Lviv Cemetery Records, 1941-1942

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Lvov (Pol. Lwów; Ger. Lemberg; Ukr. Lviv), city in Eastern Galicia.  An industrial and cultural center, Lvov was founded in the thirteenth century.  From 1772 to 1918 it was under Austrian rule, and in the interwar period it was a provincial capital in independent Poland.  The population was 340,000 in 1939, when its Jewish population of 110,000 made it the third largest Jewish community in the country.  Active anti-Semitism was widespread, one reason being that the Poles and the Ukrainians each accused the Jews of helping the other.  On the eve of World War II, Jewish Lvov was a center of culture and education and of vigorous political activity by the Orthodox Jews (including Hasidim), Zionists, Bundists, and Communists.

Three weeks after the outbreak of the war, the Soviets entered Lvov and annexed it to the USSR, together with the rest of Eastern Galicia. The Soviet authorities disbanded the community institutions; Cultural life, however, remained lively. Some 100,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied western Poland crowded into the city; in the summer of 1940 many of them were expelled to the remote regions of the USSR. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, about 10,000 Jews escaped from Lvov, together with the Red Army, which was retreating from the city.

On June 30, 1941, the Germans occupied Lvov. The killing of Jews began that same day. The Germans and the Ukrainians spread a rumor that the Jews had taken part in the execution of Ukrainian political prisoners whose bodies had been discovered in the dungeons of the NKVD (the Soviet political police). In four days of rioting, ending on July 3, 1941, four thousand Jews were murdered. From July 25 to 27 the Ukrainians again went on the rampage, murdering two thousand more Jews. These pogroms became known as the Petliura days. At the end of July 1941, a temporary Jewish committee was established, made up of five prominent community leaders. Within a short time the committee was enlarged and became a Judenrat, with Dr. Joseph Parnes as chairman. Throughout the period he was in office, Parnes stood up for the interests of the community.

During the summer of 1941, Jewish property was plundered, the Jews were put on forced labor and synagogues were burned down. In the fall, the Germans intensified their demands for Jewish forced labor for road work and for the construction of bridges and military camps. Parnes, the chairman of the Judenrat, was killed by the Germans at the end of October, when he refused to hand over Jews who were to be moved to the janowska camp, then being established. His place was taken by Abraham Rotfeld.

On November 8, 1941, the Germans published an order on the establishment of a ghetto, giving the Jews until December 15 to move into the area allocated for this purpose. In the course of the move to the ghetto, five thousand elderly and sick Jews were killed as they were about to cross the bridge on Peltewna Street. The move was not completed by the allotted time, but many thousands of Jews were herded into the Zamarstynow and Kleparow quarters, in which the ghetto was set up. During the winter of 1941-1942, the Germans began sending Jews to labor camps. In February 1942 Abraham Rotfeld died, and the Germans appointed Henryk Landsberg to take his place as Judenrat chairman.

In March 1942, the Judenrat was ordered to prepare lists of Jews who were to be sent to the east, allegedly to work there. A delegation of rabbis appealed to Landsberg to refuse to cooperate with the Germans in preparing the lists and rounding up the people on them. Landsberg refused, claiming that if the Germans themselves were to carry out the deportation, far more people would be killed. In this Aktion, which began on March 19 and continued until the end of the month, fifteen thousand Jews were taken to the Belzec extermination camp.

In the spring of that year, the Jews of Lvov tried to find jobs in factories that performed an essential function for the German economy, hoping thereby to be exempt from future deportations. On July 8, seven thousand Jews who could not produce a certificate of employment were seized by the Germans and deported to the Janowska camp, where they were murdered. A month later, on August 10, the "Large Aktion" was launched, lasting until August 23, in the course of which fifty thousand persons were sent to Belzec. At the beginning of September 1942 Jews who were still living outside the ghetto were herded inside, the ghetto area was greatly reduced, and what remained was sealed off. Landsberg and a group of Judenrat employees, as well as the Jewish policemen, were hanged by the Germans. Eduard Eberson was appointed Judenrat chairman in place of Landsberg.

In November, five thousand to seven thousand "unproductive" persons were removed from the ghetto, some of them to be sent to the Janowska camp and the rest to Belzec. Toward the end of 1942, the ghetto came to resemble a labor camp. The inhabitants were assigned lodging in buildings according to their place of employment. Those who had no employment card in their possession were hunted down systematically and, when caught, were put to death in groups.

In January 1943 the ghetto officially became a labor camp, a Julag (Judenlager, or "Jewish camp"). At the beginning of that month, ten thousand Jews were executed, having first been classified as "illegals" because they could show no employment card. On January 30 the Judenrat was disbanded, and most of its members were murdered. An Oberjude (chief Jew) was appointed head of the Julag to serve as liaison "between the surviving inmates of the ghetto-camp and the authorities." On March 17, fifteen hundred Jews were murdered, most of them in the Piasky area near the city, and at the same time some eight hundred Jews were deported to Auschwitz. In May 1943 the slaughter of the remnant of the community was speeded up. Selektionen were made at the places where the Jews were working, and only those classified as "vitally important" were permitted to stay; the rest were killed.

On June 1, 1943, the final Aktion was undertaken, to liquidate the ghetto-Julag.  German and Ukrainian police units surrounded the ghetto and closed every avenue of escape. Additional police units entered the ghetto to round up all the inhabitants.  At this point the Germans and their Ukrainian helpers encountered resistance; hand grenades and Molotov cocktails were thrown at them and they were fired on.  Nine persons, Germans and Ukrainians, were killed, and twenty were wounded.  The Germans did not dare enter the buildings; instead, they blew them up or set them n fire, in order to kill those who were inside or force them to come out of their hiding places and give themselves up.

In the course of liquidating the ghetto, the Germans seized seven thousand Jews, whom they deported to the Janowska camp, where they were soon put to death.  In the ghetto area itself about three thousand Jews met their death.  The liquidation process came to an end on June 2, 1943, but as late as July, searches were still being made for Jews hiding in the ghetto ruins.


There were three separate files in this database: two files dated 1941 and 1942, in Roman characters; and a third file, dated 1941, in Cyrillic.  There are a total of 9,174 records in the three files: 1,364 in the Cyrillic; 1,756 and 6,054 in the two files in Roman characters.

The Cyrillic file has the following fields:

The fields in the files written in Roman characters are:


The information contained in this database was indexed as part of the data sharing agreement between Yad Vashem and JewishGen.  This list, from Yad Vashem archive file M.52 371, was obtained from the GOSUDARSTVENNY ARKHIV LVOVSKOY OBLASTI - UKRAINE, LVOV.  Thanks to Zvi Bernhardt and the Hall of Names staff.  It is a list of those buried in the graveyard of the Jewish community of Lvov during the years 1941-1942.

This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of the following JewishGen volunteers who did the data entry under the coordination of Errol Schneegurt:

Eastman, Joyce
Goldstein, Judie-Ostroff
Magid, Robin F.
Malovicki, Elisheva
Mitelsbach, Stella-Ehelberg    
Pickholtz, Israel
Relles, Howie
Rumberg, Moort
  Santos, Lilian-Krebs
Schneegurt, Errol
Schneegurt, Elaine
Schorr, Lilian
Stevens, Renee

Additional data entry and validation of this file were done by Nolan Altman (coordinator) and David Price.

This data will also be incorporated into the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).

Joyce Field
May 2004

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Last Update: 19 Aug 2004 by WSB