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Jewish Families from Jordanow, Poland

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  • Helen Langer (deceased)
  • Baruch Goldfinger (1890 - 1943)
  • Malka Goldfinger (1889 - 1942)
    According to a witness interviewed by Yahad In Unum there were about 50 Jews brought from Joradnow, located 15km away, to be killed in the forest near the villa ‘Tereska’. Those who didn’t move forward...
  • Szymon (Szymek) Wasserberger (1894 - 1942)
    Szymon and his wife Jetti (Yetta) were arrested in October 1941 and forced into Ghetto Bochnia. April 1941 the Nazis established a ghetto in Bochnia. The area of the ghetto included an old Jewish distr...
  • Cesia Wasserberger (1923 - 1940)

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Jordanow, Poland also known as Yordanov, Yordanuv, Yordanev.

There is a long list of those who were murdered by the Nazis (see Sources below) many of whom are not yet on Geni. Please help with this important aspect of connecting the deceased to this project.

Any queries, contact Pam Karp

Gesher Galicia-Jordanow

Sites of Martyrdom


Jordanów (Jordanów), is a town in southern Poland, on the Skawa river. Population: 5234 inhabitants (December 2010).

Jordanów was founded in 1564 by Spytko Jordan on the salt road from Kraków and Wieliczka to Orava and Hungary. In 1581 it got a right to organize annual fairs, which in 17th century became famous in south regions of the Crown. Main goods traded there were linen, cattle and salt. Since 1999, Jordanów has been situated in Sucha County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It was previously in Nowy Sacz Voivodeship from 1975 to 1998.

Jordanow is the oldest town on the territory of Sucha Beskidzka County. Its history dates back to a royal privilege, issued in 1564 by King Zygmunt August, upon which Spytek Jordan of Zakliczyn was allowed to found a new town. Jordan himself was a rich and influential nobleman, a starosta of Kraków and Crown podskarbi.

The exact date of Jewish arrival in Jordanów is unknown. Since its founding in 1564, the town saw many travelling Jewish merchants. However, their activities were limited because laws regulated Jewish trade. For example, until 1744 Jews were banned from trading salt. It was not until the 18th century, when plans to colonize Galicia (to foster economic development and germanization) were initiated by the Empress Maria Teresa, and later continued by her son Joseph II. These led to a larger influx of Jewish settlers.

// Jews were settling in the vicinity of the town, among others in the so-called Mąkacz (it was incorporated into the town only in the 1920's), where they built their own cemetery in the nineteenth century. Jews from Sucha Beskidzka, Maków Podhalański and Zawoja also used this cemetery. What is interesting, the name Mąkacz comes from the name of the famous tzadik Munk, who was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Jordanów .

The website of The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw informs that the Jewish community in Jordanów existed in 1870., and Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust says that the Jewish community was founded in the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Jews from the neighboring settlements, among others from Myślenice, were subordinated to Jordanów’s Jewish Community Co-operative. Quite rapidly in 1892, Jews from Myślenice became independent from Jordanów’s Jewish Community Co-operative.

The exact date of the erection of the synagogue in Jordanów is unknown. Presumably, it took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. This is indicated by the fact that the synagogue was built in the Neo-Baroque style, characteristic of the second half of the nineteenth century. Moreover, the official list of sacral buildings from 1870 lists the synagogue in Jordanów.

  • The synagogue was located in the town center, at the crossroad of the present-day Piłsudski and Słowacki streets. During the Second World War, it was destroyed. Today, a house stands where the synagogue once stood.
  • Izrael Schreiber was the first rabbi in Jordanów. ].]]. He held this office between 1892 and 1929html [access 11.09.2012].]].

1921 Census

According to a census conducted in 1921, Jordanów was inhabited by 238 Jews, which made up 16% of the total population. During the interwar period, the Orthodox faction had the highest support . In 1924, during the community authorities election (Council and Board of Jewish Community in Jordanów) the Orthodox faction got seven seats; three seats were obtained by candidates not affiliated with any party.

  • One hundred fifty four eligible people voted. Ten people, with Szymon Friedhaber and Salomon Orenstein at the head, were elected in as authorities of the Jewish community. Even though Zionists were not very popular in Jordanów, a Zionist youth association was active in the town. The previously mentioned rabbi Izrael Schreiber, belonged to the supporters of the Zionism. In the 1930's (from 1932), summer camps for the students of Kraków’s Male Gymnsium Tachkemoni, managed by Kiwetz and Kupperman, were organized in Jordanów.
  • After the Nazis entered the town on September 3rd, 1939, they began to persecute the Jews. Men and women aged 14 to 60 were conscripted into forced labor. The liquidation of the Jordanów and Nowy Targ ghettos began on August 29th, 1942.
  • Around 400 Jews from Jordanów were transported to the German extermination camp in Bełżec. During the "Action," the Nazis were murdering local Jews on the spot. Among others, there were executions in the district of Strącze and at the local Jewish cemetery.

Monument devoted to the memory of Jews murdered in 1942

In 3 Maja Street, about 200 meters from the marketplace, in the district of Strącze, in the place commonly called “Zakręty”, at the bottom of characteristic stairs, there is a monument devoted to the memory of the Jews murdered in 1942 during the final removal of the Jewish population from Jordanów. On August 28, 1942, on the meadow situated at the other side of the road 72

  • Jews, mainly elderly men, women and children, who were unable to work very hard, were executed. The members of the Kriger family, the Kegel family, the Reinhold family and the Gringras family were among those who were killed there[refer:|Gwiazdonik Anna, Dzieje Jordanowa The History of Jordanów], typescript, Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna [The Town Public Library] in Jordanów, p. 32.]].
  • Witnesses claim that the Jews were placed in rows and then shot dead by SS officers and the representatives of the “dark blue” police (cf. Accounts and memoirs). The victims’ corpses were buried hastily in the place of execution, then they were exhumed after the war and buried in a common unmarked grave in the Jewish cemetery in Jordanów. The obelisk, bearing the following inscription, was founded by the town authorities:

Not only one poisoned sword was notched against my chest, because below the sky of contempt and harm I did not renounce freedom And I did not deny that I am a Jew.

To the memory of the Jews murdered by the German Nazis in August 1942. Residents of Jordanów

The Jews of Jordanów also used to be executed in the local Jewish cemetery, which Maria Rychlik, living near the cemetery at that time, mentions in her account:

“On a cold January day, two Jewish families were ordered to take off their clothes. Although the Germans could not find anything on them, they all were beaten up mercilessly. When the Jews were still showing some signs of life under the layer of soil which covered them, the Nazi started jumping and trod down the ground until the victims stopped to move.
”[refer:|Walzer-Fass, Michael (ed.), Remembrance Book of Nowy Targ and Vicinity, Tel Aviv 1979, p. 69.]]


The town of Jordanow was located on the grounds of the village of Malejowa, with Magdeburg rights charter. Spytek Jordan, who was regarded as an enlightened man, planned the town square with a town hall (1571), hoping that Jordanow would emerge as an important trade and craft center. After Spytko’s death, Jordanow belonged to his wife Anna Sieniawska, and then to several noble families. In 1576, Stefan Batory confirmed Jordanow’s charter, allowing for two fairs a year. Jordanow prospered, with inns, restaurants, artisans, and warehouses of salt and Hungarian wine, a very popular commodity in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


Order of the Cross of Grunwald

Following the first partition of Poland (1772) Jordanow was annexed by the Habsburg Empire, and remained in Austrian Galicia until 1918. During Austrian rule the town declined, with the situation slowly improving after 1884, when a railroad line with a station was completed. In the Second Polish Republic, Jordanow was a spa, nicknamed Green Town. The town, however, remained poor, with high unemployment and no industry.

In early September 1939, during the Invasion of Poland, Jordanow was burned by the Wehrmacht (see also Battle of Jordanow). Out of 400 houses, 270 were completely destroyed. The town was once again burned in January 1945, and for its sufferings, in 1984 was awarded the Order of the Cross of Grunwald.


Full List in Detail

Tragic History of the Reichert Family

History of the Jewish community