“Lomazy” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume VII
(Poland)

51°54' / 23°10'

Written by Shmuel Levin & Wila Orbach

Translation of “Lomazy” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

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Ada Holtzman

 

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for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site
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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Polin:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume VII, pages 273 - 274, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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[Pages 273-274]


Lomazy

(Biala Podlaska District, Lublin Region)

Translated by Adv. Meir Garbarz Gover, Savyon Israel

YearGeneral
Population
No. of
Jews
1766 475
18271,928725
18642,3701,218
18973,1831,793
19212,142829

Lomazy is mentioned for the first time in the middle of the 15th century a village on the way from Lithuania to “Great Poland”. This accelerated Lomazy's development. Michal Radzjwil, the king's governor in the Brzesc Litewski (Brest Litovsk) district made it a commerce and industry center. In 1568, King Zygmunt August of Poland granted Lomazy the status of a township and authorized a weekly market day and biannual fairs. Those privileges were re-authorized by the kings Zygmunt III in 1588, Wladyslaw IV in 1633, Jan Kazimierz in 1649, and August III in 1748.

After Poland's third partition in 1795, Lomazy was annexed to Austria. Starting in 1807 Lomazy became part of “Warsaw Princedom” and from 1815 to 1914 part of Congress Poland. The German Army occupied Lomazy between the years 1915 to 1918.

We do not have information about the beginning of the Jewish settlement in Lomazy. It is assumed that the first Jews settled in Lomazy in the end of the 15th century. A Jewish land tenant is mentioned in a town document dated 1589. There were no restrictions on Jewish settlement in Lomazy, thus they took part in the village commerce and industry development. The economic prosperity of Lomazy during the 17th century attracted more Jews and the Jewish settlement grew and established itself.

An organized Jewish community developed in the first half of the 17th century. According to a decision of the “Jewish Committee of the Lithuania Land”, Lomazy was subjected to the Brest (Brzesc Litewski) Jewish Community. A synagogue was erected and a Jewish cemetery was sanctified in that period.

In the 19th century, most of the Jews in Lomazy lived on commerce and artisanship. They were merchants, builders, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, lumber and grain merchants, and orchards tenants. Many families cultivated small plots and maintained milk cows and goats. In the 1850's the Lomazy Jews erected a tannery, soap and candle factory and olive oil pressing factory.

Traditional benevolent associations functioned in town: “Linat Tzedek” for cheap housing, help for the sick, “Hachnasat Orhim” which supplied accommodation to poor visitors, “Kupat Gmiluth Hassadim” which granted loans without any interest to small traders and artisans.

Some of the Lomazy R's whom we know by name were: R' Shaul author of “Givat Shaul” (Shaul's Hill); R' David Horowic grandson to “Hachoze From Lublin” and a follower of R' Menachem Mendel from Kock; R' Zeb Wolf son of R' Arie Leib Hachoen; R' Elyakim Gecel Samberg author of “Days of Noach” (Lublin 5673 -1914); R' Jacob Rabinowicz (during the years 1903-1909); and R' Itzhak son of R' Abram Grynberg author of “Beit Itzhak”, Itzhak's House, (Warsaw 1928) from 1924 until the Holocaust extermination in 1942. R' Grinberg perished with his congregation during the Holocaust.

Between the two World Wars, the Jews of Lomazy held to their traditional occupations: commerce and artisanship. The number of Jews in Lomazy declined during those years due to the depression and lack of economic and security conditions in the region after WWI, caused immigration to big cities, thus Jewish public life declined as well and did not developed as in other communities.

Some of the Jewish children still learned in the traditional Jewish “Cheder” and girls went to “Beit Yaakov” girl school founded by “Agudath Israel”. Some went to the General Polish Elementary School. A Jewish public library existed during those years in Lomazy and it maintained books in Yiddish, Hebrew and Polish. During this period, R' Zvi Hersh Morgensztern, grandson to R' Menachem Mendel from Kock resided in Lomazy during years. Later he moved to Warsaw and died there in 1926.

The economic situation deteriorated during the 1930s due to the general crises and the boycott of Poles against Jewish shops. Many of the Jews became poor and needed aid from the community. On the holiday of Passover 5693 – 1933, 110 out of the 250 Jewish families needed some form of benevolent aid for the holiday expenses.

An anti Semitic POGROM occurred in Lomazy on the holiday of Shavuoth (the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost 5694 – 1934. Young anti-Semitic men assaulted the Jews, broke their glass windows, and also hit and wounded many Jews. Heavy damage was caused to Jewish property. The Jews alarmed the Governor in Biala Podlaska and he sent a Police squad which stopped the local Polish anti- Semites.

During W.W.II.

Lomazy was occupied by the German Army on 13 September 1939. On 26 September 1939, the German retreated and the Red Army gained control over the territory; but after a short period the German Army occupied Lomazy again, once the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact border lines stabilized.

Already during the first days of German occupation, Jewish men were kidnapped to slave labor, Jewish property was confiscated and the Jews suffered from many sorts of tortures and persecutions.

A Ghetto was erected at the beginning of 1940. Jewish houses and property outside the Ghetto borders were confiscated. Hundreds of Jews, women and men, were taken to forced labor in drainage and paving roads. Around 100 Jews from Lomazy (70 men and 30 women worked in the Forced Labor Camp in Zeszczynka, about 3 km from Lomazy. On May 1942, 1,700 local Jews including hundreds of Jewish refuges from Serock, Walk and Mlawa.

The big Action (Akcja) in Lomazy occurred on 17 August 1942 at dawn. Jews from the Forced Labor camp Zeszczynka were transferred back from the camp's blocks to Lomazy. Any resistors were shot immediately on the spot. The Ghetto was liquidated at that date. The Lomazy Ghetto was circled by German soldiers and Polish police accomplices. The Jews were concentrated in the town's Rynek (square). From the town they were marched by foot to the nearby forest were 3 deep pits were dug before. More then thousand Jews were murdered on this day by the Germans and their Polish helpers. The few that tried to escape were caught and murdered by the Polish police. Terrible and especially cruel was the fate of the Jewish babies; they were thrown and buried alive in the pits. Eyewitnesses testified that three days after the massacre the earth over the pits was still moving; the buried alive victims tried in vain to dig their way out. Only one single Jew; Baruch Berman managed to escape the slaughter. He joined a group of partisans, Soviet P.O.W. escapees.


Sources

A note by the translator Adv. Meir Garbarz Gover:

My grandfather's brother Gerszon Hejnoch Garbarz age 48 resident of Lomazy, his wife Leja Zimelman Garbarz age 39 born in Lomazy, both proprietors of a flour mill and olive oil manufactory plant in Lomazy and their only son Menachem Mendel Garbarz age 8 born in Lomazy, were slaughtered and buried in the Lomazy forest pit on 18 August 1942.

More information about the Holocaust in Lomazy is available from the translator, Adv. Meir Garbarz Gover, at email: “mggover at bezeqint.net”, including his article: “Lomazy, Anatomy of Murder”)


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