About us

The Editor of Bodzentyn.net is Ewa Wymark, a freelance journalist, project manager and teacher in Sweden. She was inspired to get started on this project while interviewing Max Safir, a Holocaust survivor born in Bodzentyn, who had settled in Sweden.

Following the Editor's first visit to Bodzentyn in May 2008—in the company of Max and Lena Jersenius at the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism—the Editor built a website to commemorate the Jewish community. Three months later, the Editor initiated contact with the local municipality. Her letter was brought to Jan Pałysiewicz at the Town Office on Friday 22 August when he, Krystyna Nowakowska, and Bogdan Białek gathered to discuss some special days in September they planned to arrange in cooperation with the municipality, headed by the current Mayor Marek Krak, and the local Catholic Priest, Father Sikorski to honour and commemorate Dawid Rubinowicz and the lost Jewish community.

The positive response from the Municipality of Bodzentyn and the commendable local initiatives inspired the Editor, and she continued her research.

Along the way—studying books on the local history, comparing archival documents, testimonies and conducting interviews—the Editor came to know other survivors, emigrants and descendants of emigrants who had settled in different parts of the world. Some had personal experiences to share; one wrote a book, and others had family lore from parents and grandparents.

In addition to the testimonies, local historians in Bodzentyn and other Polish residents, including the Parish Priest, have made valuable contributions.

To create Bodzentyn.net, the Editor has received grants four times from the Foundation of Helge Ax: son Johnson. The first version of the Site was programmed by Linda Holmkratz. Initially, the Editor also got some technical and expert advice from Scandinavian Photo.

The current Site, published in August 2021, is the fourth version of Bodzentyn.net.

"The case study has been done with the sincerest depth of passion and in a flow. It has been exhaustive; however, that effort has been rewarding on many levels.

I could not have managed to create Bodzentyn.net on my own, nor would I have been able to write the comparative study of Dawid’s diary without some help.

I am indebted to all people who shared their memories and wrote and/or collected essential information about the Jewish community in previous years, those who have provided support and encouragement, and others whose generosity in giving time and patient advice have helped me realize this project.

I want to express my profound gratitude to David Cohen, who helped me through this entire process, and Krystyna Rachtan, who gave valuable feedback and assisted me in many, many ways, including interviewing her father-in-law Stefan Rachtan and researching some of the archives.

I also thank Dr Justyna Staszewska for sharing some of the leads she found during her own research and checking other archival documents on my behalf.

I would also like to thank Shane Grosman and David Cislowski, who, in 2020 and 2021, respectively, generously donated funds to cover the yearly cost to host the website and encouraged me to move on with this project and the renewal of the Site.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share the Site with everyone. I hope it inspires people to think creatively and launch new projects that bring people together and create more understanding. The Site commemorates the lost Jewish community of Bodzentyn. It is a monument built with pictures and words."

Ewa Wymark

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