Skępe, Poland

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

Location:  5252 N 1921' E             131 km WNW of Warszawa                 26 miles NNW of Płock            Nearby cities:  Lipno, Sierpc

About Skępe

Remembering Skępe

I was born in the town of Skempa in Poland, in the year 1935.  No one remembers the day or the month.  I arrived in Israel on 28/06/1950, and so the clerk in the registry office set the date 28/06/1935 as my date of birth, and so it remained.  Skempa is one of the towns in the vicinity of Lipno.  Not far from Skempa there is a vacation area, with a lake and forests.  Many families visit this place with their children in the summertime, to relax among the trees, to sail and swim in the lake, to walk in the area, and to enjoy the clean air and the wonderful view.  My father owned a clothing store in the town square.  Workers in the store were seated next to sewing machines, pumping the pedal forwards and backwards with their feet, while moving the fabric with their hands, under the needle that moved up and down, piercing the fabric.  My father stood behind the fabrics with scissors.  From time to time, people entered the store.  Some purchased ready made clothes, while others ordered them to size.  When they ordered to size, my father would pause from his work behind the table, and would take his measuring tape, marking chalk, and pins, in order to measure, mark, write, and sketch.

The Skempa town plaza was square, and had four streets leading away from it, in each direction.  I used to go and sit at the store entrance, on the top step.  From there I could see the water--well located in the middle of the square and the passersby.  On market days, the square crowded and lively.  Farmers from the neighboring villages and towns would arrive with carts filled with vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk and dairy, livestock, farm products and handiwork, to sell, buy, or barter.

I loved to watch the farmers and their wares, to smell the strong scents, and to hear the sounds of the chickens and ducks, which mingled with the sounds of buying and selling.  From time to time, they would pump water from the well, take a drink, and water the horses and the other animals.  In the afternoon, the farmers dispersed, left the town, and peace would return to the square.  On the other side of the square lived my mother's sister, Aunt Rivkah.  She was older than my mother; her husband was named Shlomo, and they had three children, 14 year old Shimeck, 12 year old Phela, and 10 year old Sarah.  Aunt Rivkah and Uncle Shlomo owned a supermarket in which they sold flour, sugar, coffee tea, sewing tools, and kitchen wares.

One night my father took me to the square.  It was full of people, noisy and bustling.  My father put me on his shoulders and I could see horse-mounted soldiers crossing the square.  He explained to me that Germany declared war on Poland, and what I was witnessing was the fleeing Polish army.  Up until the declaration of war, we were a happy family of five;  father, mother, me, the eldest, my sister Felusha who was two years younger, and my brother Hilick, who was two years old.

From Piles of Pine Needles, by Abraham Shavit, Israel 2005
Translated from the Hebrew by Maor Shavit

House on Rynek

Memories of Skępe--An Interview with Stanisława Nadrowska
Translated by Sławek Witkowski;  Edited by Michael Smith

A former resident of Skępe remembers life in Skępe and the Jewish community.

To read the interview, click here.

Zyta p.30
Front Cover
Pages translated into English
by Sławomir Witkowski
To read, click here.

Zyta p.31

Skępe z Samochodu
Skępe by Car
A Driving Tour by YouTube:

Yahoo map:ępe%2C%20Poland
Satellite map:
For more information, Links to Skępe:
Virtual Shtetl--
International Jewish Cemetery Project: kujawsko-pomorskie.html
Lipno, Skepe, Lubicz and vicinity Yizkor Book:

KehilaLinks logo

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

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