The Jewish Press
This document is a translation based upon an article published in the Polish Slowo Zydowskie [Jewish Voice] in 2001. It discusses Jewish publications in the Belchatow/Piotrkow Trybulnalski area, including the Belchatowski Company, founded by Fajwel Belchatowski and Chaim Frenkel. *
The oldest Jewish print shop in Piotrkow was the Belchatowski Company, established in about 1850 by Fajwel Belchatowski and Chaim Frenkel. The company was situated at the Plac Maryjski (now Rynek Trybunalski) No 1. The print shop was equipped with three fast printing machines with Polish, Russian, and Hebrew letters. The first magazines from the Piotrkow area were printed here, e.g., “Dziennik Gubernialny Petrkowski” (in Polish and Russian, 1867), “Rocznik” (1871-1873 and 1876), the calendar “Przyjaciel” [Friend], the magazine “Tydzien” [Week], and the weekly “Ziemia Piotrkowska” (1907). The print shop survived until WWI and printed the weekly “Di Pietrkower Sztyme” [Petrokov Voice] published by Mojzesz Feinkind, 1914 (based on the governor’s order, only one number was issued), as well as a social-literary weekly “Glos Zydowski” [Jewish Voice], edited by the same publisher 1916-1918 and financed by the Tarbut society.
A special print shop for the Jewish press only was established 1901. Its founder was M. Cederbaum. The shop was situated in Zamurowa Street No 8 and printed in Yiddish and Hebrew.
The most active Jewish print shop was the company of Jakub Moszek Rozensztajn. It was established 1911 and situated at Plac Trybunalski No 4. Dissertations and moral aphorisms in Hebrew were printed ordered by the Wyzsza Szkola Rabinacka (Yeshiva) in Ostrow Swietokrzyski, as well as many school books for various schools in Lodz, some occasional literature for Tomaszow Maz. and Radomsko, Zionist articles for Wloclawek, some volumes of fiction for Warsaw, Lodz, and Sieradz. The main part of the production was magazines, however. They were among others “Pietrokower Weker” [Piotrkow Alarm] 1925-1930, 1936-1939, and Wochen Najes [Weekly News], 1931-1932. Some periodicals for Lodz, Tomaszow Maz., Radomsko and other towns such as Belchatow, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Cieszyn or Wloclawek were also printed. Printings in the Polish language were rare -- “Piotrkowski Robociarz” [Piotrkow Worker], 1929, the daily publication of the PPS-Lewica party from Piotrkow and Przeglad Wlokienniczy [Textile Review], 1931.
The print shop of Abram Markus Horowicz was founded in 1908 as a second Jewish printing company in Piotrkow. Various printing materials were produced here, such as voting and strike appeals, newspapers and magazines in Yiddish, both for Piotrkow – like a Zionistic weekly “Unzer Cajtung”, starting in 1930, Unzer Frajhajt [Our Freedom], 1931, Unzer Tribune [Our Tribune], 1936 and Di Jidisze Sztyme [Jewish Voice] 1935-1939 – and Lodz, such as “Folk un Land”, 1931-1933, “Tomaszower Cajtung”, “Pabianicer Cajtung”, “Mazowszer Wochenblat” and many others.
Quite famous was the print shop of Jakub Cederbaum, which produced religious texts in Hebrew and some small publications in Yiddish and Polish.
Joachim Iser Szternfeld founded the next print shop in 1930 in Starowarszawska Street No 13. Many Yiddish magazines such as “Unzer Jiddisze Sztyme”, “Piotrkow Jidisze Sztyme”, “Mazowszer Wort”, “Radomer Sztyme”, “Di Post”, etc. were produced there.
The Jewish printing materials from Piotrkow are very interesting. They were created in a different way than newspapers which we know today. On the first page, announcements and advertisements, and thank-you notices and greetings were placed. Not uncommon were wishes and thank-you announcements for a newly-wed couple that took up entire first page, some in Yiddish, some in Polish. The advertisements came mostly from shops, pharmacies, lotteries, and programs of the several cinemas in Piotrkow. In the middle of the newspaper, articles about the Jewish society of Piotrkow were placed. The Zionist weekly “Unzer Cajtung” published articles about the problems of Jewish settlers in Palestine. Some of texts in Polish were announcements from the city hall of Piotrkow.
Only a few copies of the mentioned publication have survived and can be viewed at the Panstwowe Archiwum in Piotrkow Trybunalski.
* The above translation is based on an article by Daniel Warzocha, "Przedwojenny Piotrkow Trybunalski – zydowski osrodek wydawniczo-drukarski [Piortkow Trybunalski before the war – Jewish editing and print center]" in Slowo Zydowskie [Jewish Voice], 2001.
Andrzej Selerowicz provided and donated the translation which is based upon this article. He grew up in Belchatow after the war. Andrzej has been very productive in searching for and obtaining documents for this website.
Copyright © 2001-2013 Roni Seibel Liebowitz. All rights reserved.