Zionism in Europe
The Political Parties of Zambrów
From the Zambrów Yizkor Book (abridged English version), 1963

Zambrów is a member of the Museum's World Jewish Communities

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Hachalutz, "Adult" Pioneers
Apr. 3, 1926
Young Pioneers, branch "Trumpeldor"

1. Zionists.
Quite as early as at the time of the first Zionist Congress in Basel, the Jewish community of Zambrów could already boast of an active Zionist circle. And so was Zambrów, at the very start of the founding of the Shekel-subscription, at once responsive to the continual campaign of spreading and circulating the Shekel among the Jewish masses the world over. And when the Colonial Bank had issued shares for Palestine at ten rubles a share, Zambrów made a good start, acquiring as much as twenty of those shares, quite an achievement in those remote days, with the teacher Israel Lewinsky having been the first one in line. Among the pioneer members of the Zionist circle in Zambrów stood out such earnest reputable men as the scholarly writer, Reb Abraham Aba Rakovsky, the merchant Shlomo Bloomrosen, Benjamin Kagan, Israel Lewinsky (teacher), Fishel Danilevitch (teacher), Chono Tenenboim, Efraim Suravitch. Jacob and Meier Zukrovitch, Jacob Yehoshua Kahan, Itzchak Lewinson, Greenberg (fur merchant), David Smolar, Yakula, Yom-Tov Herman, Fishel Haya-Itke's, Jacob Shlomo Kukavke, Meier Meizner, the brothers Itche Faivel, Lippe Bloomrosen, and others.

The Zionist movement attracted then young adepts who assisted in the sale of Shkolim, who campaigned for the Keren Kayemet and studied diligently the Hebrew language. In the long stretch of years up to the invasion of the Nazi hordes, the Zionist movement in Zambrów was alive, what with all the periods of crisis and stress that has come upon the land, as in the long years of the first world war when the young men had all been mobilized, the communication with the Jews in other lands totally ceased. The Zionist movement was, as said, very much alive in the normal years in Zambrów, dedicating its activities chiefly to the education of the youth in the all-embracing love for the Jewish nation and its lofty aspirations, for the cherished Hebrew language, for Eretz-Israel, -- in a world, bringing up a generation of potential Haluzim in Israel.

2. Poalei Zion. The ideology of Poalei Zion did not fail either to find its adherents among the more radical youthful elements in Zambrów. The movement grew gradually, gaining its adepts among university students and ex-Yeshiva students. The leading figure in the movement was Yehoshua Domb (now living in Israel). Domb, writes Samuel Gutman, was a Hebrew teacher, a fine speaker, one of the people, a man of knowledge, an intellectual. Collaborating closely with him were the teacher Nathan Smolar, Pinie Boimkoler, Garfinkel, the tinsmith's son a veteran Poalei Zion, away since 1905. Sarnievitch, Zabludovsky, Bertche Sokol; the feminine active members: Shifra Lifshitz, Elke Guterman, Tillie Sarnievitch, Menuchke Sokol (Now living in Israel).

The "movement" limited itself chiefly by educational activity, introducing courses of elementary studies, founding a dramatic studio, etc.



Active Members of Poalei Zion
A Group of Poalei Zion


3. Zeire-Zion. An important part in the social life of Zambrów played the sons of middle-class, or bourgeoisie, families, "with proletarian ideas", writes further Samuel Gutman. The leaders of this branch of Zionism were: Leibtchakh Golombek, Abraham Boimkoler, the brothers Itzchak and Haim Grodzinsky, David Rosental, Yankel Yabrovsky, the family GotIib, Shafran, Zukrovitch and others. Their adversaries of the "Bund" and the Poalei Zion reproached them for being "a proletarian Party without a single real workingman", until Providence came to their rescue, writes S. Gutman, and my own brother, Mordecai, a tailor, and Simcha Stern, a miller's son, who worked in his father's mill, joined the Zeire-Zion group. From this original group descended in later years the group "Hachalutz" that achieved practical results in its activity on behalf of Eretz-Israel. They may be credited with furthering immigration to Israel thus having delivered many Jewish souls from the imminent Nazi onslaught. Of the outstanding members of the group are: Zvi Zamir-Slovik, Benjamin Pshisusker, Fetziner, Michail Yabrovsky, Noah Zukrovitch and others.



Young Zionists

David Rosental, Chairman, in center.
Shlomo Rosental is located in the top right corner,
fourth to the left, below the woman in black.
Young Zionists

Giving a farewell party for brother Tzivan,
at his leaving to migrate to Argentina.


4. Bund." In the "5th year", i.e. in the year 1905, the proletarian youth in Zambrów already differentiated into party-division of "Es-Es", "Es-Er", Bund, Poalei Zion and even an inkling of Communism and Anarchism (the very few adepts of the latter having strangely been just young men of a quiet and diffident nature).

It is difficult at this time to give an account of the exact functions of the "Bund" in Zambrów in those years. But the group is well remembered among Zambrówites by their idealistic zeal in organizing strikes, in spreading revolutionary ideas among the workingmen, in opening classes in elementary schooling for adults. After the collapse of the Tzarist "Constitution", most of them immigrated to America, and the "Bund" in Zambrów ceased then to exist.


A Group of Working Men

active in Trade Union Movement
Third and fourth from right to left are
Golombeck and Altzer.

The members of the last Bund group included Hershel Sendak, an ex-Yeshiva student, the husband of Faye Shiniak; the druggist Shklovin, later treacherously murdered by polish assassins, and others.

The Bund remained steadfastly on guard, launching into a propaganda-fight against clericalism, assimilation and seeing in Zionism in whatever form and variety its archenemy. The Bund also founded a library and a quite efficient dramatic studio.



Group of Workingmen of the Radical Bent
The speaker: Hershel Smolar

5. Communists.

And, finally, the communists. This was, naturally, an illegal group in pre-war Poland, working in the underground. The leaders of the group was one Fishman, employed in Kaufman's drugstore, and "promoted" eventually to the status of the druggist Kaufman's son-in-law. He had lived in hiding a long time, but the police, at the end, caught up with him. The adepts of the communist cell in Zambrów had been mainly pupils of the Gymnazion with Hershel Smolar, former Poale Zion, as the dashing, truly heroic leader (see about him in another part of the book).


Pinhas Broder


This organization was founded during the German occupation of Poland in 1917, approximately. At first it was a united party, later on it was divided into two dissenting factions: the Rightists and Leftists. The latter got the upper hand. The Political leaders were: Yehoshua Domb, Nathan Smoliar, P. Baumkoller, Garfinkel, Bertshe Sokol, Zabludovsky, etc. They were very active among the local laborers. They organized evening classes and cared very much for educating the masses of people. They rented a fine hall for lectures and meetings: They also developed the local trade unions, and participated in the elections to the Parliament (Sejm), the Municipality, the Jewish Community Council etc.

The Socialist Youth Organization (called ("Yugent") also developed at that time, spreading culture and enlightenment among the Jewish youth, educating them and improving their labor conditions. They even cultivated dramatic art, and organized theatrical performances from time to time.



A Group of Poalei Zion
Yehoshua Domb, leader in the center.
Committee of United Z.S. -- Poalei Zion
David Rosental is the almost central figure in the photo (appears to be wearing glasses).

The Socialist Youth Organization (called
"Yugent") also developed at that time, spreading culture and enlightenment among the Jewish youth, educating them and improving their labor conditions. They even cultivated dramatic art, and organized theatrical performances from time to time.


Young Zionist-Socialist (Z.S.) Organization

Mar. 31, 1926


Young Men's Jewish-Socialist Movement


About five-hundred youngsters belong to several youth organizations at Zambrów, among them one hundred and fifty were members of the Hashomer Hatzair Movement. They used to meet every day, thus neglecting their studies at school, and suffering a lot from their Polish teachers. The Hashomer Hatzair cell was their home. They used to study there the geography of Eretz-Israel (Palestine), the history of Zionism and of the Labor Movement as well as various other socioeconomic problems. They used to dance Hora without cessation. Of supreme paramount importance was the special Summer Camp. Only after much persuasion they got the consent of the parents to go to the Summer Camp where they used to play, sing, dance, engage in sports, make excursions and tours, and prepare themselves for the future life in Eretz Israel. They also collected much money for the Keren Kayemet.

Their whole life was directed towards their future in the Jewish Homeland, thus ignoring the sad, troublesome Galut life. Nobody imagined that the Galut will be annihilated so soon... next ►►

Zambrów 12




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