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

49°45' / 21°28'

Translation of “Jasło” 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 207-213, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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[Pages 207-213]

Jasło, Poland

Translated by Bill Leibner

(District of Jasło, region of Krakow)

YearTotal
Population
Jews
1765(?)909
18803,302433
18904,527934
19006,5711,524
191010,1162,262
192110,3912,445
193110,0131,512

[Page 207]

(Jasło is located east of Krakow)

Jasło is considered one of the oldest communities in Poland. In the 12th century, the village of Jasło belonged to the Cisterian Monastery of Pszebnica. The village became royal property in 1366 and soon received municipal status. In the 15th and 16th century, Jasło became a very important commercial center, especially in the trade with Hungary. The city became a center for the production of wool and flax. The city of Jasło was destroyed several times by the Tartars, Hungarians and Swedes. In the second half of the 17th century following the Swedish invasion, there were natural disasters that afflicted the city, namely extensive fires and floods caused by the Wasiolka and Wisloka rivers which encircle the city. Epidemics ensued that slowed the development of the city until the middle of the 19th century when growth resumed. In 1860 Jasło became a district city and was connected to the railway system in 1884. Oil was discovered in the area in 1863 and exploitation began immediately. An oil refinery was built in Niglowic about 2 kilometers from the city in 1890 and a public high school was opened the same year. WWI did not seriously affect the city except for the disruptions caused by the passing of troop movements through it. At the end of the war, there were many unemployed people in the city but the situation was slightly improved with the building of a glass plant.

Jews are mentioned in Jasło by the 14th century and in 1565 mention is made of a document pertaining to a Jewish community in Jasło. But in 1589 the King of Poland granted the city the right to exclude Jews from the city except on market and fair days. It seems that the law was not strictly implemented because in 1765 eight Jews or two Jewish families lived in the city. There is a document dated 1783 that states that Jasło has no Jews and therefore the local situation is much better than other places where Jews reside. The Austrian administration converted the city to a district city and all provincial government offices were opened in Jasło. The area or district also received a rabbi or “kreiss rabbiner” and a school that followed the outline of the educational program of H. Humberg. It seems that the major task of the school teacher was to test the potential marriage candidates in German proficiency and on moral behavior. In 1802 the teacher was paid the sum of 1608 gulden per annum. The money came from taxes levied on Jews for the use of candles. In 1830 the district rabbi received the annual salary of 160 florins. It is possible that there were a few other Jewish families in the city at the beginning of the 19th century. However during the reactionary period of Metternich there were no recorded Jews in Jasło. Jews did settle in the suburb of Jasło called Olszewica. Here they settled, opened businesses, workshops and built the first wooden study center. With the cancellation in 1860 of the ban on Jews living in Jasło, a few Jewish families moved to the city proper and settled about the Targowica square and later to other areas in the city. The Polish residents did not approve of their new neighbors and tried in many ways, including threats and intimidation, to prevent them from settling roots in the city.

In the municipal elections of 1874, the city had a Jewish population of 400 people, but no Jew was elected to office. The non-Jewish residents continued to harass the Jewish population and conducted a vicious campaign against them. One of the prominent anti-Jewish agitators was none other than the local priest Stolowski who wanted to represent

[Page 208]

the area in parliament. He was very popular among the rural population and the city's anti-Semitic people. In 1898 the agitation led to violent outbursts against Jews and resulted in the burning of Jewish stores and the distillery of Yaakow Freund in Olszewica. The mob did not permit the fire fighters to extinguish the fire. Disturbances and looting continued for a few days until a military unit arrived from Rzeszow and restored order in the city and vicinity. The pogrom was described by Herzel in an article entitled “Fire in Galicia” published in a Viennese newspaper.

The Jewish occupational map of Jasło can be seen from a partial report of the mutual co-operative revolving fund records for the year 1913. The report lists 535 merchants, mainly small traders, 62 artisans, 7 farmers, 15 professionals (lawyers, doctors and teachers), and 25 others. Many Jewish engineers, supervisors and clerks worked at the oil refinery. The first organized Jewish community came into existence with the abolition of the anti-Jewish residence law in 1860. The Jewish community continued to bury the dead in Zmigrod until 1870 when it dedicated its own cemetery that was later expanded at the beginning of the 20th century. A local “Hevra Kadisha” or burial society was also established and a study center was built to replace the old wooden one that was built in 1883. The new study center caught fire in 1914 and was totally destroyed by the Russians during WW I. It was restored in 1918 and again severely damaged by fire in 1934.

A Jewish resident of Jasło began to build a big synagogue that was finished in 1906.The building was beautiful and many rabbis and guests were invited to the dedication. The construction costs amounted to 200,000 kronen. The entrance façade and the interiors were very impressive in comparison to other synagogues of the period.

During the same period, various community associations began to function, namely education, welfare and health. The “Orchei Parchei” society was established in 1900 to provide charity for needy people and to eliminate the need for begging in the streets. The society also provided temporary places to sleep for the indigent people. A Talmud Torah was established in 1905 as well as a junior yeshiva. These educational institutions were maintained by the wealthy Jews in the city, notably the head of the Jewish community, Itzhak Yehuda Rubel who donated 10, 000 rubles to the building of the Talmud Torah and donated some land to expand the Jewish cemetery. He also contributed 30,000 kronen to the building of the public bathhouse.

Rabbi Yona Tzanger was the spiritual leader of the community until 1872. Then Rabbi Avraham Heshel Rubin, related to the Ropczicer Hassidic dynasty, became the head of the Jewish Judicial Council of Jasło. He left in 1888 to settle in Tzefat, Palestine, where he died in 1909. His son, Rabbi Tzwi Yossef, assumed his father's position in Jasło in 1891. Under the influence of the Tarnower Association “Ahavat Tzion” or Love of Zion, a similar group was established in Jasło in 1893. The moving force in the organization was Dr. Avraham Kornhauser who influenced the well-to-do in the city to join the group. A Zionist club was formed in 1905 and became one of the numerous Zionist associations in Western Galicia, with headquarters in Krakow. The same year saw the opening of the “Poalei Tzion” club in Jasło and one or two years later the “Jugend” branch or youth division of this movement opened a branch in the city.

In the communal elections in 1906, the Zionists managed to elect two representatives to the community council. The latter joined forces with the opposition and managed to influence the council. The religious parties that previously ruled the council protested to the authorities who disbanded the council and appointed a government official to rule the community until the beginning of WW I. Most of the Jews of Jasło were religious, especially those who came from the nearby small hamlets. Many of the Jews refrained from sending their children to the public schools for fear that their children would be forced to sit hatless in the classes, face crosses and holy pictures and, most important, would have to attend school on Saturdays. Many of the parents hired private teachers to teach their children. In 1910 there were 10 Jewish children in schools that contained 160 students. The 1911/1912 report from the regional high school listed 30 Jewish students among a population of 560. Jasło also had a large Jewish professional intelligentsia that influenced Jewish life. We recognize the lawyer Steinhaus who was a candidate for the Upper House in Vienna for the Jasło-Sakal district, and Captain Wladislaw Steinhaus, a member of Pilsudski's Polish Legion, who received the most famous Polish military decoration “Virtuti Militari.”

The city of Jasło passed from Austrian to Russian hands at the beginning of WW I. The Russians finally captured the city and remained there until 1915 when they were chased out by the Austrians. Upon their withdrawal, the Russians torched some buildings in the city and took some hostages during their withdrawal, among them Rabbi Tzwi Yossef Rubin. He reached the city of Kiev as a hostage and eventually returned to Jasło a broken and sick man who died in 1929 following a prolonged illness. In general the Russian occupation was harsh but not cruel and destructive.

The city faced hunger and disease, many of its sons perished and many families left the city while many refugees entered the city. In 1915 a rescue committee was established, which opened a free kitchen for the needy. The committee distributed 250,000 kronen among the needy and poor people of the community between the years of 1915-1918. Toward the end of the war, the Zionist organizations became very active and in 1917 the Jewish scout movement opened a branch in the city. It formed the basis for the “Hashomer Hatzair” movement in Jasło. Pogroms started in November of 1918 in Jasło; Jewish stores and homes were robbed by mobs. The National Polish Committee of Jasło searched for weapons in Jewish homes. Even the synagogue was searched for weapons. Jews were barred from the police force.

[Page 209]

Jasło Between the Great Wars

The Jewish population did not increase during this period as it did in the years 1880-1910; as a matter of fact, it did not even register natural local growth. The general industrial and agricultural stagnation also
affected the Jewish economic sector. Furthermore the anti-Jewish campaigns had some effect on the local population, especially in the thirties, and it hindered Jewish business. Jasło was relatively industrialized, yet the number of Jewish workers in industry was very small. Some of the factories were Jewish owned but the workers were predominantly non-Jewish except for engineers, managers and clerical staff. In 1921 there were 679 industrial workers and only 14% Jews. Jews owned five chemical and petro-chemical plants that employed 468 workers; among them were 35 Jews. Jews were, of course, employed as blue -collar workers, namely engineers, accountants and managers. The Jewish employment picture in Jasło resembled other areas of Galicia. Eight large wood factories consisting of sawmills and carpentries employed a non-Jewish labor force of 50%. This was most characteristic of the larger places; the smaller places had a larger Jewish presence, namely in the smaller carpentry shops. The clothing market was almost totally dominated by the Jewish labor force, namely tailors, ready-to-wear clothing workers, glove makers, furriers and hat makers. The food industry was rather small and consisted mostly of family businesses. The last two industries had merely 123 workers. Among them were 21salaried workers, most of them were Jews.

The small merchants were the backbone of the Jewish economic life of the city in those days, and they suffered the most from the various anti-Jewish campaigns and boycotts. The effects were widely felt and some people closed shop or defaulted and two merchants even committed suicide in 1932. 100 Jewish families, 20% of the Jewish families of the city, received assistance in 1933 toward the Passover holidays. The number of assistance cases persisted and even increased in 1939. The Jews of Jasło tried to find economic solutions to the harsh economic and social problems. They organized social, economic and mutual cooperative societies to cope with the situation. Following WW I there was a great shortage of food in Jasło and the food prices sky- rocketed.

The community turned to the American Joint Organization for financial help. This enabled to establish a welfare assistance program, public kitchens for needy people, and reestablish the “Bikur Cholim” or health care association. In 1919 the Joint organization helped to establish three mutual cooperative consumer stores that helped reduce the high spiraling food prices and helped to equalize the available food for the entire population. It also helped to restore public buildings. A merchant association that functioned until 1939 was established in the same year and included almost all Jewish merchants in the city. The “Yad Harutzim” association resumed its pre-WW I activities following the war. The Jewish clerks organized a union in 1935 and the artisans organized their own association in 1938. Two Jewish mutual revolving funds distributed cheap loans to its members. One of them – the “Gmilat Hassadim” – was established prior to WW I and distributed in 1937 over a thousand interest free loans amounting to 15,000 zlotys. The other one was the “Bank Ammami” or People's Bank that was established in 1922 and continued its operations until September 1939.

Some of the latter bank's profits were used to financially support social institutions. In 1936 the bank donated 1,700 zlotys to social institutions. The merchant association, the “Yad Harutzim” and the artisan associations jointly began to offer trade courses. The club attached to the “Hitachdut” started to teach accounting courses in 1929. It also provided vocational guidance. The “Centos” association sponsored carpentry and plumbing courses where 50 youngsters were trained in 1938.The Jewish agricultural society opened a special farm in 1935 in the village of Kriwice. The farm had about 125 acres of hay, grazing and vegetables. The farm also had a cowshed with 20 cows, a bee farm, etc. Jewish students from Jasło and vicinity studied agriculture there for one year. The “Hehalutz” groups also used the farm to train the young farmers in agriculture. Many of them later went to Palestine where they continued to work the land. The annual budget of the farm for the year 1938/1939 was 15,000 zlotys. The farm was also supported by the popular bank. The latter bought the beehive for the farm.

Jasło had a host of social and welfare organizations that were active during the period between the wars, namely “Bikur Cholim” or health association that also contained a clinic with a doctor, “Tomchei Aniyim” or supporters of poor people, ”Matan Baseter,” or anonymous benefactors, “Linat Hatzedek” or lodging providers. In 1934 the “Zichron Tov” association was founded to provide temporary lodgings for poor and needy Jews so that they would not sleep on the benches in the parks or at the study center. The association “Haaguda Letapel Beyaladim” was mostly concerned with the welfare and health of children. The latter worked in conjunction with the “Wizo” women's organization. In 1930, the Jewish House was established where all the medical facilities for children were concentrated. The association also cared for 150 poor children. A special kitchen was established for them with the help of the “Centos” group. The kitchen distributed free or partially free daily meals to about 100 children who also received clothing and shoes for the winter. A kindergarten was opened at the Jewish Home as well as a children's care center. The place also offered sewing and seamstress courses and the graduates received diplomas. During the summers, the place organized summer day camps for about 100 youngsters each year.

[Page 210]

Jasło had branches of all the Zionist groupings in Poland during the interwar period. It started from the extreme right “Revizionist Party” to the extreme left “Poalei Tzion Small.” Their youth clubs were the most active in the area. The list was headed by the left parties namely “Poalei Tzion” and the “Hitachdut.” The “General Zionist” and the “Mizrahi” movements also influenced the Jewish street. The oldest and most established Zionist youth group was the “Hashomer Hatazair .” The largest youth clubs in numbers were the “Noar Tzioni,” “Akiva,”, “Tzair Mizrahi,” and “Halutz Mizrahi.” In the thirties, another group was established, namely the “Gordonia Youth” movement. The “Noar Tzioni” and the “Hashomer Hatzair” maintained agricultural training facilities for their youth members who wished to become farmers in Palestine. There were also other groups in Jasło, namely the “Ezra Youth” organization, the “Halutz” association, the academic “Shahar” association, the “Zevulon” group and the local “Wizo” chapter. The “Yeshuron” and the “Bnei Tzion” cultural associations provided extensive cultural and educational information about Zionism and Jewish life.

In 1935, 733 shkalim (a shekel receipt was proof of paid membership dues to the Zionist party and enabled the bearer to vote in Zionist elections) were sold to Jasło Jews, which enabled them to vote for a Zionist party representative to the Zionist Congress. The vote was distributed accordingly; 296 votes went to the “General Zionists”, 110 votes went to “Mizrahi”, 324 votes went to the labor list, 3 votes went to the “Hitachdut” and the “State Party” received no votes. The orthodox religious party “Agudat Israel” had a branch office in Jasło and concentrated its work in the community. The assimilationists tried to form a group in 1919 but were not successful. They grouped around the organization known as the “Association of Jewish Fighters for Polish Independence”. There were also a few young Jewish communists in Jasło who were persecuted and jailed for long durations by the Polish government.

Until 1932 the Jewish community was dominated by Hassidic and Aguda representatives. In the elections of 1933, the national bloc consisting of General Zionists, Mizrahi, Yad Harutzim and Independents received 345 votes as opposed to the non-Zionist bloc consisting of property owners, supporters of the Rabbi and Hassidic groups, which received 260 votes. Following the forfeiture of the Yad Harutzim candidate, Mr. Shpirer was elected to head the community council. He was not a Zionist but promised to support the Zionist cause and received their support. The trend reversed itself in the local community elections of 1938 when the Bobower Hassidim, the “Aguda” and Independents managed to elect 6 councilors out of nine community seats. The community modernized the study center and expanded the cemetery in the thirties. The community budget began to decline since fewer and fewer people paid the community tax. The economic situation deteriorated and forced the community board to reduce the annual budget from 36,000 zlotys in 1936 to 31,000 zlotys in 1937. The council was even forced to cut the salaries of the council staff by 10% in 1938.

Rabbi Yossef Tzwi Rubin passed away in 1929 and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Elimelech Rubin, who perished in the Shoa. In the early thirties, the Hassidic Rabbi of Dukla, Menachem Mendel Halpern, established his residence in Jasło where he resided until the outbreak of WW II. He then left Jasło and headed for Brzazany where his traces disappeared.

The Jews elected 6 Jewish councilmen in the municipal elections of 1933 and 5 in the elections of 1939 out of a total of 24 seats. The Jews always united their parties prior to municipal elections in order to get maximum representation. The Jewish population was always guaranteed a seat at the presidium of the municipal council of Jasło.

The Jewish community of Jasło distinguished itself by the large variety of cultural and social institutions between the Great Wars. In 1919 a Jewish school was established that followed the outlines of the “Tarbut” school movement, and had already possessed 4 classrooms, 2 teachers and 118 students in 1923. Three years later, the school had 7 classrooms, 8 teachers and 159 students. The Mizrahi movement established the “Heder Yivri” or Hebrew School in 1930. It continued to function until September of 1939. Gardening and vegetable courses were offered at the agricultural farm in Kriwice. Plans were also being made in 1938 to open an agricultural school at the farm. In 1924 the “Yeshuron” club celebrated its 20th anniversary. This association was active in popularizing Jewish culture among the masses. It presented a host of lectures, discussions and presentations within the Jewish community of Jasło. The organization established a large library and various art clubs. A musical association named “Manguina” was established in 1924 which popularized music. The association established a musical orchestra. The same year, a dramatic club named Ansky was established. There was also the cultural club of “Zevulon” with its dramatic club, and “Ognisko” or “Moked” club established by Jewish university students at the Krakow University. A popular university was also established by the General Zionists, The “Beit Haam” or Jewish home was acquired in 1929 and all Jewish institutions in the city were located in this edifice. The building was acquired with the great financial assistance of Wolf Goldschlag, owner of the refinery. The first sport club, “Dror”, was established in 1921 and the Maccabee Association was established a year later and existed until September 1939. The club membership reached 250 members.

Anti-Jewish sentiments became widespread in the city in the thirties and gained strength as time passed. The drives were spearheaded by local students who studied at Krakow University. During school recess, these students conducted active campaigns aimed at Jews and their commercial establishments, which frequently expressed itself in smashing windows of Jewish stores.

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They also loved to stand next to Jewish stores and prevent local customers from entering the stores. The local “Endek” party was very popular and gained great strength following 1932. This movement was a rightist and vicious anti-Semitic party. Members of this party and the Green Band association led the anti-Jewish outbursts in 1933 in the suburbs of Jasło and in the village of Wroblowka. The same elements distributed flyers calling for a commercial boycott of Jewish stores and the destruction of the new study center that was just inaugurated in Jasło. Hassidic Jews were beaten in 1936 during a Jewish funeral. The anti-Jewish campaign continued unabated throughout 1937 and 1938. During the anti-Jewish slaughter campaign, the local authorities closed 8 butcher shops out of a total of 10. Beginning in 1938, Jews hardly dared to go swimming at the river for fear of being waylaid by Poles. The Jewish storekeepers in the village of Zilkow, near Jasło, were forced to close their stores for fear of local outbursts sponsored by the boycott groups. Tobacco licenses in Jasło and vicinity were withdrawn from Jewish owners. Jewish institutions were not invited to participate in National Independence Day festivities of May 3, 1938. Anti-Semitic incidents took place in the local high school and even in the elementary school. Nevertheless, the Jews were the largest contributors to the Polish civil defense program. The Jews amounted to 25% of the local population yet contributed 50% to the air defense fund in 1934. Jews flocked to the ranks of the civil defense in 1939 and participated in the various defense projects of the city.

Jasło during WWII

The city was occupied on September 8, 1939, by the Germans. Many Jewish families, especially young and non-Jewish men fled east….Their trip was soon halted by the rapid advance of the Germans. Many of the Jews began to trek back home to Jasło. A group of ten Jews was caught near Sanok by the Germans and shot on the spot The Germans immediately began a campaign of terror aimed at the Jews. The latter were beaten or forced to join labor groups. Jewish stores and homes were broken into and robbed. A contribution of 40,000 zlotys was imposed on the Jewish community. 150-200 Jews were detained as hostages until the money was paid. They were kept in terrible conditions at the local jail until the money was paid on September 25, 1939, and then they were released. Several hundred Jewish refugees from Western Poland arrived in Jasło in December of 1939. The local Jewish community absorbed them as best as they could and provided them with places to stay. In the spring of 1940, several more transports of Jews arrived from Western Polish areas annexed to the Reich and from Krakow. These shipments were rather large and one of them exceeded 3,000 people. Most of these Jews had no possessions. Conditions were so crowded in Jasło that the commandant of Jasło complained to his superiors in September of 1940. Some of the refugees were later expelled from Jasło and sent to other places.

Jews had to wear a white arm band with a blue Star of David in the middle as of the end of 1939 or beginning of 1940. All Jewish stores in the center of the city were seized. Jews were forbidden to enter the main city streets and Poles were forbidden to enter Jewish homes. The Germans appointed a Judenrat in Jasło headed by the wood merchant Yaakow Goldstein at the end of 1939 or beginning of 1940. The main task of the Judenrat was of course to provide slave labor to the Germans. These workers had to appear each day at 5 in the morning for a day shift of 12 hours. They were taken from the assembly point to various places. Sometimes there were not enough workers so the Germans grabbed Jews in the street and forced them to join the labor group. One day the Judenrat could not provide the required labor quota, so the Gestapo chief arrested 150 Jews and kept them for 2 days without food in May of 1940. A curfew was imposed on Jewish movement on May 25, 1940. Thus the Jews were locked in Jasło and were forced to work for the Germans. The latter even sent some of the Jews to the notorious labor camp of Pustkow near Debice. The Judenrat paid a great deal of attention to the penniless Jewish refugees who arrived in the city, to the needy children and sick people of Jasło. The Judenrat asked for financial help from the J.S.S. (Jewish Self Help Organization) and in December a branch office of the organization functioned in Jasło. The members of the local office were: Yaakow Goldstein (head of the Judenrat), Leon Berger (doctor), Leib Tzomer (merchant), Meir Frankel (merchant) and Chaim Sh.( teacher, family name unknown). The local J.S.S. office assisted 500 people in Jasło in February of 1942. This office and the Judenrat distributed food to the needy and established a public kitchen, a school that functioned from December 1940 to July 1941. The school consisted of seven classes and had 300 children. There was also a kindergarten with 180 children, an orphanage and a hospital. The Judenrat of Jasło also served as a district Judenrat and was responsible for 16 local Judenrats under its jurisdiction. Very little is known about the interactions between the main and local Judenrats or their dealings. All Jews of Jasło were forced to leave their

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premises in 1941and move into the ghetto in the area of the old market along Targowica, Struma and Schainowsky streets. The ghetto was sealed with barbed wire and one gate was left open. A census taken in January of the ghetto indicated that there were 2.300 Jews in the Jasło ghetto. The number of Jews increased with the arrival of Jews who were expelled from the nearby villages. We have to mention that Jasło became a large district under German occupation and included large areas that used to belong to other districts. The city had many political, economic and police offices. The latter offices reached a total of 200-300 policemen of various enforcement agencies. At the beginning of 1941, Walter Gantz was appointed head of the district. His ambition was to convert the city into a Germanic city. He could not keep his hands off the Jews for one moment but was constantly devising means of robbing them of their belongings. Helmuth Mantz and Karl Hauch of the Gestapo were responsible for Jewish affairs. Both of them promenaded throughout the city with their dogs and unleashed them at the sight of Jews. They also killed some Jews publicly. During the so-called winter fur campaign of 1941/1942, six Jews were apprehended with furs that they did not surrender and were shot. 56 Jews from Jasło returned to the city in 1941. They had all left the city prior to the German arrival in Jasło. The Russo-German war caught them in Eastern Galicia. The Germans refused to give them permission to return home, they arrested them and then shot them in the middle of the month January of 1942 at the Jewish cemetery in Jasło. Dr. Maria Manashe-Tzuker and her two daughters were shot at this time since she tried to intervene on behalf of her husband who had returned from Eastern Galicia. The doctor saved the life of German wounded soldiers in 1939, resulting in her special permit to reside in her old apartment in the center of the city, outside the ghetto, and practice medicine.

The Jewish population became aware during the year 1942 of the fact that they must work or rather must have a work permit in order to survive. They tried to get jobs that were related to the German economy as a sort of an insurance policy. The local J.S.S. branch office received permission from the Gestapo to open several training courses for the Jewish population. The study center was converted into a trade school where people were trained to be tailors, shoemakers and underwear makers. Women were also taught the art of making pocketbooks and the orthodox Jews set up their own manual training program. Every working person in the ghetto received a work permit that was considered a safety passport or an insurance policy by the holder.

This myth was soon blown apart when the Germans began during the summer months of 1942 their murderous actions aimed at rounding up Jews. 150 Jews, mostly women and children whose husbands were previously sent to a work camp in Frysztak, were shot in a forest between Frysztak and Wiszniowa at the beginning of July of 1942. On August 13, 1942, 500 Jews from Jasło, Dukla and Rymanow were shot in the forest next to the village of Barwinek. On August 18, 1942, the ghetto of Jasło was liquidated. Posters had appeared the previous days, the 17th or 16th of August 1942 calling on all Jews of the ghetto of Jasło to assemble at the Targowica square on August 18, 1942, at 6 AM. That evening, Polish, Ukrainian and German police formations surrounded the ghetto. The Jews began to assemble at the designated place and later in the day, police forces began to comb the city for hidden Jews. Any Jew found hiding was shot on the spot. The assembled Jews were ordered to surrender all their valuable possessions and were then frisked. The selection followed. About 200 young and strong men and women were removed from the area to clear the ghetto afterward. The old and sick were transported by trucks to the forest near the village of Wiazica where they were shot and buried in prepared pits. The disabled Jews who had prostheses were forced to surrender them and were literally carried to their deaths. The remainder of the Jews was kept in the square until the afternoon without food or water. But no train arrived, so they were marched on foot throughout the city to the elevated monastery of Wizitka on top of the hill, a distance of 500 meters from the railway station. Here they awaited the train that arrived the 19th or 20th of August 1942 and took them to the death camp of Belzec.

The surviving group of the selection was led to a specially created small ghetto. They would clean the ghetto area and later perform all kinds of tasks including the building of a swimming pool in the suburb of Melinek in Jasło. About 50 people of this group were sent in 1943 to a labor camp in Przemysl. Some individual Jews still remained alive and passed themselves off as non-Jews in the vicinity of Jasło. They were hidden by Christians. Other Jews hid in the countryside or in the forests in the area. Occasionally, the Gestapo conducted massive search actions to find hidden Jews. During one of these actions in January or February of 1943, 22 Jews were caught and shot near the villages of Harklowa and Osobnica. About 10 Jews managed to escape the dragnet.

We would like to mention the names of the few righteous gentiles who risked their lives and saved Jews. Mrs. Elanora Golen was shot at the Jewish cemetery in Jasło for hiding a Jewish boy; the daughter of the carpenter Nagronski was shot for assisting her friend Sarah Tziler; Joseph Lazar and two other Poles were shot in Osobnica for helping Jews; and Ignacy Mastei was beaten to death in Zawadka-Osiecka for helping Jews. On January 11, 1945, the Russian Army liberated the city of Jasło and found 20 Jews who survived in the vicinity of the city. A few other Jews survived the camps and some returned from the Soviet Union. None of these Jews remained in Jasło, which was totally destroyed by the Germans in their fight with the Russians. Much of the destruction was done by the Germans themselves under the leadership of Walter Gantz.

There is a memorial monument erected by the residents of Jasło near the village of Wiazica where the mass killings took place. Some Jewish mass graves were also located there. It is estimated that about 2,000 Jews from Jasło, Frysztak, Tarnow and Zmigrod were killed near the village. The memorial is the only reminder of the once flourishing Jewish community of Jasło.


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History of Jews in Jasło, Even Chaim ( Rapaport), Tel Aviv 1953.
War wanderings and my city Jasło, I. Hertzig, Tel Aviv 1964, pp139-156, Jasło Oskarza, Warszawa 1973.
“Yiddishe Arbaiter” 16/10/1909
Tagblat (newspaper) ;7/11/1912,
“Hamagid”; 5/4/1860, 20/7/1898 20/10/1898. 20/10/1900.
“Hamitzpe” (newspaper) ; 22/4/1904, 2/9/1904, 17/2/1905, 4/4/1905,23/3/1906, 17/8/190619/9/1906, 27/3/1908, 16/4/1908.
“Hatzfira” tamuz tarnach, 11/4/1905, 11/1/9121
“Kol Machzikei Hadat” 21/7/1905, 1/12/1905
“Hashomer” Elul Taret, Heshvan tarap.
“Chwila” (newspaper): 8/1/191929, 17/1/1930
Chwila Wieczorna(newspaper):2/4/1936, 25/6/1936, 9/12/1936, 8/1/1937, 15/1/1937, 12/1//1938, 4/3/1938, 6/8/1938, 6/12/1938, 7/1/1939, 11/1/1939,3/5/1939, 161/8/1939
“Divrei Akiva” 3/4/1936, 17/4/1936
“Gazetta Zydowska” 4/41941
“Hanoar” styczen 1932
“Noar Hatzioni” (newspaper) 15/4/1935, 15/6/1936,1/3/1938.
“JudisheRundshau” 22/11/1918.
“Narod I chaluc” marzec 1925.
“Nash Glos” 15/1/1935.
“Przeglad Zydowski” 27/7/1929.
“Przyszlosc” 5/7/1898.
“Slowo” listopad 1938
“Nasha Walka”14/8/1938
“Tygodnik Zydowski” 18/1/1932, 11/2/1938.
“Wschod”3/8/1904,

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