The Murder of
of Vengrov

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rabbi synagogue

1. Rabbi Yakov Mendel Morgenstern
2. The Great synagogue of Vengrov

Yakov Mendel Morgenstern, son of the Sokolower rebbe, was the rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Vengrov. On erev Yom Kippur in 1939, just a few weeks after the Germans captured the town, SS officers invaded his home. Reports of what happened next differ slightly in details, but the tragic outcome is the same.

The SS officers dragged Rabbi Morgenstern to Market Square in the center of Vengrov and ordered him to undress. Then they gave him a broom and demanded that he gather the manure in the square (which was plentiful, as horse and buggy was the prevalent mode of transportation in Vengrov) and carry it to the town dump in his shtreiml [fur hat].

As the rabbi tried to do what he was told, he was stabbed with a bayonet. What happened next is not certain. Either the initial bayonet went into Rabbi Morgenstern's abdomen and he died immediately or he was tortured by several bayonet thrusts and died while he was working.

After Rabbi Morgenstern was murdered, the Great Synagogue in Vengrov was closed. It was destroyed by the Nazis.

house house

house house

Views of Rabbi Morgenstern's house in Vengrov.
Pilgrims come from Israel to see the home of Vengrov's martyred rabbi.