JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Translation of Memorial Book of Kosow Poleski Available #general

Bob Fitterman

I'm pleased to announce that an English-language translation of the Memorial
Book of Kosow Poleski is now available. (Like almost every shtetl, it had
various names over time and in different languages. Most of them are variants
of the "Kosov." It is presently Kosava, Belarus.) The book was published at
the end of 1945, making it one of the earliest yizkor books released after
the end of the war. Of the few Jews selected by the Nazis to be spared in the
massacre of July 1942, only one survived to the end of the war. He gave his
oral history to a former resident who had made aliya prior to the start of
the war and that history is the core text of the book. The book also includes
a foreword, a necrology, a list of townspeople who left prior to the arrival
of the Nazis and another list of former residents living in Israel at the
time of the book's publication. That last list includes name changes of
former residents and for several women on that list, the name of their
husband. I have also located a 1932 map of the village and included that in
the book, along with a geographic index.

The greatest portion of the translation project was to carefully match
surnames with records >from other sources including records at Yad Vashem and
a Polish business directory >from the 1930s. All the names have been
transcribed using Polish spellings in hopes that it might aid genealogical
researchers in locating other documents. The Polish spellings have the added
benefit of being phonetically unambiguous.

The book is short, but contains dozens of photographs. The translation is
released under a Creative Commons license and is freely available as a PDF,
e-book and Word document. In addition, hardcover and mpaperback versions can
be purchased at cost through an on-demand publisher. The hardcover version
sells for under $16, the paperback for under $5. (Shipping and taxes are not
included in those prices.) The text of the book will also be available on

Thanks to the principal author's family, I was also able to make arrangements
for an electronic copy of the original document to become part of the New York
Public Library's collection of online yizkor books - books
If you are in possession of a copy of this relatively rare book and would
consider donating your copy to the NYPL's collection, I know that the library
would be most appreciative. Their collection includes over 2,000 different
yizkor books but unfortunately not this one.

Coordinating this project was both rewarding and educational. While this was a
personal undertaking, I encourage anyone who has time available to consider
volunteering with the Jewishgen Yizkor Book project. If you can provide
financial support to their efforts, please consider making a donation.
Production of this translation would not have been possible without their
assistance. I am truly indebted to Lance Ackerfeld for his help and guidance.
Lance will be arranging to add the translation to Jewishgen's online collection.

The following links provide the location of the materials:

PDF, ePub (Nook, Kobo, iBook), AZ3 (Kindle) and Microsoft Word versions:
[MOD. NOTE: original URL - ]

Hardcover edition
[MOD. NOTE: original URL - ]

Paperback edition
[MOD. NOTE: original URL -

If you have any questions about the book or the translation process, feel free
to contact me directly at bobf@...

Bob Fitterman

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