Churban Czenstochow (1948)

"The Destruction of Częstochowa" - by Benjamin Orenstein

This Yizkor Book was published, in 1948, by the Central Administration of the Częstochower Landsmannschaft in the American Zone in Germany. Being published so soon after World War Two, when memories of the horrors are still fresh, it provides us with even more insights into the destruction of Częstochowa Jewry.

As Dr Filip Friedman states in the book’s Foreword:

The author set himself the task of encompassing the tragedy of the Częstochowa Jews as comprehensively as possible. He described it in the tone of the pulsating Jewish life in Częstochowa prior to the War. ….

I am sure that Orenstein’s work introduces much new information with the abundance of materials that he has gathered, with his comprehensiveness and descriptions and his systematic and transparent composition of the historical material. …..

It is a work which constitutes an important contribution to the historical research of the era of destruction, and is concurrently a worthy and earnest memorial to the Jewish community of Częstochowa …

In his introduction to the book, Dr Cwi Kantor writes:

… the book has been published in the Latin script. [In] this, the Central Administration has taken into account the fact that – to our great regret – there is still a great part of the Jews in Germany and overseas for whom it is difficult or who are completely unable to read any quadrilateral Yiddish letters.

[Webmaster: There are two Yizkor Books written with the same title – “Churban Czenstochow” – one by Szlomo Waga and, this one, by Benjamin Orenstein. As far as we know, this is the FIRST PROFESSIONAL, English-language translation of this book.]

This Yizkor book is being PROFESSIONALLY translated into English,
for the FIRST TIME, in its entirety!

The professional English translation of this Częstochowa Yizkor book has been made possible by the financial support of the

Wolf Rajcher z”l and Dora Rajcher z”l were both Holocaust survivors from Częstochowa.

They were prisoners in both the “Big Ghetto” and the “Small Ghetto” and, until liberation, were slave labourers in HASAG-Pelcery. Following the War, they emigrated to Melbourne Australia.

Upon the passing of both his parents, their son, Andrew Rajcher, established this charitable fund in their memory.

Click on PART No. HEADINGS to reveal chapters.
Chapters are listed in the order in which they appear in the Yizkor Book.
(The numbers in brackets, after each article, correspond to the appropriate page numbers in the book.)

Introduction (1-3)

Table of Contents (4-7)

Foreword – by Dr Filip Friedman (8-9)

The Book Churban Czenstochow – by Dr Cwi Kantor (10-11)

Introduction (12-17)

Excesses Against Jews in Częstochowa (18-22)

Economic Life (22-27)

Jewish Communal Life Before the War (27-33)

Political Life (33-36)

Cultural Life (37-47)

The Outbreak of the War (47-50)

“Bloody Monday” (51-53)

The First Days of the German Occupying Authorities (54-56)

The Establishment of the Judenrat (57-62)

The Unpaid Work Force (63-65)

“The White House” (65-67)

The Formation of the “Big Ghetto” (67-70)

The Jewish Police – Inspectorate of Street Traffic & Jewish Ordnungsdienst (70-72)

Life in the Ghetto (72-78)

The Workers Council (79-86)

The End of the Workers Council in the “Big Ghetto” (86-88)

The First Test Run & First “Resettlement” – 22nd September 1942 (89-94)

The First to be Barracked in HASAG-Pelcery (95-96)

Other Barracks Sites  (97-98)

The Second “Resettlement”  (98-100)

The Third “Resettlement”  (100-100)

The Fourth “Resettlement”  (100-100)

The Fifth “Resettlement”  (101-102)

The People in the Bunkers and Their Fate (102-119)

Selection Amidst the Ghetto Police (120-121)

The Möbellager (121-124)

Metalurgia (124-125)

Braland (125-126)

Ul. Garibaldiego (126-127)

Raków (128-130)

Enro (130-132)

Warta (132-136)

Częstochowianka (136-138)

The Underground Movement (139-145)

The Jewish Fighting Organisation [ŻOB] (146-151)

Production of Grenades in the Częstochowa “Small Ghetto” (151-154)

Mojtek Zylberberg (155-156)

Rywka Glanc (156-158)

Josl Kantor (158-159)

Nute Słomnicki (159-159)

Jechezkel Kantor (160-161)

Arje Mendelbaum (161-161)

Berl (Bolek) Gewercman (161-162)

Janek Krauze (162-164)

Izrael-Awigdor Szyldhaus (164-165)

Eliezer Szmulewicz (165-166)

Cwi Rozenwajn (167-169)

Gerszon Prętki (170-170)

Mojsze Lubling (171-172)

Bernard Kurland (172-174)

Marzej Krauze (174-178)

Mordche Herman (178-178)

Rozenberg (180-180)

Mojsze Domb [Dąb] (181-184)

The Role of Częstochowers in Treblinka (185-193)

The Formation of the “Small Ghetto” (194-195)

Life in the “Small Ghetto” (196-197)

The Attitude of the Polish Populace Towards the Persecuted Jews (198-200)

Jewish Communal and Cultural Life in the “Big Ghetto”, the “Small Ghetto” and the HASAG-Pelcery Camp (200-219)


Dave Horowitz-Larochette


While this English translation is available for download, it may not, either in part or as a whole, be distributed or published without the prior written permission of Andrew Rajcher, this English-language version copyright-holder.