BOBOWA: Gorlice Print

Coat of arms of Bobowa

Alternate names: Bobowa [Pol], Bobov [Yid], Bobova. 49°42' N, 20°56' E, 52 miles ESE of Kraków, 11 miles ENE of Nowy Sącz, 18 km from Gorlice. 1900 Jewish population: 749. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), I, p. 257: "Bobowa". Yizkors: Bobowa Yeshiva List and Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 3: Western Galicia and Silesia (Jerusalem, 1984). Bobowa is a town (formerly village) at the Biała Tarnowska River in Gorlice County administratively attached to Lesser Polish Voivodeship. The former village was granted town status on January 1, 2009. (town website) The town's owner, Michał Jaworski, permitted Jews to settle in the town in 1732, primarily in trade, but also in crafts (tailoring, baking and cap-making). The women as part of the local tradition made bobbin-lace, increasingly popular in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1914, Jews were 48% of the town's total population. The village was home to an Hasidic yeshiva. 1900 Jewish population: 749. During WWII, the ghetto also held Jews from the surrounding area. Home to General Bolesław Wieniawa-Długoszowski (President of Poland for a day in 1939), his brother Kazek was mayor and able to save at least one Jew. Almost all were finally killed as described by one of the few survivors, Professor Samuel P. Oliner of Humboldt State University, in his autobiography, Restless Memories. He was rescued by a Polish peasant woman called Balwina. [website] After WWII, Grand Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam (The Second) (1907 - August 2, 2000) re-established the Bobov (Hasidic dynasty) in America. Bobowa is also one of two (besides Koniaków) villages in Poland famous for traditional bobbin lace-making and since 2000 holds an annual Bobbin Lace Festival. A 1778 synagogue still exists. Town history with photos. [April 2009]

MASS GRAVE: The Germans arrested members of the local intelligentsia in 1939 and sent the rest to forced labor digging trenches. Escape attempts or aiding Jews or Polish partisans led to death. In October 1941, the Germans created a ghetto in Bobowa that was liquidated in August 1942. Twenty-five people were shot and about 700 were sent to Stróżówka, where a mass execution took place in the Garbacz forest. The rest were deported to camps.

CEMETERY: Cemetery photos [April 2009] and cemetery photos. video.[2006]

BOBOWA I: US Commission No. POCE000738

Location: 500 meters S of the village. 1991 town population: 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Local: [Head of the Village] Wojt Urzad Gminy, ulica Swierczewskiego [may be changedþE.B.], 38-350 Bobowa, tel. #2.
  • Regional: M. Eng. Zygmunt Lewczuk, Konserwator Wojewodzki [Conservator of Monuments], ulica Kilinskiego 68, 33-300 Nowy Sacz, tel. 238 38, ext. 234.
  • Caretaker with key: Stanislaw Nowak, Bobowa 402, 38-350 Bobowa.

The earliest known Jewish community is mid-18th century. 1921 Orthodox Hasidic population was 565. Living here were Salomon ben Natan Halberstam (buried in the cemetery) and Ben Can Halberstam. The landmarked isolated rural (agricultural) hillside has sign in Polish and in Hebrew mentioning Jews and the Holocaust. Reached by crossing private property, access is entirely closed by a continuous fence with a locked gate. The cemetery is 0.6 ha as before WWII. 20 to 100* gravestones, some in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from the 19th and 20th centuries. The cemetery is not divided into special sections. The marble, granite and sandstone, flat-shaped stones carved with relief decoration have Hebrew and German inscriptions. The cemetery has special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and marked mass graves. The municipality owns the property used as a Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent property is agricultural. Frequently, private visitors, organized individual tours, and organized Jewish group tours visit. It was vandalized during World War II. The Family Nissenbaum Foundation (Jewish individual from abroad) and local/municipal authorities cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, fixed wall, and fixed gate in 1988. There is a regular caretaker. Within the limits of the cemetery is an ohel. Weather erosion and vegetation are a moderate threat. Vegetation (disturbing graves) and weather erosion are moderate threats.

Piotr Antoniak, ulica Dobra 5 m. 36, 05-800 Pruszkow completed this survey on September 9, 1992 after visiting the site in August. He interviewed Stanislaw Nowak, Bobowa 402, 38- 350 Bobowa.

UPDATE: *200 tombstones and ohel of Tzaddik Salomon Halberstam (died 1906). SW of Bobowa on the hill above the road to Grybów is a kirkut of Rabbi Halberstam. Tidied and fenced, Tadeusz Nowak is caretaker. [April 2009]

BOBOWA II: Kriegerfriedhof (War Cemetery Nr.132) with 6 Jewish burials from WWI

During WWI, Jewish members of the Royal Hungarian Honved Infantry Regiments Nr. 9 (Kassa, Kaschau, now Kosice, Slovak Rep.) Nr.11 (Munkacz, now Mukaczewo, Ukraina) and Nr.16 (Bszterczebanya, Bistrita, Romania) were buried in five single graves and in one mass grave. The number of the dead is unknown, (awaiting reports from Krakow.) The cemetery is on village suburban edge on the right side of the river Biala in midst of fields. The hillside, separate but near other cemeteries, has no sign or marker. Another military cemetery is located down the hill. Reached by turning directly off a public road, the cemetery has a locking gate. Four concrete gravestones with the inscriptions removed can be found in original location, regardless of condition. Originally located WWI gravestones can be found in the left, lower corner opposite the entrance. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is not a problem presently; the vegetation was cut recently. The cemetery is divided into the military part described. The cemetery possibly contains a mass grave. Properties adjacent are agricultural. The Nissenbaum Foundation patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, fixed wall, and fixed gate. Current care is by regular caretaker who does a good job, but complains about very low wages. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house. Vegetation is a moderate threat. Survey completed by Dr.Erich Fritsch A-5233 Pischelsdorf 56, O.Oe. Austria; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on 28 October 1997. Documentation: "Westgalizische Heldengraeber...". He visited the site on 15 July 1997 and interviewed the caretaker.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2009 13:13