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Alternate names: Izbica [Pol], Izbitza [Yid], Izbica Lubelski, Izbica Lubelska, Isbitsa, Izbitz, Izbitze, Russian: Избица. איזביצה- Hebrew. 50°53' N, 23°10' E, Izbica Lubelski, 36 miles SE of Lublin, 12 miles N of Zamość, 5 miles S of Krasnystaw. 1900 Jewish population: 3,019.

Yizkor: Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 7: Kielce and Lublin (Jerusalem, 1999).

A village in Krasnystaw County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland and the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Izbica 13 km (8 mi) S of Krasnystaw and 59 km (37 mi) SE of the regional capital Lublin with a population of 1,933 .In the 19th century Chasidic Judaism became prevalent thanks to the tzadik Grand Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner and his son Grand Rabbi Yaacov Leiner, who established the Chasidic dynasty of Izhbitza. After the January Uprising against Russia, in which many of the local inhabitants took part, the town was deprived of city rights and attached to the nearby commune of Tarnogóra. After Poland regained her independence the town grew significantly. In 1921 about 3000 inhabitants and in 1939 about 6000 lived there on the Lublin-Zamość road with a railway to Zamość opened in 1917. During WWI,I Izbica was the site of a German concentration camp/ transfer point to deport Jews from Łódź to Bełżec and Sobibór. About 4,500 Jews were murdered at the local cemetery.The camp had a successful prisoner revolt. The camp was closed after the last deportation on April 28, 1943. [May 2009]

History. Izbica was first mentioned as a village in 1419, but not until the mid-18th century did the bulk of Jews settle after being expelled from nearby Tarnogóry. Uniquely, its population for hundreds of years was almost entirely Jewish without one church in the village. Even the influx of Christians did not change the  city. Toivi Blatt, one of the prisoners who escaped from Sobibor, remembesr this town: "Izbica, situated in south-eastern Poland, was a typical Jewish town, shtetl. On the hills surrounding the city of peasants lived - Catholics. In the same Izbica lived three thousand six hundred Jews and some two hundred Christians. The population was simple, poor people. Izbica houses most were wood. Only a few rich men had houses of brick (....). until the middle of the 1930s, there was no electricity. (...) The Jews were mostly Orthodox, although many began to assimilate." Traditionally in Lublin they jokingly said:" Izbica, Izbica - Jewish capital city." ManyChassids lived in Izbica. In the first half of the 19th century,  tzaddik Mordechai Joseph Leiner, a student of the Przysuchy settled attracting pious pilgrimages from all over the country. After the death of Mordechai Josef Leiner in 1854 came Jakub Leiner, who moved to Radzyn. To this day in Israel is a Chasidic group identifying with this legacy. During WWII a gigantic transition ghetto was established in Izbica for Jews also from territories occupied by the Germans including Kalisz, Lodz, Lublin, Zamosc, Krasnegostawu, Germany, Czech, Slovakia, and Austria. Living conditions were terrible. Trains transported some to Sobibor and Belzec. The railway, which once contributed to the development of the city, during the war became a way for evil.  Several thousand people were shot in the city. Of more than 3,000 Izbica Jews, only a dozen survived. [May 2009]

CEMETERY:

Located on a hill near the corner of Lublin and Fabryczna, the Nazis almost completely devastated the cemetery during WWII. The wall was damaged and the very old gravestones used for construction.  Destruction was done by some Christian residents of the city and surrounding towns. Apparently, even many years after the liberation, graves were searched for valuables. Editor Adam Jaworski in his article "Chronicles of the Week" describes the participation of Poles in the devastation of the cemetery: "When Germans ordered removal of tombstones, it was a local signal... Gravestones probably are in foundations or fences. They could be found, if thoroughly examined, in paved and field roads. To this day at the cemetery are individual graves. The principal avenue points to the Holocaust victims monument with the Ten Commandments and Mogen David. The monument erected to Father Grzegorz Pawłowski - Hersz Jakub Griner - along with his brother. Hersz Griner Jacob came from Zamosc, during WWIII and lost his Izbica parents. With the help of the Poles, he managed to survive the Holocaust. After the war, he converted to Catholicism and received priestly ordination. Just across the monument is the tomb prepared for him, which will be made after death. On nagrobku wyryto the following words: "He abandoned his close friends in the hour of their death to serve God and His people. Now, back to their place of martyrdom of death." In recent years matzevot fragments, used in the construction by the Gestapo, have been removed. The ohel walls of tzaddik Leiner and his family were recently rebuilt. (photos made during the demolition of the walls). Land cemetery was cleaned. In autumn 2006, another monument was unveiled, commemorating Jews murdered in Izbica funded by the German Embassy in cooperation with the Foundation for Preservation of Jewish Heritage. On the walls of the monument are these words: "Izbica was founded in 1750 as a city for the Jewish population, removed from the neighboring Tarnogóry. For almost 200 years the Jews were the majority of the Izbica population, contributing to its economic and cultural development. In 1921, Jews were 93% of the inhabitants of the city. In September 1939, thousands of Jews lived in Izbica. In December 1939, the occupiers brought to the town of 2.5 thousand Jews from Lodz and Koła, and in April 1942, thousands of Jews from Czechoslovakia. By the end of 1942 all were murdered by German Nazis. Four thousand people shot at the Jewish cemetery in Izbica; the others died in extermination camps in Belzec and Sobibor." (photos from the monument unveiling ceremony) Students and teachers of the local high school, the German organization Bildungswerk Stanisław Hanz, Jewish Heritage Protection Foundation, and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany participated in restoring the cemetery. Reporters from television station ARD documented the restoration worky. On July 1, 2007, during the Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow, Mayor of Gminy Izbica, Karol P. Babiarz, received an honorary award from the Israeli Embassy and the Jewish Historical Institute for "unusual Poles, Polish organizations and cities, discovering truth about the past and building a better future." In support of the decision states: "Being mayor of the municipality Izbica, he always remembers that a large Jewish community lived here. He was the one who has always supported initiatives that speak of former residents. Thanks to his aid last year, they managed to recover hundreds of fragments of tombstones used by the Germans in the construction of farm buildings and move them to the cemetery." photos. See memoirs of Tomasz Blatt. [May 2009]

3 remaining visible gravestone photographs [August 2014]

US Commission No.AS 131:

Alternate or former names: Iabitz and Giesebitz. Located in Zamosc province at 50º53'W 23º10' N, about 65 km SE of Lublin and 22 km N of Zamosc. The cemetery location is 300 m NE of center of town. Present town population is 1,000 to 5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy in Izbica.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow Zamosc, ul Staszica 29, 84//59 71 (?)

The earliest known Jewish population in Izbica was second half of 18th century. 1921 Jewish population was 2862, 93%. The Leiner family was noteworthy in this community. The cemetery was established in the second half of the 18th century with the last known Orthodox Jewish burial before or in 1942. Landmarked: (Rejest Zabythow: 476/90). The isolated suburban hillside has no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no fence or gate. The cemetery is about 1.5 ha. in size as before WWII. 1-20 gravestones with about 25% toppled and not in the original position, date from 1823 to 20th century. The granite, sandstone, and concrete finely smoothed and inscribed with relief decorations or rough stones and boulders have Hebrew inscriptions. There are four special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims. The cemetery contains unmarked mass graves. The municipality owns property used as Jewish cemetery and scrub [sic]. Adjacent areas are agricultural, residential and scrub. Occasionally, private visitors stop. It was vandalized during World War II. The Leiner family did maintenance in 1995. Occasionally, authorities clear. Within the limits of the cemetery there is an ohel from 1995. It is overgrown with vegetation. Security, vegetation, vandalism, and incompatible development are considered moderate threats.

Pawet Sygowski, Kalinowszczyzna 64/59, 20-201 Lublin, Tel. 77-20-73 completed this survey in August 1995. Sygowski visited the site in 1991 and Aug. 1995. Interviews were conducted.

MASS GRAVES:

The cemetery became a place of execution carried out by the Germans on the Jews of the ghetto. The number of deaths is difficult to establish. Historians estimate approximately 4,000 victims of the Holocaust. Alina the farmer describes these tragic events written by Robert Kuwalek, a well-known researcher of the history of Jews in the Lublin: "Germany and our volksdeutsche did [obławy] throughout the land. Our boys were ordered to dig trenches in the Jewish cemetery, digging deep pits for the Jews. Then, they led them to the cemetery and began to hold children and adults separately. There was a howl, weeping, and lamentation. I heard it; and I remember. Separately, all were shot. The children's grave is near where the monument is now to the priest Pawlowski. Children are the legs of the monument. The total in the Jewish cemetery is several such collective deep pits -  a few thousand people - from Izbica, Zamosc, Lublin and the Czech and German Jews, too. (...) After Germany led the execution, our boys filled these lagoons. I was not there, but I heard people say that there were many people only wounded and the living were buried." [May 2009]

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

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 August 2014 21:22
 
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