Raizel Kisielnicki

Raizel Kisielnicki

Born: 1898

Kaluszyn, Poland

Raizel lived with her husband, Mojsze, and their three children in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, which was 35 miles east of Warsaw. By the 1930s, Mojsze owned a grocery store, a restaurant, and a gas station, all of which were located together on the heavily traveled main road. The family lived in rooms in the same building as their business.

1933-39: Every day Raizel prepares the roast goose served in the family's restaurant. They have a bustling business, as many truck drivers stop here for a quick meal on their way into Warsaw. Her mother-in-law helps out in the kitchen, and her daughter, Chaie Sura, is a cashier. Her son Abram drives a truck to pick up supplies, while her other son Majlich pumps gas at the station. It's truly a family business until war breaks out and the Germans occupy Kaluszyn.

1940-44: Acting under German orders, the town mayor has chosen Mojsze to be on the Jewish council. Mojsze, in turn, has chosen their son Abram for the Jewish police and their son Majlich for the Jewish sanitation committee. As for Raizel, she still works some in the restaurant, baking bread and brewing tea, but other food is scarce. She also helps sometimes in a communal kitchen where she prepares food for the poor Jewish families in town. Both her mother and Chaie Sura often work with her.

On September 25, 1942, 44-year-old Raizel and more than 3,000 other Jews were deported from Kaluszyn to a killing center, where she perished.