About the project

In 2017, the Gszarim Foundation received a grant from the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland for the translation from Yiddish into Polish, of the Book of Remembrance. The book has been authored by Perec Granatsztejn, born on March 7, 1907 in Sokołów Podlaski, in a pious Jewish family. From early childhood, Granatsztejn was involved in the activities of the Zionist movement. For several years he studied agriculture in a kibbutz in Vilnius, whose aim was to prepare youth for life in Palestine. In 1939 he emigrated from Poland to Bolivia, where he made his living in trading. At the end of that year, he lived in Argentina, joining the Zionist Labor Party, the Jewish Culture Congress and YIVO. In 1950 he made aliyah, that is, he went to Israel. Initially, he worked in a factory. Later he joined the local press. He wrote for newspapers in Poland. His articles appeared in the magazines in Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv. He also published books: “Sokołów – my destroyed town” (Buenos Aires, 1946), “Mensz fun nechtn” (Tel Aviv, 1959), “Ansze etmol” (Tel Aviv, 1983).

The subject of the translation is the book “Sokołów – my destroyed town”, originally published in Buenos Aires in 1946. It was written in Yiddish, a language no longer used in Sokołów, especially since there is no local Jewish community. Therefore, the Polish language of the translation will allow the contemporary inhabitants of the town to learn about this almost forgotten history.

The author of the translation is Dr. Agata Kondrat.

In 2018, the Gszarim Foundation received a grant from the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland and from the Polish History Museum as part of the “Patriotism of Tomorrow” program, in order to translate from Yiddish into Polish the Book of Remembrance written by Simcha Poliakewicz “In shotn fun Treblinke” (“In the shadow of Treblinka “).

Poliakewicz came from Sterdyń. During the war he found himself in the ghetto in Sokołów Podlaski. He was in the extermination camp in Treblinka. Later, he was hiding on the so-called Aryan side. He is the author of the book “A tog in Treblinke” published in the series “Dos pojlisze jidntum” in Buenos Aires.

The book “In shotn fun Treblinke” was first published in Tel Aviv in 1957. This publication documents the last days of the Jewish community of Sokołów. As an eyewitness, the author describes the creation of the ghetto, life in the ghetto (smuggling, medical aid, epidemic of typhus, functioning of the Judenrat and other issues) and the last way to Treblinka preceded by the liquidation of the ghetto. The author described not only the history of the town during the war, but he devoted two chapters to the camps in Treblinka.

The author of the translation is Dr. Agata Kondrat.

The result of the project is a website on which Sokołów Podlaski Remembrance Books have been translated from Yiddish into Polish. Because they are available to all Internet users at no charge, they will be able to serve teachers in Sokołów Podlaski as a source for teaching history lessons, promoting patriotism, learning about the local history, educating in the spirit of caring for the local community. On this basis, one can create scenarios of workshops for students and lessons with the use of source materials.

The material can serve all residents of the town, who until now – due to the language barrier – could not get to know this part of their history. In this way, it shapes attitudes of respect, tolerance, promotes fight against stereotypes and strives to foster multiculturalism.
In 2018, thanks to private donors, we started translating the books into English.

The author of the translation is Katarzyna Gucio.