Shimshon Draenger

Shimshon Draenger

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Shimshon Draenger was born in Krakow in 1917. At the age of thirteen he joined the Akiva movement and later became one of its main leaders. He also edited the movement's journal, Divrei Akiva and the weekly Tse'irim.

After the occupation of Poland by the German Army in September 1939, he helped establish the He-Haluts Ha-Lohem, and underground combat group in Krakow. He also edited the movement's journal, He-Haluts Ha-Lohem. The following year he married another member of the group, Justyna Draenger.

In January 1943 Shimshon was arrested. His wife now surrendered to the Gestapo, as both had pledged to do if either was seized. While in Montelupich Prison Shimshon's wife wrote about her experiences in the form of a diary. These were smuggled out of prison and were read by members of the underground.

Shimshon and Justyna escaped from prison on 29th April 1943. They immediately resumed their underground activities in the Wisnicz Forest. On 8th November, 1943, Shimshon was captured. The following day Justyna Draenger, as a result of her pact with her husband, surrendered. Shimshon Draenger and his wife were both executed soon afterwards.

Fifteen of the twenty chapters smuggled out by Justyna survived the war. The book, Justyna's Narrative was first published in Poland in 1946. An English language edition appeared in 1996.

Do not go willingly to your death! Fight for life to the last breath. Greet our murders with teeth and claws, with axe and knife, hydrochloric acid and iron crowbars. Make the enemy pay for blood with blood, for death with death?

Let us fall upon the enemy in time, kill and disarm him. Let us stand up against the criminals and if necessary die like heroes. If we die in this way we are not lost.

Make the enemy pay dearly for your lives! Take revenge for the Jewish centres that have been destroyed and for the Jewish lives that have been extinguished.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer A. Nielsen's newest historical fiction for teens explores the courageous fight by hundreds of Jewish resistance fighters as they make their last stand during the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943.

The novel opens as Chaya Lindner, a Jewish teenager who has been working for the past three months as a courier for the resistance movement known as Akiva, attempts to lie her way into the Tarnow Ghetto in Krakow, Poland. Posing as Helena Nowak,she brings food, clothing and forged identification papers to the Jews imprisoned there, informing them of what is happening on the outside. The Tarnow Ghetto has been sealed since very early in the war meaning the people there do not know what is really happening. As a result the Jews in the ghetto were tricked onto trains, believing they were being relocated to work camps. In fact, they were being sent to death camps. The ghettos were merely a step in the German plan to exterminate the entire Jewish population.

Chaya's story flashes back to life three years earlier when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Before the German occupation, Chaya's father owned a shoe repair shop and their family, which included her younger brother and sister, Yitzchak and Sara, had a good life. With the Blitzkrieg, everything changed. All Jews were required to register, their homes were searched by German soldiers who took jewelry, foreign currency, and anything they wanted. National monuments were looted and synagogues burned. Jews were assigned to forced labour, and made to wear the yellow star of David on an armband.

In 1940, Chaya's father lost his business and her family sold most of their belongings to survive. Eventually they were forced into the Podgorze District where four families were crammed into each apartment. However, Chaya's name wasn't on the list of Jews who were to move into what would be called the Krakow ghetto. So Chaya's family sent her to live with her grandmother near the village of Kopaliny. On her way to her grandmother's home, Chaya remembered Shimshon and Gusta Draenger, the leaders of her Jewish scout group, Akiva who lived on a nearby farm. The Draenger's took her in and during the summer more Akiva scouts arrived. One of the Akiva leaders was a man named Dolek.

In the summer of 1942, Dolek brought Chaya devastating news: her sister Sara was taken by train to Belzec, a death camp. Yitzchak had disappeared. The story of Chaya's family was shared with the Akiva scouts leading Shimshon to tell them they must make a decision: they can wait until the Germans eventually come for them or they can fight back, join together with other resistance groups. The scouts chose resistance.

Chaya is asked to be a courier, a most dangerous job that would lead to certain death if she were ever caught. For the next ten months Chaya fights back against the Germans as part of the resistance. It is a fight that will lead her to the ultimate showdown as the Warsaw ghetto fights back against the German's final liquidation.


Nielsen's well researched novel, Resistance is an engaging, well balanced account of the final stand taken by the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto to resist the mass deportations to labour and death camps. The ghetto's liquidation or total destruction and removal of all Jews was ordered by Heinrich Himmler in October, 1942. The Jews in the ghetto had organized several resistance cells, ZOB (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa) the Jewish Combat Organization and ZZW (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy) also known as the Jewish Military Union. With a limited arsenal obtained from the Polish underground, home made grenades and Moltov cocktails and other weapons, the Jewish resistance held out for a month, led by Mordecai Anielewicz. In the end, all of the surviving Jews, over 40,000 souls, were deported to various concentrations camps, where they were murdered by the SS.

Resistance is told through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl, Chaya Lindner whose parents are trapped in the Krakow ghetto. With the certain death of her younger sister Sara and the disappearance of her brother Yitchak, Chaya's mother has lost her will to live. They refuse to use the false papers that Chaya brings them to save themselves, instead accepting their fate. The loss of her sister, motivates Chaya to fight against the Germans, eventually leading to her joining resistance fighters in the Warsaw uprising. Chaya participation escalates as she becomes increasingly determined to fight back against the Germans.

A subplot involves the relationship between Chaya and a new, inexperienced member of the resistance, Esther Karolinski. Chaya is convinced that Esther is not up to the task of working in the resistance and at first various situations seem to prove Chaya right. Despite Esther's mistakes, she does begin to learn, while pushing Chaya to rethink her own reasons for resistance. In the end, Esther courageously makes the ultimate sacrifice so that Chaya and her fellow fighters can escape the Warsaw ghetto as it's being liquidated.

One of the many themes explored in the novel is the meaning of resistance and how resistance might be different for each person. Esther feels compelled to challenge a Nazi sympathizer on the train, raising suspicions and almost getting them arrested. She tells an angry Chaya, "But isn't that the point of the resistance, to make the world notice us?" Chaya however has a different view of the resistance, "The point of the resistance is to save lives. Every single day, more Jews are dying. Our fight is to stop that from happening. Nothing else matters."

In the Lodz ghetto, Chaya attempts to help Avraham, Sarah and Henryk, three teens hiding out on the abandoned upper floor of an apartment building. They reject the option of working for the Nazis as a way to save themselves and have decided to give their lives to God. When Chaya offers to help them escape, Avraham refuses telling her ". No, we're choosing faith. The highest honor we can give God is to die in his name." Unable to understand, Chaya believes they are simply giving up but Esther explains, "No, Chaya. As much as the Nazis want to take our lives, they want to take our faith too. We fight for one, Avraham's friends fight for the other." When Chaya questions the importance of faith, Esther tells her, "We'll all die one day -- no one escapes that fate. Our only decision is how we live before that day comes. Our path requires courage, but so does theirs. Both paths, are ways to resist."

After their presence in the Lodz ghetto results in another Aktion, both Chaya and Esther struggle with the form resistance might take. They are challenged by the fact that their resistance so far seems to be ineffective and harmful whether it was the attack on the cafe or their trip to Lodz. Esther states, "We didn't stop the war or get the Nazis to leave Krakow. We can't even say that lives were saved because of what we did. What about in Lodz? All we did there was make things worse. we stole a weapon, lost food that could have saved lives, and ended up being the cause of an Aktion. Maybe what we're doing is as bad as the enemy!".

When Chaya and Esther arrive in the Warsaw ghetto she tells the resistance there that Akiva failed in it's goal of using resistance as a way to inspire other Jewish uprisings. However she hopes that the Warsaw uprising will inspire not only other ghettos such as Bailystok, Sobibor and Tarnow but also the Polish army and the Polish people to rebel against the Germans.

Their decision to make a final stand in the Warsaw ghetto gives Esther a sense of freedom which Chaya doesn't quite understand. " 'We've never been more free. don't you see? They don't control us anymore. Since we already know how this will end, they can't even use the fear of death against us. There is nothing more they can take from us, but today, we have taken their superiority, and the belief in our submissiveness. No matter how this ends, history will recognize today for its greatness.' "

Although the Jewish resistance lose the fight in the Warsaw ghetto, Chaya vows to fight on for the memory of her friend Esther, for all of Akiva, for Avraham, Sarah and Henryk and those who died in the Aktion in Lodz, for the kind man named Wit who sheltered Jews on his farm, for her parents and her sister.
"Historians might say that the Jews lost every uprising we attempted in this war, that every resistance movement failed.
I disagree.
We proved that there was value in faith. There was value in loyalty. And that a righteous resistance was victory in itself, no matter the outcome."

The novel's balanced approach helps young readers understand how people reacted differently to the Nazi occupation of their countries. While many people supported the extermination of the Jewish population, others did not and Nielsen highlights some of the ways Jews were helped. Chaya observes, ". there were three kinds of Polish citizens in the country these days. The first were those who endeared themselves to the invaders, who proudly allowed their homes to be assimilated into the German territory and their lives into the Nazi culture. The second group of Poles, the largest group, were merely surviving, trying to blend into the background. They might've moved into homes abandoned by Jews who were sent to the ghettos, and might've taken over our shops and our possessions, but they felt little joy in it. They didn't help us, but they believed that at least ignoring our situation caused no harm. the third group of Poles was different. They helped. They snuck close to the ghetto at night and tossed bread over the walls. they took Jewish people into their lives, into their homes, and offered them a place to hide, a chance to escape the fate that tens of thousands of us had already suffered." Nielsen incorporates a few characters into her story that fit the third group Wit Golinski, an older man who intervenes to protect Chaya and Esther from a woman who is a Nazi sympathizer and who offers them a ride, food and money, and the Catholic nuns who smuggle arms to the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto and the Catholic priest who helps

Resistance is Nielsen's best historical novel to date. The novel's Afterword provides some detail regarding several key resistance figures and their fate. A map of Poland and of Krakow, Lodz and Warsaw would have provided some context to the setting for younger readers. Nevertheless, an engaging novel with a strong heroine and an interesting cast of supporting characters.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
New York: Scholastic Press 2018
385 pp.

Shimshon Draenger - History

A book about the newspaper " the Fighting Chalutz" written
by the Jewish Undergraound in 1943

The Diary of Gusta Davidson Draenger, also known by her
underground name, Justyna
She was the soul of the conspiratorial undertaking
Josef Wolf

Gusta Davidson Draenger, also known by her underground name, Justyna,
was a leader in the Krakow resistance. She secured hiding places for
partisan fighters, accompanied partisan fighting groups to the forest,
and smuggled guns. Gusta wrote her extraordinary account of the Krakow
resistance organization and her activities in it, from a prison cell
after her capture. The resulting memoir Justyna's Narrative was
written on bits of toilet paper between interrogations, during which
she suffered extreme physical and psychological torture at the hands
of the Gestapo. Gusta's diary was hidden in the cell, and then
smuggled out in folded triangles. Josef Wolf, in his introduction to
Justyna wrote of Gusta in 1945: "She was the soul of the
conspiratorial undertaking, not one of the fighting deeds successfully
undertaken could have been accomplished without her inspiration and

The women in the Krakow resistance established a network of private
dwellings around the forests, each of them furnished and supplied so
movement operatives could inhabit them. Fighters left the forest after
each action taken against the Nazis and lived in these dwellings.
Gusta wrote that this mission was assigned to "Evea, Klara, and Hela,
who sought out appropriate living quarters, helping the resistance to
act as a 'self-sustaining entity.'"66

Gusta died in a skirmish with the Germans in the Wisnicz forest
outside of Krakow. She and her husband's deaths on November 8, 1943
ended the activities of the ZOB in Krakow
Justyna's Narrative (Hardcover)
by Justyna (Author), Gusta Davidson Draenger (Author), Eli Pfefferkorn
(Editor), David H. Hirsch (Editor), Roslyn Hirsch (Translator)

From Publishers Weekly
Nonfiction about the Holocaust should be judged on two levels: Does it
add to our understanding of this horrific event? And is it a
compelling piece of writing? This account of young Jewish underground
freedom fighters in Krakow is an equivocal success on both levels, one
marred only by its sometimes excessively lofty language and its lapses
of continuity. Considering that it was composed on smuggled scraps of
paper in a Polish prison by a woman who knew she would not survive the
war, we are fortunate to have it at all. Originally published in
Poland in 1946, this is the first English translation of the work. In
order to protect her fellows, Gusta adopts pseudonyms for herself
("Justyna") and her husband, and she also writes about their exploits
in the third person. Justyna relates how the underground formed, held
secret meetings, organized false identity papers and worried about
whether even a successful uprising could have more than symbolic
value. They had managed to get hold of five firearms, including a
Browning with which they planned to ambush six men, collect another
six weapons and arm six more comrades. This was not to be, as Justyna
regretfully writes of the failed guerrilla action. A few of their
group survived Nazi atrocities, but the author and her husband were
killed at some point after they escaped from the Polish prison.
Although somewhat weakened by choppiness and grandiose prose, this is
still a remarkable record of spirit and resistance.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to
the Paperback edition.

From Booklist
Draenger's incredible memoir was first published in Polish in 1946.
The text was compiled from scraps of paper written by Draenger, a
25-year-old Polish Jew, from February to April 1943, while she was an
inmate in the Montelupich Prison in Krakow. Draenger's narrative of
the resistance movement offers readers an understanding of the spirit
that motivated members of the Akiba Youth Movement the author and her
husband were among the group's leaders. Draenger describes the
smuggling of arms from Warsaw, the ambushing of German soldiers, and
the fate that befell resistance fighters in the forest. She and her
husband escaped from the prison on April 29, 1943, but they were
killed by the Germans within a year. This English edition includes
additional transcriptions of original scraps that were found in the
archive of the Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz in Israel. The new material,
never before published, gives fuller expression to Draenger's romantic
idealism. George Cohen

From Kirkus Reviews
The memoir of a young Jewish resistance fighter, written in a Polish
prison during WW II shortly before the author's escape--and death. All
Holocaust narratives are sad, but some are more profoundly moving than
others--for example, the story of Draenger. Justyna (her resistance
alias) was 25 years old when she penned this narrative in 1943, after
turning herself in to the Polish police to be with her husband, who
had been captured. She was repeatedly tortured by the Gestapo, but
despite her suffering, and with the help of her fellow women inmates,
she managed to write her story on scraps of toilet paper sewed
together with threads ripped from the prisoners' clothing. In it she
tells of her activities in the Jewish youth resistance: how young men
and women in their teens and twenties fought valiantly with few
weapons and little hope of victory against the most terrible killing
machine in humanity's history of their dreams and ponderings, their
suffering and joy. Draenger's story is tragic, first, because she and
the people she wrote about were young and courageous, and most of them
died horribly at the hands of the Nazis. But the narrative is also sad
because it does not always do justice to the remarkable effort devoted
to creating it, nor to the amazing woman who wrote it. Draenger wanted
the memoir to be literary, but with no chance to edit what she wrote
under such horrible circumstances, the result is often disjointed. And
because she was writing a ``heroic narrative,'' she turned all of her
characters into stock figures instead of the true-to-life heroes they
were. She and her husband rejoined the underground after escaping from
prison and died while fighting the Nazis. Reading her final words, one
is most affected by the thought of what this exceptional woman might
have done had she lived in a different time and a better place. (10
illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright (c)1996, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

Language Notes
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish

Justyna Dawidson was born in Krakow in 1917. By 1938 she was one of
the leaders of the Akiva movement. After the occupation of Poland by
the German Army in September 1939, she helped establish the He-Haluts
Ha-Lohem, and underground combat group in Krakow. The following year
she married another member of the group, Shimshon Draenger.

In January 1943 Shimshon was arrested. She now surrendered to the
Gestapo, as both had pledged to do if either was seized. While in
Montelupich Prison she wrote about her experiences in the form of a
diary. These were smuggled out of prison and were read by members of
the underground.

Justyna and Shimshon escaped from prison on 29th April 1943. They
immediately resumed their underground activities in the Wisnicz
Forest. On 8th November, 1943, Shimshon Draenger was captured. The
following day Justyna, as a result of her pact with her husband,
surrendered.. Justyna Draenger and her husband were both executed soon

Fifteen of the twenty chapters smuggled out by Draenger survived the
war. The book, Justyna's Narrative was first published in Poland in
1946. An English language edition appeared in 1996.

Shimshon Draenger was born in Krakow in 1917. At the age of thirteen
he joined the Akiva movement and later became one of its main leaders.
He also edited the movement's journal, Divrei Akiva and the weekly

After the occupation of Poland by the German Army in September 1939,
he helped establish the He-Haluts Ha-Lohem, and underground combat
group in Krakow. He also edited the movement's journal, He-Haluts
Ha-Lohem. The following year he married another member of the group,
Justyna Draenger.

In January 1943 Shimshon was arrested. His wife now surrendered to the
Gestapo, as both had pledged to do if either was seized. While in
Montelupich Prison Shimshon's wife wrote about her experiences in the
form of a diary. These were smuggled out of prison and were read by
members of the underground.

Shimshon and Justyna escaped from prison on 29th April 1943. They
immediately resumed their underground activities in the Wisnicz
Forest. On 8th November, 1943, Shimshon was captured. The following
day Justyna Draenger, as a result of her pact with her husband,
surrendered. Shimshon Draenger and his wife were both executed soon

Fifteen of the twenty chapters smuggled out by Justyna survived the
war. The book, Justyna's Narrative was first published in Poland in
1946. An English language edition appeared in 1996.


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Samson, Hebrew Shimshon, legendary Israelite warrior and judge, or divinely inspired leader, renowned for the prodigious strength that he derived from his uncut hair. He is portrayed in the biblical Book of Judges (chapters 13–16).

Where in the Bible is Samson described?

Samson is described in the Book of Judges (chapters 13–16).

Who was Samson?

Samson was a legendary Israelite warrior and judge, a member of the tribe of Dan, and a Nazirite. His immense physical strength, which he used for 20 years against the Philistines, derived from his uncut hair.

How did Samson die?

Samson pushed over the pillars of the temple of the Philistine god Dagon, destroying the temple and killing himself and thousands of Philistines.

Why did Samson tell Delilah?

Delilah asked Samson three times the source of his strength, and he gave her three wrong answers. She then “pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death,” as the King James Version Bible puts it. He told her that shaving his head would make him weak.

Samson’s incredible exploits, as related in the biblical narrative, hint at the weight of Philistine pressure on Israel during much of Israel’s early, tribal period in Canaan (1200–1000 bce ). The biblical narrative, only alluding to Samson’s “twenty years” activity as a judge, presents a few episodes, principally concerned with the beginning and the end of his activity. Before his conception, his mother, a peasant of the tribe of Dan at Zorah, near Jerusalem, was visited by an angel who told her that her son was to be a lifelong Nazirite—i.e., one dedicated to the special service of God, usually through a vow of abstinence from strong drink, from shaving or cutting the hair, and from contact with a dead body.

Samson possessed extraordinary physical strength, and the moral of his saga relates the disastrous loss of his power to his violation of the Nazirite vow, to which he was bound by his mother’s promise to the angel. He first broke his religious obligation by feasting with a woman from the neighbouring town of Timnah, who was also a Philistine, one of Israel’s mortal enemies. Other remarkable deeds follow. For example, he decimated the Philistines in a private war. On another occasion he repulsed their assault on him at Gaza, where he had gone to visit a harlot. He finally fell victim to his foes through love of Delilah, who beguiled him into revealing the secret of his strength: his long Nazirite hair. As he slept, Delilah had his hair cut and betrayed him. He was captured, blinded, and enslaved by the Philistines, but in the end God granted Samson his revenge through the return of his old strength, he demolished the great Philistine temple of the god Dagon, at Gaza, destroying his captors and himself (Judges 16:4–30).

Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team WordPress Blog

Aharon Liebeskind was born in Zabierzow, a village near Krakow in 1912, and he studied law at Krakow University. In 1938 he became secretary of the Akiva movement, which he had joined at the age of fourteen. In early 1939 he was appointed national secretary of Akiva and went to live in Warsaw, although he kept his home in Krakow as well, and continued to lead the movement there.

As well as the above commitments he also managed to complete his doctoral dissertation. His job kept him in Warsaw until the outbreak of the war. From the outset of the German occupation of Poland, Liebeskind was convinced that the Jews would not be able to live under the Nazis, and he did all he could to get the members of his movement out of Poland.

Liebeskind was a charismatic figure, much admired by his fellow members and followers. He did not accept an immigration certificate to Palestine for himself, so as not to abandon his family and followers during these dark times.

In December 1940 Liebeskind was put in charge of an agricultural and vocational training programme in the Krakow area, sponsored by the Jewish Self-Help Society, which had it’s headquarters in Krakow.

He utilised his position to promote the activities of the Jewish underground in the city, which he had founded and led. Using the society’s official stationery, he distributed leaflets and arranged money transfers to the members of the underground.

Liebeskind also arranged for the financing of the Kopaliny training farm, headed by Shimshon Draenger, which served as a cover for underground operations. His post enabled him to move around and thereby to maintain and strengthen contact with fellow members in various locations.

Having learned about the mass murder of Jews in the Chelmno killing center and the deportations from Cracow to the Belzec death camp in June 1942, the Jewish fighters decided to respond with armed resistance against the Nazis.

Zera Shimshon

The only child of the 1706-born [9] author of this work died as a child. Zera Shimshon was written in memory of that child, and its author wrote that studying it would lead to heavenly blessings. [4] [5]

While the best known volumes are by Parsha of the week, [3] [2] he wrote on other topics, including Book of Esther, [10] Ruth, Eicha, Koheles and Shir HaShirim. [11]

One work is named Toldos Shimshon on Pirke Avos. [9] [12]

Zera Shimshon Hamevuar on Eishes Chayil is a short work. [13] [14] Haggadah Zera Shimshon is for two entire nights. [15]

Born in Modena, his father, Nachman Michoel, arranged for him to initially study with the local rabbi, Ephraim Cohen Lipshitz, his maternal grandfather. He subsequently studied in Mantua with its rabbi, Abiad Sar-Shalom Bazilla, author of a work named "Emunat Chachamim." Later on he studied Kabbalah in Reggio with its rabbi, Benjamin Alexander HaKohen Vitali.

Ordained, he initially moved to Mantua, becoming a local teacher, subsequently returning to Modena to both teach and lead a congregation. His main work Zera Shimshon (commentary on Chumash and Five Megillot) was published in Mantua (1778) his Toldot Shimshon on Pirke Avot was published in Leghorn (1776).

  1. ^ Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser (January 24, 2020). "Hashem Has Other Plans". The Jewish Press. The Zera Shimshon elucidates the matter in the following way:
  2. ^ abc
  3. "Parsha of the Week Archives". Jewish Link NJ. “Zera Shimshon”, means the Seed of Shimshon
  4. ^ ab
  5. Rabbi Nachman Seltzer (2018). Zera Shimshon 2. ISBN978-1-4226-2226-1 .
  6. ^ ab
  7. "Zera Shimshon". Iggud HaRabbonim. passed away 6 Elul 5539 (1779)
  8. ^ ab
  9. "If You Must Compare". The Jewish Press. December 13, 2019.
  10. ^
  11. "The Segulah Of The Zera Shimshon: The Inside Story". Yeshivaworld. November 13, 2017.
  12. ^Israel Meir Kagan known as the Chofetz Chaim
  13. ^Rashi:
  14. HaCohen-Kerner, Yaakov Schweitzer, Nadav Mughaz, Dror (2011). "Automatically Identifying Citations in Hebrew-Aramaic Documents". Cybernetics and Systems. 42 (3): 180–197. doi:10.1080/01969722.2011.567893. S2CID40235689.
  15. ^ ab
  16. "This Month in Jewish History".
  17. ^
  18. Naḥmani, Shimshon Ḥayim Kirzner, Shmuel (2020). Zera Shimshon on Megilas Esther. ISBN978-1-4226-2568-2 .
  19. ^
  20. Zera Shimshon Shir HaShirim.
  21. ^ The word Toldos can refer to offspring
  22. ^ Mishlei's last verses, 31:10-31.
  23. ^
  24. "Mekor Judaica Zera Shimshon Eishes Chayil".
  25. ^ just one night in Israel:
  26. "Haggadah Zera Shimshon". Greenfield Judaica.

This biographical article about a rabbi is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

Hela Schüpper-Rufeisen

Hela Schüpper-Rufeisen was born in 1921 in Krakow, Poland, to a religious family of five children. When Hela was 10 years old, her mother died. Consequently the family split up and Hela moved in with her grandmother.

In 1939, Hela finished school and became active in the Akiva youth movement, with the intention of making aliyah. Shortly thereafter, Shimshon Draenger — one of the movement’s leaders — was arrested, causing Akiva activities to go underground. In 1940, Draenger was released and the movement’s activities resumed with the purpose of training members to set up an Akiva underground cell in the Warsaw ghetto.

Hela traveled to Warsaw in March 1941, and along with other activists, helped re-established the Akiva branch, which ultimately numbered some 300 members. Following the beginning of the deportations from the Warsaw ghetto, the He-Halutz core and Akiva members met to discuss the issue of resistance. It was understood that in order to revolt, they would need arms, and would have to test public opinion in the ghetto. As a first stage, they resolved to make the ghetto residents aware of the truth about Treblinka. In the evening, notices were posted throughout the ghetto urging the residents: “Don’t go like sheep to the slaughter. Treblinka is death.”

As the situation grew more severe, another meeting of He-Halutzand Akiva was held, at which it was decided to establish the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB).

As part of her preparations for armed struggle in the Warsaw ghetto, Hela traveled to Krakow to receive instructions. Upon returning to Warsaw, she prepared forged Polish identity cards for fighters in the forests, obtained weapons and documents, relayed messages, and coordinated between fighting factions.

One night while Hela resided with neighbors in the Warsaw ghetto, they were woken by gunfire, causing them to retreat to the attic. The ghetto had been surrounded by the Germans and within days, was set ablaze. Hela was smuggled over to the ZOB headquarters on 18 Mila Street where, to her surprise, she discovered hundreds of people hiding. At Mordechai Anielewicz’s decision, 10 people, including Hela, were then sent to the Aryan side of the city on 7 May 1943, through the sewer system in order to reach Yitzhak Zuckerman who would arrange for help. A rescue operation was arranged, but before it could be executed Hela and the others received the terrible news: the ZOB bunker had fallen to the Germans and many of the underground members had been murdered.

Hela moved between various hideouts, but eventually was deported to Bergen-Belsen, where she spent 22 months under conditions of hunger, cold, humiliation and murder, until the camp’s liberation on 15 April 1945.

After the war, she arrived at Hillersleben, Germany where a group was forming to make aliyah. In Palestine she met her husband, Arie Rufeisen whom she married. Together they joined the founding members of Bustan Hagalil. Hela has three children and ten grandchildren.

Shimshon Draenger - History

#krkw-6: The poet Chaim - Nachman Bialik during a visit to Krakow.

The book "The Fighting Chalutz" a news paper writen in the Krakow
ghetto in 1943.
It is the story of Zionist Jewish youth in the Krakow underground
during the war.

olish Aliyah Passport of Fradel Landau and children (Krakow)
for more information about the Passports go to

A policeman of Poland's "Blue Police" inspecting the documents of a Jew in Krakow.

ews hanged on a gallows in the Podgorze quarter of Krakow

German soldiers and an officer entering the Krakow ghetto.

German army men who participated in a roundup of Jews in the
Podgorze quarter of Krakow.

A German soldier in the Krakow ghetto, standing beside the bodies
of Jews laid out in a row.

go to
Steven Baral [email protected] wrote The photographs you are about
to see were collected and edited by my Father, Mr Martin Baral. The
photographs show members of the Baral, Feuer and Ehrlich Families from
Cracow Poland and the vicinity, most of whom perished in the Shoah.
Had it not been for the heroism of my Grandmother, Franka Baral, who
saved 6 children under the most adverse circumstances, I would not be
here today.

The Jewish market Square on Szeroka Street
from the 1930s. At the end of the square you can see the historic home of the Landau family.

Sitting from Left Dr. David Bulwa ( 1882- 1942, only his daughter
Eleonora Shein survived), Chaim Hilpershtein, Prof. Hugo Bergman.
Standing behind Chaim Hilpershtein Dr. Henrik Zilbershtein and Hirsh
Sharar. Picture taken from News Letter of July
to read the News Letters of the Association of Cracowians in Israel
(published by Lili Haber) go to the bottom of the page. For other
pictures from the News Letters go to "old scenes"

Memorial to the Jews of Krakow

First on the left third row Mark Patrushka ( now Meir Porat) and his mother Henka. Second row on the right Binyamin Zentker. Please getin touch with Meir Porat if you have any information ( for more information go to Association of Cracowians in Israel - News Letters ( #20) in the bottom of the page

Augusta and Adolf Gross pose with their grandchildren, Marguerite and Jan Enkels

Alfred Shenker, merchant and industrialist (2nd from right on bottom), with the staff of the Pischinger, Perlberger and Shenker Company

Luba and Bolestaw Drobner with their daughter Irena, and Luba's sister, Ida Hirszowicz, Krakow 1913

I. Krieg, a soldier in the Polish army, and his bride on their wedding day.

Members of the Krieg family 1928

The Faust family in Planty Park, 1931

1908 photo of Karola Kupezyk-Kleczanska, Salomon's daughter (1889-1941).

1929, Three children of the Stern family.

Jewish children in the Krakow ghetto play violins for the cameraman, Sep 1939 - 1940. USHMM Photo Archives (18707), courtesy of Muzeum Historii Fotografii

In front of the synagogue in 1936.

The Alte Shul (old synagogue)

German soldiers at a Krakow vandalized synagogue c 1940.

Jewish using a krakow synagogue as a shelter during the shoah.

General Pilsudski visits a Krakow synagogue.

The view over Podgórze and Cracow from the south.
Photo Les? aw Rzewuski, 1892

Józefa Street. The return from the prayer.
Photo Tadeusz Przypkowski, around 1930.
"On the festive days Kazimierz become quieter and calms down. The Jews dressed in long gaberdines, in hats hemmed with fox fur, walk in the streets. The synagogues get filled with praying people. The Jewish town creates a strange, not devoid of charm, picture. " wrote Karol Estreicher. On the photograph - the group of pious Jews in traditional attires, who return from the religious service.

The flea market in Szeroka Street.
Photo Photographical Agency "?wiatowid", around 1930.
Karol Estreicher in "The guidebook for those visiting the town and its surroundings" (published in 1938) wrote about Kazimierz from those days in that way: " At present Kazimierz is a typical example of a trade ghetto. The living here Jewish people are usually poor. The more rich ones are merchants, the poorer - agents or minor salesmen. The most poor busy themselves with artisanship or selling of junk. [. ] On Tuesdays and Fridays the flea market take place in Szeroka Street".
On our photograph there are women with armfuls of clothes designed for selling. Further - the gate leading to the yard next to Remu Synagogue.

Photo Ignacy Krieger, around 1910.
The today's street was marked out when the historical bed of the Vistula River was filled. The Old Vistula was slowly becoming the drying-out, malarial marshes. In 1878 the bed of the Old Vistula started to become filled and at the same time the street was being bricked. The monumental town planing guidelines included the wide lane of greenery with two parallel walking alleys, lines of trees and flower beds as well as two strips of the road. The event took place at the time of Józef Dietl presidency and as soon as in 1879 the street got it present name. The composition, very modern as for those days, remained unchanged until 1970. In that year the route of tramway communication was built there and because of that the lane of greenery was devastated. At present it is the lawn next to the tracks and a few remaining trees.

The view over the Main Market from the outlet of Grodzka street.
Photo Walery Maliszewski, around 1865

Mordechai Zeev Schachter was born in Zawiercie in 1888 to Elimelekh and Kroyna ( nee Yezkirowitz). He was a teacher of the Hebrew Mizrachi Tachkemoni school in Krakow and also a cantor. He married Sheindl nee Datner and had 8 children.

Only his son Yizhak Ben Zeev (nee Schachter) survived the holocaust


Yaakov Leser ( son of Yizhak Hirsh and Leah nee Shwartz)

And Yona ( nee Tonka Bornstein, daughter of Lipman Yom Tov and Mindla Bornstein nee Shtern) September 1946, Krakow

The parents of Lili Haber ( from the September 2008 Newsletter of the ASSOCIATION OF CRACOWIANS IN ISRAEL)

Sturm und Drang

Sturm und Drang comes from German, where it literally means "storm and stress." Although it’s now a generic synonym of "turmoil," the term was originally used in English to identify a late 18th-century German literary movement whose works were filled with rousing action and high emotionalism, and often dealt with an individual rebelling against the injustices of society. The movement took its name from the 1776 play Sturm und Drang, a work by one of its proponents, dramatist and novelist Friedrich von Klinger. Although the literary movement was well known in Germany in the late 1700s, the term "Sturm und Drang" didn’t appear in English prose until the mid-1800s.

The Life of Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus

Like the sun—a blazing ball of fire that one cannot gaze upon directly, yet whose radiance and warmth illuminates our world, infusing life, joy and vigor into the soul of every living being—so was the life of Rabbeinu HaGaon HaRav Shimshon Dovid Pincus zt”l.

Nurtured by parents who imbibed deeply from the Torah wellsprings of European Jewry — such as Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, Rav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, and Sara Schenirer — young Shimshon grew into a world-renowned speaker, educating and influencing audiences across the Jewish spectrum. He manifested spiritual powers that seemed to transcend the forces of nature and human capacity. His heart burned with holy sparks of fervor, and those sparks grew into a mighty torch that illuminates our world with Torah, yiras Shamayim and kedushah until this very day.

Follow Rav Pincus’s path from the American spiritual desert of the early 20th century to Torah greatness. Based on the bestselling Hebrew biography Hashemesh Bigvuraso, it is a stirring collection of firsthand facts, hanhagos, and stories from distinguished rabbanim, talmidei chachamim, family members and talmidim who ensured that this sefer—like its protagonist—bears the eternal stamp of emes.

Watch the video: Samson Kills 1000 Philistines (May 2022).


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