Collecting the Memories

- for us and for future generations

Over many years, many Holocaust survivors have documented their memories in different languages and in different methods – through printed, limited-edition memoirs, in video documentaries, in written, photographic and/or video testimonies for Yad Vashem, the USC Shoah Foundation, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, in local Holocaust museums and more.

For us and for future generations, these memories and testimonies are of the greatest historical importance, as they represent survivors and witnesses telling us their own stories of what occurred in Częstochowa before, during and after the Holocaust. They also tell of these survivors’ post-War fates – whether they immigrated to Israel, to elsewhere in the world or whether they remained in Poland

As these survivors and witnesses sadly leave us, by preserving their stories, we will enable them to continue to speak to us “from beyond the grave”.

We launched this project – “Collecting the Memories – so that, under the “one roof” of our website, we can endeavour to centralise all those personal stories – published, through whatever media and in whatever language – so that they may be preserved for posterity.


SIMPLY CLICK ON EACH NAME TO VIEW THE COLLECTION OF MEMORIES

HALINA BARKANI nee SZMULEWICZ was born in Częstochowa in June 1926.

In 1998, she published “Memories of Częstochowa”, the story of her life in Częstochhowa and of her survival from the Holocaust.

Click HERE to read her story in HEBREW.

Hanka Batista-Rozyn was born in Czestochowa in August 1937

As a five-year-old, her mother left her on a bridge in central Częstochowa, with instructions to go a specific woman.

This is the story of Hanka’s survival and of Henryk and Gertruda Zielonka, the couple who, in June 1943, took in Hanka, thereby saving her life.

On 12th April 1993, the Zielinka couple were honoured, by Yad Vashem, with the title of “Righteous Among the Nations”.

Click HERE to read Hank’s story in HEBREW.
Click HERE to read Hank’s story in POLISH.
Click HERE to read the story of how the Zielonka couple saved Hanka (in ENGLISH).
Click HERE to watch Hanka tell her story (in HEBREW with ENGLISH sub-titles).

Dov Ben Ya’akov (Bolek) was born in Częstochowa in 1914.

In this document, he writes, in great detail, about the Częstochowa ghetto and states, “We asked ourselves again and again, during the time in our ghetto and after the War, how did it happen that, despite the information we received, the beginning of the revolts came so late?”

Click HERE to read the original HEBREW text.
Click HERE to read the ENGLISH translation.

Menachem Besserglik dated his original Yiddish-language manuscript 20th December 1945.

As such, his writing about the German occupation of Częstochowa were derived from very recent experiences and memories.

If anyone knows of an English language translation, please advise our Webmaster.

Click HERE to read the original YIDDISH document.

Click HERE to read the HEBREW translation.

ISAAC BIRKENSZTADT was born in Częstochowa in March 1923.

In a very, comprehensive manner, Isaac tells the story of his family, his wartime experiences and his fate after the War, including proudly presenting his own descendants.

Click HERE to read the original document in HEBREW.

BERL BLAUWEISS was born in Częstochowa in 1926.

In a collection of ten notebooks, he wrote, in Yiddish, his memoirs about the Częstochowa ghetto.

An attempt was made to translate them in Hebrew, however this was only partially successful due to the text being difficult to decipher.

Click HERE to view the notebook manuscripts.

Dorka Bram-Sternberg was born in Czestochowa in 1926.

Two notes were buried, in the ground in a bottle, beside the graves of twenty-five Jews who were murdered, on 4th January 1943, in the Second Aktion in the Small Ghetto in Czestochowa. The notes were discovered during the exhumation and transfer of the victims to a permanent grave following liberation. Included here is a brief testimony from Dorka Bram-Sternberg, who witnessed the murder of the twenty-five Jews.

Click HERE to view the images.

After the War, in Hebrew, she wrote detailed memoirs about her experiences in Częstochowa from the outbreak of the War, on 1st Deptember 1939, until 23rd March 1950.

Click HERE to read the document.

DAVID BRAUNER is a Holocaust survivor from Częstochowa.

In 1999, he gave a video testimony to Yad Vashem about his memories of life in the Częstochowa Ghetto.
Click HERE to view that Yad Vashem testimony.

In 2013, he gave another video testimony to Yad Vashem, this time about his life and about how he survived the Holocaust.
Click HERE to view Part 1 of that Yad Vashem testimony.
Click HERE to view Part 2 of that Yad Vashem testimony.

Originally written in Yiddish, this work, by Liber Brener, Viderstand un Umkum in Czenstochower Ghetto [“Resurrection and Destruction in the Częstochowa Ghetto”], is an expansion and reworking of a diary which the author continued for a long time while in the ghetto and in the camp.

Following liberation, he restored his memoirs, verifying and completing them through a series of German, Polish and Yiddish documents, as well as testimonies from other Jewish survivors of the Częstochowa ghetto.

Click HERE to read the HEBREW translation.

Click HERE to read the ENGLISH translation.

(Note: As the English translation is not one carried out through our own Yizkor Book Project,
we do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.)

This document is a translation into French and is entitled “An Episode in the Częstochowa Ghetto”.

It centres around the liquidation of the ghetto, which commenced on 22nd September 1942.

Click HERE to read the document.

DAVID and SIMA FORBERG met in 1944 in HASAG-Pelcery, the slave labour camp in Częstochowa.

Despite the incredible odds which they faced, they not only survived the camp, but have survived over 60 years of marriage.

In 2010, an award-winning video documentary was made of their story.

Click HERE to view their story.

CHAIM FREITAG was born in Częstochowa in 1920.

In 1997, Chaim returned to Częstochowa. His visit was filmed. During the journey back to his roots, Chaim talks about life in the Częstochowa ghetto, the liquidation of the ghetto and of the murder of his parents and his two sisters.

Click HERE to view the video.

We know little about W. GLIKSMAN.

In the text, written in Hebrew and French, he writes about the Częstochowa ghetto in the years 1942-1943 – which includes its liquidation.

If anyone knows more about this writer, please email the Webmaster.

Click HERE to view the document.

JAKOB GLIKSON was born in Częstochowa in 1927.

In 1946, in a notebook, Jakob wrote his memories of the transition from the beautiful city of Częstochowa to life in a ghetto. He also describes his journey to Buchenwald, as well as his arrival at and liberation from Theresienstadt. After completing the writing of his testimony, the notebook remained closed and was not opened again until after Jakob’s death in 1986. Using excerpts from that notebook, his daughter Judy Glikson Pasternak has written her father’s story.

Click HERE to read Jakob’s story in HEBREW.
Click HERE to read, in ENGLISH, why his daughter Judy wrote her father’s story.

RUBIN HERSZLIKOWICZ (HERSCH) was born in Częstochowa in 1921. ROSE (nee GORSET) was born in Częstochowa in 1922.

They survived the Częstochowa ghetto, HASAG-Pelcery and a post-War Displaced Persons Camp.

In 2006, their grandsons, Jeffrey and Joshua Hersch, produced a video testimony by their grandparents in order to fulfill a mitzvah project prior to Joshua’s Bar-Mitzvah. At the time when they produced the video, Jeffrey was 16 years old and Joshua was 13 years old. So, considering this, the video, entitled “We Must Never Forget”, is exceptional!

Prior to this, Rubin and Rose had never shared their stories with anyone. They were scheduled to be interviewed for Spielberg’s Shoah archive, but they backed out at the last minute.

In this video, they talk about their lives in Częstochowa, before and during the Holocaust, and also about their post-War fate.

Click HERE to view the video in English.

Several years ago, after a “Birthright” visit to Israel, their grandson Jeffrey Hersch, decided to travel to Poland. During that trip. he visited Częstchowa. He decided to share that experience with the World Society, as part of our “My Częstochowa” project.

Click HERE to read, in English, the impression this visit made upon him.

In 1945, the author writes a lengthy, Yiddish-language document about the establishment and activities of the Jewish underground in the Częstochowa ghetto.

If anyone know more about the author, please contact the Webmaster.

Click HERE to read the document.

GABRIEL HOROWITZ was born in Częstochowa in September 1934.

Having escaped from the Częstochowa ghetto, he and his family were rescued by Wacław and Helena Miłowski, both of whom were later honoured with the title of “Righteous Among the Nations”.

Click HERE to read Gabriel’s story in ENGLISH.
Click HERE to read Gabriel’s story in HEBREW.
Click HERE to read Gabriel’s story in POLISH.

HERSZ JEDLINSKI was born in Częstochowa on 17th December 1918.

He survived the Częstochowa ghetto and the HASAG-Pelcery slave labour-camp, while his entire family was deported to Treblinka.

Finding himself alone, he left for France, where he found his two sisters who had settled there before the War.

His daughter and son-in-law, ELIANE and CLAUDE UNGAR, have carried out extremely in-depth research into Hersz Jedlinski and his Częstochowa family. The extent of their research is amazing and the presentation of the results of this research is not only informative, but exceptionally beautiful.

Click HERE to read, in FRENCH, the story of Hersz Jedlinski and his family.

DEVORA KANTAROWICZ was born in Łódż in December 1926.

When the War broke out, her family moved to Częstochowa to join relatives there.

Devora iss a survivor of the Częstochowa ghetto and the HASAG-Pelcery slave-labour camp.

In August 2000, she gave a video testimony to the Yad Vashem Institute, in which she talks about her childhood in Poland and her surviving the Holocaust.

Click HERE to view that testimony in Hebrew.

JUREK KIRSZENBAUM was born in Częstochowa in 1929,

His story, as told by his wife Marta, tells of his family, his experiences in the ghetto and his incredible survival in HASAG-Pelcery. It also tells of how he gave evidence in a German trial, as an eye-witness, against one of the most brutal German officers in that slave-labour camp.

Click HERE to read his story in HEBREW.
Click HERE to read his story in ENGLISH.

LEW KUSZNIR was born in Częstochowa in August 1911. As a talented painter, in his youth, he served as assistant to Professor Perec Willenberg, when he painted the ceiling of the Old Synagogue on ul. Mirowska. Before the War, he also worked as a photographer in Częstochowa.

Lew Kusznir survived the Holocaust in the Częstochowa ghetto and in HASAG. Thanks to his many photographs, we are able to see Jewish life in Częstochowa immediately after the War. His collection of photographs can be found in the archives of Yad Vashem, the Ghetto Fighters House and, thanks to the approval of his daughter Dr. Barbara Refaeli, they can also be found on display in the Czestochowa Jewish Museum.

In 1995, Lew Kusznir recorded a testimony for Yad Vashem in which he talks about Czestochowa, the ghetto and HASAG during the German occupation until the liberation by the Russians. He describes his employment, by the Germans, in painting, photography and graphics while, at the same time, he forged documents for Jews and the underground. He emigrated to o Israel in 1950.

Click HERE to read Lew Kusznir’s Yad Vashem testimony in HEBREW.

MICHAŁ LAJZEROWICZ was born in Częstochowa in 1927.

In a Hebrew-language video testimony given to Yad Vashem in January 1992, Michał talks about his family, life in Częstochowa before the War, life in the ghetto during the War, his arrival in the Treblink death camp, his escape from Treblinka, his return to Częstochowa and his immigration to Israel in 1946.

Click HERE to view Michał Lajzerwicz’s Yad Vashem testimony.

Efroim Majerowicz was born in Łódż in 1914, from where he arrived in Częstochowa on 14th Deccmber 1939.

His memoirs, written in Polish and translated into Hebrew, feature life in the ghettoes of Częstochowa and Hrubieszów. They cover the period from the beginning of the War until his escape from a camp. 

Click HERE to read his memoirs.

ZVI MOTLYŃSKI was born in 1910, BELLA (nee HECHT) in 1920.

In her memoirs, Bella Motolyński  recounts her time at the HASAG-Pelcery slave-labour camp in Częstochowa, where she ended up following the liquidation of the “Small Ghetto” in June 1943.

HASAG-Pelcery comprised several departments and factories, one of which was the Rekalibrirung, where Bella and around seven hundred other labourers worked from 7am until 7pm. The Department cleaned the ammunition pods of anti-aircraft guns. These pods were placed into boiling water from a boiler and, while they were still hot, the labourers extracted them, by hand, and arranged them into crates. Needless to say, they suffered constantly from burns. Their living conditions were very poor. In the morning, they received a slice of bread and “black coffee”, at noon a slice of bread and a little “soup” and, in the evening, nothing.

On 15th January 1945, when the Germans heard that the Russians were approaching. They fled so quickly, in the middle of a meal, that they left behind plates of food on tables. In the evening, when it was certain that the Germans had left, the forced laborers entered the warehouses and the German staff houses and took everything they could – weapons, kitchenware, clothes, etc.

Bella took a soup bowl of soup bearing the HASAG logo. She kept it for many years and, in 2002, she donated it to Yad Vashem.

The bowl bearing the HASAG logo

Click HERE to read Zvi Motlyński’s story in Hebrew.
Click HERE to read Bella Motlyński’s story in Hebrew.

It appears that, when the War broke out, JAKOB PYTEL was a bookkeeper/accountant in Częstochowa.

This document, written in Polish, concerns Częstochowa’s Jews under Nazi occupation in 1942.

According to notations, this document was written into evidence at the Nuremberg trials.

Click HERE to read the document.

NAOMI ZOHAR nee ZANDER was born in Częstochowa in 1920. She survived the Holocaust, left for Israel and settled on Kibbutz Gesher.

Click HERE to read her autobiography in HEBREW.
Click HERE to read her thoughts, in HEBREW, about writing her autobiography.
In 2008, a HEBREW-language video was made telling of her life
entitled “Częstochowa to Kibbutz Gesher”.
Click HERE to view the video.

From the Webmaster:

Should you have any questions or would like to submit material for this project, please can contact:

Alon Goldman
(in the first instance)
Andrew Rajcher


If you should find that any links, contained within this page, are “broken”, please email the Webmaster:
Andrew Rajcher