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Yad Vashem The Story of the Jewish Community of Plonsk

The Community of Płońsk During the Holocaust

Jewish Resistance in Płońsk

In the interwar period, dozens of Jews in Płońsk and the surrounding areas joined the illegal communist party or communist youth movement, including Fischel Jagoda and Yisraelowicz. In October 1941, contact between the Jewish communists in the Płońsk ghetto and the Polish communists was established when Ignacy Malinsk, a communist that worked for the Polish railway, came to the ghetto.  On 1 December 1941, on 1 May 1942 and on 22 June 1942, three meetings took place between the ghetto group’s representatives, Yisraelowicz and Shlomo Fuks, and the Polish communists. The Polish Jan Ptasinski testified about the meetings:

On a few occasions I was in the ghetto and conducted long discussions with friends. We talked about their activity, about what we had done, and about the battle we were about to begin. I saw excitement on their faces. They wanted to fight the raging terror. They told us about the Germans' merciless abuse of the Jews, of women and children. They gave us numbers of how many dozens of children had been killed, as well as many women.

Approaching the wall surrounding the ghetto meant risking your life. The German guard would shoot without warning at any Pole or Jew that came near. The punishment for entering the ghetto was death. Our Jewish friends knew that, and every time we were about to enter, they recruited everyone, dozens of people, who stood at certain positions around the ghetto to warn us.

Testimony of Jan Ptasinski, Yad Vashem Archives, M49E-ZIh/4508
(testimony collection of the Historical Institute in Warsaw).

At the beginning of 1942, the Polish Workers' Party – PPR – was established in Poland. In March of that year, PPR members organized themselves in the Płońsk region. On 22 June 1942, during their third meeting with representatives of the Polish Party, the 30-member communist group in the ghetto joined the PPR. A party committee was established in the ghetto, headed by Yisraelowicz. Members included Fischel Jaguda, Shlomo Fuks and Yaakov Przygoda (Fischel), previously a fighter in the "Dąbrowski Brigade" in Spain.

Contact between the Jewish and Polish communists took place at Sarawajski's photo laboratory in the "White House" at the corner of Warszawska and Wyszogrodna streets. The house had entrances on both sides – the ghetto side and the "Aryan" side. The Poles brought illegal newspapers to the ghetto, in return for which the Jews donated money to aid Soviet prisoners of war.

The Jewish communists in the Płońsk Ghetto made contact with Jewish communists in the Czerwinsk ghetto, headed by Lewinski.

After the Armia Ludowa was established in the Płońsk district, a branch also opened in the ghetto, led by Przygoda.

During the liquidation of the Czerwinsk and Płońsk Ghettos, a few of the members of the underground fled. They joined the "Armia Ludowa" unit, commanded by Franciszek Landowski. The Jews participated in a number of battles against the Germans, but were killed in battle or murdered by the Gestapo in December 1943 after being captured with the entire fighting unit.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.