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Jewish Families of Nowy Wisnicz

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The area of Nowy Wiśnicz was a monastic village that had existed since the 8th century. The first Jews settled down in this village in 1606. After being banished from Bochnia, they were offered assistance by the village owners called Lubomirscy. In 1613, Nowy Wiśnicz became the property of Stanisław Lubomirski, who was the governor of the Cracow Province. In 1616, he established the city of Nowy Wiśnicz. He rebuilt the castle into a great fortress and founded the Barefoot Carmelites Monastery. In 1655 the castle and the city were plundered by the Swedes. In the same year, the restrictions were imposed on the rights of the Jewish furriers. In 1678 Jews were forbidden to settle down within the market square and since 1690 they were not allowed to produce vodka.

In spite of all restrictions, Nowy Wiśnicz, which was also known as Jerusalem, became the most Jewish city in this part of Galicia.

  • In the 17th century there was one synagogue in Nowy Wiśnicz.
  • In 1765 there lived 979 Jews. Since 1772 Nowy Wiśnicz was under Austrian rule.
  • In 1783 Emperor Joseph II closed the Barefoot Carmelites Monastery and in its place he created a prison with severe conditions and a criminal court.
  • In 1863 the city was almost totally destroyed by a huge fire. In 1870 a new synagogue was built in Nowy Wiśnicz. In 1880 in the city lived 1394 Jews.
  • In the interwar period Nowy Wiśnicz was home to 1.3 thousand Jews, which constituted 47% of all citizens. The municipality maintained two synagogues.

From Nowy Wisnicz to concentration camps

In 1934 Nowy Wiśnicz lost its town charter. During the Second World War Germans slaughtered a group of Jews in the city. In the summer of 1942, the rest of the Jewish citizens were taken to the concentration camps in Bełżec. In 1943 Germans have dismembered both synagogues. During the military actions 60% of houses in Nowy Wiśnicz were obliterated. The village was liberated in January 1945 by the Soviet forces. In 1994 Nowy Wiśnicz was granted municipal rights once again.