Przedbórz Yizkor books

Yizkor books are memorial books put together by Jewish emigrants from a specific community, often part of a landsmanshaft society, to memorialize their villages and shtetls that were destroyed in the Holocaust. These can be a great source of information, both in terms of names of people who were murdered, but also in learning more about life there before the war, when most of these communities were almost completely destroyed. Most Yizkor books are in Hebrew or Yiddish rather than English.

The Przedborz Yizkor book at the New York Public Library.

The 1977 Przedbórz Yizkor book was put together by the First Przedborzer Benevolent Association of America, a landsmanshaft in New York City. The official title is Przedborz Memorial Book: 33 Years Since the Destruction of the Jewish Community. The entire book is online as part of the New York Public Library Yizkor Project, and there is a 80-page section in English, that has been transcribed and is available on JewishGen. It contains a list of names of those in Przedbórz who were murdered in the Holocaust. That still leaves more than 550 pages untranslated. If you’re interested in seeing the rest, you can work with the Yizkor Book Project to fundraise (or fund) the translation, which will cost around $16,000.

The 1977 Przedbórz Yizkor book was published by ‘Irgun yotsʼe Pshedboz’ be-Yiśraʼel uve-Ameriḳah’ (The Organization of People from Przedborz in Israel and America) in Tel-Aviv, and it appears there may have been a Przedborzer Benevolent Association of Israel, as well (ארגון יוצאי פשדבוז’). I’m still looking for more information about this group, and will update this page if I find out more.

Previously, the New York Public Library had listed another Yizkor book for Przedbórz, this one from 1967, in their collection, but when I requested it, it turned out to be from Radomsko. There are a few pages about Przedbórz and the Przedbórz rabbinical dynasties in the Radomsko Yizkor book, but unfortunately these pages were not translated with the rest of the book. Images of these pages are linked below, and you can use Google Translate to read them, if you’re so inclined.

However, there is another book, Pinkas Hakehillot Polin, or the Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities from Their Foundation till after the Holocaust, published by Yad Vashem, that is a Yizkor book for all of the Jewish communities in Poland. The section for Przedbórz is online and has a pre-war history of the town, with a few interesting tidbits such as:

“There is no indication of the secular enlightenment (Haskalah) gaining a foothold in Przedborz until World War I. Modern schools were not established there and life continued according to Jewish tradition. Until 1918, no modern political organization operated. However, in 1905 some overtones of the revolution did arrive. The “revolutionaries” from among the young people threatened the leader of the community, Haim Marmelstein, and he had to hide from them for a few days in the cemetery.”

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