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[Page 325]

Chapter XV


The Krosno Library

Historical series


Notebook 13 [1997]

Elzbieta Raczy

Jews in Krosno Between 1919–1939

Krosno 1997

Translated by Monika Hendry from Polish to English

Arrangement and editing by William Leibner

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Editor of the series is Ewa Mankowska.

Copyright by Museum Rzemiosla w Krosnie Krosno 1997

ISBN 83–905920–4–5

Na Okladzie:

Ucznowie szkoly hebrajskiej wraz z nauczczycielka Riwka Gross Wykonane
w latach 1927–1928. Zbiory Leah Krill Balberg.

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The second pamphlet also deals with the life of the Jews in Krosno. It is dedicated primarily to the life and activities of the Jews of Krosno. The lack of materials prevents us from drawing a clear and precise picture of the situation. Nevertheless, it is a fact that Jews played an important role in the life of the Krosno community and they were a part of the Polish nation.

Most of our research was based on materials that are available in Polish archives and museums. We also collected information from former Krosno Jewish inhabitants. The Yad Vashem Institute in Israel and the Jewish press that dealt extensively with Jewish problems in Poland provided an important source of information. The city of Krosno did a fine job in preserving many of the archives in chronological order up to the outbreak of WWII.

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Demography of Jews in Krosno

The Jewish population in Krosno grew significantly during the wars. But the precise growth that can only be ascertained by analyzing certain statistical documents, notably the census of 1921 and the one of 1931[1] Based on the data of the 1921 census, Krosno had 6,887 inhabitants that included 1,725 Jews who represented 25% of the total population.[2] According to P. Burchard,“Relics and Momentos of Jewish Culture in Poland,” published in Warsaw in 1990. In Krosno in 1921, there were 6,887 inhabitants that included 4,871 Jews or 70% of the population was Jewish. With that many Jews the Jewish community would be classified as big community and according to the governmental regulations would have to be governed by a board rather than by a mere council. There are no sources that confirmed such number and those available points to a much smaller figure). This census was based on religious affiliation.

In 1931, the town had 12,125 people that included 683 Jews[3]. This census was based on the language spoken at home. Many Jews spoke Polish and therefore were recorded as Poles. Still others preferred to be recorded as Poles. The economic crisis of 1929–1935 mainly affected the countryside and hence farmers' demand for industrial products declined. Trade was one of the main occupations of Krosno's Jews and was aimed mainly at farmers. Lower demand for products was another reason for the drop in Jewish population in Krosno.

The nationality make–up of the town was well–described in 1924. Krosno's 635 houses had 6,278 residents that consisted of 5,287 Poles and 746 Jews. The rest of the population belonged to other minorities. In religious terms, Krosno had 4,474 Roman Catholics; 1,725 Jews; and 88 Greek Catholics and Russian Orthodox Church followers'[4]. The data shows that many Jews identified themselves as Poles. Still there was a sizable discrepancy in the number of Jews between the surveys.

Analyzing the census data one must remember the different criteria used. The 1921 census used the criteria of religious identity and the one ten years later that of the language spoken home. It is unknown how often Jews put down Polish as their mother tongue, which may have been influenced by their sense of loyalty to the state. The real number of Jews is probably somewhere between those who declared Hebrew [probably Yiddish since few Jews spoke Hebrew, ed.] their mother tongue and Judaism their religion. This meant that the 1921 census was probably more objective as the nationality issue was not investigated in 1931.

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The Acts of the town of Krosno listed 14,752 residents in 1938 that comprised 12,023 Christians and 2,729 Jews that represented 18.5% of the total population. Krosno's Jewish population grew mainly at the end of the thirties because of war fears. The town council noted at its meeting on 8 March 1938 that about 300 Jewish needy refugees settled annually in Krosno. They required assistance from the Jewish Committee[5] The high numbers of Jewish refugees were the result of the Jewish policy of the Third Reich. Germany expulsed all foreign Jews, especially Polish Jews,( ed.). The council allocated 300 zloty as assistance to needy refugees'[6].

The streets with the highest density of Jewish residents were Blich, Forteczna, Franciszkanska, Ordynacka, Pilsudskiego, Slowackiego, Sienkiewicza, and the main square[7]. The table at the end of the pamphlet shows the distribution of Jewish residents in the town]. They created the town's commercial center. The synagogue and the ritual bath were located in the same area. This suggested that the choice of Jewish dwellings was influenced by economic and religious factors.

Jews also owned most buildings in the center of town that was resented by the Poles. Frequently the town council intervened and defused possible conflicts. In 1926 it ordered officials to publicly apologize for the words spoken during a meeting “The magistrate was disgraced again by selling property on the main square to a Jew.”[8]

Fragmented sources do not permit us to establish which houses belonged to Jews in the center of town[9]. Exact records show owners of building 5–11 on the north side of the square and building 12 on the south side. All numbers are given according to the current numeration. The building no. 5 was bought in 1890 by Hanna and Abraham Moses Ratz and belonged to the Ratz family until 1929. Then Abraham Rubinstein bought half of the house from Chaim Ratz and the other half was bought Beila and Mendel Linderberg in 1931. The first Jewish owner of the house currently numbered as 11 was Izrael Neubert who bought in 1874 and held it until 1899. Then, he probably sold ¾ of it to Chaim Keil and ¼ to Branla Keil and in 1900 the magistrate issued permission to Chaim Keil to repair the roof. In 1921 he gave his share to his children with each getting 3/20 of the house. In 1892 Salomon and Ita Spett bought the property at no. 12 for 10,150 zlotys and held it until 1918 when it was sold to Elias and Blima Zeller who owned it until 1957.

There were also buildings that had many owners.

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This was due to inheritances. Each part of the house was frequently divided in the process of inheritance or commercial dealings. For example, the house no. 11 was subdivided several times and finally belonged to eleven owners. Many Jews were rich enough to own more than one building. Council member Joseph Ratz owned house 5 and 45 located at the square. In the 1920s Jews owned houses 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 25, and 27. This, however, did not bear out the real housing situation of the majority of Jews of Krosno. The rich minority owned houses in the center. Most of Krosno Jews lived in small flats, usually with one or two rooms. Those able to afford a three–room flat were considered well–off.[10] A Jewish flat was not that different from a Polish one. The determinant factor was the financial standing of the owner. A characteristic feature of a Jewish home was the mezuza (a small container with verses from the Bible written on paper [probably parchment, ed.] attached to the right side of the entrance door, observant Jews would kiss it on entering and leaving the home). The Jewish home had more pots and pans because meat and milk dishes had to be kept separated due to the kashrut laws of the Jewish religion. [Memoirs of Baruch Munz, ex–resident of Krosno, currently in Israel.]

Jewish families were usually extensive and large with many children. A one flat may house eight to 10 people. Big families were the rule among the rich and the poor. Not many families could afford to rent separate premises for their workshops[11]. The term “workshop” denotes here anything that was used for making a living. Most artisans lived and worked in the same place. The more enterprising owners went abroad to earn money and modernized their workshops. Krosno did not have too many of these individuals[12]. Abraham Munz was that kind of man. He started a family when he was 19 and became an independent turner. He went to work in Czechoslovakia and Germany and worked for 7 years. He earned enough money to build and equip his workshop that became quite popular and had clients from Korczyna, Miejsce Piastowe and Rymanow.

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Occupational structure of the Jewish community

Krosno's Jews engaged mainly in trade and in crafts. WWI disrupted the activities

of the occupational organizations. The last meeting of the board of the Great Guild was held on May 17th 1914 and it didn't resume meetings till February 24th 1919[13]. To the guild belonged most craftsmen in Krosno, both Poles and Jews. The most popular crafts among the Jews were the trades of tinsmith, tailor, and baker.[14] The situation was similar in most places in Galicia, for example in Sanok and in Rymanow. In Sanok Jews were attracted to weaving, leather making, and baking. In Rymanow, Jews dominated the tinsmith trade, tailoring, watch making, and baking. The town had 14 bakeries and only one was Polish–owned. In 1937, Sanok had 11 bakeries that included 8 Jewish bakeries, and 37 tailor shops that included 24 Jewish stores. On the other hand, Poles there dominated the trade of blacksmith, wheel making, and carpentry. The table at the end of the pamphlet lists the Jewish craftsmen of Krosno)

The most known Jewish craftsmen in Krosno were: baker Izrael Breitowicz, tinsmith Abraham Munz, and turner Mozes Springer.[15] It is worth noting that some and brick laying[16] trades did not attract Jews at all. These included stone masonry,


Stationary of Munz's firm in Krosno


carpentry, blacksmith,

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The apprenticeship and mastery of most trades under the auspices of the Great Guild lasted 2–4 years. The terms of the contract, pay, accommodations, and living expenses were negotiated individually between teacher and student or his guardian beforehand. The parties would usually sign an agreement that was authorized by the board. Most young Jews were taught by their co–religionists, because of religious considerations. Such an arrangement made it easier for students to fulfill their religious obligations; however, there were many exceptions. Fathers tended to teach their children the trade since they could not afford to pay the tuition[17]. Teaching at home was cheaper and many workshops were family–owned and passed from generation to generation as few could afford to buy a new workshop and equip it.

From 1936–1938, masters of the Great Guild had 197 students including 27 Jews[18]. The board was in charge of executing the laws of the Guild and supervised exams, the eradication of usury, the issuance of “industrial cards” or certificates of trade, and solving disputes among masters and students. Indeed, it was forced to intervene frequently as attested by the guild books[19]. The Great Guild also supervised the production levels and timely fulfillment of orders.

An important role was played by the butchers' guild. Anyone who possessed an industrial card and managed an independent butcher shop could also become a member of the butcher guild. Many stores were Jewish–owned and belonged to the butcher guild, among them: Flisk Breitowicz, Mojzesz Breitowicz, Sander Fessel, Jakub Grunspan, Dawid Lambik, Tobiasz Nagiel, Menes Trenczew, and Mahler Wolf[20]. On 29 December 1920 the board granted “industrial cards” to Salomon Beim and Shie Kwill. On 5 January 1926 it fined Abraham Munz 10 zloty for failing to report a student. This was a breach of the rules and required a penalty.

In 1928 there were 20 butcher shops in Krosno, including 9 Jewish–owned stores.

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Between 1922–1930 there were 20 students and judging by their surnames and the fact they were taught by Jewish masters, it can be concluded that they were Jewish. Jewish religion required special slaughtering procedures [schitah, ed.] and this could only be taught by fellow Jews. At the end of the1930s, all Jewish masters were expelled from the butcher guild and the great guild expelled all Jewish artisans. They later formed the Collective Israelites Guild. Jewish craftsmen tried to establish their own guild much earlier. The Great Guild was deliberating such a request at its meeting on 14 April 1932[21]. According to the minutes from the meeting, Jewish craftsmen put forward a request to leave without giving reasons. It was probably because of the growing competition among Polish and Jewish craftsmen and some of the rules might hamper Jewish activities. Jewish craftsmen may have felt tempted to form a separate guild as a way of maintaining their current economic position. But the split was avoided and the situation was defused with the help of Samuel Goldstein. He was a representative of the Jewish craftsmen and led his co–religionists to a settlement that avoided a rift of the organization[22].

The Jewish craftsmen left the Guild in 1938[23]. At the time, the anti–Semitic sentiments in Krosno began to weaken. These feelings always existed, but in 1936 they erupted in public. The anti–Semitic sentiments can be attributed to the fact that the Jews dominated the local economy and they lived in a separate and different culture. Anti–Jewish actions in Krosno were mainly limited to economic boycotts, stalking Jewish shops, anti–Jewish demonstrations that frequently resulted in broken windows in Jewish stores, and mugging Jews on the streets[24] “Nowy Dzennik,” 29 December 1936). The first anti–Semitic incident took place on 25 December 1936. A group of young people led by Wieslaw Mazur and Marek Ruszkowski wrecked the local Jewish sports club Makkabi. The police estimated the financial losses at 700zl. They also broke windows in the house of Jakub Alter. The main instigator of these acts was the Guild of Christian Craftsmen that printed leaflets with slogans such as “buy only from those that help build Poland for Poles [Jews were not considered Polish citizens by this organization,{ ed.][25].

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The boycott undoubtedly affected the economic life of some Jews, but the damage was much greater in the sphere of human relations between Jews and Poles and deepened the mutual distrust that already existed below the surface.

These anti–Semitic sentiments in Krosno between 1936–1938 were a reflection of the general situation in Poland. The influence of the National Democrats, a right–wing nationalist and anti–Semitic party, was growing. Big economic crisis fueled competition and social conflict[26]. From 1935–1939, there were attempts to stop ritual slaughter, limit Jewish access to certain professions, especially law and medicine and to create specific Jewish seats in the classrooms. These measures were demanded by the National Democrats and had support in the government.

Against this background, nationalistic ideas of the National Democrats were gaining attention in certain circles of the Polish society. Jews also engaged in and dominated trade, thus providing an excellent target for hate. Krosno was an industrial and mercantile center with extensive economic links far beyond the county. Merchants attended its fairs from the Sanok, Brzozow, and Jaslo counties.[27] Between 1920–1939, Krosno had 12 annual fairs held on the first Monday of the year and weekly ones held on Mondays. Korczyna and Dukla also had weekly fairs.

Trade was also the traditional Jewish occupation. The fairs were held in the main square of town that was small, and inconvenient. So the Town Council decided to build a new square near the train station that was completed in 1936[28]. In 1928, Krosno had 80 shops, most of them owned by Jewish residents[29]. The table at the end shows the number of Jewish merchants and types of goods on sale.

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Jewish shops in Krosno were very similar to Jewish shops in other towns. They were located in basements or on lower ground floors and frequently offered assorted goods[30]. The income was barely enough to support a family. There were of course prosperous merchants, notably Leopold Dym, Eber Englander, Majer Ellowicz, Wilhelm Hirschwald, Jozef Horowitz, and Samuel Rosshandler. Many advertised their shops in the local press[31]. There was also a petrol station opened in 1928 by Chanie Just and Diana Landau. This was the first gas station in the region and it proved very successful.

Apart from crafts and trade, Jews also managed small restaurants. Lack of sources doesn't allow us to establish the exact list of such places. Two of these restaurants must have been quite successful since the owners advertised in the press. They were M. Ider's restaurant on Staszica street and R. Dym's tavern on Franciszkanska street[32].There were three strictly kosher restaurants owned by Abraham Korn, Chanie Platner, and Golda Pastor and a ritual dairy farm set up in 1925 by Samuel Weinberger[33].

Krosno's intellectuals were concentrated in free trades, such as medicine and law. At the end of the 1920s, Krosno had 11 doctors including 3 Jews[34]. The most trusted were doctors Jakub Braumring who lived on Korczynska Street, and Jonas Stil who lived on Franciszkanska Street. Sources stress that all Jewish doctors attained very high ethical and professional levels. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, about 30% of law offices in Krosno belonged to Jews.


Education and cultural life

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Education played a very important role in the Jewish community. It was conducted in religious and secular schools, with various teaching approaches and languages. The primary level of education for boys was conducted at the cheder, a one–room school with one teacher who taught the Hebrew alphabet, prayers, and some lines of the Old Testament. Parents paid the teacher. There were many elementary cheders in Krosno. Those parents who could afford to pay the Hebrew teacher continued the education of their sons who attended the more advanced cheder. Children studied the weekly section of the Old Testament, customs, and the Talmud. The schooling lasted from 5 to 12 years of age.

Attending cheder did not free children from compulsory schooling, so many also attended secular schools. In the 1930s, Meilech Golda Fenig, living at the Podwale Street, taught at Krosno's cheder[35]. Another basic level Jewish school in the town was the Talmud–Tora, similar to the cheder. Girls could attend the “Beis Yaacow” religious school opened in 1925[36]. This school was under the influence of the Agudat Israel party [an Orthodox religious party, ed.]. It prepared girls for their role as Jewish wives and mothers. There was another religious Jewish school in Krosno that taught religious and secular subjects similar to the public school. The teaching language in all these institutions was Yiddish[37].

The Zionist–influenced Tarbut organization set up in Krosno in 1920 a school with Hebrew as the teaching language. It had 5 grades with 80–100 pupils[38]. In 1922, the Tarbut organisation has264 educational institutions in Poland, including 227 schools, 4 high schools and 4 technical schools. It employed 1,019 teachers and had 34,230 pupils. The school must have had difficulties in finding a permanent location because the educational authorities tried to get financial assistance. The money was provided by the town's budget of 1929[39].

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Lea Krill–Balberg's report from the Hebrew school in Krosno


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The amount of 500 zlotys, granted by the municipal council, was earmarked for the construction and equipment of the school's new building[40]. It is uncertain where the rest of the funds for the construction of the school came from. Undoubtedly some of the money must have been contributed by the kehilla, and the rest by private donations. Jewish children in the area also attended secular schools and represented up to 25% of all pupils[41].

Krosno had four public schools and 2 high schools: for men and women, which were later transformed into the coeducational City High School and coeducational State High School[42]. Polish schools were open six days a week, including Saturdays. In practice Jewish students did not attend school on Saturdays.

The table:[43]

Year Class No. of
Total %
1930/1931 IV a.b 85 16 18
1931/1932 IV a.b 41 17 41.5
1934/1935 IV a.b.c 137 30 21.9
1939/1838 IV a.b.c 130 30 23.1
1939/1940 IV a.b 79 20 25.3

Jewish youth also attended high schools in Krosno, but their numbers were small. The main barriers to study were financial difficulties, rather than religious considerations. The annual high school tuition fee averaged 240zl[44]. This prevented poor children as well as children from traders to attend high. Only children of the wealthy or owners of prosperous workshops and trading companies could afford a higher education.

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Even amongst the well–to–do, it was customary to send children to learn a trade or an apprenticeship rather than academic schooling[45]. It was much easier for Jewish children of intellectuals such as doctors, lawyers, civil servants, and teachers. These children represented a large proportion of Jewish children attending high schools. The reasons behind this were not only financial but also family tradition and high esteem in which education was held[46]. A similar feeling existed among Polish families. In Krosno's schools, Jewish children had their special religious hours of instruction. At the end of the school term, Jewish teachers would give grades and these were incorporated into the official school certificates.

The public general technical school, whose students worked during the day and studied at night, played an important role among Krosno's educational institutions. The classes were held in the evenings. This institution was not very popular among Jewish workers and craftsmen. Between 1920–1926, only 2.5% of the student body was Jewish. This would tend to indicate a low demand for this type of education among Jewish youth in Krosno and the area. The situation was similar in the 1930s. The increasing competition between Jews and Poles, and the need to upgrade skills, prompted more Jewish students to enroll at the technical school. They studied predominantly tin making, tailoring, baking, and shoe making[47].

Despite everyday problems, mainly providing for the family, cultural life thrived in Krosno's Jewish community. Reading was especially popular. Besides, the public reading room, the Jewish community had its own reading room and a library. It had 100 permanent members[48]. The most popular reading materials were Jewish

[Yiddish] newspapers such as “Moment” (Chwila) published in Lwow, and “ Nowy Dzennik” today published in Krakow[49]. Apart from Jewish issues they focused on national and world matters. There were also available media published by Jewish political organizations, such as the Zionist “Hajmat” or homeland or Polish newspapers

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Evenings were usually spent in Jewish establishments or visiting friends. The favorite pastime was playing cards or chess, accompanied by discussions about political and economic problems. The youth usually spent their free time in sport clubs, Gideon and Makkabi that had gymnastic, running and football teams[50]. The clubs frequently organized competitions between the Krosno Jewish teams and Jewish teams from neighboring towns. The Makkabi club located in the Town Square was particularly famous and popular[51]. In the evenings, it would be crowded with young members, who came to listen to the radio and meet friends.

Quite important in the town's cultural life were hobby and interest clubs. There were music and theatre clubs sponsored by Jewish youth organizations such as Brit Trumpeldor and Hanoar Haiwri[52]. The theatre club staged mainly plays by Jewish authors and used the revenue to support the Hebrew school. These performances must have been quite popular and well–acted, as they were mentioned in the Jewish press[53]. On 11 October 1930, Szalom Alejchem's drama “Scattered and Dispersed” was staged at the Krosno Co–operative. Well–acted parts included: M. Katz as the father, D. Steigbugel as the family favourite, and J. Spitz as a shadchen or matchmaker. A correspondent of Nowy Dzennik said the drama “was enthusiastically received by the Jewish community from the area. Hebrew teacher M. Szeberszteiner directed the dramas that were sponsored by one of Krosno's active Zionists. F. Trenczer. and M. Szberszteiner replaced Riwka Gross who worked at the Hebrew school at the end of the 1920s.

The description of Jewish cultural life would be incomplete without mentioning social customs. Krosno's Jews differed from their Polish neighbors in a few respects, especially in terms of religion and rituals[54]. These differences were especially marked during Jewish holidays and family celebrations.

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The private life of Jews was regulated by religious rules. From birth through wedding until death, the rituals were very important. Birth was associated with the first important rite, circumcision. This happened on the eight day after the birth of a male baby. This act symbolized the joining to the Jewish community that followed the laws of God. In the 1920s, Rubin Kaufman, Rubin Peretz, Jakub Klagsbald, and Majer Ellowicz did circumcisions in Krosno[55]. The kehilla also employed a midwife, Ester Ader[56].

Another ritual was the bar mitzvah. On the first Sabbath of a boy's 13th birthday, he would be called up to the torah as an adult male[57]. This made him, from the religious point of view, an adult fully responsible for his actions.

Other celebrations were also subject to religious rules, including weddings. Most of them were arranged by parents. Before the bride and groom stood under the Huppa or canopy, their parents would sign a pre–nuptial contract stipulating material conditions of the future union[58]. This was most often done during the engagement, when the date of the wedding was also set. After returning home, guests were invited to a traditional meal, while the couple organized their stag and hen night. A characteristic feature of the wedding was the girl's ritual bath in the mikveh on the eve of her nuptials. This custom is still observed today. The wedding always took place in the afternoon. During the celebrations the groom was required to crush a glass with his shoe, which symbolized the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The ceremony was followed by a lavish banquet with the newly married eating the so–called golden soup, a symbol of marital unity[59]. The soup was a kind of chicken soup which the couple ate from the same bowl, remembers Leah Krill–Balberg.

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The social and political life of Krosno's Jewish community

After Poland regained its national independence, it issued laws that standardized the structure of Jewish communities in the country[60]. It included a decree dated February 7th 1919 from the Head of State, an order of the President from October 14th 1927, that extended the above–mentioned law to the districts of Lwow, Krakow, Stanislaw, and Tarnopol. The text of rules that stipulated the political structure of the Jewish communities was published on April 5th 1928. These were supplemented by acts of the Ministry of Religion and Public Enlightenment from October 24th 1930 and September 9th 1931. They replaced all Austrian laws from March 21th 1890.

These were in force until WWII. The communities became legal and public corporations. They had legal status and performed mainly religious functions. All people of the Jewish faith within their area of residence were considered members. Krosno's Jewish kehilla was classified as a small community with under 5,000 members[61]. According to the decree by the Ministry of Religion and Public Enlightenment dated December 24th 1927, the following kehillos were classified as large communities in the Lwow district: Drohobycz, Dubiecko, Jaroslaw, Lwow, Przemysl, Rawa Ruska, Rzeszow, and Sambor.

The Krosno community was headed by an eight–member council, elected every four years according to the piecioprzymiotnikow [five requirements notably, male, residence, age etc.] electoral law. Men over 25 years of age, who lived within the area for at least one year, had active voting rights. Passive voting rights were given to those over 30 years of age who had Polish citizenship.

There was a clause in the electoral rules that the electoral committee could exclude from the voting lists those who were against the Jewish faith and deny voting rights to those who were jailed or lost Polish citizenship. This new ordinance did not give equal voting rights to women but severed the connection between the voting rights and the amount of tax paid by an individual[62]. As described by one of Lwow's newspapers “Moment” from 29 April 1928, “… the current reform breaks away from the dependence of the electoral law on the amount of tax and scores of other archaic methods. (…) the community will be run by people who will treat their posts not as some ceremonial duty but as a mission to serve the Jewish people, who are able to encompass all issues concerning the community…”

The first Krosno election after the independence took place on 25 May 1924[63]. Israeli publications give 1925 as the date of the first post–WWI elections in Krosno. Polish sources, which were used in this research, do not confirm this date. “Nowy Dzennik” from 1 June 1924 and 19 May 1925.).

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The electoral campaign for the kehilla control was primarily between the Aguda, orthodox party, and an alliance of Zionist parties that formed a united democratic–Jewish list. The fight intensified and three weeks before the elections, the Zionists organized a few meetings led by M. Wieenfeld and S. Rosshlandler. The meetings unveiled the party's own program but also severely criticized the current leadership of the kehillah. The Aguda accused the Zionists of trying to set up a non–observing school and to close down the synagogue. These were not the only methods. The Aguda posted written letters by hassidic rabbis that urged Jews not to vote for the Zionist parties[64].

A week before the elections, Aguda members plastered the town with the letter from the Hassidic Rabbi of Belz asking not to elect Zionists “who want to convert Jewish children…” as reported by Nowy Dzennik,” “with particular hatred they attacked the head of the Zionist block organizations, Mojzesz Wiesenfeld” –Nowy Dzennik , 1 June 1924.) The newly elected democrats were[65]: Mojzesz Wiesenfeld, Meschulem Weinberger, Dr. Wilhelm Hirschfeld, Samuel Stiefel, Leopold Dym, and Ozjasz Hiller. Zionists and their supporters gained a majority of the council[66]. Among the board members, half were Zionists, who created a club led by Mojzesz Wiesenfeld. Under their influence, the new budget for 1925 earmarked 600zl. for Keren Hajesod and some money for educational and cultural activities.

Fragmented documents do not allow us to reconstruct the full membership of the commune's authorities in 1924 or other years (1928 and 1936)[67]. Each Jewish kehilla had to meet religious needs of its members. Its other important function was charity, mainly for the old, sick, orphaned, and unemployed.

The first elections were based on the statutory rules from the beginning of the 20th century. From 1927, all Jewish communities in Small Poland or Galicia were governed by a new electoral ordinance. Based on this ordinance, the government called for elections in 1928. The orthodox Aguda and the Zionist parties competed for influence within the communities. Aguda supported the current legislation that stipulated that Jewish communities were religious institutions, while the Zionists tried to turn them into a cornerstone of the Jewish independent community. We must not forget that control of the kehilla gave certain economic advantages and the right to decide how to spent the budget. The 1928 election brought victory to the Zionists in most of the communities in Small Poland including Brzozow, Drohobycz, Jaslo, Rzeszow, and Sanok. )

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Following WWI, Krosno's kehillah faced some serious problems. One of the most important problems was the impoverishment of the community membership and the availability of medical services. The American Joint helped financially solve some of these problems.[68]. USA Jews set up the Joint Distribution Committee after WWI. In its first years, its help was limited to meeting the immediate needs of Jews in the war–ravaged Europe. Later it focused on establishing and developing charitable institutions such as hospitals or homes for the aged. The kehillah's efforts to provide welfare assistance were supported by a number of religious and secular charities that included the Jewish Women Association, that had 70 members in the 1930s, as well as Linas Chojlim (Organization to help the sick and needy). These organizations cared for the poor, providing warm meals and the basic foodstuffs to the most needy. To achieve their goals, these committees also lobbied for support. Some money came from the kehillah's (check spelling throughout for consistency) budget and donations from wealthy Jews, some from the town's coffers.

In 1937, the town paid the Jewish Women Association 20 zloty to cover the cost of medical treatment for the poor[69]. From 1937–38, the magistrate granted Linas Chojlim coal and paid for milk for Jewish children. An important role in caring for the sick and poor played the Bikur Cholim Association that also provided medical help for the poor. It looked after 70 children for whom it tried to ensure at least one warm meal a day[70].

Jewish organizations also looked after visiting Jews, from outside the kehillah. It provided food, places to sleep, and met the spiritual needs of the visitors. One of these organizations was Hachnassat Orchim [providing for guests] that ensured that the guest had a place to stay and to observe the Shabbath. Apart from charities, Krosno also had purely cultural, professional, and cooperative associations. One of them was the non–interest credit association. The first of them, Mutual Help Cashier, was established in 1928.[71]. Between 1937–38, Malopolska (Little Poland) had 224 cooperative associations of the type of cashier. All of these offices loaned a total of 2,798,000 zlotys to the needy Jews in the area.

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At the beginning, it lent 17,477 zlotys to 158 individuals[72], mainly unemployed craftsmen and merchants. Other Jewish co–operative societies included the Merchant Association and Jad Charucim (Artisan Association) set up in 1929. They played a significant role in the period of the economic crisis and the growing Polish–Jewish conflict in the second half of the 1930s. With their meager resources at their disposal, they still managed to save many Jewish workshops and shops.

In the 1920s, Krosno had several Jewish political organizations. They differed in their theoretical approach and practical ways of solving Jewish problems. Agudat Israel was an orthodox religious party. It aimed to defend religious rights of Jews, spread the faith, prevent social changes, and protect civil rights that were not in conflict with religious dogmas. It also sponsored charitable organizations by setting up religious educational and philanthropic institutions.

Available sources don't mention when Krosno's Agudat was established. Its program and activities attracted mainly religious conservatives from all levels of the Jewish community. Its leaders in the 1920s were Eber Englander and Samuel Hirschprung. The party co–operated with administrative authorities that supported it because Aguda was loyal towards the Polish State and bitterly opposed Zionism.

Growing anti–Semitism in the 1930s, and the government's policies, probably undermined this co–operation. To achieve its goals, Aguda tried to take power in the kehillot. Zionists, especially the Organization of General Zionists [middle class party, ed.] was in total opposition to the Aguda. The Zionists wanted to take control of the kehillot and turn them into secular self–governing bodies that supported a broad range of Jewish activities including support for Palestine and the emigration of Jews to the Holy Land.

The head of Krosno's Zionists was Moses Wiesenfeld; the vice–chairman was Meschulem Weinberger; and the secretary was Dr. Josef Gross. The Krosno Zionist committee also included two women. [[73][74]] The other members of the committee were S. Hirschfeld, Dr. L. Dym, S. Rosshlander, L. Engiel, Platner, and Salomn. This party co–operated with another Zionist organization in Krosno – the moderate religious Zionist party “Mizrachi.” Its leader was Samuel Rosshlandler and members and sympathizers came from among the enlightened middle– and lower–middle class.

[Page 22]

Its policy placed it somewhere between Aguda and the General Zionists on religious matters. Mizrachi supported Zionist programs regarding emigration to Palestine but stressed the modernization of Jewish life within the religious framework. In the 1930s, Mizrachi cooperated with General Zionists in the election to the town council to diminish the influence of Agudat Israel. In the mid–war period, there were other

political parties in Krosno, namely Brit Hanoar ,youth wing of the right wing Revisionist Zionist party, the Zionist Labor Party (Hitachdut), and other workers' parties.[75]. To the working party coalition also belonged the General Jewish Worker League, also known as the Bund and the Poalei Zion. An indicator of the influence of Zionist parties in Krosno is the number of their members elected as delegates to the Zionist Congress[76]. The following table shows them.

Table of Zionist elections in Krosno

Year General
Mizrahi Revisionists Hitachdut Socialist
1927 77 40 7 71  
1929 66 42   96  
1931 114 46 46   72
1935 226 73     160

Following the Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897, any Jew was considered a Zionist if he accepted the program of the Congress and paid dues, called the shekel. The purchase of shekel and 18 years of age gave the individual the right to participate in the election of delegates to the National Zionist Congress. Any Zionist aged 21 and active in the Keren Hajesod (the foundation fund) was eligible to present himself as a delegate. The election was secret and the number of delegates for each city depended on the number of shekels purchased. In 1928, Krosno had 3 delegates to the National Congress of Zionists from West Malopolska and Silesia. This was the highest number of delegates in the area. The cities of Brzozow, Korczyna, Jedlicze, and Rymanow elected only one delegate per township[77]. Places where less than 50 shekels were sold did not elect delegates[78]. This happened in Krosno in 1925. The Krosno committee of Zionists then joined forces with those of Korczyna and helped elect Dr. Ludwik Oberlander from Jaslo as their spokesman.

[Page 23]

At the 1928 congress of Zionists from Western Galicia and Silesia, a new executive was elected. It consisted of 7 delegates and the agenda consisted of the following items: Palestine, finances, culture, economy, and youth. The chairman of the executive was Dr. Ignacy Schwarzbart and the secretary general was Abraham Hofstatter. The Congress selected a central council of 37 delegates and a party council of 45 delegates that included Dr. Jakub Braumring from Krosno[79]. Besides national country and international Zionist conferences, there were also regional meetings. On Feb 5th 1922, there was a meeting in Sanok with delegates from 22 places including Bialigrod, Brzozow, Dukla, Korczyna, Krosno, and Rymanow.

A very important function of the Zionist organizations was the collection of funds to help create a Jewish homeland in Palestine.[80] There were two main Zionist financial institutions. The Keren Hajesod collected money for the building of a Jewish infrastructure in Palestine and the Keren Kayemet L'Israel. The latter was created by the Zionist Congress to raise money in order to purchase land in Palestine. In Krosno, many fund–raising activities occurred in the streets of the city and were organized by the local committee of the Jewish National Fund, headed by Dr. Romm. On the 20th and the 21st of October, Commissar of the Fund, P. Teplicki, took part in the street collection for the Fund. The Aguda party planned its own fund raising campaign on the same day but following intensive negotiations, the idea was dropped. The Aguda office received some financial compensation[81].

Similar fund drives were organized in other towns, such as the one on July 13th 1930 in Iwonicz[82]. Apart from fund raising, the committee also sponsored readings about the Keren Kajemet activities in neighbouring places. The most active was Mojzesz Wiesenfeld, who frequently took part in these meetings. In June 1925, he lectured twice at the Bethmidrash [synagogue] in Dukla.

[Page 24]

Not all towns could meet the quotas set by the Fund. The collection depended on the generosity of the residents. Krosno failed to reach the quota in 1928.[83] Here is a sample of the quotas imposed on various townships in 1928: Dukla 270zl; Krosno 11,25lzl; Rymanow 810zl; and Sanok 1,620zl. In 192,5 Krosno exceeded its quota and raised 3,000zl for Keren Hajesod and 1,300zl for Keren Kajemet. In 1920, the Fund launched a campaign of entering names in its Golden Book. Each entry also made a financial contribution to the Fund. In 1928, a campaign was launched to inscribe Poland's name in the Golden Book, in honor of the 10th year of the independence of the country. The idea was very well received in Krosno. A committee of residents was formed to collect money for that purpose. Mayor Emil Rappe oversaw it. To include Polish residents, the Zionists organized a large mass rally on the 27th December with some guests including vice–mayor M. Miasowicz. Dr. L. Oberlander from Jaslo was the main speaker[84].

Between the wars, there were a few Jewish youth organizations in Krosno. Most of them were linked to Zionist organizations. They included Hashomer Hatzair [the Young Guard], Hechalutz [Pioneer], Brit Trumpeldor Trmpeldorf Alliance], and Hanoar Haiwri [Jewish Youth] established in 1930 by Abraham Hofstatter[85] Trumpeldor was a Jewish national hero). H. Frlapan, L. Teplicki, and S. Steigbugel headed it[86]. Their members were children and Zionist youth. They taught their members different trades in preparation for their emigration to Palestine. They raised money for the National Fund and organized trips and training camps, as well as celebrations to commemorate important events and people from the Zionist movement[87].

[Page 25]

They also paid a lot of attention to propagating Zionist principles among the Jewish youth through organizing meetings with prominent Zionist activists.

Youth organizations in Krosno were popular because of their scout character and the possibility of emigrating to Palestine. Although not many young people actually left for Palestine, these organizations gave the young a chance of self–fulfillment through focusing on the development of Jewish culture. Jewish political organizations in Krosno were very active in the elections to the Polish parliament because Jewish representatives in the highest level of power were essential in protecting the community's interests. However, because of lack of materials, we can't establish political preferences of Krosno's Jewish community and the level of engagement in the elections during the 1919–1922 period.

In the 1928 parliamentary elections, the Jewish community had six lists (including two orthodox lists, Auguda and Charajdim; two socialist lists, Bund and Poalej Zion Left) and a united Zionist block representing the various Zionist parties that called itself the National–Jewish Alliance[88]. Analysing the chances of different Jewish factions, the “New Daily” said: (is this a direct quotation?) the leaders of both orthodox parties hate each other and would drown each other in a spoonful of water. None of these lists belong to the orthodox. All the labor lists together represented only a small percentage of the population and had no chance to elect a mandate in Malopolska.[89] The Zionist block in Krosno included: the General Zionist Party, Mizrachi, Hitachdut, and Jad Charucim. Samuel Rosshlandler, the leader of Mizrachi, headed the town's election committee of the National–Jewish Alliance[90]. The Zionist block and the Non–party Block of Co–operation with the Government (BBWR) competed for the support of Jewish voters. Krosno's Mayor Krukierek was a candidate of the BBWR. Pre–election rallies and meetings were held since February 1928. The election committee of the National–Jewish Alliance on 14 Feb 1928 organized a rally led by Dr. Schreiber, an MP, and by an MP candidate of the Zionist block, Dr. L. Reich [[91][92]].

[Page 26]

Present at the meeting was also the representative of Aguda, Samuel Hirschprung. On the same day, in the evening, the Zionists organized another meeting and invited the Jewish MP F. Rottenstreich, who explained the election program of the National–Jewish Alliance. The most important item on the agenda was the protection of Jewish political, cultural and economic interests, including the maintenance of proportional election. The right to employment at government institutions and the solution of the problem of Sunday as a rest day, as a result of which Jewish people were forced to take off two days incurring losses in business.

BBWR was also engaged in campaigning. On 26 February it organized a meeting with the electorate. A correspondent of Lwow's “Moment” wrote, “The chairman of the magistrate, Krukierek, who was the 3rd candidate of the Non–party Block list,

invited the magistrate to visit the most prominent residents of Krosno except for the Zionists, he was convinced that as good neighbors and citizens the Zionists will vote for him anyway” [92]. However, the representatives of Krosno's Jewish residents were invited to this meeting. Josef Horovitz gave a speech on their behalf. The general Zionists were fiercely attacked at the meeting and Samuel Rosshlandle tried to defend them. He rejected an attempt to influence Jewish political representatives to support the government list. In his speech he said, “We will co–operate with Pilsudksi's government having our own people from the list 17 (National–Jewish Alliance) who understand Jewish matters”[93].

Out of 22,000 eligible voters with the right to vote for Jewish lists in the Przemysl region (including Krosno), 75% actually voted[94]. The most votes went to BBWR and


Well known Jewish community leader, Bendet Akselrad of Krosno and formerly of Korczyna succeeded by Mechel Hisrchfeld, Chaim Dym, Mechel Rubin, and Izaak Stiefel


the second highest to the National–Jewish Alliance. Zionists organizations formed a common election block called National–Jewish Block in Malopolska (list no. 14) for the parliamentary elections in 1930. Their candidate was Mateusz Mieses[95]. The remaining candidates on list number 14 were: Dr. H. Rosmarin, Dr. E. Sommerstein, Dr. K. Schwartz, Dr. D. Koch, Dr. I. Nehmer, M. Reich, Ch. Eliasz, and Dr. S.Seelenfreund.

[Page 27]

Before the separate blocks were formed, there were attempts to form electoral alliances among Jewish the organizations. Aguda and the Zionist parties held talks in September 1930[96] to try to form a General Jewish National Block. Mizrachi opposed it and the talks collapsed. In the end, the Aguda formed an electoral coalition called the General Jewish Economic Block, and the candidate list was finalized on October 6th 1930. The Socialists formed the Socialist Left Block and also had their own electoral list.




At this time, Krosno residents focused on the parliamentary elections. The election committee of the Zionist block, headed by Samuel Rosshlandler, was actively participating in the electoral campaign supported by the youth organization Brit Trumpeldor. On November 2nd, they organized their first meeting with the editor of Storch publication from Przemysl, which according to the newspaper “New Daliy” was “a magnificent display of support of local Jews for the list no. 14 and its candidate 48 – Mateusz Mieses”[97]. The second meeting was organized on November 9th at the hall of the Beth Hamidrasz [synagogue] with about 100 people in attendance. Dr. Weintraub from Przemysl gave a speech. Quoting Dr. Ozjasz Thon, a leading political figure in Malopolska, he said: “When Poland goes to the polls under the banner of changing the constitution, we may be the only ones to go to vote for the fulfillment of the constitution. Still, the trophy for which Jews will go again to the polling are still the same old boring issue; actual equality in deeds and not mere words.”[98] In the Przemysl region, the list of the National Jewish Block received 9,900 votes and the Socialist Left Block 137. In Krosno, out of 3,666 eligible voters, 2,780 voted. The National–Jewish Block received “New Daily,” November 30th 1930, criticized the rabbi for meddling in the election and said: “Since so many rabbis and miracle makers felt the call to become political leaders, the Krosno's Rabbi, Mr. Fuhrer could not stay behind. Apart from him, also some Hassidic youth tried to rig the Jewish votes.”[99]

[Page 28]

Following these elections, the government adopted a new constitution in April 1935 that resulted in new voting rules that reduced the possibility of electing candidates. Krosno's Jewish residents lost interest in parliamentary elections[100]. The same thing occurred in most towns of Galicia.

The representatives of the three largest Jewish political organizations protected the interests of their electorate. The number of Jewish councilors and their political affiliation depended on the various elections. In the first 15 years of independence, the municipal council had 24 members. This number grew to 31 prior to WWII. Between 1919–1935, the Jewish councilors represented 6% and in 1938 only 3% of the council members[101]. The sharp decline can be attributed to the unfavorable situation toward the Jewish community at the end of the 1930s. The professional structure and the party membership of the Jewish councilors are only known for the year 1938.

[Page 29]

Council members were primarily merchants. They consisted of 8 members, namely; (I don't understand what follows here, as one intelligentsia and one craftsman does not equal 8 members) one representative of the intelligentsia and one craftsman. Eber Englander, Leopold Dym, Rubin Mehel, and Samuel Steifel represented religious conservatives. Jozef Horovitz, Wilhelm Hirschwald, and Samuel Rosshlandler represented Zionists[102].


Material culture of Krosno's Jews

According to the documents, the Jewish kehilla of Krosno was formed at the end the 19th century. It built the brick synagogue at that time.[103] Krono's map of 1851 does not show the synagogue. Rules issued in 1882 by the authorities forbade building any wooden buildings in the town center. It became the center of Jewish life in Krosno. It of served as a place of prayer, teaching, meetings and kehilla activities. It was adorned with Arcadian decorations[104] and looked like a modest progressive synagogue. It was situated on a sloping hill at the beginning of Slowacki Street[105].

[Page 30]

Between the wars, the synagogue was a two–story building covered with a double sloping tin roof.[106] It is hard to establish whether the synagogue was modified during its existence. A small building next to it was a ritual poultry slaughterhouse. The upper part was the actual synagogue hall where the people prayed, men and women were separated in accordance with orthodox tradition[107]. Along the eastern wall was the holy arc where the Torahs were enclosed. A distance away stood an elevated stage or bima, a few steps above the floor. The Torah scroll was usually removed from the holy arc and carried to the bima where it was read. Following the reading, the Torah was returned to the arc. The middle level had prayer rooms[108] for different groups of people, especially smaller groups, and also a house for the caretaker. At the bottom of the building was a ritual bath.

The kehilla's administrative and judicial offices were also located in the synagogue. It had a Bet–Hamidrash or study hall where a hundred students could sit and study religious texts[109]. Some rooms were used as offices for the kehilla.

The synagogue served the Jewish community until 1941. It gave shelter to Jewish refugees who were displaced from the surrounding areas and also to single women[110]. The manager, or Szemes Silberberg, tended to the synagogue to the end. When the Krosno Jews were deported and the remainder locked up in the ghetto in 1942, the synagogue was converted to a warehouse by the Germans. Then in 1943, the Germans shot the last hiding Jews of Krosno within the building[111]. The building survived WWII[112] and was subsequently dismantled by the residents of Krosno. Presently, there is no trace left of the synagogue.

[Page 32]

Distribution of the residences of Krosno according to religion

Table 2. Jewish residents in Krosno in relation the total population

Source of information: APS, AMK, city records for the years 1936–1938, sygn 43

Name of street Number of
Blich 12 32
Cmentarna 22
Forteczna 151 102
Franciszkanska 12 110
Kolejowa 96 9
Korczynska 165 37
Kosciuszki 95 16
Krakowska 79 26
Lewakowskiego 93 33
Lwowska 90 6
Lukasiewicza 283 45
Ogrodowa 58 36
Olejarska 150 16
Ordynacka 15 45
Pawla 3 4
Pierackiego 319 30
Pilsudzkiego 131 211
Plac 3–go Maya 37
Podwale 42 62
Pojezuicka 31 7
Polna 213 3
Rozna 3 5
Rynek strona pol, 92 218
Rynek strona pol, 50 75
Sienkewicza 24 50
Skargi 12 1
Slowackiego 29 129
Staszica 80 34
Szewska 13
Szkolna 2 17
Tkacka 43 10
Walslebna 45 2
Wislocza 22 19

[Page 33]

Table 3. Jewish masters and apprentices in Krosno

Source: MRzK, membership in the Major Guilds, sygn. Arz–38, sygn. Arz–23

Trade Jewish masters in 1919–1930 Jewish apprentices in 1919–1942
Plumbing Ch. Korb, L. Altman, O. Bertenfeld, L. Altman, A. Korba, I. Rosenfeld, S. Bein, J. Flam, D. Tabizel, I. Wielopolski, R. Munz H. Korb, W. Lozowski, J. O. Altman, M. Munz, I. Altman, J. Korba, L. Bertenfield, A. Lindsberg, L. Kupfermen, J. Rosenfeld, M. Rosenfeld, Ch. Szyja
Shoe parts J. Ratz, J. Rotke M.S alz , N. Amsterdam, S. Wagshal
Conditors J. Konig M. Konig, S. Margulies
Hats B. Kondes A. Kondes
Barbers J. Bodnara, S. Seiden, N. Pinkus H. Janas
Tailoring M. Gelb, J. Berger, O. Turek, A. Hauber, R. Fischber, S. Goldstein, Ch. Standfeld, S. Rothe, D. Fischbein, A. Lindenberg, A. Steiner, J. Knustlinger, F. Rozmer, S. Rothe J. Rosenfeld, O. Berger, R. Pinkas *, J. Gutler, O. Berger, S. Diamant, M. Wolf, F. Gebel, S. Berger, A. Lobel, J. Turek, M. Goldstein, S. Turek, J. Salz, W. Leiter, P. Mandel*
Furrier M. Schlanger Ch. Schlanger
Painting M. Garfunkel L. Silberberg
Brass M. Springer, L. Altman J. Ozias, D. Springer, Ch. Munz, Altman
Baking I. Breitowicz, J. Szyja, Ch. Konig, B. Krieger, H. Muller, H. Gross F. O. Bergman, Ch. Entner L. Lupnik, J. Kriegel, A. M. Breitowicz, D. Tralez, E. Leib
Carpentry Ch. Balaban, S. Zeman  
Glaziers M. Bialywloss, Ch. Horowitz I. Springer, M. Haller, S. Horowitz
Locksmith D. Fruchman M. Konig, A. Malz, M. Felbaum, Czemerys, J. Fruchman
Turnery M. Springer, L. Altman I. Springer
Brooms H. Edelheit J. H. Sperber
Watch industry J. Tepper, A. Lobe, K. Wiedor A. Apt, D. Leib, S. Steimetz

* denotes a woman

[Page 34]

Table 4. Jewish merchants in Krosno, in the 1920s

Source: Address book of merchants in Galicia, Krakow, 1931

Type of
Number of
Haberdashery 15
Construction Materials 4
Cattle 1
Sugar 2
Timber 2
Luxury Goods 11
Eggs 1
Women's Hats 1
Colonial Produce 2
Kitchen Utensils 7
Flour 2
Furniture 2
Dairy Products 2
Naphtha 4
Shoes 9
Heating Materials 1
Fruits 1
Sundry Goods 52
Pipes 1


Table 5. Number of Jewish students and their percentage in the Krosno High School

Year Number
of pupils
Total %
1925/1926 423 31 7.3
1930/1931 495 36 7,2
1934/1936 456 23 5.0
1937/1938 360 11 3.1

[Page 35]

Table 6. Jewish students at the Kopernik school in Krosno. Year book

Year of
Initial and Surname
1919 P. Stilman*
1920 ––––––
1921 I. Oling, J. Omachel, M. Spat, D. Berel
1922 A. Lindenberg, R.Weistreich
1923 –––––
1924 M. Altman, M. Kinderman, A. Scheiner
1925 ––––
1926 ––––
1927 N. Weinberger, I. Goldberger, J. Siegel, S. Perkis, H. Wiesefeld
1928 H. Altman, J. Dym, M. Weinberger
1929 Ch. Altholz, Ch. Margules
1930 J. Fink, J. Laufer
1931 S. Neuss, A. Steigbugel
1932 M. Schertz, Ch.Fries*, I. Krill* G. Platter
1933 M. Kleinman, B. Fischbein
1934 M. Goldberg, J. Stiefel, S. Stiefel
1935 –––––
1936 –––––
1937 –––––
1938 M. Steinvrocher*, E. Stein*, D. Steinbucher
1939 M. Salomon, A. Chorowitz

* asterisk denotes a woman

Table 7. Jewish councilors in Krosno between the wars

Year Number of
Names of Jewish of Councilors
1919 24 5 Abraham Dym, Baruch Juda, Baruch Presser, Chaim Dym, Eber Englander
1925 24 4 Abraham Dym, Baruch Presser, Eber Englander, Jozef Ratz
1935 24 4 Leopold Dym, Izaak Stiefel, Jakub Baumring, Wolf Hirschfeld
1938 31 10 Eber Englander, Samuel Rosshandler, Bronislaw Kleiner, Jozef Horowitz, Abraham Munz, Izaak Stiefel, Leopold Dym Rubin Mehel, Samuel Stiefel, Wilhelm Hirschwald

[Page 36]


The archival materials regarding the Jewish community of Krosno are very scant and can't serve as a base to evaluate the life and activities of Jews in the town between the wars. Jews represented almost 20% of Krosno's population and were an integral part of the town's population. They focused on economic, cultural, and educational activities. They engaged in trade and crafts, and catered to the needs of the town and villages in the area. Many Jews were involved in textiles and leather trades and none in carpentry or smithing.

A large number of Krosno's Jews were poor and the kehilla and charitable organizations provided needed social assistance. The crisis of 1929–1935 lowered people's purchasing power and unemployment, and had a profound impact on the Jewish community as most members were casual workers or lived from trade. The boycott of Jewish shops initiated by professional Christian organizations as a way to reduce competition also had an adverse impact on the Jewish population. Economic difficulties forced Jewish people to set up credit co–operatives to help those most needy[113].

Krosno had many Jewish political parties, with the most influential being the Agudat Israel and the General Zionists. Krosno's Jews took an active part in the political and economic life of the town. Despite their different religion and culture they considered themselves residents of Krosno and that feeling survived among the survivors today.

[Page 37]



Introduction 3
Jewish Demographie in Krosno 4
The economic structure of Krosno Jews 7
Jewish cultural life 12
The Krosno kehilla 18
Material aspects of Jewish culture 29
Conclusion 36


  1. See text Return
  2. See text Return
  3. The State Archives in Skolyszyn, the Acts of the Town of Krosno, the list of people belonging to the town of Krosno. Jewish names in original writing, sygn 47. Return
  4. red J. Garbacik, Krosno studia… Krakow 1973, t.II, s.48 Return
  5. See text Return
  6. red J.Garbacik, op.cit.s.49 Return
  7. See text Return
  8. APS,AMK, Ksiega posiedzen Rady Mejzkiej z lat. 1921–1927 sygn 28 Return
  9. See text Return
  10. See text Return
  11. See text Return
  12. See text Return
  13. Muzeum Rzemiosla w Krosnie uchwal Cechu…t.II,sygn ARZ60 Return
  14. See text Return
  15. Baruch Munz's testimony. Return
  16. MRzK, Ksiega wpisowa ucznikow… t I_IV, sygn K.W Arz 61 Return
  17. Ibidem Return
  18. Ibidem Return
  19. MRzK, Ksiega Uchwal Cechu, Wielkiego… t I_IV, sygn K.W Arz 61 Return
  20. MRzK, Stowarzys. Rzeznikow I Masazrzy, Ksiega z lat 1910–1926. Return
  21. MRzK, Ksiega Uchwal… sygn ARZ60 Return
  22. Ibidem Return
  23. red J.Garbacik, op.cit.s.66 Return
  24. Nowy Dzienik 29 Dececmber 1936 Return
  25. Commercial information, The Chrisdtion Merchants Assoc. 1938, s.2–4 Return
  26. See text Return
  27. See text Return
  28. red J.Garbacik, op.cit.s.72 Return
  29. See text Return
  30. Ksiega Adresowa Malepolski, Krakow 1929 Return
  31. Glos Krosnienski nr.1. 1928 Return
  32. Ibidem Return
  33. APS,AMK, Ksiega posiedzen… sygn 28 Return
  34. Ksiega Adresowa,op.cit. Nowy Dzenik.1 Kwiecien 1925 Return
  35. Urzad Stanu Cywil… z lat. 1930–1938 Return
  36. Yad Vashem Return
  37. Kronika gmin…t.III, S.526 Return
  38. Yad Vashem Return
  39. red J.Garbacik, op.cit.s.64 Return
  40. See text Return
  41. See text Return
  42. See text Return
  43. Archiwum Panstwowe w Przemyslu, Ksiega spisowa skoly Return
  44. St. Mauersbberg, Komu szluzba szkola Lodz 1988, s.49 Return
  45. See text Return
  46. Lack of information Return
  47. APP, Vocational information in Krosno..sygn 17 Return
  48. Yad Vashem Return
  49. Nowy Dzienik Return
  50. Baruch Munz's testimony. Return
  51. Nowy Dzienik, 29 December 1936 Return
  52. Nowy Dzienik 18 October 1930 Return
  53. Nowy Dzienik 11 October 1930 Return
  54. See text Return
  55. USC w Krosnie,Metriki z lat 1925–1942 Return
  56. Ibidem Return
  57. See Text Return
  58. See Text Return
  59. See text Return
  60. See text Return
  61. See text Return
  62. Chwila from Lwow, 1928 Return
  63. Nowy Dzenik April 1st 1924 and May 19th 1935 Return
  64. Nowy Dzienik, October 1st 1924 Return
  65. See text Return
  66. See text Return
  67. See text Return
  68. See text Return
  69. APS,AMK, Ksiega protokolow…z lat 1935–1937 sygn 40 Return
  70. Yad Vashem Return
  71. See text Return
  72. Kronika gmin… op.cit., s.527 Return
  73. See text Return
  74. See text Return
  75. See text Return
  76. Yad Vashem Return
  77. Return
  78. Nowy Dzienik, September 30th 1928 Return
  79. Nowy Dzienik, November 7th 1928 Return
  80. See text Return
  81. Nowy Dzienik, October 30th 1930 Return
  82. Nowy Dzienik,July 20th 1930 Return
  83. Nowy Dzienik,July 20th 1930 Return
  84. Nowy Dzienik,July 20th 1930 Return
  85. Ibidem Return
  86. Ibidem Return
  87. Ibidem Return
  88. Nowy Dzienik, February 1928 Return
  89. Ibidem Return
  90. Chwila marca 1st 1928 Return
  91. Chwila marca 28th 1928 Return
  92. Ibidem Return
  93. Ibidem Return
  94. W. Wierzbieniec, Spolecznosc zydowska Przemysla…Rzeszow 1996,s.160 Return
  95. See text Return
  96. See text Return
  97. Nowy Dzienik, November 10th 1930 Return
  98. Ibidem Return
  99. Statystyka Polski, seria C, z. 4, Warszawa 1935 Return
  100. Nowy Dzienik, November 30th 1930 Return
  101. APS,AMK, Ksiega posiedzen… sygn 42 Return
  102. Ibidem Return
  103. See text Return
  104. See text Return
  105. Baruch Munz's testimony. Return
  106. See text Return
  107. Baruch Munz's testimony. Return
  108. Ibidem Return
  109. Nowy Dzienik, November 9th 1930 Return
  110. Kronika gmin… op.cit., s.527 Return
  111. Return
  112. Commission investigating crimes committed against the Polish nation. Charge sheet against Oskar Becker,sygn 1893/71, t.II, relacja Hilary Zajac. Return
  113. Baruch Munz's testimony. Return


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