forces and requested them to begin an investigation immediately against them. On the 7th of December at noon, Army Commander General Von Kuchler came to the Divisional Headquarters to meet all the unit commanders under General Kempf's command. Heand condemned the deed severely and unequivocally. He.blamed the commander's actioas immoral and barbaric and dishonorable. and accused them or of having a bestial attitude. He pointed out that their conduct stained the honor of the whole unit severely. From his rebuke one could infer that the main culprits deserved death sentences for what they had done. A testimony of Kuchler's behavior substantiated in the course of the trial by more witnesses like General Herbert von Beckman..

Another document which was published within the framework of the Nurenberg trial is the War Diary of General Franz Halder who was the Chief of Staff of the Land Forces who also mentioned the massacre of the Krasnoschlitz Jews. The following was stated there "artillery men from the SS armored unit gathered Jews into the synagogue and murdered them there. A court martial convicted the murderers and sentenced them to one year of imprisonment . Von Kuchler did not confirm the verdict because in his opinion they deserved a more severe punishment. It was suggested that the unit be transferred. Following the publication Halder's War Diaries, the event received much publicity and wide repercussion in Germany.

I was excited to read the files relating to that event but a number of puzzles remained unsolved; mainly the question of where the victims of the massacre were buried. .. - According to that document the indication was that the corpses were transferred to an unknown place. I knew that until I found the answer to this puzzle I would have no peace.

I decided to apply to the German Embassy in Israel and ask them for additional financing, which I lacked for accomplishing the project. One of the high officials of the embassy replied "that it is impossible not to respond to my request" and so it was but not so quickly and easily.

In the meantime, in 1993, I was lucky to meet two Polish journalists. Gerzina and Pashmislav. Rayer- who assisted me greatly in the investigation of the affair . The Rayer couple are the owners and publishers of a business journal in Poland and came to Israel for the purpose of marketing it among businessmen in the country who spoke Polish. I befriended the couple and invited them for dinner. During dinner they complained that Polish Jewish survivors of the Holocaust resent the Poles because of their apparent assistance to the Germans during the Holocaust. This is wrong and a distortion of history since the majority of Poles did not collaborate with the Germans. Quite the contrary, they suffered enormously. I replied that I felt Polish hostility when for two or three years I approached the Mayor of KRASNOSIELC a number of time to let me into the town archives and to assist me in finding the mass grave of my father and his friends and each time my application was received with coldness and animosity. I told them " If the Poles are not willing to assist me in the perpetuation of the memory of the dead how can one possibly think about relations between the living? The Rayer couple listened with great attention to my story and in the end they promised to take care of the matter and that they would spare no time and effort and use their connection with the media and the authorities in order to provide me with access to the archives and to find the mass grave.

The Rayers returned to Poland. In the course of the following months we talk on the phone from time to time. Over one year later I received a letter from them saying

"Now you have a place to go to say Kaddish on your father's grave. We have found one old resident of the town, Mr Zhilinsky who testified that he participated in covering the corpses on the night of the massacre" It turned out that in the course of that year the couple published an article in the press in which they asked people to pass on to them any information relating to the Krasnoschilts Jews. They traveled especially from the own home town Poznan to KRASNOSIELC, a distance of 450 km, met with many residents of KRASNOSIELC, interrogated them about the event until they reached Mr. Zhilinsky. On that bitter and impetuous evening the Germans knocked on his door because he lived near the synagogue and asked him to come and help cover the corpses.

Immediately after receiving the letter in 1994 I decided to leave for Poland . The Rayers came to meet me at the airport and accompanied me throughout the whole visit. We went together to KRASNOSIELC to meet Mr Zhilinsky in order to take his evidence about the events that took place that night. Mr. Zhilinsky testified that on that night in September 1939 he witnessed the burial of Jews near the synagogue in town. Afterwards we went together with Mr. Zhilinskey and his son to the burial place beside the synagogue and he showed me exactly were the corpses were buried.

On another occasion Mr. Zhilinsky told me how the Germans took the bodies of the murdered Jews out of the synagogue and threw them in the ditches beside it and covered them with Torah books, poured some combustible material and set it all on fire. He added that the Germans called him and his father to help bury the corpses and immediately warned them not to utter a word about what they had just seen, otherwise they and their families might face death. Zhilinsky told the story only after the war had ended, perhaps when he was drunk. Thanks to it the story spread in town and thus reached us eventually.

After I had confirmed the truth about the story that the corpses were buried near the synagogue building, I consider opening the graves and taking the corpses out. I applied to the Polish Ministry of Health and the Pathological Institute in Warsaw presenting the documentation but they refused to approve my request.

I decided to abandon the idea because it demanded a lot of effort. We asked a number of rabbis if we many regard the place as a proper burial ground if we possess all the evidence that the corpses were actually buried there. They responded positively.

In the meantime, Mr Galinka, the Mayor of KRASNOSIELC became cooperative mainly because he saw that I had the support of journalists and that official authorities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health were involved in the matter. So he let me visit the synagogue building and the local archives of KRASNOSIELC although I found nothing about the incident of the murder..

I decided next to erect a memorial for the victims on the site so I applied to Mayor Glinka to cooperate and he asked what I had in mind. I replied that I wanted to build a library or museum . He was against is saying that there were not enough people to visit it and that he did not have the money to maintain it. He suggested that I buy the synagogue and then I shall be free to do whatever I decide. He made a quick evaluation and told me that I can buy the synagogue and the yard for 25,000 dollars. I made a calculation myself and concluded that to repair the building which was very much neglected, I should need another 100,000 dollars. After coming back to Israel I told the whole story to friends and members of the committee. They expressed their doubt about the chances of raising such an amount of money but the last straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that the Israeli engineer we sent to check if it was worthwhile to repair the building said that it was very old and its infrastructure was in a very bad state and it was not advisable to invest in it. So I decided to back off from the idea of buying and repairing the building and decided to erect a memorial instead.. The Mayor of Krasnoschlitz welcomed the idea.

All that time I continued efforts in various ways to raise additional money to finance the project. I sent circulars to survivors of our town and received some money from them. Another way was through the German Embassy after the military attach at Tel Aviv embassy had already supported my inquiry. The German ambassador appointed the cultural attach of the embassy, Dr Susan Rainer, to take care of my request. She assisted me a great deal. She corresponded with the fund officials in the German Foreign Office who were in charge of the distribution of the money and sent them letters and personal recommendations. She even organized two mewith the participation of the military attach and the chief accountant of the Embassy. In the end, after much effort I was awarded the sum of 20,000 dollars which was sufficient for carrying out the greater part of the inquiry and the erection of the monument on the site.

However, since the said project was to carried out on Polish soil, I was informed by the German Foreign Office that I cannot receive the grant personally because they had to hand it over to some official body in Poland, i.e. to a council of a society. I decided not to hand over the matter to the council of Krasnoschilz which suffered from a lack of money at the time since they might use part of the money for their own purposes. So, I decided to establish a society in Poland. I turned to the Polish Consul in Israel at the time., Mr. Marian Marek who happed to be from the same region and he introduced me to a bug businessman in Warsaw, who was also born in the same region. Together we established a society through which we were to receive the money for the erection of the monument.

I traveled twice to Warsaw especially for the preparation of the articles of association and I was able to regulate the provision that I was in charge of the allocation of money for the erection of the monument. I also went a number of times to the German Embassy in Warsaw because I knew that if Germans are aware of my connection with the Poles it would speed up the reception of the grant. I was assisted especially by the press attach of the embassy, Mr. Steinlain who told me about a certain journalist, Dr Helga Hirsch, a reporter for the Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung who came to Poland to investigate the conduct of the Germans during the occupation period. In 1997 she published in her newspaper an extensive article on the subject. Also, a film entitled "The Krasnoschlitz Affair" was broadcast on German television in the series "The Wehrmacht and Waffen SS Crimes during the First Days of the War."

In the meantime, we planned the erection of the monument itself on the outside of the synagogue wall. We planned to install the tablets in four languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Polish. Each would bear a description of the events that took place at the site. In addition, some 200 yards further from the site where the corpses were buried we decided to build a monument in the form of the Tablets of the Covenant bearing inscription in the four languages describing the event and a list with the names of the murdered Jews.

For this I had to prepare a list of the names of those who were murdered. This was not as simple matter since I could not find a precise registration of the names anywhere. Even the precise number of victims was unknown because in addition to the town residents there was an unknown number of refugees from neighboring towns who were also killed. Polish documents mention 41 victims while German sources give the number 50 as killed in the event. Aided by citizens of the town who were now living in America including my brothers and sisters, we succeeded in gathering the names of 31 people whom we knew for sure were killed and a number of names about whom there is some doubt whether they were actually there.

The names were embossed on the tablets aided by the Department of Commemoration of the Fallen in the Ministry of Defense and this was attached later on the monument. The four tables installed on the synagogue walls were designed by a Polish architect Mr. Woizeck Henrikovsky.

On June 5th 1996, the ceremony to unveil the monument took place. One day before the ceremony 25 people lodged at the guest house next to the city hall; 15 of us Israelis including my brother Michael and 10 others or their descendents from the United States .

The ceremony took place the next morning. Almost all the residents of the town came and also representatives from the neighboring towns. The Krasnoschilz people considered the event important: Flags of the State of Israel were flown on all the streets and a band was instructed to accompany the event. Many newspapermen and personnel from television and radio were also gathered at the location..

The ceremony itself was divided into two stages: The first was held next to the synagogue itself and a number of speeches were given - one by the Head of the Region, the second by the Mayor and the third by the Deputy Ambassador of Israel. The fourth was by Dina Roth the Chairperson of the committee for the towns in the region. I translated all the speeches into English and Polish and after I also delivered a sspeech about memories of the town during my childhood and about the emotions which drove me to investigate the event. For the second stage, we all went to the memorial next to the burial place. There, my brother Michael said a prayer then Kaddish and Tehillim. It was very affecting for me to finally say Kaddish on my father's grave, 57 years after I departed from him.

During my memorial activities in KRASNOSIELC, I was accompanied by. the journalist and writer Mr Mariusz Bandarczuk from Przasmysz . He documented the event in writing and photography and helped in searching archives at the location and in other places. At the conclusion Mr. Bondarczuk wrote a book entitled "The Fifth Day (Piatego Duia) where he described the relations between the Polish and Jewish populations from the 17th until the bitter end of the Jewish community and especially described the tragic events September 5, 1938. I am indebted to him for the serious document which he wrote.

 

1.     Notes

1. The story which was reconstructed according to the account by Shkopaf and additional evidence heard later, especially that of Yitzak Glant, who heard from his father Abraham Glant who was saved from this event.

2 Later I found out that my mother sent a letter to my brother Yoseph, who at that time lived in Israel, where she told him about the evidence of Moshe Shkopaf. My brother Yoseph sent the latter to the editor of the HaTzofeh newspaper or the Modia. and it was published in a Hebrew translation,. Later the same story was repeated in a book by Shlomo Carmel, who was from our town.

3. William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shocken, .552 pp.

4. Name.

5. Anatomy of the S.S. State, Helmut Krausnick, p 248.

6. The murderers trial, p. 92 The file is dated September 14, 1939, about 10 days after the murder since the trial was held a very short time after the murder (See photo of the document)

7. Name, P93 (See a photo of the document)

8. Nuremberg Trials #12, #15 Eidesstattlich Erkaerung, General Werner Kempf. At this same trial it was stated that the murder was carried out at the town of Rojan in the Makov Mazobitski region instead of Krasnoschlitz but the matter is based on a mistake.

9. Nuremberg Trials #121, #10 , Eidesstatliche Erklarung, General Herbert von Boeckmann.

2.      DOCUMEMTS

Records from September 14, 1939 about the judgement against an SS man and military policeman for the murder of 50 Jews in a synagogue. The first was sentenced to 3 years in jail and the second to 9 years.

The judgement regarding the murderers

Following his appeal, the punishment of the military policeman was reduced from 9 to 3 years in prison. No change was made in the sentence of the SS man.

Photo1
The memorial tablet at the site where the victims of the massacre were buried next to the synagogue. A list of names of those murdered are on the tablet.

Photo2

The writer and members of his family near the memorial tablet which was fastened to the wall of the synagogue at Krasnoschlitz

From page 42 of the article
The Judgement Regarding the Murder

Record from 14.9.1939 regarding the judgement against the SS man and militrary policeman for the murder of 50 Jews in the synagouge. The first was sentenced to three years imprisonment and the second nine years.

The Murder of Jews of Krasnoschilz

Record from documents;
(Translated from the German)

The head of the military court announced by telephone: A field court of the armored division Kempf sentenced an SS man from the SS artillery to 3 years imprisonment for murder and 9 years imprisonment with hard laborfor a corporal of the military police

Both murdered about 50 Jews who were taken for a day to repair a bridge. After finishing work they were confined during the evening in the synagogue and there shot to death without any reason.

General Alder wishes to know the judgement of the 3rd Army command.

The judgement was passed on to the commander of the 3rd Army for approval. The demand of the representative of the prosecution: Sentence of death for murder.

The judgement on the day after the trial.

To:
Headquarters of the Land Forces,

Headquarters of the General Staff

Sa13/9

The observers are SS men

14.9.39

The Head of headquarters of the Land Forces requests that the document H 14/9 be returned to the Headquarters of the Land Forces.

I.A. Radke

From Page 43 of the article
The Appeal of the Judgement

Following the appeal the sentence of the military policeman was reduced from 9 to 3 years. In the case of the SS man there was no change.
(Translated from the German)

SECRET

Telegram : HD1H 403 - 14.9. 39 - 1905

To the consultant to the Higher Military Court at the Head of the General Staff in Berlin

Tirpitzufer 72-76, Berlin W35.

Subject AZ480

General Staff room 3 Headquarters of the Land Forces No 1204/39

We recognized in the discussion relating to the SS soldier mitigating circumstances because passing the rifle by an officer into his hands deviated him from taking an active part in the execution by rifle fire. He was in an emotional state due to the many terrible deeds carried out by the Poles toward Germans. He, as an SS man, in seeing the Jews felt especially the anti-German attitute of the Jews and in youthful excitement acted without thinking in advance. He is a good soldier and has no previous convictions.

The councillor of the Higher Military Court of the Lands Forces

Approves the correctness of the document

Lipsky Advisor to the Military Court

 

To: General Staff of the 3rd division
Note: By telephone from the Head Advisor of the Military Court the secretariat at The General Staff- apparently will not approve the two judgements.

Ra (?) ......

Summary: The sentences were cut after the pardon.

The punishments before the pardon and after the pardon.
9 years in jail with hard labor to military police corporal, was reduced to 3 years in jail.
3 years in jail for SS man. Not changed.

Approved by the General Staff

THE BOOK OF HORRORS

 

The appalling testimony in Hebrew of the mother of the author in Sefer Hazvaot -
Book of Horrors, Certificates, testimonies, reports about the destruction of the Jewish people during WWII
Edited by Benjamin Mintz and Dr. Israel Klausner, with a preface by Itzhak Grinbaum
published by the the Rescue Committee of the Sochnut in Eretz Israel, first volume, Jerusaelm 1945, page 94-95. AH.

David Shachar: INTRODUCTION

This story is taken from "Book of Horrors" Vol 2 which is a collection of testimonies. of the horrible deeds committed by the German invaders against the Jews of Poland in the first month of the occupation.

The woman mentioned is my mother Hinda Himmelfarb (of Blessed Memory) who wrote this from Bialystok at the end of 1939 to her son (my brother ) Joseph Himmelfarb who was living at Haifa at the time. He immigrated as a pioneer in 1935. In this letter she describes the slaughter of 50 Jews, among them her husband (our father), Haim Himmelfarb (of Blessed Memory). The letter was written in Yiddish in coded sentences. My brother decoded the letter and sent it to a newspaper (Hatzofeh ?) which was then translated to Hebrew and published.

The collection was edited by Benjamin Mintz and Dr Israel Klausner with an introduction by Yitshak Greenbaum The collection was published in 1945

THE HORRORS IN KRASNOSIELC

From the Slaughtering Fields of the Nazi Conquered Areas

How the Martyrs of Krasnoshiltz, Poland Were Tortured and Murdered

One of Four Refugees Tells Details of the Atrocity

In a letter from a mother to her son in Haifa, details of the death of the father, a shochat in the town of Krasnosielc in the extermination during the Nazi conquest how with another 33 Jews were shot and killed in a synagogue by the Nazis.

After description of the retreat in panic from the town, two days before the Germans arrived, the mother describes in detail the murder of the forty. The writer escaped to a nearby village by the name of Gonsowa and the Germans came to the town the next day . On Monday of that week she returned there, and told her husband who escaped to Makov, that the town was quiet and he could return to his work. He returned on Tuesday and immediately on the morning of the next day, all the residents were taken to enforced labor to repair a bridge that had been bombed. In the city the women and children stayed at home for a while. In the evening, a terrible panic broke out in the city because the men did not return People living near the synagogue said that during the night they heard shots from there periodically. Then a terrible running around the synagogue began, but Nazi soldiers guarding the place did not let the crying women and mother get close. Only on Friday the guards were removed. No one was in the synagogue, nothing was found except blood stains on the floor. They said that many Jews who were captured while running away, were returned to the synagogue where they were murdered. But no one knew for sure.

After three weeks, on the evening of Succoth, an order was given to all the Jews to leave the town for two hours. To the question "Where?", the Nazi hangmen answered "to Palestine or to Naerev (the name of a river nearby)". On the first night of Succoth all the Jews were taken to an open field and were put in barracks. The writer was able to escape to Bialystok, where she placed her daughter who had gotten sick on the way, in a hospital. In a short time during their stay in the city, she became sick also. When she got somewhat better she moved to the general ward and here she found her son who had disappeared together with all the males. Here she learned that one of those who disappeared together with her husband the butcher escaped and found refuge in Lomza and he gave details of the horrible night in the synagogue of Krasnosielc.

In the evening of that same day an order was given to leave work and to line up; the Jews separately and the Poles separately. Some of the young Jews succeeded in getting out of it. But those who were dressed in traditional Jewish dress and with beards, 40 in number, were taken to the synagogue where they were tortured to death. They were pulled by their beard until blood flowed and than were shot one by one. The bodies were put on a truck and were taken to an unknown location.

The names of Peretz Orlinski, Chaim Goldenkranc and Jakob Mlawer who were among the murdered, were mentioned in the letter. May God avenge them! The person who testified, Mosze Albrisz survived with other 5 men who were covered with the bodies of the blessed ones and were not noticed by the murderers. The six were taken afterwards to Germany as prisoners, but the witness succeeded in escaping on the way and reaching Russian occupied territory.

*********

On this night, the terrible deeds and cruel murder at the synagogue as described above, many of the population of the town escaped with their lives to the regional capital nearby - Maykow (30 kilometers away) before it fell into the hands of the Nazi in the two days mentioned. But to their pitiful disappointment the city fell into the hands of the oppressors. Because of this situation the refugees from Krasnosielc saw no good in staying in that city and slowly began to return in their tracks and return to their homes in their town. They did this in groups of two or three people lest the Nazi patrols notice them and kill them. But it didn't turn out this way, to their bad luck. Many of the groups were notice and them were murdered on the road without mercy. During that same night many of those who returned from their way to Maykov or local children were killed.

On this night, the terrible deeds and cruel murder at the synagogue as describeabove, many of the population of the town escaped in a hurry with their lives.

David Shachar adds, December 2000:

During my memorial activities in Krasnoschiltz, I was accompanied by. the journalist and writer Mr. Mariusz Bandarczuk from Przasnysz . He documented the event in writing and photography and helped in searching archives at the location and in other places. At the conclusion Mr. Bondarczuk wrote a book entitled "The Fifth Day" (Piatego Duia) where he described the relations between the Polish and Jewish populations from the 17th until the bitter end of the Jewish community and especially described the tragic events of September 5, 1938. I am indebted to him for the serious document which he wrote.

Mr. Mariusz Bandarczuk's book translated to English will be published in year 2001.

More about David Shachar
Email: sh_david "at" zahav.net.il (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam)

PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

October 11, 2000

 

 

Mr. David Shachar,

 

In accordance with the authority vested in me by Paragraph 11 (a)1 of the Yad Vashem Constitution, 1968, and amended by the authority provided in the Law for the Memory of the Holocaust and Heroism Yad Vashem, 1956, I am honored to appoint you as a member of the Yad Vashem Council.

 

I would like to wish you all the success in fulfilling this important duty.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Ehud Barak

 

 

Copies: Professor Shevah Weiss, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council

Mr Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate

Mr. David Shachar dedicated a lot of his life and resources towards commemoration of the Jewish Polish Soldiers who fought the Nazi enemy in WWII and fell in battle.
He found wonderful great donors to the project The result is a grand memorial monument in Mount Hertzel at Jerusalem:

YAD VASHEM

Central School
for Teaching the Holocaust

November 13, 2000

To:
Mr. David Shachar
116 Uziel St.
Ramat Gan

 

Dear Mr. Shachar

Thank you very much for sending us your article in English on your research regarding the murder of the Jews in Krasnoslitz in Poland.

Without doubt your great efforts to discover the details regarding the event and memorializing the victims, one of whom was your father, of blessed memory, provides an important and educational message to the coming generation both in Israel and abroad.

I have passed on your article to the Pedagogical Director of the Central School for Teaching the Holocaust so that teachers and students from various countries in the world can learn from your person story.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Motti Shalem

Director

Last updated June 6th, 2007

First posted December 2000!