NOSN SMOLAR (d. April 1943)
He was born in Zambrov (Zambrów), Lomzhe district, Russian Poland. He studied in the Vilna Jewish teachers’ institute (in Russian). He later became active politically and in the community with the left Labor Zionists. From around 1919 he was living in Warsaw, where he was one of the principal leaders in the secular Jewish schools and a member of the committee of the Warsaw Labor Zionist organization. From 1920 he was teaching in the Warsaw Borokhov schools and a delegate to Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) conferences and to teachers’ congresses. He was also a member of the executive of the society “Workers’ evening courses.” He served as co-editor of the journal Shul-vezn (School system) in Warsaw (1934). With the outbreak of WWII, he departed for the Soviet-occupied zone, but in the summer of 1941, following Germany’s invasion of Russia, he returned to Warsaw, and there he took part in party as well as general social, illegal activities. He worked also in a workshop on the Aryan side of the city. He hid out in a bunker. He ran a secret children’s school named for Ber Borokhov in the ghetto. Together with the pedagogue and writer Benyomen Virovski, he wrote a Yidish-heft (Yiddish notebook) to teach Jewish and general literature (used in the covert Warsaw Ghetto schools). His name may be found on the list of the fallen who until the very last minute of their lives participated in organizing the armed uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Sources: Kh. Sh. Kazdan, Di geshikhte fun yidishn shulvezn in umophengikn poyln (The history of the Jewish school system in independent Poland) (Mexico City, 1947), p. 263; M. Nayshtadt, Khurbn un oyfshtand fun di yidn in varshe (Destruction and resistance of the Jews in Warsaw), 2 vols. (Tel Aviv, 1948), see index; Lerer yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1952-1954), see index; B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 34, 68; E. Ringelblum, Bleter far geshikhte (Pages for history) (Warsaw, 1959), vol. 12, pp. 41-43; Ringelblum, Ksovim fun geto (Writings from the ghetto) (Warsaw, 1963), vol. 2, pp. 221-23.