Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Based on the book by Hanka Grupińska
It is important to remember that several brave Ostrowiec heroes took part in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising; their stories are below.
Researched and edited in Polish from Wojtek Mazan's blog. Translated from Polish with assistance of Google Translate. (We hope to receive a better translation and revise the English in the near future.)
Jakub Chaim Meir Aleksandrowicz was born in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, in a family of wood merchants. Jakub was a student of a yeshiva. When the war broke out, he cut off the sidelocks and joined the Jewish scouts of Hashomer Hatzair; he became the secretary of the local nest. In October '42 Germans murdered eleven thousand Jews from Ostrowiec. Then Jacob's parents and sister died. In December '42, several Jewish boys from Ostrowiec came to the ghetto in Warsaw. Jakub was one of the youngest nairs. His friends called him Klostermajer, because he shot as accurately as the SS man known in the ghetto *. He fought in the group of Dawid Nowodworski in Toebbens-Schultz's shop. On April 23, the dum-dum bullet tore his hand away. He did not take the wounded insurgents to the sewers. Jakub stayed in the ghetto. He was 18 years old at the time.
* Klaustermeyer Karl Heinrich, SS Oberscharf ü hrer, in 1965 sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Bielefeld.
Frania Beatus- she was born in Konin. The Konin Jews were locked up in the Ostrowiec ghetto. On October 11, 1942, on the eve of the liquidation of the ghetto, Frania fled to Warsaw. She returned there several times to transport drożowców and szomrów to the Warsaw ghetto: Berla Brojde, Sister Basia and Suja Sylman, Aba Gertner, Icchak Morgenlender and others. A low, chubby, buxom rural girl with a thick linen braid. She looked very young, no more than 14 years old. She spoke Polish well. And she was brave. Great material for a messenger - says Hela Szyper. Frania was sent to the other side in January '43. She rented a flat next to a family, somewhere in the city center. On April 13, she was waiting for Antix Cukierman at the ghetto walls. She had high heels and a handbag so that she would not look like a snot like a regular shiksa. She took Antek's arm and led it to Marszałkowska 118. She was the first confidant of Cukierman on the Polish side of the walls. From 19 April, Frania did not stop crying and talking about suicide. Reprimanded by Antek, she returned to her duties. She received night telephones from the ghetto from Tosi Altman and in the morning she ran to Cukierman to give him information. She organized hiding places for insurgents of refugees from the ghetto. And she was waiting for her boyfriend who never left. It seems that this boy's name was Dawid Szulman. On May 10, Frania called Sara Biederman, who was hiding in the apartment of the Balicki family. She talked about suicide, she asked someone to come for things and 30,000 zlotys. She left the exact settlement and letter to Antic Cukierman. Her body has never been found. It is not known how Frania Beatus died. She was 17 years old. [Editors Note: Frania is mentioned also in a book in Polish as mentioned here. ]
Berl Braude (Brojde) he was born in Slonim.… He prepared for the life of a pioneer in Eretz Yisrael with courses in the Borochów kibbutz in Lodz.
A few months after the outbreak of the war, he moved to Warsaw and settled in a chalutzia commune at Dzielna 34. In June and July 1940, he was a secretary of the kibbutz in Sterdynia and Ceranów, near Małkinia. During the day of the chałówka, they worked on a farm in the Polish heir, and in the evening, they sang Hebrew songs and listened to Berl's talks.
In the autumn of 1941, Berl was sent by his organization to Ostrowiec to prepare a group of Dror members for self-defense. A few months before the uprising, Chawka Folman brought him from Ostrowiec. They rode through Warsaw with a horse-drawn carriage. Berl with his head bandaged because he had Jewish eyes and jet black hair - he looked too dangerous. On November 29, 1942, Berl Braude shot an agent of the Gestapo, Israel Furst.
On January 17, 1943, the Germans captured the group of Berl Braude. Berl jumped off the train somewhere near Treblinka. He returned to Warsaw. In February '43 he was appointed commander of the Dror battle group in the central ghetto. In the first days of the uprising, they were quartered on Milej 29. They fought on Miła and Zamenhof.
On May 8, 1943, Berl Braude was in the bunker at Miła 18. He was injured, he could not shoot himself and he asked his friend for help.
Abraham Ejgier came to the Warsaw ghetto in the autumn of 1942 with a group of Beriek Braude from Ostrowiec. (Abraham was a descendant of the famous rabbi Akiba Ejger from Poznań). He was remembered as a quiet and modest boy who bravely fought in the uprising in the group of Henoch Gutman. On May 1, during the fights at 30 Franciszkanska Street, Abram was mortally wounded in the stomach when he was shooting from the balcony of the first floor. He began to speak boldly and ominously to the Germans, who were looking at him in amazement. And shortly thereafter, Abram fell from this balcony, and the Germans knocked him with bayonets.
Aba Gertner was born in Ostrowiec, the wealthy family of a sugar wholesaler. Aba studied at the Jawne religious primary school and at the state gymnasium. During the war, he joined Hashomer Hatzair. He ran the library branch in his town. In February '43 he managed to get to Warsaw. He fought in Toebbens-Schultz in the April uprising. He was 19 when he died.
Abraham Horowic came to the Warsaw ghetto from Ostrowiec. In the April Uprising, he fought in the Hashomer Hatzair group. On April 29, he left the sewers from the area of the sheds. Most likely, he returned with Regina Fuden and Szlomo Baczyński after remaining in the ghetto. It is not known how and where he died. He was 19 years old.
Icek (Icchak) Morgenlender was born in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, a poor family. In the Ostrowiec ghetto, he was active in Hashomer Hatzair. In February '43 he managed to get to the Warsaw ghetto because he heard that the ZOB wants to defend itself there. In the April Uprising, he fought in the Benjamin Walda group in the area of the sheds. He went to the Polish side with the channels. His last shelter was the factory of photographic film in Prague. He died with others in a fire on May 24, 1943.
Lejb Rapaport was born in Bielsko in a rich family of factory manufactures [?]. During the war he found himself in Ostrowiec and joined the Chalutz movement there. He came to Warsaw with a group of young people because he wanted to fight. The relatives of Lejb were hiding on the other side of the wall and they were vainly urging him to leave the ghetto. In the April post, Lejb Rapaport fought under the command of Benjamin Wald in Toebbens-Schultz's shop. He died in the first days. He was 21 years old.
Rysia [Gryngruz?] Was born in Łódź or in Konin. She studied at Polish high school. At the beginning of the war, she was in Radomsko shortly, then in Ostrowiec. She came to the Warsaw Ghetto at the end of 1942. She had a good appearance and was brave, so she went to the ghettos in Krakow and Częstochowa. She became a ŻOB liaison officer. At the end of December 1942 she went to Krakow again and brought to Krakow ghetto Cracow zucchiats: Izrael Zilberman, Naftal Zimek and Lejb Troks. She died on January 18, 1943 during the first battles in the ghetto, or caught at that time, and died in Treblinka. She was 25 years old. (Perhaps this Rysia was called Gryngruz, because about historian Rysi Gryngruz, a liaison officer).
Basia Sylman was the daughter of a rabbi from Ostrowiec. Together with her younger sister Sara and a young group of the Dror youth movement, she came to the Warsaw ghetto in late 1942. Basia fought in April and May '43 under the command of Hanoch Gutman in the brushmakers area located in Swiętojerska and Walowa streets and died at age of 18 in the Anielewicz Bunker.
Sara (Suja) Sylman , sister of Basia, also belonged to Dror. She died between 18 and 21 January 1943, in the first armed battles in the Warsaw Ghetto. She was 17 years old.
The mother of the two Sylman sisters was in hiding during the war, and the conditions were good for her daughters to stay with her. She tried to convince them to leave the ghetto and be safe with her, but they preferred to stay and fight . *
(*-Thanks to Hanka Grupinska for providing this information)
Dawid Sztein- he came from Ostrowiec. The ghetto Jadzia, a liaison officer from Anielewicz, came to the ghetto in Ostrowiec. She came seven times, took seven people to Warsaw, until the Germans finally caught her and died. Dawid Sztein decided to go to Warsaw himself. He remembered an address: Leszno 56. Through the gate in the wall at Leszno, he recognized Szapse Rotholc, a formerly known boxer, now a policeman in the ghetto. - Man, are you crazy ?! shouted Szapse. "Everyone is running away from here, and you want to come in here? - It was March '43. [...] A colleague of David from Ostrowiec, Jakub Aleksandrowicz, contacted him with Nowodworski. Sztein got parabellum and was admitted to the group. Probably they were Dr Benjamin Walda. After a few days, Icchak Morgenlender took David to a bunker, in which there were several dozen people, including the sailors. Least of the smugglers from the house near Leszno, they did not want to say where the entrance to the tunnel was. In the end, people from the bunker saw smugglers. The Żobowcy left this tunnel the second time. Regina Fuden led them. On the night of 29 April they reached Ogrodowa 27. The next day, Tadek Szejngut, Krzaczek and Józef [Jarost?] Transported the insurgents to a forest near Łomianki. After six days Krzaczek came back with some food. Then someone brought twenty guns. A little further, in the more forested area, waiting for the insurgents of two Russians. David Sztein was in the guerrilla. It is known that he survived the war. On the night of 29 April they reached Ogrodowa 27. The next day, Tadek Szejngut, Krzaczek and Józef [Jarost?] Transported the insurgents to a forest near Łomianki. After six days Krzaczek came back with some food. Then someone brought twenty guns. A little further, in the more forested area, waiting for the insurgents of two Russians. David Sztein was in the guerrilla. It is known that he survived the war. On the night of 29 April they reached Ogrodowa 27. The next day, Tadek Szejngut, Krzaczek and Józef [Jarost?] Transported the insurgents to a forest near Łomianki. After six days Krzaczek came back with some food. Then someone brought twenty guns. A little further, in the more forested area, waiting for the insurgents of two Russians. David Sztein was in the guerrilla. It is known that he survived the war.
Dawid Szulman was born in Warsaw. He finished school Tarbut. Before the war, he went to the Kibbutz of the Halutzians in Ostrowiec. He returned to the Warsaw ghetto with a group of colleagues who fought in the Dron unit during the April Uprising. It seems that it was David who executed the death sentence on Agent Gestapo of Israel, Firsta. It was a drorow action, it was managed by Berl Braude and Antek Cukierman. (The judges in Lejkin were made by szomrowcy). Dawid Szulman had foreign citizenship, but he burned the papers and stayed in the ghetto. It seems that David was the boy that Frania Beatus was waiting for. David died during the uprising, he was 18 years old. Frania committed suicide, she was 17 years old.
Izrael Zilberman came from Ostrowiec. His father had a shop there. Israel studied at a vocational school and belonged to Frajhajt. He was sickly. It is known that he participated in the action of the Krakow ŻOB on December 23, 1942. Then he got to Warsaw. He died on January 18, 1943.
The Bunker on Ilzecka Street
Testimony on the gathering of Ostrowiec youth in a bunker and preparing for participation of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. ( translation from Ostrowiec Yizkor Book, 1971 )
Ostrowiec Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Link to page of Wojtek Mazan (article in Polish)
Based on the book "Reading the List: Tales of Jewish Insurgents" by Hanka Grupińska, Krakow 2003
Yitzhak "Antek" Cukierman
"Excess Memory (Seven Years) Memories 1939-1946"
Researched and Edited in Polish by Wojtek Mazan.