“Grębów” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume III
(Poland)

50°34' / 21°52'

Translation of “Grębów” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

William Leibner

 

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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume III, pages 100-104, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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(page 103)

Grębów (Grembow)

(District Tarnobrzeg, region of Lemberg)
(Grębów is located North of Rzeszow, east of Tarnobrzeg)

Translated by Bill Leibner

The village of Grębów ( pronounced Grembuw) is located 15 kilometers east of Tarnobrzeg. It had its own administration between
the wars. The village is already mentioned in documents of the 16th century. The population in 1860 reached about 4000 people including two or three Jewish families. The hamlet of Grębów reached a population of 5080 people including 172 Jews in 1921.

In November of 1918 a pogrom against the Jews started that lasted about three days. It was finally stopped by the appearance of a Polish military unit. Local hoodlums joined by surrounding villagers dragged Jews from their homes and beat them mercilessly. Their homes were robbed, the stores were plundered, and the merchandise disappeared. The local police joined the mob was finally stopped by the army. The year 1919 also presented serious problems for the Jewish population since the Polish authorities tried to cancel the business licenses of Jewish merchants selling fuel, sugar and candles. These items were rationed following the war and the authorities tried to grant the distribution of them to the newly founded Polish co-operatives. The intent was clear namely to weaken the Jewish economic base. The local priest openly supported the boycott of Jewish stores. In the village proper and the surrounding areas, Jews were frequently attacked, beaten and robbed.

The American Joint Organization came to the rescue of the community during 1919 and 1920. It distributed clothing and food to the needy. In 1928 with the assistance of the Joint Organization a revolving fund was established. A Zionist branch office was opened in 1920 and a branch of the Zionist Youth Organization “Akiwa ” in 1931. The latter group undertook a wide public campaign on behalf of the Jewish youth. We must stress the fact that the youngsters cut trees in the forest and with the earned money bought books for the only local library. Lessons were also given in Bible, and Hebrew at the club house of the “Akiwa” organization.

With the occupation of the village by the Germans, Jews were restricted in their movements. This immediately affected the livelihood of Jewish merchants, peddlers, and artisans. Further restrictive economic decrees followed, Jews were forced to provide slave labor. Jewish farmers had to provide the Germans with more goods than the non-Jewish farmers. All these draconian acts and the imposition of indemnities pauperized the Jewish community. The Jewish economic situation went from bad to worse.

In 1940, Jews were conscripted to work along the fortifications of the border with Russia. In May of 1941, Jews from surrounding villages were forced to move to Grębów. A month later, all the Jews of Grębów had to abandon their possessions and farms. The latter had to be handed over in an orderly fashion including the farm animals to the authorities. The Jewish leadership tried to postpone the decision, but to no avail. The Jews were driven out of Grębów on the 24th of June 1941. They were probably transferred to the Tarnobrzeg ghetto where the Jews of the area were being assembled. The ghetto of Tarnobrzeg was dismantled in July of 1942. The inhabitants of the ghetto were then sent to Baranow-Sandomirsk and from there to the ghetto of Debica. The Jews of Grębów shared the fate of the Jews of the Debica ghetto..

Bibliography:

Yad Vashem Archives, 021/15, 021/6
Central Zionist Archives; Z-3/178
AJDC Archives: Countries Poland, organization, 338a
“Divrei Akiva” 5/12/1933
“Nowy Dzennik” 29/5/1919, 19/9/1919,22/5/1920,17/3/1927,9/3/1933.

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