Skępe, Poland

Other Names:  Skepe, Skempe (Russian, German) Schemmensee (German, 1942-45)

Location:  52º52 N 19º21' E             131 km WNW of Warszawa                 26 miles NNW of Płock            Nearby cities:  Lipno, Sierpc

                    and friends

 Faces of Skępe

skepe photo

 As friends, neighbors, and relatives leave us the memory and images of Jewish Skȩpe recede, not unlike this washed out windshield view of the Skȩpe town sign in the background. Our inspiration to provide a visual snapshot of what was once Skȩpe comes from the moving photographic work And I Still See Their
. Our photographic record of Skȩpe is minimal, in much the same way that history treats Skepe, but through the faces in the photos we hope you get a glimpse of what was once Jewish Skȩpe. We invite all the sons and daughters of Skȩpe and their descendants to contribute to this remembrance site. Your photos, stories, and memories are always welcome and should become part of the record on KehilaLinks.

Dedicated to:

My grandmother Mollie Zamoskiewicz and her brothers and sisters - Motel, Feivel, Brana, Lea, Hudes, Salomon, Rywka, Chava - were all born and raised in Skẹpe, Poland.  Mollie was the first to immigrate to and stay in the United States in 1912 when she was 16 years old.  Three of her sisters remained in Europe.  This website is dedicated to the memory of the Zamoskiewicz family, especially my cousins who survived the Holocaust (Faye, Sarah, Avraham, and Fela), and to the memory of Jewish life and culture in Skępe, Poland.

Why we remember Skępe

The Importance of Remembrance

written and translated from the Hebrew by Maor Shavit
inspired by Deuteronomy 6:  10 - 12

You inherit some things - a home, a family, a country, vineyards, olive trees ...  they are there, ready for you.  You didn’t work for them, you have no idea of the difficulties involved in achieving them, you don’t know what life means without them.You have no personal affinity towards them.

So you might forget. Forget the value of these things. Forget their importance for you.

Is it possible to establish personal affinity towards something that already exists? Something that was given to you? Indeed, you won’t destroy something and rebuild it just to gain this affinity?!

This is where the  importance of remembrance is revealed. By remembering something you reconstruct it, as if it actually happened in your past, preceding your present. It becomes a place in a virtual path toward things in your life -
a home, a  family, a  country, vineyards, olive trees ...

That is how the obvious becomes a personal accomplishment and the insignificant becomes something to care about.

Partial remarks from a speech by Arthur Kurzweil on June 28, 1995 at the Jewish Genealogy Society, Washington, DC.

“...We are a rebuilding generation. We come after two of the worst moments of Jewish history--one, of course, the Holocaust when a third of our people were murdered and two, the mass migration of Jews when our families were torn apart... And I believe that in the same way that the Talmud says that when the Temple was destroyed, they rebuilt by doing their family trees, in our generation we have the same task. As a rebuilding generation, we are doing our family trees to rebuild, to put the pieces back together again, to take that shattered people and to bring them back together again.”

We invite and encourage you to add your family stories, memories and photos of Skępe.

Contact us.

Our sincere thanks to the following contributors:

Bruce Berg, Florence Berg, Israel Berliner, Neil Brown, Stanley Dobrzanski, Ite Doktorski, Fela Freund, Alan Flusberg, David Goldman, Mark Heckman, Ada Holzman, Tova Ilan, Israel Koplowitz, Joy Koplowitz, Ann Linder, Jean Moskowitz, Selma Moskowitz, Rabbi Seymour Moskowitz, Julian Preisler, Amir Rubinstein, Bernard Schwolberg, Avraham and Zipy Shavit, Maor Shavit, Elyse Smith, Ann Teitelbaum, Paul Trapido, Bernard and Zyta Wegner,  Sławomir and Żaneta Witkowski, and deep appreciation to Seymour Shapiro who started us down the right path and to Faye Lewkowicz who spent countless hours telling us about life in Skępe, our family’s history, and survival during the Holocaust.

Compiled by Roberta Fleishman and Mike Smith
Copyright © 2013 Roberta Ann Fleishman

Updated April 10, 2015


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