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[Page 7]

Introduction

Translated by Jerrold Landau


A monument to the community of Stanisławów which excelled in its vitality and energy, a cultivating ground for Jewish experience, love of Israel and love of Zion; a dwelling for the awakening in the struggle for selfhood – in nationalism, economics and culture; a center for pioneering leadership and aliya to our Land; a memorial candle to its personalities, leaders, guides, rabbis, scholars, scribes, teachers, philanthropists, activists, and the masses of warm-hearted people who were active in their various factions and streams; a memorial to the houses of Torah and prayer, as well as of Haskalah and education, social institutions and organizations, political groups and factions, charitable and benevolent institutions – a wonderful cross section of life that was cut off by the hands of Amalek[1*]. This is so that the natives of the city and its environs, who recognize its fine qualities and renown will know, and so that the younger generation will recognize what once was.

This monument and memorial candle to Stanisławów – this was the purpose of the committee of its natives, who merited to live in our State and to actualize their aim. This book that is now being published is edited by Dov Sadan and Menachem Gelerter.

The committee gives over this book to the public domain with a word of thanks to those who toiled for it – the compilers who each wrote a section about the chronicles of the city; the late Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Zeev Broida, a rabbi, preacher, activist and educator who gave over of his light to this community; and, may they live long, the elders of the community Reb Yeshayahu Halevi Ish Horowitz and Aharon Leib Shusheim; the activist and writer Meir Henish; the historian Dr. N. M. Gelber; and the Holocaust survivors Vita Kaswiner and Lusia Weisberg, the final witnesses to the death throws of the community; the researcher Dov Sadan; and finally Menachem Gelerter, who gave over great effort to this enterprise, with his exemplary dedication, generosity and diligence.

May Mossad Harav Kook, the publishing house of this book, be blessed.

The Committee for
the Publication of this Anthology






[Page 9]

The History of the Jews of Stanisławów

by N. M. Gelber

Translated by Jerrold Landau

A.

The city of Stanisławów was founded in the year 1654 by the Hetman (commander) and Starosta (County Administrator) of the Halicz region, Jedrzej Potocki, and was named after his son Stanisław. The era during which the city was founded was a very difficult one. Internally, the Polish nation was engulfed in an internecine struggle, and externally, the Polish state was surrounded by many enemies. It seemed as if the last days of the Polish state had come, for the invasions and attacks from all sides of its borders did not cease.

Due to its good geographical situation, since it was located on the main road that connected the city of Lwów with the southeastern region[1], Stanisławów became within a short period a main commercial center in southeastern Poland. Since it was located near the border of the Polish republic, it also had the important task of protecting the homeland. Not too many years passed before the city was considered to be a main fortress in the eastern part of the Polish republic. Due to its strategic importance, it superseded the other well-known fortresses in this area, such as Halicz, Terebovlya (Trembowla), Brzerżany (Brezan)[2*], Złoczów, Śniatyn, and Tyśmienica (Tishminitz), all of which excelled in the protection of the state[2]. Therefore it should be no surprise that the interests of the residents of this city received special attention[3], such as being exempted from taxes and monetary payments, for they had to bear the difficult yoke of protecting the border fortress and the “republic wall” (antemurus Reipublicae)[4].

In order to develop the city into a center of commerce, the owner of the city Jedrzej Potocki invited Armenians from Moldavia and Hungary. They arrived in the city in the years 1663-1664, and settled in it on the basis of a charter that promised them special rights as an independent community. Both the Armenians and the Jews were promised, in the founding charter of the city of May 7, 1654[5], the right to settle in the city. They were also granted the right to establish a house of prayer on the land that was given to them.


[Page 10]


In a special charter from November 9, 1654, which established the rights from the Catholic Church, its priests were promised the right to not permit any person to worship in accordance with his religious faith (neminem ad exercitum liberum religionis admittendi); however it explicitly stated that the Unitarians, Greeks, and Jews would be excepted from this. In a special charter from September 17, 1662[6], Jedrzej Potocki granted the Jews (Żydzi talmudowi) the right to settle permanently in the city and the right to engage in commerce and crafts in the same measure as “the members of the Polish, Ruthenia and Armenian nations”, as well as the right to leave in accordance with their own will. He also freed them from tolls and taxes. According to this charter, the Jews were given “in the city itself on the Street of the Jews near the ramparts, three houses for the clergy, as well as yards and houses to build a synagogue, Beis Midrash, pharmacies, stores, which everyone could build in accordance with their desire, and it was permitted to own business and conduct business in gold, silver, textiles, furs, clothing, hats, and all varieties of merchandise. It was also permitted for them to purchase and sell saffians[3*], black hides, shoes, and all sorts of merchandise in retail trade. They can sell anything in their homes and buildings.” However, they were forbidden to conduct any business in the market square. They were permitted to conduct business on any day, with the exception of the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter. They were allowed to open their stores on the days of Christian festivals only after the conclusion of church services. The Jews were given a plot of land for a cemetery near the city, behind the fortifications on the road that led to Tyśmienica, as well as a plot for a bathhouse.

This charter also gave the Jews rights to build workshops as well as distilleries for liquor, mead and brandy, on the condition that 2 guilder be paid for each half barrel, and 3 guilder a year for brandy. Aside from this, it was set that Jews who owned mills were required to pay special payments to the owner of the city from every batch of wheat. All rights of serving liquor belonged to Potocki, who was obligated in his name and the name of his heirs to guard the rights that were leased to Jewish lessees. The charter also established the matters of jurisdiction with respect to the general charter that was given to the Jews of Poland. One paragraph was dedicated to the organization of matters regarding craftsmen. Their rights were similar to those of the Christian craftsmen. They were obligated to belong to the general guilds and to pay all general taxes; but as Jews they were exempt from the duties imposed on Christian craftsmen, such as attending church, conducting oneself in accordance with religion, and giving candles to the churches. It is self evident that the Jews were obligated to pay all of the dues for candles, etc.

In accordance with the charter, the following were found among the Jews artisans: shoemakers, tailors, smiths, butchers, engravers, plasterers, tanners, musicians and makers of tar. The Jewish butchers and bakers were given special places in the market square. They had to pay dues for this to the owner of the city, such as providing fats for the palace and church. The butchers received a special privilege from Jedrzej Potocki on April 24, 1664, setting up a guild to which Jews were also allowed to belong. However, the head of the guild could only be a Polish Catholic.


[Page 11]


The Jewish butchers received half (12) of the stalls in the market square. On May 28, 1722, they received another 12 stalls.

The Jews were permitted to purchases homes from Christians and to sell homes to Christians. In the event of a fire, the Jewish residents were required to serve alongside the Christian residents in firefighting and rescue work.

Potocki explicitly promised the Jews protection, and exempted them from various taxes and tolls, such as conscription for labor, tithes, payments for road improvement, and tolls that were paid for horned cattle. However the Jews were required, as were the rest of the population, to participate in the expenses for guarding the streets. Householders would pay to the owner of the city 3 guilders annually for each house, and tenants would pay 1.5 guilder for each dwelling.

Aside from restrictions in the economic activity that was permitted to them, the privilege explicitly stated that the Jewish community would have the same rights and freedoms as the Christians had.

At the end of the privilege that was signed by he and his wife (Anna z Rysin staroscina Halicka, Leżajska, Kołomyjska), Potocki promised that he would fulfill all of his promises, and he obligated his heirs in the same manner[7].

Potocki, who was interested in the economic development of the city of Stanisławów, made every effort to improve the physical and economic conditions for the Armenian and Jewish communities, for he saw this as the only factor which might help him actualize his economic goals[8]. This privilege, from the year 1662, established the basis for the Jewish community in Stanisławów.

At the end of the 17th century, the Jewish quarter was located near Trynitarski Square (Plac Trynitarski) and was marked by the defensive ramparts (wały). Next to the ramparts, the Jews built the first synagogue in Stanisławów, a  Beis Midrash, bathhouse, and residences for the rabbi, shamash and doctor. The settlement of Jews in the city was impeded, of course, by the great opposition of the Christian citizens, who, as in other cities of Poland and Lithuania, saw in them the most difficult of competitors. Jedrzej Potocki, who understood the situation very well, granted the Christian citizens many rights in order to satisfy them and assuage their anger that arose when they saw Jews streaming into the city. However, he also knew how to esteem the Jews, in that he recognized that only they would be able to make a significant contribution toward the development of the city as a center of commerce along the main road of southeastern Poland. Many legends arose in the Jewish community about Jedrzej Potocki, who was beloved by them. One of them tells that he loved Jewish Kabballah, and studied it from the Kabbalist Reb Eliyahu who came from Turkey, and lived in a cave around Stanisławów, in which he decided to await the coming of the Messiah. The Jews knew how to accommodate themselves to the situation, and to establish friendly relations with the citizens, who were for the most part Armenians.


[Page 12]


The latter left their mark on the city to such an extent that the French traveler d'Aleyrac, who passed through Stanisławów in the year

1886, wrote that he saw there many wealthy Armenian wholesale merchants who were in control of all of the markets.

First, the Jews built a synagogue. As was customary in those days, it was made of wood. It was built in Plac Trynitarski, and the Jewish quarter was built up around it. The French traveler Verdum, who visited Poland at that time, related that he saw a synagogue in Stanisławów in 1672.

The Jews were occupied for the most part in small scale trade, tavern keeping, and trades. Their sphere of economic activity was limited due to the ascendancy of the Armenians, in whose hand at the time was the entire wholesale trade in Potocki's regions, including trade in grain, cattle, horses, and fish, which were sent to Silesia and Danzig. They also owned the factories of Berus[4*], saffians, and valuable belts. It is self evident that it was hard to define boundaries between the economic activity of the Jews and Armenians, so that each one would not encroach on the other. It is clear that the competition led to a difficult economic battle.

The crafts were for the most part in the hands of the Ruthenians and Poles; however the Poles dominated in the guilds. The entire government was in the hands of the Poles, and they were like patricians amongst the craftsmen. These two streams, the Ruthenians and the Poles, always united in their struggle against the Jewish craftsmen and made efforts so as not to give them any possibility of economic rootedness.

In the meantime, the city suffered from the wars and defeat that were part of the lot of the country at the end of the 16th century. The invasion of the Hajdamaks[5*] and the war between Poland and Turkey in the years 1683-1699 caused a decline in the city and also its destruction. The situation became so desperate that the Sejmik (small Sejm / parliament) in Halicz instructed the Sejm representatives of the Halicz region to advise the Sejm to free the residents of Stanisławów from all tax payments for three years, due to its great suffering as a fortress city. During these years, the Jews were enlisted to join along with the rest of the population in the defense of the city. In accordance with a decision of the town council, it was obligatory on all the residents that “everyone, be they Jew or Christian, must have a proper gun and two liters of gunpowder”. Shooting exercises took place from time to time, in which the Jews also participated. The residents of the city also suffered during the war of August II against Stanisław Lecinski, with whom Józef Potocki was also allied. After the victory of August II, his armies invaded the city and fell upon and pillaged the residents, without discrimination based on religion. The military command imposed a large fine upon the city. Many Jews fled the city due to the gravity of the situation.

The economic decline of the city pushed the citizens to reign in the Jewish population, for they saw them as the cause of their economic misery. After attacks on the Jews in 1719, the relations between the Jews and non-Jews became so shaky that the Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) forbade its members to rent stores in Christian homes. The epidemic in 1712 was also a significant contributing factor to the economic decline. This epidemic killed a large segment of the population of the city.


[Page 13]


With this background, a serious economic battle broke out between the citizens and the Jews, particularly after the conclusion of the wars at the beginning of the 18th century, when Potocki began reconstructing the city. In 1716, the Polish citizens came to Józef Potocki with a complaint against the Jews, claiming that they were guilty for the physical decline that came upon them after the conclusion of the wars. They demanded a new division of taxes that would reflect the true economic situation. For “the Jews have pushed themselves into all types of business, and they rule over us. The Christians have no possibility to improve their situation and to improve their economic conditions. On the contrary, they have no sources of livelihood, and they are forced to lease their houses to Jews.” The Armenians did not become involved in this struggle between the Polish citizens and the Jews, for they became especially rich during the time of the war by providing horses to the army.

The claims of the Poles were not correct. The Jews had suffered more than they did during these wars. Furthermore, the tax burden that was imposed on them was significantly greater than that of the rest of the citizens. Nevertheless, Józef Potocki had no choice but to come down on the side of the citizens, and he forbade the Jews from buying lots from the non-Jews, and from running taverns and inns in the homes that had rented from Christians. Despite all this, the Jews were not subdued. On the contrary, despite the difficult conditions and the economic pressure, they spared no effort to expand the sphere of their economic activities. Their efforts were also impeded by the Armenians, who had until this time stood at the side of the Jewish-Polish struggle, and now regarded the participation of the Jews in commerce as a threat to their economic status.

In the meantime, the community grew. A second bathhouse was built in 1718 next to the Chevra Kadisha which was founded in 1692[9] – the first bathhouse having being build in the year 1662. In those years, a charitable fund was established that gave out interest free loans, in return for surety of valuable objects. When enemy armies invaded Stanisławów during the years 1714-1716, and the community could not pay the contribution that had been imposed upon it by the Russian army, they borrowed the money from the charitable fund after pledging all of the valuable objects of the synagogue as surety[10]. In 1732, the Jewish population was 1,470 souls from among a total population of 3,321 (1,518 Poles and Ruthenians, 333 Armenians, 1,470 Jews). It is self evident that the Armenians were afraid that due to their numbers, the Jews would pose a threat to them. Therefore they presented a written complaint to Józef Potocki on May 9, 1736, claiming that the Jews, in their diligence, grabbed hold of all branches of business and tavern keeping, and posed so much competition against the Christian merchants that many of them were forced to rent their houses to Jews or to abandon them, for they were not able to earn a livelihood or to perform all of the required repairs to the houses. Potocki was forced to appoint a committee to conduct a detailed investigation regarding the fields of business that should be allowed to the Jews. The investigation of this committee resulted in restrictions upon Jewish business. From that point, it was forbidden for Jews to acquire immovable property in the city without a special permit from the owner of the city.


[Page 14]


It was also forbidden for them to run taverns and inns in the houses that they rented from Armenians. Based on the decisions of this committee, the city council issued a decision against the Jews on June 25, 1736, which claimed that, due to the Jews who jumped into the hides trade and made shoes, boots, etc., the Armenian merchants were pushed out of all fields of business, and were completely devastated economically. Against this, the Jews claimed that, in accordance with the charter that was given to them, they were permitted to conduct business in hides. Although they were forbidden to make shoes and sell them in their stores, they were permitted to give the hides to shoemakers. The city council forbade the Jews from that time to make any hides purchases and to produce shoes. They were permitted to purchase cattle wholesale in return for hides, but they were forbidden to sell them wholesale or retail locally, and they were forbidden to purchase animal hides from the farmers in the marketplace. This decision, which took effect immediately, cancelled in essence the privilege that was given to the Jews on September 17, 1662, which granted them the same freedoms as the rest of the population had. It goes without saying that this decision caused a decline in the situation of the Jews, who were forced to transgress the bans and restrictions without paying attention to the consequences, for the concern for livelihood was above all else. If we add to this that during those days, starting from 1727, there were also fierce struggles between the Jewish and Christian tanners, we can understand how aggravated were the relations between the various segments of the population.

The decision of the town council was in essence a hindrance against the livelihoods of the Jews and an obstacle before their economic existence. This can be seen from the fact that, despite their lowly economic situation, all sorts of taxes and tolls were demanded of them. Since they were required to pay them, they fell into great debt. Furthermore, they were forced to pay various bribes in order to circumvent the legal restrictions. The situation here, as in all communities of Poland of that era, was that the Jews were burdened under the weight of debts, and interest upon interest.

Józef Potocki, who provided support to the Armenians[6*] in particular, gave them permission to build a church. In order to cover the building expenses, he imposed upon the Jews, in an ordinance from April 24, 1743, a special tax of 1,000 guilders a year, that they were required to pay in “two payments per year: one payment on March 1, and the second on September 1, to the hands of the Armenian priest, until the building of the church is completely finished.”[11]. Since the building of the church went on for twenty years, the Jews were required to pay 1,000 guilders per year as their contribution toward its building, until 1762. This was aside from the general taxes that were owed by all Jews. However, even when the church was already standing, the Jews were not freed from this tax. On the contrary, the owners of the city decided that the tax should continue into the future at the same sum, for the benefit of the church, “so that they will pray for the peace and wealth of the Potocki family”.

Józef Potocki, who did not pass up any opportunity to extract taxes and various tolls from the Jews, attempted also to support them and fulfill all of their communal requests. One of their requests was for a new synagogue building, which became a great necessity after the community grew in a significant fashion.


[Page 15]


The old synagogue, built in 1665, was not able to meet the needs of the community. Furthermore, in 1680, when Jedrzej Potocki built his new palace behind the walls of the city and wished to transfer the center of the city to that place so as to unite his residence with the city fortifications, it became clear that the Jewish quarter separated the palace from the center of the city. The question arose as to whether to transfer the Jewish quarter to another area. However, this plan only came to fruition during the days of his son, the Hetman of the crown, the above mentioned Józef Potocki. He gave the Jews a large area in another edge of the city, at the fortifications to the left of the gate to Tyśmienica in the place where today Meizels Street meets Potocki Square. At the time of the reorganization of the administrative apparatus during the years 1717-1721, Potocki granted a new privilege to the Jews[12]. This privilege allowed them to build a large synagogue after they receive the new quarter, and also authorized all rights that were granted to them in the charter of 1662. He did not satisfy himself with merely providing the permission, but also gave of his own money for the building of the synagogue, and even gave them wood and other building materials.

However, this synagogue, which was made of wood, was not able to satisfy the community. After several years, it was two small for its congregation, for the Jewish population had grown in a significant manner. During that time, Potocki made great efforts to improve the appearance of the city. He encouraged the population to destroy the wooden buildings and to build brick structures in their stead. The heads of the Jewish community of Stanisławów wished to capitalize upon this opportunity, and expended great effort in order to obtain from the owners of the city the required permit to build a new synagogue out of brick. However, in accordance with the legal situation in those days, there was also a need to obtain a permit from the ecclesiastical diocese of Lwów, to which Stanisławów belonged. It was headed by Archbishop Mikołai Ignacy Wyżicki. To this end, Leib the son of Nissan (Nisonowicz) the lessee of Halicz (arrendator Tabernalis Haliciensis) traveled to Lwów and requested from the Archbishop that he permit the Jews of Stanisławów to build a brick synagogue for their community. The Archbishop granted the requested permit on June 12, 1745, but he agreed in essence only to an external renovation of the old synagogue, and that the building be done in accordance with the regulations of the synod [13], which had become the law of the land with the passage of time. In accordance with these regulations, Jewish synagogues were not permitted to differ from other Jewish buildings in external appearance and building height. In addition, they could not be built close to churches, so that “their chattering should not disturb the Catholic prayers”. The Jews of Stanisławów were forced to content themselves with these renovations of the old synagogue, for due to their difficult conditions and economic struggle with the citizens, they had no power to undertake a fundamental renovation.


[Page 16]


During the 1750s, the Armenians began to give over to the Jews the taverns and stores that they occupied, for they did not feel themselves competent enough to occupy themselves with them. The citizens wished to view this occurrence as a result of “the craftiness of the Jews”. They employed means against the Jews to destroy their economic situation. This economic battle, which was not only an issue in Stanisławów alone, but was rather one in a long chain of battles between the Jews and the citizens in all of Poland, continued until the time that Lesser Poland (Małopolska) was transferred to Austria. It did not end until a long time after the Austrian conquest.

The Jews of the city also suffered from attacks from the noblemen. On May 19, 1751, Józef Potocki, the owner of the city who treated the Jews well, died. On the day of his funeral, the Starosta (County Administrator) Mikołaj Potocki killed one Jew in Stanisławów. When the son of the late owner of the city chastised him for his deed, he answered in the Ruthenian language: “Quiet, don't shout, in return for the one Jew, I will return to you a wagon full of Jews”. He then traveled to his native city of Buczacz, gathered a large number of Jewish youths, loaded them upon a wagon, sent them to Stanisławów, and unloaded them in front of Potocki's palace. This event – which was characteristic of the relationship between the Polish noblemen and the Jews – frightened the Jews of the city, for they understood the spirit of the noblemen very well, and feared other attacks and pillaging of property from them.

During the days of the rule of Stanislaw – the son of Józef Potocki – the economic situation of the Jews improved. They succeeded in becoming involved in many fields of business, and in accustomizing the citizens to their expanded fields of economic endeavor. They were able to renew their efforts to obtain a permit for the building of a new synagogue. On June 28, 1761, the Archbishop of Lwów Wacław Sierakowski received the delegation of the community, consisting of Rabbi Dov Berish the son of Yaakov Avraham and the heads of the community Chaim the son of Yaakov and Yisrael the son of Aharon. They presented him with the permit that had been granted to them by Wyżicki and requested that he authorize it, for they had not been able actualize it and to build a brick synagogue. General Eustachy Potocki also interceded on behalf of the community, and in his merit, the archbishop decided to authorize the permit. However, he added a few restrictions, including that in the event of the destruction of the synagogue or a fire, they were forbidden to rebuild the synagogue without the approval of the archbishop. In addition, they were forbidden to employ a Christian to clean the chandeliers, and the Jewish innkeepers and bakers were forbidden to sell their wares on Sundays and Christian holidays. The Jewish storekeepers were forbidden to open their stores on those days. During the time of the parade on the holiday of Boże Ciało, and during the time that the Christian church goes out to such a parade, Jews are forbidden to be seen on the streets, and must remain at home with their windows shut. They were also forbidden to make weddings with musical instruments, but must do so quietly and modestly. Christians were forbidden to attend Jewish celebrations and to eat and drink at the table of a Jew. Transgressors would be excommunicated from the church. Aside from these restrictions, the permit contained other restrictions, such as the ban upon insulting Christians, of hiring them as watchmen for the cemetery[14], of conducting funerals after sunset, etc.


[Page 17]


Right after they received the permit, the Jews immediately began the work of dismantling the synagogue, and they began collecting the needed money for building. The building of the synagogue continued for sixteen years. The new synagogue was dedicated in 1777, that is already in the time when the city was already within the realm of the Austrian Kaiser.

The political events that took place in Poland between 1764 and the eve of the first partition (1772), the invasion of the armies of the Confederation of Noblemen of Halicz and of the Russian army, severe oppression, and pillage of Jewish property by both the invading enemy armies and the local residents all were signs of the setting of the era of Polish independence in Stanisławów. Indeed, already on the eve of the partition of Poland, when the Polish and Armenian citizens complained about their business decline, Józef Potocki claimed in 1769 that the Jews had succeeded in overtaking all branches of business and trade, not due to subversion, but rather due to the lack of ability of the Armenian merchants. For they were burdened by all sort of protocols that bore the stamp of the Middle Ages, and therefore it is no wonder that the number of Jewish merchants and stores grew to such an extent that in the stores of the tower of the town hall there were only 5 Armenian merchants and 19 Jewish merchants at the time of the partition[15].

Similarly, the number of Jewish craftsmen increased. At the end of the 18th century, the number of Armenian and Polish guilds, which still held significant positions in the fields of tailoring, shoemaking, fur making, and textiles, declined. In these fields as well, the Jews had succeeded with the passage of time in capturing significant positions. At the end of the 18th century, there were 220 craftsmen in the city. Of these, 151 (68.6%) were Christians who lived in the suburbs of the city, and 69 (31.4%) were Jews[16] who lived in the city. They engaged in the following crafts: tailoring, gold making, glass blowing, baking, smithiery, basket making, butchering, barbering, engraving, and bookbinding. One of the two watchmakers was Jewish.


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B.

The annexation of Galicia to the Hapsburg Monarchy brought many changes to the lives of the Jews. The Austrian administration wished to change the Jews all at once, and to accustom them to the new conditions. Nevertheless, the plethora of directives, ordinances and dictates, which spread out to the Jews of Galicia through the efforts of the local government and with the authorization of the central government in Vienna, only caused chaos. Slowly, the Austrian bureaucratic apparatus began to recognize and understand that it is impossible to effect an improvement in the lives of the Jews through directive and “patents”.

The lot of the community of Stanisławów[17] was the same as the lot of all Jewish communities of Galicia. Despite various difficulties, the Jewish population began to develop both economically and numerically. In 1776, there were 17,500 Jews in 1,577 houses in the region of Stanisławów. That is to say, eleven souls lived in each house. If we take into account that the homes of the Jews were small and poorly built, we can imagine the degree of crowding in the Jewish homes. With regard to the occupation of the Jews, there was the adage: “every fourth Jew in the city was a tailor”[18]. This was a slight exaggeration, but was more or less justified in Stanisławów.

The Potocki family of the owners of the city spread its wings over the Jews. In the ledgers of the government it stated explicitly that in the merit of this protection, German merchants who came from all other lands of the monarchy were not able to settle in Stanisławów. However, this protection did not last long for the Jews. The Austrian government wished to unite their states with respect to the Jewish population. After arranging the organizational unity, they wished first and foremost to organize the economic conditions. The central government regarded one of the important problems to be the liquidation of the Jewish tavern keepers of Galicia. Only eight of the eighteen regional heads agreed to this, one of them being the head of the Stanisławów region, Baron Levenvalde. His reasoning was that such a liquidation would bring great benefit in Bukovina[19], and that the liquidation of the tavern keepers would force the Jews to be employed in productive professions.

All of the experiments that took place during the reign of Empress Maria Teresa did not succeed in bringing recognizable changes and improvements to the economic life of the Jews of Galicia. Therefore it is no wonder that the economic situation during the era of her successor Kaiser Franz Josef II declined to such an extent that the authorities deliberated about the difficult question of what to do to improve the difficult situation of the Jews.


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Josef II, who was a physiocrat in terms of his economic and political outlook, wished to ease the Jewish problem by settling the Jews as farmers on the land. In 1781, the Galician representatives asked if it would be possible to give the Jews lands on government property in order that they might work the land. In 1782, a directive was issued from Vienna that Jewish farmers would only pay half of the marriage tax. After a short time, they were completely exempted from this tax. The founding of Jewish settlements only began in 1785, after a directive was issued by the Kaiser on July 16. In the spring of 1786, the first Jewish agricultural settlement was established in the village of Dąbrówka near Nowy Sącz (Neisandz, Tzanz). Afterwards, the agricultural settlement Neu Babylon was established near the city of Bolechow. Other such settlements were established, which did not last long. In accordance with a directive of the government, it was established that from among the agricultural settlers in all of Galicia – 1,410 families – Stanisławów and its region must provide 147 Jewish families. However, in actuality, only 143 families were settled, which included 377 adults and 260 children younger than 18. The property of these settlers included 143 houses, 156 silos and barns, 1,964 plots of land, 241 horses, 238 oxen and 217 cows. The communities in the regions of settlement were expected to provide the budget in such a manner that the expenditures for the settlement of one family would total 250 Florin[20]. In 1822, the number of Jewish settlers from Stanisławów and its area included 56 families that settled the land – 20 of which were funded by the community and 36 were funded by themselves. It is obvious that the tax burden served to lower the economic situation of the Jews of Stanisławów, just as happened in other regions and cities in Galicia. We should remember that, aside from the Tolerance Tax (Toleranzsteuer)[21], the Jews paid all sorts of other tolls and taxes. Most of the Jews earned their living from tavern keeping, and the number of Jewish families was similar to the number of taverns. The government did not oppose this, for the distancing of Jews from taverns led to a decline in government income.

During those days, the importance of a city was determined by the level of taxes collected, or according to the number of personnel employed in their collection. From this perspective, during the early period of Austrian rule, Stanisławów was numbered, along with Złoczów, Zaleszczyki, Brody, Tarnopol and Lwów, among the largest communities, that were allowed to employ, due to their large Jewish population, a special official (Excisist) to arrange all maters regarding the collection of the meat tax. His annual salary was 200 Florin. They also were allowed to employ a Jewish clerk whose annual salary was 350 Florin[22].

In the year 1788, there were 11 communities with 3,530 Jewish families, numbering 17,342 souls in Stanisławów and its region. Of these, there were 8,584 men and 8,758 women. In accordance with status, there were 2,962 families of type I, 212 of type II, 137 of type III, and 255 poor families[7*].


[Page 20]


In 1790, there were 3,351 families in Stanisławów and its region, and they paid 13,404 Florin in tolerance tax[23]. In 1792 there were 3,252 families, numbering 15,420 souls, including 7,618 men, and 7,802 women. In accordance with types, there were 2,664 of type I, 269 of type II, 126 of type II, and 193 poor families[24].

As has been stated, the Jews were employed for the most part in running taverns and retail trade. In 1788, a very significant branch of business was taken away from them – tobacco growing. During the days of Polish independence, the farmers around Stanisławów grew tobacco. For many years, its sale was centered in the hands of Jews. Aside from tobacco, these Jews were also involved in the salt trade. After the government of Austria made trade in tobacco and salt into their own monopoly, the farmers stopped growing tobacco, since the government paid them such low prices that it no longer brought them any profit. With this monopoly, the source of livelihood of many Jews was sealed off.

There were also a significant number of craftsmen among the Jews. Originally, they were primarily involved in the tailoring and baking trades. During these years, the textile field opened up, and a small number of Jews also became involved in wholesale trade. The wealthy wholesalers included Shlomo Sachs (Zaks), Abel Arnold, Aharon Ergler[25], and Naftali Hertz the son of the rabbi and head of the region of Lwów, Aryeh Leib of Buczacz.

In 1791, the government forbade the Jews to live in villages and to run inns and liquor stills. This ban was very difficult economically. The communities of Galicia, Stanisławów among them, approached the authorities through their leaders Yaakov Landau and Meir Schener, with a request to annul the ban. The government rejected this with the claim that the Jews were not allowed to choose their own leaders without a special permit from the government[26].

On account of the difficulty of the economic situation and the lack of livelihood, a large scale emigration of the Jews of Stanisławów began at the end of the 18th century to Moldavia and Wallachia. This became so strong that the government in Vienna gave instructions to its consulate in Iasi to refuse to grant consular protection to these émigrés[27]. The main factor that pushed the Jews to emigration was, according to the view of the government, the charter of Josef II from March 20, 1785. Indeed, aside from the political conditions, it imposed a decree to the Jews of Galicia that they must establish public schools for the Jewish youth. A Jewish public school was established in 1788 in Stanisławów, as happened in other communities. This school was in accordance with the curriculum of Hertz Homburg, and was acceptable to the authorities (Jüdische Normalschule).


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Text Footnotes:
  1. The main road went from Lwów in the direction of Iasi, through Złoczów, Zborów, Tarnopol, Trembowla, (Terebovlya), Kopyczynce, Czortków, Zaleszczyki, Chernovtsy, Iasi; and in the direction of Hungary through Przemyślyany (Premishlan), Rohatyn, Bursztyn, Wojniłów, Kałusz, Stanisławów, Bohorodczany (Brotchin), Delatyn, Kołomyja, Śniatyn, Moltany, or through Kołomyja, Kosłw, Kuty, Hungary. Return
  2. P. 392, 38. No. 205, XX1V, Akty ziemskie I grodzkie. Return
  3. See 395, C. 1. Return
  4. See 488, No 255; see 415-40, no 214, XXIV c. 1. Return
  5. We can surmise that the first Jews who settled in Stanisławów came from Zabłotów (Zablotov), which was also in the possession of Potocki. Return
  6. The privilege was copied in the Osolineum in Lwów, manuscript 3636. See document I. Return
  7. It is interesting that this charter was inscribed on a government form (akta grodzkie) in Halicz on December 13, 1775. Return
  8. In the notes of Jedrzej Potocki from April 25 to September 15, 1669. See Leon Streit: Ormianie a Żydzi w Stanisławowie x XVII I XVIII wieku; Stanislawow 1936, page 5. Return
  9. The Ledger of the Chevra covers the period from 1693-1815, and has 215 pages. Return
  10. Leon Streit: Z dziejów bractwa pogrzebowego w Stanisławowie “Słowo” 10, from January 9, 1937, number 91. Return
  11. Ks. Sadok Baracz: Pamiatki miasta Stanisławowa, Lwów 1858, s. 105-107. Return
  12. See document II. Return
  13. In 1711, the synod in Kraków decided that the building of a new Jewish synagogue requires a direct permit from the court of the bishop. Return
  14. In the above mentioned permit, the following restrictions on the synagogue were included: Aby drzewa wszystkie na okopisku swoim, osobliwie rodzajne powycinali i doły tego okopiska plac konserwowali a to dlatego, aby przez te drzewa rodzajne ludziom chrześcijanskim do przyjmowania służby przy okopisku ponęty nie dawali, chałupę przy tem okopisku, mieć nie pozwalamy, ale aby w niej Żyda, nie chrześcijanina konserwowali. Return
  15. The Jewish wholesale merchants participated in fairs in Germany during those years. For example, in 1772, eleven Jewish merchants from Stanisławów visited the Breslau fair. See Breslauer Messgaste, by Bernard Brilling in Judische Familienforschung, Berlin 1935, page 680. Starting from the beginning of the 18th century, Jewish merchants from Stanisławów went to the fairs in Kiev and Neisin in Russian Ukraine (Zadnieprze). In 1725, the merchants Yisrael Chaskilowicz and Mordechai the son of Yitzchak participated in these fairs. See: Prof. Wladymir Rybinski: Do Istorji Zydiw na liwobereznij Ukrainy w polow. XVII st. Zbirnik prac zydiwskoj istoriczno-archaelgraficznoj Komisji. Kiew 1928 t. I Document Nr 1 s. 20, 16. Return
  16. Dr. Józef Zielinski: Z przeszłości dziejowej mieszczańswa polskiego w Stanisławowie 1662-1870, s. 11-12. Return
  17. Kaiser Josef II, who visited Galicia after its annexation, visited Stanisławów on August 6, 1773. Return
  18. In page 66 of Rohrer: Versuch über die Stanisłau jüdische Bevölkerung der österreichischen Monarchie, in a register that was produced in the Halicz region in 1765, 847 adult Jews were registered in the town of Stanisławów along with 78 children, totaling 925 souls. In the villages in the region of Stanisławów (Rybno, Jamnica, Uhrynów, Pasieczna, Zagwoźdź, Pacików, Krechowce, Zukalówka, Opryszowce), 61 adult Jews and 3 children were registered. See Dr. Majer Balaban, Spis Zydow I Karaitow Ziemi Halickiej, Krakow 1909 s. 9. Return
  19. See the articles in: History of the Jews in Bukovina during the years 1775-1785, in “Zion”, 5702 -1942. Return
  20. Dr. N. M. Gelber: Statistics from Poland at the end of the Eighteenth Century in “Writings of Economics and Statistics”, Berlin 1920, volume 1, page 188. Return
  21. The Austrian Government retained the Polish head tax, and increased it from 30 Kreitzer to a Florin. Return
  22. Archives of the Interior Ministry in Vienna, number 147, from October 1787, carton 2648 11, T. IV. Return
  23. The archives of the Interior Ministry in Vienna, number 67, from August 1790. Ausweis ex anno. Return
  24. The archives of the Interior Ministry in Vienna, number 2,579, carton IV T. 11. Return
  25. Prot. No. 18 ddo 17 VIII 1798. Return
  26. Prot. 1791-1793 No 159. Decret an das galizische Gubernium ddo 22. XII 1792. Return
  27. Protocollum 1. C 1795 No 98 ddo 26 September. Return




Translator's Footnotes:
[1*]   The first nation to attack the Jewish people after the exodus from Egypt, considered to be the archetype of enemies of the Jews. Return
[2*]   [Brzerżany] Return
[3*]   The Hebrew word here is “suchtianim”, with (saffians) included in English characters at the side. On the online Collins Dictionary, this is translated as “hides tanned with sumach and usually dyed a bright color. [via Russian and Turkish from Persian sakhtiyan goatskin, from sakht hard] Return
[4*]   I am not sure of the meaning of this word. Return
[5*]   A Ukrainian Cossack movement from the 17th and 18th centuries. The word originates from the Turkish word for “to rob”. Return
[6*]   The word here is actually 'umanim' – craftsmen, which differs in one letter from 'Armanim' – Armenians. However, due to the context, I expect that there was a typographical error in the text here, and the intention was Armenians. Return
[7*]   Evidently, this is some type of ranking based on income or means. Return



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