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Citron, Citroen, Czitron, Cytrin, Tzitron Family

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According to some sources, the Citrons were a family of "Levites" or members of the "Tribe of Levi" trading in Etrogs in Portugal's ancient Jewish Quarter Castelo de Vide after being expelled in 1492 from Spain. They were driven out again six years later from Portugal, and the Citron clan moved to Genova in Italy, and from there split three-ways: one family group moved to Russia the second group went to Poland, and the third moved to Austro-Hungary.

The Citron name was adapted accordingly, and before the 1800's in Eastern Europe this surname first appears as Limoenman. Barend Roelof Limoenman began as a working goldsmith, but became a retail jeweller, and changed his name from Limoenman to the more genteel Citroen. (limoen and citroen being synonyms).

Origins of the name "Citron" according to

Citron Family History Citron Name Meaning

Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): ornamental name from German Zitrone ‘lemon (tree)’; in some cases it may be a metonymic occupational name as in 2 below. French: from Old French citron ‘lemon’ (from Latin citrus ‘lemon tree’), and so a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of lemons, or perhaps a nickname for a sharp and disagreeable person.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Citrin, Caron, Siron, Capron, Bitton, Biron, Catron, Mitton, Caton


See CITRON FAMILY listed in Dr. Neil Rosenstein’s opus, The Unbroken Chain - Second Edition: 1990 Chapter IV - Descendants of Rabbi Jonah Teomim - (G) Kamader Chassidic dynasty, including Citron and Tannenbaum families



The Automobile Citroen Family

A notable member of the name was André Gustave CITROEN (1878-1935) the French engineer and motor manufacturer, born in Paris. He was responsible for the mass production of armaments during World War I.

Reine Citroen, Sir Alfred Jules Ayer - British philosopher's mother, came from a family of Dutch Jews. Ayer had assumed that the Citroens were descended from Sephardic Jews who fled from Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it is indicative of his and his family's lack of interest in their own history that it was not until Ayer met a cousin in the 1970s that he learned that they were in fact Ashkenazim who came from Eastern Europe early in the eighteenth century.

Over the next hundred years the family rose from its humble beginnings; Jacob Moses Limoeneman, the earliest recorded ancestor, was an itinerant fruit seller.

His son, Barend Roelof Limoenman began as a working goldsmith, but became a retail jeweler, changing his name from Limoenman to the more genteel Citroen.

The eldest of Barend Roelof Limoenman's fourteen children followed him into the wholesale jewellery business and a shop in Amsterdam still bears his name.

Another son became a jeweler. André Citroën, who started up the great car company was his son.

The photographer, Erwin Blumfeld, the artist, Paul Citroen, a friend of Kandinsky and a member of the Bauhaus staff, and Hanan Cidor a postwar Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands (see page 38) were all descended from the same stock.

A third son also became a wealthy wholesale jeweller, and his eldest son Dorus, born in Amsterdam in 1860, was Ayer's grandfather. A stern but loving patriarch, he lived until 1935 and was in many respects the most important figure in Ayer's life.


The Bialystok Citron Palace

Białystok at the end of XIX century, a great city on the way to Moscow Originally the community formed part of the Tykocin (Tiktin) community.

BIALYSTOK CYTRON PALACE: Presently the Bialystok Museum of History

 The Bialystok Citron family owned one of the largest 
knitting/weaving mills in the city before the war.  At least two adult 
children of the founder of this business immigrated to the United States, 
 Chaim and Shimon (Simon) Citron."

The Cytron Palace was constructed at the end of the 19th century, and it belonged to a textile manufacturer from Białystok, Szmuel Cytron. It is an example of perfectly kept secession architecture, and the palace’s original interior decorations are preserved, including stucco interior ceilings, original woodwork and a staircase with cast-iron railings.

Today, in the Citron Palace there is the Białystok Museum of History.


  • Jewish Life in Bialystok, National Center of Jewish Film, Waltham, MA - 1989, originally produced in 1939. (USHMM)
  • Not like Sheep to Slaughter-the story of the Bialystok Ghetto, 1990 (USHMM)
  • Shetl, 1996, Produced by PBS/Frontline. (LC and USHMM)
  • Story of two Shetels-Bransk and Ejszyszki-an overview of Polish-Jewish relations in Northeast Poland during World War II, Produced by PBS/Frontline, 1998. (LC and USHMM)


The Rogatchover Gaon's Daughter - Rachel Citron

1. Citron daughter of the Rogatchover Gaon, Rabbi Yosef Rosen.

2. Rachel Citron, the Rogatchover's daughter

3. Rabbi Yisrael Abba CITRON (also KITRONI), the Rabbi of Petach Tikva in the years 1911-1929, he was a descendant of Rabbi Rafael Ziskind HACOHEN of Hamburg. (Wikipedia)

Rabbi Yisrael Abba Citron. was 24 years old, after having been ordained as a rabbi and marrying the daughter of the "Rogotchover" Rebbe, took an external matriculation exam and studied Russian and other languages.

It was said that he was an expert in eight languages. Rabbi Citron was supported in his efforts to obtain a general education by Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (the author of "Or Samayach") but not by his own father-in-law, who was also a rabbi in Dvinsk.

Another issue where Rabbi Citron evidently disagreed with his father-in-law was Zionism. Others who had acted as he did were appointed as rabbis in Russia, but Rabbi Citron accepted an invitation by the inhabitants of Petach Tikvah, and in the year 5670 (1910) he was appointed as their rabbi.

In many ways, Petach Tikvah at the time was out of bounds for the Ottoman authorities of the Turkish government, since they did not officially recognize it as a town. The town leaders therefore maintained their own property and mortgage records, all in accordance with their rabbi's halachic rulings.

Even though the Torah laws were the preferred alternative for such issues, as in other matters, the rabbi felt that he had to be prepared for the future when Petach Tikvah would be recognized by the central government. Rabbi Citron therefore took on tasks that a rabbi abroad usually would not be familiar with, in addition to the laws related to the land (such as teruma, maaser, and so on), about which he was required to rule.

The rabbi continued to handle the Petach Tikvah land records well into the time of the British Mandate, until the year 5685 (1925). His unique status gave extra prestige to the court that he established in the town.

Rabbi Citron's influence was instrumental in the establishment of the Lomzha Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah, headed by Rabbi Yechezkel Michael Gordon. This may well have been the first yeshiva in the new settlements in Eretz Yisrael.

His efforts to set up another yeshiva in the area of Yavneh would bear fruit only fifty years later.

The conquest of the land by the British set the stage for enhanced political activity throughout the land. The national institutions were established in the year 5678 (1918). The Mizrachi movement was founded at the same time, and Rabbi Citron served as one of its leaders.

The Chief Rabbinate was also established as a general nationwide institution, as opposed to the previous situation, when every city and town independently controlled its own life, including religious matters.

It was clear that there was a difference of opinion between Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, who saw the Chief Rabbinate as being involved in all aspects of public life, and Rabbi Citron, who felt that the Rabbinate should concentrate on its own special interests and otherwise cooperate with the other public institutions.

Some people feel that Rabbi Citron's idea was more practical, and that perhaps if it had been adopted a different relationship would have developed between the religious and secular establishments in the country.

Rabbi Citron died very young (at the age of 46), on the twelfth of Elul 5687 (1927). He had no children. His widow returned to Dvinsk in order to rescue the writings of her father, the Rogotchover Rebbe. But she could not rescue herself, and she was murdered in the Holocaust.



"Chidushei Harav Citron-Kidroni," edited by Rabbi Uri Redmen and published by the Ratzon Yehuda Kollel in Petach Tikvah.


The Stamp of Rachel Citron, daughter of the Rogatchover Gaon

I just came across what for me was a first, a stamp of a Rebbetzin in a book. The stamp is that of the famed Rachel Citron, the daughter of the Rogatchover. Note the English portion of the stamp, Rev. Mrs Rachel Citron. Much has been written about Rev. Mrs Citron, and her devotion to publishing her father's writings. Below is a photo of a book of her husband she published, Rabbi Yisrael Aba Citron's chiddushim. The introduction is signed by Rachel Citron, "in a pained and broken heart" בלב כואב ונשבר.

Her husband, Rabbi Yisrael Aba Citron's death, and childless, left her in a complicated halachik position regarding her halitzah. One of the deceased's two brothers was an apostate in Germany, the second was a communist, inaccessible in Soviet Russia.

You can read about the ensuing debate about how to get the halitzah done, in Marc B. Shapiro's Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy, pages 95-96. She never ended up remarrying, and was murdered in the Holocaust.

When the Rogatchover Gaon passed away in 1936, his daughter Rachel Citron left the safety of her home in Petach Tikva (Israel) to return to Dvinsk, Latvia for the purpose of assembling the Rogatchover's many unpublished manuscripts and make them available to future generations of Talmud students. She worked with Rabbi Yisroel Alter Safern-Fuchs (her father's devoted student and successor).

They published two volumes before the Nazi onslaught prevented further publication in Europe. With utter destruction approaching, they hurriedly photographed (into microphotos ) thousands of pages of the Rogatchover's Talmud and Rambam (containing the Rogatchover’s notes and comments on the sides of pages) and his correspondence files, and mailed them weekly in manila envelopes to Rav Alter's granduncle, R. Zvi Hirsch Safern, in New York from 1940-1941. They begged him to be sure to deliver everything to the rabbinic authorities for publication.

Shortly after the last envelope was mailed, the Nazis deported the Jews from Dvinsk to Breslau where they were all murdered on June 3rd 1942 and lie together in a mass grave. Rebbetzin Rachel Citron was a childless widow, and Rabbi Yisroel Alter Safern-Fuchs was only thirty years old and unmarried at the time they were murdered. They spent the last five years of their lives (1936-1941) working feverishly to publish the invaluable writings of the Rogatchover and his correspondences from rabbis in all continents. source


Chidushei Harav Citron

"Chidushei Harav Citron"-- In the works is a book by Rabbi Uri Redman on the Life and Writing of Rabbi Citron, one of Petach Tikva’s first rabbis, who was a Religious Zionist and friend of Rav Kook.

-Ratzon Yehuda - - Rabbi Uri Redman

ציטרון-קטרוני, הרב, 1881-1927. בעריכת אורי רדמן. רדמן, אורי. ; Y A Tsiṭron; Uri Redman


The Industrialist Citron Dynasty

2. The Cytrons

Samula Hirsz Citron owner of the Supraśl Textile Manufacturing Plant, was one of the richest entrepreneurs living in Białystok at the beginning of the 20th century. Among his many properties was the palace on Warszawska street, presently the seat of the Historical Museum. Citron, however, didn't live there but occupied another house on Kupiecka street.

Citron's son, Beniamin, moved into the palace. He chose, however, not to occupy the whole building and leased the ground floor to the Treasury Department. Throughout the whole period between the two world wars, the villa stayed in the hands of the Citrons. Following the death of Samuel Citron, the building became the property of his inheritors: four sons and four daughters.

When looking at the facade of the two-storey construction from Warszawska street, one can see many ornaments in the art nouveau style, with numerous carvings with ceramic tiles, styled sunflowers, laurel twigs, garlands and festoons; there is a window in the porte-fenêtre style, connected to an oval balcony, an arched cornice and an attic with candles burning in vases.


Citron Synagogue in Bialystok

The Cytron synagogue is located on Polna (Warynskiego) street. At the front of that builidng is memorial plaque.

One of the members of Citron Family, Aron - was founder of Citroen Car Factory in France. The building survived the war and still stands.


The Cytron Family Philanthrophic Legacy

Besides their business interests the Cytrons were publicly active and made generous donations to different causes. When he was in Michalova, Shneer-Zalman founded the rebuilding of the local synagogue to the tune of three thousand rubles which was considered a handsome contribution at that time.

Shneer-Zalman's wife ran a free kitchen for the poor and the unemployed.

Shmuel-Hirsh's brother Faivel was famous for his philanthropy and public deeds. He was also known as a brave fighter for equal rights for Jews, not only as citizens, but also as textile workers to whom some trades were closed.

Once he was even wounded by a gentile employee who refused to allow a Jew to work in his department.

Faivel Cytron served as leader of the Jewish community in Bialystok for ten years and during his term of office refurbished the old age home and "Hekdesh".

He also donated to various charity organizations.

Shmuel-Hirsh, and his sons Samion (Shimon, Simon) and Haim were also active in charity and public work.

The Cytron dynasty filled an important role in the industrialization of Poland and in the Polish Jewish community.
By, Dr. Tuvia Cytron - Author of the Article


When, in 1840, the first son of Rabbi Shmuel-Hirsh Cytron, rabbi of the town of Botshki near Bialystok in east Poland, was born there was great rejoining in the town and everyone felt they had a part in the happy event. Rabbi Shmuel-Hirsh, a learned Torah scholar and former disciple of the Gaon Rabbi Shneer-Zalman, after Shmuel-Hirsh's beloved rabbi was greeted with great satisfaction and everyone hoped that the Cytron's first-born boy would, like his namesake grow up to be an important rabbi.

Shneer-Zalman's mother, née Caplan, was of course very happy, but had other plans for her son. She was the daughter of a textile industrialist, Rav Nahman Caplan from Michalova, a nearby town. Rabbi Nahman was known in the area as "Grandpa Nahman" and the marriage of his daughter to Rabbi Shmuel-Hirsh was a matter of distinction and money - a well-known custom in those days.

Once every few years there would be an assembly of the Jewish elite at the "Conference of Four Countries" which served as the leading body of Polish Jewry and of the Jews of the neighboring countries.

The conference was attended by the leading members of the various Jewish communities and marriages of honor were arranged, and connections made with people "in high places". In such a way the marriage of Rabbi Nahman Caplan's daughter and the newly ordained Rabbi Shmuel-Hirsh Cytron, who had become known as a gifted disciple of the Gaon Shneer-Zalman of Liadi, was arranged.

The Rebbetzen, ShmuelHirsh's wife, despite her admiration of her husband, had plans for her son to become an industrialist like her father, and not to follow a rabbinical career. She was, after all, "infected" by the education she received in her childhood in Michalova where she learned to play the piano, to read, studied poems by HeinriHeine, as well learning French aGerman.

At that time there were strong winds of progress blowing from the large city of Bialystok. When the women of Botshky wished for her that her son would follow in his father's footsteps, she of course thanked them and added that she was young and hoped to have other sons who would become rabbis. She planned to send her son, after completing histudies in heder and yeshiva, to her father in Michalova to learn the art of commerce.

The years passed quickly and the young Shneer-Zalman reached theage of Bar-Mitza and after completing the following school year, he was sent to his grandfather, Rabbi Nahman Caplan, in Michalova to learn the textile trade. There were no vocational schools in those days and the system was based on the German approach of apprenticeship. Shneer-Zalman was bright and quickly acquired the rudiments of the trade, and at the age of sixteen, began to accompany his grandfather to trade fairs and to Russia to sell their wares.

At that time there was no motorized transport system in Russia and the only way to get around was in horse-drawn coaches escorted by an armed guard as protection against robbers and murderers. They usually left, after reciting the traveller's prayer, after Passover, returning before the Jewish New Year to the great joy of their families who anxiously awaited them. They visited fairs in Corsk, Oriol Varonish and the largest of all, Nizni-Navagrod. The Jewish travellers preferred the trip to Odessa as the route passed through Jewish villages with synagogues and kosher food. They also visited Kiev, Harcov, and Nicoliev where there were large trade fairs.

At the age of seventeen Shneer-Zalman embarked on an independent career for the first time in Michalova, opening up a weaving factory, which employed twenty-three workers. Shneer-Zalman married at an early age, to the daughter of the Haffner family and relation of the well-known Zaks family. The match also connected Shneer-Zalman with the famous Gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger who was greatly admired by the communities of Prague, Poznan, and other communities throughout world Jewry. When his wife died, Shneer-Zalman married her sister Elca in order to preserve the unity and honor of the family.

Another sister, Tanya, who was considered the most beautiful girl in Bialystok, married a rabbi of the Gordon family, a wealthy wool merchant family, and thus the distinguished bond between the Haffner and Gordon families, and between Michalova and Bialystok was strengthened.

The Suprasl Period of the Cytron Company

Shneer-Zalman's first son was born in 1858 and was named after his grandfather Shmuel Hirsh. The boy grew up, studied Torah, learned about commerce, and even got married at the appropriate age. He married Hava-Perrel Amdursky (Amdur), the daughter of a family of industrialists from Horodok, and thus marriage bonds were established between the families of Cronenberg, Rafalsky, Nimzovitz and Lunsky of Horodok. The young Shmuel-Hirsh preferred to leave making trips to trade fairs to his father and himself worked in the factory.

In the 1890s Shmuel-Hirsh was already considered a man of means and his wealth continued to grow. When his father, Rabbi Shneer-Zalman reached old age Shmuel-Hirsh "pensioned him off", paid him a handsome monthly stipend and suggested that he devote his time to public services.

Shmuel-Hirsh's brothers Leib, Moshe and Daniel, all managed on their own, while the youngest brother, Faivel Cytron, was appointed manager of the Cytron factory in Suprasl which Shmuel-Hirsh had acquired from the well-known German Bucholtz in 1903.

Faivel successfully completed a course at a special school for textile studies in Bern, Switzerland. The factory in Suprasl was in a state of neglect when Shmuel-Hirsh bought it and "Mulke", as he was known by his friends, introduced new machines and added a third floor with storerooms for raw materials, a dyeing department for wool and fabrics.

When he sold the factory Bucholtz was an old man and had decided to leave the difficult profession of manufacturing. In addition, his daughter married Sheibler, one of the most important industrialists from Lodz and the owner of "Sheibler and Gromen" which, at its height, employed twelve thousand workers and was thought to be one of the largest concerns in Europe.

Business goes Global

The Suprasl factory started a new production line of woolen blankets and blankets made from a mixed fabric which became known as Jakart, and besides producing for the home market, exported to Russia, China, South America and even Australia.

The commercial secret of success of the Cytron product was the fastness of its whiteness while other manufacturers produced white blankets which, after a while, faded to yellow or gray. The author recalls how foreign companies, including the Japanese, tried unsuccessfully to buy the secret of the product's success from Faivel and from other sources.

Faivel Cytron left the Suprasl factory in 1917 and established his own business in Bialystok. The Suprasl factory continued to flourish after the end of the First World War and the reestablishment of the State of Poland.

Despite Poland's poor economic state after the war, the Cytron factory, thanks to its international contacts, maintained and even increased its level of production. In the 1920s the Cytron Company acquired an old factory in Suprasl from a German called Onert, one of the first factories which were built in Suprasl, in 1838, also bought the fabrics factory which belonged to Wolf Frank, the father of Dr. Herman Frank who later became the editor of the "Zukunft" newspaper in New York. In addition, a number of plots near the factory were bought with a view to expanding the factory at a later date.

The next manager of the Suprasl factory was Haim Cytron, Shmuel-Hirsh's son. The other three sons, Benjamin, Alex, and Samion, worked at the company's head office at 35, Copyezka Street, Bialystok. In 1932 the company took over the Amiel Colycovsky sewing and weaving factory in Bialystok. The company then became "The S.H.Cytron-Suprasl Public Company" and employed more than two thousand workers in Suprasl and Bialystok.

In the 1930s the company expanded its business interests to Mexico and India and opened a special agency in London. The offices and storerooms were modernized and English, French and Spanish were heard in the company's offices and agencies.

The firm's export trade increased significantly in 1936-38 and a third shift was introduced to satisfy production requirements. Haim Cytron established a fully-equipped fire service with special fire fighting equipment as well as an independent orchestra. The fire service operated in Suprasl and in the nearby towns.

With the increase in the size of the workforce and the introduction of a shift system, the workers began to organize themselves in order to improve their working conditions. Indeed, the firm's management set up a worker's loan and social benefit foundation but the workers demanded a pay increase and improved working conditions.

Thus, in 1933 the workers went on strike, making threats and wielding banners. The strikers threatened to storm and burn the factory and, without intending to create such a situation, tempers flared and the police fired guns in an attempt to disperse the crowd. As a result, two strikers were killed and two more wounded.

The unfortunate incident occurred in the presence of the town's mayor, Slosarizik, but on a day when none of the company's management were in Suprasl. Through the intervention of the mayor, a settlement was reached whereby tmanagement agreed to compensate thvictims' families with money and housing but the incident left its mark. As a result, Haim Cytron decided to resign and pass the reins of management over to his brother , and Mayor Slosarzik also left town shortly afterwards.

It is worthy of mention that Slorsarzik was considered to be a talented mayor and a good friend of the Jews. During his term of office he promoted local tourism, as well as sport, in Suprasl and Bialystok. He was the first to reathe potential of Suprasl as a cof internal tourism thanks to its climate and topographical situation. Only now are the Polish authorities beginning to develop the town's tourist industry.

In 1939, the Cytron Company was at its peak. When the Second World War broke out, on September 1st 1939, the Germans entered the Bialystok region and during their ten day s, emptied the local factories of most of their raw materials. Despite this, the Russians were able to later continue production for a full year.

The information for this article was kindly supplied by Ina Winberg, the daughter of Alex Cytron, who was one of the few survivors of the Cytron family.

The Nationalization of the Factories

When the Russians entered the Biaregion, followinthe Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement, on September 12th 1939, they arrested Benjamin and Alex Cytron and sent them to a gulag in Inner Russia and they were never heard of again.

The brothers Haim and Samion, their sister Yaha (Yoheved) and her husband Herman Marein, as well as Benjamin's son Arcadia, all managed to escape to Sweden, via Vilna, where they struggled to survive as their entire wealth was invested in their factories.

After the war they reached New York. and Yaha and her husband moved to Canada.

Viara, Benjamin Cytron's daughter, and her husband Cuba Shapira spent the war years in India and later reached Argentina.

Alex's daughter Ina, together with her mother and aunt, were expelled to Inner Russia, where Ina managed to survive, and returned to Poland in 1946. Ina's mother and aunt died in Russia. Ina herself reached Israel in 1958 and works at the Kupat Holim as a bacteriologist.

Leib and Daniel Cytron and their families perished in the Holocaust (Moshe died earlier).

The author's father Faivel died in 1940 in Bialystok during the time of the Russian rule. Haim and Samion died in New York in 1971 and Arcadia passed away a few years later. None of them left children.

The factory in Suprasl was the first operated by the Russians who even appointed a manager of their own. Work at the factory progressed slowly and ceased entirely with the German occupation. The Germans only operated part of the factory and, before retreating in 1944, they burnt and destroyed the Suprasl factory. The Polish authorities of today have not restored the factory and only a small section of it operated as a furniture factory. The factories of Hirshorn, Krinsky, Eizenstadt, and Zimmerman no longer exists. Author, Dr. Tuvia Cytron

Ina was exiled to Cazahstan with her mother, grandmother, and aunt by the Russians. Only she and her aunt survived and were repatriated to Poland in 1946. Years later Ina graduated in chemistry from the Warsaw Technion and emigrated to Israel in 1958.

"Cytron" and "Suprasl" were synonymous, and it was hard to imagine the town without thinking of the factory, which supplied employment to most of the town's workforce. Samuel Cytron, who bought the factory from the Bucholtz family in 1903, was the head of a dynasty and the owner of a textile factory in Bialystok - one of the five largest of its kind at the time.

The factory in Suprasl, which mainly produced blankets and fabrics, was without doubt one of the major forces behind the development of the town, which expanded from a village to a town with a local municipal authority. The Cytron factory employed approximately one thousand workers.

Samuel Cytron had four sons - Benjamin, Samion, Alex, and Haim - and three daughters - Rosa, Yoheved, and Sonya. He had only one grandson - Benjamin's son Arcadia - and three granddaughters - Benjamin's Viara, Rosa's daughter, and Alex's daughter Ina.

After World War I, the factory was managed by Haim and Arcadia who had completed his textile studies at the Brussels University. Samuel's other three sons held managerial and marketing positions at the firm's head office at 35, Kupyezka Street, Bialystok.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Haim, Samion, Yoheved, Arcadia, and Viara, together with her husband Cuba Shapiro, all managed to escape to Vilna. However, their plans to continue to the United States were thwarted. Viara and her husband reached India and, following the war, made their way to Argentina where all trace of them disappeared. Haim, Samion, Yoheved, and Arcadia moved to Stockholm and in 1947 moved on to the United States and Canada.

Two other brothers, Benjamin and Alex, did not want to escape and, after the Russian takeover and the Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement, were arrested by the Russians. Their whereabouts thereafter remain unknown.

Samuel's wife Chava, "Grandma Cytron", the wives of Benjamin and Alex, and Alex's only daughter Ina, were sent by the Russians to Cazahstan. There they suffered terribly from severe cold, hunger, and inhuman conditions. Grandma Cytron died in 1942 and Ina's mother (Sofia) died in 1945. The young orphaned Ina stayed with her aunt, Benjamin's wife, and they were repatriated to Poland in 1946.

Ina studied chemistry at the Warsaw Technion and wrote her thesis paper at the medical academy, which was housed in the Brenizky Palace in Bialystok. During this time she visited Suprasl and saw the Cytron factory, partly damaged and closed down.

In 1958, Ina made Aliyah to Israel. She now lives in Tel Aviv and works for the Kupat Holim. In 1971, she visited the United States and discovered that Haim Cytron was no longer alive. Haim's brother Samion died in New York in the same year; Arcadia passed away later on. As the two brothers died childless it appears that the "Cytron dynasty" has come to a sad end - an active family whose name was synonymous with the industrial development of Bialystok and Suprasl As for Suprasl, the Cytron factory was the major source of employment and the main force behind the town's development, and was the pride of the local Jewish community.

The remains of the Cytron factory which was burnt down by the Nazis in 1942. see photos under the media tab.


Dr. Tuviah Citron

"Synopsis of eulogy delivered at the Open Grave of Dr. Tuviah Citron ob"m 
by Aryeh Shamir 
(Translated from Yiddish) apprearing in the Bialystoker Shtimme"

Dr. Tuviah Citron, a dedicated father, a 
devoted grandfather, a loyal friend and colleague--yakir Bialystok (  the 
honorary citizen of Bialystok'). Who is more deserving of such a  title 
than he is? He belonged to that strange group of Bialystokers, unable and 
unwilling - after so many years - to forget our city, that Jewish 
metropolis with its deep-rooted Jews and effervescent life until it was 
so savagely annihilated.

Dr. Citron hailed from a local eminent family. The Citrons, textile producers, 
also found time for successful activities for the public's benefit, 
especially his father Faivel Citron, a person with an impeccable 
reputation. Among other endeavors, he built a synagogue on Polne Street, 
known as Faivel Citron's Bes-Medresh (House of Study). Fate had it that 
this specific synagogue alone survived the Holocaust. It stands there 
today orphaned- a synagogue without Jews!

Tuviah Citron as a physician, had a glorious record of saving people and 
easing their pain, especially during the difficult war years. Beforehand, 
in the Bialystok ghetto, putting his life on the line, he secretly 
treated wounded Russian soldiers and partisans, healing them to the point 
where they were able to be smuggled back into the woods. After the war, 
he was awarded  prestigious Russian and Polish medals for his risky 
activity .

Another important chapter consists of his dedicated work in 
the camps after the liberation. Weak himself, barely on his feet, he was 
busy saving the half-dead concentration camp survivors. Later on, he was 
involved in setting up health centers for survivors' children, saving 
them from contracting tuberculosis.

In 1949 he immigrated to Israel with his young family. Here he resumes 
his surgical practice, treating soldiers wounded in our wars, among other 
patients .

Mention should be made of : his important testimony in Yad VaShem and in 
the German Court against Nazi murderers, his articles, his memoirs of 
those days and the book that he wrote about the uprising in the Bialystok 

Saul Hutner


Shmuel Lieb Zitron ( Minsk )

Zitron, Shemu’el Leib (1860–1930), Hebrew and Yiddish journalist, writer, and critic. Shemu’el Leib Zitron was born in Minsk and received most of his education from his father.

After his father’s death in 1870, Zitron studied at various yeshivas, including Volozhin (1875–1876), where he was attracted to the Haskalah. In 1876 he went to Vienna, where he befriended the writer and editor Perets Smolenskin.

Zitron next moved to Breslau to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 1877 he published his first article in Ha-Magid, and in 1878 his first story appeared in Smolenskin’s Ha-Mabit.

Returning to Minsk, for the next few years Zitron taught in various towns across Poland and Lithuania. In 1882, he became a founder of the Minsk branch of Ḥoveve Tsiyon. That same year, he published his first articles reflecting the spirit of the nascent Zionist movement; for several decades, he continued to champion the Zionist cause in his role as lecturer, journalist, editor, translator, and historian. Yet this was only one aspect of his prolific literary activity. In 1885 he moved to Warsaw.

Throughout the 1880s, Zitron was known mainly as a storyteller and as a translator. Among his published works were Asifat sipurim me-ḥaye bene Yisra’el (A Collection of Stories from the Lives of Jews; 1885); Mi-Shuk ha-ḥayim (From Life’s Marketplace; 1887); and Yonah potah (A Naive Dove; 1888). He was also a contributing editor to Sha’ul Pinḥas Rabbinowitz’s Zionist-leaning annual Keneset Yisra’el (The Jewish People; 1886–1888).

During the 1890s, Zitron’s prominence as an essayist grew, with his articles appearing in the major Hebrew newspapers and journals, including Ha-Melits, Ha-Shiloaḥ, and Luaḥ Aḥi’asaf. As a literary critic, he adopted a nationalist conservative stance that favored the development of a Hebrew culture that at the same time preserved links with Jewish tradition. As a result, Zitron turned into one of the fiercest opponents of Hebrew literature’s innovative trendsetters at the turn of the twentieth century. He targeted his animosity toward Ben-Avigdor (Avraham Leib Shalkovich)—and, by extension, toward the European-naturalist literary style of the “New Wave” school—and toward Mikhah Yosef Berdyczewski, who with youthful supporters had ushered in the modernist genre.

In 1904, Zitron settled in Vilna, where he joined the editorial board of the newspaper Ha-Zeman. He gradually stopped contributing his regular columns and devoted himself to historiography, employing a narrative style and largely relying on personal encounters and impressions.

Zitron’s main works in Hebrew include

  • Reshimot le-toldot ha-‘itonut ha-‘ivrit (Articles on the History of the Hebrew Press; *Published in numerous installments in the weekly Ha-‘Olam between 1911 and 1930 but never collected);
  • Toldot Ḥibat Tsiyon (The History of Ḥibat Tsiyon; 1914–1919);
  • Anashim ve-sofrim (Men and Writers; 1921);
  • Hertsl, ḥayav u-fe‘ulotav (Herzl, His Life and His Activities; 1921);
  • Yotsre ha-sifrut ha-‘ivrit ha-ḥadashah (Creators of the New Hebrew Literature; 1922); *Me-Aḥore ha-pargod: Mumarim, bogdim, mitkaḥashim (Behind the Screen: Apostates, Traitors, Alienators; 1923–1925).

Among Zitron’s Yiddish works are Dray literarishe doyres (Three Literary Generations; 1920–1922; sketches and reminiscences of Yiddish writers); Di geshikhte fun der yidisher prese fun yor 1863 biz 1889 (The History of the Yiddish Press from the Year 1863 to 1889; 1923); Shtadlonim: Interesante yidishe tipen fun noenten over (Intercessors: Interesting Jewish Characters from the Recent Past; 1926); and Barimte yidishe froyen (Famous Jewish Women; 1928).

Beginning in 1878, Zitron’s Yiddish writings were published at irregular intervals. After 1899, they began to appear with greater frequency when he became a regular contributor to Der yud. In 1904, he joined the Saint Petersburg newspaper Der tog, and then was chiefly preoccupied with writing for the Vilna Yiddish press. In the final decade of his life, a time when the Hebrew press in Poland was in a state of decline, he became a regular contributor to the Warsaw daily Moment, as well as to other Yiddish dailies. Suggested Reading

Dror Aldema‘, “Shemu’el Leb Tsitron: Historyon toldot ha-‘itonut ha-‘ivrit” (M.A. thesis, Tel Aviv University, 1987); Natan Goren, “Shemu’el Leb Tsitron,” in Demuyot be-sifrutenu, pp. 200–203 (Tel Aviv, 1952/53). Author

Avner Holtzman Translation

Translated from Hebrew by David Fachler YIVO.

Michelle Citron (Film Director)

Michelle Citron Interview

The Ambiguous Archive: An Interview with Michelle Citron

". . . My grandfather’s name was Zitron, spelled with a Z. His birth certificate says Aaron Zitron. I found a report card from 8th grade when he was kicked out of school and it said Aaron Citron. And then his marriage certificate in America said Abraham Citron, so there’s no consistency. Lives are so inconsistent, so why would we assume that archives wouldn’t be the same? It goes back to this idea of how theory and life are totally entwined, and how archives and life are totally entwined. I’m trying to create work that is talking at a meta-level about ambiguity in these different spheres. "

". . . My grandfather was one of eleven children, and they all had different last names for very complicated reasons. I have one uncle who used Zitron with a Z in Ireland, but every time he went to England he used Citron with a C because he was a gambler and he didn't want to get caught. I also think that he had a woman in Dublin and a woman in London and didn’t want to get caught.

Then I had another uncle who, during World War II, changes it from Z to C because it meant that stand closer to the front of the line during rations. So, how do you sort all of this out? It is funny. It inherently has wit or something. It’s also interesting to me the way that identity was marked in my grandfather by his name, his constantly evolving name.

I pulled together all of these pieces—a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a death certificate, my father’s birth certificate, his marriage certificate, my birth certificate. You know, I finally get this stream of paperwork and I send it back to Ireland and I create a note explaining why this name changed all over the place, and I include this photograph of my grandparent’s tombstone in Ireland, where their name is Citron with a C, even though their child’s name is spelled with a Z. And somehow, that narrative is acceptable to a bureaucracy and they give me the passport. So how do you explain something that is about ambiguity?  

Michelle Citron is the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago. She is the author of Home Movies and Other Necessary Fictions. Her media works include the films-:

  • Daughter Rite
  • What You Take For Granted
  • As American As Apple Pie,
  • Cocktails & Appetizers,
  • Mixed Greens, and
  • Leftovers. 

Information about her work can be found at:  

‪Samuel Löb Zitron‬ (Minsk)

Samuel Löb Zitron (auch: Samuel Leib Zitron, Schmuel Leib Zitron)

Samuel Löb Zitron (auch: Samuel Leib Zitron, Schmuel Leib Zitron; * 24. Mai 1862 in Minsk; † November 1930) war einer der fruchtbarsten hebräischen und jiddischen nationaljüdisch-zionistischen Schriftsteller seiner Zeit; er war Literar- und Zionismushistoriker, Kritiker und Redner.

Die von ihm verfassten Porträts von Persönlichkeiten der ostjüdischen Literatur, des Zionismus und der allgemeinen Gesellschaft bilden in ihrer Gesamtheit einen unersetzlichen Beitrag zur jüdischen Kulturgeschichte des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts.

Samuel Löb Zitron wurde in Minsk als Sohn des angesehenen Präsidenten der Jüdischen Kultusgemeinde geboren. Er studierte an der Jeschiwa in Woloschin und begann bereits im Alter von 14 Jahren, hebräische Artikel für den Hamagid zu schreiben. Einige Zeit studierte er auch am Rabbinerseminar in Breslau weltliche Wissenschaften, kehrte aber 1883 nach Minsk zurück und widmete sich fortan der jüdischen Literatur und seiner ausgedehnten Publikationstätigkeit.

Er schrieb über Palästina-Aufbau, vor allem über jiddische Schriftsteller, schrieb gegen Assimilation, übersetzte 1884 Pinskers Autoemancipation ins Hebräische unter dem vielsagenden Titel Im en ani li mi li (Hillels berühmter Ausspruch Wenn ich nicht für mich bin, wer ist für mich?). 1886-1887 war er einer der wichtigsten Mitarbeiter an Jossif Sapirs großem Sammelbuch Knesset Jisroel, sodann schrieb er über Mapu und Smolensky und verfasste ein Werk über Die hebräische Literatur in Russland während des 19. Jahrhunderts sowie weitere Arbeiten über die Literatur seiner Zeit (Hasifrut we-hachajim = „Literatur und Leben“, Hameschorer be chajaw ube mota = „Leben und Tod des Dichters“).

Nach Herzls Auftreten schloss er sich diesem begeistert an und war als Berichterstatter für jiddische, hebräische und russische Blätter Teilnehmer des 6., 11. und 12. Zionistenkongresses.

Ab 1916 war Zitron während der deutschen Besetzung Inspektor der jüdischen Schulen in Wilna.

1920 wurde er ständiger Mitarbeiter des jiddischen Moment, schrieb unzählige Artikel und war auch verantwortlich für die Serien Meschummodim. Typen jüdischer Abtrünniger, Die ersten Schwalben. Typen aus der Chibath-Zion-Bewegung sowie Stadlanim und Berühmte jüdische Frauen (später als Buchzusammenfassungen separat erschienen).

1924 vollendete er sein Hauptwerk, das hebräische Lexikon Zioni, das die Lebensbeschreibungen der bedeutendsten Zionisten in auch für weitere Kreise literarisch ansprechender Form bietet.

Samuel Löb Zitron starb im Jahre 1930.

  • ▪ Asefat sippurim (Sammlung hebräisch übersetzter Erzählungen aus dem Deutschen und Französischen), 1885
  • ▪ Ltoldoth haitonuth haiwrith, 1911-1914 im Haolam veröffentlichte außerordentlich gründliche Arbeit zur Geschichte der hebräischen Presse
  • ▪ Toldoth chibath Zion, Odessa 1914
  • ▪ Sefer Sikaron (hebräisch-jiddisches Sammelbuch), 3 Bände, Wilna 1920-1922
  • ▪ Herzl – Chajaw upeuletow, Wilna 1921
  • ▪ Anaschim we sofrim. Erinnerungen aus dem Leben grosser Zionisten, 1922
  • ▪ Jozre hasifruth haiwrith hachadaschah (über junghebräische Schriftsteller), 2 Bände, Wilna 1922
  • ▪ Geschichte fun der jiddischen Presse, Wilna 1923
  • ▪ Lexikon Zioni. Chamesch Meoth Biographiot, Warschau 1924
  • ▪ Drei literarische Doires, 4 Bände, Warschau 1924-1928
  • ▪ daneben hebräische Übersetzungen von An-ski, Jehoasch (1871-1927, jiddischer Dichter) und Graetz (Geschichte der Juden)
  • ▪ seine Gesammelten Werke erschienen 1930 in 10 Bänden
  • Literatur/Quellen [Bearbeiten]
  • ▪ Zalman Reisen, Lexikon der jüdischen Literatur, Presse und Philologie, 1926-1929, Bd. III., S. 286 ff.
  • ▪ Jüdisches Lexikon, Berlin 1927, Bd. IV/2, Sp. 1628 f.
  • ▪ Salomon Wininger: Grosse Jüdische National-Biographie mit mehr als 11.000 Lebensbeschreibungen namhafter jüdischer Männer und Frauen aller Zeiten und Länder. Ein Nachschlagewerk für das jüdische Volk und dessen Freunde. Band 6, Tipografia „Arta“, Czernowitz, o. J. (1931), S. 365 f.



The aim of this project is to link the various Citron branches from Poland/Russia.

  • The first Jews to arrive in the district of Bialystok Poland/Russia came from Lithuania.
  • They were followed by refugees from the Chemlnizky uprising and survivors of the 1648-49 riots in the east.
  • The third wave of Jews came from the west with the Germans during and after the period of Prussian rule (1802).
  • In 1833, Eliezer Halbershtam, a Jew of German origin, arrived in Bialystok, bringing with him the educational movement "Haskala" which proceeded Zionism, and, after a bitter war between the educational circles and the orthodox-religious, took on a position of respect in the city's cultural life and thence influenced the cities and towns around it. The educational movement encouraged the publication of "secular" books as well as the establishment of libraries. An offshoot of the movement was the national movement "Hovevei Zion" (Lovers of Zion).
  • HaRav Eliezer Citron (c1825) may well have been a brother of Rav Shmuel Hirsh Cytron (c1815) who was a learned Torah scholar and former disciple of the Gaon Rabbi Shneer-Zalman, rabbi in Bialystok and progenitor of the Textile Industrialist Cytrons.
  • RAV SHMUEL HIRSH CYTRON b c1815 - of Bialystok
  • His wife, nee Kaplan (Caplan) daughter of a textile industrialist, Rabbi Nahman Caplan of Michalove.
  • Shneer-Zalman, Rav Shmuel's Cytron's son was born in 1840 . He married at age 17 into the Haffner family related to the well-known Zaks family. Tanya Zaks married a rabbi of the Gordon family. The connection was thus also made with Gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger of Pozen. When Shneer-Zalman's wife died, he married his wife's sister Elca.
  • Shmuel Hirsh ll, Shneer Zalman's son,"first son" was born in 1858 and named after his grandfather Shmuel Hirsh. and it is this son that became the progenitor of the Cytron Textile Industrialists who built the Beit HaMidrash and Palace in Bialystok (Now the Bialystok Museum). Shmuel Hirsh ll married Hava Perrel Amdursky (Amdur) from Horodok.
  • Hirsh ll's 'brothers: Leib, Moshe, Daniel and Faivel Cytron.
  • Hirsh ll's sons; Chaim (Haim) , Benjamin, Alex and Simon.

The Bialystok Textile Cytron Family After WWll.


  • Benjamin and Alex Cytron lost in the Gulag
  • Haim and Simon plus sister, Yoheved ( who married to Herman Marein) and Benjamin's son Arcadia, escaped to Sweden via Vilna then onto New York.

1. Benjamin's daughter and her husband Cuba Shapira reached Argentina.

2. Yoheved and Herman Marien moved to Canada.

3. Alex's daughter Ina reached Israel in 1958.

4. Leib and Daniel Cytron and their families perished in the Holocaust, and Moshe had died earlier.

5. Faivel Cytron d. 1940 in Bialystok ( formeryly Tykocin, Tiktin) Poland during the time of Russian rule.

6. Haim and Simon died in New York in 1971.

7. Acradia passed away a few years later. None of them left children.


Citron/Carlebach Family

  • Naftali Citron video
  • Naftali Citron YouTube classes
  • Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Carlebach zt”l. Many people know of Reb Elya’s famous twin brother, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, zt”l. Their father, Rabbi Naftali Carlebach, moved the family to Germany for the sake of his sons’ education, but by the 1930s, they emigrated to America, early enough to have escaped the war. Rabbi Naftali Carlebach established the Carlebach Shul on West 79th Street in Manhattan which is now run by his great-grandson, Reb Elya’s grandson, Rabbi Naftali Citron.


Family Ancestors & Descendants

Citron / Citroen Links
*Citron Family / LoebTree


  • Czitron,
  • Czitrom,
  • Citrom,
  • Citron ,
  • Citroen,
  • Cytron,
  • Citrin,
  • Cytryn
  • Citreon
  • Citrinic
  • Citronowicz
  • Sitrin
  • Tsitrin
  • Tsitron
  • Zytryn
  • Zitron
  • Zitronenbaum
  • Cytrynbaum
  • Cytronek
  • ציטרון
  • ציטרום
  • ציטראן
  • ציטראם
  • ציטרוס
  • (Citron in Russia became Limonchik/Lemonchik/Lymonczyk [became Lehman in the US and Canada] )

History and Origin of Citron Name
*Citron citrus Medica Origin and History

The Citron Fruit Citron is a Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): ornamental name from
* German Zitrone ‘lemon (tree)’;

  • French: from Old French citron ‘lemon’ (from Latin citrus ‘lemon tree’) A genus of trees including the orange, lemon, citron, etc., originally natives of southern Asia.

Citron - Etrog - Citrus Media. The phrase used by the Torah to describe the etrog is pri etz hadar or "the fruit of a beautiful tree" (Lev. 23:40).

The oral tradition from Sinai is very clear: the fruit we take today and have used for thousands of years is the etrog, or citron, known scientifically as Citrus Medica, (because of its medicinal uses, or 'Citrus Media', attributed to its Persian origin).

The etrog is also called "Adam's apple," or "paradise apple," and is one of the suggested candidates for the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.

In fact, the history of the citrus fruit has its roots in the Far East. Botanical historians followed the etrog from its origins in the Far East westward. Jewish tradition holds that the etrog was transmitted from father to son from the time of the giving of the Torah.

One thing is sure: by the time of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, it was well-rooted as the first citrus fruit in the western world. The fruit is described in detail by the great Greek naturalist Theophrastus, a contemporary of Alexander, and extolled for its medicinal value as well as its fragrance.

Jewish art and coins We find numerous examples of the etrog on mosaic floors and frescoed walls of synagogues from the Roman and Byzantine period. Sometimes it appears with the lulav and other times alone.

It's such an important Jewish icon that it is also found on numerous coins of the Great Revolt in the year 66 CE, and is a common theme on the coins of the Bar Kochba rebellion of 132-135 CE. In fact, its appearance in non-Jewish art is considered to be a sign of Judaizing influences.

High finance and the etrog

It would seem that as long as Jews stayed in the moderate climate on the shores of the Mediterranean, there was no difficulty obtaining etrogim for the holiday. As people moved north into France, Germany, Poland and Russia, however, the temperature-sensitive tree could not exist and tremendous problems ensued. In fact, the halachic literature is replete with cases of only one etrog being available to fulfill an entire community's need.

The commercial aspect regarding the Jews' willingness to buy these fruits at any price was not lost on the non-Jews. In 1329, victorious Guelph Florence prohibited the republic of Pisa from engaging in the etrog trade, keeping the lucrative business for itself. Empress Maria Theresa (mid-18th century) demanded a huge annual tax of 40,000 florins from the Jews of Bohemia for the right to import their etrogim, citrons.

Grafted etrogim

A grafted-citron tree, known as a murkav, has a life expectancy of 30 to 35 years, is more durable, and requires less care. After just a few years, the place where the two trees were joined becomes difficult to detect, and it is then virtually impossible to determine if a tree is pure or grafted. At times the graft union is below ground level, adding difficulty to the diagnosis.

Maimonides discusses grafting etrogim, albeit not in the context of Succot but rather related to the pagan rituals that often accompanied the grafting procedure.

The first discussion of a concern over an etrog murkav is by scholars of the Holy Land and Italy in the 16th century, who probably personally witnessed what was by then a widespread procedure. Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen, known as the Maharam mi'Padua (1482-1565, Padua, Italy) and Rabbi Moshe Alshich (1508-ca. 1593 Safed), a student of Rabbi Joseph Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch, or Code of Jewish Law, were among the first to discuss and prohibit the grafted etrog.


CITRON was a Dutch and Flemish metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of lemons.. The name has many variant spellings which include Citreon, Cytron, Zitron, Zitronenbaum, Cytryn, and citronowicz. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices.