Adam Neuman-Nowicki:
"Struggle for Life During the Nazi Occupation of Poland"

Adam Neuman - Nowicki

The Book in Hebrew

Translated from Polish by Shoshana Reczinska,
Hebrew editor: Eliel Ezgad

Published in 1989 by "Notza Vakeset", P.O.Box 37307
Tel Aviv 61372

..."My parents and many of my relatives were killed by the Nazis during Holocaust. I know neither the date not the place of death and' therefore, I am unable to solemnize their memory by visiting or lightening a candle at their grave. My book, then, is an homage - an everlasting memorial to them."

Adam Neuman - Nowicki's Personal Page

 

Excerpts from the book: "Struggle for Life During The Nazi Occupation of Poland" by Adam Neuman-Nowicki, Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998. Submitted by daughter, Dr. Anat Alperin from Israel.

"...I grew up in Plock, a city of thirty-six thousand on a hill overlooking the Vistula River, sixty miles down river west-northwest of Warsaw.

In the Middle Ages, the town was a capital of the Mazovia district where King Wladyslaw Herman and Boleslaw Krzywousty held court.

The main commercial streets are still Tumska, Grodzka, Kolegialna, and Szeroka.

There were a few parks in the town - Tumy, Plac Florianski, and Gorki Niemieckie.

At the entrance to the park Tumy stood the beautiful old cathedral and next to it the theological seminary for young priests.

Plock served as an important cultural and trading center. The city had banks and many big enterprises totally or partially owned by Jews. Transportation on the Vistula River from Krakow to Gdansk was also wholly or partly in Jewish hands as was bus transportation between Plock and Warsaw.

Besides the larger stores and smaller shops, there was a market place where farmers brought their agricultural produce. In the middle of this marketplace were the butchers' stalls, gentile and Jewish. Not long before the Second Wold War, a new slaughterhouse was build on the city's outskirts.

Plock was an agricultural center as well, surrounded by many villages. Two agricultural machinery factories belonging to Jews, the Sarna family and the Marguliesz's, along with many other small industrial shops, served this farming region.

The religious life of the Jewish population was centered around the Plock synagogue and the Beit Hamidrash (House of Study).

Nearby the synagogue stood the Mikveh (ritual bath) and the hostel for poor Jews.

Before compulsory public school education, the Jews of Plock maintained a primary school network. Religious Jews sent their children to so-called Chedarim (religious day schools). A Jewish high school, established in 1917, existed almost until the outbreak of the Second World War.

In addition to the general public hospital, there was also a Jewish hospital founded in the nineteenth century. The Jewish community also operated the Ezrat Cholim (Help For The Sick) and a Jewish Orphanage.

Contrary to popular opinion, Jews made good farmers. In fact, of several agricultural estates near Plock, two of the biggest belonged to my relatives and to another Jewish family, the Krakowskis. The Mosze Krakowski's estate was used as a Hachshara (a training farm) to prepare Jewish youth for emigration to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel). The estate, Parowa, owned and operated by my paternal grandmother's relatives, the family Niedzwiedz, was about three miles from Plock. The whole family worked on the farm.

When I was eleven years old, I joined the Akivah Zionist Movement.

The Maccabee Sports Club in Plock had been founded in 1915.During World War I, its activities were limited. However, between 1923 and 1934, the club flourished and had its own flag that its members held high as they took part in the city's parades on State holidays. Our Maccabee Sports Club's appearance at the Plock National Theater in 1938 and the participation of the Plock Maccabee swimmers in the race on the Vistula River, were the most important events in the history of the Club. The swimming meet was organized by the Plock Swimming Club, which for the first time allowed Jewish swimmers to take part in the competition. What's more, our Maccabee participants won first place. In the men's senior competition, the first prize went to Jerzyk Goldberg and second prize to Gotek Flajszer. In the junior class competition, the first prize went to my brother Heniek. Among the women, the Plock swimming champion was Zosia Goldberg, who was crowned swimming queen.

At the start of a Five Kilometers swimming competition in Plock (1938). Of those seven finalists, five were Jewish boys. Source: Dr. Leon Kilbert: "Letters from the Abyss"

First from left: Rudek Lubraniecki, a known sportsman m town. He died a hero in the Treblinka uprising. He was one of the leaders of the insurrection and was responsible for storing and distributing arms and munitions. Rudek was shot while setting a tank of gasoline ablaze.
Third from left: Baruch Strach committed suicide by jumping under a truck, while being taken by the Gestapo for interrogation.
Fourth from left: Gutek Fleisher. The first known Jewish victim of the war in Plock. He was shot on a bridge by retreating Polish soldiers.
Second from right: Motek Kilbert, age 17. Perished, with his parents, in the gas chambers of Treblinka.
Third from right: Jerzyk Goldberg. Winner of the competition. Escaped from Plock with Lolek Kilbert in November of 1939. Survived the war in Russia. Lives in Ninny Novgorod (formerly Gorki).

 

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