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"To Bring Memory Back" edition 2006-2007

LUBACZÓW - Publiczne Gimnazjum Nr 1 im. Przemysława Inglota linia

Who are we

Przemysław Inglot Middle School No.1 was founded in 1999 as an institution separated from the Primary School No. 1. Teachers and pupils created the new school according to their own idea. They conceived an original ceremony of designating as a student of middle school, they created a hymn, school suit and the education system built up on ideas of the school's patron, major Przemysław Inglot, soldier of 2nd Polish Corps, principal of Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation, who came from Lubaczów, was sent to Siberia, and was awarded with the Virtuti Militari Order.

Why we do this project

From the very beginning of our school's existence we laid stress on education and upbringing based on the local traditions. Students from the Museum of Kresy's Enthusiasts Circle made contact with Eva Floersheim from Israel, the author of the website www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/lubaczow.

They participated in the meeting with Ms. Eva in the Museum of Kresy and accompanied her in her exploratory works in the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczów. In 2002 we were awarded in the competition organized by the Shalom Foundation for creating a website www.zydzi.lubaczow.pl.

Nowadays, we participate in the second edition of the project "To Bring the Memory back". Last year, the Chief Rabbi of Galicia, Edgar Gluck, asked the Museum of Kresy's staff to show the exact place where the Nazis buried Jews of Lubaczów. Middle school students helped in finding the answer, as they talked with eyewitnesses of the crime on "Plebańskie Field" near Dachnów. Since then, we're in a regular cooperation with rabbi Gluck and we help him fulfill the plans of making the place a memento.

Jewish community in our town

 Lubaczów was mentioned for the first time in the years 1214 and 1225 as a center of an estate connected with Halych-Volodymyr. After the fall of Rus, its area was a moot point between Lithuania, Hungary and Poland. In 1376, Lubaczów obtained civic rights, in 1338 it became a part of Bełżec region. It was included to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom in 1462. Then it was a royal town.

 First information about Jews in Lubaczów origin from the turn of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century. Since 1478, Jewish leaseholders arementioned: Khatchko (1487-1518), Tchatchko (1503) and Josko from Hrubieszów (1493 or 1498). Perhaps first two names denote the same person.

 We don't know about any document defining rights and duties of a Jewish community. It seems that the town didn't have the "de non tolerandis Judaeis" privilege. There's nothing about it in the document of renewing civic rights, published by Sigismund I the Old in 1523. The document only forbids Jews trading and producing beer in nearby villages. There weren’t many Jews in the town; in 1538, only eighteen Jews were to pay tax, in 1565- two Jewish farmers and one bailiff were noted, in 1578 - twelve Jews. The last register indicates that in the whole Bełżec region, the towns where the most Jews payed taxes were Bełza, Busko, Tyszowice and Horodło (150-75 persons), the least - in Sokal, Dobrotwór and Waręż (a few persons).

 Similarly was in the first half of the 17th century, when registries of recruiting note from 1 to 11 Jewish houses in Lubaczów. Such a big span was an effect of frequent fires, epidemics and army quartering. The situation wasn't better in the private town of Oleszyce where Jews, according to the document of Hieronymus Sieniawski from 1576, had the same rights as other townsmen. In 1629, Jews only rented there 5 Christian houses, and in 1643 they owned only a half of a house.

 Despite there was such a small group of Jews in Lubaczów, there was a house of prayer in the town, in which also the Jews from Oleszyce prayed. Jewish inhabitants of Lubaczów probably employed themselves mostly in trade and crafts. As for other occupations, we know that they were leaseholders of Lubaczów starostwo's income, and in the years 1618-1621 a Jew Shapsay was a renter of two castle mills and a brewery, and an owner of a vineyard (distillery). Townsmen of Lubaczów protested in 1618 against the permission to build the vineyard given to Shapsay by Lubaczów's forewoman. Also peasants from Lubliniec sued Shapsay for bad quality of his beer. In 1621, Shapsay was killed by peasants from Krowica. 

Some researchers think that the wars of half of the 17th century brought a bad period for this region. D. Wojnarowski writes that in the autumn of 1648, during the march of Chmielnicki's army on the way to Zamość, probably Lubaczów was one of the towns that suffered. Also times of the Swedish "flood" brought destruction to the town, as it was occupied by Cossacks (1655). B. Sikora writes that Lubaczów was destroyed by Swedish forces passing by in 1656. H. Gmiterek thinks that Chmielnicki's army shunned Lubaczów, as well as the Swedish army.

 According to a survey from 1662, 460 people lived here. The survey doesn't indicate the number of Jews, so a hypothesis was stated that there wasn't any Jew here in that time. In Florianów (which was almost totally destroyed in 1648) in the year 1664 were 450 inhabitants and about 180 Jews among them. Therefore it's hard to assume that there was no Jews in Lubaczów then, especially when we consider that they are mentioned by Ulrich von Verdum who travelled across Poland in the years 1670-1672 and wrote: "Here and in almost all of Rus, in Podolia and Ukraine, Jews hold inns. Jews seem here taller and stronger than in Germany, because of their long gowns".

 Tatars' troops brought a giant destruction to these areas during the Turkish attacks in 1672. Newly rebuilt towns (Florianów, Płazów, Cieszanów and Lubaczów) were destroyed again. Tax register of Bełżec area from 1675 states that in Lubaczów payment was taken from 42 persons and in 1676 - also from 5 Jews. In the same time (1675), in Florianów, tax was payed by 30 dwellers, in Lipsko - 8 dwellers, in Płazów - 24, in Cieszanów - 31, and in Oleszyce, which wasn't destroyed - from 231 dwellers. In Łęczna, a town near Lublin that was shunned by invasions, in 1674, 504 inhabitants were taxed, among them 181 Jews.

 Rebuilding of Lubaczów proceeded quickly. There was already 100 houses here in the year 1691. Jewish community revived simultaneously to the town's development. In the first quarter of the 18th century, amount of the tax payed by Jews was already quite big: in 1717 it was 560 Polish złoty, in 1719 - 425 Polish złoty, and in 1721 - 500 Polish złoty. According to evidence, in 1717 the tax reached a total of 1374 Polish złoty and it was smaller than the tax payed by Jews in Sokal, Rawa, Oleszyce, Tomaszów and Bełza; it surpassed only the tax payed in Wielkie Oczy and Lipsko.

 The first mention about a synagogue comes from 1727 and the first tombstone found on the Jeiwsh cemetery bears the date 1728. In 1729, there was 197 Christian houses here and 12 Jewish houses. In that time Jews payed 1200 Polish złoty of so-called "kettle tax". This data indicates that in that time there was a fully shaped kehillah, which was probably established at the beginning of the 18th century or even at the turn of the 17th century.

 In 1760, Jews of Lubaczów exported 63 barrels of honey, more than Jews from Brody and Wiśnica. Among a number of payments taken in that time from the town, there was a 20 Polish złoty "shoulder blade tax" which Jewish butchers had to pay.

 Among applications for ground, written in the years 1786-1789 to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, there was also an application from two Lubaczów Jews, Abraham Stryier and Joseph Kalman, in the name of 30 Jewish families that wanted to leave their former occupation. The first precise statistics about the number of Lubaczów's inhabitants come from the turn of the 18th century. In 1799, there were 2444 dwellers living in 509 houses, 372 Jews (15%) among them. More Jews were in Oleszyce (548), Cieszanów (473) and Wielkie Oczy (402); less in Narol (former Florianów - 287), Lipsko (231) and Płazów (30).

 In earlier written works about this region, there's no precise information on Jews of Lubaczów until the 70's of the 19th century. We know that in the years 1839-1855 the rabbi here was Shmuel Nahum Gassenbauer ben Kahat (later he moved to Leżajsk), who wrote a number of comments, e.g. "Hekhle shen", "Migdal ha-shen". Earlier, the rabbi was Hersh Elimelekh, author of "Bne Yissakhar". After Gassenbauer, until 1860, Yekutyel ben Levi Yitzhak Shor was the rabbi, then he left to Rawa. His successor was Shmuel Nahman ha-Levi Rosenfeld who probably wrote comments too.

 In the years 1859-1867, Jacobus Bernstein the Israelite, who probably owned Lubaczów then, was patron of an Orthodox church in Lubaczów.

 An important source about Lubaczów's history in the last three decades of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century (to the outbreak of World War II) is the so-called "Galicia Schematisms". Thanks to them we know that in 1871 there were 4138 persons living here; in it 938 Roman Catholics, 1855 Eastern Rite Catholics, 11 non-catholics and 1304 Jews. Until year 1913, number of inhabitants rose to 6729; the number of Roman Catholics rose to 1762, Eastern Rite Catholics - to 2689, Jews - to 2278 (39%).

 Until 1871, Berl Horshovsky was the head of Jewish community and in 1876 - Moshe Gabel. Since 1879 to 1894, Osaiah Frankel was the rabbi (according to other sources: Jehoshuah Heshel Teonim Frenkel). His successor in the years 1897-1913 was Kasiel Shor. One of the doctors of Lubaczów in the years 1894-1917 was Ephraim Rosenbluth (since 1902 as Edward Rosenblit); in the years 1898-1899 David Rosenbush was a vet; midwives in the years 1879-1897 came mainly from Salander family (Hana, Lea, Rukhla, Freide) - except Yenta Brand.

 At the turn of the 19th century, the first election to the kehillah administration took place. Noah Rosi was its winner. One of his first tasks was to gather money for building a new synagogue, because the old, wooden one, burned in 1898 or 1899, during a fire of the town. Also kehillah's documents burned then. Building of a new, bricked synagogue was partly funded by baron Edmund Rotshild.

 Two industry-trade registers of Galicia come from the beginning of the 20th century. The first of them, from 1906, mentions a few Jews in Lubaczów and their occupations: a tinsmith Osiah Stemlikht, a kettle-maker Barukh Zimmerman, a tailor Salomon Veinred, bakers - Kopel Grossman and Aaron Siegelheim, butchers - Shama Jacob Reifeld, Simon Maier Reifeld and Samuel Satz, and also a miller Borukh Vasserman and a renter of a mill - Sakher Grokhman.

 The second register, from 1912, mentions a little more persons: tinsmiths - Haima Gottlieb, Jacov Rygier and Abraham Stemlikht, a kettle maker mentioned above, a brazier Haim Kupfershmidt, tailors - Mark Kutsher and Elijah Muller, bakers - Feivel Drucker, David and Hersh Katz, Aaron Ziegelheim (formerly Siegelheim), soda water producers - Abraham Sheidlinger and Malka Shickler, a soap producer Zelik Mondshein, painters - Hersh Egert and Moses Rettig, a miller Sakher Grohman. One of three restaurants was run by Noah Roth. The owners of shops were: an iron shop - Abel Rikhter and Osiah Zimmerman, a jewelery shop - Mark Riss, various products shop - Sarah Gotlieb, a spice shop - Mendel Adier who also owned a building products shop. Also Seiden Thumin is mentioned here (a printer and a lithographer) however he could be German as well. 

In his guide about Galicia (1914) M. Orłowicz completes this register with information about incursions of Lazarus Sheindling and Gabl & Shulim Riss.

 The schoolmen in 1914 were: Samuel Shneider, Samuel Herzberg and Berl Messer. Memorials of inhabitants of Lubaczów are an unusually precious source. The inhabitants recall the turn of the 19th century. Thanks to their messages we can partly reconstruct the town's image before World War I and the role of Jewish community in creating this image. Jews lived mainly in the town's centre, around a market square and a synagogue which lied in the North. Most shops and workshops lied there. A big, bricked synagogue stood in the place of the old one which burned down. Right beside it, a wooden synagogue was erected. Jews, except trade and craft, occupied also with driving carriages, ran four inns and took the town's entrance fees too.

 During World War I, Lubaczów wasn't strongly damaged, but the number of inhabitants decreased. There were about 1500 dwellers less. Some of them left, some was killed and some died in the cholera epidemic in 1915. Registry from 1921 showed 5303 inhabitants in Lubaczów, 1715 Jews among them (32%).

 After the war, last rabbi's son, Levi Yitzhak Shor, became a rabbi. Apart from him, two other rabbis are mentioned: Tzvi Hirsh Rubin and Shalom Rokeakh. In 1927, the kehillah council consisted of 16 Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. Town council in 1939 was composed of 9 Poles, 3 Ukrainians and 4 Jews (Pinkas Klein, dr Joseph Osterman, Bertold Shneider, Samson Shneider).

 Interwar period was a time of organizing the internal of the kehillah which consisted of 1794 persons from Lubaczów in the year 1931. In that time, a loan bank "Gemilad Khesed", a Jewish bank, Jewish merchants association and "Bet Jakov" school were founded; political parties "Beitar", "Poale Zion" and "Mizrahi" were active. In 1933, new administration of Jewish Community was elected: president Abele Richter, cashier Hersh Domer, council members - Berish Apfelderfer, Moses Frankel, Samuel Kasser, dr Joseph Osterman, Salomon Spielman, Markus Strassber, honorary secretary Natan Domer.
 In the 30's, with a wave of anti-semitic moods all over the country, attacks on Jews took place also in Lubaczów.
 In that period, like in previous centuries, Jews were renters, merchants, craftsmen or occupied with services. Market payments were taken by Wolf Rotter (1929) who later was a leaseholder of butcher taxes (1931/1932); mill renter - Maurice Friedman - delivered electricity to the town (1935) and the payments for exploiting river sand was payed by David Hersh Stein and Izaak Eyert (1932/1933). 

Polish address book of 1929 states that there were over 220 Jews in Lubaczów working in over 60 professions. Persons worth mentioning are: advocates - A. Fishbein, E. Gleikh, Ignatius Mohr and Joseph Osterman, hotel owners - R. Gerstenfeld, M. Herzberg and L. Sheindling (hotel with restaurant), bookseller J. Gottlieb, painter J. Egert, M. Herzberg with his milk service, already mentioned brazier H. Kupfershmidt (he also owned a shop with soda water), printer S. Tumin (?) and Shneider who ran car communication. Rubin & Engelhard Co. produced alcohol. M. & Sh. Shicklers and M. Rebhun produced and sold beer. There was also a sawmill run by Ashkenazy and Katz, a coal warehouse of H. Dorner who owned a brick factory too. Jews of Lubaczów had, among others, 16 textile shops, 9 notions stores, 5 leather shops, 7 iron shops and 47 shops selling various other products. There were 22 tailors, 5 bakers, 6 butchers (4 from the Reinfelds). 9 persons ran inns.

 Schoolmen in the years 1927-1933 were: Izaak Bakanowski, Izaak Haner, Berish Gotesman, Yona Herzberg, Abraham Herzberg and Markus Weinrath. In the 30's (until 1941), doctors in Lubaczów hospital were, among others, David Goidreikh and David Turnheim who was hospital director since 1939 to 1941.

 Many interesting details were delivered by Eugeniusz Szajowski. Henry Frieser administrated Gołuchowski's goods; a renter of mill and sawmill (also owned by Gołuchowski) was Samson Shneider. The Salanders were a well-known Jewish family in Lubaczów; they created a band (violin, clarinet and basses). M. Salander was also a hairdresser and women from his family were midwives. Well-known persons were: watchmaker N. Falik, photographers- Fuchs and Weiner, dentists - E. Rotter and J. Shafiro.

 An important happening for Jews of Lubaczów was a visit of the famous Belz Tzaddik from the Chassidic Rokeach dynasty, Aharon Rokeach.

 Before the outbreak of World War II, there was about 2 thousand of Jews. After the outbreak, Germans reached Lubaczów on September 12th. The following night, the synagogue burned down. Jewish shops were destroyed and robbed. After two weeks, Germans retreated and were replaced by Soviets ceremonially greeted by part of Ukrainians and Jews. The occupant created the police that consisted mainly of Jews. Northwards from the town lied a border between two occupation areas. Before the border was caulked, many Jews from the western part of Poland came to Lubaczów. In 1940, over 100 Jewish families left for the Soviet Union.

 German attack on Soviets on June 21st, 1941, was preceded by artillery firing on boundaries. In Lubaczów, buildings around the market square burned down. In 1942, the Nazis created a ghetto eastward from the market square. About 6 thousand Jews from the town and environs were gathered there. In the autumn of 1942, around 2,5 thousand of Jews were transported to the death camp in Bełżec. Rest of them was shot in the Jewish cemetery and near Dachnów in January 1943. Only a handful of people survived the war. In 1947, the ruins of the synagogue were pulled down. The only saved memento of the Jews of Lubaczów is their cemetery.

    Paweł Sygowski, Andrzej Trzciński, Żydzi lubaczowscy i ich cmentarz, "Rocznik Lubaczowski", v. VIII, Lubaczów 1998, p. 103-111. 


What we do in the project

- take care of the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczów; 
- continue cooperation with Rabbi Edgar Gluck; 
- search for information about nazi atrocities against Jewish population of Lubaczów region during the World War II;
- take care of mass graves located on the fields near Dachnowo;
- help Rabbi Gluck to commemorate the locations of those mysterious mass executions;
- discover the history, culture and religion of Polish Jews from Lubaczów;
- prepare school plays presenting Jewish holidays;

What we are going to do next

December 2006
- Creating a leaflet "Lubaczów - A Mix Of Three Cultures" December 2006
- Workshops led by trainers from the "Cholent" Society (Museum of Kresy's Gallery in Lubaczów)

February 10th 2007
- Shabbat performance: customs, prayers, interior decoration, foods (Gallery)

March 2007
- A show and learning of Jewish dances

April 2007
- A concert of Jewish music (State School of Music in Lubaczów)

April/May 2007
- Creating a photo album of Jewish monuments in Lubaczów powiat

May 2007
- Cleaning the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczów

- Searching for documents and eyewitnesses of Holocaust for fulfilling the documentation which could help justify gaining the burial area for a monument with an inscription suggested by Jewish Community of Warsaw: "We don't know your names, but you will always be in our hearts. In memory of Jews murdered in Lubaczów and Dachnów in January 1943 ".

- Gathering keepsakes of the Jews of Lubaczów and transfering them to Kresy Muzeum. Identifying and describing the rescued items.

Who is helping us

Mayor and the Council of Lubaczów, Vogt and Lubaczów Gmina Council, the Chief Rabbi of Galicia - Edgar Gluck, Museum of Kresy in Lubaczów, Towarzystwo Miłośników Ziemi Lubaczowskiej, State School of Music in Lubaczów, Twoje Radio Lubaczów, "Życie Podkarpackie" magazine, "TERAZ" Catholic Magazine.

What are we proud of

We took care of the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczów, and we managed to direct the attention of local authorities and Chief Rabbi of Galicia's to the matter of the cemetery's condition.

 We discovered two forgotten mass graves of the Jews of Lubaczów from the Holocaust period.

 We fulfilled the documentation confirming reliability of existing witnesses' testimonies.



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