We Remember Jewish Turek!


Turek, 1930s, reproduction by Tomasz Wisniewski (contributed by Susan Pentlin PhD)

First Email | Maps | History (Hebrew)  | Kowale Pańskie Kibel  |  Kibel's Memoirs | Szubinski  |  Chelmno | Landsmanschaft | Necrology Hebrew English | Yizkor BookEnglish | Bais Yaakov | Commemoration 2003 | Today

This page is in memory of the Bajrach and Kibel families of Turek and Dobra who perished at Kowale Pańskie and Chelmno. This page is also in memory of the Szubinski Family from Turek who perished at Chelmno, Posen and Treblinka and is dedicated to all the Jews of Turek brutally killed by the Germans during the Holocaust.

This web site is the result of  the blessed  initiative of Dr. Susan Pentlin from the U.S.A.
pentlin "at" ucmo.edu   replace "at" by @ to avoid spam) in honor of  Bronia Kibel with the support of  Moshe Shubinsky from England (email: mocki.shubinsky "at" btinternet.com) and Ada Holtzman (ada "at" zchor.org) from Israel.

This is work in process and will never be finished, like the memory of the holy community of Turek will never fade away! I shall be pleased and proud to post any other documents, photos, testimonies or lists which belong to the life and history of the Jews of Turek.

This was the first email I received from Dr. Susan Pentlin, and then more than hundred other emails followed it until the web site was ready.

email: pentlin "at" ucmo.edu (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam) pentlin@ucmo.edu

Dear Ada,

I wanted you to know how useful and moving I find your web site zchor. I hope to be able to add to your page in the future. I am working with a Holocaust survivor from Turek, Poland. I have studied the Holocaust many years as a professor and have known Brucha Kibel for at least twenty years, but did not really understand what happened to Jews in the Konin-Poznan-Kalisz area until I started to help her write her memoirs nor did I know how little is known to scholars about what happened in this area. You probably know that only a handful of Turek Jews survived the Holocaust. Brucha and her family, parents Hersz Lajzer and Bluma Bajrach Kibel and siblings Chana, Jehoshua and Ruhal were first in the Turek ghetto and then sent to a "Judenkolonia" or agricultural ghetto at Kowale Pańskie. From there she was part of a selection that was sent to Inowroclaw Straflager, then to work on a farm at Gnojno and in 1943 she was sent to Auschwitz. She was liberated at Salzwedel Camp in Germany. I was wondering if you know anyone who was in Kowale Pańskie (also known as Heidemühle or Czachulec as the name of the village nearby). One source I have found in Poland indicates that Brucha (today Bronia) may be only one of two people to survive and the other man was killed by the A.K. Armja Krajowa in 1946. Do you have any information on what occurred in Kowale Pańskie? We have the Yizkor book and have had parts of it translated as well, but even there you find little about Kowale Pańskie. Some sources indicate that from Kowale Pańskie there were transports to Chelmno, but others that the Jews there were killed in the woods and buried in the forests near Czachulec in July 1942.

Sincerely, Susan Pentlin, PhD
email: pentlin "at" ucmo.edu (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam)
Professor at the University of Central Missouri. 


172.2 kilometers West of Warsza

18° 30' 52° 02'


Pre-War map of Turek, Poland, The map is looking south toward Kowale Panskie  (Source: Susan Pentlin)

A Map



פנקס הקהילות

אנציקלופדיה של היישובים היהודיים למן היווסדם ועד לאחר שואת מלחמת העולם השנייה


כרך ראשון: לודז' והגליל

יד ושם – רשות הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה

ירושלים תשל"ו (1976)


מאמרים בעברית:


טורק Turek


קובאלה פאנסקיה Kowale Pańskie


ריחוואל Rychwal


טולישקוב  Tuliszków


Pinkas Hakehilot

Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities



Vol I


The Communities of Lodz and Its Region

Published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 1976

(Turek Province)

Pages 130 - 131

Coordinates: 52°02' / 18°30'

 Written by Aharon Weiss

Translated by M. Shubinsky

Edited by Ada Holtzman


The Population Structure



The Jews

General Population


  33 764 1808
  95 2,302 1827
  653 4,773 1857
  2,072 8,111 1921
  2,700 ? 1.09.1939


Turek as a city was church property until the partition of Poland. City charter was granted in 1357. The first Jews appeared in Turek at the beginning of the 19th century partially from nearby Dobra and for a few years the Jews in Turek were attached to the institutions of this community. They used to bury their dead in the cemetery of Dobra. A Cholera epidemic in 1830/1 killed many Jews and the community dwindled in numbers. But, by the middle of the 19th century, Jewish population grew again at a fast rate and contributed to the growth of the textile industry in the town. They were also active in commerce, oil, matches and soap manufacture. Jews also owned textile dye plants.


On Yom Kippur 5618 (27/10/1857) the synagogue was set on fire following a hate campaign by a Polish priest but a new one was built by 1861 in “Breiter Gasse”, the structure was renovated and expanded in 1910. A fire consumed 40 Jewish houses in 1878.


The Polish revolt of 1863 saw the participation of Jews such as Mordechai Manes, a medic from Turek. Another Jew was the deputy mayor during the revolt. In February 1889 local farmers attacked Jewish merchants and many were injured and their property was robbed.


It appears that Turek’s community became independent by the middle of the 19th century. From 1850 to the middle of the 1870’s the rabbi of Turek was R' David Haim Braun. He was followed by R' Hirsz Leib Waksman. 1906 saw the establishment of a yeshiva (Talmudic college). In 1899 a charity “Gemilut Hasadim” (making righteous deeds) was started. Many other organizations started at that time- Linat Tzedek (shelter of the poor and homeless), Hachnasat Kala (dowry collected for the poor bride) and the Ahiezer Society for mutual support. A primary government school for Jewish children was set up in 1886.


Zionism came to town in 1912 and at the end of 1916 the "Ttzeirei Zion" (Youth of Zion) association was set up with 100 members. It run Hebrew classes for 40 pupils and a library. By 1917 many more associations started to operate – the youth culture association ("Kultur Jugend Farjen") and sport association "Turek Farjen". By 1918 the Tehia  club (the revival club) with a chorus was started, the Zamir ( the nightingale ).


In the interwar years Turek Jews carried on as artisans and small merchants. By the 1920’s there were 138 Jewish workshops, 51 of which employed workers and the rest just the owners. Amongst those were 68 confectioners, 46 cloth manufacturers, 3 metal workshops, 6 food production, 4 leather workers and one stonemason. The number employed in artisanship was 260. An artisan association was established and it initiated the establishment of a cooperative bank. In 1924 the needle worker union was first organized


Turek had a large number of Zionists parties: the Mizrachi, Zionim Klaliim - General Zionists (Al Hamishmar  - on guard and Et Livnot – time to build), Poalei Zion  (the workers of Zion) and the Revisionist movement. In 1926 the Hashomer Haleumi youth movement, part of the General Zionists party was set up and turned into the "Hanoar Hazioni" - Zionist Youth Movement in 1931. Turek also had a Beitar association. In the Zionist camp the Mizrahi and the General Zionists were most influential. The Zionist congresses in 1930’s saw elections and the number of voters were- 450. In 1937 the votes cast were as follows- Al Hamishmar 77, Et Livnot 89, Hamizrachi 149, Haliga Haovedet (the Working Israel league) 69.


 After the First World War the Agudath Israel and Poalei Agudath Israel was organized.  The Bund was also active in Turek with their youth movement the “Tsukunft”.


The Rabbi, R' Pinhas Halevi Wajngrob officiated from 1924-1932. He was one of the founders of Agudath Israel in Poland. The last rabbi was R' Pinchas Weiss who accompanied the community on its last journey during the holocaust.


After the end of WWI, the Mizrahi opened a modern Heder and a Jewish kindergarten. Agudath Israel opened an elementary school: "The Torah". Important role in the cultural life of the community served amateur theatre. There were also operating sport associations: Shomria, Bar Kochva and Trumpeldor affiliated to the Zionist youth movement and the Bund youth movement "Morgenstern".


It is worthwhile pointing out that the Jewish sculptor and painter Hanoch Heinrich Glicenstein (1870 – 1942) was born in Turek in 1870 and left it in 1887. He received in his hometown traditional education and he kept ties with his townspeople until his last days.


The outbreak of war in 1939 saw the immediate confiscation of Jewish goods and slave labor kidnapping. These forced laborers were used to repair war damaged roads and bridges. In just a few days the Germans took hostages and 15 were murdered. In November 1939, 700 Jewish men were held in the synagogue and sent to Kolo and then to Bochnia near Krakow for slave labor.


For a time the community tried to keep in touch with the deportees in Bochnia by sending them food parcels. After a while some of the deportees were sent to Międzyrzec and the link between them in the Generalgouvernement area and Turek was severed.  By January 1940 the process of confiscating Jewish properties and shops was complete and the synagogue was set on fire and destroyed. In February 1940 some of the Jews were relocated to a special area in the "Breite Gasse". By July 1940 all the remaining Jews were moved into what now became the Turek Ghetto. At first people could leave the Ghetto and tried to survive by selling property to buy food. Many were starving and the Judenrat, headed by Herszel Zimnawoda, initiated actions for mutual aid, like: a soup kitchen. Mordechai Strikowski was the commander of the Jewish police. In the summer of 1940 60 Jews were kidnapped by the Germans for forced labor in Poznań and a few weeks later 30 more were taken. With the worsening situation, Jews were leaving and seeking shelter in Warsaw some even going to the Soviet zone in Eastern Poland. By 1940 there were only 1750 Jews remaining in Turek.


In October 1941 on Yom Kippur the liquidation of the ghetto started and the Jews were taken to rural ghetto in the region of Kowale Pańskie, south of Turek where many Jews of the area were concentrated.




·        Yad Vashem Archives, Jerusalem: M-1/E 887/759; 03/3507.

·        The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem: HM8200, HM 8120, HM 7526.

·        Central Zionist Archive, Jerusalem: S.5-1801, S.5-1796, S.5-1707.

·        Material for the Yizkor book of Turek, by permission of the Organization of the Former residents of Turek in Israel: testimony of Eliezer Orbach and Icchak Orbach; testimony of Jonas Fersenszajn; article of Szraga Bar Sela.

·        Sz. Gilboa, Di Din Torah, in "Fon Letzten Hurban" 1947, Heft 6.

·        "Arbeter Zeitung" (Lodz) 31/10/1949; "Der Weker" 3.5.1933; "Hatzfira" 1878, 1884, 1887, 1893, 1897, 1912, 1914, 1917, 1918, 1920; "Kaliszer Woch" 6.5.1932; "Kaliszer Leben" 7.3.1930, 3.3.1931;  "Izraelita" 15.6.1877, 20.7.1877, 28.9.1899, 12.6.1908.


Translator’s comment

The Turek synagogue was damaged by fire but not destroyed. It was used as a storehouse after the war and is now the Turek Cinema. The front of the building had been removed recently when the cinema was built.

The town acknowledges the synagogue value to the Jewish people but refuses to renovate it.


(The District of Turek)

Page 221

Coordinates: 51°56' /  18° 33'

Translated by Ada Holtzman


Pinkas Hakehilot

Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities



Vol I


The Communities of Lodz and Its Region

Published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 1976

In the rural district of Kowale Pańskie only a few Jewish families lived before September 1939. During the Nazi occupation, on 20/10/1941, about 4,000 Jews from the district of Turek were deported to 16 villages around Kowale Pańskie. This Ghetto was also known as ghetto Czachulec, named after one of the villages around the area. The deportees were of the following communities in the neighborhood: Turek, Dobra, Uniejów, Władysławów, Pęczniew, Tuliszków and Brudzew. The Jews who were transported there, were scattered among the farmers, part of them lived in barns and other shattered buildings. Many of them remained a long period without any shelter in the field. They were employed in agricultural works and pavements of roads in the region.


A Judenrat for all the communities was founded, headed by Herszel Zimnawoda. The Judenrat took care of problems which arose from the relations with the local peasants. On November 4th, 1941, the Judenrat was ordered by the Germans to prepare a list of Jews who were incapable for work, and include also children under 12 and elders over 65 years old in the list of the "disabled for work". The chairman of the Judenrat did not want to take responsibility on such a list and asked the opinion of Rabbis who were among the deportees in the region of Kowale Pańskie. In the consultations that followed the following Rabbis participated: R' Dow Ber Issachar from Dobra; R' Pinchas Weiss from Turek; Rabbi Lewental from Uniejów and the Rabbi of Władysławów. After stressful discussions that lasted 2 days, the rabbis determined that the Judenrat chairman would submit the ordered list to the Germans. In order to save as much people as possible, the children age was increased and the age of the elders decreased. Part of the Jews who appeared on the list managed to escape to places in the Kalisz region where there were still Jews.


On November 8th, 1941, all the Jews from ghetto Kowale Pańskie were gathered in the village of Bielawki and there a selection was conducted. The Germans did not rely on the lists prepared by the Judenrat and they decided by themselves who will stay and will be deported. It was said that the commander of the Jewish police, Mordechai Strikowski helped to save children during the selection.


About 1,100 people who were declared as "incapable for work" were transported to the small town of Dobra and held for a few days in the local church overcrowded, under terrible conditions, without food or water. Many died in the church itself. Few tens of Jews managed to escape from the church in Dobra. The others were deported on 13-14.11.1941 to the death camp of Chełmno1).


Among the Jews who remained in Kowale Pańskie, a group of men was transported to forced labor near Poznań on Shavuoth (Pentecost) 1942. On June 20th, 1942, also some women were deported there. On June 23rd, 1942, 10 Jewish policemen were hung in a public execution. On July 20th, 1942, the liquidation of who ever remained in the ghetto of Kowale Pańskie started. The sick were murdered near one of the hill, some distance from the gathering place. The bandager Z. Stein did not wish to leave his sick patients so was shot with them. During the last aktzia (Action) other 12 Jewish policemen were murdered. All the rest were deported to the extermination camp Chełmno.





Yad Vashem Archive, documents: M-1/E 887/758, M-1/E 887/759, M-1/E 2171/1946

Sh. Gilboa –  Di Din Torah, in "fon letzten hurban" 1947, heft 6

Y. Waldman, di Chelmner tragedie, in "fon letzten hurban" 1946, heft 1.


1) The Polish researcher Krzysztof Gorczyca from the Konin Regional Museum comments: that the mass murder was 13-14.12.1941. He states that Chelmno began his activity since 8.12.1941. He adds:

"Sonderkommado Lange really began murdering Jews in September, Oktober and beginnig of November 1941, but not in Chelmno. They murdered Jews from rural ghettos Zagorow, Grodziec and Rzgow in forests near Rudzica and Kazimierz Biskupi in Konin area. To Chelmno they came about 15.XI.1941.

In the last months we edited a book 'Chelmno Witnesses Speak' in English. There you can find all information.

In original testimony of J. Waldman from 1945 are date December 13-14, 1941.

IThere are other sources."



Partial List of the Holocaust  Martyrs of Turek (Hebrew) (English)


Partial List of the Martyrs of  Rychwal (Hebrew) (English)


Partial List of the Martyrs of Tuliszkow (Hebrew) (English)




The Kibel Family


Bronia (Brucha) Kibel of Turek, Poland
Holocaust Survivor

Bronia was born in 1926 in Turek, Poland. Meyer Shlomo Bajrach,  grandfather, owned a row of houses on Ogrodowa where several families lived before the Holocaust. The family of Hersz Leiser Kibel  lived at Ogrodowa 10, Turek.


When the Nazis came to Turek in 1940, she was relocated to a ghetto.  From there she was sent to three concentration camps, Inowroclaw in 1940, Gnojno from 1941-1943 and Auschwitz from 1943-1944.  She then was sent to a labor camp, Reichenbach, on a death march to Zalcweidel, and then to Nederzachsen from which she was liberated in April, 1945.  After the war, she studied English and worked as a nurse at displaced persons camps in Germany.  She came to the United States in June, 1947.


Girl Friends



This is a picture of Bronia Kibel and her girl friends in Turek, Poland, probably in 1938 or 1939. Bronia is on the left (she is the shortest of the three girls). Bronia was born Brucha Kibel in Turek in 1926. Her parents were Bluma Bajrach and Hersz Leiser Kibel. Someone gave her the photo in Israel a few years ago. The two friends are Edka Landau (in the middle) and Henia Zomer (Somer). Both girls were school friends of Bronia’s in Turek. Her older sister was their leader in the basu from their Bais Yakov School. She says, the two girls were her best friends. In Birkenau they were all three on block 13b, camp A. In Turek, the Zomers lived on Kałagass (Kaliska). Her father made pots and pans. Etka Landau’s father was a bookkeeper. She lived on Kaliska Street. Bronia remembers that Henia Zomer was on the truck taking them to the gas chamber. Bronia jumped down, but Henia was afraid and did not want to jump. They both perished in the Holocaust.

Zeew Kibel

Holocaust Survivor

Zeew Kibel wrote a book about his experiences in the German  Concentration and death camps:

הסנה איננו אכל

נכתב וצולם ע"י ר' זאב קיבל הי"ו

"הלא זה אוד מוצל מאש" (זכריה ג:2)

י"ז אלול תרצ"ט - י"ז אלול תשמ"ט

לזכר חמישים שנה מהכרזת מלחמת העולם השניה

ותחילת השמדת ששה מליון יהודים

כל הזכויות שמורות ©

זאב קיבל

הפלוגה הדתית 4

בני ברק 51389

טלפון: 00-972-3-6194176

In Fire and Blood - The Bush Was Not Consumed

Is not This a Brand Plucked Out of The Fire? (Zechariah (III:2)

50 Years after the Outbreak of WWII

 Jerusalem: Ma’arekhet Mekon Zekher Naftali, 1989. 2 volumes.


Susan Pentlin adds:

Zeew Kibel was deported from Turek in July 1941 and sent to the Eichwald Labour Camp near Posen. After Posen he was in the Lodz ghetto.  Bronia saw him in Auschwitz as he arrived.  He survived Auschwitz, Dachau and Sachsenhausen...

He returned to Turek in 1990 and I believe the book has a section about his visit there when he was searching for Torah commentaries by R' Pinchas Weiss, the last rabbi of Turek. He did not locate them. He said somewhere in the book that he owed his life to God and his sister Brucha.


Kibel's Memoirs


The End: ChełmnoDeath Camp for Total Extermination

מחנה ההשמדה בחלמנו על נהר הנר (דו"ח חקירה 1946)

ולאדיסלאב בנדרז'  ( (Władyslaw Bednarz(שופט חוקר מחוזי): דו"ח הועדה הראשית לבדיקת פשעי הגרמנים בפולין. הדו"ח שנכתב זמן קצר אחרי תום המלחמה, הובא לארץ על ידי מר. זאב קיבל, תורגם במלואו על ידי רפאל יכין מארגון יוצאי טורק בישראל והוצא לאור על ידי הארגון, ת"א 1988.


חקירת העד מיכאל פודכלבניק (Michał Podchlebnik) מיום 9.6.1945   בקולו (Kolo), פולין




Association of Yotzei Turek  in Israel
Raphael Yechin,
Kalischer Street 5, Kfar Saba  44380

Telephones: home 972-9-765-9001
Yehuda Widawski,
Dizengoff 35, Tel Aviv  64282

Telephones: home 03-528-5947; work 03-537-3525


The first public bus in Turek, route: Konin - Turek - Łódż


ספר זיכרון לקהילת טורק וקדושיה

הוצא לאור ע"י ארגון יוצאי טורק בישראל, תל אביב 1982

עורך: אליעזר אסתרין



A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Turek, Poland

Published by the Turek Organization in Israel, Tel Aviv 1982

Hebrew, Yiddish, English, 468 pages

Edited by Eliezer Esterin


The Turek Yizkor Book On-line at the New York Public Library



Abraham Shlonsky

The Oath




 By these eyes that have seen the woe and the grief

Their outcries heaving to my hearts' embrace,

By this compassion which taught me:

Forgive till the time did come too awful for grace -

I have taken this oath: as I breathe and live,


To forget not a thing

Of that which took place

Till the tenth generation forget not,

Till each of my insults be completely assuaged,

Till the last of my lashes has chastened their lot

Cry heaven, if in vain passed that night of rage,

Cry heaven, if by morning I resume my trod, not learning the lesson taught me by this age



Table Of Contents
Translated by Ada Holtzman
Some of the photographs scanned by Susan Pentlin, PhD






    The Shtetl Turek (a Geographic and historic survey) Hebrew     14
    From the history of the Polish Jewry     11
    Turek during World War I   (Yiddish) 31
    The Jewish settlement from its beginning until the outbreak of World War II    According to Icchak Seife, Sz. Glube and A. Sz. Benkel 34
    The occupations of Turek Jews   Sz. Glube 40

The Committee of Zion Association in Turek (page37)
From right to left: Y. Aberstein, Sz. Bot, Icchak Seife, M. Warszawski, M. Szubinski,
L. Wajnrajch,
A. Starkman

    The beginning of the Weaving Industry in Turek   Abraham Szlomo Benkel (based on the stories of grandfather Eliezer Waks) 48
    The Weaving Industry   Israel Dawid Beth Halevi 50

The  Turek Jews' way of life

  • The Melamdim in Turek (teachers)

  • The Yeshiva in Turek (Talmudical college)

  • The  various activities of the Jewish community

  • Religious personnel (Hazanim - cantors, Shohatim - ritual slaughterers, shamashim - beadles)

  • Welfare and relief institutions

  • Parnasim & Dozores - supporters and Trustees of the community

  • Weddings and Kleizmerim (popular Jewish musicians)

  Icchak Seife and Akiwa Shmueli 52

The Jewish cemetery before the destruction


    Entertainment and theater in Turek     66

Moshe Seife in the play "Shaul & David" (page67)


Program of Purim celebration in 1918, signed: Czeresznia, Y. Seife, Sz. Glube, M. Warszawski (page70)

    The modern heder   Yochanan Kriza 72

The Rabbis of Turek

  • R' Baruch Bendet Gliksman

  • R' Dawid-Haim Braun

  • R' Hersz Lajb Waksman

  • R' Pinchas Wengrow

  Zeew Kibel and Icchak Seife 75

The world of Torah and good deeds which is gone

  • R' Mendel Szmul

  • R' Jakob Mas (Mordowicz)

  • R' Herszel Shochet (Zajler)

  • R' Alter Wajnrajch father of R' Eliezer Wajnrajch

  • R' Welwel Mozes

  • R' Israel Mosze Ziskind

  • R' Yehoshua Alter Glycenstein

  • R' Abraham Szubinski

  R' Icchak Yedidya Frenkel

"Mizrachi" movement in Turek: a scroll of memory in honor of Abraham Szubinski who was leaving for Eretz Israel (page 83)

    The Hassidim of Turek   Icchak Seife 85
The Cantor Przysucher with the choir conducted by Dawid Chaim Gold
page 57 (click to enlarge)
    The enlightenment movement in Turek   Icchak Seife 87
    The Zionist Movement   Icchak Seife 90

The "Turnverein" (Sport association)


The "Mizrachi" Movement in Turek  

Farewell certificate for Abraham Bikowski by the "Mizrachi" association in Turek (page 57)






Yehuda Aharon Widawski 100
    From the "Hatsfira" newspaper     107

The Zaks & Szczecinski families (few of many who lived of the textile industry)
(Page 53)


The boy scout pioneer movement ("Hashomer Haleumi")

The football team : "Shomriya"
From the right: Gdalya Rozenfeld, Yehuda Trzaskala, Abraham Rozenfeld, Chaim Biarka, Efraim Trzaskala, at the bottom: Majne Wolman, Mendel Menche   

  Szlomo Szubinski

"Hanoar Hazioni"  (the Zionist Youth) in Turek 1932; sited in the middle from the right: Yehuda Tondowski, Reznik - activist of the main management of the movement, Gerszon Leszczinski


    "Hanoar Hazioni" (the Zionist youth) Hachshara at the Szubinski House -  preparation to immigration to Eretz Israel (memoirs)   Nitza Katzir (Mekalisz) 124
    "Agudath Israel"   Rabbi Haim David Ojerbach 127
    "Linath Zedek"   Meir Jankelewicz 131
    The Artisan Association and the Popular Bank   Zeew Kibel 133
    The Union of the Jewish Tailors   Zeew Kibel 135
    The "Bund"   Y. Shachor 137
    The Communist Movement in Turek   Z. K. 141
    In the Shtetl Turek (Hebrew)  

Kalman Hajszrek (from his book "in Fire and Blood")


The writer, Kalman Hajszrek, native of Turek, with Hilel Zeitlin (page 143)

    -"- (Yiddish)   -"- 148
    The alyia from Turek and its contribution to the erection of Eretz Israel   Y. Shachor 153
    The Pat Family   Icchak Seife 159
    The family Kriza   Yochanan Kriza 162
    Eliahu Stempa ("Elia")     165

The unforgettable Jewish Turek

  • R' Aba Szajnyak

  • Righteous women

  • Father's home, the lithography

  • My friend Zalman from Siedlce

  • The effect of the Enlightenment Period and Zionism

  Rafael Litmanowicz 167
    I am a native of Turek   Mosze Rozetti 176
    The Shtetl       Michael Kopel 179
    Once Upon a Time...     Szlomo  Szubinski 182

Turek town of the spring of my life 

The family of Aharon Jakobowicz   (page193)

  Michael Lewi  (Mendel) Ben Mordechai 188

Persons and images (memoirs)

  • Jakob Kiwala "Jakob Yah"

  • The Rosz family

  • Hagar and her husband Hersz-Michael

  • Szlomo Treger (Goldstein)

  • Dawid-Lajbusz who had 6 fingers

  • The "Boidemete" beggar

  • Towards the Sabbath in Turek

  Yona Mendelblat z"l 195
    The shtetl Turek - "Hamatmid" school in Ramat Gan, Israel,  has adopted and commemorated the shtetl Turek 200

Class of elementary school in Turek, the teachers are in the first row

    The blind Gabriel  - one of the typical person of the shtetl - written by a pupil in the 8th grade of "Hamatmid" Ramat Gan, Israel   Hadasa Szubinski 201
    The children's manner of life   Hadasa Szubinski and Moti Rozenberg 202

Mosze Fajnkind (public activist, writer and historian)

  Icchak Seife 203
    R' Yehoszua Alter (Glicenstein)   Abraham Szlomo Benkel 207

Chanoch (Henrik, Enrico) Glicenstein (1870-1942), the  great  artist, biography;

Translated poems


Chanoch Glicenstein

R' Joel son of Josef Poyre, pained by Chanoch Glicenstein, native of Turek (page218)

  Emanuel Romano (the artist's son) 217
    The artist in his home birth  (speech in the remembrance ceremony to Henrik Gilcenstein in Tel Aviv 1942)   Yehuda Frenkel 217
    Kalman Hajszrek   Icchak Seife
The family of Michael Seife
                                       (page 61)
    Cwi Bikowski   Icchak Seife 224
    Cwi Bikowski (one of the foundation men)   Cwi Livna 226
    To the memory of Cwi Bikowski   Yona Mendelblat z"l 227
    We learned from him   Rachel and Jakob Kohensztam 229
    R' Abraham Piotrekowski and his family immigrate to Eretz Israel   A. Kriza 230
    Mosze Warszawski   Icchak Seife 232
    Icchak Warszawski  

Icchak Warszawski received a medal from Aba Even for his Zionist activities (Page 236)

    A truthful man - about the personality of Knesset (Israel Parliament) member: R' Szlomo Zalman Jankelewicz son of Jakob   Meir Jankelewicz 241
    The convincing speaker  (following the death of R' Zalman Ben Jakob)   A. Rivlin 244
    Icchak Wartski, a great scholar   Icchak Seife 247
    Icchak Izidor Wartski   George Weber 251
    In memory of Icchak      
    Eliezer Wajnrajch   Yochanan Kriza 255

R' Jakob Rubinstein

The Rubinstein family (Page 256)

  A. Spinka 256
    R' Henoch Berfman  

Y. Kriza                
Aba Barfman near the tombstone of his father in the Turek Jewish cemetery before the Holocaust: R' Hanoch Henech Barfman, son of Yechiel died  3.12.1926 (Page 259)

    R' Simcha Bunim Merber   R' Szmuel (Semek) Rozenboim Vardi (grandson) 260
    The members of the Zionist Committee in Turek   Sz. Sz. 262
r'   R' Zeew Wolf Mozes (Mozisz) (from the book "The History of Kalisz Jews", 1961, pages 206-208)   Israel Dawid Beit-Halewi 263
    Israel Kohen (Kohan)     265
    Israel Kiwala     267
    Aharon Sztarkman     268
    A distinguished person: Yehuda Tondowski   Szraga Bar Sela (Stempa) 269
    Icchak Bernstein (from the book "Plock", page 407)     271

The Gymnasium in Turek where Jewish students studied as well
page 271

    Eliahu Rozenboim (from a memorial booklet published by Kibbutz Usha 1945)   Szlomo Szubinski 273

"הצבי ישראל על במותיך חלל איך נפלו גיבורים!" (שמואל ב' א' 19)

"Thy glory O Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!" (II Samuel I;19) Sons of  Turek  who befell in battle during WWII, the Jewish Brigade and Israel wars for independence

Gad son of Mordechai and Lea  Ben-Shalom (née Tauba)

Chaim son of Abraham Goldys (of the Bykowski family)

Jakob son of Mosze and Bluma Noifeld

Yair son of Mosze and Towa Zys née Szubinski

Yosef son of Dawid and Regina Kopel

Jakob son of Mosze and Janina Szilah née Lewinski

Michal son of Jakob Izbicki

Miriam daughter of Meir and Melcia Binstok
Rafael son of Eliezer and Rachel Wajnrajch

Szlomo son of Yochanan and Cyla Kopel

Szlomo son of Abraham Deser

Blessed be their memory!


The Holocaust 1939-1945



The history of the Holocaust





To remember or not to remember

  • At least 600 years

  • Poland is being conquered

  • Source of evil (a poem)


Jakob Beser son of Zalman

    How it started   Ajzik Rasz 291

The destruction of Turek Jewish community

(according to testimonies of Ajzik Rasz, Miriam Zajdenberg and the author)

  • How it started - nomination of the Judenrat

  • The first persecutions

  • A ghetto erected

  • The synagogue set on fire

  • The abuse of the melamed (teacher)

  • From what did the Jews live of in the ghetto?

  • The big deceit ("Kolonie")

  • Poznań force labour camp (Bar Sela)

  • In the "Kolonie"

  • The liquidation


Szraga Bar Sela (Stempa)

The Turek Ghetto: Szeroka Street ("Breite Gasse") (Page 301)



The suffering of the Turek girls


Miriam Zajdenberg (née Graundes "di Wajse" ("the White") written by Szraga Bar Sela



A Turek Jew pray on the Synagogue stairway (photographed by the Nazis) (page 304)


In those dreadful days - testimonies of Eliezer and Icchak Orbach

  Akiwa Shmueli 315

The Ten Martyrs executed in the "Kolonie" Kowale Pańskie,  in public hanging:

Zajman Mosze from Turek

Lewkowicz Chajmal from Turek

Noiman, son-in-law of Goldblum from Turek

Liek Icek Yudel from Uniejów

Jakobowicz Marian from Uniejów

Podchlebnik Machel from Dobra

Czoskola Szymon from Dobra

Gelbart from Tuliszków

Klein from Koło

Polkowski from Pęczniew

The two girls who were shot to death: Raur Bela and Krakocka Ester



The Jews of Turek during the Nazi occupation

  • 1st November 1939
    The transfer to the "Kolonie" Heidemühle (Kowale Pańskie)

  • The liquidation of the "Kolonie"

  • Public hanging (told by Rafael Yachin (Yachimowicz)

  • Building the bunker

  • The last "Aktion" (akcja) before the final liquidation

  • Summer of 1943 in ghetto Łódż

  • The spring of 1944

  • The liquidation of ghetto Łódż

  Szmuel Glube 320

-"- (Yiddish)

  -"- 341
    Memoirs by Yochewet Rozencwajg (Podchlebnik)   Michael Lewi 376
    My sufferings during WWII   Yona Fresajzen 380

The synagogue, how it looks today (page 314)


The grand synagogue of Turek - after the war the Poles converted it to a warehouse (Page 317)


My sufferings during WWII (Yiddish)

  Yona Fresajzen 391

In the ghetto and in the forests - Cypora Zomer (Tobiak) - interview by two pupils Eti Zomer and Mirit Radiwal

  • Introduction

  • The "Juden Kolonie"

  • Forced Labour camp in Poznań

  • The escape from Poznań

  • With the Polish family Blaszkowski and Aleksander and Juzefa Miliewo

  • The problems which occurred while I stayed at the Blaszkowski house

  • The end of the war

  • Searching my relatives

  Michael Lewi 405
    Władysławów (Russocice)     412

The deportation from Russocice; the Tobiak family is transferred to "Kolonie" Heidemühle (Kowale Pańskie) (page 412)

    A document from Chełmno(Yiddish & Hebrew)     414
    Chełmno - Death Camp   Jakob Waldman (survived the Nazi Holocaust but killed by Polish underground A.K. on 1.9.1945 416

Names of elderly men, sick and children who were shot on spot during the deportation to Chełmno  from the "Kolonie" on 27.7.1942:

Zamulek Stein, Lenczicki Szlomo from Uniejów who dug his own grave and shot there with his dumb deaf boy; grandfather Lajb Czelnik with grandmother; Warcki Luzer and his wife from Turek; Lisak from Turek; Szczeszynski Menachem from Turek; Berkowicz Gitel from Turek; Lubinski Chanoch from Turek;  Lewinowa from Turek; Katar Mordechai from Turek; Fajwisz Mendel from Turek; Czoskola from Turek; Berger Abraham from Uniejów; Eliasz Szlomo from Turek; Jakobowicz from Turek; Deser Jakob from Turek; Zalberg Issaschar from Turek; Friedland Yeszaya from Brudzew; Bild Josef from Turek; Muchnicki from Turek; Czoskola Szmuel from Turek; Tauba Abraham from Tuliszków

    Rychwal (Konin District)  

The Zionist Youth Movement in Rychwal (click to enlarge) (page 423)

    Tuliszków (Konin District)     424
    The speech of Rabbi Icchak Yedidia Frenkel (chief rabbi of Tel Aviv)  in the annual Remembrance Assembly of Turek Jews year 5726 (1966)     425

Remembrance Assembly of Turek Jews in Tel Aviv (page426)

    Turek after the Holocaust   Icchak Frenkel 428

Various speeches from the Remembrance Assemblies held in Tel Aviv for Turek Jews

  • 14 Av, 5628 (8.8.1968)

  • 13 Av, 5629 (28.7.1969)

  • 14 Av, 5630 (16.8.1970)

  • 13 Av, 5632 (24.7.1972)

  • 14 Av 5634 (1.8.1974)

  Benjamin Seife 429

A symbolic funeral of human remains brought to Eretz Israel from Chelmno death camp by Yehuda Szmul Kawecki. Prayer for exaltation of  the martyrs souls read by the cantor R' Abraham Bokowski, from Turek Yizkor book  (page 427)


Meir Rubinski, among Turek oldest immigrants to Eretz Israel ("Olym"), near the memorial for Turek Jews in Nachlat Yitzhak cemetery Givataiim, Israel (page 430)

    "You Will Tell It to Your Son..."   Szraga Bar Sela (Stempa) 435
    Remember! Do Not Forget! (Hebrew), (English)   M. L. 439

Partial list of the Holocaust  Martyrs of Turek, Rychwal & Tuliszkow (Hebrew)

The necrology list (translation to English)

    The Vow   Abraham Shlonski 451
    Bibliography     452
    Corrections pf typos and mistakes     453
    The English Part  



Certificate from KK"L (The Jewish national Fund):

2500 trees were planted in the  the Jewish Polish Martyrs  forest, near Jerusalem, in memory of the martyrs of Turek, perished during the bloody rule of the Germans in WWII (page 434)



The Family Szubinski

Moshe Shubinsky of U.K.  contributed this photograph and added the captions, in memory of the Szubinski Family of Turek

Mr. Icek Szubinski (my father) at the very back left hand side.
Awram  Szubinski and Chana Szubinska (my grandfather and grandmother) - front row seated on chairs on the right hand side.
Szlomo Szubinski (my uncle) in the centre of the fron row, with a smart light suit.
The two children in the middle of the front row, seated on the ground, I think are Heindrick Szubinski and Blumcha Szubinski, my cousins, who perished in the Holocaust, Heindrick in Posen and Blumcha in Chelmno.
In the picture appears also be their father Mosze Szubinski and their mother Genia, née Dzialoshinski, also perished in Chełmno.
My aunt, Rachel Rubinstein (née  Szubinski) and her husband and children  are also pictured. Rachel perished at Treblinka.
Unfortunately I do not know for sure who all the others are but I did have another uncle Szulem and his wife Edith, who may be in the picture and other relatives I do not know about.
I think the picture was taken in 1933 on the eve of my uncle Szlomo's emigration to Palestine.

Shlomo Shubinsky: "Once Upon a Time"

Bais Yaakov  בית יעקב Girls School in Turek

Photograph and captions contributed by Bronia (Brucha) Kibel with Susan Pentlin, PhD


Hebrew School for Orthodox Girls in Turek, Poland. The younger girls were basu, the older ones benos. Probably taken in 1938 or 1939. (1) Bronia Kibel is wearing a dark dress.2) the girl wearing a sailor suit on the left was Sura Precel, (3) This student was older and Bronia has forgotten her name. Then there is (4) Mania Neiman whose father made and sold pots and pans. She was Bronia's best friend (5) Henja Rakowna, then (6) Henja Lepkowitz (turned to the side), (7) Henja Włójczka (8)? Urbach is wearing a white collar. She was red-headed. (9) ? Działoszinska is seated next to her. She wore two braids. (10) Sura Zomer (Somer) was the group leader. She is also wearing a white collar. Zomer married a man named Rosenzweig and they went to Israel.There were three Zomer sisters. They lived in the Kałagass (Kaliska in Polish). To Zomer's left is a (11)? Pulwermacher. She also survived. Seated on the front row is:(12) the little girl in the sailor dress. Bronia does not remember her name. To her left is (13) Surcia Weinstein, then in the middle is (14) Czecia Speyer (she had an older sister named Mila) and (15) on her right is a new student named ? Karbonkel. She was from Cracow. Her father was a lawyer. (16) is a girl from the Kiwala family. (17) Hannah Ruchal Kibel, a cousin of Bronia's. Her parents were Mordechai and Cirla Kibel, Bronia's aunt and uncle. Cirla was also a Kibel by birth and she came from Zdunska Wola.

 The photograph was published in a book in Kansas City called From the Heart but only Bronia Kibel is identified in that book. Then Bronia Kibel identified the other girls.


The photograph appears in the book where the photo appears at the book: 
From the Heart : Life Before and After the Holocaust - A Mosaic of Memories (Hardcover)
by MCHE - Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Published by The Kansas City Star, 2001. The book can be ordered from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education 5801 West 115th Street, Suite 106 Overland Park, KS 66211-1800 Phone (913) 327-8190 Fax (913) 327-8193
It can be ordered at:  http://www.mchekc.org 

This is the same web site where a realplayer clip of Bronia is located. And there is also a video of Kansas City survivors produced by the Center which has Bronia on it: Through our Own Eyes which can be ordered on the site.  
I thank the MCHE Executive Director for the jpeg of the photo, Jean Zeldin; email: jeanz@mchekc.org. The photo itself belongs to Bronia. She gave MCHE permission to send Susan Peltin the jpeg for the the zchor web site.

Commemoration 2003 הנצחה

Turek Association of Israel ("Landsmanschaft") erected a memorial at the Jewish Cemetery in Turek. The mayor, local dignitaries, the rabbi of Lodz, and a delegation of Israeli Turek descendants attended the dedication on 25 Aug. 2003. No Matzevot (Tombstones) remain in the cemetery. A few original stones stand at the Chelmno Memorial, the site where the majority of Turek Jews perished.

 Susan Pentlin PhD

The commemoration of the Jewish cemtery  thanks to the Turek municipality, Machra Adamow and descendants of the families: Aberstein, Bikowski, Widawski, Seife,   Jachimowicz, Marber, Trzaskala, Kibel,  Rozencwajg (Podchalebnik),  Szmul, Szubinski,  Apt, Guttmacher, Plotka, Rasz, L. Seiffe

The memorial monument in the Turek cemetry, made out of broken Matzevot (Moshe Shubinsky to the left)
(click to enlarge)

The mission group for the dedication ceremony, August 2003

Turek Today

View of old Market Square in Turek, Poland looking west. 2003. To the left, is the town hall.

View of old Market Square in Turek, Poland looking east. 2003. In the center, is the Catholic Cathedral, built in 1910.

Source: They were taken by Marcus Byruck, whose grandfather was Meyer Shlomo Bajrach of Turek, Poland when he was in Turek in the summer of 2003


Konin Regional Museum


Tel: +48 63 2427599  Fax: +48 63 2427431

Muzeum Okręgowe w Koninie

62-505 Konin ul. Muzealna 6



The memorial tombstone of Turek martyrs in Nachlat Yitzhak cemetery Givataiim, Israel
"Bones of the Holocaust martyrs of Turek, murdered in Chelmno extermination camp on Av 14, 5702

(July 28th,  1942)

I thank Ellen Stepak and Rose Feldman of the IGS for this photograph - part of the IGS project in progress:

Memorial for the Vanished Communities




Yad Vashem


Yad Vashem Hall of Names


J. R. I.


1929 Business Directory Turek (goto page 995)


JewishGen The Home of Jewish Genealogy


JGFF The JewishGen Family Finder


JewishGen Yizkor Books database


JewishGen Holocaust Database


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