About Bronya-Rivka Kopel
Bronya-Rivka married Feibush Kopel (born 1890). They lived in the Malinsky house, and had no children. Both perished in the Chelmno extermination camp in July 1942.
Her nephew Haim Zudkowitz remembers his visits to his grandmother, aunt and uncle in the village, situated 12 miles west of Lodz, since he was 9 years old. When he and his brother Leon came to Lutomiersk, they stayed with them. The Kopels were both very nice people and, maybe because they had no children of their own, were very fond of Haim and Leon. Feibusch was a very sweet man and a practicing "Hassid" (belonged to a branch of Orthodox Judaism, "Hassiduth", which promotes spirituality and joy through the popularization and internalization of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith, as opposed to strict legalistic Judaism. Hassidic teachings cherished the sincerity and concealed holiness of the unlettered common folk, and their equality with the scholarly elite.)
About the Holocaust in Lutomiersk, Poland.
War actions, particularly the intensive bombing, caused many casualties in Lutomiersk, most of them among the Jewish community. In the first days of the occupation, German troops behaved barbarously towards any Jew they came across: one they hanged by his hair from the town gates, another they burned alive; tens of Jews who were taken hostage were mercilessly mistreated. They kidnapped Jews in the streets and sent them to perform hard and demeaning labor. They also cut off their beards before a crowd of onlookers. Participating in the plundering of Jewish property were many members of the Polish population who broke into the Jewish houses and shops.
In the summer of 1940 a ghetto was established in Lutomiersk, however, it seems that at first the Jews were allowed to come and go from there; in the middle of 1941 they were no longer allowed to exit the ghetto without a special permit. The Jews, now forced laborers, were sent to do various jobs; every day a group of Jews left the ghetto for work. Some were sent to work camps: it is known that 83 Jews were sent to Frankfort on the Oder to build a major highway: 'Reichsautobahn'.
At the end of 1941, a sewing workshop under Polish management was established in the town (possibly within the ghetto), and 20 Jewish tailors found work there. Apparently, the workshop was set up at the initiative of the mayor of Lutomiersk. Garments were sewn for local customers, and others from the surrounding areas, from material supplied by the customer. The workshop received many orders, even from Łódź, and proved very profitable. The profits were divided between the local council – they took half - and the Judenrat which paid the tailors part of the earnings.
It is worth emphasizing the Endek organization O.N.R., active in the underground during the German occupation, is mentioned in a report of January 16, 1942, referring to the situation of the Jews in the district of Łask. The report states that the local authorities behaved towards the Jews of Lutomiersk in an especially harsh manner, so that their situation was far worse than that of Jews in other parts of the region.
The ghetto and the whole Jewish community of Lutomiersk were liquidated at the end of July 1942: the last few remaining Jews being sent to the extermination camp at Chelmno.
Yad Vashem Testimony
- Last Name KOPEL
- First Name RYVKA
- First Name RIVKA
- First Name BRANA
- First Name* BREINA
- Father's First Name YISRAEL
- Mother's First Name ESTER
- Sex Female
- Date of Birth 1895
- Place of Birth LUTOMIERSK, LASK, LODZ, POLAND
- Citizenship POLAND
- Marital Status MARRIED
- Spouse's First Name* FEIBUSH
- Permanent residence LUTOMIERSK, LASK,LODZ,POLAND
- Profession BAKER
- Place during the war LUTOMIERSK,LASK,LODZ,POLAND
- Place of Death CHELMNO,Camp
- Date of Death 1942
Type of material Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name KLIGER
Submitter's First Name AVRAHAM
Relationship to victim COUSIN
Registration date 17/06/1957