Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter in the Officers Prisoners Camp at Woldenberg 1939-?
An article (originally in German) by Jan Jagielski, from the Jewish
Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter and the Destroyed Monument for
Translated from German by Ilana Witkowski and from Polish to English by Adam Neuman Nowicki and daughter Dr. Anat Halperin.
Not long ago The Jewish Historical Institute in
The documents contain short biographic information which he wrote right
after his liberation from concentration camp (translators note:
"Lager" might be a war prisoners' camp). It is dated
" I was born in
That was how he wrote in a laconic manner of the war times. He didn't write
in which camp he was imprisoned and whether he had a family. A postcard sent
(Translator's note: Oles is a diminutive from Olek). Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter
"My dearest! Here everything is the same. The money didn't arrive yet. I am trying to place Oles in a home for children of the Intelligence run by Centos and the decision will be made on February 23rd. I will write more on this subject in the letter. Yours..." (There is no more room for the signature.) Some of the pictures are stamped: Oflag II c 20 censored.)
On the picture of a boy in a coat and hat taken in Zyrardow in August 1940 there is a dedication: "Oles, to dear father."
Aleksander Oles Perlmuter perished in Holocaust with mother Roza.
In a certain letter written by H. Piechocki from Zyrardow after the War,
On the picture of a woman there is a dedication: "For remembrance to my dearest Pelka. July 1942"
"My dear! My happiness is enormous because you are alive and well. Come to us. It will be much easier to talk than write about those terrible happenings. I think that you know by now that as of now nobody survived from our family besides you and me. Ilonka"1)
Perlmuter's papers also contain a poem written by Haim Nahman Bialik "Samotny" (translation: "Lonely"). The poem is full of despair and sorrow. It shows his profound depression in the post war years. The disease acquired in Woldenberg camp got worse.
His papers contain also several letters from his friends in
In 1949 Perlmuter is admitted to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Otwock. At the
same time he is working as a building engineer. He participated in rebuilding
Documentation of the rising monument on the Jewish cemetery, from its first
plans until the actual unveiling is found in the Black Photograph Album. Among
the documents are letters written between him and the head of the Jewish
In one of the last letters, Mr. Blay wrote to Engineer Perlmuter: "...On
October 23rd of this year (1949) at 11:30 on the Jewish Cemetery an unveiling
will take place of the monument dedicated to the memory of Plock Jews who were
murdered during the Holocaust. The monument stands in the place where there are
ashes of 25 murdered
This monument will be at the same time a commemoration for thousands of
Jews who during many generations dedicated their life and work and tied their
destiny with the town of Plock and died in this town...Even though the German
murderers did not respect the resting place of our ancestors and tried to erase
all trace of their existence, these letters engraved on this stone monument
will be their everlasting testimony and tell of Jews from Plock to all
generations to come.
(Translator's note: On the eastern side of the monument, Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter designed 24 plaques on which there were supposed to be written names of murdered Plock Jews during the Holocaust)
The Jewish newspaper wrote about the unveiling of the monument in
"In the unveiling participated the Jewish residents of
Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter, the main creator of the monument, was not
even mentioned during the ceremony. However on
"We are very sorry that you were not present at the unveiling of your work of art - The
Among Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter's documents there is an announcement of
his death printed in the press: " Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter,
Engineer Architect the Dom Slowa Polskiego, prisoner of Nazi camps awarded
Krzyzem Zaslugi - the medal of Achievement - died on
On one of the plaques of the Monument there appeared the following engraved names:
Gena Garfinkel (ne'e Perlmuter)
Eliza Ela Garfinkel
Gustawa Perlmuter Lewin
Jakob Izrael Lewin
Eliza Lila Lewin
Roza Perlmuter (ne'e Szenwic)
Aleksander Oles Perlmuter
Gustawa Szechtman Rappel
Eliza Lila Rappel
Dopa Szechtman Finkelsztejn
Tuwia Finkelsztejnn Koenigsberg
Dr. Fil Akiba Kuba Koenigsberg
Dora Koenigsberg Kadysz
Dr. Med. Henry Kadysz
A photograph of this plaque was the last picture that Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter placed in his black photograph album for documentation of his creation, a monument serving as a grave for his murdered son, wife and other members of his family.
In 1967 this monument was demolished by Poles. There are no more commemorating plaques and the present monument is a caricature of Benjamin Arie (Leib) Perlmuter's creation.
Is it possible to change that? !
1) Ilonka Neuman Nowicki nee Szechtman was the first cousin of Eng. Perelmutter.
Grandmother Tauba Szechtman, nee' Kohn, had three daughters:
* Golda (Gucia) who married Adolf Rappell - mother of Ilonka - Dr. Anat Alperin's mother.
*Myncia who married Jankiel Generson.
*Lywcia who married Maier Perlmuter, their son was
My Message to a Polish Journalist 5.3.2004
I send you more material about
Part of the Destroyed Memorial Stone
1) Fragment of the destroyed memorial, source: "Plotzk (
This appears in the article title: "Four Friends and their Spiritual World". It is about Benjamin Arie Lajb Perlmuter and three of his friends, Icchak Rubin, Cwi Hirsz Baran and Cwi Herman Kruk who founded a Yiddish newspaper in
One poem which survived from their newspaper is: "FARWOS?" Why?! It is about the sacrifice of young Jews who fight in foreign countries, for their foreign homelands, but their sacrifice is forgotten, and so the poet cries "WHY?!"
2) Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak, "Jews - Officers and enlisted Men in the Polish Army, Prisoners of war in German captivity 1939-1945", Tel Aviv 2003.
In page 36 I read the following details about Perlmuter:
Perlmuter Benjamin - son of Majer & Roza, born in
Military reference: 2/lieut, 79 infantry regiment 563, Stalag II B- Oflag II C
Thank you for publishing the story. May be the memory of one son of Plock, his murdered wife and boy, and his destroyed monument erected after Holocaust in Plock, will be revived and kept and thus you do a real "Mitzvah" מצווה (great deed of virtue in Hebrew).
Last updated March 5th, 2004