Mojsze Kisielnicki

Mojsze Kisielnicki

Born: 1895

Kaluszyn, Poland

Mojsze, his wife Raizel and their three children lived 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Mojsze had gone to Jewish schools and supported Zionist ideals. By the early 1930s, he owned a wholesale grocery store, a restaurant and a gas station, all of which were located on the heavily traveled main road.

1933-39: Mojsze is at the World's Fair in Paris with his sister, Ruchel. She immigrated here in the 1920s with her husband, who owns a successful tailor shop. When he returns to Kaluszyn, he's going to talk to Raizel. Maybe they should think about moving here, too. Living standards are higher. On the other hand, Mojsze is middle-aged, his business is thriving, and he's a leader in the community, so how can he pull up roots now and start all over again?

1940-42: When German forces entered Kaluszyn in September 1939, Mojsze's mayor chose him and several other Jewish residents for the Jewish council. They are responsible for supplying laborers and material goods to the occupying troops. One day the Germans want jewelry, the next, furniture. Now they want 150 men for forced labor in Biala Podlaska, 58 miles away. Can Mojsze convince them that they don't need so many men? Mojsze wonders how he can face these young men's parents?

Mojsze was shot to death by the Germans on September 21, 1942. Four days later, more than 3,000 Jews were deported from Kaluszyn to a killing center.

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