The Jewish Soldier in History
Moshke Manheim, Hero of the Spanish Civil War

Home       l       Site Map      l      Exhibitions      l     About the Museum       l      Education      l     Contact Us       l      Links

At the south end of the village, in the direction of Wyszmontow, lived the grain dealer Naftule Manheim with his wife Feige and their four sons. They all lived in a little brick house with a solid lock to protect the front door.

Moshke, the eldest son, had no intention of spending his days like his father, stooping under heavy sacks of grain. He chose instead to become a roofer with one of the village tradesmen. This contact with the world of labourers aroused his political conscience and he became a member of the Communist Party.

His dash and his generosity of spirit immediately won him great popularity. He was an indefatigable organizer for the workers' movement. This kind of commitment had its risks at that time, and it turned out that he attracted the attention of the police. So he decided to leave Ozarow and pursue the struggle in Lodz and in Warsaw.

When war broke out in Spain in 1936, Moshke could not remain indifferent to the Republican struggle against Franco. He joined the International Brigade.

Moshke Manheim, hero of the Spanish Civil War.

Shortly before his departure for Spain, he returned one last time to Ozarow to bid his family farewell. I had the opportunity to see him. With his moustache and his navy blue cap with the lacquered visor, he looked like a real Pole!

Once in Spain, he joined up with some of his childhood friends who were in the Jewish section of the International Brigade. In 1937, his intelligence and bravery in combat gained him a promotion to officer in charge of a unit. It was during the terrible battle of Oviedo that he was killed. The Yiddish press, in particular "Die Folkszeitung" of Warsaw, announced the tragic news ..

That is how we lost our Moshke at age 26, his life sacrificed for his ideal of justice.

Ożarów 5

photo and written excerpts
from "Memories of Ożarów: A Little Jewish Town That Was" by Hillel Adler. Translated by William Fraiberg.





Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Copyright © 2008. Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved. 
Image Use Policy.