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  II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Marii Konopnickiej w Zamościu  
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"To Bring Memory Back" edition 2006-2007

Publiczne Gimnazjum im.ks. płk. Tadeusza Dłubacza w Birczy linia

Who are we

Rev. Tadeusz Dłubacz Middle School in Bircza

Jewish community in our town

History of Jewish population in Bircza
17th century – beginning of a history

     17th century Bircza belonged to a waste category of small towns, whose population did not exceed 500. Towns like Babice or Rybotycze had a similar number of inhabitants at this time. The largest ethnic groups in the towns of Przemyśl Land were Poles. The second in numbers were the Ruthenians, who played an important role, especially in smaller, private towns. The Ruthenian population had the freedom of occupation guaranteed by the law.

   In towns like Bircza people of different cultures were in constant interaction, which in consequence led to the formation of ethnically differentiated families. The result of this situation was a slow obliteration of ethnic and national differences within the societies.

   In Bircza the Ruthenian citizens had the right to perform any function in the town’s office. Similar situation have been observed in other towns, among others in Babice and Dynow. 

 The third important ethnic groups in the towns of Przemyśl Land were the Jews. A notable raise of their number was seen in the second half of 17th century. The first Jews came to Bircza in 1670. The towns were under populated due to numerous wars and raids, which was a helpful factor for the newcomers, as was the friendly attitude of the local nobility. The reason for the latter was the development of economic relations between the noble courts and Jewish communities. Inclusion of Jews into economic life of the towns had a remarkable influence on the development of commercial relations. Among others, the Jews dedicated themselves to property rental. Gradually they entered in possession of entire houses, or parts of them. The process of judaization of the town infrastructure was relatively quick. Jewish inhabitants populated mainly central regions of the towns, especially those of commercial value. Regardless of the solid presence of Jewish population in most towns of the Przemyśl land, there was not a single Jewish-owned house in Bircza in the second half of the 17th century.  


What we do in the project

In November 2006 we started the realization of the „To Bring the Memory Back” program. Our students and teachers have taken the following actions:

·       They participated in a training in Debica led by experts provided by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland;

·       They gather relations and interviews from the senior members of our community;

·        Take care of the Jewish cemetery;

·        Catalogue and translate the inscriptions on matzevot;

·        They participate in a contest for the best leaflet promoting the multiculturality of their town;

·        Organize a Holocaust Memorial Day – April 19, 2007;

·        Take part in the activities of the school’s circle of interest;

·        Participate in the essay contest “Difficult Choices”, concerning the hard choices that had to be made by the people who lived under Nazi occupation;

·        The history teachers participated in trainings, conferences and seminars dedicated to the project’s subject;

·       A petition was made to the authorities of Bircza community, concerning the matter of taking the local Jewish cemetery under official protection;

We will inform the local media about our actions and will publish it ourselves on the school's website and in the school newspaper.     



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