The weekly paper Pruzaner Shtyme began to appear on April 1, 1932 and it continued appearing until the Second World War. Its editor was Moshe Grunwald and the editer responsible to the authorities was Yitzhak Karschenblum. The paper was printed at the weeklys printing house. When Grunwald immigrated to Palestine, his place was filled by Avraham Erez. The following details have been culled from the editions that reached us.





The regional Polish Education authorities in Brisk officially approved the name of the Hebrew High School in Pruzana belonging to the "Tarbut" Association as the A.D. Gordon Gymnasium.


On April 2-3, the town was flooded. The waters of the Muchaviecz river swelled due to melting snow and ice and reached a level of four metres high. As a result, many houses on both banks of the river were flooded and many inhabitants had to leave their homes. The municipality aided the evacuees.





The relations between the "Pruzaner Lebn" and the "Pruzaner Shtyme" weeklies were not normal and the editors and reporters were hostile to each other. Many editions of the Pruzaner Shtyme indulged in mutual polemics. We bring here excerpts of an article, "On rings, bracelets and watches," printed on March 31, 1933, which gives an account of the contributions of Pruzana Jews to the "Redemption Fund" of Polish Jewry in 1920. Apparently, this action served the editors of Pruzaner Shtyme as a means of goring their competitors, and setting out the facts.


"In 1920, the "Redemption Fund" was declared in Warsaw. Later, this fund became Keren Hayesod. The fund was headed by the Zionist leaders Avraham Padlishevski and Yitzhak Greenbaum. They appealed to all the Zionist organisations in the country, including the activists in Pruzana. The latter called a meeting in the Belt Yaacov synagogue at which they declared that an appeal would be launched in the following week. However, there was a surprise: those present were so impressed by the speakers that on the spot they began contributing gold watches, rings, pearl necklaces, ear-rings and other jewellery. As the outburst occurred spontaneously, a committee was appointed on the spot to collect all the objets d'art and bring them to the home of Mr. Apelboim. The members of the committee sat all through Saturday night sorting and classifying the objects and registering the names of the contributors.


It was the period of the Polish-Russian war and the party activists were ordered to keep the precious objects because it was not possible to transfer them to Warsaw. Meanwhile, the Red Army entered Pruzana and the town was cut off from Poland. The Bolsheviks began to conduct searches and place people on trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal. This action greatly troubled the population. Hiding objects was dangerous and people were not prepared to endanger their lives. A young Zionist was found (Avraham Bresky) who was prepared to keep all the objects, on the explicit condition that another Zionist activist would keep a copy of the detailed list of all the precious objects.


Cunning people spread rumours that the Zionists squandered all the precious objects. Comrade,Adam, a Christian shoemaker, who served as the chairman of the former Revolutionary Committee told a public meeting that the Zionists handed over the objects to Generals Vzangel and Denikin, who fought the Bolshevik regime. The concern of the Zionist functionaries who took part in that appeal may be imagined.


After the Bolsheviks withdrew from Poland and contact was made with Warsaw, Mordechai Yafeh came to our town on a lorry carrying an American flag. Accompanied by Zionist activists, "the treasure" was transferred to Warsaw and handed over to Avraham Padleshevski and Yitzhak Greenbaum. The party workers were given receipts for all the many donors.


In order to prevent tongue-wagging, a committee was set up composed of Eliezer Moshe Grinzburg, Zeiig Goldfein and Leib Wolk to examine all the receipts and documents at the home of Neidus the dentist. It confirmed that all the objects reached their destination properly.

Later, the Zionist Organisation in Pruzana received an overall receipt from

the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem."


On March 27, a protest meeting was held against the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, on the initiative of the Zionist activists. At 3 pm., all businesses and shops were closed and work stopped. Rabbi David Faigenbaum, M. Gruber, M. Grunwald and A. Erez spoke at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue.


Four pioneers of the kibbuts Sheariya group in Pruzana received permission to immigrate to Eretz Israel. On the initiative of the Palestine office in Warsaw, an Aliya committee was set up composed of the representatives of the Zionist organisations: Mizrachi, General Zionists, Poalei Zion, Hitachdut, Hashomer Hazair, Freiheit, Hehalutz and Gordonia. The members of the committee were: E. Pomeranietz, A. Arez, Edelman and Zeev Parker.



The weekly published a section of the Yiddish paper "Moment" of May 28, 1933 that described the difficult situation of the Pruzana merchants. ... However, what is happening in Pruzana is inconceivable. Above all, heavy taxes were imposed that were worse than the 1931 rates. In addition, the Treasury adopted illegal steps.


Even before the tradesman receives an assessment, i.e. prior to the date of payment, the "Cart" is sent round to boycott the goods and bring them to the tax department's warehouses. Thus his status is destroyed, because he cannot get more credit, he has nothing to sell and he cannot pay the tax. Furthermore, the goods are sold in a public tender for farthings. However, this is not all. Suddenly, Jewish tradesmen in Pruzana were suspected of dealing ... with saccharine. Shops are broken into by day and homes at night by representatives of the tax department, customs, the monopoly and police. They do not merely carry out a personal check, but strip the merchant naked and look for saccharine on his body. Actually, they look for his account books on his body. One of the senior officials in the district offices (Wojewodstwo) in Brisk told a merchants' delegations that criminals are treated in this way, but it was out of the question that tradesmen should be so treated.


On April 20, the Pruzana merchants declared a one-day strike. Shops and businesses were closed, but the director of the tax department did not change his policy. How will the Treasury respond? According to our reports, the Ministry received detailed information about the tragedy that befell merchants in various towns, especially Pruzana. It can be assumed that the ministry will not agree to sacrifice the state's economic policy and the survival of scores of Jewish merchants for the sake of the prestige of Pruzana's tax department's director".


12 students graduated in the third graduation class of the A.D. Gordon high school.

On June 16, a trial was held of Revisionist Zionism in the hall of the Hebrew high school.

On June 25, a protest meeting was held following the murder of Dr. Haim Arlosorov.


613 shekels (membership fees) were distributed for the elections to the Zionist

Congress. 542 voted in the following way: Eretz-Israel Haovedet—317;

Revisionists—70; Hitachdut—57; Mizrachi—29; General Zionists—21; "Et Livnot"—7; one vote was disqualified.


The management of the "Yavneh" school held consultations with the representatives of the Zionist youth movements and they agreed to maintain closer contacts and ensure that students from the fifth grade onwards can join the youth movements. Weak or poorly behaved students could not become youth movement members.



An editorial reviewed Pruzana in 1933. The writer noted the increasing poverty in the town and surrounding villages. The unemployment of artisans was increasing and the conditions of the merchants deteriorating. The state tax system was destroying commerce completely and the outcry of Pruzana tradesmen was being heard outside the town. Use of electricity had declined and many homes had been offered for sale cheaply. Large parts of the population needed the help of relatives in the United States. Anti-semitism was increasing. Two Jewish doctors were dismissed from the state sickness fund and several Jewish officials sacked from the municipality. As a result of the difficult situation, educational institutions and aid to them were seriously affected, divisions were caused and human relationships undermined. The only positive development was the immigration of 28 pioneers to Eretz-Israel. A kibbutz training centre was set up in the town. A public 'aid committee was organised to help the most needy.


The income of the JNF (Keren Kayemet Leisrael) in 1933 Pruzana totalled 2,458 zioty. The blue boxes brought in 1,220 zioty and other activities 1,238 zloty. 


The kibbutz published an announcement in the paper about a workshop for men and women's tailoring, shoe-making and basketwork. The kibbutz supplied workers for all handiwork and services.


The weekly published a letter from a yeshiva student, who was expelled from Pruzana yeshiva because he wore short trousers. 14 yeshiva students were expelled by the headmaster for similar reasons.


Over 250 dollars were collected in commitments for the Keren Hayesod appeal.






In accordance with an order from the district authorities, the appointment of Eliyahu Birenboim as deputy mayor was cancelled. During his 11 years of service, Birenboim contributed a great deal to the municipal economy and fulfilled his duties faithfully and honourably. The removal of the last Jewish representative on the town's executive aroused deep emotions among the Jewish population.



The lawyer, Leivand Handler-Levitski was elected instead of Birenboim as

chairman of the Jewish B.B. club, a sort of Jewish section of the ruling Polish




A "miracle" occurred in the Paraslavic church in Pruzana and many pilgrims came to the town to visit the site. Epileptics, cripples and the mentally ill came to the church to receive the blessing of the priest. Many of the visitors came on foot, including groups from Vilna.



On the day of the funeral of Ch.N. Bialik, Av 4, 5694, all businesses were

closed between 6-7 pm and a memorial meeting held.





A bulletin called "self-defence of the Polish people" written in the style of the Nazi "Shturmer" was sold in the kiosk near the bridge on Pacevicza street. The bulletin was published in Poznan and distributed for the purposes of anti- semitic incitement.


In the Beit Yaacov synagogue, Rabbi David Halevi Faigenbaum eulogised the Chief Rabbi of Palestine Rabbi A.Y. Kook.


In an editorial reviewing the year 5695 in Pruzana, the writer moaned at the increasing poverty in the town. Trade declined and the lack of turnover increased competition and even led to informing. The latest decree on transferring the cattle market outside the town was a severe blow to the dealers. The new artisans law affected Jewish handicraft shop owners and its implementation led to disgraceful acts of informing. The heavy taxes hit the tradesmen and handicraft owners to the bone. The only ray of light was the appeal of C.K.B., which was organised by the Charity committee.


Due to financial difficulties, the kehilla could not expand its work and support the educational institutions with aid, despite their difficult situation. A further blow came from the municipality which practically ended support. Aid from America declined and the situation deteriorated to the point where the Tarbut institutions were about to leave their building because of lack of funds. It was only the volunteering spirit of the teachers, the parents and activists that prevented this step.

62 people immigrated to Palestine in 5695.

The income of the JNF totalled 3,362 zloty in 5695 as compared with 2,010 zloty in 5694.

How were wardens elected in the Beit Yaacov synagogue? A ballot box was prepared and it was placed in the beadle's care. The beadle went to the homes of the worshippers and requested that they vote for 5 out of 12 candidates for warden. Afterwards, the beadle brought the ballot box to the rabbi's home where it was opened and the votes counted. Those elected were: Moshe Aaron Rozenshein, Avraham Lacki, D. Minkovich, Zavel Wolansky and Note Kurtzel.



An ash-taking ceremony was held in the cemetery, where ashes were taken from the graves of Jewish soldiers who fell in the First World War at Pilsudski hill in Sowienice. Representatives of the authorities and community leaders were present. Rabbi D. Faigenbaum and deputy mayor Dr. M. Feingold delivered orations.



The “ kehilla's ” budget for 1936 was fixed at 8,324 zioty. The “ kehilla ” committee handed over the appeal of Avraham Gordon against a 40 pound tax to the Brisk district governor.





Two Jewish families who lived for years at Smolenice village near Pruzana maintained small shops there. Recently, a cooperative was formed in the village and the farmers stopped visiting the Jewish shops. In the last few days, they began harrassing the Jews. They smashed the windows in their homes and published notices saying: "Get out of the village quickly. If you don't leave, your fate will be bitter." The Jews appealed to the “ kehilla ” committee to intercede with the authorities.



Rabbi David Faigenbaum and kahal leader Faivel Goldfine were elected to represent the Pruzana      “ kehilla ” in a protest meeting of Polish Jewry against the Schehita decrees.



On October 25, the “ kehila ” committee elections were held. 1,208 voted out of a total of 1,400 people with voting rights. Two members of the Bund and Artisans list were elected; two members of the National Bloc list; one butcher;

one Hitachdut Poalei Zion; the Scherschev localist—two; Faivel Goldfein was again elected kahal chairman.