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Melisse Leib's Trip to Radzilow, September 2002

Her Sztabinski and Czerwinski ancestors were from Radzilow

My Visit to Radzilow
By: Melisse Leib

My friend Leticia was going to be in Poland and asked me if I'd like to visit her. I enthusiastically responded yes, so that I'd have the opportunity to visit Radzilow, the village where my grandfather, Moses Sztabinski was born.

Radzilow Street Scene


Radzilow is a quaint village, with a post office, and a few small shops. Like the other villages in the area, the town has a main green with a kiosk and bus stop, where villagers meet. Leticia and I tried to be unobtrusive, but that proved to be impossible, as we soon found ourselves being watched by the locals who were scattered in the green.

In the main square we found an 86-year-old man who knew the Sztabinski family. He wore a baseball cap labeled "California USA", which I imagine he must have received from another Radzilow visitor. He spoke enthusiastically and at length, though I did not understand him, since I do not speak Polish. However, he repeated the phrase "Ay Jego Dzieczi," which I later found out meant "O his children." Leticia suspects that he was trying to say that there were 8 children, and my mother thinks that there were 8 or 9 Sztabinski children.

I took pictures around the town, and tried to locate where the old synagogue used to be. There seemed to be a pile of rubble and a dilapidated barn in that area. However, I'm not sure that I was at the right place.

Though villagers were polite to us, after driving and wandering the town, we felt that we had overstayed our welcome. However, it was a great thrill to walk and sense the area where my ancestors had lived.

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