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Jews Living in Belchatow, Poland Pre-1940
In August 1992, on the 50th Anniversary of the Liquidation of the Jewish Ghetto in Belchatow, representatives of Jewish Belchatower Societies, led by Menachem Sharon, former secretary of the Israeli embassy in Warsaw and now chairman of the Belchatower Society in Israel, with the support of the mayor of Belchatow, erected a memorial monument made from parts of broken gravestones in a public park on the site of the former Jewish cemetery. [See photos at http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Belchatow/gravestones.htm ]
At the ceremony, Menachem Sharon was presented a 137-page document listing all the Jews who lived in Belchatow as of 1939 along with their dates of birth (very few do not have the dates included). This effort was led by the late Mr. Boguslaw Dziedzic, Director of the Regional Museum in Belchatow and the President of the Association of the Friends of Belchatow. The list which contains the names of over 6,000 Jews was compiled mostly from the Belchatow Book of Residents but may have also been added to from vital records and recollections of neighbors. Several of the names appear more than once on the original list, probably because people were listed a few times in the Book of Residents. Sometimes a person is listed twice on the database but with dates of birth that differ by one number. Possibly a different date was reported depending upon who gave the information at the time the Book of Residents was compiled. The database reflects these inconsistencies.
Mr. Sharon presented this document to me in July 2004. Of the 137 pages, one page (number 32) is missing. This would contain up to 52 people with surnames beginning with the letters “F” but mostly “G.” The original list is in alphabetical order but only as far as the first letter, so the missing surnames can be any starting with these letters.
The database contains a few other obvious errors which are present in the original list. These were not corrected, but noted in a column added to the file.
Click here to see a list of surnames on the database.
This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of two volunteers who helped prepare it for the internet. The 137-page document was scanned by Hadassah Lipsius. Logan Kleinwaks then took the scans and translated them into type-written text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. He then manually corrected any obvious errors.
Thanks to Jewish Records Indexing-Poland for providing the database expertise to make this information accessible and to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website.
Roni Seibel Liebowitz