Hashomer Hatzair (the Youth Guard)

was an autonomous youth branch of the Zionist Organization in Błaszki. It associated mostly young learning people. The scout character of the organization, especially the uniforms, successfully attracted young Jews. The activity of Hashomer Hatzair in Błaszki began in 1928. The Jewish Scouting Organization was founded by Hersz Lejzer Gerszt, Mosze Naparstek, Mordka Berkowicz, Jakób Lud, Mosze Dawid Draut, Szlomo Chaim Kołton, Abram Taube, Mojżesz Błaszkowski, Mojsze Sztarc, and Jakób Mojse Brombart (ŻIH, the Department of Monument Documentation. H. Marcinkowska. Miasteczko w kolorze niebieskim. Żydzi z Błaszek. Błaszki 2001, p. 65). In order to inspect the newly-formed branch in Błaszki, a Hashomer Hatzair delegation paid a visit to the town. During the inspection, activists from Kalisz taught young Jews about Palestine, the Jewish motherland, and the history of the nation. Summer camps near Kalisz were also organized, and young people from Błaszki, Kalisz, Sieradz, and Poznań could meet there and spend time together (ŻIH, the Department of Monument Documentation. H. Marcinkowska. Miasteczko w kolorze niebieskim. Żydzi z Błaszek. Błaszki 2001, p. 66). The organizarion aimed at bringing up young Jews morally and physically according to the rules of ethics, teaching Hebrew and Polish as well as Jewish and Polish history and literature, and propagating work. The headquarters of the organization was located at the Main Market Square 4 (Rynek Główny), and in 1929 it consisted of 79 members. The members of Hashomer Hatzair actively helped in preparing the trips organized by Zionist associations. Moreover, they collected money for Zionist organization dressed in scout uniforms, they sold Zionist stamps, and organized Palestine academies. In 1933, the board of the organization consisted of Mojsje Błaszkowski (the chairman), Zajf Rochman (the deputy chairman), Mojsje Sarna (the secretary), and Hersz Lejzer Gerszt (the cashier). The organization consisted then of 30 people, who were divided into 3 groups. The first group called the “Ma Ka Gim” (that is where they settled) consisted of 6 members. The second one, “El-Al” (“up”), consisted of 8 members, and the third one, “Bej Alfa” (“the first house”) had 16 members. In 1935, board members changed. Now the board consisted of Rockma Zajf, Mojsje Sarna, Lea Bilewska, and Hersz Lejzer Gerszt (ŻIH, the Department of Monument Documentation. H. Marcinkowska. Miasteczko w kolorze niebieskim. Żydzi z Błaszek. Błaszki 2001, p. 67). The next reorganization took place in 1938 (Hersz Lejzer Gerszt as the chairman, Hinda Heberg as the secretary, Chanon Kempiński as the cashier, and Fiszel Talman) (ŻIH, the Department of Monument Documentation. H. Marcinkowska. Miasteczko w kolorze niebieskim. Żydzi z Błaszek. Błaszki 2001, p. 67). That year the organization associated only 23 members. The number of members decreased due to Jewish emigration to Palestine and taking up studying in bigger city centers (rich families sent their children to Kalisz).

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