As a result of the war and the large number of refugees in Sambor, there were more orphans. In 1915, after the Austrians reconquered Sambor, two orphanages were built, one for boys and the other for girls, with 108 children in both.
The economic situation of Sambor's Jews continued to worsen, with more Jews in the city during the war than had been there previously. In 1917, of the 7,000 Jews, about 3,000 of them required aid. At the head of the assistance activities were three individuals: the head of the Community, Elimelech Goldberg, the local Rabbi, Rabbi Aharon Levin, and the Zionist leader, Dr. Fishel Rothenstreich. Funds were mobilized from the well-to-do in the Community, from former city dwellers then in Vienna, and from additional sources. A public kitchen was provided which distributed free meals.
In 1918, a nucleus of Hashomer Hatzair was established. At the beginning of 1918, a modern Talmud Torah was founded, with four classes for children aged six to fourteen, and in the middle of the year, a day Hebrew school with 500 students.
After the issue of the Balfour Declaration, on 2 November 1917, a "Society for the Settlement of Eretz-Israel" was organized, with 400 members. The members applied to Jewish land tenants in the vicinity of Sambor to train them in agricultural work, and not a few undertook to train ten to fifteen persons.
At the time of Austria's capitulation in November 1918 and the establishment of
the Western Ukrainian Republic, in whose framework Sambor was included, and up
to May 1919, a Jewish national committee of only Zionists functioned.
The anti-Semite Dr. Chotitcki was named mayor of the city, to serve with an appointed committee. Three assimilated Jews were appointed to the committee, but even they could not cooperate with the mayor and they resigned. The mayor cut off the city's allocation to the Jewish orphanage and the free kitchen. Some time later, the municipality's help was resumed and 2,200 daily meals out of 6,500 were allocated for the Jews. But this arrangement, too, was not maintained, the Jews in fact receiving on 1,400 daily free meals.
Assistance for the Jews came from the Joint Distribution Committee, and former Sambor Jews living in the United States also mobilized funds there. In 1922 an emissary of those Jews visited Sambor and brought with him sums of money, promising his organization's further assistance.
In 1922 a new appointed committee was named for the municipality, with 26
members, seven of whom were Jews. The new committee and its chairman treated
the Jews fairly.
|Branch||No. of Enterprises||Those Active||Owners of the Enterprises||Family Members Working||Total No. of Employees||Jews||of them Non-Jews|
The Jewish merchants set up their own association, and they even established a bank called "Merchants Credit Association." In 1925, 310 members were registered in this bank, in the following occupations: 49 artisans, 127 small merchants, 117 merchants and industrialists, 8 farmers, 13 miscellaneous. In that year, 448 loans were granted, in a sum total of 44,740 zloty. In 1939, the bank gave 1,500 loans in a sum of 500,000 zloty; its annual turnover was over a million zloty.
The artisans were organized in an artisans' union Yad Harutzim, headed by Mr. Fraindel and Mr. Dukatenzailer. They did not succeed in establishing a financial institution of their own, but were assisted by a benevolent fund which the Zionist leader, Dr. Fishel Rothenstreich, had established in the early 'twenties. This fund was one of the first of its kind in Galicia. In 1927 it granted to its clients in Sambor some 310 loans in a total sum of 10,000 zloty. In 1928 about 320 small merchants and artisans benefited from its loans.
|Amount in Zloty||25,789||22,396||23,704|
|No. of loans||315||279||298|
The two financial institutions received much support from former Sambor people in the United States, who sent money to them from time to time.
Sambor developed significantly in the years between the two world wars. There was active building going on which, in the main, supplied the needs of the relatively large local garrison and those of Polish officialdom. The supply of flats was greater than the demand, and the Jews benefited indirectly from this.
Furthermore, since Sambor was near the area of the oil fields
Borislav-Drohobitz and was a district city, all the oil transactions occupied
the courts in Sambor. Therefore a large number of lawyers were active, over
fifty of them, among them many Jews. On the other hand, the majority of the
Jews continued to live in great distress. Some members of the free professions,
too, were impoverished, and for those an assistance fund was set up with a
founding capital of 23,300 zloty.
Financial assistance to the needy was also provided by the Benevolent Fund. Avraham Krug and Zeiden were those principally engaged in this activity. Every Wednesday, the day preceding market day, they would apply to the well-off merchants, collect money and distribute it as loans to small merchants, who, in this way, would acquire grains, vegetables, fruit, poultry and so on, sell them on market day and thus earn something for the Sabbath and the rest of the week. After market day they would return the money, and if something occurred that made it impossible for one of them to pay his debt, the Benevolent Fund would cover it. In this way many were helped in time of distress.
The most important charitable institution was the orphanage, which, in the
'twenties and 'thirties, cared for some thirty children. Most of the time the
orphanage was financially in trouble, and not seldom was in danger of being
shut down. From time to time a financial contribution was received from former
Sambor people in the United States, or a local campaign was launched on behalf
of the institution. In the newspaper Chwila, which appeared in Lvov, this
orphanage was mentioned occasionally with the comment that if it would not
receive financial help, it would be shut down.
As part of the society's activities, an amateur orchestra would appear as volunteers at its events. Among its members were: Dunek Begleiter (drummer), Shlomo Becker (violin), and Rudek Probst (piano). The society's committee included: Shimon Altbach, Dr. Y Eisner, Dr. A. Gelber, Klements Goldberg, Dr. Alexander Gross, Penina (Tzailer) Holtzman, Dr. I. Kreutzenauer, Avraham Linhart, Melech Shenkendorf, Z. Weber.
In 1938, when the Self-Help Society of Polish Jewry was founded, 2,335 Sambor
people were registered in it. Klements Goldberg was elected chairman of this
society in Sambor.
In 1921, a Hebrew school, Tarbut, was founded by Dr. Fishel Rothenstreich,
with 144 pupils attending in 1922. This school played a decisive role in
imparting the values of national-Zionist education and a knowledge of the
Hebrew language; it also served at a hotbed for the pioneer youth movements.
Fisher, Frankel, Komorovski and Shuminer taught there. After the free
compulsory education law came into effect, this school could not longer be
maintained for budgetary reasons, and it became only a complementary school.
Adjoining it was a kindergarten.
Attached to this school was a trade-industrial school for girls, which had been
established in the early 'twenties. This was a high school, in which, in the
afternoons, the girls also studied trades, such as sewing, millinery and
artistic handwork. The school was not granted government recognition, so that
its graduates were compelled to be examined in the Cecilia Klaften girls'
school in Lvov. Each year, 15-20 girls graduated.
Connected with the dramatic-musical club there was also a choir, conducted by
Brauner, which appeared on various occasions in public events; and a mandolin
group, established by the Weisman brothers in which, besides them, Herschderfer
and Ida Berelfine played. The Fidler brothers' orchestra would accompany the
club's musical performances. Among those directing the club were: Ida
Berelfine, Dunek Begleiter, Dr. Eisner, Z. Stein, V. Traustein, the Weisman brothers, Oscar Zimbler, Zukerman.
The chief competitor in the Jewish football team was the Polish team in Sambor,
Korona, which also included the Jewish players Dushek Steurman, Fredek
Garfunkel, Orenstein, Berger, and Bruno Werter, who was later taken over by the
Jewish football team Hashmonai in Lvov.
In 1930 the Community administration was dissolved. Non-party Shlomo Margulis was appointed "commissar," and he cooperated with the Agudat Israel. The Zionists who had been named to the administration resigned from their posts.
In the elections which too place in 1934, the General Zionists together with the Hitachdut received five mandates, the Mizrachi with the Revisionists two, the Belz Hassidim two, non-party two. The Zionist Isaac Knepl was elected head of the Community. At first he was a member of Hitachdut; later he went over to the General Zionist camp. During his term of service, the Community's administration succeeded in balancing its budget, repairing the old synagogue, expanding the poultry abattoir, making proper arrangements in the cemetery and building a new purification room.
In 1931, Rabbi Eliezer Mizes was chosen Rabbi of Sambor. The Zionists opposed his appointment because of his connections with the Agudat Israel. The Zionist youth decided to demonstrate on the day Rabbi Mizes was to reach the city, when the Community leaders had decided to arrange a splendid reception for him. The demonstration did take place, and it was with great difficulty that Rabbi Mizes made his way to the synagogue where the reception was held.
Rabbi Mizes was a great scholar, had acquired a secular education by himself, and had received a government matriculation certificate. His two brothers, too, were famous. One, Rabbi Joseph Mizes, was the Chief Rabbi in the Polish army with the rank of colonel, while his second brother, Mattityahu, was a historian, doing research especially in the origin of Polish families among whom, in his opinion, there were Jewish fathers.
The Zionists declared that the appointment of Rabbi Eliezer Mizes was a
temporary one and that when the Community's administration would be in their
hands they would cancel it and appoint a rabbi acceptable to them. They
published an announcement in this spirit in 1936 signed by Isaac Knepl, who was
then head of the Community. The Zionists indeed appointed a committee for the
election of a rabbi and as a candidate suggested Yaakov Levin, the son of Rabbi
Aharon Levin, who was a native of Sambor and a graduated of the University of
Lvov in philosophy and law. But the Polish authorities did not approve this
proposal, and Rabbi Mizes remained in his post until the liquidation of the
In 1939, one agreed list was submitted, with four Jews included. Dr. Joachim Ferstendig was re-elected.
The Sambor municipality supported the Jewish institutions only to a small
extent. It denied the Jewish suburb of Blich services due them, such as a road
or a sidewalk to the Jewish cemetery. In 1929, it issued a decree against the
coach and cart drivers (most of whom were Jewish) compelling them to leave the
city center and move to side streets, thus affecting their earnings adversely.
Polish merchants distributed proclamations from time to time in which they called for the boycott of Jews, which made it difficult for Jewish merchants to compete with them. Jewish employees were not accepted in the municipal savings bank. Some teachers in the public schools incited against the Jews.
When the decree against Jewish ritual slaughter was approved by all the
committees of the Sejm and the Senate (March 1936) and went into effect, and
many of the Sambor Jewish butchers did not receive permits, the other butchers
mobilized to their assistance. Imposing a tax of ten grush on every kilo of
mean purchased, they handed over the money collected to those butchers who, as
a result of the decree, were left without means.
At that time, one of the emissaries of Hechalutz, who was a member of Hagana in
Eretz-Israel, came to Sambor on a visit. This visit was exploited to arrange a
meeting in the synagogue Roite Kloiz of representatives of all the Zionist
youth movements in the city. There it was decided to organize self-defense in
the event of a pogrom. And, indeed, on the morrow there were to be seen in the
city large gatherings of Ukrainians and Poles, large groups of whom approached
Blich. A warning signal was given at once and the members of the youth
movements and the Jewish coachmen began to organize to ward off the rioters.
The gentiles began to attack the Jews, but, absorbing heavy blows themselves,
were pushed back to the center of the city. There, however, they received much
reinforcement; they had the upper hand and the Jews began to retreat. Then the
young Jew Zeiler pushed forward, and, holding in his hand a club, began to hit
out left and right, being almost the only Jew in the fight. Thus, however, he
gave the signal for a renewed attack. The Jewish youth who had been retreating
returned immediately and the Christians were pushed back. But when the
Ukrainians and the Poles were at a disadvantage, the police appeared and began
to arrest Jews!
|Year||Total Population||NN Number of Jews Jews|
The founders of Agudat Israel in Sambor were Isaac Schneid and the Religious Court Judge Rabbi Hertz Bombach. The party's leaders and main activists were: L. Dranger, L. Finsterbusch, A. Lamet, W. Lindenwald, I. Schneid, S. Shuminer, H. Tzan; and there were some others.
Agudat Israel conducted a sharp struggle against Zionism and the Zionists. In
1937 they were accused by the Sambor Zionist Organization of libel against the
Zionist leaders. The matter reached the courts, but the results are not known.
(Chwila, 22 August 1937).
In the last years before the destruction of the Jewish Community, Dr. Moses
Frischer was head of the Revisionist Party.
The most outstanding personality among those who founded and led the party in
Sambor was Michael Fromm, who was the recognized leader of Hitachdut.
|Year||General Zionists||Mizrachi||Hitachdut||Poalei Zion||Revisionists||Radical Zionists|
In the period of the First World War, there were still the two parallel
movements, Hashomer and Hatchitya, in Sambor. Their members established the
nucleus of Hashomer Ha'zair only in 1918. The first Hashomer Ha'zair group to
emigrate to Palestine, in March 1920, numbered ten who called themselves Bilu;
they were among the founders of Kibbutz Beit Alpha.
Also active in Sambor were the Association of Jewish Women, and the Ezra Society. The latter succeeded, in 1924, in financing emigration to Palestine of 95 halutzim (apparently most, or some of the, refugees from Russia).
In 1935, a coordination committee of all the Zionist youth movements in Sambor
was established which was called Youth Center.
Sambor and Stari-Sambor and their surroundings were at first under the rule of Russia; in 1340 they were annexed to Poland.
In the opinion of the Polish historian Alexander Yablonovski, there were only 105 inhabitants in Stari-Sambor in 1568.
There are no exact historical sources pointing to the date of the arrival of the first Jews in Stari-Sambor. Since, however, in 1519 the Polish King Zigmunt the First informed the Starosta of Sambor, among other district governors, that the Jews were permitted to live in any place they chose, it may be assumed that they began to settle in Stari-Sambor as well, constitution part of the Sambor Jewish Community. This history of the little Jewish Community of Stari-Sambor was from its beginnings bound up with the history of the Jewish Community of Sambor, for better or for worse. The same events that occurred in the Sambor Community in the days of the kings of Poland, in the Austrian period and in the period of Polish independence between the two world wars occurred also in the Stari-Sambor Community, separated from Sambor by only eighteen kilometers. During all those years, there was close contact between the two Communities. For instance, there was no hospital in Stari-Sambor the one in Sambor served also Stari-Sambor; there was no high school in Stari-Sambor the Jewish youth there attended the Sambor school. Sambor was a kind of older sister of Stari-Sambor.
Not only a common history united the two Jewish Communities in Poland, but also
destruction and a common grave, dug for them by the Nazi oppressor in
Radlovitze and Belzitz [Belzec].
One long street crossed the entire city. In its center was a square from which
side streets branched off.
Every Jew in the villages was in contact with the Jewish Community of Stari-Sambor, and with its rabbi.
In the years preceding the First World War, Yitzhak Horowitz served as head of the Jewish Community. In the 'twenties, 500 Jewish families lived in Stari-Sambor and by that time some 500 additional families had already managed to emigrate to the United States. Approximately ninety percent of the inhabitants were Jews, eight percent Ukrainians, and two percent Poles.
There were some well-to-do Jewish families, rich in possessions, such as the families Lamm and Averdam, who, during Austrian rule, had the concession on entry to the city which they had leased from the government.
(For entry into the city, the coaches had to pay a fee.) The Lamm family also
had a private synagogue in a house of theirs in the center of the city, which
was known as "Lamuvka." The judge, Dr. Yosef Lamm, member of the
First Knesset, was a descendant of this family.
When the Poles came to power, there was an appointed Polish mayor. So as to
reward his friends who had helped him attain this post, he leased them kiosks
in the city square opposite Christian shops, and those kiosks hid the
Christians' shops. The latter applied to the courts claiming that at the time
they rented the shops the Jewish mayor, Aharon Averdam, had promised them that
they would face the front in the city square, and Averdam testified in their
favor. The Polish mayor argued that, with the change of regime, the new regime
had the right to act as it wished, and that arrangements that had been in
effect in the period of Austrian rule could not apply. Then Aharon Averdam
declared that, according to the law, he was still the legal mayor, since
elections to the municipality had not yet taken place. He said: "I am the
mayor and no one will rob me of this title."
In 1918 a branch of Poalei Zion was set up; its members began to prepare themselves for aliya by arranging work group for training.
The first oleh from Stari-Sambor was Menachem Greulich, who emigrated to Eretz-Israel with the Second Aliyah in 1911. He was among those who surrendered to the Turkish Government in October 1917 in order to ransom the workers in Petach Tikva. He and two of his companions, Shmuel Streifeld and Isaac Mehring, were tortured to death by the Turkish police in a cell in the Damascus prison when the refused the demand to reveal the names of Jewish spies and shomrim in Petach Tikva. The collective settlement Givat Hashlosha is names after them.
Baruch Schechter was the next oleh from Stari-Sambor, in 1920; he was one of the first workers in Jaffa port and one of those who fought for Jewish labor in the port.
Avraham Bek was one of the first to settle in Afula. For forty-six consecutive years he worked as a medical orderly, responsible for the Kupat Holim clinic in Afula. His son, Uriel, fell in the War of Independence in 1948.
In 1925 Yosef Halprin emigrated to Eretz-Israel, and in 1926, David Waltzer.
Among the founders of Gordonia were members of this movement in Sambor, Aryeh Ben-Yosef (Shuminer) and Mordechai Shahar. A gathering of youth that they had announced beforehand would take place was attended by 30-40. But at the start of the meeting, police appeared, claiming that it was illegal, since a permit had not been obtained. After a long and exhausting argument, the police finally allowed the meeting to proceed.
In 1935, the Revisionist Party and its youth movement Betar were founded, led
by Itzik Furman, Dr Greifinger, Krebs and Rappaport.
Each year, Aharon Friedmand, the Admor from Sadigura, would come to the
recreation place Spaas, near Stari-Sambor. On the Sabbath, he would stay in
Stari-Sambor and many Hassidim from Poland, as well as from outside the Polish
borders, would flock to him. At the end of the Sabbath, Benyamin
"Klezmer" Glick and his orchestra would play, and the singing and
dancing would continue until early morning. And Stari-Sambor would rejoice and
A few days later, they gathered together by force about a thousand two hundred Jews in the Stari-Sambor church, stood them up in rows of four, and led them to the village of Strzelbice, six kilometers from Stari-Sambor. There they made them enter the village church, where they remained for a whole night. In the morning, the Gestapo ordered them to dig pits, and a German officer informed them that they were to be shot. But immediately a rumor was spread among the Germans that the Russians were coming. They returned the Jews to the church and in the afternoon released them.
On the way to the village Ushziki-Dolne, the Germans met Jewish refugees from
nearby towns and murdered some forty of them.
Armed Ukrainians overran the Jewish houses, rounded up Thirty-two Jews, gave them photos of Lenin and Stalin affixed to sticks to hold up and dragged them along the length of the streets to the Jewish cemetery. There the Ukrainian intelligentsia, with the priest at their head, and a large crowd from the neighboring villages were gathered. In view of all of them, the Ukrainians put on a show of bestial cruelty to the Jews. They tore off heads, hands and feet, opened stomachs and threw the bodies into pits.
Among those who were known to have been thus murdered were: Mordechai Glick, Itzik Greulich, Yaakov Greulich, Yaakov Hibner and his son, Shlomo, Mordechai Ratzman, Benyamin Reiter, Moshe Reiter, Asher Schwartz, Yehoshua Shpinner, and Zoles Hirsch.
In the first mass action on 4 June 1942, about a third of the Jews were evicted from Stari-Sambor, a hundred or so packed into cattle cars and taken to the extermination camps in Belzitz, near Lvov.
In September 1942, when the ghetto was set up in the Blich quarter of Sambor,
Jews from Stari-Sambor as well were transferred there, and with the liquidation
of the ghetto on 9 June 1943, they were to be found with the rest of the Sambor
Jews in a wood in the village of Radlovitze.
After having suffered under the brief German occupation, the Jews received the Russians with feelings of easement. But after a few weeks, with the consolidation of Soviet rule, there began to be changes in the life of the Sambor Jews. Wholesale commerce was stopped immediately and retail trading gradually decreased. At the beginning of 1941, only a few private shops remained. Private factories were nationalized. Administrative restrictions were imposed on formerly well-to-do Jews and on all political activists, and some of them met with difficulty in obtaining work. At the end of June 1940, Jewish refugees in Sambor who refused to accept Soviet citizenship were deported to the interior of the Soviet Union. Rich Jews of Sambor began to be transferred to Siberia.
The suicide of the pharmacist Rela Zelinger, with her husband and small daughter, from fear of being deported to Siberia, made a terrible impression. Deportation to Siberia frightened the middle-class people.
Life was grim, an atmosphere of dread and depression prevailed. People stood for many hours in line to receive food supplies the lack of which was very much felt.
On the other hand, many Jews joined city and government services. The Russians trusted the Jewish population more than the Poles and the Ukrainians, and, therefore, the higher posts were allotted to Jews. Because of that, the Ukrainians and the Poles became even more furious against the Jews.
A few days before the German occupation of Sambor in June 1941, the Russians
arrested many leaders of the Ukrainian nationalists and murdered them. Their
corpses remained in the prison.
At the same time, the Germans began to organize their own actions against the Jews. Their first command was that every Jews place on his right sleeve a white ribbon with a blue Magen David on it. Later, they ordered them to hand over their possessions, first furs, radio sets, silver and gold; anyone refusing would be shot.
Then followed searches of houses, curfew hours and no riding on trains. At the end of June 1941, a Judenrat was set up, with Dr. Simon Schneidscher chairman, and among his colleagues, Becker, Dr. Frei, Dr. Halprin, Lerer, Shnur, Dr. Zausner. A Jewish police force was also established headed by Stahl.
On 4 August 1942, the first mass action too place. Preceding it, Jews from the neighboring town had been brought in and compressed into the former stables of the Polish army, near Blich. Leading the action, which began towards morning in Blich, was Kriger, head of the Gestapo of Stanislavav. Shouting and screaming, the Jews were conveyed to the railway station in Sambor, whence they were driven, crushed together in cattle cars, to the death camp in Belzitz.
From the city center hundreds of people were brought to the sports square near the railway station. They were all lined up in fours, the old, women and children, without distinction. Since the cars were not sufficient for them all, the Germans divided the lines in half the first half directed to the cars and the second transferred to the Polish army's stables. Some thousand people were crowded into this place, guarded from around it by armed Nazis and Ukrainians. On 6 August, all the Jews held in the stables were moved to the railway station and pushed into the cars which led them to Belzitz.
In the autumn of 1942, all the Jews living in the villages were ordered to leave their homes and move to the Sambor ghetto by 30 November. As thousands were bring transported in the cattle cars to the gas chambers in Belzitz, the slaughter being perpetrated by the Germans in Sambor was done with the full cooperation of the local population. The Poles and the Ukrainians saw to it that any Jew who fled would, through them, fall into the hands of the Germans. The railway station and the railways swarmed with Jew-catchers. To activate and encourage those cooperating with them, the Germans posted in public places placards in bold letters, in German, Polish and Ukrainian, announcing the grant of a litre of vodka and five kilograms of sugar to any one catching a Jew or indicating where he was to be found.
At the onset of spring, in April 1943, another mass action took place in the Sambor ghetto. This occurred when a large German army on its way to the Russian front and returning from it was temporarily in Sambor. The Gestapo used these army units to help it destroy and murder. Hundreds of soldiers, fully armed, surrounded the ghetto, and a large number entered it. Outside the door of each house stood three to four soldiers. Other groups broke into the houses with shouts, dragging out any who sought hiding of any kind. They pulled them out from cellars, from cupboards, from every possible hiding place even from soot-filled chimneys. All those rounded up were pushed into prison cells.
On 14 April 1943, the Germans' trucks arrived at the Jewish cemetery to remove the clothes of the Jews they were to murder. Later, they led the Jews from the prison to the open grave which had been prepared for them by the Polish and Ukrainian collaborators. The Nazi criminals hurried on the Jews by foot men, women and children, as well as women with infants in their arms under heavy guard. The shooting began approximately at one o'clock in the afternoon and continued until sunset. The clothes of the murdered Jews were loaded onto the trucks by the Ukrainians.
It was not accidental that the April 1943 mass slaughter took place on Passover. The Nazis did their evil work on the Jewish holidays, so as to intensify the humiliation and the cruel treatment. The mass action in Sambor in October 1942, too, had been carried out on the Jewish holiest day, on Yom Kippur.
After the terrible slaughter of 14 April 1943, it was clear that the liquidation of the ghetto was approaching. But one evening in early June, it was announced that Dr. Zausner, deputy to the Judenrat chairman, would give a public lecture. In great tension, the Jews who still remained in the ghetto waited to hear what he would say. His speech was full of optimism. He said that the Judenrat's contacts had returned from the Gestapo's offices in Drohobicz, where they had brought gold, diamonds, furs and leather goods, in exchange for which they received a promise that the group of people still in the ghetto would remain alive and would work for the Germans "not only hand in hand but heart to heart!" The majority believed these find words, because they wanted to believe them. Tension eased in the ghetto, for the first time in a long time.
About two o'clock in the morning, men of the Gestapo and Ukrainian police surrounded the ghetto. In order to reveal those who had hidden, they destroyed houses, even burning down some of them. They dragged out the people from every hiding-place and concentrated them in the prison. At dawn on the first day of Shavuot (9 June 1943), they opened the prison cells and drove the remnant of the Jews of Sambor and the vicinity on their last way. In the trucks on which they were loaded, the Jews were ordered to bend their knees and raise their hands over their heads. In four corners of the trucks stood Ukrainian militia with rifles at the ready. Whoever dared to move or raise his head was struck by a rifle butt. The remnant of the Sambor Jewish Community was thus led to the wood near the village of Radlovitze and there murdered. The city was declared "judenrein." In the ensuing weeks, too, the hunt for hidden Sambor Jews went on. Those who were caught were concentrated in larger groups and brought to the Jewish cemetery to be killed.
At the beginning of August 1944, with the Russian army advancing, Sambor was
transferred several times, during the course of the battles, from one army to
the other. In those days as well, a number of Jews who had succeeded in hiding
almost up to the liberation were denounced by the local population, fell into
the hands of the Nazis and were murdered by them.
|1 September 1939||||Outbreak of the Second World War; many refugees arrive in Sambor.|
|8 September 1939||||The German army occupies Sambor and makes plans against the Jews.|
|20 September 1939||||The Germans retreat and the Soviet army enters Sambor.|
|29 June 1941||||The Russians evacuate the city.|
|30 June 1941||||The Germans enter Sambor.|
|1 July 1941||||The Ukrainian population carries out a progrom in which some 200 Jews are murdered.|
|July 1941||||A Judenrat set up, headed by the lawyer Dr. Shimon Schneiderscher.|
|December 1941||||A decree issued compelling the Jews to wear a white ribbon with a blueMagen David on it and to hand over valuables.|
|January 1942||||Jews prohibited from living in certain streets in the city.|
|March 1942||||Start of concentrating the Jews in a number of streets in the Blich suburb.|
|4-6 August 1942||||First mass action, in which some four thousand Jews led to slaughter in the Belzitz concentration camp, among them about a third of all the Jews of Stari-Sambor.|
|4 September 1942||||A hundred old people taken to be annihilated.|
|||Second mass action; about two thousand Jews moved to Belzitz.|
|22 October 1942||||Continuation of mass action.|
|November 1942||||About 400 old and sick people taken to be killed.|
|1 December 1942||||The Jewish quarter Blich turned into a closed ghetto, where all the Jews from the towns and villages in the Sambor district concentrated.|
|January 1943||||Attempts at Jewish underground organization and acquisition of arms.|
|10-14 April 1943||||Mass action in the ghetto; 1,200 men, women and children taken to the Sambor cemetery to be killed.|
|22-23 May 1943||||Over a thousand Jews led to their end in the death camp of Belzitz.|
|9 June 1943||||Last mass action. Final liquidation of the ghetto and the remaining Jews brought out to be killed in the wood of Radlovitze village.|
Liquidation of the Remnant
|23 June 1943||||The last of those who had managed to hide, about 100 persons, caught and murdered in the Jewish cemetery.|
|6 July 1943||||About forty Jews discovered and murdered by the Germans.|
|22 July 1943||||About twenty-five Jews caught and murdered by the Germans.|
Following are the minutes of the founding meeting:
"The founding meeting of the 'Society of the Supporters of the Sick' of Oldstadt was held on 10 May 1898 at the home of Mr. Pfeffer at 81 William Street. Brother Louis Hartman opened the meeting. Those present proposed renting a hall immediately and calling a general meeting for the following week. It was also decided that each new member enrolled would pay twenty-five cents, and twenty-five cents as a membership fee.
The following undertook to bring to the next meeting the materials required for
the meetings: Brother Louis Hartman promised to bring two hammers, Brother Sam
Greulich a minutes book, Brother Leventhal a file and Brother Avraham Fuchs a
With the arrival of more immigrants in 1889, the society was reorganized on a new basis, and its activities were expanded.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a new wave of immigrants reached the United States, the majority young people with higher education. Since the existing organization was not sufficient to meet the needs of the new arrivals, a parallel society was organized, on 15 September 1910, called the Progressive Sambor Society (Y.M.B.S.).
The main purposes of both organizations was to render assistance to their fellow Jews from Sambor arriving with the various waves of immigration, in the event of sickness or lack of employment, and also to maintain contact with the Jewish Community in Sambor.
After the First World War and the ruins left in its wake, the need grew for aid for the Sambor Jews still in newly-independent Poland. The organizations in the United States decided to rebuild and equip the Gotthelf hospital. Between 1919 and 1923 over £20,000 [sic] were collected. This money was sent from the United States to the Sambor Jewish Community through a special emissary, Mr. Ginsburg, a member of the first Sambor organization. In addition, a special committee was set up to render financial assistance to the Sambor Jewish Community's orphanage.
Thanks to the initiative of Berl and Shaindel Kamerman, a roof organization of the existing parallel societies was set up, on 30 January 1937, known as the United Sambor Relief Society for Mutual Help. Berl Kamerman was elected president, and he headed the organization for many years. In the period of the Second World War, the main contributors were: A. Begleiter, S. Begleiter, U. Begleiter, Z. Begleiter, Y. Gottlieb, Sam Saunders, N. Solomon and A. Zimbler.
In 1950, when quite a large number of Holocaust survivors from Sambor reached the United States, the newcomers took over administration of the organization. Max Dachinger, the president they elected, served for two years. His successor was Yehiel Hirsch, who is serving in that post up to the present . Naftali Ben-Shlomo Solomon is still its secretary.
Every year the United Sambor Relief Society holds a memorial gathering for the martyrs of the Sambor Jewish Community.
Members of the organization also make contributions to Israel. One of their most important activities on behalf of Israel was the planting, on 21 March 1977, of a grove, consisting of 2,500 trees in the Martyrs' Forest near Jerusalem.
Members of the present  Executive Committee are: Avraham (Bunck)
Weisbart, president of the community organization; Yehiel Hirsch, president of
the united organization; Naftali Ben-Shlomo Solomon, secretary; Avraham
Linhart; Oscar (Asher) Zimbler (former president); Max Dachinger.
With great reverence I honor the memory of the distinguished man Berl Kamerman, of blessed memory, a dear colleague and a loyal friend. He worked harder than any other person to help those who had come to the United States from his home town Sambor. His loyalty to them knew no limits. It was to him that anyone in distress and anyone requiring assistance turned. And he treated me as a brother.
In the meetings of the organization, during which there were sometimes fiery arguments, Berl Kamerman knew how to bring about compromise, how to make peace, and to arrive at friendship and love among the members.
Berl Kamerman served as president of the United Sambor Organization for many years. In 1950, when new immigrants arrived from our city, these younger people took upon themselves the administration of the organization. They elected Max Dachinger president, and he served very successfully for two years. He was followed as president by Yehiel Hirsch, who enlarged the number of activists, to include, among the most outstanding in their work and their devotion, Avraham Linhart, Avraham Weisbart, and Sam Geles. The latter was taken from us when he was still in his full strength.
Asher Ben-Israel Zimbler
All this is true of his wife, Shaindel, as well. She distinguished herself during all the years in her activities in the special organization of Sambor women when it existed.
In rain and snow, Oscar Zimbler and his wife ran about Greater New York to collect funds for the Sambor organizations. No difficulties would stop them. To save expenses, the couple would arrange meetings of the organizations' committees in their own home. At times, they were hosts to several scores of people, preparing the refreshments themselves. And with all this, they always displayed modesty and humility, avoiding conspicuousness and publicity they cared not for words of praise, they thought only of helping others.
Besides Berl Kamerman, of blessed memory, no other person did so much for the benefit of the Sambor people as did Oscar Zimbler with his wife Shaindel helping him.
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