52°46' / 21°36'
Translation of Dlugosiodlo chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Translation of Dlugosiodlo chapter from
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem
Published in Jerusalem
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Project Coordinator and Translator
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This is a translation from:Pinkas Hakehillot Polin:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume IV, pages 179 - 180, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
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Written by Abraham Wein
Translated from Hebrew and additional notes by
Adv. Meir Garbarz Gover, Savyon, Israel
Dlugosiodlo is a village and an administrative center (gmina) between Wyszkow [coordinates 52°36' 21°28'] and Ostrow Mazowiecka, bearing the same name of a Polish magnate estate nearby the village.
After the Jews settled in the Dlugosiodlo at the beginning of the 19th century the village was nearly as town (in spite of its rural administrative status). There were weekly market days and annual fairs. The village became a center of commerce and craftsmanship for the nearby agriculture communities. On market days Jewish merchants from nearby communities erected temporary stands of textiles, utensils and alike. Towards the end of the 19th century the majority of the residents 800 out of 1,249 were Jewish. They lived in the center of the village around the Rynek (market square). The Christian residents lived on the outskirts of the village adjacent to their fields and groves. The forestation and the convenient climate attracted summer vacationers. Between WWI and WWII the village was inhabited by 150-170 Jewish families. In 1921 there were 801 Jews of the 1,744 residents.
During the 1930s most of the Jews were small merchants and peddlers in the surrounding villages. Beside them there were 20 tailors, 30 shoemakers, 4 carpenters, 5 blacksmiths and some other occupations. The tailors and shoemakers were producing their products for the market and fair days.
For most of the 19th century the Jews of Dlugosiodlo were subordinated of the Ostrow Mazowiecka and Wyszkow Jewish communities. the Jews established their own independent community in the village towards the end of the 19th century. In 1931 the Jewish Community Committee consisted of 8 members: 6 represented Zionim Klaliim (General Zionists), and 2 represented Agudat Israel, the Orthodox party. There was a Beit Midrash (House of Learning, Religious School), and there were 5 Minyanim (Prayer Quorums). There were various Shtiblach (small synagogues of Hassidim), most of them for the Gerer Rabbi followers. 3 Shocatim (ritual slaughterers) were employed in 1937 and a Rabbi (we have no details about him).
Between the two World Wars there were political branches of the Zionim Klaliim (General Zionists), Mizrachi and Beitar. At the 1935 World Jewish Congress elections .34 of the 39 Dlugosiodlo voters (shoklim) voted for the Mizrachi list.
In 1938 there was an active branch of the Bund in Dlugosiodlo. In that year an incident between Bund and Beitar members occurred.. On one summer Shabbat the Beitar group held a parade in the village. They wanted to assemble in the Beit Midrash. The praying Jews, mainly Gerer Rabbi followers, prevented the Shabbat assembly. Some street fights erupted between Beitar and Bund members which continued on the street. It was reported that a fight between the Bund and Beitar members occurred.
Beit Yaakov girl religious school was established by Agudat Israel party in 1932. About 100 girls studied in this school. Yehudit, an Agudat Israel summer camp was also held there, mainly for the benefit of Orthodox children. Around 150 children joined this summer camp. In 1938-1939 Yehudit became a permanent convalescent home occupying a 40 room building. Many children from the surrounding area who needed health recovery used to recuperate there.
The Jews suffered from Anti-Semitic incidents which increased in the years before WWII. Jews were forced to stop roaming in the nearby villages with their merchandise and were barred from the markets. In August 1936 Market Fair, a retired Polish Army Captain incited the local farmers against the Blood sucking Jewish leaches who sustain Polish blood. Jewish stands in the market were destroyed by the Polish peasants' mob; windows in Jewish houses were stoned and smashed. The Pogrom was suppressed only after a Police unit arrived from Ostrow Mazowiecka. 5 Jews were wounded. 16 local Poles were arrested. The court sentenced the Captain for 10 months imprisonment. Other hooligans were sentenced to 6-8 months in prison.
1937-1939 Anti-Semitism continued in Dlugosiodlo. Jewish stores and stands were banned. New Christian owned shops were opened. The Jewish stands in the markets were restricted to a limited, Ghetto like, condensed territory. In 1938 local farmers incited by Endeks Fascist right wingers provoked yet another Pogrom. This time the Police arrested not the Hooligans but rather the Jews who were trying to defend themselves.
The Dlugosiodlo area was occupied by the German Army a few days after the war started on 1 September 1939. The Germans arrived on the Eve of Rosh Hashana holiday 5700, 14 September 1939. They stayed for a few days and moved on. Hundreds of Jewish refugees already concentrated in Dlugosiodlo, mainly from the Polish East Prussia town of Przasnysz. The Dlugosiodlo Jewish residents took care of the refugees and a benevolent kitchen was established. One Saturday a young worshipper on his way to a Shtibel was shot to death by the Germans.
On Shmini Atzere (the last day of Succoth) holiday, 5 Oct 1939 the Dlugosiodlo Jews were ordered by German SS units to assemble in the Rynek. The SS Commandant read an order that all Jews must leave Dlugosiodlo within the next two hours and move to their Communist friends in the East. The deportees were not allowed to carry their belongings. Some deportees hired wagons hastily, but most were herded by foot towards the forest that became the new border line between German occupied Poland and Soviet occupied Poland. For two days the deportees walked towards Zambrow [coordinates 5259 2215]. Many of them continued east into Bialystok. In Bialystok they heard the news about what happened to the Jews that stayed behind. Jews that tried to hide in Dlugosiodlo were shot to death. Golda Minkes, a grocery owner was buried alive. R' Pinchas, (his family name was not told) the ritual slaughterer, was shot and buried alive. He managed to climb out of his grave and arrived after many hardships in Bialystok. A pregnant woman who has been in her last months of pregnancy hid in Dlugosiodlo in some hiding place. Her sister and elderly father came over from the Soviet area to help her. The elderly father Noach, was caught by the Germans on their way back to the Soviet border. They stripped him naked and forced him to run back to the Soviet occupied territory, over 1 km to the east, naked in low winter temperatures.
In Soviet occupied Poland, the Dlugosiodlo Jews destiny was similar to that of the local Jews. Many were deported by the soviets to east USSR: Ural and Siberia Gulags. The ones that stayed behind in Soviet occupied Poland were exterminated by the Germans together with the local Jews. Only a few Dlugosiodlo Jews survived the Holocaust.
On the August 1936 Pogrom the local poles through rocks and broke the 2nd floor bedroom window, the one that faced Wyszkow Ulice (street). On the window edge stood big glass bottles of red berries wine for fermentation. The bottles broke and the red liquid spilled over the outside wall of the house. Within minutes a rumor spread among all Jewish neighbors and family relatives that were vacationing in the nearby forest that somebody of the Lewin family got killed in the Pogrom and his blood spelt over the bedroom window. It took a while to realize that it was only red berries wine that spelt from the broken jar that stood on the window's edge.
On the Jewish Holiday of Simchat Torah, 5 October 1939, the German Commandant announced at 10:30 O'clock sharp, in the Rynek using loudspeakers that all Jewish residents and Jewish refugees must leave Dlugosiodlo within two hours, and go to the Soviet front lines East towards Bialystok. Any Jew that will be caught in Dlugosiodlo after 12:30 will be shot. The Germans knocked on the store doors and demanded scissors. They could not avoid their ultimate pleasure; cutting Jewish men beards in public, while the women pack up the family's belongings in the two hours time frame provided. The Lewin family was ordered to open their store and to serve free the food products and kerosene they had. Within the next two hours the Lewin family sold their house and factory to a local Dlugosiodlo employee neighbor for a few Zlotys, and like most other Jews buried most their valuables and belongings in the backyard and in a back shed. The Lewin family, parents Miriam age 43, and Jankel age 42, with daughter Liba age 17, son Icek age 15 and son Rachmil age 10, were expelled from a village where the family lived for the last 250 years and that was predominantly Jewish. Within a day they came, pushing their cart to Zambrow that was already controlled by Red Army forces that occupied Eastern Poland under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Two days later they arrived in Bialystok. In Bialystok they were joined by their eldest son Yosef who walked by foot from Warsaw, where he was an apprentice, to Dlugosiodlo and then to Bialystok.
From Bialystok, mother Miriam hired a wagon and sneaked back into Dlugosiodlo at night. She paid a Polish neighbor to help her dig out the many belongings, cloths, utensils, valuables that they buried in the backyard just a few days ago. The wagon driver drove the packages to Bialystok. Aside from being paid handsomely, he purposely dropped and hid two of the packages near the Dlugosiodlo Catholic cemetery. Mother Miriam complained nothing. It was yet another small token to pay for her life.
In Bialystok they stayed and worked for about 6 months. The refugees that accepted Soviet citizenship were allowed to stay in Bialystok on Polish soil, thus they were exterminated later on together with the local Jews by the Germans once Operation Barbarossa commenced on June 1941 and the Germans invaded the USSR.
Miriam and Jankel Lewin refused Soviet citizenship, thus one night on March 1941, they were herded on trucks, together with all other Jews who refused citizenship, the Refusniks, to the Bialystok Train Station and loaded on trains heading East to the Urals and Siberia. After a train voyage that lasted two months they embarked in a Soviet Gulag, worked slave labor in cutting trees for the next three years, but they gained their lives. Except brother Icek Lewin who was drafted in the Red Army, was stationed in Vladivostok and perished there.
On 1945 they made their way through the USSR, and Poland to refugee camps in Germany and later on to Palestine. While passing by train through Poland, they knew they were not going to stop in Dlugosiodlo. There was nothing for them there anymore.
Brothers Yosef and Rachmil Lewin had to stay a while in a British illegal immigrant camp in Cyprus, but that was a small last token before arriving in Israel on May 1948.
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