Business Directory Listings
W. Szlapak [Ferier - Horse Shoer]
The peasants from Trzaski went to see
the priest in Radzilow and told him the Finkielsztejn family wanted to become
Catholic. "The priest told our children to attend the religion classes together
with the Polish kids. After the first class they were very bitter; they had
recognized Jewish clothes on their classmates. When the priest praised our
children for making progress, even our old enemies started paying us visits.
They would always talk about one thing: who had plundered how much and how rich
the Jews had been. They told us the room of Wolf Szlapak's [By most accounts, he
was the richest man in town - Ed] was so full of goods
they carried out a whole chest of silverware for the priest and other useful
things for his housemaid. Murderers were boasting about how brave they had been,
how the Jews had screamed, how they had tortured girls, they would imitate the
victims' grimaces" -- this is Chaja's account of the stories she had to listen
to in the village.
"Only quietly or when drunk. Father Dolegowski came
caroling once, he was so fat it was hard to get him out of the
sleigh. I asked, 'Don't you mind, Father, when a murderer comes to church,
wearing a Jew's stolen fur?" Everybody knew who was wearing Szlapak's
fur. He didn't answer. Marianna (that was the Christian name she adopted) was
anxiously pulling on my sleeve."
At that time a communist organization also functioned in
our town, the "Peretz Library." We did not want the youth to go the communist
way. My husband was the chairman of "Hechalutz" and the representative to the
Polish regime all the years until the war. He was the responsible person. Almost all the
youth were in "Perachim" and in "Hechalutz." Of those who were older,
some were already with the communists in the "Peretz Library."
Question: Can you name some who were the workers at that
-- I can. In the last years they were: Moshe
Bursztyn, Wolf Szlapak, Rozhevitch (I forgot his name), Slowik, Zdiedzke, and others. We would have
meetings. At the time of the Congress, we would sell Shekalim, raise money for the
Israel-funds. We carried out the Zionist work, but not to any great degree, since the
youth had scattered. Before the Poles, the youth had no existence, no opportunities and
obviously they did not want to go to the army. In the year 1920, the youth fled to the
South American lands, to America, and the chalutzim went to Israel. Thanks to our work,
there are here [in Israel] many tens of families from our town of Radzilow.
The leadership of the city went over to the Poles. One of
the Christians, I don't remember who, came into our house and told us who were the
From that day, daily, every night, they took the heads of
families out of Jewish homes, beat them so long until they were unconscious, then they
would pour cold water on them and beat them further. Szlapak was also among them. They
would throw them back into their homes all beaten up. When the wives and children would
start screaming, they would say to them: "Shut up! If you talk too much, we'll
That's how it was every night. We didn't lie down
to sleep, we didn't rest. Each time we heard screams from another part of the city.
This lasted about two weeks.
In 1939, the Soviets arrested my husband and all the others
whom I have mentioned above. After a short while, they freed all of them, except Szlapak
whom they held and tortured for three months, since the communists strongly accused him.
Why? Shlichim [emissaries] used to come to us from Eretz Yisroel and they would speak to
large numbers of Jews. They spoke in Shul and the communists would disrupt. Szlapak would
bring the police. But we never said they were communists, only that they were disturbing
the peace. They would be removed. Later, they took revenge on him, and accused him
strongly. He was detained three months. They chopped his lungs [beat him]. Later he
suffered from hemorrhages, but he didn't die from that. The Poles murdered him.