International Holocaust Remembrance Day

                                      International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Auschwitz-Birkenau, the German Nazi concentration camp and extermination centre, was liberated in 1945. To commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The City of Mińsk Mazowiecki (Poland) and the Museum of the Minsk Land are honoured to invite you to a commemoration for the victims of the Nazi death camps.

In Auschwitz, citizens of almost all German-occupied European countries, the vast majority of them Jews, were imprisoned and murdered.

HAMEC, the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center in Philadelphia USA, and WE ARE HERE! Foundation’s Project for Upstanders in Perth Australia, in cooperation with the City of Mińsk Mazowiecki, are honoured to organise an online meeting with Holocaust Survivor David Tuck on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The aim of the event is to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and prevent acts of genocide in the future. May the tragedy of the Second World War and the Holocaust be a warning to present and future generations against hatred, racism and prejudice.

Katarzyna Łaziuk

Kierownik Wydziału Promocji, Kultury i Sportu

Head of the Public Relations and Culture

The City of Mińsk Mazowiecki


Thursday, 27 January 2022 

Johannesburg 6.30pm; Warsaw 5.30pm; London 4.30pm

Philadelphia &  EST  11.30am; CST 10.30am; LA & PST 8.30am

Friday, 28 January 2022

Sydney & Melbourne 3.30am; Brisbane 2.20am; Perth 12.30am 

To attend this event online, email for the link.

HAMEC: Our mission is to educate students and adults, personalizing the Holocaust so that they learn the consequences of racism, ethnic cleansing, and intolerance. The Holocaust was a watershed event, not only in the 20th century, but in the entire history of humanity. Our Educational Programs serve the five-county area of Greater Philadelphia and beyond. We offer a variety of educational programs, including eyewitness testimonies, personal interactions with eyewitnesses, two live theater performances, and docent-led museum tours.

WAH!: The objective of our WE ARE HERE! project is to promote Human Rights and Social Justice through the principle of choosing to be an Upstander. Our focus is on language, literature, music, film, the arts, and other cultural forms. We feature the Partisans’ song, long revered by Holocaust survivors, including to this day. The very words embrace the understanding of what it takes to be an Upstander, and not a bystander. The message is relevant today both in the school yard, the sports field, and on the internet, to counter discrimination and cyber bullying.

Katarzyna Łaziuk: Head of Public Relations, Culture and Sports Department in the city of Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland. Experienced in organizing educational projects in a field of the Holocaust Education.  An initiator of Days of Jewish Culture “The Close and The Distant” She creates educational materials for teachers on the Holocaust and Human Rights. Leader of Dialogue and Ambassador to POLIN. She is the national coordinator for Poland at The Olga Lengyel Institute.

Marek Chmielewski – Orla Poland

On the way to the Bialowieza forest lies the small village of Orla: a tiny place with an impressive synagogue that rules over the flat landscape. For many years forgotten and misused, in the past decade it gained a new keeper who, in cooperation with Jewish organizations in Poland, local authorities, and descendants of Orla’s Jews, has been bringing back the building to its former glory. Forum for Dialogue is proud and honored to support these efforts.

Marek Chmielewski, who is a member of the Leaders of Dialogue network and the Mayor of Orla, was recently nominated for the POLIN Award presented by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews for his outstanding dedication to the preservation of Jewish heritage in Poland. In a short film, Marek shares his motivations for the work he does in Orla.




Aware of the complexities involved in having a non-Jew in charge of the synagogue, Marek has spent countless hours reaching out to local residents, experts, representatives of Jewish organizations in Poland, and descendants of Orla’s Jews to make sure he is working in a spirit of dialogue and mutual understanding. Himself a member of a religious and linguistic minority in Poland, he is determined to ensure that his Jewish neighbors are properly remembered. In the past years, he has created a monument commemorating Orla’s Jews, published an album featuring photographs of the pre-war community, collected oral histories from elderly residents, and connected with one of the last living Jews of Orla. This fall, thanks to a grant awarded by Forum for Dialogue to members of our Leaders of Dialogue network, he organized a conference aptly entitled “What’s to happen with the Orla synagogue?” attended by experts from all over Poland, as well as local residents and guests.

Though he admits that he does not seem like the obvious choice for a keeper of memory, he relishes in the trust he has been granted by Jews and non-Jews alike, to work to preserve and educate about Jewish Orla. As he notes himself, rather than consistent, he wants to be effective. And he is.

Andrzej Folwarczny
President and CEO Forum For Dialogue

My visit to Orla 2011 – with Marek Chmielewski and Wojciech Kononczuk

Marek Chmielewski, Dariusz Horodecki  & Wojciech Kononczuk








Orla Books by Marek and Dariusz



74th Yahrzeit of Josek Rotsztejn of Nasielsk

Rotsztejn means red stone – the ancestor worked in a brick field and was always covered in red brick dust

Marriage #14 reg. in Nasielsk April 21, 1882 of Josek ROTSZTEJN, 23, son of the late Miszka and Chai Sura nee GRANAT of Nasielsk to Chana Rajzla BLASZKA, 20, dau. of Moszko and Ryfka Ruchla nee BANK of Nasielsk. Witnesses: Gersz RAPY, 70, and Dawid CIELOWNIKA, 60.

South Africa – Raie, Annie (Chana) Joseph (Josek), Leonard and Claude
Far right at Raie & Barney’s Wedding 1943
Chana and Josek Rotzstejn became Annie and Joseph Reitstein
Cape Town Newspaper announcement of Joseph’s death, November 1947
















Rotsztejns of Nasielsk

Warsaw to Nasielsk – 53km
Chana and Josek Rotsztejn became Annie and Joseph Reitstein
Rotsztejn means red stone – the ancestor worked in a brick field and was always covered in red brick dust
Rotsztejn Family names on the Nasielsk register, including Josek and his mother, Chaia Sura

Marriage #14 reg. in Nasielsk April 21, 1882 of Josek ROTSZTEJN, 23, son of the late Miszka and Chai Sura nee GRANAT of Nasielsk to Chana Rajzla BLASZKA, 20, dau. of Moszko and Ryfka Ruchla nee BANK of Nasielsk. Witnesses: Gersz RAPY, 70, and Dawid CIELOWNIKA, 60.

1901 UK Census UK – Spitalfields, London.  Gershon and Sarah were born in London
UK Census 1911 Solomon was born in Spitafields
Family came out to South Africa on different ships
South Africa – Raie, Annie (Chana) Joseph (Josek), Leonard and Claude
Julian (Judah) Reitstein
Claude, Julian, Raie – in front :Maurice & Leonard









Cape Town Newspaper announcement of Joseph’s death, November 1947


Descendants of Chai Sura Granat RotsztejnChai Sura Granat (Rotsztejn) – Descendant Chart

6th generation of descendants not included

Double Ancestors Dean & Neil













Reitstein – Saevitzon Wedding – Cape Town 1953











Three Reitstein brothers:Maurice, Claude and Leonard
Melanie & Julian Reitstein & daughters ; . Melanie & Julian are the only other family members known to have visited Nasielsk
Reitstein Family in Australia

Return to Nasielsk 2012

Jill and Eli with friend Wojceich of Warsaw

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Municipal and Communal Public Library in Nasielsk


Greeting fall with the library
On September 23, the City-Municipal Public Library in Nasielsko began a series of library lessons about autumn. On the first day of the autumn calendar, class 3 a came to us with the teacher Mrs. Justyna Jankowska from Primary School No. 1 in Nasielsko. At the beginning of the meeting, we talked about the first signs of fall and changes happening in nature. Children also learned about how animals are preparing for fall and which ones are stocking up for winter. We also talked a lot about birds, those that fly away from us, those that stay with us for the winter, and those bird species that fly into our country to spend the winter with us. Students also learned the concepts: golden polish autumn, mushrooming and migratory birds.
During a library lesson, the librarian ladies read a poem titled to children. ′′ Babie summer ′′ by W ładadys ław Broniewski, Maria Konopnicka’s ′′ Autumn ′′ by J ózef Chechowicz, Dorota Gellner’s ′′ Autumn walk ′′ and also ′′ About Helena Bechlerowa’s hedge and chestnuts Next, it was time for puzzles and movement games in mimicking animals and atmospheric phenomena, which often accompany Polish golden autumn. Then our nice guests took part in the natural knowledge tournament. The answers to the questions asked didn’t give children much trouble. Each participant received a colorful lesson plan as a reward.
At the end of the meeting, students received an electronic library card, which turned out to be quite an attraction for them. We hope that with the books they rented that day, the autumn s’ rage, short and cloudy days will be warmer and happier.
Miejsko-Gminna Biblioteka Publiczna w Nasielsku

Miejsko-Gminna Biblioteka Publiczna w Nasielsku


Nasielsk KehilaLink