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4 Kolegialna Street – history of the place and the people

4 Kolegialna Street – history of the place and the people

At the beginning of the 19th century, the square with a brick house on the property marked with mortgage number 283 belonged to a carpenter Jan Franciszek Frahm (around 1768-1813) from Hamburg. As he had no children, after his death the property was inherited in […]

Altman’s Courtyard

Altman’s Courtyard

The empty square marked with mortgage number 256 at the former Szeroka Street belonged to the police director Wilhelm Czarnowski at the beginning of the 19th century. After his death, the property was inherited by his juvenile sons – Juliusz and Henryk Czarnowski. As a […]

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 of all victims of the Holocaust. We can also light candles on the monument at the Płock Jewish cemetery at Mickiewicza Street.

Our duty is to remember. Never again.

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 […]

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 and early youth in Płock – his family [Nachum had three sisters: Cyrla (born in 1852), Etta (born in 1855) and Frymeta (born in 1861) and brother Szyja (born in 1863)] lived at the Old Market Square in the house of Szlama Pokrzywa. In Płock, Nachum received traditional Jewish education – he attended one of the Płock cheders, then Markus Dancygier’s school located at Synagogalna Street. He also took private lessons from teachers in Płock. As a student, he published the “Szoszana” newspaper with his friends. Since 1876, he published articles in “Ha-Cefira”, of which he became the co-editor in 1886, and in 1892 the editor-in-chief. He also collaborated with the magazines “Ha-Maggid”, “Archives Israelites” and “Hamelic”. In the years 1896-1902 he was the editor of the “Izraelita” weekly. In 1897, Sokołow participated as a journalist in the First Zionist Congress in Basel. In 1905-1909 he was the secretary general of the World Zionist Organization. From 1906, he was the editor of the Zionist newspaper “Die Welt”. In 1908, he founded the “Jewish World” magazine. In 1911, during the 10th Zionist Congress, he was elected a member of the Executive Committee. During World War I he was in London, where he worked with Chaim Weizman. During the 12th Zionist Congress he was elected chairman of the Executive Committee in 1921. In 1924 Sokołow visited his family town of Płock – he was already a well-known man, and his arrival was met with great enthusiasm from the Jews of Płock. In 1931–1935 he was the fifth president of the World Zionist Organization. After 1935, he was the honorary president of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency. He died on May 17, 1936 in London.

Bibliography:

Konarska-Pabiniak B., Nachum Sokołow – człowiek z Płocka, “Notatki Płockie” vol. 38(1993), no 1 (154)

Nowak-Dąbrowska G., Śladami płockich Żydów. Przewodnik, Płock 2019

Przedpełski J., Stefański J., Żydzi płoccy w dziejach miasta, Płock 2012

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 […]

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 (born in 1889; daughter of Izrael Abram and Enta nee Szrajber). They had four children: daughters Ruchla (Rushka; 1916-Holocaust), Iska (Irka; 1919-Holocaust) and Chanka (1927-Holocaust) and son Szmyl Szlojma (Sam; 1920-2015 in the USA).

In 1919, Lejzor and Dwojra Ides bought a property at 20 Kwiatka Street in Płock and were its owners until the outbreak of war. At 20 Kwiatka Street in the interwar period there was a shop with kitchen utensils of Hersz Szejnwald, a watchmaker’s shop of Moszek Klajnfeld, a cloth shop of Lejb German, and a leather store of Arje Kossobudzki. Dawid Kryszek traded in crops at this address, and Lajzer Gabes offered glass-making services. According to data from 1931, 141 people lived there, including Basia Brombergier, Icek Lejb German, Dawid Makower, Abram Wajnsztok, Icek Majer Ejlenberg, Dawid Pencherek, Abram Majlech Bresler, Dawid Kryszek, Ryfka Ogórka, Hersz Gabes, Abram Rozenberg, Abram Chaim Albert, Szyja Dziedzic, Moszek Abram Einfeld, Abram Moszek.

Lejzor and Dwojra Ides Brygart were also the owners of a colonial goods store and a bakery in Płock. One could buy candies there, holiday gingerbread, and chulent on Saturdays. Their business was located at Kwiatka 28.

Only Sam Brygart survived World War II and the Holocaust. After returning to Płock, he found employment in a confectionery and bakery cooperative. He married Frymeta Menche (1922-2016), the daughter of the merchant Chaim and Sura née Gutman from Gąbin. Sam and Frymeta emigrated to the USA.

A good story is how my parents came to the United States, Boston to be exact.

Dwojra Ides Bomzon, had a half sister Chena Chaja (born in 1877), daughter of Enta Szrajber from her first marriage with Abram Frydman, who came from the town of Stężyca. In the late 1800s, Chana Chaja Frydman married Icek Chaim Keller. Chana (we know of her as Helen) died in 1911. She and her husband had 3 children, the oldest being Herman Joseph Keller (followed by Eugenia/Gertrude, and Matthew). Icek Chaim Keller (we know of him as Harry) remarried Ester Rotman. There were 2 children born of this marriage in Płock (daughters Teresa and Mildred) . The Keller/Rotman family emigrated to Boston in 1912 and 1913. A 3rd child was born in the United States (a son, Paul).

Herman Keller visited Płock in 1935. He ordered a headstone for his mother Chana Chaja Frydman Keller, and for his stepmother’s mother. He of course visited the family and his grandmother Jenta/Enta Szrajber Frydman Bomzon, who had him promise to come back with his oldest son, Norton Keller. Herman and Norton came to Płock in 1937 to dedicate the headstones, to visit with family and continue to the 1937 Paris World’s Fair and family in England. A film was made during this trip. Herman was a wealthy man and he had a movie camera. My father was 17 at the time of this visit and my father learned Herman’s address. In the film we can see my father interacting with Herman.

When the war ended, an American soldier wrote a letter to Herman on behalf of my father. Herman and his wife Sonia sponsored my parents, who were displaced persons, and Sam and Frymeta emigrated in 1949 from Kaufbueren. And voila, I was born in Boston August 26, 1951.

Herman sent my father to a school to learn to be a baker, figuring that my father knew something about it as Lejzor was a sugar baker. My father then worked as a baker in Boston and my mother worked in a sewing factory, snipping threads.

In 1952 my parents moved to Chicago, where my mother had cousins, Morris and Esther Borenstein. First my father had a bakery (Albany Bakery) with a partner, another refugee from Płock by the name of Lisser, and his wife Fela. My sister Leslie was born June 19,1954. Eventually the partners sold the store and my father purchased Fireside Bakery.This was about 1-1/2 blocks from the Borensteins and we moved to that neighborhood. Winters in Chicago are very difficult (it is called the Windy City for good reason) and my mother especially found the weather very difficult. My father sold the store and January 30, 1964 we left Chicago (in a blizzard) and headed west to California.

We stayed at the home of my father’s best childhood friend, Moniek Zielonka (Michael Zelon) and his wife Cesia (Charlotte) for about 2 weeks and found an apartment of our own. My father worked as a baker for a short time. Then he and another Polish (not from Płock, I don’t think so) refugee, Manfred (Fred) Saltzman, bought a liquor market in El Porto, California (now part of Manhattan Beach, California). In the early 1970s, Fred retired and that store was sold. My father bought another liquor market that was already called Sam’s Liquor, in Lakewood, California, so he didn’t have to buy a new sign. Unfortunately, my father was a “victim of a violent crime” in the late 1970s because of that store and he lost vision in his left eye.

My father sold Sam’s Liquor in 1985, when he was 65. He immediately began walking at the beach every day, going to the gym, taking care of the house since my mother was still working and being an involved grandfather to my son Evan David McMurry (from my 1st marriage, June 27, 1982) and my sister’s children as they came along (Zachary Brygart Ellison, July 29, 1986 and twins Travis Buckner Ellison and Rebecca Rose Ellison, born February 13, 1989). We called father’s car “Papa’s Taxi”.

He and my mother, who had retired in 1988 or 1989, lived a quiet, peaceful life. Sadly my mother began developing dementia (as did her sister) in her mid-80s. At least that is when we began to notice it. And my father developed hairy-cell leukemia in his early 90s, which later progressed to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was his choice not to treat it and June 15, 2015 he went into hospice care, at home. The last few days were horrific as he spiraled into post-traumatic stress syndrome and was reliving the war. We had to keep him sedated to keep him safe. Sam died around 8:30 am August 5, 2015. He was intent on living until he was 95, and he did, plus 1 month and 1 day. Frymeta never could remember that he had died (after 72 years of marriage). She lived 6 months and 10 days longer, until around 6 am February 15, 2016.

Sandra Brygart Rodriguez

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 […]


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