This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks #poland #JewishGen Updates #yizkorbooks #poland

Bruce Drake

At the end of each week, we have been featuring excerpts from Yizkor books in JewishGen's archive. You can find the archive of past Yizkor book excerpts here: If you are not familiar with the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project, please click on this link:
Many Yizkor books have chapters — and even whole sections — on the Zionist movement. Some of these can be dry reading such as names of those involved or dates of various events and activities.
What I liked about “Zionism in Vishogrod,” from the book of that town in Poland, was the context the author gave to the rise of the movement such as the generational differences that gave rise to it and the political, social and religious schisms that followed in Jewish communities.
Martin Menachem Silbershtein notes that, like many small towns in Poland, Vishogrod was devoid of any modern social activity until the beginning of the First World War in 1914. Its people knew nothing about Zionism, as well as about socialism and other modern or movements.
Until then, young people were “brought up by tradition-abiding parents, who did not let enter any new ideas into their souls; so naturally they followed into the footsteps of their parents.” They went to cheder, studied for bar mitzvah, helped their families
make a living and ended up working in the trades of their fathers.
Then, in the 1920s, the young people “woke up.” They started organizing, founding libraries, letting “their eyes roam and opinions progress,” and, with the aid of the culture and organizations they created, trying to shape their own lives. The library,
aimed at broadening the horizon of the townspeople, was named “The Zionist Center” and became the focus of Zionist activity in Vishogrod.
The Center would become a battleground of contending parties, particularly a leftist youth movement that framed the debate as “Zionism — reality or utopia.” It was an argument that would last in the town until World War II and the Holocaust ended it.

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Tony Hausner

Thanks for posting. Wyszogrod ( Vishogrod) is part of the Plock region. My wife has family from both Wyszogrod and Plock. We visited both towns in 2010. We created a Plock Region email group several years ago and welcome others in the region to join us. Please contact me at thausner@.... There is also a facebook group for the Plock region.

Tony Hausner
Silver Spring,MD