Visit at Rabbi Morgenstern

My dad,Ze'ev Tzudiker studied Torah with Mendel Morgenstern in the "cheder" in Rabbai Zelig Morgenstern"s Yeshiva. They were good friends until they grew up, My dad had to leave the "chder" and start working to help the family and Mendel was sent to study in the great Yeshiva of "Chaachmei Lublin".

Two years ago I arranged a meeting between both of them. They were excited to see each other. They were both in their 90's already but looked like small children again.

Here 's what I wrote about what the Rabbai told me-

The meeting between my father and the rabbai was so emotional that I could hardly speak.The two spoke and spoke and for a short time became small children in the cheder again. I will certainly need another meeting with him to complete the whole picture.

Rabbai Mendel Morgenstern is a charming nobel person and his wife too .He is now 90 years old and he has his own Yeshiva which is called Sokolow-Kotzek beit-midrash . (He is the grand-grandchild of the Great Rabbai of Kotzek)

He told me he survived the war by himself. As his grandfather told him,he ran away from Sokolow to Wilna,stayed there for half a year and then it was conquered by the Russians again,which enabled him to escape . He flew to Japan,wandering to India and China and then in 1942,came to settle in Israel. He had another sister who was the only one to survive the war out of the 19 people they were.his sister,Pearl,passed away last year.

The Rabbai and his wife have 7 children- 5 girls and 2 boys .

I sked him about visiting Poland and he said he wouldn't ever step his leg on this land. he said that the Poles were always as antisemic as the Nazis . The relationships between Jews and non-Jews in Sokolow were tense and a lot of times the Jews were victims of Pogroms.

He also told me that because of his grandfather's reputation in religion.Sokolow became a Jewish central place to which students from all around poland and even from abroad came to study in his Yeshiva.

It turned out that everything my father remebered and told me was very accurate. He confirmed to me the fact that there was a small jail in his grandfather's house. He also confimed the fact that his grandfather practiced medicine . When I asked him did he study medicine,he said that one of his grandfather's students was adoctor- and they had an agreement. Rabbai Zelig M. taught him talmud Torah and the doctor taght him medicine. He used to make accurate diagnosis better than official doctors. He was very self- confident about his observations. The farmacy in town respected his medications .

Hecame home to Sokolow the evening before the war broke out (it was Thursday,the 31th of August).His Parents prepared him a hiding place in the Boidem full with sand and intended him topractice going into it in case a war starts for the next day but the bombs came earlier than expected, the next morning before 7 ocloc'k while he was still in bed.

I showed him pictures I took of Sokolow in my visits there and also kasia's pictures of her exhibition. I told him about our group and our intentions. He listened curiously but said nothing. He looked in a great pain.

The Rabbai published his grandfather's writings. He wrote 2 books- She'erit Itzchak and She'erit Israel which deal with religious matters.

May his soul rest in peace.

Shoshi Shatit


Rabbi Morgenstern passed away

Rabbi Mendel Morgenstern, grandson of Sokolow rabbi Yitzhak Zelig Morgenstern, passed away today at the age of 92 in Bnei Brak, Israel. May his sould rest in peace.



My father and his family are running away after the war

My father is behind the tree, after him-his father, mother, brother and sister. They left their older sister, Tauba with her husband and 2 children-one of them a baby. After going through so much during the war, they had to split. The reason was because they had to leave the camp very late at night and the "hagana" people told them they don't allow babies so they won't be caught. Tragedy continues much after the war ended.

Shoshi Shatit


Jack Ruby

"Ruby was born Jacob Rubenstein in 1911 to a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants. His parents, Joseph and Fannie, were a volatile couple. Joseph was a mean and abusive drunk. Fannie suffered from mental illness and at one point was committed to an Illinois state hospital."

Read about Jack Ruby whose father was from Sokolow (or Kosow like some say)



"Kaddish for a million bucks" – statement

"The building of the former Beit Midrasz in Sokołów Podlaski was recovered on December 20, 1999, and sold on November 20, 2000. At the time of its restitution it was in very poor technical condition. It had been totally rebuilt – with the upper floor adapted for apartment space and the ground floor partially for services (shops) (...)"


"Never Forget to Lie"

A very interesting film by Marian Marzynski about survivors coming back to Poland. There is nothing about Sokolow but I'm sure you will recognise the emotions of those people.



We are together 2013

"We are together 2013". Polish and Israeli youth in Treblinka. Before the ceremony they had a chance to meet and spend some time together in Kosów Lacki and Małkinia. The article about it (in Polish): http://www.jewish.org.pl/index.php/pl/wiadomopci-mainmenu-57/5671-jestemy-razem.html


Ceremony at Mały Rynek

Me, Piotr Kadlcik (the president of Warsaw Jewish Community),
Dawid Wildstein (a journalist), Tomasz Krakowski (representative of rabbi Schudrich)

Paweł Kryszczuk

Karolina Skibniewska

Tomasz Krakowski says a prayer at the old Jewish cemetery


The U.S. ambassador in Sokolow

Yesterday, the U.S. ambassador Stephen Mull visited Sokolow to see what young people know about the Jewish history of the town.


Sukkahs in Sokolow

Porch sukkahs in Sokolow. Two of them, although rebuilt, are still here.

Sukkot is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. It follows the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement.


Sokolower Jidn

Representatives of the Aguda Israel party headed by Ya'akov Szpadel

Ajzyk Platner, Baruch Winogóra, Rubinsztajn, Szercman, Farbiarz

Shlomo Rozenberg, Gerszon Pomeranc (essayist),
Icchak Rajzman (writer), Jachiel Hornsztajn, Rozenberg, Motl Szwarcbard

Lea Piekarski

Arie Cebula

Izrael Fiszer with his family

Josl Rubinsztajn

Alter Szuster

Students of Alter Szuster of Jidisze Socjalistisze Arbeter Jungt "Frajhajt".
One of them is Abram Szpadel

Mosze Hersz with his family

Izrael Elbling

Cipora Granatsztajn

Hanoch Rubinsztajn gave a party before going to Eretz Israel

Students of Beit Yaakov school in Sokolow


YIDDISH WRITERS (according to YIVO archive)

Platner, Ayzek (1895–1961), poet and writer. Ayzek Platner was born in Sokolow Podlaski, Poland. His poetry first appeared in 1919. From 1920 he lived in Kaunas, where he worked as a tailor, and in 1927 he immigrated to the United States, worked as a teacher, and was a member of the Union Square and Proletpen literary groups. In 1932, he moved to Minsk to work at the newspaper Oktyabr. During World War II, he lived in Saransk and then returned to Minsk. Platner was banished to the gulag from 1948 to 1956 and once again returned to Minsk. He published more than 10 books of poetry and prose, both in Yiddish and in translations into Russian and Belorussian.
Ajzek Płatner, first from the right, and Baruch Winogóra 3rd from the right

Tsanin, Mordkhe (1906–?), writer and journalist. Born in Sokolow Podlaski, Poland, from 1921 Mordkhe Tsanin lived in Warsaw and worked for the Central Yiddish School Organization (TSYSHO). He published short stories, novels in installments, and literary criticism in the left-wing Yiddish press; two collections of his stories were issued in Warsaw in 1933 and 1935. A prolific writer and journalist, he has lived in Israel since 1941.



This year we'll meet in Sokolow to commemorate Jews killed here during the war


Józef Milik

"Described by Time magazine in 1956 as "the fastest man with a fragment", Józef Milik was perhaps the most brilliant of the small team of international biblical scholars assembled in Jerusalem in the early 1950s to uncover and decipher what would become a treasure trove of early Jewish manuscripts uncovered from caves in Qumran in the Judaean hills." Józef Milik was born near Sokolow, and although he was not Jewish it is worth to know his story

Jewish Historical Institute

"Among those who contact us, the majority are Jews from around the world who are interested in learning about the past, trying to fill in blank spots in their family stories about the country from which their close and distant relatives originated. They want to find traces of the presence of those relatives — — a grandfather, a great-grandfather."

Holocaust Education Center of Treblinka

TREBLINKA, Poland (JTA) – The Israeli daughter of a Jew who escaped Treblinka will design a Holocaust education center to be opened on the premises of the Nazi death camp.

The plan to have Orit Willenberg-Giladi, an architect from Tel Aviv and daughter of Samuel Willenberg, design the center was announced August 2 at a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising in Treblinka.

“We meet at one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world,” said Prof. Pawel Spiewak, director of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, during the ceremony.

The Treblinka extermination camp was partly ruined during the uprising of prisoners which took place 70 years ago, on Aug. 2, 1943.

In total, approximately 870,000 people were murdered at Treblinka, according to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem. The first transports reached Treblinka on July 23, 1942 and included Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.

“Our goal was to destroy the factory of death,” said Samuel Willenberg, who is the last known living survivor from the camp. “This whole revolt lasted maybe 20 or 30 minutes. We wanted this camp to stop working. In the forest I started to shout ‘hell is burnt’.” Willenberg fought and escaped during the uprising.

Shevah Weiss, a former Israeli ambassador to Poland, referred during the ceremony to the recent ban on ritual slaughter in Poland. “This is a bridge. I’m talking to Poles. Do not destroy this bridge today. There are not many Jews in Poland. Let them live peacefully and preserve their rituals,” he said.

During the ceremony, participants laid the foundation stone for the Holocaust Education Center of Treblinka, which is to be built over the next three to four years. The project’s total cost it still unknown.

Chaya Kremer

This is the salvation story of Chaya Kremer from Sokolow Podlaski. Her parents were Batia-Basia Rozen and Moshe Aharon Perelshtein. They lived in Pierackiego St (Długa today)

Aharon Ze'ev

Aharon Ze'ev (Wientrab) was a famous poet who was born in Sokolow Podlaski in 1900. He wrote many books for adults as well as children, was an educator and served in IDF as a chief Education Officer. He signed his books with the name Ze'ev and on his behalf there's a famous award nowadays that is given to talented poets.


The ceremony

Let's meet in Sokolow on September 22 at the ceremony commemorating Jewish victims of German Nazi regime.
On September 22, 1942 Germans started liquidation of the ghetto. 6,000 Jews died there or in nearby Treblinka extermination camp.
Here are two letters written after the ceremony in 2011 and 2012.


The Monument

Last week the monument standing at the site of a mass grave was finally fenced by the owner of the house. The stone monument was erected after the war, in 1945, by Sokolow survivors who lived at that time in Łódź.

"My dear brother, there are no Jews in Sokolow. There is no cemetery, everything is ruined, no sign is remained to the six hundred years of the existence of the Jewish community of Sokolow. In a garden near Nahum Lewin's place are buried in a mass grave hundreds of Jews, a big mass grave. The Germans had no time to exhume them and burn the remains." Shlomo Rotshtejn (Yizkor Book)

"They stayed together with us and through the cracks in the wooden walls looked on Piekna street, on the small empty and looted houses that bears no sign of human life. From here we also saw the still open mass grave where the gendarmes shot the Jews they found. (...) Immediately after the liquidation, after all the Jews were already gassed in the Treblinka gas chambers and shot in the mass graves in the ghetto, the commandant of Treblinka brought Nahum Lewin to a lime pit and shot him there". Simcha Polyakevitch (Yizkor Book)

(Yizkor Book)








Wilm Hosenfeld

Wilm Hosenfeld was a German Army officer who rose to the rank of Hauptmann by the end of the war. He helped to hide or rescue several Poles, including Jews, in Nazi-occupied Poland, and helped Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman (Szpilman is widely known as the protagonist of the 2002 Roman Polański film "The Pianist")to survive, hidden, in the ruins of Warsaw during the last months of 1944. Hosenfeld was stationed in Wegrów in December 1939, where he remained until his battalion was moved another 30 km away to Jadów at the end of May 1940. He visited Sokołów Podlaski several times. In his letters to his wife he mentions a railway station in Sokołów and refugees who came to the town.
In June 2009 he was posthumously recognized as a Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
The picture was taken during his stay in Węgrów.