The influx of the Płocker refugees in 1941 almost doubled the Jewish population of Bodzentyn. This unique photo from that year shows the crowded streets of the open ghetto with the Lower Market, Rynek Dolny (Plac Żwirki) and the well in the foreground. Photographer: Anonymous Wehrmacht soldier. Find the location on Google Maps
The occupation and open ghetto of Bodzentyn
Poland became a target of the Nazi regime on 1 September 1939. The German authorities issued decrees discriminating against the civilian population, particularly the Jews, from the beginning of the occupation. In October 1939, Jews in Polish territories occupied by the Germans were ordered to wear a Star of David when in public, either as a white armband with a blue, six-pointed Jewish star or in the shape of a yellow star to be sewn on their outer garment. Not wearing this was punishable—initially with a beating, later with a fine or imprisonment, and from 15th October 1941 with the death penalty. Also, the ritual slaughter was forbidden, as was Jewish public worship, Jewish children were not permitted in public schools, and their families were not allowed to own radios.
The sense of insecurity and fear intensified. In the open ghetto of Bodzentyn, making a living was becoming increasingly difficult. Goldie Szachter Kalib recounts how the family mill was confiscated by the occupation government in the closing months of 1940 and handed over to a Volksdeutsche, a German living in Poland, who had moved into Bodzentyn and been elevated to the position of the commissar. On 4 November that same year, the Banking co-operative of Bodzentyn (Bank spółdzielczy) excluded all of its Jewish clients and closed their accounts.
The vast majority of the Jewish population had been excluded from economic life and needed support from the community.
"A report from the town of Bodzentyn (Radom district) relates that out of the 1,400 Jews in the ghetto 50 percent were in need of relief."
Source: Isaiah Trunk. Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation (University of Nebraska Press, 1972). p. 128.
The Germans didn’t station in Bodzentyn but Bieliny, a few kilometres away. People were struck by fear, and the Jews knew that some of them would get killed every time the Germans would come.
"Then when they came in every time they killed, we were sitting in the house and shivering, [wondering] to whose house he will go in? Then they came in, in somebody’s house, and they killed a few people and then they left. Or if somebody walked on the street, once I remember a pregnant woman, [she] walked on the street, a Jewish woman, and they killed her. And they took her body; they buried [it] in front of their house—of her parents’ home. It was very scary and very bad. […] We could not go out from the town; whoever stepped out, they killed.”
Source: USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Eva Herling, Oral History | VHA Interview Code: 16492.
German troops in Poland encountering a Jewish man on the street. Editor's note: The photo is NOT from Bodzentyn.
In Bodzentyn and all the districts of the General Government, Jews over ten were required to wear a white armband with a blue Star of David on it. In the latter part of 1941, the introduction of the death penalty, or Schiessbefehl, for anyone caught leaving the ghetto was decreed to deter smuggling and escape.
A note concerning the sheltering of escaping Jews serving as a reminder that per paragraph 3 of the decree of October 15, 1941, on the limitation of residence in the General Government, Jews leaving the Jewish Quarter without permission will incur the death penalty. According to this decree, those knowingly helping these Jews by providing shelter, supplying food, or selling foodstuffs are also subject to the death penalty (Częstochowa, Poland September 1942).
The Jewish Community Council of Bodzentyn discussing the forthcoming war. From the left: Icek Szafir, and next to him, the Rabbi of Bodzentyn (most probably Rabbi Herszka Szwarc, also known as Henry Schwartz and Hirsh Shwartz), followed by Meir Grossman (Morris Grossman) and Nus’n Szachter, who was formerly secretary of the organization. The two men at the far right have not yet been identified. The gentleman on the far right may, however, well be the young Shmiel Weintraub. Editor's note: The Jewish Council, Judenrat in German, was an administrative body formed in each ghetto by order of the Germans.
The Jewish Council and the Jewish Police were forced, often under pain of death, to follow the directives of the Nazis and their ever-increasing demands. They had little choice but to act. In normal circumstances, elders were indeed often heads of the Jewish communal organization. However, in Bodzentyn, the elderly community leaders, Nus’n Szachter and Icek Szafir, were perceived as unable to cope with the Germans. Rachel Saphir (Szafir) Einesman recalls that her father, Icek, asked to be relieved of his duties as a member of the Jewish Council, conceiving himself far too old for this difficult task. After that, Icek wouldn’t even go out into the streets.
The town elders of Bodzentyn deemed it wise to select Froyim Szachter, who was younger and thought to be better suited to cope with the expected difficult demands of the cruel occupation government. He sought to mitigate German demands for valuables and to lessen the horror of labour roundups, but in the end, he found it impossible to cope with the situation. Froyim Szachter was arrested and eventually transferred to Auschwitz, where he perished on 29 January 1942.
Dawid Rubinowicz and other eyewitnesses testify that in the spring of 1942 and continuing towards the summer, raids and house-to-house searches intensified in the open ghetto of Bodzentyn. People accused of hiding goods were arrested. Those who refused to co-operate with the Germans were shot or sent to Auschwitz, and Jews seen outside the ghetto or disobeying curfew laws were shot.
As in other places, the Nazis ordered the Jewish Council in Bodzentyn to produce a group of Jewish males fit for work and present them on a given day. Most of the time, no one knew where the Germans would take the slave labourers on each particular occasion. At times the boys and men would go and perform different kinds of work nearby and then get back in the evening; other days, they would be transported further away. For example, the Jews from Bodzentyn were brought as slave labourers to Starachowice-Wierzbnik and Skarżysko Kamienna.
Arrested Jewish men are transported on a truck in Nazi German-occupied Poland. Editor's note: The photo is NOT from Bodzentyn. Read more information about the photo in the Bundesarchiv.
In 1942, with rumours of the liquidations of ghettos spreading, Jewish men and women of German-occupied territories became increasingly aware that obtaining a work card might postpone their deportation to the unknown. There were also words spread about labour camps, from which some came back, and then there were rumours going around about being sent “East”.
The perception that life would be easier in a small town during the German occupation was reversed in the spring and summer of 1942. Some families sought means to leave, trying to obtain work cards, hoping to be spared in the selections or that there would be a miracle and the war was over.
The escapees fled by foot through the forest, taking off their Star of David armband and some even dressed in outfits that would make them appear less Jewish and resemble someone from the local Polish population. Through trusted people, arrangements were made for worker’s documents and one by one, whole families who could manage their escape left Bodzentyn.
"I remember that Dumker killed the Sztarkman family"
Bodzentyn had fallen within the jurisdiction of a Gendarmerie post under the command of a man named Dumker, also referred to as Dunkier. He made periodic visits to Bodzentyn and arrested various members of the intelligentsia—both Jews and non-Jews—who were never seen again. People witnessed that the Gendarmerie and specifically the blond man of short stature “pies krwawy” (“bloody dog”) Dumker was harassing the Jews of Bodzentyn frequently, almost every day. Whenever Dumker was in town he left pools of blood. He was seemingly obsessed with the killing of Jews.
Rachel Saphir Einesman (Rachel Szafir Ejnesman) has a vivid memory of the murder of the young Jewess Gela Sztarkman:
“I remember that Dumker often came along. He had several mistresses. He came into the store asking me for various things. We gave him whatever he demanded. We heard that already on the road, he had killed several people. I remember that this Dumker killed the Sztarkman family [- - - ] the German killed the parents leaving a 14-year-old daughter, Gela Sztarkman, and a boy of 10. Daddy said to me: ‘Go, check on Gela, see what she needs.’ For me, it was easier. Daddy felt responsible for the two orphans. When I went to Gela, Dumker appeared. [The Sztarkman family] had a candy store. I was standing in the corner wishing to speak with her, but there was no time. The Germans from Bieliny came, as well as Dumker along with his mistress. He commanded [Gela] to give him some pralines, for the Polish girl [the mistress] wanted to have these. She went up to the shelf on a ladder to bring the box down.
Then he shot her in the back. She fell [off the ladder], and they all laughed at this ‘show’. I sneaked out. They had not seen me. I ran off. I do not know what happened to the [Sztarkman] boy.”
Not being mortally wounded, Gela tried to make her escape when Dumker left the store. However, he returned and killed the young woman in the courtyard.
Sources: USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Rachel Saphir-Einesman-Binstock, Oral History | VHA Interview Code: 11566. Fafara, Eugeniusz. Gehenna ludnosci zydowskiej (Warszawa, 1983), pp. 429-430. Note that here Gela is referred to by the witness as “the young Jewess Fiela Sztarkman”.
The sign of the store “Fruit and sweets – Gela Sztarkman” is preserved in Bodzentyn. It was shown to the public in 2009 during the Dawid Rubinowicz Days by Towarzystwo Dawida Rubinowicza (TDR)/The Dawid Rubinowicz Society.
The first ghetto in occupied Poland was set up in the autumn of 1939. At the beginning of 1942, there were hundreds of them to be seen all over Poland and Eastern Europe. Not only did the Germans bring Jews to these ghettos from the immediate surroundings, but Jews were also brought by way of deportation from other places, even Germany and Austria. This was the case also in Bodzentyn. In the fall of 1940, the Jewish Community, consisting of approximately 300 families, was faced with the responsibility to absorb many impoverished Jews from the city of Płock. In the spring of 1941, all of them were confined in the ghetto of Bodzentyn with strict orders not to move in or out of the village.
The Jewish refugees from Płock (Plotz, Plotzk) had gone through hell even before their deportation to Bodzentyn.
“As elsewhere in Poland, the Jews of Płock were quickly subjected to confiscation [of personal property], marking [i.e., wearing a Star of David], forced labour, and many other indignities. They were also ‘ghettoized,’ forced to reside in a delimited but unwalled section of town and forbidden to leave without a permit. As Płock was part of the ‘incorporated territories’ of western Poland annexed to the Third Reich, the threat of total expulsion also hung over Poles and Jews alike. The Jews paid a large bribe in mid-January 1941 to defer deportation until the winter weather had passed but to no avail. In a last flurry of expulsions in early 1941—before military claims on rail transportation in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union brought such expulsions to an end—the Jews of Płock were deported in late February.”
Source: Browning, Christopher R. Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp (W. W. Norton, 2010), p. 53.
On their arrival, members of the refugee families were separated. The local Jewish citizens took them in, mainly two to a family.
From the day that the Płockers arrived in Bodzentyn, a local Jewish committee was in charge of baking bread and cooking potatoes or soup in the synagogue for the hungry masses.
The local Jewish community could not keep up giving their help for long, and the refugees from Płock suffered terribly in the year to come.
"They converted the synagogue into a hospital"
Listen to Michael Zelon as he accounts for the refugees' arrival in Bodzentyn and the situation in the open ghetto.
Outside the ghetto, having a fake identification card could help one avoid arrest, as did change one’s appearance. Michael Zelon and his father, who had started a business smuggling leather from Bodzentyn to Szydłowiec, understood that they would not be allowed to leave the town with this new order. Their business, however small, was their livelihood, and they decided to keep it up:
“My father came up with a bike idea, he bought a bicycle, and I went on the bicycle to Szydłowiec, and we hid leather under my shirt. I could go fairly freely because in school [in Płock] as a [lone] Jew we had on our report card ‘religion’, and by mistake, they put on my report card ‘Catholic’ […] as a matter of fact [the Germans] stopped me once and I showed the document. They let me go without any problem as a Catholic.”
“We lost a lot of people. You could see people well respected from Płock, people with degrees, people [who] were prosperous before the war, totally neglected, swollen feet, swollen faces, torn clothes and very unfriendly, ready to fight for no reason what so ever […] it was heartbreaking to see those people ‘going down’ so quickly. And a lot of people died because […] of the really painful life.”
Source: USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Michael Zelon, Oral History | VHA Interview Code: 47180.
Appealed for help
The influx of the Płocker refugees almost doubled the Jewish population of Bodzentyn. As a result of this, an epidemic of typhus broke out. The horrific situation can be partially studied in the documents found in the Ringelblum Archive. The Płocker refugees and Płockers Committee in Bodzentyn wrote to the Płockers' Association in Warsaw, describing the situation and asking for aid on various occasions, such as in letters dated from mid-March in 1941 through September 1942.
"A letter of May 5th describes the position of the refugees. Epidemic diseases had caused many deaths. ‘We had to bury 100 of our brethren’ communicated another letter. Mortality was high. People wore rags, were hungry and were covered with [sores].”
Source: Kermish, Dr. Joseph. “Plotzk Refugees in Exile,” in The Jews of Plotzk Under the Nazi Regime. An electronically-posted copy is available at this address (accessed June 2010): http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/plock/plo070.html
Another witness accounts:
“My family and I were assigned to Bodzentyn. In Bodzentyn, the conditions were horrible […] twelve people altogether were living in an empty little store. Children were swollen from hunger and cold, and an epidemic broke out […]. Our people died en masse from cold, hunger, and typhoid […] In the little town, I could not recognize our people. They were transformed into skeletons. All of them were in rags; they had open sores, and they were all begging. Thus appeared our compatriots before the end..."
Source: Voices from the Abyss: Letters and Essays, ed. Leon Kilbert, p. 9. Excerpts from this book are electronically posted at this address (accessed June 2010): http://www.zchor.org/abyss/abysbit.htm
On arrival in Bodzentyn, four hundred of the refugees from Płock were assembled in the synagogue. Later on, when the epidemic of typhoid broke out, the synagogue was converted into a hospital. Editor's note: The photo shows civilians lodged in a synagogue in Poland in 1939. It is NOT from Bodzentyn.
The Ringelblum Archive confirms that 1,500 Płockers were deported to Bodzentyn. Four hundred were housed in the synagogue. The number seems to have shrunk drastically. In May 1941, the number of Płockers was only 1,200.
In the letters, the Płockers recognize the aid they received from the Jewish Council in Bodzentyn. However, it was not enough, and the people asked for assistance from others as well to stay alive. For example, in June 1941, they requested further aid as an epidemic of typhus broke out, with 200 persons sick and numerous deaths.
After the end of September 1942, the Płockers in Bodzentyn were not heard of again.
To many of the Jews in Bodzentyn, the day of liquidation came suddenly before they could follow through on any escape plans. Four Jews are known to have made their escape later on from the camps and found shelter with the assistance of the Dziuba family in the vicinity of Bodzentyn, and Nachman “Józef” Rubinowicz was hidden behind something like a double wall in the house of Maria and Kazimierz Zygadlewicz in Bodzentyn from 1943 until the end of the war.
It is well-known that Jews from the surrounding villages and towns, such as Krajno and Nowa Słupia, were deported to Bodzentyn before the ghetto was liquidated.
In a note on a postcard sent to Warszaw from Bodzentyn on September 30, 1942, a woman named Rózia writes:
"Dear Józek [...] I'm in Bodzentyn for the time being. Today I came to Bodzentyn. How long I'll be here, I don't know. [...] Rózia with the children."
Source: Ring. II/275/3. The images are photographic reproductions. View the original postcard from the collections of the E. Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.
When the ghetto’s liquidation took place,* the German gendarmerie motored into town, banged on the doors, and the Jewish men, women, and children were rushed to the Lower Market Square. Peasants were called to assist with their horse-drawn wagons.
The Jews were marched to Suchedniów, and there they were loaded on trains that took them to the extermination camp at Treblinka. Afterwards, goods were collected, and hideouts discovered and emptied—everything and everyone was delivered to the executioners.
Germans serving in Reserve Police Battalion 101 publicly humiliate a Jewish man by forcing him to pose in a prayer shawl in a crouching position with his hands up. Editor's note: This photo is NOT from Bodzentyn. However, it resembles one of the scenes in the town when the Jews were forced to round up at the Lower Market.
Eyewitness account by Shmiel Wientraub
"On Yom Kippur, Monday, September 21, one of the services took place in the home of Hersh'l Weintraub [- - -]
By the afternoon, the community was shaken by the arrival of a Jew from nearby Suchedniów, who had fled by foot and was winded, exhausted, and terrified. He reported that the Jewish community there was in the process of being liquidated, and that by now probably not a single Jew was left in the entire town. The Jews of Bodzentyn then realized that, barring a miracle, they were in all probability the next victims on the Nazi agenda for liquidation. Toward the afternoon, the German gendarmerie made its appearance [- - -]
The time had come for the concluding prayers of the N'ilo (Conclusion) Service. Tradition defines this service as the one that accompanies the closing of the portals of Heaven, as the great season of petition and atonement draws to a close in the final hours of Yom Kippur. This service ends with a final blast of the Shofar and the final congregational response [- - -]
Four days after Yom Kippur, the festival of Sukkot came and ran its seven-days course relatively uneventfully.
The long-feared, dreaded day began in the predawn hours shortly before 5 A.M. on the morning of Sh'mini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly), Saturday—our Sabbath—October 3, 1942."
Source: Kalib Szachter, G., Wachsberger, K., & Kalib S. (1991). The Last Selection: a Child's Journey Through the Holocaust. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 143.
"I have been living here for years as an amateur painter. I called this painting 'The Last Way' with the subtitle 'The Blue Knights' because that was their uniform colour. The various German types are known. I tried to recreate their distinctive look, their arrogance. And here is the Rabbi, brutally abused by the soldiers."
"During the occupation, I sketched on a piece of parchment. I rolled it up, put it next into a bottle, an ordinary lemonade bottle, and hid it in the rubbish pile because I was scared; yes, I was. After a few years, I took it out and then ironed that paper. It is how this painting, 'The Last Way', came into being. It is the way from which there is no return."
"I experienced it there on my own. And when the Germans forced the Jews to the Market Square, I ran through the gardens in Opatowska Street, and by the hole in the gate, I saw how the exodus from Bodzentyn began."
Source: "Wyjście z Bodzentyna" 1960-03-04. Sygnatura: 33-T-275. Warszawa: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe. In transcript to Polish by Krystyna Rachan and Ewa Better, and in translation to English by the above mentioned with the Editor.
"This is what I saw, my Lord, this scene of the raid. Everyone called on God in his and her own way. Wordly things didn't mean anything in the face of the extermination, for the Jewish people and us [Poles]. Let me quote here what one of the Jews said: 'They will have us for breakfast., and you for dinner.'"
"...on 1st June  we [Poles] also went on the Market Square [at the pacification]."
"We were there at the same Market Square."
"The Germans came after a week or so. They surrounded the square, and the trumpet sounded. They [the Jews] all knew who they were calling for and came out."
"As [the Jewess] heard [- - -] this trumpet sound, she came out and said: 'Now I know there is no God because my prayer did not help. We will not be spared [- - -] There is no God. So many prayers, so much fasting.' It seemed that she had not eaten anything for a week and not slept but only prayed to God that they would not be taken away. Never had they thought of death [- - -] they did not think of that. They only thought of coming back, that they would be coming back."
"There was a Jewish woman who lived here, in this gate, an exile from Krajno—they deported them here. Oh, how she prayed! Because she wanted to live, and she was aware of what the Germans were doing here.
No, she was not allowed to live. The trumpet sounded; they [the Jews] were taken away. They took them to Suchedniów. And yet, her son was left upstairs because he had come from the other village.
At noon… We didn't even know that he [the boy] was sleeping upstairs. He woke up and came downstairs. We said: 'Are you still here?' I said: 'Your people are gone.'
He started to cry and asked: 'What shall I do?' I told him: 'You have to decide on your own. If you [want to] hide in Krajno, then go there. If you do not hide, then you must catch up with the others.'
And he left. He cried poorly, but he went after the others. If he caught up with the others, I don't know."
Listen to the above-quoted eyewitnesses accounts in the recording:
Source: "Wyjście z Bodzentyna" 1960-03-04. Sygnatura: 33-T-275. Warszawa: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe.
Text: In transcript to Polish by Krystyna Rachan and Ewa Better, and in translation to English by the above mentioned with the Editor.
The envelope in the picture shows two dates: October 30, 1942, and November 3, 1942. The letter is returned to the sender confirming that the Jewish community in Bodzentyn is no longer present. A copy of the envelope can be found in Pamiętnik Dawida Rubinowicza (1960).
- The history of the Jewish community in Krajno and Bodzentyn during the Nazi German occupation can be studied in part from the perspective of the diary of Dawid Rubinowicz
- Read Holocaust survivor testimonies
- Read an article in which regionalist Stefan Rachtan describes the situation in Bodzentyn, Poland, during WWII. Mr Rachtan also recalls the Jews of his neighbourhood and scenes from his childhood in Dąbrowa Dolna and Bodzentyn
- Fafara, Eugeniusz. Gehenna ludnosci zydowskiej (Warszawa, 1983). This book mentions, in brief, the liquidation from the eyewitness Jan Fąfara's account, as well as the aid provided to Jews during the Holocaust by Kazimierz
Zegadłowicz, Jan Fąfara, Antoni Harabin, and the Dziuba family. For more information, view Resources (about the Zygadlewicz family) , and read the article about Stanisława Dziuba
- Learn more about "Hasag", the Skarżysko-Kamienna slave labour camp that Dawid Rubinowicz' father and others were taken to. Find the book Death Comes in Yellow by Felicja Karay
- The Germans collected all valuables from the houses. After World War II, the former residences of Jews were considered vacant, and the state assigned these apartments and houses to citizens in need of housing without regard to the property’s legal ownership status. This practice was called prescription. For further information read: Wołczyk, Artemiusz. ”Pozostał po nich tylko kirkut…”, Przemiany nr 6 z 1987 r., p. 30.
- “Bodzentyn”. Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945: Informator encyklopedyczny (Warszawa, 1979), p. 111. The refugees from Płock are estimated to have been 700 in number. Before the liquidation of the ghetto in late September or early October 1942, the number of Jews in Bodzentyn increased to 3 000. Read also: Fafara, Eugeniusz, Gehenna ludnosci zydowskiej (Warszawa, 1983), pp. 625. For the table listing the shifting Jewish population of Bodzentyn, prepared by the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, see: Adam Rutkowski, “Martyrologia, Walka I Zaglada Ludnosci Zydowskiej w Dystrykcie Radomskim Podczas Okupacji Hitlerowskiej,” Biuletyn Zydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, vol. 15-16 (1955), pp. 138-165.
- Browning, C. R. (2010). Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labour Camp. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
- Fąfara E. (1983). Gehenna ludnosci zydowskiej. Warszawa: Ludowa Spóldzielnia Wydawnicza.
- Kalib Szachter, G., Wachsberger, K., & Kalib S. (1991). The Last Selection: a Child's Journey Through the Holocaust. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press.
- Karay F. (1996). Death comes in yellow: Skarżysko-Kamienna slave labor camp. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic.
- Mularczyk A., Rywanowicz R, Kąkolewsk K. (1960). Wyjście z Bodzentyna [Coming out from Bodzentyn]. Nowa Kultura, Nr 19 (528), p 3, 9.
- Ring. I/120, I/211/4, I/535, I/536, I/1174. Ring. II/275/3. The Warsaw Ghetto. Oyneg Shabes-Ringelblum Archive. Catalog and Guide. Edited by Moses Shapiro and Tadeusz Epsztein. Translated by Robert Moses Shapiro. Introduction by Samuel D. Kassow. Washington, D. C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute. Indiana University Press. Digital resource, accessed 03.08.2021 at https://collections.ushmm.org/findingaids/RG-15.079M_02_fnd_en.pdf
- Rubinowicz, D., Janicki J., Wiernik B, Pałysiewicz E., Pałysiewicz J., & Wymark E. (2010). Pamiętnik Dawida Rubinowicza. Reszta nie jest milczeniem. Bodzentyn: Towarzystwo Dawida Rubinowicza.
- USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Rachel Saphir-Einesman-Binstock, Oral History | VHA Interview Code: 11566. (Other Holocaust survivor testimonies are presented in the article.)
- Wołczyk, A. (1987). Pozostał po nich tylko kirkut ... (6th edition), Bodzentyn.
- Wołczyk A. (2007). Bodzentyn jako miasto i osada. Bodzentyn.
- "Wyjście z Bodzentyna" 1960-03-04. Sygnatura: 33-T-275. Warszawa: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe.
Date of the liquidation of the ghetto. The so-called Fahrplananordnung Nr 587 was sealed and dated in Krakow on September 15 1942. The timetable Nr. 587 stated that the train leaving from Suchedniów on September 21 1942, would arrive at Treblinka on September 22 and return empty some hours later. A photo reproduction was published in the first Polish version of Dawid Rubinowicz's Diary: Rubinowicz, D., Rutkowski A. & Jarochowska, M. (1960). Pamiętnik Dawida Rubinowicza. Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza, pp. 26—28. Another date—October 3, 1942—is mentioned as the exact date of the liquidation of the open Bodzentyn ghetto by the eyewitness in Kalib Szachter, G., Wachsberger, K., & Kalib S. (1991). The Last Selection: a Child's Journey Through the Holocaust. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, p. 145. A postcard dated September 30 1942, from Rózia in Bodzentyn to Józek Frydman in the Warsaw ghetto supports the latter date (source: Ring. II/275/3).
The signature of Froyim Szachter. The signature is to be found on at least two archival documents: “Ältestenrat Der Juden In Bodzentyn/Rada Starszych Zydow w Bodzentynie 24/XI 1940” and “Ältestenrat Der Juden In Bodzentyn/Rada Starszych Zydow w Bodzentynie 1/V 1941”, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Virtual Shtetl Project (electronically-posted copies should be available at: http://www.sztetl.org.pl). Copies were made available to the Editor by Dr Justyna Staszewska. In the Auschwitz Death Registers, The State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Froyim Szachter is reported to have been brought to his death in Auschwitz on January 29 1942 (an electronically-posted copy is available at The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, Yad Vashem).