Remember Jewish Piaski - Genealogy Group

Pronunciation: P-yas-ki or P-yas-ki Loot-ersk-a

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Piaski is a town in southeast Poland, with a population of around 2,600 people.
The village is 25 km. southeast of Lublin and 30 km. northwest of Krasnystaw, Poland.
There are several other Piaskis throughout Poland. This Piaski is also called Piaski Luterskie.

In 1336, King Kazimierz of Poland was rumored to have let Jews begin settlement in the city. But
the oldest records of Jews in Piaski date to 1578. In 1677 there were 240 people in the town,
including 53 Jews. In 1787 the town numbered 1,063 inhabitants out of whom 414 were Jews. In
1827 the town numbered 1,117 people including 571 Jews. In 1864 there were 1,838 people in
Piaski including 1,388 Jews. In 1884 there were 2,812 people in the town including 2,049 Jews.

In 1785, the Jews were permitted to build a synagogue. It was to be located 286 meters from the
Catholic church in the village. The height could not exceed 6 meters and it was not permitted to stand out.
In addition to the shul, the Jews in Piaski owned the kehilla, 12 private houses of prayer, the cheder
(at 35 Lubelska Street), the Zionistic elementary school called "Tarbut", two libraries and two cemeteries.
The Jewish community lived around the old market square (today there are buildings of the Housing
Cooperative) and on both sides of Lubelska Street. Until the war, Jews possessed their own mills,
oil mills, vinegar manufacturing company, tannery, a dozen or so workshops, and many other stores.
A mill in the town was owned by Hochman (in the courtyard of 47 Lubelska Street). A second mill
was owned by the Majzer brothers. It stood by the Gielczewka River -- next to the lock. It was made
of wood and divided into two parts: industrial used for grinding flour and utility room intended for farmers.

The Jewish community in Piaski was divided into two groups: orthodox and reform. The rich Jews in
the community isolated themselves from the rest of the Jewish population. The poor Jews stuck together.
Piaski was famous in the whole vicinity for its fairs, which took place every Wednesday. Sellers from
various towns of Poland came to visit them. They were organized on the square near the synagogue.

In 1921 the town numbered 3,974 inhabitants out of whom 2,674 were Jewish. By 1939, Piaski had a
Jewish population of 4,165. With the onset of the Nazi occupation, the life of Jews in Piaski became
extremely harsh. Jewish shops were plundered by military policemen and their owners were beaten
and humiliated. Jews were whipped and had their beards cut in public as an act of public humiliation.
The Piaski Judenrat was composed of around 30 people and was chaired by the Piaski Jew named
Poliseski. The Judenrat was situated at 46 Lubelska Street. On Sept. 27, 1939 the Nazis introduced a
regulation requiring Jews to wear a self-identification badge with the Star of David. From that day forward
Jews were not allowed to use public transportation or enter public places such as restaurants. In October,
1939 the Jewish population could not even walk freely across the main street of the town, Lubelska. And
in the fall of 1940 the Nazis limited Jews to the following streets: Gardzienicka, Bednarska, Szewska,
Ksieza, Rybna, Kozia, Pocztowa, Furmanska, Krotka and Koscielna. The Piaski Ghetto was formed in
late 1940 and into early 1941. Poles who resided on streets needed by the Nazis were also displaced.
The Jewish police in Piaski included 30 members, including Stefan Reinemann (Chair) and Bela Trattner.

In the fall of 1941, 30 Jewish instructors from the Lwow Polytechnic Iinstitute were brought to Piaski
and shot to death. In order to conceal these crimes, Nazis burned the bodies. In February 1942,
195 Stanislawow Jews were taken by Germans to the Janowska camp in Lwow. For 3 weeks these
Jews were held in one shack in the camp area. Then they were taken to Piaski, where they were shot
to dead and buried. On May 5, 1942, 2,000 Lwow ghetto Jews, mostly the weak and the elderly, were
shot to death on Piaski Hill. On January 5-7, 1943 about 5,000 Lwow Jews were shot to death on
Piaski Hill (or, according to another source, they were deported to the Belzec Death Camp).

The Piaski Ghetto was surrounded by a two-meter wooden fence with fixed barbed wire on top of it.
The ghetto was initially divided into two parts: one on the northern side of Lubelska Street, the other
one on the southern side. The ghetto reached as far as the police station on one side and Ksieza
and Strazacka streets on the other side, and from the building of the German military police to the
parish church. The ghetto on the northern side was dissolved in 1942 and its residents were moved
to the southern section of the ghetto. Known transports to Piaski include the following:

-- 1,300 Jews from Stettin (Szczecin) on February 13, 1940;
-- 4,200 Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia in April, 1941;
-- 500 Jews from Czechoslovakia in summer, 1941;
-- Unknown number of Jews from Kalisz, Poland in March, 1942;
-- 1,000 Jews from Mainz and Darmstadt, Germany on March 20, 1942;
-- 985 Jews from Berlin, Germany on March 28, 1942;
-- ~1,000 Jews from Muenchen, Bavaria on April 3, 1942;
-- 989 Jews from Berlin, Germany on April 6, 1942;
... Note: 200 of the able-bodied were probably sent to Majdanek for slave labor
-- 1,000 Jews from Theresienstadt Ghetto, Czechoslovakia on April 1, 1942;
-- 1,000 Jews from Theresienstadt Ghetto, Czechoslovakia on April 23, 1942;
... Note: 200 of the able-bodied were probably sent to Majdanek for slave labor
-- 1,000 Jews from Majdan Tatarski (Lublin) on April 25, 1942;
-- 1,000 Jews from Czechoslovakia on Sept. 2 and Oct. 25, 1942;
-- 1,200 Jews from Krakow in December, 1942

After the ghetto was permanently locked in 1941, those inside were forbidden to leave it. The number of Jews in
the ghetto included the following (estimated): March of 1941: 4,803 Jews, January of 1942: 4,918 Jews, and
May of 1942: 6,166 Jews. The numbers reached around 10,000 Jews by November of 1943.

The ghetto was plagued by disease and hunger. Its residents stayed in cramped rooms where even a few
families were forced to live. Due to the lack of space, ghetto residents slept in turns. There were three
entrance gates to the ghetto which were guarded by the military policemen and the Jewish police. Jews
were taken through the gates to perform cleaning work in the town or were driven to the peat mine near
Dorohucza on the river. Twenty to thirty people perished in the ghetto on a daily basis. In the ghetto was
a makeshift hospital and a synagogue for praying. The ghetto was intended only as a transitional place.
Beginning in November 1942, a small forced labor camp for Jews operated in Piaski, but only lasted until
March or April of 1943 -- when the inmates were sent to the Trawniki Labor Camp.

Around March 16, 1942, 3,400 Jews -- including the German Jews from Stettin, who were deemed as
unfit for work, were sent to Trawniki and put into a large barn at the former sugar refinery, with
some Jews from Biskupice. The entire group, including some corpses of those who died in the barn of
suffocation, were then transported to Belzec Death Camp the next day. Other transports to
Belzec took place in April (2,000 Jews) and November (2,000 Jews) of 1942. In October, 1942,
another group of 4,000 Jews were sent to their deaths at the Sobibor Death Camp. This included a
group of 3,000 Jews from the Leczna Ghetto. The southern part of the ghetto was liquidated in Nov., 1943.

Of the pre-war Jewish population of the town of Piaski, a mere 35 Jews survived the Nazi occupation.
On March 17, 1943, after most Jews in Piaski were no more, an excess of 1,200 Jews from Lvov were
murdered in the Piaski Ghetto as retribution for the March 16 murder of an S.S. trooper by a Jewish man.

The synagogue was destroyed on July 9, 1944 during the Russian air raids directed at German troops that
stationed in the town. At present, next to the place where the synagogue stood on Strazacka Street, there
is a fire station. And near the synagogue, Jews used to have a mikvah, which was also destroyed in WWII.
The old Jewish cemetery in Piaski was founded in the second half of the 16th century. Some executions
were carried out by the Nazis at the cemetery. After the war, the market square was constructed at the
location of the old cemetery. The last burial was in the 19th century. The cemetery location was 500 Lecia St.

On Mickiewicza Street is the new Jewish cemetery, established at the end of the 19th century. In June of
1942 the Nazis forced local firefighters to dig out three ditches in the cemetery. On June 22, 1942 the Nazis
murdered over 1,000 Jews, including women and children, in the cemetery. The corpses of the murdered
were thrown to the ditches previously dug out. The place of this mass execution is not fenced or marked
in any way. The grounds of the cemetery are also partially forest. There are only a few preserved gravestones.
The oldest preserved matzeva is from 1906. In the 1990s, a German-Jewish diaspora from Augsburg erected
a commemorative stone in the cemetery to the memory of those Jews who had been killed in Piaski. It was
subsequently vandalized and destroyed by the local population. In 2006 a new plaque was fixed in the
cemetery with an inscription in three languages: Polish, German and Hebrew. It reads: To the memory of
the murdered Jewish victims and as a warning to the future generations.
The plaque was funded by
Die Deutsch-Israelischen Gesselschaften Bayerns. Aside from the plaque, the cemetery remains neglected.

Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.

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[History] [Holocaust] [Wikipedia - Piaski]
[Kibbutz in Piaski] [Education and Culture] [Synagogue]
[Piaski 1929 Business Directory] [Cemeteries]
[Yahad-in-Unum Investigation in Piaski, 2011]
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Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project



The ruins of houses in Piaski, during the retreat of the Russians in WWI. Photo from a member of the conquering German army.

The exterior of the destroyed synagogue of Piaski.

The interior of the destroyed synagogue of Piaski.


The main square, Piaski.

A view of Piaski.

A membership card for Elchanan Szewach of Piaski in the He-Chalutz federation in Poland.

A pre-war photo of two middle school girls from Piaski.

Yehoshua and Chana (Zilberman) Ackerman of Piaski. Their children included
Liba, Wolf, Chaja, Bracha, and Tzadik. They are recorded in Yad Vashem.


A Jewish girl -- the fiance of Josef Honig -- from Piaski, deported to Belzec in March 1942.



Poalei Zion party members in Piaski, 1921. Chaim Wajzer is in the photo.

The He-Chalutz ha-Tzair youth movement in Piaski. From Aug. 28, 1932.

The younger members' division of the He-Chalutz ha-Tzair youth movement in Piaski. From Aug. 28, 1932.

September, 1939: Polish Army members captured by the Germans in Piaski, heading toward Chelm.

Photo of Piaski Judenrat, 1942. The Piaski Judenrat consisted of: Mendel Polisecki, chairman; Moses Drajblat;
Josef Aschmann; Moritz Fried; Ernst Schlosser; Siegfried Kugelmann; Fritz Sanger; Hugo Railing; Kurt Hirschmann;
Ernest Bohm; Walter Guttsman; and Friedrich Kempner. They were mostly from Germany (source).


Himmler at the nearby Trawniki Concentration Camp.


The Germans set up a labor camp at Biskupice, near Piaski. These are post-war photos.


Sobibor uprising survivor Moshe Goldfarb from Piaski.

Square where the Old Jewish Cemetery was located.


Memorial erected for 15 Jews murdered at Kaweczyn near Piaski in 2011 by the Lasting Memory Foundation

The new memorial plaque erected in 2006 in Piaski. The cemetery remains neglected.


Memorial to murdered Jews in Kaweczyn near Piaski, unveiled by the Lasting Memory Foundation in June 2011.
Includes Lea Feldman, Lejb Besser, Josef Bialobrod, Aron Apfajer, Mordechaj Senderowicz, Hersz Tajchman,
Lejb Lejbman, Szabsa Bojta, Lezjer Bejer, and several victims whose surnames are not known. Learn more.


Downtown Piaski as it looks today.


LINKS

Join the Piaski group on Facebook!


City of Piaski:

- Book: Child of the Holocaust by Jack Kuper
- Dorohucza Transit Camp
- Trawniki Concentration Camp [Photos]
- Jewish Teachers and Students Sent to their Deaths in Piaski
- List of Piaski Judenrat Members (all murdered at Sobibor)
- Piaski Ghetto
- Piaski "New" Jewish Cemetery Photos (right side)
- Piaski Jewish Genealogy eGroup
- Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Piaski Luterskie
- Transit Ghettos Izbica, Piaski, and Rejowiec
- Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery in Piaski (video from 2003)
- Video testimony of witness Anna Lysakowska Swietlicka

Families of Piaski:

- Fux/Fuks family

Majdan Tatarski Ghetto Victims (Lublin) from Biskupice:

Szmuel Keselbrener
Kajl Lajferman
Hersz Dawid Lederman
Icek Szulhajcer
(source: Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN)

Majdan Tatarski Ghetto Victims (Lublin) from Piaski:

Rachela Apelblat
Chana Bronsztajn
Sara Feldman
Szmul Mendel Feldman
Symcha Wolf Feldzamen
Dawid Frym
Sura Liba Goldberg
Motek Goldfarb
Cyrla Goldfingier
Moszek Herszenhorn
Tobiasz Szulim Kahan
Szmuel Chaim Kahan
Lejzor Kaner
Iser Gerszon Korn
Abram Korn
Berek Froim Lichter
Dwojra Majzels
Hena Nagielsztajn
Bajla Estera Rozen
Elka Rychter
Moszek Sznajder
Wolf Lejb Szuster
Estera Ungersohn
Judka Majer Ungersohn
Chaskiel Ungersohn
Dwojra Waserman
Gitla Zajac
(source: Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN)

Survivors of Piaski:

- Zudik Akerman
- Helene Bialecka (went to Sweden)
- Joseph Bursztyn
- Mordechai Goldfarb
- Szajndla Grosfogel
- Szija Hoffman
- Jozef Honig (testimony)
- Mendel Kam
- Hanka Jakubowicz
- Jacob Kuperbaum (Jack Kuper)
- Joel Rotenberg
- Sam Schafer
- Brunia Bajla Szarf Sztul
- Gitla Szarf Merenstein
- Ruchla Roslyn Szarf Goldofsky
- Zofia Szyszko Bardach
- Sonia Tayerstein
- Sarah Tuller
- Fajga Wagner
- Szlamek Jakob Wagner
- Symcha Wajs

Survivors of Swidnik:

- Kina Morgensztern

Survivors of Trawniki:

- Bronislawa Englander

Rabbis of Piaski:

- Zvi Hirsh, 1764
- Yehuda Lejbusz Licht (born 1839), late 19th century
- Shlomo Licht (his son), early 20th century
- Moszek Icek Lucht (Licht), up to the Holocaust

Righteous Gentiles:

- Marianna Borzecka
- Jarosz family (additional links here and here)
- Marianna Krasnodebska
- Anna Swietlicka, Witness Testimony
- Alicja Tekalewicz, Witness Testimony
- In Siedliszczki, Jan and Aleksander Pasternak hid Jochwet Netzman from Piaski.
- In Gielczew, Adam and Aniela Kozak hid Jakub Kuperblum. He eventually went to Canada.
- In Brzezicki, Mr. Pietrzyk hid Maks Gradus from Warsaw. After the war he went to Haifa.
- In Majdan Kozicki, Jan Ostrowski hid the Chaskel family of Piaski. All of them were murdered.
- In Majdan Kaweczynski, Helena Broda saved Szloma Akstajn and Celia Dreszer.
- The Podsiadlo family hid Kurt Ticho (Kurt Thomas), Sobibor survivor.
- In Bystrzejowice, the Kucharski and Kosiarczyk families were executed for helping Jews.
- In Bystrzejowice, Jozef Mlynarski sheltered the Honig family. He was killed at Majdanek in 1943.

Genealogy:

- Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Piaski
- Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives

Remember Your Family

- JewishGen Family Finder
- JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
- Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
- Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members


CONTACTS

U.S.: Aaron, genealogykid20@aol.com


HOT LINKS

Chelm.freeyellow.com Index



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