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Coat of arms of Dębica Alternate names: Dębica [Pol], Dembitz [Yid, Ger], Debitsa, Dembica, Dembits, Dembitsa, Dembiza, דעמביץ -Yiddish. 50°03' N, 21°25' E, 20 miles E of Tarnów, and 26 miles W of Rzeszów. 1900 Jewish population: 2,205. Yizkors: Sefer Dembits (Tel Aviv, 1960); Pinkas ha-kehilot and 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) ShtetLink. This town in SE Poland with 46,693 inhabitants in 2008 is the capital of Dębica gmina, Subcarpathian Voivodeship and previously was in Tarnów Voivodeship (1975-1998). Germans occupied Dębica on September 8, 1939 and created a ghetto for town's Jewish population (about 1561), eventually killing most of them either on the spot or in Auschwitz. YouTube video of New Town Synagogue dating from the late 17th century. During WWII the synagogues was burned by the Nazis. Renovated and adapted for a shop in 1960, in 1995, after another renovation, it was returned to the Jewish Congregation in Cracow that rents it as a shop. [April 2009]

Memorial website. synagogue photo. [August 2005]

REFERENCE: Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to East-Central Europe . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 75.

CEMETERY: "The cemetery has been restored to a small extent." Source: Cohen, Chester G. "Jewish Cemeteries in Southern Poland" from `An Epilogue' in Shtetl Finder . 1980.  Kolbuszowa Shtetlink information. [November 2002] photo. [2005]

Established probably at the turn of the eighteenth century, the cemetery also served neighboring towns like Pilzno. Before WWII, the cemetery was surrounded with a brick wall with a decorative gate and had a wooden preburial house, which the Nazis burned. Devastated by the Nazis, many matzevot were used as a building materials in the town and the nearest neighborhood. After the war, a group of survivors from Dębica found and returned most  matzevot to the cemetery. The communists dismantled the brick wall; and many matzevot were stolen or damaged and also used as a building material. The cemetery went to ruin, part converted into playground. About 500 gravestones remain, many seriously damaged, Pieces of smashed matzevot were used to build two lapidariums.  The cemetery also was used by Jews from Pilzna, Pilsen. A wooden preburial house stood beside the cemetery brick wall and an ornate gate.  Under communism, the wall around the cemetery was demolished  and many matzevot stolen or destroyed. Parts of its area was a playground for children. To this day there are about five hundred, most heavily damaged gravestones, and fragments are built into two lapidaria. In 1983, thanks to the efforts of survivors, Debica, Mr. Goldberg, and Mr. Ireneusz Socha, the cemetery was fenced in 1983, but that fence was destroyed. In 1996, the The Nissenbaum Foundation helped renew and resanctify the cemetery. The site has not been researched, although there are examples of very interesting Hebrew inscriptions and works of local stone remain. The oldest tomb found and identified dates from 1791. photos [April 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000020: The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file. [2000]

Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2009 10:20
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