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Translation of the
Turobin Yizkor Book

(Turobin, Poland)


Project Leader: Dan Feder
JewishGen Liason/Advisor: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of “The Turobin book; in memory of the Jewish community” (Sefer Turobin; pinkas zikaron), M. S. Geshuri, Ed., Israel, 1967, 400 pages, (written in Hebrew and Yiddish).

Turobin is located in the Lublin region of Poland. It is possible that the first Jewish families lived in Turobin as early as the second half of the 16th century, as the townlet appears in the list of Jewish settlements in 1580.

According to census records, in 1939 there were around 14,000 Jews. On May 17th 1942, many S.S. troops came to Turobin with an auxiliary force of Ukrainians. The remaining Jews in the town, then some 2,700 souls, were assembled in the market square and sent to their deaths in Sobibor. Since there was no actual ghetto, a relatively large number of Jews managed to find hiding-places with Polish neighbours or to flee to the forest.

After the mass deportation a small group of slave workers remained in Turobin. On October 14th, 1942 these were sent via the ghetto at Izbica to the death camp at Belzec, together with the last of the Jews in the district.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Turobin 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

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, Yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. 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 or Yiddish, or both, these are not accessible to a wider audience. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received awards in 2002 and 2016 for its outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Currently, there is little information available to the English speaking world regarding Turobin or its Jewish community. With the destruction of the Jewish community, the information in this Yizkor book constitutes nearly all of its documented history. This project will result in the creation of the primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its Jewish community.

Project Description

This project is intended to result in the translation, from Yiddish to English, of the Turobin Yizkor book. To complete the translation, JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The resulting translations will be posted, as they are completed, on the Yizkor Book Translations site at

Estimated Cost



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