Announcing the Publication of the Yizkor Book of Chelm, Poland #yizkorbooks #JewishGenUpdates

Susan Rosin

JewishGen Press is proud to announce our 132nd title:

Commemoration Book Chelm (Poland). This is the English translation of
Yisker-bukh Chelm
Originally published in Johannesburg in [Susan Rosin] 1954 and edited by M.


Project Coordinator: Leah Z. Davidson
Layout and Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
Reproduction of Photographs: Sondra Ettlinger
Cover Design: Rachel Kolokoff Hopper

Hard cover, 628 pages with original photographs.

The first Jews arrived in Chełm around 1205, when the town was part of the
Polish state. At the beginning of the 19th century, Hasidism started to
evolve in Chełm. .
Before the outbreak of World War I, Jews almost completely dominated the
trade in the town. The community owned one synagogue, a house of prayer, six
religious schools, two mikvot and a cemetery. The kehila financially
supported the orphanage and an old people's home. Between 1910 and 1914 an
amateur Jewish theatre was active in the town.
During the interwar period Chełm was - after Lublin - the second largest
center of the Jewish population in the Lublin Province. In 1939, Chełm had
33,622 inhabitants, including 14,995 Jews (44.6% of the total population).
There were numerous Jewish social organizations in the town and five Jewish
newspapers. The Jewish community in Chełm owned two synagogues, a house of
prayer, 45 cheders, 2 bathhouses, 2 mikvot, an orphanage, an old people's
home and a cemetery.
The gradually worsening economic situation, along with the growing
anti-Semitic attitudes, resulted in emigration. The Jewish community
financially supported the people who wanted to emigrate to Palestine.
In December 1939, the Germans displaced 2,000 Jews from Chełm to Sokal. By
the end of 1941, Germans created a ghetto in Chełm. In May 1942, the Germans
deported about 4,000 Jews to the extermination camp in Sobibór.
Only 200 Jews from Chełm survived the Holocaust. Most of them left Poland
after the war. Leon Pałaszewski from Chełm was awarded the title of the
Righteous Among the Nations.

May this Yizkor Book serve as a memorial to all the victims of the Shoah
from Chelm.
For the researchers, this book contains a wealth of both genealogical and
cultural information that can provide a picture of the environment of our

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Susan Rosin
JewishGen Press Publications Manager