Chuck Fishman Photography
Majdanek concentration camp, a wartime forced labor and killing center. Most of the camp's original buildings and grounds remain intact. The camp-museum is open to the public. Lublin 1975 83-year-old Dr. Hieronim Krug, the oldest living advocate (lawyer) in Krakow, in the courtyard of the Remu Synagogue awaiting Friday night services. Like many Polish Jews, Krug survived the Holocaust by escaping east to Russia. 1975 Maurice Koszmar, Auschwitz survivor. All who reached the camp alive, and not immediately led to the gas chambers, were numbered. 1975 Singing the Yiddish song, "Who Will Say Kaddish* For Me?" 76-year-old Max Ramenstein of Przemysl bemoans his fate.  When this picture was made, there were approximately 50 Jews left in Przemysl. In 1939 there were about 20,000. 1975  *(Kaddish is the prayer of remembrance for the dead.) Moshe Shapiro, of Warsaw's kosher kitchen, washing meat. Shapiro, the kitchen's ritual slaughterer, was overseer to the cleanliness of both the food and kitchen according to Jewish law.  Money for the food and operation of the kitchen came from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.  1975 Golda Zeiden and daughter Regina in Wroclaw's only remaining prayer room (Beit Midrash).  Both survived Auschwitz.  1975 The ovens of Majdanek. It was here that all dead bodies were burned.
Approximately 125,000 Jews were killed at Majdanek. 1975
Chess players at the Jewish Club in Lodz. At the outbreak of WW II, one-third (230,000) of the city's residents were Jewish.  In 1975 approximately 500 remained, some gathering here to socialize. The mural, completed in 1960, by Adam (Aron) Muszka, is meant to depict the Holocaust. 1975 Researchers at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Scholarly works of Jewish culture and history are still being written here. The museum contains rare books, paintings, photographs and artifacts related to Poland's 1000 year Jewish history. 1975 Remu Synagogue Friday night service. Services were not only a means of prayer, but also of socializing. 1975 Robin Dawidowicz, the last Jew of Lublin's once Jewish market, and wife at work selling doughnuts. His wife, a Christian, had recently been beaten up and called a Jewish whore. They had been married for 4 months.  Dawidowicz endured Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria during the war. 1975 Robin Dawidowicz, displaying his arm tatooed in Mauthausen concentration camp. Behind his doughnut stand at Lublin's outdoor market. 1975 Abraham Fogel, reader at Krakow's Remu Synagogue. The last of Poland's rabbis fled in 1968. 1975 Mieczyslav Nusbaum, sexton of Lublin's only remaining prayer room.  Nusbaum, whose wife and children were living in Israel, slept in a small adjoining room.  He could not travel because of a bad heart. The room was still being used for Friday night services. 1975 Chaim Elia Leder in his room in Lublin. Leder received a small monthly pension from the government and tried supplementing his income by sewing. In 1975, he was one of approximately 30 Jews remaining in Lublin. In 1941, there were 45,000. 72-year-old Apolonia Rzymowska in her garden. A Polish Gentile, Rzymowska saved lives by feeding Jews hiding in the forests around her home in Kock. 1975 Impoverished Jew outside Warsaw's kosher kitchen.  1975 Entrance to Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1975 Boarded and locked Nozyk Synagogue. The Nozyk was Warsaw's only synagogue to remain intact through the Holocaust. 1975 Vandalized tomb in Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw. It was believed by the local people that, when buried, Jews hide gold with the corpse.  1975 Pincus Szenicer, caretaker of Warsaw's Jewish Cemetery, reciting psalms for a recently deceased 74-year-old woman. 1975 Mosses Lekker, caretaker of the Jewish Cemetery in Lodz. 1975 Friday night phone call trying to get a minyan* at the Remu Synagogue. Krakow 1978

*a minimum of 10 Jewish men for an orthodox service.
Preparing for Friday night services in the Remu Synagogue by lighting Shabbos and yahrzeit candles. Krakow 1978 Lighting candles before Friday night services at Remu Synagogue. Krakow 1978 Shabbat services in the Remu Synagogue. 1978 Mrs. Abraham Fogel, the only woman at Shabbat services in the Remu Synagogue. 1978 Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Fogel, after kiddush and Shabbat services in the Remu Synagogue. 1978 Kiddush after services in the Krakow's Beit Midrash behind the Tempel Synagogue. 1978 Jan Maurarycy (center) at kiddush in Krakow's Remu Synagogue. 1978 Ludwik Berliski (l) and Maurycy Jam (r) leaving the Remu Synagogue after the last Saturday service of 1978. Learning Hebrew in Warsaw. The Nozyk Synagogue is seen through windows. 1978 Krakow's Beit Midrash (behind Tempel Synagogue) during Shabbat services. 1979 Weekly Tuesday morning selling of "kosher" meat in the basement of Krakow's kehilla, the building where the official Jewish community has its office and kosher kitchen. "It's as kosher as possible here", said the butcher/ritual slaughterer (shochate) referencing current conditions in Poland. 1979 Roza Bauminger, taking her lunch home from Krakow's kosher kitchen. 1979 Krakow's kosher kitchen. 1979 Lunch in Krakow's kosher kitchen. 1979 Krakow's kosher kitchen. Max Horowitz (l), woman examining gift picture made by me on an earlier trip. 1979 Mr. Haskell at Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash.  1979 Mr. Haskell at Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash.  1979 Preparing for Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1979 Saying the blessing for donning the tallit at morning services in the only Beit Midrash in Warsaw, adjacent to the unused Nozyk Synagogue. The Nozyk remained unused, too big and too cold for the few people who came to pray. 1979 Shabbat services in  Warsaw's Beit Midrash. Courageous few practice openly under Communism. 1979 Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash.  Moshe Shapiro, center, about to read from the Torah. 1979 Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash.  Solomon Klingkoffer, standing, center. 1979 Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1979 Shabbat morning service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1979 Kiddush after Shabbat service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1979 Natan Cywiak (r) with a congregational member, sharing a joke after Shabbat services in Warsaw's Beit Midrash (doorway left). 1979 Natan Cywiak, shamus of Warsaw's Beit Midrash, after Shabbat services.  Entrance to Beit Midrash in background. 1979 Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Searchlight from guard tower. Vast and deafeningly quiet. 1979 Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Fogel in the courtyard of the Remu Synagogue after Shabbat services. They lived through the Holocaust in Russia. 1979 Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Fogel after locking up the Remu Synagogue. Krakow 1979 Warsaw's kosher kitchen at lunch after services in the Beit Midrash. Moshe Shapiro, center, waiting on line to receive his food. 1979 Warsaw's kosher kitchen during Saturday lunch. 1979 Moshe Shapiro, in Warsaw's kosher kitchen after Shabbat services. 1979 Woman at lunch in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979 Solomon Klingkoffer at the window where meals are disbursed in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979. Warsaw's kosher kitchen during Saturday lunch. 1979 Warsaw's kosher kitchen after Saturday lunch. 1979 Awaiting Passover Seder outside Jewish Community building. 1979 Yankel Kuwaker, right, and kitchen employee unpacking matzah for Passover Seder  in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. The stamp on the box, in Hebrew, indicates the matzot were made in Israel. 1979 Yankel Kuwaker, left, and Solomon Klingkoffer, right, preparing for Passover Seder in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979 The ceremonial washing of hands. Natan Cywiak, shamus, at Passover Seder held in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. Holding cup and basin is Solomon Klingkoffer. 1979 Passover Seder held in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. Mr. Czapnik pouring wine. 1979 Moshe Abramson, with his daughter Mara, reading the Hagaddah at Passover Seder in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979 Passover Seder in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979 Moshe Shapiro teaching children prayers from the Hagaddah after Passover Seder in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979 Former archbishop of Krakow, Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp before holding mass there on his first papal trip to Poland in June 1979. The pope helped alleviate anti-Semitism in Poland and around the world.  The official 36th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews now exists on a large part of this plaza, facing the Natan Rapoport sculpture "Ghetto Heroes Monument" built in 1948.  This area was the scene of the first armed conflict of the ghetto uprising. April 1979 Women leaving at the conclusion of the 36th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Natan Cywiak standing by Rapoport sculpture in background. 1979 Jewish art dealer displaying 'supposed copies' of old paintings by Jewish artists,  In front of his Warsaw apartment building. 1979 Yiddish theater troupe in May Day parade. Sign reads "State Jewish Theater". Warsaw 1979 Warsaw Yiddish Theater dressing room. 1980 Warsaw Yiddish Theater dressing room. 1980 Warsaw Yiddish Theatre backstage. 1980 Prepping before going  onstage at Warsaw Yiddish Theater. (l-r) Elzbieta Kin, Etel Szyc, young photographer. 1980 Henryk Rajfer, left, and Golda Tenczer, center, backstage at Yiddish Theater.  Warsaw 1980 Warsaw Yiddish Theater  on the 36th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 1979 Backstage at Yiddish Theater.  Warsaw 1980 Abraham Kleiman and Etel Szyc backstage at Warsaw Yiddish Theater. 1980 Warsaw's kosher kitchen at lunchtime. 1980 Waiting for sunset and a minyan, if possible, in Szeroka Street in front of Krakow's Remu Synagogue. 1979
Praying before Shabbat service in the Remu Synagogue. 1979 Mr. Wlodzimierz Sztejn, center, preparing for Friday night service in Krakow's Remu Synagogue. 1979 Cleaning up after kiddush in the Remu Synagogue. 1979 Shabbat service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash on Shavuoth.  Moshe Shapiro, front, and Natan Cywiak with Torahs. 1980 Cohanim blessing during Shabbat service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash on Shavuoth.  1980 After Shabbat service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1980  After Shabbat service in Warsaw's Beit Midrash. 1980  Outside Warsaw's Beit Midrash after Shabbat service. 1980 Jozef Herzl, left, with parents in Kazimierz (old Jewish Quarter) on Szeroka Street in Krakow. 1983 Jozef Herzl, Polish Jew, with daughters outside their apartment block in Krakow. Herzl's wife is not Jewish. 1983 Jerzy Kichler, 36, in his mother's kitchen in Krakow. 1983 Jerzy Kichler, with bag of leftover food, saying goodbye to his mom in her Krakow kitchen. 1983 Jerzy Kichler, 36, at the monument he and his recently deceased father, Nesaniel, built in Wielicka (14 km. sw of Krakow). Built in 1980 with mostly their own money, the monument stands on the site of a mass grave where over 1000 people were killed. It took 2 years to complete. 1983 Artist Jonasz Stern (1904-1988) in his Krakow studio and flat. Surviving near-death experiences during the Holocaust, he claimed that fate granted him a second life. He then committed his life to art, teaching and supporting artistic groups. 1983 Jonasz Stern Arriving for Friday night services in the courtyard of Krakow's Remu Synagogue. Mr. Lemper in his tri-cycle. 1983 Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Fogel, Krakow.
My last frames of Polish Jewry. June 1983. In 2013, after 30 years, I returned to begin photographing a story  that was once inconceivable, a Jewish cultural renaissance and 'return to identity' blossoming in a now democratic, 21st century Poland.
845 634-8302 / 212 674-1974