"Dedicated to the memory of my comrades in arms who fell in battle in the fight against the cruel Nazi German enemy". Benjamin Meirtchak.

WE REMEMBER THE FIGHTERS!

JEWISH MILITARY CASUALTIES IN THE POLISH ARMIES IN WORLD WAR II

By BENJAMIN MEIRTCHAK


BENJAMIN MEIRTCHAK
At a Reception at the Polish Embassy, Tel Aviv, 1999

 

On 14 Adar B' (25.3.2005) Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak died.

Son of Rachel and Moshe, Wloclawek, Poland,

Beloved Husband, father and grandfather.

Chairman of the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel

General Secretary of the Association of Polish Jews in Israel
(Center of Organization
)

Author of many books about the Jewish heroic fight against the Germans in WWII

We Shall Remember Meirtchak's Legacy! We shall not Forget!

 

 

Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak

Wloclawek Poland 2.7.1917 Tel Aviv, Israel 25.3.2005

 

Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak who was born in Wloclawek, Poland was the President of the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Association of Disabled Veterans of Fight against Nazism in Israel and Secretary General of the Association of Polish Jews in Israel.

 

He is researehing the historv of active Jewish participation in fighth against Nazi Germany in the ranks of the Allied Regular Forces and in particular in the Polish Armies in Poland and Polish Armies in exile during W.W.II.. He has published works on the subject in Polish, Hebrew, English and Russian.

 

His monumental work "Jewish Military Casualties in the Polih Armies in W.W.II" was translated in Polnd in June 2001.

 

During WWII Mr. Meirtchak fought defending Warsaw in September 1939 and was imprisoned in Soviet concentration camps. In the ranks of the Polish Army in the U.S.S.R. the author participated in the bloody Lenino battle and was in command of a tank battalion in the Bautzen-Elba Campaign as a Captain. He was wounded in battle and decorated with Polish and Soviet Army awards and medals.

 

 

On September 1st,1999, Mr. Meirtehak was awarded by the President of Poland with the "COMMANDERS CROSS ORDER OF MERIT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC".

 

On April 5th, 2001 Mr. Meirtchak was promoted by the Minister of National Defence of Poland to Lieut. Colonel (Ret.) rank.

 

 

 

 

Author's Farewell Words
Written in the end of the book: JEWS-OFFICERS IN THE POLISH ARMED FORCES 1939-1945, edited by ada Holtzman, revised edition, Avotaynu Decemebr 2004

 

About the Book

 

I am presenting you with the second edition of the study: "Jews Officers in the Polish Armed Forces".

Altogether we set 4,976 Jews Officers. It is the most authoritative and updated work on the subject on Jews Officers defending and fighting for Poland's Independence.

It took me 3 years to complete this second edition. Even now, the volume is not comprehensive presentation of Jews - Officers in the Polish Armed Forces, but I am in doubt if somebody will be able to add names of Jews Officers abandoned in our study, to the lists presented.

Dear friends... I am now 87 years old and it will probably be my last study on the subject of "Jews fighting against the Nazis in the ranks of the Polish Armed Forces".

I fulfilled my duty by immortalizing the heroic behavior of Jewish soldiers and officers, my brothers-in-arms, in fighting against the German foe, and I hope that this study will change the existing opinion that Jews were only victims of the Nazis. And if it happens, then I achieved my aim and I thank the Almighty for giving me the privilege, power and belief in doing the right thing commemorating the Jewish fight against the Nazis in the ranks of the Polish Armed Forces.

 

September 2004 Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak, Lieut. Colonel (ret.)

 


A new Book by Benjamin Meirtchak was Published in 2003: "Jews - Officers and Enlisted Men in the Polish Army, Prisoners of War in German Captivity 1939-1945", Tel Aviv 2003

Contents

Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert

VII

Acknowledgments

IX

Author's Introduction

XI

Chapter 1. Jews-Officers in the Polish Army, POW's in German Captivity

1

Chapter 2. Jews - Enlisted men in the Polish Army, POW's in German Captivity

55

Oflags & Stalags

87

Abbreviations

91

Bibliography

93

Postscript

97

Map & Plates

99

Published by the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel
Israel 158 Dizengoff St.
Tel Aviv 63461
ISRAEL
Tel. 972-(3) 522-5078, 546-4104. Fax. 972 (3) 523-6684, 527-4264
Tel Aviv 2001

Copyright (R) Benjamin Meirtchak


In 2001, Benjamin Meirtchak published a new book: "Jews-Officers in the Polish Armed Forces 1939-1945".

The book contains 4 main lists with data of 4879(!) Jewish Officers:

#1 - Jews Officers in the Polish Army September 1939
#2 - Jews Officers in the Polish Armed Forces in Exile
#3- Jews Officers in the Polish Peoples Army
#4 Jewesses Officers in the Polish Peoples Army

Published by the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel
Israel 158 Dizengoff St.
Tel Aviv 63461
ISRAEL
Tel. 972-(3) 522-5078, 546-4104. Fax. 972 (3) 523-6684, 527-4264
Tel Aviv 2001

Copyright (R) Benjamin Meirtchak

The book was contributed by Benjamin Meirtchak to JewishGen , February 2003

In printing now (2003) is another book about Jewish Prisoners of War during WWII


Willie Glaser: Memoirs of a Young German Born Jew in the Polish Army 1941 - 1947


Dr. Shaul Sehayik: An Unknown Episode, The History of an Encounter of Thousands of Polish Jewish Soldiers with the Jews of Iraq and Iran in 1942-1943, Tel-Aviv 2003


Hersz Cukier Killed in Action in the September 1939 Campaign


JEWISH MILITARY CASUALTIES IN THE POLISH ARMIES IN WORLD WAR II

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak who was born in Wloclawek, Poland is the President of the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Association of Disabled Veterans of Fight against Nazism in Israel, and the Secretary General of the Association of Polish Jews in Israel.

He is researching the history of active Jewish participation in fight against Nazi Germany in the ranks of the Allied Regular Forces and in particular in the Polish Army in Poland and Polish Armies in exile during W.W. II. He has published works on the subject in Polish, Hebrew, English and Russian.

During W.W. II, Mr. Meirtchak fought defending Warsaw in September 1939 and was imprisoned in Soviet concentration camps. In the ranks of the Polish Army in the USSR the author participated in the bloody Lenino battle and was in command of a tank battalion in the Bautzen-Elba Campaign as a Captain. He was wounded in battle and decorated with Polish and Soviet Army awards and medals.

On September 1st 1999 Mr. Meirtchak was awarded by the President of Poland with the "COMMANDERS CROSS, ORDER OF MERIT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC".

On April 5, 2001 Mr. Meirtchak was promoted by the Minister of National Defence of Poland to Lieut. Colonel (Ret.) rank.

BENJAMIN MEIRTCHAK
A Polish Officer during WWII


BACKGROUND
AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION TO THE ENGLISH EDITION VOLUME I

Approximately 1.5 million Jewish officers and soldiers in the ranks of the Allied regular armies, in Underground national resistance movements, and in Partisan units participated in all theatres of the war fighting the Nazi Foe and Axis Powers. They fought bravely, proved their heroism, showed courage and dedication in their struggle. Their valor made a significant and impressive contribution to the ultimate victory of the Allied Forces in World War II.

Nearly 200.000 Polish Jews fought against Nazi Germany in the ranks of the Polish Armies on Polish soil and in Exile. They defended Poland in September 1939 against the German aggression. They fought in the Polish Armies in exile; in the 1940 defense of France, in the Middle East, in North Africa and in Italy. While serving in the Polish Tank Corps, Air Force and Navy they participated, together with the RAF and British Royal Navy, in the Normandy Landings. The Polish Forces, along with The Red Army, took part in the great offensive, eventually liberating Poland and conquering Germany.

In addition, many Polish Jews fought as part of the Polish, Russian, and French Underground movements. They were also a part of the Palestine Jewish Brigade. Polish Jews fought in the French Army, in the Red Army, and in the British Forces.

Despite the tremendous Jewish military contribution to the Polish war efforts, the official Polish historical bibliography of W.W.II ignores this Jewish phenomena.

The purpose of this book is to rectify this historical injustice and to commemorate the Jewish Fighters in the struggle against Nazi Germany.

WARSAW: JEWISH CEMETERY - OKOPOWA STR.
Mil. Quarter
Unknown Soldier Memorial


5 VOLUMES:

Volume I
Publ. 1994

Dedicated to the memory of my comrades in arms who fell in battle in the fight against the cruel Nazi German enemy

Jewish Soldiers and Officers of the Polish People's Army Killed and Missing in Action.

Volume II
Publ. April 1995

Dedicated to the memory of my mother Rachel and my father Moshe murdered by the Nazis in Majdanek camp in May 1943.

1.     Jewish Military Casualties in September 1939 Campaign.

2.      Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armed Forces in Exile.

Volume III
Publ. January 1996

Dedicated to the memory of my brother Meir-David (Marek) murdered by the Nazis

Jewish Prisoners-of-War Murdered by Germans in the Lublin District 1939-1943

Volume IV
Publ. January 1997

Dedicated to the memory of all Jewish soldiers in the Allied armed forces who fell while fighting Nazi Germany.

1.     Jewish Officers, Prisoners-of-War, Murdered by Soviets in "Katyn Crime"

2.     Jews, Members of the Polish Underground, Fallen in Action

3.      An addedum Supplement to Volumes I, II, III.

Volume V
Publ. 1999

Dedicated to the memory of the Unknown Jewish soldier in the Polish Armies who fell while fighting Nazi Germany

Supplement

 

 


PRO MEMORIA
Military Cem. Mount Herzl Jerusalem


Copyright (C) Benjamin Meirtchak Tel Aviv
All rights reserved

This material can be used for educational and research purpose only, and is fully copyrighted!

The Book may be purchased for USD$ 40.- each volume, (including airmail postage and taxes) ordering from:
The Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel
158 Dizengoff St.
63461 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel: 00-972-3-5225078
Fax: 00-972-3-5236684
Price of the whole 5 volumes series is USD 150.-
Israelis should contact the Association for price and order.


EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK

FORWARD by Dr. Shmuel Krakowski (Volume I)

FORWARD by Sir Martin Gilbert (Volume II)

Benjamin Meirtchak: JEWISH PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMAN CAPTIVITY - A CONCISE REVIEW (Volume III)

ANNEX: Jewish Military Casualties In The Polish Resistance Movement In France (Volume IV)

THE LIST - MILITARY CASUALTIES (Volume V - Supplement)

PHOTOS (Volume V - Supplement)


SUPPLEMENT

Vol V

Tel Aviv 1999

This volume is dedicated to the memory of the Unknown Jewish soldier in the Polish Armies who fell while fighting Nazi Germany.

 Copyright (C) Benjamin Meirtchak Tel Aviv
All rights reserved

This material can be used for educational and research purpose only, and is fully copyrighted!
The Book may be purchased for USD$ 40.- each volume, (including airmail postage and taxes) ordering from:
The Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel
158 Dizengof St.
63461 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel: 00-972-3-5225078
Fax: 00-972-3-5236684
Price of the whole 5 volumes series is USD 150.-
Israelis should contact the Association for price and order.


INTRODUCTION

The study "Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II" was published in four volumes.

Volume I - Jewish Soldiers and Officers of the Polish Peoples Army killed and missing in action, Tel Aviv 1994.

Volume II
- Jewish Military Casualties in September 11939 Campaign.
- Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armed Forces in Exile, Tel Aviv 1995.

Volume III - Jewish Prisoners of War murdered by Germans in the Lublin District, Tel Aviv 1996.

Volume IV
- Jewish Officers Prisoners of War murderedd in Katyn Crime.
-Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish RResistance Movement.
- An Addendum, Tel Aviv, 1997.

Volume V - Supplement, Tel Aviv 1999.

In those volumes we commemorate 7607 Jews, soldiers and officers in the Polish Armed Forces, who fell and died when fighting the Nazi Foe on Polish soil and in Exile.

The volumes were well received by historians, and public and found a place on the bookshelves of the most prestigious libraries, institutes, universities; as by the Library of Congress - Washington, Imperial War Museum - London, Holocaust Museum - Washington, Yad-Vashem - Jerusalem, Wiener Library - London, Hebrew University -Jerusalem, and many other libraries and institutes in USA, England, Germany, Poland, Canada, Russia. They found place on the bookshelves of the President of the State of Israel, President and Prime Minister of Poland, Military Archives, scholars and hundreds of war veterans, brothers-in-arms, families, friends of the fallen.

 We were fully convinced that despite our best efforts, the lists of those fallen soldiers are incomplete and do not constitute a full record of every Jew who died while serving in the Polish Armed Forces.

On the 60 anniversary of the German aggression on Poland I am presenting the fifth volume of the series - "Supplement".

The volume is dedicated to my brothers in arms who fell in battle, died of wounds, were missing, and murdered as P.O.W. who have not been listed in the four volumes for lack of information.

After obtaining additional proven information and evidences we are able to publish this "Supplement" volume with 283 names of fallen.

On the threshold of the Millennium not many World War II Veterans are still able to relate the story of bravery, heroism and suffering. With pride and sorrow they remember the years dedicated to fight for freedom, and dignity against the cruelest enemy of Mankind, and the Jewish People - the Nazi Foe.

 After 6 years of intensive study, research, compiling evidence, and testimony we were able to present in 5 volumes an authentic and credible document presenting Jewish casualties when fighting in the ranks of the Polish Armed Forces, on the Polish soil, and on the battle fields of Europe, and Africa against Nazi Germany, altogether 7890 men.

Even now the list of fallen is not complete. However we decided not to delay the publication of this "Supplement" volume.

Our time, the time of the Second World War Veterans, is limited.

On the Military Cemetery on Mount Herzel in Jerusalem an impressive Memorial was erected by the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in honor of the fallen Jewish soldiers who served in the ranks of the Polish Armed Forces in W.W. II fighting the Nazi Foe.

FROM THE REVIEWS OF THE STUDY

"Much effort has been invested in this (well thought out) work and I much admire the initiative and accomplishment. This is a significant achievement which reveals the Jewish contribution and sacriffice in the Second World War that was previously unknown..."
Prof. Israel Gutman, Yad - Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs, Heroes Remembrance Authority.

This commemorative undertaking has contributed to the histography of Jewish status in W.W.Il. The metohod and diligence is conspicuous in each line and every word. The lists of fallen and wounded only adds to the authenticity and credibility of the details..."
Prof. Dov Levin, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

"Let me praise this unique contribution in upholding the memory of Jewish fighters on an important front, that brought about the defeat of Nazi Oppressor..."
Yosef Rav, "Moreshet" Mordechai Anielevich Study and Research Center.

"It is only due to the hard and painstaking work carried out over many years by Mr. Meirtchak that has enabled the completion of this important list of soldiers and ofticers who fell in action between 1943-1945.
This publication is the only Memorial of the heroism of the fallen Jewish soldiers whc
fought with the Polish People's Army...
There is nobody left to remember them. We who have survived, must not forget them"
Henry Morris, AJEX London 1994

"...This is a monumenta! book worthy of every praise".
Chaim Lasar, Museum of the Combatants and Partisans, Tel Aviv.

"...Benjamin Meirtchak work is a remarkable and an important publication. It is remarkable because it represents a considerable amount of extremely hard and patient work, and it is important because it adds a dimension to our knowledge of the Jewish contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany".

"The military participation of Jews in the struggle against Nazism is less welI-known. In this sphere, Benjamin Meirtchak is engaged in a work of crucial importance".
Sir Martin Gilbert, Historian, Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

"...It is easy to appreciate the huge effort required to gather together the names of those Jews who sacrificed their lives in the wars against the Nazis and thanks to publication of these volumes their names and personal history will now become known.
May your efforts be rewarded and let us hope that you will have the strength to complete the project you have undertaken".
Supreme Court Justice (retired) Moshe Bejski

"...Your book is a very special contribution, a kind of Kaddisch for those martyrs who gave their lives for God and the Jewish people and did not leave anyone to Kaddisch and mourn for their souls. May you be blessed for this undertaking".
Dr. Pinchas Rosengarten
Chief Rabbi of the Anders Army and the 2nd Polish Corps in Italy

"... Many blessings to you..."
Eli Wiesel, Boston University

"...Accept my blessings on the publication of this important book which is a memorial to those Jewish soldiers and Prisonemurdered by the Nazis. I am sure that you will continue this holy workand complete the planned series. May you strength increase. I don't anybody besides you who have the ability to do this holy work..."
Dr. Shmuel Krakowski, Yad Yashem, Jerusalem

"...Your publication will serve our office as an immense assistance in our studies in commemorating Jews - servicmen in the Polish Armed Formations fallen or murdere in the time of the Second World War..."
Andrzej Przewoznik, Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom, Warsaw, Poland.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I gratefully acknowledge the valuable help to those men, who on my request provided me with evidences, testimonies, and printed sources about fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, and friends, who went to fight and did not return from the war whose names have not been listed in previous volumes for lack of information.

I would like to express my deep appreciation to Sir Martin Gilbert, to prof. Dov Levin for the attention they devoted to tsubject of my study, and for theirs words praise and encouragment.

Words of gratitude to all theswhencouraged me to complete the study, and above all to my comrades - in - arms, and to my wife Fela, for her constant support during the years.

And a special debt of gratitude to Mrs. Alicja Fedenczuk for the hard work performed in collecting and sorting materials, and typing, and retyping the manuscript.
Benjamin Meirtchak, Tel Aviv 1999

NOTES

This study includes details for identification (if known) arranged in the following order:
 

Family name

Given name

Father's name

Mother's name

Date of birth

Place of birth

Military rank

Unit

Date of death

Place of death

Burial place

 

Lists are arranged according to Polish alphabetical order and spelling. A list of abbreviations, a select bibliography, and notes are attached.


`

POWAZKI MILITARY CEMETERY - WARSAW
COMMON GRAVES - SEPTEMBER 1939 CAMPAIGN

Pte. Lancman Abram

Pte. Sztyft Abram

Pte. Rynek Szaja

Pte. Grynbaum Gitel

Pte. Fajner Jcek

Pte. Szafir Mojzesz

Pte. Lajzerowicz Mordka

Pte. Tatarzyn Eliasz

Pte. Goldman Mordka

 

 

Pte. Lewkowicz Chaim


THE LIST - MILITARY CASUALTIES (Supplement)


ABBREVIATIONS

art.

artillery

a.-tank.art.reg.

anti-tank artillery regiment

arm. brig.

armoured brigade

b.

born

bat.

battalion

bty

battery

BMC

British Military Cemetery

brig.

brigade

bur

buried

Cad/Off.

Cadet Officer

Capt

Captain

comp.

company

Comm.

Commander

conc. camp

concentration camp

d.

daughter

div.

division

Dr. med

doctor medicine

distr.

district

eng.

engineer

F/sgt

First Sergeant

gr.

grave

Gren.

Grenadier

hosp.

hospital

H.Art.Brig.

Heavy Artillery Brigade

Highl.

Highland

H.O.

Head Quarter

inf.

infantry

inf.reg.

infantry regiment

lntell. c.

intelligence corps

Lieut.

Lieutenant

2/Lieut.

Second Lieutenant

L/corp.

Lance Corporal

MC

Military Cemetery

mil. hosp.

military hospital

mot. brig.

motorized brigade

oper.

operation

PMC

Polish Military Cemetery

P.O.W.

Prisoner Of War

Pte.

Private

reg.

regiment

s.

son

sgt

sergeant

tank brig.

tank brigade

transp. brig.

transportation brigade

Warr. Off

Warrant Officer

Y

died


 
 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

1.      Documents and evidences received from private persons:

1.      Pawlowski Edward (editor), Ksiega pochowanych zolnierzy polegtych w II wojnie swiatowej, "supplemernt" Publ. "Ajaks" 1998.

2.      Rosengarten Pinchas, dr. Rabbi "From the chaplain - rabbi diary", Jerusalem 1998 (in Hebrew).

3.      Jan Bogdan Glinski. Slownik biograficzny lekarzy i farmaceutow, ofiar drugiej wpjny swiatowej.

4.      Jewish Historical Inst. Warsaw, Jagielski Lists.

5.      Smolinski Jozef, 2 Dywizja Strzelcow Pieszych. Francia - Szwajcaria.

6.      Lista Starszenstwa Oficerow Wojsk Polskich ne Srodkowym Wschpdzie, Dow. W.P. Sztab Oddzial V z dnia 1 marca 1942.

1.      Other Sources

Grave stones on Powazki MC in Warsaw, Kolobrzeg MC, Jewish C. Warsaw, Okopowa str.

POSTSCRIPT

It has taken me six years to accomplish this study "Polish Armies in Word War II".

In the five volumes of this series we listed 7888 Jewish servicemen who fell serving in the ranks of the Polish Armed Forces while fighting the German enemy.

Even now, despite our best efforts, the list of fallen soldiers is incomplete.

The study was published in English to enable as many students. soldiers and historians as possible from various nations to become acquainted with the Jewish contribution to the victory over Nazism.

I was deeply touched when in July 1999, the Polish Publishing House "Bellona" in Warsaw made an offer to me to obtain the rights to translate this study into Polish and to publish it in Poland. I accepted this offer. This study in the Polish language will serve the younger generation of Polish students and scholars as a credible source of information about Jews, and their part in establishing Polish independence during centuries of living together.

I pray for strength and health to carry out my next project in commemorating the Jewish presence in Poland: "Jews-Officers in the Polish Armed Forces".

PHOTOS

MILITARY CEM. MOUNT HERZL JERUSALEM
The Monument is dedicated to the memory of Polish Jewish soldiers who fell in action in World War II in the ranks of the Polish Armies (Gen. View)


Copyright (C) Benjamin Meirtchak Tel Aviv
All rights reserved

This material can be used for educational and research purpose only, and is fully copyrighted!

The Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel
158 Dizengof St.
63461 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel: 00-972-3-5225078
Fax: 00-972-3-5236684


Last Updated April 22nd, 2005