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Translation of Tarnogora chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem
Morris Gradel z"l
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This is a translation from:
Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume VII, pages 249-250, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
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(Krasnystaw District, Lublin Province)
Tarnogora (T) was established in 1548 under the ownership of the monarchy; later it passed into the hands of the nobility to the house of Tarnowski, from which it took its name. Being situated opposite Izbica on the other bank of the River Wieprz, T was considered a suburb of Izbica. For hundreds of years the local population remained static and small; only in the 19th century, when plants for producing bricks were set up, did T achieve the status of town.
In 1743 Jews were forbidden to settle in T and in Izbica, and very few managed to circumvent the prohibition. In 1759 one Jewish family was settled in T, and towards the end of the 18th century five Jewish families were living there. Even after 1862, when the prohibition was cancelled altogether in Poland, few if any, settled in T, as opportunities for earning a wage were very limited. Those who were already settled there made a living from small commercial enterprises, crafts and agriculture. The Jewish community of T was part of the Jewish administration of Izbica; it had no Jewish religious institutions of its own.
With the outbreak of World War I most of the Jews fled from T because of fighting on the front. After the war they returned and endeavoured to restore their houses and businesses. In the 1920's and 30's the Jews of T still kept to their traditional sources of income - small commerce, peddling and crafts.
In the 30's anti-Semitic propaganda intensified in T, as in the rest of Poland, and this was soon manifested in acts of violence: Jews were attacked in the streets, and Jewish peddlers passing through villages with their wares feared for their lives.
In September 1939, on the outbreak of World War II, T was first conquered by the Red Army, but a few days later, in the middle of September, the Russians withdrew eastwards and the Germans arrived in their stead. Most of the Jews joined the Russian soldiers on their eastward march; very few Jewish families remained in T. As far as we know, during the first few years of German occupation the Jews of T were not persecuted, and they continued to earn their living as usual.
In March- April 1942 thousands of Jews from the T area were expelled to Belzec extermination camp , and it is presumed that the remaining Jews in T were among them.
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