Churbn Czenstochow (1949)

"The Destruction of Częstochowa" - by Szlomo Waga

This Yizkor Book was published in Buenos Aires, in 1949, by the Central Union of Polish Jewry in Argentina [Unión Central Israelita Polaca en la Argentina].

In his review of this book, published in the Czenstochov (1958) Yizkor Book, Dr. W. Gliksman writes:

“Szlomo Waga’s book is based mainly on personal experiences. In the book, no other sources or testimonies are presented other than the events which the author lived through himself and to which he was eyewitness…..

Certain events, such as “Bloody Monday” for instance, which caused the author himself to become azakładnik’ [hostage], Waga describes more comprehensively. In others, he limits himself to a briefer account….

Waga also did not fail to note the moral descent of the elements which served in the police force. It is understood that the element, in general, is being dealt with here and not individual, good people ‐ exceptions. Waga witnessed the debauchery of the constables, high officials of the ‘Judenrat’ and similar servants [of the Nazis] at the city’s night locales, while the masses of people were starving. Here, above all, the martyrdom of the children emerges, who were the providers of livelihood for poor homes…..”

In translating this Yizkor Book, every effort has been made to translate, as accurately as possible, the Yiddish text and to transliterate (and double-check) the names of people and places as they would have been spelt in a historically, accurate manner (surnames may have been changed post-War). This includes the use of Polish diacritics where appropriate. (Such care and research may not have been carried out in translations of this Yizkor Book appearing elsewhere.)

This Yizkor book, in its entirety, has been professionally translated into English.

The professional English translation of this 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.

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 Yizkor Book.)

Introduction (1-6)

Table of Contents (7-8)

I – The Germans in Częstochowa (9-10)

II – “Bloody Monday” (11-16)

III – Under the Nazi Yoke (12-26)

IV – More Mortal Fear (26-30)

V – Pillage and Sadism (30-33)

VI – “Aryans” (33-36)

VII – The First Decrees (36-39)

VIII – Vandalism on the Part of the Volksdeutschen (39-41)

IX – Taxes and Evictions (41-47)

X – In the Claws of the Gestapo (47-56)

XI – Persecutions and Thievery (56-59)

XII – News From Łódź (59-63)

XIII – Slavery (63-69)

XIV – Cieszanów Labour Camp (69-75)

XV – The Activity of the Judenrat (75-85)

XVI – “Aryanisation” of Jewish Businesses (85-89)

XVII – The Liquidation of Jewish Factories (89-95)

XVIII – “Providing for Culture” (95-97)

XIX – Extermination (97-100)

XX – Ghetto (100-108)

XXI – Lost Souls (108-115)

XXII – Jewish Police (115-120)

XXIII – Life Goes On… (120-122)

XXIV – The New War (123-125)

XXV – The Masses Starve (125-130)

XXVI – Traitors (130-140)

XXVII – Intensified Terror (140-146)

XXVIII – The Akcja [Operation] of 22nd September 1942 (146-154)

XXIX – The Second Akcja (154-155)

XXX – Hunger in the Ghetto (155-159)

XXXI – Bunkers (159-165)

XXXII – The Third Akcja (165-168)

XXXIII – The Subsequent Akcje (168-179)

XXXIV – The New Ghetto (179-181)

XXXV – From Ghetto to “Labour Camp” (181-183)

XXXVI – In the “Labour Camp” (183-196)

XXXVII – Yet Another Akcja (197-208)

XXXVIII – “Aryans” and “Muslims” (208-210)

XXXIX – Three Ghettoes (210-211)

XL – The End of the Craftsmen’s House (212-219)

XLI – “The Journey to Palestine” (219-225)

From the Publisher (226-231)

Translator’s Comment:

After reading this Yizkor book, it seems that Waga’s book ends rather abruptly. Just by reading it, one cannot but wonder what happened to the author, or indeed his wife and children, followng the massacre of the Częstochowa intellectuals on Purim 1943.  His story is obviously just halfway told and there has to be more to it.


Dave Horowitz-Larochette


While the 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, the copyright-holder of this English-language version of this Yizkor Book.