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WIELKIE OCZY: Podkarpackie PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Wielkie Oczy [Pol], Vilkatch, Vilkutch, ויילקה אוצ'י [Yid], Velyki Ochi [Ukr], Vilkatchi, Vilkoch. 50°01' N, 23°09' E, 23 miles NE of Przemyśl, 12 miles NW of Yavoriv (Jaworów), 10 miles S of Lubaczów. 1900 Jewish population: 898. ShtetLink. This village in Lubaczów powiat, Subcarpathian Voivodeship in SE Poland, close to the border with Ukraine is the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Wielkie Oczy, 17 km (11 mi) S of Lubaczów and 83 km (52 mi) E of the regional capital Rzeszów. The village population was 880. Gmina Wielkie Oczy contains the villages and settlements of Bihale, Czopy, Dumy, Gieregi, Kobylnica Ruska, Kobylnica Wołoska, Łukawiec, Majdan Lipowiecki, Mielnik, Niwa, Podłazy, Potok Jaworowski, Skolin, Sople, Szczeble, Tarnawskie, Wielkie Oczy, Wola, Wólka Żmijowska, Zagrobla and Żmijowiska. [July 2009]

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Located just near the border with Ukraine, the village dates from the 16th century when Swidnica Miękickich founded it. [?] The beginning of Jewish settlement was in the second half of the 17th century although the kahał began in the early 18th century. In 1880, the 996 Jews living there were 50% of the populace, decreasing sharply due to immigration, cholera, and WWI. By WWII, ended the community. The few survivors, either having fled to Russia or hidden with the help of local people included two Jews, who after the war returned to their homes and were murdered by the local militia. [July 2009]

CEMETERY: The 18th century "Great Oczach" in the southern part of the village about two hundred meters from the market and the synagogue by the road leading to Skolina. During WWII, the cemetery was severely damaged.. In recent years, descendants of Jews from here, now living in Israel, and in Brazil cleaned the cemetery. With the help of the local parish priest, Fr. Józef Kluza, they recovered several dozen matzevot. The owner of property, on the stolen matzevot were found, asked for 30 thousand zlotys. The culmination was in court, but part of matzevot still remain in that house and barn. The renovation work also teaches students from local schools led by Bogdan Lisze of Oleszyce. At spring of 2006 erection of the memorial wall with the returned matzevot was planned. Scientific documentation on the gravestones was done by Professor Andrzej Trzcinski University of Lublin. In the village also is the devastated synagogue. Synagogue video. Great Oczach. Video. Photos. town history with photos. [July 2009]

: "Austria-Hungary crown land of Galicia" [January 2001] (Polish). [January 2002]


UPDATE: In March of 1997, a site visit to the town of Wielkie Oczy was privately commissioned. Based on that visit and photographs taken, the following amendment is provided. No stones are visible in the Jewish cemetery, today owned in part by the government (Skarb Pantswa poprzez Urzad Gminy) and in part in the hands of by a private owner, whose portion is circumscribed by a primitive fence. The synagogue, a concrete and brick structure erected after a wooden structure was destroyed during WWI, still stands but is in a state of disrepair. Although the cemetery no longer exists as a cemetery, on part of what had been the cemetery grounds is a non-sectarian monument erected, so the inscription states, by the community of Wielkie Oczy and dedicated to those who were murdered during the period of the Second World War. The information provided here is at variance with the information contained in the Survey of Historic Jewish Monuments in Poland: A Report to the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, revised Second Edition, 1995. Source of revision: Stephen Landau, White Plains, NY; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 79

"The gravestones were gone but were seen in use as supports for nearby barns." Source: Cohen, Chester G. "Jewish Cemeteries in Southern Poland" from `An Epilogue' in Shtetl Finder . 1980.

UPDATE: Alternate names: Yiddish: Vilkotch and Ukrainian – Velyki Ochi, Podkarpackie region at 50°01' N ; 23°09' E, 20 km from Lubaczow and40 km from Przemysl. Present total town population is 1,000 - 5,000 and no Jews. The cemetery is located on Krakowiecka St.

  • Local authority: Mr Wladyslaw Strojny (mayor), Urzad Gminy Wielkie Oczy, 2 Lesna St., 37-627 Wielkie Oczy, Tel.: +48 16 6310126 or 6310127
  • Regional authority: Wojewodzki Oddzial Sluzby Ochrony Zabytkow, 37-700 Przemysl, 29 Jagiellonska St.
  • Interested: Mr Bogdan Lisze, os. Pod Kasztanami 2, 37-630 Oleszyce, Tel.: +48 16 6315786
  • Caretaker and Keyholder: Mr Tadeusz Slysz, Krakowiecka St. (opposite to the cemetery), 37-627 Wielkie Oczy
  • Also interested: David Majus, 17 / 3 Hadarim St., 71406 Lod, Israel, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jewish community in town dates from 1717. 1931 Jewish population was 579. Mordechai ben Shmuel from Kutno was rabbi of Wielkie Oczy in the second half of 18 th century and was author of the religious treaty King's Gate. Jewish cemetery was established in middle or end of 18 th century. Last burial was 1940 or 1941. The following towns and villages, about 0.3 km away, used this landmarked cemetery: Czaplaki, Drohomysl, Lipowiec, Skolin, Swidnica, Kobylnica Ruska, Kobylnica Woloska, Wolka Zmijowska, and Zmijowiska. The rural cemetery on flat land has a sign or plaque in Polish and a marker mentioning the Holocaust. The cemetery is reached by turning directly off a public road. Access to the cemetery is open with permission. A continuous fence and gate that locks surround the cemetery. The pre- and post-World War II cemetery size was 0.79 hectare. 20 to 100 gravestones are in the cemetery, regardless of condition or position with only 1 to 20 in original location. Less than 25% of surviving stones are toppled or broken. Stones missing from the cemetery were incorporated into roads or structures and elsewhere. Vegetation overgrowth is not a problem. Water drainage is good. The cemetery has no special sections. The eighteenth century sandstone finely smoothed and inscribed tombstones and flat stones with carved relief decoration have traces of painting on their surfaces. Inscriptions on tombstones are in Hebrew. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust and unmarked mass graves. The municipality owned the property used only as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are residential. Private visitors (Jewish or non-Jewish) visit rarely.The cemetery was vandalized (stones overturned, broken or stolen; graffiti painted on walls or stones, etc.; graves desecrated) during World War II and between 1945 and 1981. Care of the site includes clearing vegetation, wall and gate repair, and part of missing tombstones returned to the cemetery. Jewish individuals abroad carried out April-September 2001 restoration with great help from local resident, Mr Bogdan Lisze. Current care is a regular caretaker paid annually by foreign descendants of the former local Jewish community. No structures. Weather erosion and vegetation are moderate threats.David Majus, 17/3 Hadarim St., Lod, Israel, tel.: +972-8-9251133, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it completed this survey on 5 January 2002 after visits in September 2000, April 2001, and October 2001. He interviewed local people in September 2000, April 2001, and October 2001.

US Commission No. POCE000160

The town is located in Przemysl region at 50º01 23º10, 26 km from Jaroslaw and 50 km. from Przemysl. Cemetery: in the S part of the village (hamlet). Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Local: Urzad Giminy, ul. Lesne 3, tel. 10126.
  • Regional: mgr. Pawel Koziol, Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 37-700 Przemysl, ul. Rynek 24, tel. 5944.

The earliest known Jewish community dates from 1765. 1921 Jewish population was 487. The Orthodox town was founded in 1671 under the Magdeburg Law. The unlandmarked isolated urban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence or gate. The pre- and post-WWII cemetery size is 0.79 ha. 1-20 stones, sp,e original location with more than 75% broken or toppled date from 19th-20th century. The limestone flat-shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, or flat stones with carved relief decoration are inscribed with Hebrew. There are no known mass graves. The unknown Jewish cemetery owner uses site as a "no use." Adjacent property is agricultural and residential. Occasionally, local residents stop. It has not been vandalized in the last ten years with no care or maintenance. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vandalism, weather erosion, and security are moderate threats.

Jan Pawel Woronczak, Sandomierska Str. 21m1, 02-567 Warszawa, tel. 49-54-62 completed survey using documentation of the Citizen's Committee for the Protection of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland. No site visit.


[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [April 2016]



Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:51
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