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Jewish Families from Jaroslaw, Poland

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Jaroslaw, Poland.

Gesher Galicia-Jaroslaw

Transport to Auschwitz

Background

Jarosław [ja%CB%88r%C9%94swaf] (Ukrainian: Ярослав pronounced [jaros%CB%88law], Yiddish: יאַרעסלאָוו‎ Yareslov, German: Jaroslau) is a town in south-eastern Poland, with 38,970 inhabitants, as of 30 June 2014. It is situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship (since 1999), previously in Przemyśl Voivodeship (1975–1998) and is the capital of Jarosław County.

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History

The city was established on 1031 by the Yaroslav the Wise, a grand prince of Kievan Rus'. It was granted Magdeburg rights by Polish prince Władysław Opolczyk in 1375. It quickly developed as an important trade centre and a port on the San river, reaching the period of its greatest prosperity in 16th and 17th century, with trade routes linking Silesia with Ruthenia and Gdańsk with Hungary coming through it and merchants from such distant countries as Spain, England, Finland, Armenia and Persia arriving at the annual three-week-long fair on the feast of the Assumption.

In 1574 a Jesuit college was established in Jarosław. Tatars from the Ottoman Empire in 1590 pillaged the surrounding countryside. (See Moldavian Magnate Wars, The Magnate Wars (1593–1617), Causes.) They were unable to overcome the city's fortifications, but their raids started to diminish the city's economic strength and importance. Outbreaks of bubonic plague in the 1620s and the Swedish The Deluge in 1655-60 further undermined its prominence. In the Great Northern War of 1700-21 the region was repeatedly pillaged by Russian, Saxon and Swedish armies, causing the city to decline further.

In the mid-eighteenth century, Roman Catholics constituted 53.7% of the population, members of the Greek Catholic Church 23.9%, and Jews 22.3%. Jarosław was under Austrian rule from the First Partition of Poland in 1772 until Poland regained independence in 1918.

After the Second World War the city remained part of Poland. Poland's communist government expelled most of Jarosław's Ukrainian population, at first to Soviet territories and later to territories transferred from Germany to Poland in 1944-45.

Jewish Jarosław

The first Jews reportedly arrived in Jarosław in 1464. The first rabbi of Jarosław was Rabbi Nathan Neta Ashkenazi, in 1590. A year later, the new Council of Four Lands (Vaad Arba Aratzot) began convening in Jarosław, rotating the meeting with the city of Lwów (Lviv).

Until 1608 with a small Jewish community, religious facilities were not allowed. Still, Rabbi Solomon Efraim of Lontschitz (the author of "Kli Yakar"), a prominent and well known rabbi, lived here.

By 1670 there was a large "government" synagogue created, although protested by the Christian community of the city. During attacks on the city by Tatars and Swedes, Jewish merchandise and sometimes homes were set on fire. In 1765, there were 1,884 Jews in the city and towns around it. A Jewish school was established sometime later. The famous rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdyczów (Berdychiv) studied in Jarosław circa 1760 and was called "the genius of Yeruslav".

In 1805 a fire burnt down the old synagogue and a new one was established more according to tradition to replace it. The new synagogue was completed in 1811. A census taken in 1901 notes that Jews were 25% of the population compromising 5701 Jewish families.

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A Surviving story

In a story about Jacob Kranc told by Rabbi Jacob Orenstein around 1850, about the appointment of the Jarosław rabbi, Rabbi Orenstein had refused the appointment of Rabbi of Jarosław because it would be against his old uncle's appointment. The city council had already written his appointment and wished to express their sorrow for its cancellation. The Dubner Magid had just entered the city on a snowy winter day, and was taken directly to Orenstein's house, together with the city council, who happened to pass by him. But the walk up the steps was sufficient enough to create a moving speech, remembered years later, and accounted for in the book.

In 1921 the last rabbi was appointed, Rabbi Shmaiya HaLevi Steinberg. He wrote a book about the Jews of his town, and in the 1930s sent two copies to the National Hebrew Library in Jerusalem. These copies are the only surviving copies of the book after the Holocaust.

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WW2

In September 1939, Jarosław was captured by Germans. Most of the Jews crossed the San river to the Soviet side and hid in the Ural mountains, including the elder rabbi and his family. Those that stayed were shot and killed by the German soldiers. See also: First mass transport to Auschwitz concentration camp Jarosław (Yaruslav) Hassidim in Modern day Israel

The Jewish cemetery is located In Kruhel Pełkiński districts there are only a dozen gravestones. Prior to WWII the oldest grave at this cemetery dated back to 1743, nowadays the oldest one dates back to 1850. At this cemetery are buried among others: reb Majer from Husakow, father of a well known rabbi Lewi Kochut from Berdyczow, there are also the graves of tzaddiks from Jarosław and of the family of rabbis Meryleson.

In the spring of 1941, Germans started a consistent devastation of the Jewish cemetery in Jarosław; they demolished the pre-funeral house, the gate and the fence. A few of the gravestones were used for paving local streets and town squares. During the war, several dozen Jews shot by Nazis were buried in the cemetery, among them 36 Jews who were killed on 1 August, 1943 in Wolka Pekińska.

Mass Transport to Auschwitz

On 14 June 1940, German authorities in occupied Poland organised the first mass transport of prisoners to the recently opened Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The transport, which set out from the southern Polish city of Tarnów, consisted of 728 Poles, including 20 Jews. They were "political" prisoners and members of the Polish resistance, and most were Catholics, since the mass deportations of Jews had not yet begun. All were sent to Auschwitz by the Sicherheitspolizei — German Security Police. They were transported to Auschwitz I from the regular prison in Tarnów, where they had been incarcerated as opponents of the occupying Nazi regime. Numbers were tattooed on the prisoners' arms in the order of their arrival at Auschwitz. These inmates were assigned the numbers 31 through 758 with numbers 1 through 30 having been reserved for a group of German criminals, who were brought to Auschwitz from Sachsenhausen, on 20 May and became the first Auschwitz kapos.

  • According to Tarnów historian Aleksandra Pietrzykowa, on the evening before the transport, the 728 Polish prisoners were rounded up based on a previously prepared list, and ordered to take a shower and to disinfect themselves in a public bath. They were then detained until the early hours of 14 June, when the whole group, escorted by the SS, were marched out of the prison and along the deserted Tarnów streets to the railway station. There, all were pushed into the waiting rail cars.
  • Eugeniusz Niedojadlo, who was one of the group, recalled later: "The day of our departure was hot and sunny. We were walking in fours, guarded by armed SS men. The inhabitants of Tarnów were ordered to stay in their homes, and we had no idea where we were going". Niedojadlo described the sprawling group as looking like a giant snake, and it gave him the impression of cattle being led to a slaughterhouse. "The SS were constantly yelling at us, and we were sad and depressed. Even though the streets were empty, here and there I saw curious faces looking at us from behind curtains. At one moment, an unknown hand tossed a bunch of red flowers towards us, but an SS officer trampled on it."
  • Aleksandra Pietrzykowa claims that 753 inmates left the prison that day but only 728 of them were interned at Auschwitz. According to Pietrzykowa: "In prison records, under the date June 13, 1940, a transport of 753 persons was mentioned. However, 25 persons less reached the camp. We have established that one person was released at the rail platform, just before departure of the train. According to the testimonies of other inmates — Jan Stojakowski (Auschwitz prisoner number 577) and Wladyslaw Pilat (Auschwitz prisoner number 330), the remaining 24 might have been prisoners from Stalowa Wola, who reached Auschwitz but for unknown reasons were brought back to Tarnów the next day. In Tarnów prison records, under the date June 15, 1940, there is a short entry: 'Transport Stalowa Wola, 24 persons'. We do not know what happened to these inmates and why they were transported back, if they were transported back at all."
  • The prisoner number 31, which opened the list of political prisoners of Auschwitz I, was given to Stanisław Ryniak, who was the first Polish prisoner in Auschwitz Ryniak, who was 24 years old in 1940, had been arrested by the Germans in his hometown of Sanok at the beginning of May and was accused of being a member of the Polish resistance. He was transported to Tarnów prison on 7 May, together with 18 Poles from Jarosław. (Ryniak survived Auschwitz and the aftermath of the Second World War; he died in Wrocław in 2004, aged 88.)
  • The prisoner number 243 was assigned to Jerzy Bielecki, a German-speaking Catholic Polish social worker who was 19 years old in 1940. He had been captured and arrested by the Gestapo while crossing the border with Hungary on 7 May 1940, en route to join the Polish Army in the West. He survived the ordeal for several years before managing to escape from the camp successfully in 1944, together with his German-Jewish girlfriend Cyla Cybulska, who was an inmate of Auschwitz II. (After the war Bielecki received the Righteous Among the Nations award.) He also co-founded and headed the postwar Christian Association of the Auschwitz Families."
  • The prisoner number 349 was assigned to the well-known Polish artist and Olympic skier Bronislaw Czech, who was captured in his hometown of Zakopane, also in May; he was killed in the camp four years later on 4 June 1944.
  • The prisoner number 758, the last one of the transport, was assigned to Ignacy Plachta from Łódź. Plachta had been caught by the Gestapo in the southern town of Zagórz on 1 February 1940, while trying to escape to Hungary. Upon arrival, the Poles lined up in five rows and were met by Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, who announced: "This is Auschwitz Concentration Camp....Any resistance or disobedience will be ruthlessly punished. Anyone disobeying superiors, or trying to escape, will be sentenced to death. Young and healthy people don't live longer than three months here. Priests one month, Jews two weeks. There is only one way out — through the crematorium chimneys". However, the crematorium did not begin operation until 15 August 1940.

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In spite of these dismal prospects, Aleksandra Pietrzykowa established that around 200 members of the first transport survived. Eugeniusz Niedojadlo, who spent almost five years in Auschwitz, said that members of the first transport tried to stick together throughout their internment. The Tarnów inmates also cooperated with other Polish inmates, from the nearby city of Rzeszów.

Prisoner number 290 was Wieslaw Kielar from Jaroslaw. Arrested for conspiracy against Nazi occupant. He survived the camp and wrote three books describing his life, before the camp, in the camp and after liberation.

Today, the square in front of former public bath in Tarnów is called the Square of Auschwitz Inmates, and in 1975, a monument commemorating the departure of the first transport to Auschwitz was unveiled there

  1. Siegfried Lipiner
  2. Bohdan Khmelnytsky
  3. Charles Gustav of Sweden
  4. Stefan Czarniecki
  5. Maczek
  6. Zofia Odrow
  7. Aleksander Fredro
  8. Sam Spiegel
  9. Mordecai Yoffe
  10. Piotr Skarga
  11. Augustyn Lubomirski
  12. Jerzy Mniszech
  13. Aloza Ostrogska
  14. Jan Kostka
  15. Lubormirski family
  16. Tarnowski family
  17. Yaroslav - the Wise
  18. Simon Dubnow
  19. Ariej Sharon
  20. Wiktor Brilliant
  21. Edmond Brilliant
  22. Roman Kudlyn
  23. Lionel S Reiss
  24. Arkadiusz Baran
  25. Salomon Buber
  26. Andrze Tomasz Zapa
  27. Antoni Chru
  28. Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma
  29. Rostislav Mikhailovich
  30. Michal Boym
  31. Mieczys Golba
  32. Mieczyslaw Kasprzak
  33. Thomasz Kulesza
  34. Stanislaw Badeni
  35. Moses Schorr
  36. Wladyslaw Koba
  37. Stanyslav Lyudkevych
  38. Znicz Jaroslaw
  39. Bogdan Zajac
  40. Franciszek Siarczyski
  41. Jerzy Hordynski
  42. Dov Lior

References

Transport to Auschwitz

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