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 has been 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)

Częstochower Folklore During the Nazi Period (220-222)

“Aryan Papers” (223-225)

Obłway – Round-Ups and Manhunts (225-229)

Selections (230-234)

Propraganda (234-236)

The Murderers of Częstochowa Jewry (237-246)

The Development of Events in the “Small Ghetto” and Its Liquidation (247-257)

Life in HASAG-Pelcery and Its Organisational System (257-261)

Selections in HASAG-Pelcery (262-263)

Life in HASAG-Pelcery, Until November 1944, Following the Selection on 24th July 1943 (263-269)

Dr. Bresler (270-271)

Bartenschlager’s Rule in HASAG-Pelcery – From November 1944 to 16th January 1945 (271-274)

The Fate of Those Removed From HASAG-Pelcery (274-277)

The Evacuation Transport from Częstochowa to Buchenwald (277-281)

Life in the Dora Concentration Camp (281-291)

What is a Kapo? (291-292)

The Evacuation from Dora to Bergen-Belsen (293-295)

Liberation in Bergen-Belsen (295-297)

Częstochowa’s [Surviving] Remnant (301-311)

Speech by Estera Epsztajn (312-313)

Speech by Henoch Pradelski (314-316)

Speech by Dr Cwi Kantor (317-319)

Speech by Benjamin Orenstein (319-321)

Speech by Aron Gelbard (321-324)

Speech by Cwi Rozenwajn (324-326)

Speech by Dr. Szmul Gringauz (327-327)

Speech by Mendel Goldberg (327-328)

Speech by Chaim Sztajer (328-328)

Poems by Szulim Bergman (329-332)

Second Congresses of the Liberated in the American Zone (333-334)

Częstochowa Delegation at the Unveiling of a Monument in Mallersdorf (335-336)

Life Goes On (337-337)

Isroel-Josef Kutner z’’l (338-340)

Efrojim-Nechemje Trombkowski z’’l  (341-343)

Introduction  (347-347)

Religious Authorities – Rabbi Nachum Asz z’’l  (348-349)

Religious Authorities – Rabbi Mojsze Halter z’’l  (350-350)

Religious Authorities – The Częstochower Maggid (350-351)

Religious Authorities – Rabbinical Judges [Dayanim] (351-352)

Religious Authorities – Ritual Slaughterers [Shochtim] (352-353)

Cantors – Abram-Ber Birenbaum z’’l [and Zyskind Rozental, Josef Badasz] (353-356)

Artists – Professor [Icchak] Zaks (356-357)

Artists – Ajzyk Karpiel (357-358)

Artists – Professor [Perec] Wilenberg (358-359)

Synagogue Custodians [Shamoshim] – Urn Shames (359-360)

Synagogue Custodians [Shamoshim] – Kalman Szczekacz (361-361)

Synagogue Custodians [Shamoshim] – Majer Biczner (362-362)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Szmul Goldsztajn (362-363)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Josef [sic Jakób] Rozenberg (363-363)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Chaim Weksler (363-364)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Szmul Niemirowski (364-366)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Icyk-Mendel Epsztajn (366-368)

Jewish Kehilla Presidents [& Public Figures] – Abram Działowski (368-368)

Philanthropists – Henryk Markusfeld (369-370)

Philanthropists – the Zygman, Markowicz and Helman Families (370-370)

Philanthropists – Emanuel Wajcenblat (371-371)

Philanthropists – Icze Rotholc (“Porper”) (371-372)

Philanthropists – Dr Hipolit Gajsler (372-372)

Philanthropists – Dr Arnold Bram (373-373)

Philanthropists – Icchok-Majer Krel (373-374)

Paramedics [Felczerzy] – Kopel Kijak (374-375)

Paramedics [Felczerzy] – Wolf [sic Dawid] Windman (375-375)

Women in the Financial Arena (375-376)

Booksellers – Henoch Lapidus and Emanuel Bajgele (376-377)

Booksellers – Fiszel Zajdman (377-378)

The Press – Bocian, Kac and Wajsberg (378-379)

The Press – Editor Ido [Izydor Izaak] Siemiatycki (379-381)

The Press – A. Ch. Sziper (381-382)

The Press – Mojsze Gotlib (382-382)

Teachers – Szacherowna (382-383)

Teachers – Lajbel Landau (383-385)

Sport – Jewish Sportsmen (385-386)

Sport – Efroim (Fredek) Szmaragd (386-387)

Actors – Szaja Borensztajn (389-389)

Actors – Chaim Orbach (389-390)

Częstochower Klezmers (390-391)

Local Characters – Szaje’le Kromołowski (391-392)

Local Characters – Three Noteworthy Families (393-393)

Local Characters – The “Toughs” (393-394)

Local Characters – Organ Grinders & Thieves (394-394)

Local Characters – Królowa [Queen] Jadwiga (395-395)

Local Characters – Madmen (395-396)

Calendar [Chronology] & Yuhrzeits (397-399)

Protocols of Authentication (400-400)

Material Sources (401-403)

Bibliography (404-405)

To All the Częstochower Landsmannschaften and Landsleit (407-407)

In Eternal Memory – Part 1 (409-436)

In Eternal Memory – Part 2 (437-463)


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.