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Coat of arms of Lubaczów Alternate names: Lubaczów [Pol], Lubatchov [Yid], Libatchov, Libechuyv, Liubachev, Lubachov, Lubichuv. 50°10' N, 23°08' E, 45 miles WNW of Lviv, 31 miles NNE of Przemyśl. 1900 Jewish population: about 2,000. Yizkor: Yizkor list for Lubaczow (Tel Aviv, 1954). ShtetLink. This town in SE Poland close to the border with Ukraine with 12,405 inhabitants in 2008 in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship since 1999 is the capital of Lubaczów powiat. In 1498, Jews are mentioned for the first time when they were granted a lease to collect Lubaczów customs duties that year. The Polish King forbade the Jews of Lubaczów to do any business with the population in the surrounding villages in 1532. 1538 Tax records show that  eighteen Jewish families, who paid taxes to the King, lived in Lubaczów, but by 1585, only three Jewish families lived there. In 1621, 1633 & 1639, the Jews were involved in trade and crafts, had the right to brew beer, and still held the lease to collect municipal fees as well as the royal taxes from the entire starostwo. In 1648 and1649, Cossacks and Ukrainian farmers led by Bohdan Chmielnicki saw the Jews were agents of the Polish rulers and with barbaric methods them. In Lubaczów the shops at the Rynek (town square) and in the surrounding streets were completely burnt out. After 1662, no mention of any Jewish households exists until the early eighteenth century when a relatively large community did exist according to the amount of taxes paid to the royal treasury. Only five Jewish families were Lubaczów in 1670, but five years later, 687 Jews living in the town and surrounding villageswere obliged to pay taxes. In 1787,  thirty Jewish families in Lubaczów asked the Austrian government to give them land so that they could be farmers, butno response was forthcoming. In the 19th century, the Jewish community grew as the Jews worked as traders in agricultural products and peddlers in the nearby villages. At the end of the 19th century the 1,500 Jews were one-third of the population. The railway lines were connected via a new railway built from Jarosław and Lubaczów in 1880 enabling Lubaczów's 1,300 Jews (30% of the population) to thrive. 1899 a big fire largely damaged the town with 220 Jewish families comprising close to thousand persons losing their homes. During WWI, around 500 Jews left Lubaczów, many not returning until the mid-1920s. In 1931of the 6291 citizens in the city, 1794 were Jews when the locality of Lubaczów had a total population of 51,885, 23,686 (43.7%) were Polish, 24,470 (47.2%) were Ukrainian, 3,503 (6.8%) were Jews and 226 (0.4%) of other descent. In 1933, Polish authorities closed the Jewish cemetery that was reopened only after a long public struggle. The 1939 Jewish population was 1,715. On September 12, 1939, the Germans occupied Lubaczów, retaken on September 26, 1939 and ruled by the Soviet until June 22, 1941. In April 1942, 2,270 Jews were in Lubaczów. 2000 Jews were brought by the Germans to Lubaczów from the surrounding villages in May. A ghetto was established in October and overcrowded within two days. Shortly thereafter,  the first transport of Jews was sent to Belzec and Jews from Niemerow and Potilitz brought to Lubaczów. At its peak, the ghetto housed 7000 Jews in apartments located in the center of the town, about 5-6 families in each apartment. In November, most of the Jews from Oleszyce, about 2000, were brought to Lubaczów. In December, the Germans alleged there would be no further killing of Jews in Lubaczów because most were still slave laborers. The Nazis already had shipped 2500 Jews to Belzec. On January 5, 1943, a huge snowstorm and great cold occurred. The Germans collected all finished and unfinished items from the Jewish tailors and shoemakers. Fearing a mass killing, whoever could fled the ghetto that night. On January 6, 1943 around 8 a.m., the final mass execution of the Jews started and continued until January 14. Some found in their underground secret bunkers were killed. Others were brought to the Jewish cemetery where an estimated 1200 Jews were murdered and buried in a mass grave. Some were sent to Belzec. The very few Jews survived by joining the partisans. On July 21, 1944, the Germans withdrew and the Soviet Red Army re-occupied Lubaczów. [June 2009]

The cemetery is located at ul. Kościuszki (street leading toward Horyńca) in the immediate vicinity of the Catholic cemetery. Both  the roofed entry gate and a small gateway  are closed. Entry is possible only from the Catholic cemetery via a fence with netting near the mortuary house. The cemetery is well maintained. An inventory carried out by researchers from the University of Wroclaw in 1995 shows 35 surviving gravestones from the 18th century. Student report: The artistic matzevot bear traces of polychrome limestone cladding in white, blue, red, yellow, gold, silver and black. Inscriptions are incised. Diverse art is incised including a symbol in the upper zone about the deceased person and decorations. Below is Hebrew text. The basic symbols are candle, broken tree, crown, lions, shelving books, hands, pot and tray, birds, vases of flowers, and in various combinations. A high brick wall on the street separates the cemetery from the adjacent high school. Hirsz Josef (Joe) Reinfeld from the United States, who was born in Lubaczowie, installed fencing in 1930. In 1989, the now 0.3 ha cemetery was restored by Rabbi Hertzberg's families in New York. Once the cemetery occupied approximately 0.71 hectares, but before 1981, the Catholic cemetery took over the southern part of the cemetery. Cemetery photos. website for the Jewish community. cemetery video. [May 2009]

ShtetLink for Lubaczow has a PDF format tutorial "Learning About the Gravestones from Lubaczow. [October 2001]

BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 76

UPDATE: In May 2002, after my visit to Lubaczow, I wrote a little text about a tree at the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczow that “eats” gravestones. Several persons wrote to me after that telling me that photos showing this would be worth more than thousand words. Now a Polish culture magazine on the Internet named Zwoje (Scrolls), nearly all in Polish, has published the text with the photos in English and Polish. Next to my text is the one Zenon Lis wrote. Zenon is originally from the Lubaczow area, but now lives in New York. We had corresponded on the internet when Zenon told me how he, a Polish student, remembered looking at that same tree from his high school window in Lubaczow around twenty years ago. When he saw my photos and read my little text, he contacted Andrew Kobos, the editor of Zwoje. The message remains the same: We must hurry up to document the remains of Jewish life in Galicia, before nature and time erase what is still there.  [Source: Gesher Galicia mailing list, Eva Floersheim, Shadmot Dvorah, Israel] [December 2002]

"At the end of August 1999, Howard Bodenstein from New York visited. Howard photographed the gravestones found on the Remembering the Jews of Lubaczow web site I started in September 1999. Howard Bodenstein estimates that there are about 1000 gravestones in the cemetery with around 30% legible. My local contact, high school student Greg Bauman, informed me that: 'Today, there are around 14000 living in Lubaczow.' Przemysl was the province capital from 1975-1998; and Rzeszow is now the capital of the province. I have a book by Lubaczow survivor Maurie Hoffman Keep Yelling, published by Spectrum Publications in Victoria, Australia in 1995. In Chapter 11, pages 103-106, Maurie Hoffman gives his testimony to the fact that during the final extermination of the Jews in Lubaczow, the Jewish cemetery was used both as a place for murdering the Jews and for burying them in mass graves. "Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Lower Galilee, IL-Shadmot Dvorah, Israel.

US Commission No. POCE000145

Located in Przemysl at 50º10 N 23º08 E, 61 km from Przemysl and 166 km from Lublin. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Mieski, ul. Basnai, Tel. 2-21-87; and Urzad Gminy, ul. Rynek 28, Tel. 2-16-84.
  • Local: Pawel Koziol, region Konserwator Zabytkow, 37-700 Przemysl, ul. Rynek 24, Tel. 59-44.

The earliest known Jewish community was the beginning of the 18th century. 1939 Jewish population was around 2300. The city was destroyed in 1655 during wars with Cossacks. The landmarked cemetery was probably established in the beginning of the 18th century with the last Orthodox Jewish burial 1943. The suburban hillside, separate but near other cemeteries, has signs or markers in Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish. The markers mention the restoration of the cemetery in 1989 financed by Rabbi Hertzberg's family from New York. Reached by crossing a Christian cemetery, access is open to all. Surrounding are a continuous masonry wall and fence in some parts with two gates, one that locks and one that does not. The size before WW II was.713 ha and its present size is approximately.5 ha. 500-5000 gravestones, 20-100 gravestones not in original locations with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1728-20th century. One granite stone with Polish inscription dates from 1934. Others are limestone, with a few of sandstone. The flat stones with carved relief decoration and some with traces of painting on their surfaces have Hebrew and Polish inscriptions. There are no known mass graves. The municipality owns property used as a Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are agricultural, a Christian cemetery, and school. The cemetery is smaller today due to the extension of the Christian cemetery in 1978. Local residents rarely visit. Local authorities and a Jewish individual abroad cleared vegetation and fixed wall in 1979 and 1989. There are no structures. Vegetation is a moderate threat; and security is a slight threat.

Pawel Sygowski, U. Kalinowszayzna 64/59 20-201 Lublin visited site was Oct. 1991 and completed survey in Dec. 1991.

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [March 2016]


Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2016 22:10
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