Preface to the Book

Translated from Hebrew by Jerrold Landau

In this book before us, we unite ourselves with the holy memory of the dear natives of our town, who were murdered in such a terrible and frightful manner, of which there are no human words to describe.

There was a Jewish community in Czyzewo, and it is no longer.

We, the survivors, come with awe and trepidation to erect a monument to it.

We attempted to gather and weave together chapters about the life in the town, a life of toil and creativity, the physical and the spiritual life, a vibrant life in all its dimensions and all its eras.

Generation followed generation in the chain of Jewish life of Czyzewo. A multi-faceted Jewish life grew here, and laid down roots.

Generations to come will find in this book, as in all memorial books to the victims of the Holocaust, a testimony and mirror into what it was like in the Diaspora of Europe prior to the great destruction, when all vestiges of Jewish life were erased from our town.

This book that is before us cannot purport to portray all facets of the variegated life of our small town, and it should not be approached as an ordinary book of literature, science, or history. The various ways of life presented on these pages cannot be weighed on the scales of literature, or on the scales of history and science. The importance of this memorial book, even for science, is that its authors are not men of science.

We who came from the community of Czyzewo, who remain a few of many, and who merited to join ourselves with the builders of our homeland in the Land of Israel, felt that it is upon us to fulfil this holy duty – to erect a memorial to our community. We did not rest or silence ourselves until we completed the task.

This was a holy task, of agony and grief.

We will kindle an eternal light to the holy and pure martyrs; we will erect an eternal monument to the memory of the community that was destroyed and annihilated.

May this book serve as an eternal memorial!

Yisgadal Veyiskadash… (the first words of the Jewish Kaddish memorial prayer).