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International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Płock

International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Płock

This Monday, 27 January 2020, marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Answering the annual appeal of the Shalom Foundation, let us join the “Light of Remembrance” action that day. Let’s light candles in our windows in Płock at 6 p.m. as a sign of commemoration […]

Emma Altberg

Emma Altberg

The tenement house at 26 Sienkiewicza Street in Płock, in which the Private Upper Secondary Art School is currently located, belonged to the Altberg family before the war. Here, on March 15, 1938, Paulina Altberg, née Golde, daughter of Benjamin and Liba Rechla née Goldsztejn, who […]

14 & 16 Grodzka Street. The Kempner bookshop

14 & 16 Grodzka Street. The Kempner bookshop

In 1857, Chaim Rafał Kempner (1817-1870) opened a large bookshop in Płock, where a reading room and a library also operated. The bookstore, which was located at Grodzka Street, recommended all the book novelties, in all branches of science, as well as romance, novels of the best contemporary writers, school and elementary books and those for religious services of various editions and authors, in various bindings or without them; sermon books and dictionaries in all languages; books for children in various languages, which can be used to learn and play with pictures; atlases, maps, handwriting and drawing patterns, and various women’s embroidery; musical scores and sheet music, as well as all stationery and lined notebooks. The bookshop accepted prepayments for all works in the country by subscriptions, for buyers in larger lots, the bookshop offered a certain discount. The shop also had in stock the busts of famous people available at affordable prices.

After the death of Chaim Rafał, his wife Estera Fajga née Erlich (1817-1881), daughter of Mosze and Lipka, who came from Lublin, obtained the license to run the bookstore. Estera Fajga Kempner was also the owner of a pharmacy store, traded tobacco products, and had a lottery ticket office. Her store of sheet music and writing materials offered to clients, among others, religious, musical, economic books, office paper, drawing paper, letter cards, greeting cards, quill and steel pens, Siberian drawing pencils, Chinese ink, French Chenal paints, Parisian designs for pencil and oil drawings, visiting tickets, journal souvenir, photo albums and frames. From 1870, Estera Fajga Kempner was the owner of the property at 16 Grodzka Street (mortgage no. 44), which she purchased from Teodora and Jan Gerber for the sum of 3000 rubles. Thanks to a loan from the Town Fund in 1871, she erected a tenement house in the neo-Renaissance style. In 1881, her son Ludwik (Lejbusz) Kempner (1849-1908) took over the bookshop. Lejbusz was married to Tauba nee Kahan (Kon), born in 1850 in Płock, with whom he had four children: Brana Liba (who married Icek Feinberg), Chaim Rafał, Nachman and Cecylia. In 1883, Ludwik Kempner built a tenement house at 14 Grodzka Street, where he moved the bookshop that existed here until 1914. After the death of Estera Fajga Kempner, the property was owned by her sons – Ludwik and Mosiek Hersz (1832-1904). In 1883, after buying a part from his brother, Mosiek became the sole owner. After his death, the property was taken over by his daughters: Salomea, Felicja, Chana Lipka, Cypra Gołda and Etka. In 1906, Etka aka Justyna Majde bought a share in the property.

In the interwar period, at 14 Grodzka Street, there was a cloth shop of Icek Kowadło, a tailor’s workshop of M. Gutkind and a dental office of Natalia Gutkind. At 16 Grodzka Street, there was the hat studio of N. Szenwic. The last pre-war owners of the property at 14 Grodzka Street were Ludwika Feinberg and Celina Daszyńska, of the one at 16 Grodzka Street – Justyna Majde.

Nachum Sokołow

Nachum Sokołow

Nachum Sokołow was born on 1 January 1859 in Wyszogród, as the son of Szmul Josek (born in 1827, son of Icek and Gitla Chaja née Bresler) and Mariem Gitla (born in 1830, daughter of Szmul and Itta Smrodynia aka Kohn). He spent his childhood […]

The Flatau family

The Flatau family

The history of the Flatau family in Płock dates back to the times of the Duchy of Warsaw, when Joachim (Nochem) Judas, a merchant from the Grand Duchy of Poznań, came to Płock from the town of Gołancz. In the Jewish civil registry documents of […]

Edward Flatau

Edward Flatau

On December 27 1868 Edward Flatau, one of the greatest Polish doctors and the most prominent scholars, was born in Płock.

Edward was the son of banker Ludwik Flatau and Anna nee Heyman. In 1886 he graduated from Płock Secondary School with a gold medal and went to study at the medical department of the Moscow State University. He attended lectures by eminent professors, including neurologist Alexei Kożewnikow and psychiatrist Sergey Korsakov. After graduating from the Moscow State University, in 1892 he went to Berlin, where he continued his education until 1899. He worked on neuropathology, neuroanatomy and neurohistology. The years spent in Berlin gave a foundation for his great and comprehensive knowledge in the field of anatomy, pathology and the nervous system treatment. He cooperated, among others, with Emanuel Mendel, Hermann Oppenheim, Ernst Remak and Hugo Liepmann. The first work that immediately made him famous in Europe was “The atlas of the human brain and the course of nerve fibers”. This atlas was published in 1894 and was translated into Polish, Russian, English and French. In 1898 he was offered the position of a supervisor of the neurology department in Buenos Aires. Flatau, however, did not accept this proposal and in 1899 he returned to his home country. In Warsaw, he was a consultant in internal and surgical departments, at the same time he arranged a laboratory in his private apartment, where he continued his own work in the field of anatomy. In 1904 he became the head of the Jewish Hospital in Czyste. Leading a small department with 20 beds, Flatau formed a group of doctors, encouraged them to work in clinical treatment and anatomy and gradually, thanks to his deep knowledge, unusual pedagogical skills and personal charm, he created a school, which educated a number of well-known neurologists. Thanks to his efforts in 1913, his unit was moved to a new pavilion, designed just like the European clinics. Two years earlier Flatau arranged a workshop for the research in anatomy and pathology at the Psychological Society, and in 1912 he moved it to the new building of the Warsaw Scientific Society, of which he had been a member since 1908. In 1912 he published a monograph about migraine, for which he suffered his whole life. Flatau was also a member of the Polish Academy of Learning, a member of the Neurological Society in Paris and the Society of Psychiatry and Neurology in Vienna, an honorary member of the Neurological Society in Moscow and the Medical Society in Vilnius. He was the author of over 100 publications in Polish, German, French and Russian.

He died in 1932 of a brain tumor. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery at Okopowa Street in Warsaw.

(text based on the memoirs of Teofil Dawid Simchowicz on Edward Flatau in the Annual of the Warsaw Scientific Society from 1932)

The Brygart family

The Brygart family

Lejzor Brygart was born on March 13, 1893, he was the son of Szlama (1842-1911) and Iska nee Fibus (1855-1918). Szlama Brygart was a butcher by profession. Lejzor had a younger brother – Dawid (born in 1894). In 1913, Lejzor Brygart married Dwojra Ides Bomzon […]

Estera Golde-Stróżecka

Estera Golde-Stróżecka

Estera Golde-Stróżecka – freethinker, activist for women’s rights, journalist, political and cultural-educational activist, doctor, was born on August 1, 1872 in Płock, as the daughter of Beniamin and Liba Ruchla nee Goldsztejn. Her father was a well-known merchant, industrialist and philanthrope. After graduating from the […]

The Bomzon family

The Bomzon family

Mining of the records revealed that the Bomzon (Baumzon; Bomsohn) family resided in Płock from the beginning of the 19th century.

My great grandfather, Izrael Abram Bomzon (1861-1913), son of Dawid Szlama (1826-1904) and Ruchla Łaja nee Liberman (1830-?), who was a professional gingerbread baker, married Enta Szrajber (1854-Holocaust) in 1901. The Bomzon family lived at the former Szeroka Street at number 30. In 1902, Izrael Abram Bomzon and his wife bought a property located at Szeroka Street (mortgage number 64A) and were its owners until 1905. Izrael Abram and Enta had eight children: Chaim (1885-1896), Hersz Fajwel (1887-?), Bajla Sura (1887-Holocaust), Dwojra Ides (1889-Holocaust), Estera (1891-Holocaust), Chawa (Eva) (1892-1968 in London), Brucha (1897-1906), and Lejb (1893-Holocaust).

In 1907, Bajla Bomzon married Moszek Ejzenman and they had eight children, four of whom migrated to Buenos Aires before the outbreak of World War II and the Holocaust. Two of the sisters, Hinda Ruchla (1917-2002; in 1949 she changed her name to “Dasza”) and Estera Malka (1910-2005; in 1953 she changed her name to “Elżbieta Maria”) survived the war in Russia and after the war returned to Płock, where they lived until they died.

Dwojra Ides Bomzon married Lajzer Brygart in 1913, and they had four children, Ruchla (Rushka; 1916-Holocaust), Iska (Irka; 1919-Holocaust), Szmyl Szlojma (Sam; 1920-2015 in USA), and Chanka (1927-Holocaust). In 1919, Lejzor and Dwojra Ides bought a property at 20 Kwiatka Street in Płock and were its owners until the outbreak of war. They also had a well-known colonial goods store in Płock, and manufactured candy and gingerbread. Their company was located at 28 Kwiatka Street. Sam Brygart was the sole survivor of his family and he migrated with his wife, Frymeta Menche (1922-2016), to the USA, where they had two daughters, Sandra and Leslie.

Estera Bomzon married Josef Hersz Cynamon in 1913, and they had four children, Izrael Abram (1914-2003 in Israel), Chana (1917-Holocaust), Lajzer (1922-Holocaust), and Ruchel (1926-Holocaust). Izrael was the sole survivor of his family and came to Israel (Palestine) as a soldier in General Anders’ army.

Chawa left Plock in 1910 to live in London, England, where she married Zvi Wagner with whom she had three children. After Zvi’s death, she married David Golding in 1923, with whom she had five children.

My grandfather, Lejb Bomzon, who was a confectioner, married Tauba Żeleźniak (daughter of Chaim Josef and Chana nee Motyl) in 1917. They had three children: Izrael Abram (Julius; 1918-1996 in Israel), Icek Jakub (Kuba; 1922-Holocaust) and Chana (1926-Holocaust). My grandparents and three children lived in one of the apartments at 33 Bielska Street, a property owned by Hersz Józef Bochenek and Fajga Pencherek. My father, Julius, was the sole survivor of his family. He hardly ever spoke of his childhood and lost family and never returned to Płock during his lifetime. He migrated with his wife, Bella Kociołek (born 1924) and only son, Lionel (Arieh; born 1947) to Sydney, Australia in 1947. In 1990, he and his wife moved to Israel to become the patriarch of the Bomzon family. Arieh married Therle (Tova) Hoffmann (born 1947) in 1972 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they had three sons, Wayne (Ze’ev; born 1973), Keith (Ilan; born 1975), and David (born 1977). In 1981, Arieh and his family migrated to Israel.

Arieh (Lionel) Bomzon

Stanisław Posner

Stanisław Posner

Stanisław (Salomon) Posner was born on November 21, 1868 as the son of Leon and Matylda née Bornstein. His father was one of the proponents of the assimilation, many of his articles were printed in Warsaw’s “Jutrzenka”. Stanisław Posner’s sister was Malwina Garfein-Garska – writer […]


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