Avraham Mordechai and Leah Alter lived in Ostrowiec. Avraham Mordechai was well known in the community for his charitable efforts and loans to the needy. His son Naftali wrote a Hebrew testimony about his father in the 1970 Yizkior book, as can be seen here.
" Our father, R' Avraham Mordechai Alter, was known in Ostrowiec for his noble virtues
and especially in matters of charity. His door was open to those in need of monetary
relief and charity. There were Jews who regularly received certain sums from him on
Sundays as charity, and returned them on Friday, and so forth every week. At the end of
the summer he made sure to provide heating needs for the poor for the winter, so that
they would not suffer from the intense cold that prevailed in our environment. He also
motivated other people to donate money to alleviate the suffering of poor Jews in the city.
The city Jews treated him with great respect. His appearance in the market on Shabbat
eve, on his way to the synagogue, was enough to speed up the shopkeepers, who were
late to welcome Shabbat, to close their shops and greet him with the blessing "gut Shabes
R' Avraham Mordechai!"
After the Nazi oppressor occupied the city, our father completely abandoned his material
business and took it upon himself, in complete secrecy, to provide food for the city poor
and also for the refugees who came to it. He also managed, with great efforts, to deliver
food parcels to Warsaw Ghetto which was dying of starvation.
According to information told by survivors from the city, at the time of the deportation
our father gathered a minyan of Jews in the place of concentration in the market, and fled
with them to the Great Synagogue, and there they prayed the last prayer. At the end of
this prayer they all met their death… "
Avraham Mordechai and Leah were murdered in the Holocaust along with some of their children:
- Levi Yosef Chaim, his wife Ruchche and their children Moshe Elyakim Berya and Miriam
- Chana Devorah
During the Holocaust, their children Naftali and Yocheved were hidden by a righteous gentile Henryk Małkiewicz. Read Henryk's story here.
"In the middle of May, the day they planned to escape, Henio cut the wire of the gate and took each of us, one at a time, on his bike from the camp to the forest. When we were all together, he led us to a home of a farmer that was willing to hide us for money. There we hid for a few months. Henio would come to see how we were doing."