The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/poland/wlodawa/wlodawa.001


Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Life and Fall of Wlodowa: Do Not Forget       
Summary: from the Yizkor book of Wlodawa
Reply-To: kmcvay@nizkor.org
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: Sobibor,Treblinka,Wlodowa

Archive/File: places/poland/wlodawa/wlodawa.001
Last-modified: 1993/04/04
XRef: INDEX MEMORIAL

           The Life and the Fall of Wlodawa and Surroundings
                  Translated by Shoshana Leszczynski
             (Transcribed by Ken McVay, kmcvay@nizkor.org)

[Transcription comments: The documents which follow have been
transcribed to the best of my ability. Although some obvious spelling
differences exist, and English spelling errors as well, I have done no
editing or spell-checking beyond the searches for my own typographical
errors. The text that follows is as close to an exact transcription as
it is possible for me to provide. Obvious errors have been flagged with
, or with whatever letter or text I _think_ may be correct entered
within similar brackets. The translations are pretty rough in some
spots, and it was not always possible to determine exactly what was
intended. In such cases, I did not change the translated text. knm]


                       REMEMBER AND DO NOT FORGET
                              Sisha Fuchs

The pages of this documentary book, written by more than 120 Jews of
Wlodawa from all over the world, are a memorial to a Jewish congregation
that resided in the city of Wlodowa and its surroundings -- a modest
part of the past Jewish community.

For hundreds of years the Jews of Wlodova had built their homes. In the
course of time the Jews prospered in institutions, parties and unions
that were found in the rest of the Jewish communities of Poland. The
atmosphere in Wlodowa was completely Jewish, in the home, in the street,
on weekdays and on holidays. It was not only the scholars who dealt in
religious studies, but laymen as well, after a long day's work, spent
time at the synagogues, houses of religious learning and "Shtiblech",
where they studied a page of the "Gemora" or just recited the Psalms.
These were the spiritual hours of the Jews in which their hearts were
revived and refreshed. Such were the sensitive and silently beating
hearts of the Jews of Wlodova and the neighboring villages.

The Jews of Wlodowa kept up an urban social life, founding social
institutions, charity institutions, and especially educational
institutions: "Heders" and schools. Even in the poorest of houses mother
and father saw to to it, above all, that their children acquired the
knowledge of Judaism. In the course of time this passion for knowledge
also included secular studies. The education of children was the main
concern and ambition of the Jews.

The coming of the railroad brought about a rise in the economic and
cultural positions of the inhabitants of the city. The Jews dealt in
business and trade and set up ties between the urban community and the
rural population. They developed the branch of woodcutting in the
surrounding forests and showed great initiation and ambition in the
export of wood abroad. This export, in time expanded, filling the state
treasury with foreign currency and supplying work for thousands of
workers in the city and in the village.

The Jews of Wlodowa also developed and active trade in wheat and fish
that spread to all the large cities of the country and even abroad.
Along with the economic initiation the spiritual life of the Jews also
prospered. Every Friday at twilight everybody ceased working and, breath
held, listened to the coming of "Sabbath the Queen". The blessing of the
candles by our mothers was one of our most cherished moments. On the
Sabbath and holidays the streets were silent, as if enveloped in
holiness, and all the houses were in a holiday spirit.

The social activity of the Jews of Wlodowa was seen in all fields of
life. The Jews were represented in government institutions and in the
city municipality, and in every place they fought against disturbances
and limitations. Evil winds began blowing from Hitler's Germany and
found a fertile land in Poland. Signs of hard times appeared everywhere.
More than once were the Jews of Wlodowa forced to wander and look for a
new place for their livelihood. Many of the youths of Wlodowa immigrated
to Israel after World War I. They saw their future in the national
salvation of the Jewish nation. The immigrants of Wlodowa took an active
part in the building of the community and the defense of the land.

In 1939 Poland broke down and surrendered to Hitler's army. The Nazis
occupied our area as well. The Poles and Ukrainians, wanting to flatter
their conquerers, began cruelly harassesing  those very Jews who had
lived in their midst for hundreds of years. Very few of the population,
just several influential individuals, helped the persecuted Jews. The
large majority assisted the Germans in their task of annihilation and
did all they could to increase the suffering of our brothers.

The Poles and Ukrainians, not wishing to leave traces of their horrible
deeds, pursued every Jew in hiding who could testify to their cruel
actions. The blurring of traces in the ghettos, death camps and mass
graves in Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, Babi-Yar, Ponar and Polgin has
continued since the war. The suffering and struggle of our brothers has
been distorted in a systematic way until this very day.

The memorial book for the Jewish community of Wlodowa is a sign of
warning to the coming generations. It is also a trumpet blast that
cannot be silenced, calling for revenge for the blood that was spilled
on the lands of Poland with the active help of the Polish Nazis.

The task and destiny of this book is: not only to recall that which has
been forgotten, not only to memorialize those who have died in God's
hame, not only to light a candle for the pure and holy souls, but to
call for prosecution written in letters of fire and blood:

                REMEMBER WHAT AMELEK HAS DONE TO YOU!

This includes all the Ameleks of the twentieth Century, the Poles and
the Germans who murder at all times, whose hands are stained with blood,
those who continue in their hatred of Israel to this very day.

In this book, the several individuals of the Jews of Wlodowa who had
miraculously survived annihilation, call forth for prosecution. During
days and nights of horror they wandered in fields and forests in order
to join the Partisans who fought bravely and courageously. They slept
outdoors, in snow and in frost, suffered from hunger and disease, saw
with their own eyes the deeds of horror. They are living witnesses to
the murder which is now being sought to be erased.

Therefore, this is the holy task which is upon us: to see to it that the
crimes that had been committed by the Germans and their helpers the
Poles and Ukrainians in the ghetto and Sobibor and in every other place
-- will not be forgotten and not be erased.

At the ruins of the Jewish community in Wlodowa and in cities and
villages of the region, across the desecrated synagogues and destroyed
cemetaries where the bones of our fathers and forefathers lie, the
builders of the city -- we stand with our heads lowered. We are erecting
an eternal monument to our martyrs in this memorial book.

In agony and in anger we will unite with their memories, night and day
we will listen to their last call:

                         DO NOT FORGET US!

Let this cry of theirs penetrate into the hearts of our youth. In the
present and in the future let this memorial book to our community be a
holy scroll that tells of the suffering of our brothers and that calls
us to keep and strengthen the state of Israel as a guarantee that the
holocust will not be forgotten and as a fortress against our enemies.

The will of our martyrs was: remember and do not forget.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.