ŁOSICE Yizkor Book:
Loshits; lezeykher an umgebrakhte kehile

Łosice; in Memory of a Jewish Community, Exterminated by Nazi Murderers
M. Shner, Tel Aviv, 1963

 

Translated from Yiddish by Viktor Lewin

 

Editor: Mordechai Shner (B. Feder)

Editorial Board: Ben Yaakov Josef, Goldstein Chaim Icel, Pasternak-Hochman Rachel, Rozenband - Bialikamien Chaja-Rachel, Rozal Dawid, Rozal Menachem, Szmulewicz - Goldband Belcia, Shner Mordechai

Translation to Hebrew and Editing: A. Bar-Tana

 

Images scanned by Warren Grynberg

 

The English translation was edited by Ada Holtzman

 

Hebrew section: Ada Holtzman

 

Social Movements

 

Some chapter have been translated from Hebrew by Gila Isaacs a

volunteer at the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, and will be posted soon in this web site (May 2004)..

 

 

Contents

Page

Shoemaking and Professional Movements

Chaim Iczel Goldstein (Paris)

Yiddish

55

Professional Leatherworkers Union

Yosef Fridman (Josel Bubik)

Yiddish

62

Forty Years of the "Bund" in Łosice

Yosef Fridman (Josel Bubik)

Yiddish

65

The Zionist Movement

Abraham Pinkus

Yiddish

74

Social Activism in the Shtetl

Dawid Rozal

Yiddish

81

The movement of Hashomer Hatzair in our town

Rachel Hochman (Givataiim), Menachem Rozal

Hebrew

85

Period of boom in the organization of Hashomer Hatzair - Photographs

Balcia Goldband-Szmulewicz

Hebrew

87

Memories of Hashomer Hatzair in Łosice Photographs

Josef Ben Jakob (Jastrzomb, Tel Aviv)

Hebrew

88

The shoemaker's workshop in the movement of Hashomer Hatzair Photographs

Rachel Hochman

Hebrew

92

Friends who are gone... Photographs

Rachel Hochman

Hebrew

93

A town in Podlasia Photographs

Eliezer Bar Chaim (Barnholc)

Hebrew

95

The lecture of one anti-Semite...

Balcia Godelband-Szmulewicz (Kibbutz Negba)

Hebrew

98

"Yugen Freiheit"in Łosice

Berl Binsztok (Jaffa)

Yiddish

99

The Jewish Community

Lajbel Hofer (Holon)

Yiddish

104

Community Administration in Independent Poland

Shmuel Landau (Tel Aviv)

Yiddish

105

Religious Social Activism

Shmuel Landau

Yiddish

106

Jewish Credit Institutions

Lajbel Hofer

Yiddish

109

Help for the Villagers

Lajbel Hofer

Yiddish

111

Iron Safe and the Bank

Shmuel Landau

Yiddish

112

Drama groups and choirs

Dawid Rozal

Yiddish

114

My mother's Sabbath dress (a poem)

Yosef Fridman (Josel Bubik)

Yiddish

116

 

 

Shoemaking and Professional Movements

 By Chaim Iczel Goldstein

Pages 55 - 62

 

 

I was away from the young and the old of Łosice precisely at the time when trade was flourishing and the economy was improving. At an earlier time I had the opportunity to remain at work and to be at the birth of the modern trade business and to use my varied skills and strengths to assist in the professional tradesman business movement.

 

Chaim Iczel Goldstein

   It is difficult to write about what once was without having any of the necessary archival material or documents to do it justice. My recounting deals more from memories, from personal experiences, reports, histories, and opinions. To make things even more difficult was the fact that there were so few survivors to tell the whole story. Pictures of survivors: entire rows of righteous and honest people. So it was in Łosice - folkspeople and workers. They all gave up their youthful energies and enthusiasm so that our shtetl could be something, economically and culturally, and to bring in fresh ideas, fresh life into the"dark"streets. Let there be justice to their efforts forever, and always remain in our memories.

   From earliest childhood I can remember the large square in the middle of the shtetl. Here, market days would take place which were lively not

only for the merchants and artisans, but also for the plain folk in the entire shtetl. When a yarid (market) day approached the Jews would end their praying sooner in order to come to the Rynek. They would come with empty bags to wait for the farmers to come into town from the neighbouring villages. The farmers would bring corn, potatoes, sacks of onions, a calf for meat which was tied up behind the market, a young "cherubic" cow to sell, or a skinny cow which had stopped producing milk which was destined to the Jewish butchers (ritual slaughterhouse).

 

We bought everything that the farmers had to offer, and so they earned their poor livlihood. While waiting between one stand and another we were able to chat with each other, a good word from the Rebbe,and a discussion about a Gemorrah portion which had started the prior evening between Mincha and Maariv. So it was that a little politics of local events was never lacking. There were discussions about things which were bad. There was always something to debate because the Łosicer Jews never had any good times. The debates would always end on a positive note; words of confidence and hope.
G-d will help us !

 

In the middle of the square there was a cluster of shops - among these shops were restaurants, artisan shops, hatmakers, tailors, shoemakers, and two bakeries. In the good old days the shopkeepers would be the first to arrive and sat on the stones, next to the shops, giving the appearance that they were customers. Yarid days on the Rynek were lively and noisy.

 


In the factory of Shoemakers in Miedzyrzec Street at the courtyard of Icchak Szloser, 1925.

From left to right: Hersz Lajb Szpkier, Noska Szmuel-Abraham, Icchak Oksenhorn, Zelig Nusboim, Zalman Szymon, Dobcze Benjamin Greber, Chaim Zinger, Hersz Lajb Siedlcer, Szepsl Woda ("Dowdztowe"), Dan looking through the window.

 

On the side streets running off of the Miedzyrzecer and Bialer Streets, such as Notawizne, or the Death Street, lived the poorest of the shtetl: shoemakers, tailors, locksmiths, painters, etc. In those half-collapsed shacks with straw roofs lived the poor of the shtetl. "Scary" people lived in those houses. Because work was sporadic, meat was never seen in those homes, only black bread to satisfy us.

 

As I come to think of it, it was a short time before the First World War, the shoemaking industry pulled the shtetl out of it's depression. Almost immediately a shoemaking industry appeared in Łosice; how it came about, I don't know. We did work for the Russian Army. Eventhough Łosice was a strategic location, there was never a military garrison there. We were known as expert shoemakers. There was no rail line cutting through the shtetl to the nearest station in Niemojki, in Yiddish, Niemik, a distance of five kms. There were no tanneries in Łosice to treat and manufacture leather, this was something which we had to import from "strangers".

 

This new industry changed the shtetl's outlook. Factories sprung up creating work and in turn money. For the first time in Łosice's history there was now power in the working man's hands. Fathers would take small children out of school leading them down the lanes where they could quickly learn the trade of shoemaking. Streams of light would come into the small houses on the small muddy streets. Deep into the night the tapping of the hammers could be heard, always accompanied by a song. From the Notawizne Street, the Tode Gessel, from Donai, and from behind the synagogue could be heard:

"Hammer, Hammer, Clap,

hit harder a nail, another nail,

you are my only means,

From hunger, without you, I would die..."

Abraham Raizins’s song became an anthem for the shoemakers in Łosice.

 

The trade spread. The youth quickly saw the trade as a way out of hunger and despair. The streets took on a different appearance; it felt as though they had come to life. Away from the Gemorrah into the shoemakers' workplace, young people with little hats and broken shoe forms sneaked down Notawizne Street to learn this new trade. To be a shoemaker was no longer a shameful thing.

 

On Sabbath, after a week of hard work, you could see a happy and satisfied youth. They were better dressed. With one word, entire Łosice "ate until it was satisfied".

 

*

 

The entire workforce went to the giant marketplace known as the Soviet Union. Russian merchants came from far away to buy the shoes made in Łosice. Jewish shoemakers visited shops throughout the Russian land. The shtetl had made contact with the outside world. Revolutionary thoughts now spread from Russia to Łosice. This brought about new feelings, new hopes, a new society, and new cultural undertakings. The woods around the shtetl became the site for walks on Sabbath, meetings of Jewish workers, and meetings of those in the revolutionary ranks. There were elections, lectures, referenda, and heated discussions.

 

There came a demand for younger shoemakers which occurred in a disorganized fashion. Nevertheless it created a new atmosphere .

 

*

 

Prosperity in shtetl did not last long. The brighter economic conditions did not last long before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, and lasted until 1918. There was chaos. Work quickly came to a grinding halt. The Russian marketplace now dried up plunging Łosice in economic depression. Devastating hunger took over the shtetl, especially along"the  shoemaking streets".

 

When the German Army occupied Łosice during the First World War, Łosicer Jews came to taste German rule. The German soldiers had a free hand capturing Jews for forced labour. One worked under terrible conditions, and the first to suffer were the poor of the shtetl.

 

The war period I remember, even though it was so difficult it did not discourage the youth from hoping for a better future after the war.

 

*

 

Right after the war of 1914-1918 had ended, the shoemaking industry in Łosice restarted itself reducing hunger and the other hardships caused by war. There was a revival of the trade in town, but not so when compared to what the trades and businesses were like before the war. The large marketplace of Russia had disappeared, but other markets within Poland began to show themselves. The social condition of the shoemaker had also changed.

 

Around the year of 1920 the first legalized professional association of shoemakers and shtepers (sewers of the uppers of shoes) was established. This association was 400 members strong. It immediately began to lobby for better working conditions and better wages in the shtetl.

 

Around this time also, in Łosice, as elsewhere in Poland there was a cultural awakening. A large library was founded. Evening courses were available for everyone. Discussions took place regarding a variety of political, literary, social, and scientific themes. Several drama groups performed in front of the youth and adult audiences. Before the First World War the Łosicer worker was greatly influenced by the "Bund". The "Bund" would lead the fight for the workers in Łosice. The October Revolution in Russia brought new hopes for the worker in Łosice and  throughout the rest of Europe. It didn't take long before the worker in Łosice was aligned with the Revolutionary wing of the Kom-Bund.

 

Other trades emerged in Łosice after the war. Łosice was ready then for the ideals of Zionism. One of the oldest Zionist leaders of that time was Abraham Pinkus (he along with some members of his family were rescued by a Righteous Gentile; he now lives in the U.S.A.). After the Balfour Declaration the Zionist movement in Łosice grew stronger. The boys and girls of well-off families were grouped around the known Zionist who now opened an office in the house of Gerszon Szenker, at the corner of Bialer Street and the Rynek, on the first floor. The office was called Aguda, (association). The leaders of the Zionists were: Abraham Pinkus, Herszel Karcz, Gedalia Lewin, Godl Rozenband, Mele Grynberg, Rachel Szinkarz, and Jankel Goldes.

 

Friday evenings were kestel evenings (question and answer sessions). There was a library near the Aguda. There were also night courses and drama groups. Hebrew night courses were taught by a teacher named Feldman, who was brought in from Miedzyrzec.

 

Around the Aguda sprouted other groups such as, "Tseiri-Zion" and "Hashomer Hatsair".

 

So it was in shtetl: two opposing forces, the Zionists and the Communists. This produced a dynamism in the lives of Łosicers.

 

Religious groups were also well organized in shtetl. There were Chassidim from all different houses. Their studies took place in their prayer houses, the synagogue, and the large Beth Midrash on the Miedzyrzecer Street. One trying to better the other, whether spiritual vs. spiritual, or spiritual vs. secular.

 

In 1927 the economic crisis forced me to leave my birthplace. I went to Warsaw where many others were also looking for work. We left our shtetl with heavy hearts,  became homesick, and impatiently waited for holidays so we could go back to it's friendly streets.

 

In 1929 I left Poland to emigrate to France. From afar I still yearned for my birthplace. I was happy to learn that the cultural life in Łosice was more unified. I have not since seen Łosice alive, only one of death, in Hitler's ruins at  the year of 1945.

 

 

Home

 

Professional Leatherworkers Union

By Yosef Fridman (Josel Bubik)

Pages 62-65

 

The leather workers' union was the only professional union in Łosice. In the shtetl there were also tailors, carpenters, watchmakers, blacksmiths. Not one of the other trades organized themselves into an independent union. All were"warming themselves"by the leather workers union. Hundreds of families were employed in the shoemaking and stitching industry. This industry affected even the butchers, Hassidim, and others.

 

I don't know when the leather industry started in Łosice. I only know that as a child I already saw shoemaker factories in Łosice, where childrens' shoes were made. Later, when poverty drove me as a child of twelve years of age to work in such a factory, I became well acquainted with shoemaking.

 

The biggest buyer of childrens' shoes was Eliyahu Wrobel. He set the prices for the entire shtetl. They worked the entire week and before sunset on Friday they would take the finished product to Eliyahu Wrobel. This allowed them to earn enough money to buy leather to keep working for the remainder of the week.

 

There were many similar factories, but I don't remember them all. The first place, at that time, involved with shoemaking was the family of Chaim ‑ Moszes; the father and his three sons (Yosel, Icze, and Abraham). Then ‑ Mordechai Notke, Mosze ‑ Hersz Tritl, Gerszon Aizsze, Welwel Fodie ‑ Modies, the "yellow" tailor's son, Chaim Nachum, and other. There were those who were registered and those who weren't; the masters of their trade, but far from their patrons, their workers, and other larger centers.

 

The outbreak of the First World War instantly changed the atmosphere in the shtetl. When the Russian market was lost, the shoemaking industry came to a complete halt causing hunger and more poverty. It is difficult to explain in words the poverty in the poor sector of the shtetl just at the outbreak of war. It was impossible to find any kind of work, so as to earn enough to buy a piece of bread. Three years later one was able to find some work. But the work, already, was totally different. Childrens' shoes were now rarely made. In the interim, poverty forced the leather workers to wander, seeking work, in Warsaw, and in the Poznan region. One noticed other factories with broader ambitions, which tried to exploit the worker even more. This was the spark that motivated the Łosice leather workers to organize themselves into a union.

 

The first union meeting came about at Welwel Bogacz's house. The enthusiasm was great. I don't know about those who attended the meeting but the account that I got was that it was not only professional, but educational, and that during the next few years this institution would play an important role. I don't even know if the initiators and organizers of the union came forward, but the ideals would absorb the entire youth of the shtetl. I was absorbed with it's importance at this time.

 

The beginning was difficult. The little factories, which at the beginning were drawn by sympathy to the union, were later involved in bitter battles, the the union immediately took to strengthening it's position. It was, for a long time, the only organization to speak for the people of the shtetl .

 

The organizer of the union was Josef Tanenboim (Yosel Czop), who was himself a leather worker and a typical worker (intellectual). Returning from Russia where he participated throughout the entire Revolution, brought along strong ideals from that "fire" and he tried to involve the Łosicer workers.

 

The union, for a short time, conducted it's business from the home of Welwel Bogacz, but later moved to a larger location by Yehoszua Gemitche.

 

The first voting of the union, included, among others, who I don't remember, but I heard: Menashe Czalkes, Nuska Szmuel‑Abraham, Mosze Chnaches, Szaul Dawid Chnaches, Icze Meir Roizenkind, Mosze Oksenhorn, Y. Fridman, I. Minc, and later Mosze Chacham Szamai Niewieski, Reuwen Tracz. The first secretery, I. Minc; later this position was filled by the writer for the trade, Y. Fridman.        

 

The agenda before it, from the beginnning, had many difficult orders. It involved either the new factories and/ or a segment of workers who found it difficult to adopt the orders of the union. Often there occurred strikes, because the wages in Łosice were substandard. The strikes were often very bitter. The spokesman for the manufacturers, at that time, was Jankel Fuks, who was certainly a Jew, "a fox". He was for many years a textile manufacturer in Warsaw, and didn't hold much value for the shoemakers. When he came to Łosice, he invited a delegation from the union and declared that he and Herszel Mnoches wanted to open a large shoemaking factory in the shtetl , and because they were not tradespeople themselves, they pleaded for good workers to come to work for them.

 

The union immediately knew that Jankel Fuks was preparing to take over the shoe industry in Łosice. Because of this threat, it sent to the new factory elements of the union membership. The prosperity for the workers at Jankel Fuks' took a long time until he had taken over all the smaller factories, which later, saw things differently, but now they had to do what he dictated. At first he challenged the union, however the leather workers union was strong enough to be able to defeat his appetites. The union was able to reach certain wage settlements.

 

For a few years thereafter, the union was strong, and fought many a battle and sieges. Within the union, work was being done at a feverish pace in order to address all the grievances. The union became the central representative, not only for the Jewish workers, but also for a large part of the middle‑class, who were dependent spirits relying upon the leather union. Because of the hard work of the union, it forced management to hire a number of union functionnaries; at first it was Jankiel Arisze from Siemiatycze, and later for a long period of time, Ziskind Sztajnman and Berl Moliers worked as union functiormaries. Through the union, a choir and a drama club was organized which would entertain the smaller towns around Łosice.

 

The leather union and the "Bund", which was then the only workers' party in Łosice, clashed regarding worker ideals. This eventually led to a split within the workers's ranks, and to the disbanding of the union. After the split almost all the organizers from the leather union went to the"Bund", excepting Menasze Czalke, I. Minc, and Y. Fridman. There, then, was a call for a new vote, which saw the slate of candidates stacked with Com‑Bundists, Communists, including one Bundist, Yosef Fridman.

 

A short time later there occurred the great"arrest", which tore away the union's leadership. It took a very long time until new forces came upon the scene and revived it.

 

Even though the leather union no longer occupied it's earlier status in the lives and battles of the Łosicer working class, it continued to fly it's banner until the final liquidation of the Jewish settlement in Łosice.

 

Today, there is no evidence of a Jew from the shtetl, no evidence of our leather union, only "lonely" people in many countries and continents, who carry in their distant hurting hearts the memories of their long ‑ lost shtetl, Łosice.

 

 

Home

 

Forty Years of the "Bund" in Łosice

By Yosef Fridman (Josel Bubik)

Pages 65-74

 

I was unfamiliar with the history (forty years) of the Łosicer"Bund". To write about it I would need documents, data, facts and figures (so to speak), and names, all of which I don't have. I will only point out remembrances from the prospective of a co‑builder of the working environment in our shtetl, until I had to wander from there.

 

A group of Łosicer "Bundists". From right to left, standing – Mordechai Rozal and Herszel Zinger;

Sitting: Mosze Woda and Yosef Tenenboim (Yosel Czop).

Łosice is in the Siedlcer region, and I was familiar with the cultural status of the shtetl. It belonged to a group of towns, where the majority of the inhabitants were poor, and suffered through hardships. One would have married, raised children, and lived to have grandchildren, always with the hope , that tomorrow will be Bethter; however from where, from which direction, would the Messiah come ‑ no one knew... The angel of death would come to the shtetl every year, during the winter, especially among the poor children: death would bring the undertaker, who would put the child in the grave, quickly leave, accompanied by the mother's silent crying.

 

The beginning of the 1900s brought about changes to the shtetl. The truth is, the poor did not become richer, they however understood their lot; looking for an escape from their bitter existence, they saw, that they weren't alone in their hunger and together they looked for a way to change things. In the beginning of the 1900s, in Łosice, there was a formation of a movement, led by Mele Koke, who we called at that time, the Kaiser. Then the group was formed, which called itself, Unity. In it's infancy it had agreed upon a clear goal / direction, but it tried to protect and assist the poor people of the shtetl. Even in the battle with the Zapashnea (reservists  from the Russian Army)  against the rich people from the shtetl, the Unity group played a significant role. The Unity group prepared the grounds for the"Bund", which later had the support not only of the poor people, but also in the middle‑class houses, which previously stood aloof, now turned to the"Bund"to find solutions to their problems. From such homes, in later years, came the leaders of the"Bund"in Łosice: Yehoszua Rozal, Bajla Yona, Dawid Bekerman, and Iczl Rak.

  

The one encompassing trade in Łosice was shoemaking. But, at the same time, the maker of childrens' shoes did not"lick any honey". The entire shoemaking production was run by a minimal number of people, who dictated the wages to the sub‑contractors, and those who worked by them. The workers' wages were terribly low; truthfully they were"hunger"wages. But that was the singular income"well"for the poor in Łosice. It attracted many youths, even children from more affluent homes, who wanted to learn the shoemaking trade.

 

The year 1914, the outbreak of the W.W.I, worsened the lot of the already poor Jews in shtetl. The shoemaking industry came to a halt. Even the smallest "wells" from which one could draw any livlihood had dried up. Between the wars there came a terrible hunger. Death lurked at the workers' homes.

 

From the depths of hunger came the "fortress" of the "Bund".

 

To Łosice, then, came, after his release from prison, Avramel Shtriker (Abraham Roznboim), who was nicknamed in the shtetl, "Gotele". He energetically organized work projects, which were aimed at staving off hunger and death. It is impossible, today, to imagine how much power the "Bund" had at this time to combat the poverty in Łosice. From the years 1919 until the last agonies inflicted by the abuses of the Nazi "beast", the breath of the "Bund" was felt in Łosice; the spirit of Avramel Shtriker.

 

In the woods, which lie Between the villages of Zakre and Jiatich, which belonged to the Zakre land owner Kaminski, agreement was reached with the "Bund" to construct, during the summer months, a "Peoples' Kitchen" for the poor of Łosice. The organization had difficulties receiving financial support from the central leadership because the front was already very near Warsaw. It was agreed upon to look at certain means to force the rich to support the "Peoples' Kitchen". There were those rich people who refused to support the "kitchen". They forced the "Bund" to finance it from their cottage industry, the unemployed, and wages from other sources. But, all of this was not adequate. The "Bund" also canvassed the rich landowners to support the "kitchen" with the produce from their fields. They also refused.

 

In spite of this, the "Bund" was busy in the Jaticher woods. Every morning the workers, singing, would march out of the shtetl into the woods, spending the whole day, having meetings, lectures. The bourgeoisie in and around Łosice; the owner of the woods, did not approve. They, then, brought down from Janow a detachment of Russian police, who, together with a group of peasants led by the Zakrer land lord, armed with scythes and rakes, were notified by an informant when the "Bund" would be meeting in the woods. The result was a long, one‑sided fight. On one side, unarmed Jewish workers, and on the other, police and peasants armed to the teeth. The struggle lasted for some time. Many badly beaten Bundists, under a watchful eye, returned to the shtetl . When the police and their helpers came to the shtetl, Bundists came from the cemetery armed with sticks and stones, and the battle began anew. There, the "criminals" got paid back and fled in terror.

 

The important Jews in shtetl, however, quickly saw that they had"cooked a kasha"which could end fatally because the arrested would be tried before a military court. The important Jews then came forward when it was needed in order to erase the affair. Frightened of the numbers which the"Bund"could attract to the fracas, they had to release those arrested. After the release of the arrested, the rich were forced to construct a"kitchen"not in the woods, but in the heart of the shtetl .

 

1915. The Germans who occupied Łosice immediately began to show their "wolfish" character. They began to enforce forced labour from which came horrible stories of hardships and many deaths. For forced labour, they took, only the poor, because the rich had already found out in what manner they could buy their way out of being pressed into forced labour. The occupation of such a small shtetl made it difficult to do something in order to oppose the "wolves". Łosice, for a long time, was part of the front, and the Germans would punish any opposition before a military court.

 

Hunger only increased in shtetl... the help from the magistrate, through the German Jew (M. Kohn) and the support of the U. S. ended up on the point of a bayonet. The saving news was the establishment of the new "Peoples' Kitchen" by the "Bund" and Michael Hodis. Everyone, for a few groschen, could be fed, and those who could not pay would still be fed. Could one, then, imagine what it would cost to feed hungry  relatives in the "Bund" Kitchen? The youth looked upon it as a second home; a place to thaw out, eat until full, and pass the time among comrades and friends.

 

The "Bund" quickly matured. It began to organize a choir. The shtetl began to breathe with life. Theater groups which would travel throughout the Polish province, sensed a thankful audience in Łosice and would delight to put on shows there. The"Bund"'s work expanded with the establishment of a cultural club and a library. The cultural club fostered strong feelings with references, lectures, "kestel" evenings (evening of questions and answers) meetings, theatrical performances, recitals, and declaration evenings. Members of the club were locally taught, and came from all segments of the Jewish population.

 

1916. A friendly delegation came to Łosice from Biala Podlaska. The "Bund" called the youth to participate in the big meeting. Up to now, meetings of the youth occurred, sometimes, at the cemetery, Shaindlen in Sod, in an open field, and at Jaszka Chaia Lifcze. Involving the youth of the "Bund" in this meeting was something new. The delegation put forward a plan, which not only involved the Jewish youth, but also the youth of other races. Tears were brought to those assembled with the discussion of the cruelty of the terrible war, which had already lasted two years, without purpose, without reason.

 

Child‑like hearts became enthusiastic, eyes filled with tears, burning with pride. Children were seen marching under red banners, among the millions of camps over the entire world, in order to stop the genocide, in order to bring in a new, free Socialistic life... I was only fifteen years old then. Surely, then, I didn't absorb all the thoughts of the friendly delegation. It, however, was enough, the thoughts that I did absorb, that I should my entire life be bound up with those ideals, with those Socialistic thoughts, which were then awakened.

 

Committee was established for the youth, which in turn became a strong driving force influencing political discussions among different age groups. The youth group wanted to take the ideals to a wider audience; something the older group leaders forbade. The location of the "Bund" soon became too small, and another location had to be rented for the youth group. There was much to do, which would distract the feelings of hunger... There was , however, no time to think about eating.

 

Our friend Mania, then came from Warsaw, who took over the leadership of the choir and the drama club, from which came able and talented members. At the beginning, there were only one act plays, but later entire performances.

 

The party had a broad political base. Then, in a short time, to Łosice, came L. Lewin, B. Ajserowicz, Artur,  Himelfarb, Emanuel Nowogrodzki, and Herszel Metalowicz, from Warsaw and Dawid Najmark from Siedlce. Łosice lived through the First World War, which was played out on the various fronts.

 

The war began. The anti‑war voices made themselves heard in greater numbers, and little by little their ideology crept into revolutionary thought. Knowledge about the revolutionary battles came from Russia. Łosicers hung on every word, and the people were bound together with the revolutionary storm. Two Łosicers came from Russia, and brought greetings from the Russian Revolution. Both of them brought a broad enthusiasm and ability; two essential qualities for political and organization strength. Berl Gutman ("Berl the Murder Glezer") came from Russia full of intelligence, culture, and knowledge. He spoke quietly. He, however, captivated his audiences with his sharp thoughts; for lectures, his knowledge was broad. His speeches packed the halls, not only with Bundists, but also with "middle" officials, and Zionists. Łosice, however, was too small for him, the Łosicer atmosphere too restricted. His energetic nature needed a broader audience. He didn't stay in Łosice for long, and left to help the cause of the Revolution. The second person to come from Russia was Yosel Czop, a honest character, worker intellectual with great organizational experiences. The "Bund" appointed him as the leader of the Professional Leather Union. He was sickly, but that did not affect his work.

 

A revolutionary storm bore down upon Europe; Russia, then Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Poland would become an independent country. Even though it was far from the revolutionary killing fields, the Łosicer Bundists would feel what the fighters feel. Avramel Shtriker was then called to Warsaw regarding leadership work at the center. The work of the"Gotele"became intertwined in Łosice along with a demonstration supporting the "Bund"; for Socialism. A few days later, Łosice was gripped in deep sadness. Avramel Shtriker, on his way to Warsaw, died suddenly in Siedlce. The stormy happenings in Europe did not allow for a long grieving period. Avramel's place was taken by Bajla Yonas, who later went to the Soviet Union, Yehoszua Rozal (in Argentina, today), Dawid Bekerman (died while working in the Soviet Union), Iczel Rak (today, in Israel), Yosel Czop, and others.

 

1920‑21. The Bolshevik Army nears Łosice. The "Bund" prepares a delegation to greet the Red Army which would soon be marching in town. Even then, there were signs of dissent. Mosze Chochm declared himself as a Communist, and the Red Army showed him more attention than the entire Rev‑Com (revolutionary committee). The happiness with the Bolsheviks did not last long. The Red Army beat a hasty retreat. The Bundist Rev‑Com retreated with the Bolshevik Army. It was cut‑off at Bialystok, and had to return to Łosice. They were detained and taken to the Siedlcer prison. A military court sentenced Chaim‑Nachum Fridman to death and the remainder received long sentences in prison. Chaim‑Nachum saved himself from death thanks to the aid which he received in prison. He threw himself from the second floor, breaking his hands and feet.

 

Reactionnaries were causing hard times in Łosice and difficult days were going to come to the party. Discussions about the"twenty‑one points"were spirited, in Łosice, to say the least. Joining the discussions were Herszel Himelfarb and Artur Ziglboim from Warsaw and Sloszne from Siedlce. The Łosicer organization was eaten up by the ComBundists; the Bundists in town said that the "Com‑Bund" did not mean Communism... the split manifested itself in the leather union where both groups were present. Friends, who lived through hunger and years of combat, who together gave the content and the life to the movement in Łosice ‑ stood opposite each other, like bloodied enemies, and wanting to bite each others throats. The professional union of shoemakers fell apart, and the employers used this discord to willingly oppress the masses.

 

The "Bund" which had the majority of the rank and file workers began to reorganize slowly, and wanted to assist the workers against strikebreakers. The unjust incursion by Lubliner and Siedlcer organizations against our shtetl, saw members arrested and sentenced for long sentences, who had nothing to do with Communism, destroyed the town and the "Bund". The "Bund" had to recover and regain its strength.

 

1924. The"Bund", in shtetl, reorganized itself. The leather union struggled for it's existence. Part of the leadership sat in prison, a part was locked out, and yet others began to reject the shtetl. I, also had to leave. The party sent me to Zaglembie.

 

*

 

Difficult to remember all of those, who with deep commitments and sacrifices tried to reawaken the consciousness of the Łosicer workers. I, alone, admired the ideals of Avramel Shtriker, Berl Gutman, and Yoshke Minc! I want to remember one other name, among those, who led the Socialistic enlightment in the shtetl, until their deaths reduced their numbers to only two or three, who now live in Israel and Argentina.

 

Bajla Yonas, a girl from a middle‑class home, who in her most mature years committed to"Bundism" and work with Avramel Shtriker in all areas of community life. Herself a teacher from Barof, she has an insightful view of work of the youth in Łosice. She went to the Soviet Union with the Bolsheviks in 1921.

 

Dawid Bekerman, a son from a rich home in Łosice; breaks from the richness and becomes a devoted Bundist working with zeal in the area of culture. Also went away with the Russian Army in 192 1. His fate‑ unknown.

 

Yehosha Rozal (Szyia Falik), now in Argentina. Iczel Rak, now in Israel. Both children from middle‑class homes, barely youths, committed to Bundism, giving everything to widen and deepen the movement in Łosice.

 

Reuwen Tracz, became the future leader in Łosice. The Bolsheviks pulled him to places with or without purpose, and was killed, accused of being a Trotskyite.

 

Zalman Szymon and Yosel Man, both leaders of the "Bund" in Łosice, remained at their posts until the last moments, and suffered the same bitter fate of all the Jews in shtetl ‑ they were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

 

Szamai Niewieski (now in Argentina), Yosel Chaja ‑ Malie (killed in Auschwitz) Menasze Wisnia (killed by the Nazis), and scores of others who had helped to promote Jewish life in Łosice.

 

Many, who later escaped, were also leaders of the movement in Łosice, I did not know because I had already left Łosice. One thing I do know and felt every time that I was scheduled to speak before the Łosicer workers, Bundists or not, the banner of the "Bund" and the banner of the leather union never were allowed to leave loyal hands. Often the banners were carried during terrible storms, terrible thunder, but always with the deep thoughts that not too far in the distant future the sun and happiness would envelop our little town.

 

1939. A night of rain escorted me back to Łosice. My "baggage" was made up of eight Communists and one Bundist from Zaglembie, who I wanted to rescue from the Nazis' nails and take them over the Bug, next to Łosice, to the Soviets. I was still able to have meeting with a few Bundists in Łosice. All thought that they should remain to continue in the tradition of the "Bund" and the Łosicer Workers' Movement.

 

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The Zionist Movement

By Abraham Pinkus

Pages 74-80

 

Until World War One, our shtetl, Łosice, like the majority of other shtetlach in Poland was primitive, and didn't show any signs of an awakening. Of those years I will relate an interesting fact. I, along with a pair of other boys, who studied together at the Gerer Rebbe's house, had published what was then the newspaper, "Hatsofe". When the Hassidim discovered this, there was"hell"in the house; they didn't know what to do with us. After a counsel of several days, we were told to immediately stop the printingof the newspaper and related items and ordered us to put on Yarmulkes under our caps. We decided to dissent and went to do our studying at the Beth Midrash. A few days later a compromise was placed before us: yarmulkes‑ who wants, but the newspaper had to be abandoned because it was a sin.

 

In 1904, when the founder of Zionism, Theodor HerzI died, we spoke among ourselves of the impact of this event. We drank for a blessing for HerzI's death and we wished each other L'Chaim, but we didn't feel sorrow. During this time, in Łosice, the "Bund" was organized. Hassidic groups ignored it. Socialists, robbers, outcasts had to be feared but a well behaved child will not be friends with them.

 

The outbreak of World War One in 1914, along with the occupation of Łosice by the Germans was exactly as if someone had opened a window and immediately fresh air started to rush in. This would open up new economic possibilities.

 

Dealing with grain, during the occupation, required the special permission of the State Commander. With this permit you could go among the villages to buy grain, which then had to be sold to the official German office. The licences would only be given by the Kommandant on Sabbath. The elder rich grain merchants would not take out these licences. This was only done by the young men. With such a licence one ran around all the villages to buy bushels of grain, which were then smuggled into the shtetl. Part of it was sold to the German authority and the remainder was sold on the black market. Many became rich from such a practice. On the other hand, a segment of Jews were going hungry. The customs of shtetl life quickly changed. The elder Orthodox Jews bowed their heads because they could no longer control the children who had now become the wage earners This income came from the Sabbath licence, smuggling, and selling, and as a result the youth began to take control, and no longer allowed themselves to be controlled by the elders.

 

In the years 1916‑17, in spite of the war, new political ideas were presented to the youth within the shtetl of Łosice. Under the impression of those who had experienced the war, things were being said in Łosicer households about Eretz-Israel as the home for the tortured Jewish people. In those days, we had five people: Gedalia Lewin, Herszel  Karcz, Mele Grynberg, Rachel Szinkarz, and the writer of the ideals, Abraham Pinkus, who founded and established in Łosice the first Zionist organization under the name of Agudath H'Zionism. Everyone was encouraged to enlist six friends for the organization. We quickly rented a place at Yancze‑Pini's house, on the Bialer Street. To remember the day of the Balfour Declaration of Nov.2,1917, we organized a demonstration which Łosice had seldom seen before. I still remember the picture: a hundred men, boys and girls, marched, worry free, and in perfect rows. Brasz wore the blue and white banner, Nisan Plat (Szyia Bodnik's son). The crowd sang a variety of Zionist songs. We marched around the entire square and stopped next to Ajzikl Beker's house. There, from the balcony, the dentist Fokler gave a speech. He spoke of his exile and his suffering, and the outlook for freedom in their own country, Eretz Israel. There were shouts "Long Live Balfour!  "Long Live the State of Israel". That shtetl had not seen such a demonstration. For weeks, the Zionist demonstration was the one voice of all speeches.

 

At our office, along with our Zionist work, we were concerned with the collecting Shkalim (old hebrew currency), for Karen Keyamet L'Israel, and also organized Sabbath reading groups. Gedalia Lewin, Mele Grynberg, and I had, with row upon row of people, Sabbath after Sabbath held reading groups to talk about various Zionist, and other political topics.

 

So it went, our work, and from day to day our organization became larger and stronger. This produced a more aware population, along with a concerned youth.

 

Gedalia Lewin, a known scholar; an intelligent person. He never wavered from his beliefs and firmly stood by his principles. He would allow himself to be killed, standing steady by his principles. He was killed by the Germans in Treblinka, Aug.22,1942.

 

Mele Grynberg

    Mele Grynberg, came from an old Łosicer family. He showed great abilities early on while in cheder and thereafter studied in the Wolozyner Yeshiva, where he was known as the Łosicer Academic. As a youth he was an avid learner, reading Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, and Polish books. His goal was to reach the "average" person; he did show the ability to achieve and remain self‑taught. He was knowledgeable about many things, knew well the old and new Hebrew and European literature, along with several languages. He was a first‑class bookkeeper. Familiar with statistics. During his whole life he was a committed Zionist, always strong, and always principled and knowledgeable of the Zionist organization. He was for many years the mayor of Łosice. Killed by the Germans in Treblinka in Oct. 1942.

   Rachel Shinkarzsz, Icchak Shochet's daughter. A personable woman, clever, with strong work and organizational skills. Read a great deal. For a long time she was the delegate in Łosice.

 

 

Together with her husband, she operated a store, but would always find time to acquaint herself with Zionist principles, especially the committee of Karen Keyemetet l'Israel. Her last years were spent in Semiatycze, where she was killed, together with her children, by the Nazi "animals".

 

When the war ended in 1918 the hardships of the Jews in Łosice were extreme; we surely suffered from hunger. During this time aid came from the Joint in America. Me and Herszel Karcz went several times to Siedlce, where the head offices of the Joint was, and we brought back garments, , and also a tidy sum of money. In Siedlce, we were asked to organize a work committee, with the involvement of all parties which existed in shtetl, in order to effectively distribute the given aid. In Łosice, the Zionists were the only party. The "Bund" organized a committee of 12 persons: 3 Hassidim, 3 Belimlachs, artisans, Jews), 3 from the"Bund", and 3 from the Zionists. We delegated the help to service the majority of the population. Within the Committee, there soon occurred conflicts about how the aid was to be distributed. Often opposing forces, the"Bund"with the tradesmen on one side, and I, the Zionists, and the Hassidim, on the other. The ultimate result was that a soup‑kitchen should open, for everyone, without exception where one would go to recieve a portion of food with pastry; enough for one person. The kitchen was operated by Herszel Apel, Tuwia ‑ Jechiel Dobrzinski, and Icze Skalimowicz, under the supervision of the Comittee.

 

During the period of the Polish‑ Russian War, when the Red Army passed just beyond Warsaw and Łosice was occupied by the Russians, the work halted, because the agency of the Committee of the Joint in Warsaw no longer visited our region. The situation of the poor shoemakers in Łosice, then became worse. There was widespread hunger among the Jewish population in shtetl and we could do nothing to help.

 

*

 

Sometime later, a split occurred within the "Bund", and the majority of it's membership became Communists. The split weakened their authority in shtetl and because of it our influence became more committed and stronger. We were strenghtened, by Jankiel Liber, Jankiel Cukerman, Godl Rozenband, and Jankiel Ginzburg. In 1921, the first voting for town council positions took place. We posted a Zionist slate of candidates in the independent Poland, and 2 councillors were elected to the Łosice town council. Of 12 concillors, the Jews had a majority of 7. At that time the vote was broken down: Hassidim‑ Herszel Apel and Meir Krakowiak; Tradesmen - Alter Henie's brother‑in‑law (I don't remember his name), and Mele Grynberg; Zionists - Berisz Landau and Jankiel Liber; Independent  - Dawid Yagodzszinski. Jankiel Liber immediately left for Warsaw and I was placed in his position on the town council from the Zionist list. The office was always mine, until the last elections before the Second World War. At this time the Polish government drew closer to Hitler, when the anti‑semitic excesses served as an introduction to what lay ahead. A law was passed that forbade Jews to hold a position of political power.

       

In the last elections only two Jews were voted to the town council ‑ Gerszon Lewin and Yehoszua Rozencwajg.

 

Our organization, which existed Between the two World Wars grew steadily. It's influence increased when Godl Rozenband took over and organized the Secretariat. Together with him, Chaiczke (Chaja‑Ruchel Bialykamien, Godl's wife) worked within the organization. They drove the propaganda machine for the Zionists, conducted forums, evening courses where Hebrew was taught. At that time, a library with Hebrew, Yiddish, and Polish books was opened at our office. The members used the library frequently.

 

April 1, 1925, the day when the Hebrew University opened in Israel, we celebrated. Not having a hall which could accomodate a large audience, we arranged the evening at Reuwen Grynberg's bricked home. A large and varied audience came, but no Zionist officials. The celebration began with a short speech in Hebrew, after which the speakers were: Berisz Landau, Godl Rozenband, and Mele Grynberg.

 

Our everyday political work was especially active during the elections to the Polish Sejm. I remember the elections when all nationalistic minorities in Poland took part. The minorities "cleaned house" in order to achieve the greatest number of deputies. Icchak Grinboim was preparing for the elections on the Yiddish Street. In the group of towns of Biala Podlaska, to which Łosice belonged there was a convention bringing together all the leaders from all neighbouring towns. From Łosice went, Herszel Karcz, Gedalia Lewin, and I (Abraham Pinkus). At the conference Icchak Grinboim, Herszel Farbstein, and advocate Hartglas expressed themselves. A resolution was brought forward that all Jews must agree upon a list of candidates, as it was part of the national minorities. Apolinari Hartglas was voted into the Sejm. Thanks to our propaganda, the Łosicer Jews, the majority, agreed to that list.

 

The later years began with "cold winds blowing" in our organization. There was a split in the Łosice ranks in Warsaw. The end of the movement came, however, with the bloody liquidation of the Yiddish community by the Nazis.

 

Histadrut Hakhalutz in Łosice 1932.

 From right to left: first row – Łosice Noach, Bialiykamien Abraham Icchak, Zemel Sara, Zilberkrancz Szajndel, Rozenband Zalman, Rozal dawid;

second row – Szerc Ajzisze, Jagodzinski Tila, Kohen Jidl, Rozenband Godl, Zemel Lajbke, Wajnman Welwel, Polakowicz Jochewed, Goldman Bendet;

third row: Hochman Mosze, Fajgenblum Icchak, Bialykamien Yehuda, Grynberg Etl, wajnman Noach, Zemel Dawid,  Wrobel Herszke

 

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Social Activism in the Shtetl

By Dawid Rozal

Pages 81-84

 

Even though I had come to Israel at a young age, prior to that I was involved in the Zionist and professional labour movements in Łosice. Those were my best years as a youth and the impressions and memories of those times will always remain deep in my heart. I had the honour of being one of the founders and members of the Zionist Socialist Youth movement "Freedom in Łosice"; working for Eretz Israel.

 

Histadrut Hakhalutz in Łosice 1932

From right to left – 1st row: Mandelboim Chawa, Finkelstein Fajga, Hochman Sara, Cohen Mindl, Wajnstok Szajndl.

2nd row: Grosman Sara, Waksman Michael, Zilberman fajga, Goldband Chaja, Rozal Dawid, Goldband Belcia, Krakowiak Malka.

3rd row: Liberman Abraham, Jastrzomb Leahcze, Lewin Mosze' Hercz Szprinca, Zalcman Lajzer, Blastein Tema, Sztajnman Welwel, Elzan Icchak.

The strength within the shtetl, it seemed for ever, was religion‑based, where our entire lives were under the religious"breath".

 

For us, today, it is difficult to understand the warring Between the orthodox and the secular. The youth, who wanted to separate themselves from the old ways, were distracted by many things: their religious parents, or the business stronghold of the community leaders.

 

The youth was swept along with the hope of a new"worldly"life, and nationalistic and socialistic movements in all regions.

 

Opposing the orthodox and secular Jews was yet another faction; before my youthful eyes there grew all kinds of parties. Beginning with the Agudath from the east, to every kind of Zionist movements: Poali ‑Zionist, Hachalots, and the "Bund" and the Communists. As if at one time, The Zionist Youth Movement matured along with other organizations, such as, "Freiheit" and "Hashomer Hatzair".

 

The communist movement exerted a great influence in Łosice, and thus, had a tremendous impact upon the youth. The Communists were well organized, and for a long time had close ties with the professional union movement in Łosice. Before every May I st (May Day) the walls would be plastered with illegal Communist propaganda, and on the telephone wires red flags were hung. The Łosicer police, alone, could not prevent this, so on every May I st police would come down from Siedlce to strengthen their numbers.

 

The Łosicer police with all their efforts, threats, and clubs, wanted to catch the guilty ones, and when this proved ineffectual ‑ they arrested the innocent. Binyamin Zilberstein, a strong Zionist activist was arrested. When upon leaving the Culture Club one evening he stopped at a wall to read a Communist proclamation. He was arrested and accused of having taped it there, even though they all knew, testified upon his behalf that he was an anti‑Communist. He was sentenced to several tears in prison.

 

On May I st, 1929 I also was arrested. We lived at the center of the shtetl and exactly opposite our window on the telephone wire was draped a red flag. The authorities wanted to know from me who had hung it there. It is understood that I would not tell them even if I would have seen who did it. It didn't matter that it had been recorded by the authorities that I was a responsible official for the Poeli‑Zionist and "Freiheit" organizations, and known as an anti ‑ Communist. I was taken with the "Etap" by foot 35 kms. to Janow Podlaska to the investigation officer and taken into jail with various warnings that they would try to extract information about who had taped the Communist proclamation and hung the red flags.

 

I was prepared to sit in jail for a few years. The Jewish community, however, intervened, the magistrate, and even the Christian clergyman testified that I was strongly against the Communists, and carried on a continuous fight against them. This helped, and after ten days I was released. It was said , then, that it was a special and rare occurrence, because usually for such an incident was investigated, convicted and sentenced to spend several years in jail.

 

The Communists, not fearful of police terror, tried by force to influence the establishment of the "open society" in Łosice. They were not stopped by any bloody attack.

 

The League for the Working Eretz Israel, once, invited the delegate from Israel, comrade Antowil. We prepared for the gathering when the guest would step out into the large hall at the fire station.

 

We knew that the Communists wanted to disrupt this gathering which was to be a mass demonstration for Eretz Israel. Because of this threat by the Communists we organized the security to protect the entrance, and only to allow those who had invitations to enter. It was agreed upon by a 10 to 8 vote to allow the Communists into the hall if they would behave themselves.

 

The hall was packed. Jews of all stripes came to listen to the speaker. When the last ones could no longer fit into the hall, a riot took place. On the way to the hall the Communists prevented with knives the access to the hall to the delegate and his followers, Gad Rozenband and Leb Zemel. Our friends quickly came running and a bloody battle took place. The firemen sprayed us with water.

 

The Communists had hoped to foster panic by this attack, so that those who were gathered would disperse. This however did not happen. I was the chairman of the gathering, telling everyone to remain seated and await the guest from Eretz Israel, and thus not to allow the Communists to achieve their objective. The entire gathering really did remain patient within the hall. The gathering began late because the wounded needed to be bandaged. The delegate, comrade Antowil and Leb Zemel came on the stage, with their heads wrapped in bandages, to a stormy ovation.

 

Łosicer Youth with their bicycles at the train station in Niemojki waiting for the Eretz Israel Delegate ("shaliach"), Antowil

 

Working in Łosice as the one who sews the uppers of the shoes, (Tapar in Hebrew), I was a member of the professional leather workers' union, which was led by the Communists. Being active within the union I was voted in as chairman of the Shteper (shoe uppers) section. The Communist leader suspected that an active Zionist was the chairman of a section within their union. Because of this they tried to convince me to become a Communist... I remember when Mosze "Chacham", who then had dealings with the union, sat with me entire nights and showed that "the revolution was at our doorstep."

 

 

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Hashomer Hatzair in Our Town

By Rachel Hochman and Menachem Rozal (Hebrew)

Pages 85-86

 

תנועת "השומר הצעיר" בעירנו

מאת רחל הוכמן, מנחם רוזל

עמ' 85-86

 

מקום חשוב בחיי הנוער היהודי תפסה תנועת השומר הצעיר בעירנו. תנועה זו הכניסה רוח חלוצית במרבית הבתים היהודים והצליחה לרכוש את מיטב הנוער הלומד והעובד בלושיץ. פעולות הקן הצטיינו בתוכן עשיר: צופיות, משחקים, שירה, טיולים ליער וכו'... בד בבד עם פעולות אלו הטילה התנועה על חבריה גם תפקידים אחראיים, ציונים-חלוציים, כגון: לימוד מקצוע והסתגלות לעבודות פרודוקטיביות לפי תורתו של בר בורוכוב: אין עם יכול להבנות במולדתו בלי להיות מושרש בכל ענפי העבודה והתעשיה החיוניים לעם. אולם בסטרוקטורה הסוציאלית הבלתי נורמלית של חיי היהודים בפולין, היה דרוש עמל רב כדי להביא לפני הנוער תורה זו ולחנכו לאור התוכן המהפכני הציוני. כמה מאמצים השקיעו המדריכים עד אשר הצליחו לרכז את הנוער בדרך להכשרה, לקיבוץ ולעליה ארצה. להגשים בחיים יום-יומיים את הצו של עבודה פרודוקטיבית יצרנית. היתה זו שאלה עקרונית שעמדה במרכז חייו של הנוער ברחוב היהודי.

 

The leaders of Hashomer Hatzair in 1932

From right: Standing Adel Zielonilas, Mosze Fajgenboim, Cwia Rozal.

Sitting: Icchak Hajblum, Bracha Zylberberg, Yosef Jastrzomb (Ben Jakob)

 

 

 

הוכחנו על בשרנו שקיום נוער חלוצי מגשים הוא הפתרון היחיד לבעיית יהדות הגולה, וגלות פולין במיוחד. רבים מאתנו נפלו בדרך, ולא זכו להגיע ארצה. אחדים לא עמדו במבחן בקיבוצי הכשרה בגולה, והיו גם כאלה שהעדיפו הגירה לארצות דרום-אמריקה וארצות אחרות.

 

גם מורנו גד רוזנברג, מרצה ומחנך, שהיה פעיל ומסור לכל פעולה ציונית בעירנו, והיה לנו לעזר רב בקיום תנועת השומר הצעיר בעירנו, אף הוא לא זכה להגיע אתנו ארצה ונסחף בזרם האמיגרציה שלא היתה לרוחו.

 

משטר הסנאציה בפולין בשנות השלושים, שהיה פשיסטי למחצה, הוציא מידי היהודים מפעם לפעם ענפי מסחר ועסקי פרנסה שונים. מצוקת הקהילה היהודית גדלה, ומאות מבני הנוער שבעירנו נסעו יחד עם משפחותיהם לערים הגדולות, בעיקר לוורשה, במקום שחלק מהמסחר הגדול והתעשיה הקלה עדיין היה בידי היהודים, וחיפשו שם מקור מחיה לעצמם.

 

אולם אנחנו התקדמנו, למרות המכשולים הרבים. ביקרנו במושבות קיץ, לקחנו חבל בהכשרת קיבוצים, קמנו נקודות עבודה, והיינו התנועה הגדולה ביותר באותם זמנים במספר הנוער שהתרכז בשורותינו ובפעולה ציונית רחבה. פרצנו את החומה הסגורה, יצאנו למרחב והגיעו מעירנו ארצה הסנוניות הראשונות, מספר חלוצים מסורים ונאמנים. ההתלהבות החלוצית היתה גדולה מאד. מאושרים היינו באוהל צר ולחם דל, אבל על אדמת המולדת ובקיבוץ.

 

 הקשר עם התנועה בין הארץ והגולה היה אמיץ. בני עיר הספיקו לבקר בעירנו לפני החורבן וההשמדה. באו כדי לעודד אותנו בהמשך הפעולה, אשר תקעה יתד בעירנו. הנוער חיכה לעלייתו ארצה בכיליון עיניים. רבים הספיקו לסיים את ההכשרה וטרם הגיע תורם לעליה, וזה גרם ממשיכים סבל רב וחוסר בטחון. ובעוד אנו באמצע דרכנו, מלאי תנופה ופעולה, באה השואה והכל מעלם, בצורה האכזרית ביותר בתולדות האנושות נעלמו כולם... יחד הלכו בדרכם האחרונה – הורים, נוער, ילדים\ זקנים וטף, מתנגדים וחסידים – הכל שותק ואין עוד שום סימן לחיי גולת פולין וקהילתנו לושיץ.

 

 

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Period of Boom in the Organization of Hashomer Hatzair

By Balcia Goldband-Szmulewicz (Hebrew)

Pages 86-88

 

Group "Havazelet" of  "Hashomer Hatzair"

 

 

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Memories of Hashomer Hatzair in Łosice

By Josef Ben Jakob (Jastrzomb, Tel Aviv) (Hebrew)

Pages 88-92

 

"Hashomer Hatzair" in Łosice.

From right: standing - Mosze Rozencwajg, Mosze Rozenboim (from Janow Podlaski), Mindl Kohen, Naftali Kliwanski (from Slonim);

Sitting: Szajna Rozenband, a comrade from Janow, Belcia Goldband, Fajga Finkelstein, Malka Krakowiak, comrade from Janow, Leacze Jastrzomb;

Sitting on the floor - a comrade from Janow and Sara Hochman

 

 

A group of Hashomer Hatzair movement in Łosice, year 1932 with Belcia Goldband (in the middle).

 

 

A group of Hashomer Hatzair, Łosice 1929. Head of group: Menachem Rozal and Tema Blostein

 

 

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The Shoemaker's Workshop in the Movement of Hashomer Hatzair

By Rachel Hochman (Hebrew)

Page 92-93

 

Regiment of boyscouts with their instructors.

First row, sitting - Belcia Goldband, Rachel Goldstein, Fajgele Groman, Rachel Hochman and Menachem Rozal;

second row - Chaim Rozenband, Henia Elzon, Malenboim, Sara Grosman, Mosze Rozencwajg and Abraham Liberman;

third row: Icchak Elzon, Fajga Zilberman, Zilberman;

last row - Fajga Finkelstein, Malka Krakowiak, Itka Landau, Tema Blostein, Mindl Kohen, Sara Hochman and Lea Jastrzomb.

 

 

 

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Friends Who Are Gone...

By Rachel Hochman (Hebrew)

Page 93-95

 

Members of hashomer Hatzair mentioned in this article: Mindl Kohen, Masza Wynman, sisiter Pesa and Tema Blostein, Lea Blatman, Rachel Goldsztein, Rachel Wrobel, Lajbel Szpigelman, Motel Oren, Meir Folkowicz, Sara Libman.

 

Hashomer Hatzair in Losice 1928

 

 

Group of "Hashomer Hatzair"  graduates 1930.

from right to left: first row - Mindl Kohen, Szajna Rozband, Sara Hochman, Szprynca Herc;

second row - Szajndel Wajnstok, Menachem Rozal, Tema Blostein, Mosze Rozencwajg, Leacze Jastrzomb;

Third row - Malka Mandelboim, malka Krakowiak, Fajga Finkelstein, Mancboim.

 

 

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A Town in Podlasia

By Eliezer Bar Chaim (Barnholc) (Hebrew)

Pages 95-98

 

Hashomer Hatzair movement, 1929

 

 

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The Lecture of One Anti-Semite...

By Balcia Godelband-Szmulewicz (Kibbutz Negba)

Pages 98-99

 

 

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"Yugen Freiheit" in Łosice

By Berl Binsztok (Jaffa)

Pages 99-104

 

As if it were now, I remember the evening in 1928 when I was walking in the square, and Dawid Rozal approached me and greeted me by saying that, in shtetl, there was going to be established a department of the youth organization "Freiheit" by Poeli‑Zionists. The idea pleased me because I had earlier spoken with a close personal friend about the importance of such an organization.

 

In Łosice, there existed only one Zionist location‑ the Culture Club, for all Zionists, with a large library, under the leader of Godl Rozenband. At this location, a year earlier in 1927, Hashomer Hatsair was established, which was widely supported by the Zionist youth in Łosice. We, however, agreed that it was a Zionist‑Socialist organization of the working youth who were drawn by the spirit of Borochovizm.

 


A part of "Frieheit" Committee 1929.
From right standing: Frajdka Wolker and Dawid Rozal.
Standing: Berl Binsztok and Gdaliahu Woda.

The 14th of May 1928, we remained at the Culture Club to prepare for a meeting on the 25th of May which establish the organization. We sent out 70 invitations to the youth, with 64 coming to the meeting. The meeting was led by Dawid Rozal who called for a vote about the program, principles and orders of the Socialistic Workers' movement, built upon the principles of Ber Borochov. He spoke about the parties' work, Poeli‑ and Tseiri‑  Zion and about our activity in Łosice. All 64 onlookers signed declarations about getting involved in the youth organization.

 

 The first vote included Dawid Rozal, Gdalyahu Woda, Frajda Wolker and Yospe Wajman. The vote obeyed all the rules of the constitution. Chairman ‑ Dawid Rozal, Press and Culture ‑ Gdalyahu Woda, Secretery ‑ Berl Binsztok.

 

Immediately we made ourselves available to the Central Committee in Warsaw, which gave us instructions on how to conduct our movement.

 

They often visited us with members: Leb Szpicman, and Bialopolski, and friends from Raion ‑ Committee in Siedlce where Iekutiel Zilberberg and Icchak Miendzerzecki helped us with our work. We organized lectures about Borochovism, talks about politics, economics, arranged trips. The one who helped us with lectures was Godl Rozenband.

 

Our activity steadily broadened and our membership continued to grow. Because of this fact,space soon became limited at our current cultural location. Quarrels occurred with our friends in "Hashomer Hatzair", who claimed that because of us their work was disrupted. However they did not want to cooperate in order to implement a plan, when we,or when they should take the second room at our location. In the end scandals occurred Between the two groups.

 

Leaders of "Freiheit" 1932

From right to left: first row: Mosze Lewin, Goldband Chaja, Binsztok Herszel.

Second row: Czemni Jakob, Rozen Itka, Woda Gdalyahu, Cukierman Hinda, Wisnia Pinie.

Third row: Rozal Dawid, Englender Chawa, Elzon Icchak.

 

Once, on a Sabbath, when the members of "Hashomer Hatzair" were away on an outing, we had a discussion, in the second room, with Dawid Grinfarb from Siedlce. In the middle of the discussion the members returned from their outing. They pushed their way into the room and interrupted the discussion, The second time was when we had organized a true dedication to Ber Borochov's Yahrzeit. On this occassion "Hashomer Hatzair"and the Zionists opposed us; who were afraid of the red drapes with which we had covered the windows.... We were disrupted during the evening.

 

We had come to the conclusion that we could no longer continue our work at the present location. We then collected enough money from our friends, and we were able to afford to move to our new location at Szczerbickin on the Szwajnerower Street. This happened in 1928. At our new location our activities broadened.

 


"Freiheit" organization in Łosice, 1934

We formed a drama group, which gave performances such as: the "Yeshiva Boy", "The Stranger", "The Ukrainian Sacrifice", "The Polish Wedding", and others. Among our amateur actors there was: Herszel Binsztok, Szymon Mandelboim, Szyfra Borowski, Szprinca Herc, Gdalya Woda, Belcia Rozencwajg-Kawer, Berl Binsztok. This was in 1934. Also registered with the drama group, were our friends from Wegrow ‑ Blachman and Feingold, who often came to Łosice.

 

 

 

In Aug. 1929 a membership conference was held in Miedzyrzec about the Youth Freiheit. Among the delegates were Leb Szpicman and Ritow. In the middle of the discussions a question was posed about the Arab Uprising. Our entire youth, as well as other members of the Łosicer organization were mobilized to help the Jewish fighters protect the Jewish settlement.

 

"Freiheit" Organization in Łosice, 1930.

 

Our Łosice friends with their ideals readied themselves to defend Eretz Israel. The first to go was Chaja Goldband, then Zelda Izak, and Dawid Rozal. Later, our member Matityahu Maier Mandelboim went to Kibbutz Ramat‑Hakovesh and died at his post defending our homeland against the Arab attackers.

 

"Freiheit" organization in Łosice, 1934

 

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The Jewish Community (Kehila)

By Lajbel Hofer (Holon)

Pages 104-105

 

The Jewish community administration in Łosice was well established.

 

The tax on the Jewish community was given freely and voluntarily, not obligatory, because seldom were strangers allowed as members. A stable income resulted from the ritual slaughter. Payments would often be paid when a cow would trespass on another's pasture. An accurate accounting was kept for the Beth HaMidrash, the mikvah, and the cemetery.

 

During the winter the community would organize a gathering of wood for the village people. Before Passover we would gather money to buy matzah for the poor.

 

Other stories were told about the Łosice community administration during earlier years. This was before the First World War, when the leaders of the Jewish community were, Motl Dozer, Matatyahu Goldwaser, and the elder Yeszayahu Szenker. The large Beth Ha Midrash was built, the brick synagogue, the large mikvah‑ none of these works endured.

 

The members of the community administration whom I remember: Herszel Apel, Jankiel Drazshniewer, and Meir Krakowiak.

 

Secretaries of the community were: Godl Rozenband, and later Leibel Szpigelman until  World War II began.

 

Community administration locations were: in the house of Jankiel Zilberkranc in  Yehoszua Hochman's alley, then at Josef Zilberstein's house (Josef Morder), and to the last in a spare room at the great synagogue.

 

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Community Administration in Independent Poland

By Shmuel Landau (Tel Aviv)

Pages 105-106

 

The first community administration in independent Poland, after the Bolshevik invasion, was led by R' Yeszayahu Wajnman, who was the chairman, and evidence of his community commitment were visible throughout his home. There, householders would buy permits for slaughtering their cows and oxen. Later the community office was organized in a spare room at the large synagogue. There was also Herszel Apel, Bunem Wajman, Berisz Landau, and Yosel Lewin.

 

In 1926, elections took place for a new community administration. Those elected were: Yehoszua Wajsman ("Der Moler" ‑ painter) from the Janower Rabbi's shtibl, Meir Krakowiak from the Sokolower hassidim, Simcha Hajblum from Gerers hassidim, Pesach Apel from "Mizrachi", and Berisz Landau from the Lubliner shtibl. President ‑ Pesach Apel. Secretary ‑ Lajbel Szpigelman.

 

The last voting for the community administration took place in 1931 and the President ‑ elect was Mosze Bialykamien and as officers, Yehoszua Rozencwajg, Herszel Lawender, Laibke Zemel, Meir Krakowiak and Yehoszua Wajsman.

 

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Religious Social Activism

By Shmuel Landau

Pages 106-108

 

Even though Łosice had two workers' movements and Zionist and Socialist organizations, religion had a firm grip on the shtetl.

 

Szmuel Landau

    I am reminded of the time when an edict was issued that the Jewish children had to go to Folks School on Sabbath, together with their Polish friends, and not resting two days: Saturday and Sunday, as it had been. In addition, it was agreed that the Jewish children would not be forced to write in the classes during Sabbath; they would just sit and listen to the lessons. This concession, of sorts, appeased no one and meant a heated discussion took place because of this edict. Many parents, despite the edict, no longer sent their children to Folks School during Sabbath. A portion, however, did go. One Sabbath in the morning, a group of householders along with the Janower Rabbi R' Lifszyc and the kosher butcher, Icchak Szinkarz, went to the school. Not asking permission from the school administration, Harv Lifszyc went to every class and opened each door. He only looked in with a sharp stare and didn't say a word. All Jewish children, without exception, took their books and returned home, in the middle of a lesson. No longer did Jewish children go to school on Sabbath.

 

In Łosice, as it was called the Nowardiker Yeshiva where Łosice boys went to school along with boys from several other towns. As things were run, the strange boys ate (dough)? Head of the Yeshiva was Rabbi Mosze Sluczker who would later marry the daughter of R' Mendel, a dealer in milk and butter. At the Rosh Yeshiva one remained quiet, only speaking when a page was to be read, or to explain a chapter of the Halacha. Also privately, he never spoke ‑ only to make a vow, which he put upon himself. Administrator of Yeshiva was Dawid Aba (Aba Zlotogore's son-in-law).

 

*

R' Icchak ‑ Ajzik Rizenberg became a Zionist. He would keep Hebrew newspapers from Israel, he supported "Keren Kayernet L' Israel", and leading propagandist for the building of Israel. The idea was to establish the religious youth movement, "Hashomer Hadti". Not having his own house, his work was conducted out of the Chassidic home of R' Jozpa. Among the boys who took part were Paltiel Krakowiak, Chaim Yeszayahu, Abraham Rozal, Josef Lypszes. We were involved in political discussions, during which we agreed to establish ""Hashomer Hadti"". Our first office was in the street of Berek Joselowicz, next to Awigdor Melamed. Our organization was funded by "Hapoel HaMzrichi", and a quorum was a certainty at this location because the members would pray here during Sabbath and holidays.

 

The establishment of "Hashomer Hadti" brought about opposition from Agudath L' Israel and within the Hassidic homes. A delegation of Hassidim made up of David Hersz Zawade, Josef Zilberstein (soap dealer), and Simcha Hajblum to ask him why he was allowing boys and girls to meet together. The Rabbi answered them with the explanation that they were religious children. Dissatisfied with the answer, the opponents of "Hashomer Hadti" occupied themselves with other things. One evening, when there were only girls at the office, David ‑ Hersz Zawade, Simcha Hajblum, Dudl Abas, and Josef Zajfenzider went there with sticks in hand. The terrorized girls ran away to look for their friends (the boys), however in the interim the office was totally destroyed. The attackers left the office in ruins, everything was broken and torn. They tore and destroyed the pictures of Zionist leaders which were hanging on the walls; even the picture of Rabbi Kok was torn.

 

After this we found a new office on Koszciuszko Street, where the teacher Lipowicz lived. After organizing the new office, the same "God's Cossacks" tried once again to destroy our office. However, this time we were waiting and paid them back for the first attack. It now became quiet, and we were able to peacefully conduct our business.

 

The last years before we emigrated from Łosice, Godl Rozenband was deputy delegate for Karen Kayernet L' Israel and I was the secretary of the Committee. When Godl left, the head job then became my responsibility.

 

At the beginning of 1938 there were still separate offices for each organization, "Hashomer Hadati", Hashomer Hatzair" and "Freiheit". Resources had become too meager for each group to have their offices. At the meeting of the leaders of all three organizations: Gdaliahu Woda ("Freiheit"), Cwia Rozal ("Hashomer Hatzair"), and Paltiel Blostein ("Hasomir Hadti"), agreed to pool their resources at one location under the banner of Karen Kayemet L' Israel. So it was that the last Zionist office before the Holocaust was referred to as the Karen Kayemet Office. The last Zionist office in Łosice was located at the house of Yosel Goldring. As candidates for positions, there was, Gdalyahu Woda, Hadas Wajman, Lifcze Stajnman, Masha Goldman (from Janow Podlaska), Abraham Rozal (Josef Aharon's son), and Szmuel Landau. At the beginning of the summer of 1939, Abraham Rozal became chairman. This was the last Yiddisher Zionist Committee in Łosice. Those who survived were: Lifcze Stajnman and Szmuel Landau, both now in Israel.

 

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Jewish Credit Institutions

By Lajbel Hofer

Pages 109-111

 

Upon the ending of the First World War, it was agreed in Warsaw that an office of the Jewish Credit Cooperative would open in Łosice as a savings and loan bank, which later amalgamated into the Folks Bank. The major objectives of the institution were: economic aid for tradespeople,small businesses in the form of credits, for poor Zionists. These were then paid back at low interest rates. Officers of the bank were elected. The following were involved: Herszel Perlman, Paltiel Bekerman, Herszel Apel, Icze Kolawiec, Szlomo Drogicki ("Di Bard" - the beard), Mosze Goldfarb, Herszel Lawender, Mosze Aron Fragier, Mosze Oksenhorn (Hersz Tritl's son), Berisz Landau, Eliyahu Goldfeder, Hersz ‑ Leb Klewedowicz, Abraham Binsztok, Israel Solomon, the shteper (sews the uppers) from Wegrow, Welwel Izak, and others. Accountant was Mele Grynberg, Lajbel and Yochewet. Hofer worked in the office. Cashier was Matatyahu Goldwaser, after his death, Mosze Apel. Later, Welwel Rajchenbach's daughter, Sara Bekerman, and also her sister Chaia Ruchel Bialykamien.

 

In the Folks Bank, there were members who approved loans to all Jews: shoemakers, small business entrepreneurs, butchers, tailors, and village administrators. The capital was guaranteed by credits from Warsaw, and from the savings of Łosice inhabitants.

 

At the beginning the bank was located at Sara Bronstein on the Bialer Street, where Icchak Szochet lived. Later, it was at Josef Zilberstein's in the town square, and later, after the crisis of 1932 until the outbreak of the Second World War, it was at Welwel Rajchenbach's in Zalman Minc's house.

 

I remember the last time a loan was given in 1939, when German bombs were already falling upon Poland. The loan was given to Abraham Binsztok, Berl's father.

 

Instructions were coming from Warsaw for us to flee Łosice. When we fled we left open the large iron safe, and the important records and documents were taken in a smaller safe and buried. I buried it in the cellar at my father's house, Yehoszua Herszele's, on the Donai, where it still lies to this very day.

 

In 1927, the merchant bank was established ("Bank Kopiecki"). The adminstration of the bank was the reponsibility of: Berisz Landau, Tuwia  Jechiel Dobrzinski, Meir Rozencwajg, Meir Krakowiak. The accountant was Godl Rozenband. The aims and objectives were the same as those of the Folks Bank: giving loans to merchants and tradespeople, taking deposits, savings, and exchange transactions. This bank stayed open for two and one half years, and then closed shop.

 

During my time of service at the bank, I became aware of all the groups within the Łosice workforce. My thinking had been altered; we were fortunate to have all types, which was characteristic of all towns and villages. We had clients who were honest and principled, carried on "holy" businesses, lived in isolated groups, raised families, and worked.

 

The House of Zalman Minc

 

The bank had a very productive relationship with the shoemaking industry in Łosice. Everyday, many packages of shoes were expedited through the bank. The bank dealt with the purchase of raw leather in large quantities, and invested large amounts of money in this one business of raw leather for the Łosicer shoe production. The buyers were: Israel Solomon, Herman Yungsztajn, and others. It was then that it was decided that the bank would buy a house and move operations to a larger facility. At that time much thought was given to the tailors and their large families, such as, Jeszayahu Man, Szlomo Man, and Szmuelke Man, Berl Zilberman, and others. There was thought of the building of a factory to process the raw leather. Thought was given to the possibility of buying land for the creation of a Jewish farmer class.

 

But the planners and their plans were interrupted by the great financial crisis of 1932. The Łosicer Folks Bank held on to its dream for a long time, as did Folks Banks throughout Poland.

 

The Folks Bank paid off all their creditors, but the same can not be said for those who had outstanding loans with the bank.

 

Again, in 1935 plans were unveiled to build credit institutions. The credit (free loan institution was run by: Herszel Perlman (Dawid Yagodzinski's son in law), Chaim Simcha Nissenbaum, Paltiel Bekerman, Herszel Rozenberg (Chaia Yahudit Bekerman's son in law), and others. We committed a lot of time, energy, and money for the institution, Later,the Folks Bank re‑opened, however it did not achieve it's earlier status.

 

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Help for the Villagers

By Lajbel Hofer

Pages 111-112

 

Soon after the First World War aid began to arrive from America. In Łosice, as in other towns in Poland, a soup kitchen was set up, where the provisions were distributed; such as, bread and cocoa. Clothing, such as winter coats and shoes, was also distributed. This kind of help made the lives of the Jews in the shtetl a little more comfortable; saved from hunger because the post‑war years were very difficult.

 

The aid work was run through the Committee of chairmens who were representing various factions within the population. The political parties‑ Zionists, Bundists, and Agudath. The trades and small businesses were also represented. Szlomo Drogicki ("di bard" the beard) belonged to the Committee, Icze Kolawiec ("Pien"), Eliyahu Goldfeder ( "kaze" the goat), Simcha Hajblum, Mordechai Kaminer, Shalom Wrobel, Godl Rozenband and Mele Grynberg. The distributor of the aid was Chackiel Goldstein. The meetings of the Committee were always stormy. This was a time of general hardship; people wanted to help their relations, ftiends, and party comrades. In Łosice, once, an exception was made when aid was given to a desperate villager.

 

The soup kitchen did not stay open for very long, however the distribution of clothing continued for a while longer. Now the aid was coming from the Joint Distribution Committee.

 

Post‑war aid from America also came in the form of money, which was looked after by the Łosicer Landsmanschaft, to be used for the poor people of adopted towns during Passover. The Committee was filled with notable figures, as well as those not so notable. The meetings dealing with the yearly budget and the distribution of money took place at Icchak Shochet's house.

 

I now want to mention another aid agency, one in which I played a major role. That agency's name was "Tzentos", with Rachel Stern as it's leader, from Warsaw. The work which I established in Łosice existed from 1937 to 1939. The Łosicer "Tzentos" had modest resources with central management that was later voted in as the chairman of the Lubliner and Kielce Vovoidships.

 

"Tzentos" was committed to giving aid to the poor Jewish child. We immediately acted on health conditions, distributed materials to where the Jewish children lived and propped up the attacked villages with money.

 

Our commitments had boundaries. The people who allocated the aid came mainly from the Center in Warsaw. Small amounts of money put people to work .

 

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Iron Safe and the Bank

By  Shmuel Landau

Pages 112-113

 

I am reminded of the day, in 1923, when the first iron safe was brought to Łosice. This was the Folks Bank, which had expanded to a larger location; on the first floor at Josef Zajfenzider. Moving the iron safe via the balcony, in the middle of the town square, became quite the attraction. The young and the old came together in the town square to witness the moving of the iron safe with chains and ropes. The mover was Szlomo ("der naden" – forwarder). He organized a large group of helpers. With every pull of the ropes he let out a groan into the crowd. When the safe was already on the balcony, he put both hands to his mouth, and across the entire square one could hear his familiar yell, "siostra zadrowa..." healthy sister...

 

The iron safe was needed to protect the interests of the Folks Bank. A short time later there were protests. It began from the Sokolower Chassidic house where the town's rich person "gvir", Bunem Wajman. Wajman and Meir Krakowiak were prayer leader, and. From this house there was no candidate in the Bank's election.. They took this as an insult, and agreed to carry out a protest against Bank Lodovi. They attracted a number of Gerer Hassidim, and the process began to establish a Hassidic Bank. From Bank Lodovi, Hassidic groups left, as well as my father. A Committee was organized by Bunim Wajman, Tuwia Yechiel Dobrzinski, Herszel Apel and Berisz Landau, which emerged from Polish rule in 1925 with the legalization of a second bank with the name of Bank Kopiecki.

 

The new bank found a home at Zalman Minc's. Godl Rozenband was the accountant and Tuwia‑Yechiel Dobrzinski, cashier.

 

In a short time rumors began to fly, as Bank Kopiecki was nearing bankruptcy. The result was panic: depositors withdrew all their money at one time, loans went unpaid, eventually leading to the formation of a liquidation Committee.

 

After the liquidation of Bank Kopiecki, my father established a small private bank under the name "Kasa Rolnik" (Farmers' Credit Union), which operated out of the living quarters of a very small office.

 

Before his death, my father lobbied for a law for the legalization of a "Gmilut Hesed" (charity)  fund. The opening of this needed a fitting location, but before one could be found my father died. The legal rights to the credit union was passed on to my brother Aron Landau. Mele Koke came to the Lubliner house, one Sabbath, where Aron was praying, Herszel Lawender and others would not allow the reading until Aron swore that he would forfeit the legalization over to them. Then, the "Gmilut Hesed" (charity)   fund was established, headed by Lajbel Hofer.

 

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Drama Groups and Choirs

By Dawid Rozal

Pages 114-115

 


Drama Program-Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th 1919. Production of "Burning House" organized by "Agudath HaZionim" in Łosice.

Play writen by Y. Wohlman.

Players: A. Higer, M. Shamash, H. Ginchower, P. Mermelstein, R. Karcz, Y. Hochman, E. Kohen, D. Rozal, Y. Bursztein, Dabrowicz, Y. Perlmuter, Sz. Zilberkranc, A. Pliat 

Every organization had a drama group, and often, also a choir, which played a significant role in the cultural life of Łosice

 

The first Zionist organization immediately organized a drama group of committed artists: Herszel Karcz, Raicia Karcz, Sara Zilberkranc, Yacha Hochman, Rikl Rozenband, Yehoszua Rozencwajg, David Minc, M. Szamasz, Ezrial Kohen, Yosel Perlmuter, Abraham Plat (Tuvia "der milchiker" the milkman), Henia Perlmuter, and in later years Chana Hochman, Dawid Rozal, Aizisze Szerc, and Herszke Wrobel.

 

A stronger drama group and choir was at the professional leather workers' union. In this drama group: Yosel Bubik, Chana Goz and Szyfra Goz.

 

Later at the "Youth "Freiheit", a drama group and a choir were formed. Members were: Chana and Gedalya Woda, Perele Zilberkrants, Dawid Rozal, Herszel and Berl Binshtock, Sprintze Herts (stood out).

 

Pieces performed were: the "Jewish King Lear","The Slaughter", "Seven Hanged", "the Burning House", "Where are my Children?", "The Wild Man", "Yidele the Blind", and "Shma Israel"..

 

 

  We must point out that inspite of the political fights among the different groups, there existed a friendly relationship of working together in the areas of repetoire and recitals. We would borrow each others' costumes. (Program on page 114 ‑"The Burning House"). Every performance by either the drama group or the choir were cultural experiences in Łosice. Those were"hot evenings", to which would come audiences of the old and young. Every piece would be performed two or three times.

 

Our drama groups would also take their performances to near‑by towns, where they were well received.

 

"Di Sheerit Hapleita" Łosice landsleit survivors in Germany  after WWII, near a memoria for the memory of our community.

 

"יזכור השם

את נשמת הקדושים

והטהורים

שנפלו על קידוש השם

ועל קידוש העם

...

בעיר לושיץ

פלך לובלין"

 

 

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My Mother's Sabbath Dress

By Yosef Fridman (Yosel Bubik)

Published in"Undzere Stime", Paris

Page 116

מיין מאמעס שבת-קלייד

יוסף פרידמאן

 

In the woods lies a bloodied dress of my mother ‑

like the setting red sun from afar it burns.

In it my mother would with holy move,

light the Sabbath candles, waving her hands.

 

And I, then still a child, as in a dream,

saw angels with hearts aflame,

on wings of white, they herald the Sabbath,

and leave silvery light outside.

 

And full become my house with peace,

from my mother's eyes a tear shone,

An angel took me by the hand

and after Sabbath left me to dance.

 

They had feet like raised wings,

as I had dreamt of the angel;

accompanied my mother with a sweet song -

we lived a peaceful Sabbath.

 

And today, during Sabbath there is a murmur;

even though no one hears it, it doesn't matter.

Only so can my mother's soul weep,

She can not find her dress of Sabbath.

 

And so, filled with hate to this day for my mother

against the German who had cut her body,

and there in a lake of blood it was left,

her dress which called her for Sabbath.

 

The Sabbath candles have called her for years

that my mother should come in her Sabbath dress.

Three old trees try to cover with it's leaves

my mother's burned happiness.

 

אין וואלד ליגט פארבלוטיקט א קליידל מיין מאמעס –

ווי שקיעה א רויטע פון וויטן עס ברענט,

אין דעם פלעגט מיין מאמע מיט הייליקן ציטער,

ביים צינדן די ליכטלעך, צעפירן די הענט.

 

און איך, א קינד נאך, אזוי ווי אין חלום,

געזען האב מלאכים מיט ווערצער אנטבלויט.

אויף פליגל אויף וויסע, זיי ברענגען דעם שבת

פון ליכטלעך אין זילבערנע לייכטער ארויס.

 

און פול איז מיין שטוב דאן מיט שלוה געווארן,

פון אויגן מיין מאמעס, א טרער האט געגלאנצט,

און מיך האט א מלאך ביים הענטל גענומען –

דעם שבת אנטקעגן זיך לאזן אין טאנץ.

 

עס האבן זיך פיסלעך ווי פליגל געהויבן,

אזוי ווי א מלאך כ'האב דעמלט געשוועבט;

באגלייט האט מיין מאמעס א ניגון א זיסער –

מיר האבן א פריידיקן שבת דערלעבט.

 

און היינט, אין שבתים טראגט אום זיך יאמער,

כאטש קיינער עס וויסט נישט און קען דעם באשייד.

אזוי קאן נאר וויינען מיין מאמעס נשמה,

וואס קאן נישט געפינען איך שבתדיק קלייד.

 

אזוי גליט אין שנאה בין היינט נאך מיין מאמע

צום דייטש, וואס אין וואלד האט צעשניטן איר גוף,

און דארט אין א טייכל א בלוטיקס געלאזן

איר קלייד, וואס אין שבת דער מאמען עס רופט.

 

עס רופן די ליכטלעך פאראבלט שוין יארן,

די מאמע זאל קומען אין שבתדיק קלייד.

דריי אלטיטשקע ביימער, זיי פרווון פארדעקן

מיט בלעטער, מיין מאמעס פארלאשענע פרייד.

 

 

 

 

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To Be Continued Soon June 9th, 2004...

 

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