Tarnogrod, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Tarnogrod, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Tom Merolla

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the one volume, 592 page, yizkor book. “Book of Tarnogrod; in Memory of the Destroyed Jewish Community” was published in Tel Aviv in 1966.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Tarnogrod or the vicinity constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society

Project Importance

The prayer of Yizkor, or “May He Remember”, is recited in the Synagogue not only as a memorial to the deceased, but also as a rededication to the spiritual heritage of one's ancestors. Thus, after World War II, émigrés and Holocaust survivors authored Yizkor books in order to remember the towns whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life and residents, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. Many Yizkor books contain maps, photographs and illustrations and are unique sources of information of once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe. Stories of survival contain names of Righteous Persons yet to be documented. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew and/or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Yizkor books were printed in limited runs as the authors then felt that only the survivors or descendants from that particular town would be interested. Some of these Yizkor books are rare and difficult to obtain. The translation and on-line publication of Yizkor books into English unlocks all of this information to researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The town of Tarnogrod is located near Bilgoraj, in the Lublin district of Poland, close to the present Ukraine border. According to “Tarnogrod” - Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume VII (Poland) Tarnogrod is one of the oldest towns in Poland and Jews were among the first inhabitants of the town. In 1939 there were 2,515 Jews living in Tarnogrod.

During World War II, Tarnogrod was occupied by the Germans twice; first on 14 September 1939 until the Russian Army came on 24 September 1939, and again on 5 October 1939. Some residents left with the Russians and some hid in the forests. In May 1942 a ghetto was erected in Tarnogrod and in November of the same year all remaining Jews were sent to Belzec and those too ill to travel were killed in the cemetery by the German Nazis.

Project Description

As funds become available, all Hebrew and Yiddish pages will be translated. To accomplish that JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The project coordinator will select the order in which the chapters will be translated and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project. The resulting translation will be posted on the Yizkor Book Translations site at:

Estimated Cost. $15,000


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Updated 16 Sep 2011 by LA