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Chapter XVI


The Krosno Library

Historical Series


Notebook 15 [1999]

by Elzbieta Raczy

Jews In Krosno Between 1939–1946

Krosno 1999

Translated by Monika Hendry from Polish

Arrangement and Editing by William Leibner

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Editor of the series is Ewa Mankowska.

Copyright by Museum Rzemiosla w Krosnie Krosno 1999

ISBN 83–905920–7–x

Cover: Reproduction of painting entitled “Krosno” by Zwi Majerowicz.

Zwi was born in Krosno in 1911. He left the city in 1929 to study in Berlin. He then left in 1934 for Palestine. He resided in Haifa until 1974. He represented Israel at the Biennale of Venice and San Paolo. His works can be classified as lyrical realism in Israeli painting. His paintings can be viewed at private collections throughout the world.

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This pamphlet represents the third and last part of the series about the history of Jewish inhabitants of Krosno. It aims to portray the fate of Krosno's Jews during WWII. The material is based on the documents found at the archives of Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem, the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and the Main Commission for Investigating Crimes committed against the Polish Nation in Warsaw where there are records of the trials of former Krosno Gestapo officials. We also used materials from the museum of Auschwitz–Birkenau, mainly death certificates of the inmates of the camp.

An important source of information were the living testimonies of the surviving witnesses and the documents they possessed, notably certificates of detention in Soviet prisons, letters from relatives written during the occupation, and lists of survivors. Additional information about Krosno Jews was provided by the works of: Martin Gilbert's “The Atlas of the Holocaust,” Artur Eisenbach's “Nazi policy of annihilation of Jews,” Simon Datner's “55 days of Wermacht in Poland,” and Jozef Garbacik's and Stanislaw Cynarski's “Jaslo accuses: Nazi crimes in the Jaslo region during 1939–45.”

Full reconstruction of events in Krosno is not easy. Scarce sources make chronology difficult. Conflicting witness accounts complicate the establishment of certain facts.

The work covers the period from 1939 to 1946. It not only portrays the process of extermination of Krosno Jews but also attempts to show briefly what happened to those who survived the nightmare of WWII.

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The occupation

On the evening of Sept 8th 1939, detachments of the XIV Wermacht Army led by General Wilhelm List entered Krosno[1]. This marked the beginning of the town's occupation. At first the army administered the town. In October of 1939, the civil organs assumed these tasks. In Jaslo, the German authorities set up a council that covered Krosno[2]. The Jaslo region covered the following counties: Gorlice, Jaslo, Krosno, part of Sanok with Rymanow, and part of Strzyzow.

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This division was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that oil deposits were located in the area. Oil was an important raw material for the war industry and was given special attention by the occupiers. In the autumn of 1939, General Governor Hans Frank toured the region. On October 15th 1939, a special Krosno county was established[3]. The highest number of Jews were in the following places: Brzozow, Domaradz, Dukla, Dynow, Jasliska, Jasienica Rosielna, Korczyna, Krosno, and Rymanow. Michael Zuzik, who remained in office until August 15th 1942, headed the Krosno County. His replacement Dr. Heinisch remained in office until the end of the German occupation of the city[4].

Following the army's occupation of Krosno, a German security police group arrived and was stationed at Ordynacka Street at first and then at Czajkowskiego Street that was then called Hermann Goringstrasse. The permanent staff consisted of Ludwik von Davier, Gerhard Sacher, Paul Stenzel, and Oskar Backer. Gustav Schmatzler headed the group from October 1940 until the spring of 1944[5]. Gustaw Schmatzler was born on January 17th 1895 in Neudorf. He finished 6 years of primary education. In 1943 he joined NSDAP. Schmatzler was arrested in 1945 and tried in a special court in Rzeszow. On October 8th 1945, he was sentenced to death for crimes committed in Krosno. The sentence was carried out.

Oskar Backer was born in Grodek Jagiellonski in a family of German colonists. From September 1939 until spring 1944, he was a member of Krosno's Gestapo branch, acting as a translator. Backer was arrested in January 1945 in Germany and sentenced by a German court to prison. He was released in 1946 but tried again in 1973 in Bonn, Germany. He was found guilty of six murders during the occupation and sentenced to life. His further fate is unknown.

With the first days of the war, the Jewish population of Krosno and nearby areas started to move. Most town residents looked for better conditions to survive the Nazi invasion and moved to Polish areas in the East that bordered the Soviet Union and Romania[6]. These were mostly people with certain financial means. Many found themselves after September 17th 1939 under Soviet occupation. This included a certain number of Krosno's Jews who left the town in response to a Polish government radio announcement calling on all men able to serve in the army to withdraw to the eastern regions of Poland and join the Polish army there.

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Many of them returned to their hometowns when they learned of the Soviet aggression. With the cessation of military operations, the Jewish exodus from Krosno stopped to a large extent. There were still occasional escapes, mainly by young people who crossed the San River to the Soviet side. They were prompted by the terror and restrictions imposed by the Nazis on the Jewish residents of Krosno. Some escapees crossed the river with the help of Jewish authorities in border towns. The Germans tacitly approved these policies since they were interested in reducing the Jewish population in the occupied areas of Poland[7]. Testimony by Josef Weisman, former resident of Krosno, presently resides in Israel. This was the reason for the popularity of border towns such as Sanok and Dynow. For many escapees, the attempts to find shelter there ended tragically in the early days of the occupation[8]. The archives of the Jewish Historical Institute, 301/4681, account by Sacher Grunbaum.

A few days after entering Dynow, the Nazis killed about 170 Jews taken from homes or caught in the streets. Some of them were Jews from Krosno. The victims were buried on the spot. In the spring of 1940, the Krosno's kehilla obtained permission to exhume the murdered bodies and buried them at the Jewish cemetery of Dynow.

The situation was completely different on the Soviet side of the border. Illegal crossing landed many in Soviet prisons. Then they were moved deep into Russia. Ultimately this fate befell most of the former Polish citizens who were not native to the areas that the Russian Army occupied in Poland.


Photo 1. Map of Krosno area under German administration as of October 1st 1941


Photo 2. Border between German occupied Poland and Russian occupied Poland in 1939.
Main crossing areas of Jews from German occupied areas to Soviet occupied areas


Krosno Jews in the Soviet Union

Most Jews deported to the interior of the Soviet Union were those who refused Soviet Union citizenship and declared their willingness to return to their hometowns. Most of them were deported in the spring and summer of 1940[9]. The routes of deportations of Krosno's Jews led to the northern parts of the European part of the Soviet Union, the White Sea region, the Far East – Jakuck and to northern and eastern parts of Kazakhstan. The detailed account of routes and destinations of all transports is now impossible.

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It is also difficult to establish the exact number of deported Polish citizens from the Krosno area. According to estimates, there may have been about several hundred people[10]; these facts were established from subjective materials – memoirs and accounts of witnesses. We have not been able to obtain original NKWD documents. Among a few first–hand accounts of deportations, the best known is the fate of the transport from Sambor, Eastern Poland, and today Ukraine. It left the city on June 28th 1940 and contained a number of Krosno and Krosno area Jews[11]. According to Krosno's Jews, the transport included 24 people of the following families: Breitowicz, Engelhard, Flapan, Munz, and North.

One witness recalls “…At 2:30 A.M somebody knocked. We were not sleeping. We were anxiously awaiting these unwelcome visitors. An NKWD soldier entered. We started packing. At 4 A.M trucks came. They loaded us aboard the trucks, 45 people with luggage per truck. Unbearably hot. Doors were kept closed. Noise, screams, cries… we didn't know what was happening, what awaited us, where were being taken.”[12] Perla Munz, Memoirs. An unpublished diary of a former Jew of Krosno written during her stay in the Soviet Union. Original provided by her son, Baruch Munz.

The destination was the region of Jakuck, east of the river Judoma.[13] In the area, according to a popular saying, “the rules were set by the taiga [or snowforest area between the tundra and the steppe] and executed by the bear.” Memoirs of Baruch Munz (the author's recollection).

They reached the place after 3 months of traveling. The route led by railway via Lwow to Irkutsk, then by boat across the rivers Aldan, Lena, and Judoma. The last leg of the journey was a 25–km hike on foot. Many weak deportees died in this transport due to overcrowding, lack of hygiene and food. After using up their own food supplies, not many could afford to buy food.[14] For example a bunch of wild onions growing along the rail tracks cost 2 roubles, an egg 3 roubles, and a liter of milk up to 14 roubles.

Work and existence of those taken in the Sambor transport did not differ much from the situation of those deported to the Far East and North of Russia. Primitive dwellings, crowded living conditions, difficult physical work clearing forests, and harsh climate conditions that frequently reached minus 60degrees centigrade quickly drained the deportees. The main problem was hunger. The rations were small and of poor quality. The prisoners had to bring their own food to the camp. Thus they were forced to carry bags weighing 20–30kg for distances of up to 25km. In the slang of the camp, they were referred to as the “Polish horses.”[15] Memoirs of Baruch Munz.


Photo 3: A photocopy of a document about the imprisonment of the Krosno Jew,
Baruch Munz after his second refusal to accept Soviet citizenship

(Baruch Munz's collection)


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The signing of the Polish–Soviet agreement in July 1941, and the amnesty for the forcibly displaced Poles announced in August of the same year, changed the status of the imprisoned and enabled them to leave the detention camps. Krosno Jews left the camps and moved to big cities or west and south into the Soviet Union. There they obtained jobs or entered high schools and universities.[16] Among those who graduated from Soviet Union Universities was Marian Flapan. He was deported with other Krosno Jews to the Soviet Union and after the amnesty, he entered university. He graduated in medicine and specialized in oncology. After his return to Poland he settled in Jaworze. He left for Israel probably in the 1960s.

The year 1943 brought another change in the situation of Polish citizens in the Soviet Union. The Soviet government changed its policy of 1941 regarding the nationality of the deportees and attempted to force them to adopt Russian citizenship. Krosno's Jews responded in many ways. Some accepted Soviet passports under the pressure of the authorities or the police, while others refused.

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Many deportees, however, ended up in Soviet jails again for their repeated refusals. Some even paid with their lives for this decision. The refusals were not a result of any special sentimental attachment to the Polish State. Rather, they stemmed from worries that a Russian passport would jeopardize any chances of leaving the Soviet Union that in turn would close the doors to any further hopes of emigrating to Palestine, West Europe, or the US.[17] Perla Munz, Memoirs. Baruch Munz's account.

In 1943, the Association of Polish Patriots (ZPP) took over matters concerning the deportees in the Soviet Union. At the end of April 1943, Russia permitted the formation of a new Polish army and the government freed most prisoners, including those not freed under the amnesty of 1941.[18] The amnesty did not apply to those Krosno Jews who were caught crossing the border illegally and charged with spying. They were jailed in Soviet prisons. Memoirs of Josef Weisman.

This prompted another migration to the western areas of the Soviet Union.

One of the witnesses remembers his stay in the Soviet Union: “…Why did God punish us so much? Is there another hell possible? We are living in hell in our own lifetime.” However the situation of those under the Nazi occupation was far more tragic.[19] Perla Munz, Memoirs.


The Jewish administrative authorities in Krosno and the Jewish Social Self–help Organisation

The Germans appointed a Judenrat to oversee the Jewish community, as in other towns of Poland.[20] The Jundenrat was an administrative institution. It was set up to carry out the orders of the Gestapo. The Nazi authorities determined the scope, the structure and the personnel of the Judenrats. The Krosno Judenrat was formed in the early 1940 and consisted of former kehilla members. The chairman was Jehuda Engel. A representative of Jewish Social Self–help Organization from Krakow described him in the following words: “The chairman of the local Jewish Council [of Krosno] stands out among all chairmen of Jewish councils in the General Gubernia. He is short but with a very expressive face and absolutely disinterested. He sent the amount of 5,000 zlotys that he received for writing petitions to the authorities with all accounts to the kehilla's treasury. He is a man of principles and very socially orientated.[21] From documents of the Jewish Social Self–help Organization

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The chief of the Jewish council developed quite a strong system of power over his subordinates.[22] Like all chairmen, he was forced to cooperate with the Nazi authorities. The occupant tolerated only those who complied with his orders. Jehuda Engel must have suited the Nazis since the sources don't mention changes regarding the head of the Judenrat in Krosno. He took credit for all concessions negotiated from the Nazis. His deputy was Mosze Kleiner and members included: Mojzesz Wiesenfeld, Samuel Rosshlandler, and Jakub Baumring.[23] The Judenrat was headed by members of Krosno's financial and cultural elite. The author describes them in greater detail in her work “Jews in Krosno in between the wars.” The structure of the Krosno's Judenrat changed.[24]] Krosno's Judenrat fell under the jurisdiction of the Regional Jewish Council in Jaslo, headed by Jakub Goldstein. In December 1940 there were 16 Judenrats in the Jaslo region, notably: Biecz, Bobowa, Brzostek, Dukla, Jalso, Jedlicze, Frysztak, Gorlice, Jodlowa, Kolaczyce, Korczyna, Krosno, Olpiny, Osiek, Rzepiennik Strzyzewski, and Zmigrod.

On 10 September 1941, a new Krosno county was established which resulted in wider authority for the Judenrat of Krosno. Soon it was renamed the Jewish County Council of Krosno. It gained authority over Judenrats in the new county of Krosno.[25] Krosno's Judenrat supervised Judenrats in Brzozow, Dukla, Dynow, Domaradz, Jedlicze, Korczyna and Rymanow. Brzozow's Judenrat was headed by Mojzesz Knobelbarth, Dukla's by Szymon Stoff, Jedlicze's by Szymon Friss and Rymanow's by Herman Spira.

The Krosno Judenrat had the following departments: Social Security, Education, Labor, Public Cleaning Services, and Health. The departments supervised commissions that were formed according to the changing needs of the residents. In January 1942, the Judenrat appointed a hygiene commission headed by Moses Wiesenfeld due to the rising mortality among local Jews. Members of this commission were mainly in charge of sanitation and burying the dead at the Jewish cemetery.

The Judenrat was housed in a building in the square until July 1942, when it moved to building no. 15 on Franciszkanska Street.[26] Jewish Newspaper, July 9th 1942. The Newspaper was started in Cracow, Poland on July 23rd 1940. One has to be cautious interpreting information it printed and needs to remember that the paper was inspired by the Nazi authorities that controlled it. Also, the reports submitted by Jewish authorities to the paper often did not reflect real situations. Some information in the newspaper was substantiated by archival documents. These issues were discussed in greater depth in Marian Fuks' “Life in ghettos in GG based on the Jewish Newspaper.” The Judenrat moved its headquarters because of the establishment of Krosno's ghetto that comprised the Franciszkanska Street. In December of 1942, the Jewish ghetto was finally liquidated.

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With the approval of the Nazi authorities, the Krosno Judenrat opened a branch of the Jewish Social Self–help Organization in Krosno. The members of the local committee of the Jewish Social Self–help Organization (JSSO) were: Jakub Baumring, Mojzesz Wiesenfeld, Samuel Rosshlandler, Bendet Akselrad, and Mendel Bialywlos.[27] In the beginning of 1940, the Germans started to form a social welfare organization for the General Gubernia, or the parts of Poland that were not annexed to any other country. On May 29th 1940, they approved the statute of the Supreme Welfare Council (NRO) that included the Polish Main Welfare Council, the Ukrainian Welfare Council, and the Jewish Social Self–help Organization. The headquarters were in Krakow and the Jewish Social Self–help Organization supervised many branches. The organization was disbanded on July 29th 1942.


Photo 4: The text of the appeal for help by the Krosnoer Judenrat with the arrival
of many Jewish refugees from other parts of Poland


In November of 1941, the Krosno committee of the Jewish Social Self–help Organization [JSSO] created a County Care Committee headed by Samuel Rosshlandler. It was enlarged on June 25th 1942 and included Berich Henoch Abrahamson, Melech Rubin and Mozes Ettinger who worked as messengers and collectors. The Germans disbanded this organization on November 12th 1942.

There were frequent squabbles between the head of the Judenrat and the JSSO mainly due to the overlapping of some of their activities. Already at the first meeting of the delegates, sharp disagreements appeared. Jehuda Engel blocked the opportunities for the JSSO to expand into welfare, sanitation, legal services, and childcare. A representative of JSSO wrote in his report of November of 1940 to the chairman of Judenrat: “In this way he reduced the branch to a committee distributing our subventions”[28]. Another disagreement regarded the building that the JSSO received from the Judenrat. The building contained a shelter for the displaced run by Szemes Silberger, a shelter for old and single women and an activity center for orphans. In the end, after a four–week trial period they were taken over by the County Care Committee (KOP)[29].

The most important problem faced by the Judenrat in the early days of its existence was care and food for the Jewish people. In December of 1939, as a result of robberies and confiscations of Jewish property, most Krosno's Jews became impoverished. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the town received 500 Jewish deportees from other parts of Poland. The Judenrat appealed for help on December 22nd 1939. According to the head of the Judenrat, Yehuda Engel, this was the first appeal of its type in the area of the General Gubernia.[30] The appeal was for warm clothes.

As the war progressed the food situation worsened tragically for the Krosno Jewish population.

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The food rations distributed by the Germans were very low and food coupons were issued irregularly.[31] For example, in the nearby hamlet of Korczyna, people received food coupons for the first time in December 1941. They were mainly for bread and sugar and only for children under 10 years of age and the elderly over 60. This forced the Jewish community to look for other ways of obtaining food. The most obvious option was to buy on the free market, or rather the black market, but fewer and fewer people could afford the prices. The Jews ran out of cash and precious things that could be exchanged for food. Therefore the authorities had to provide supplies in many different forms.

Thanks to the efforts of the Judenrat and JSSO, a People's Kitchen was formed in Krosno.[32] This type of kitchen also existed in Brzozow, Dukla, Jedlicze, Korczyna, and Rymanow. At first it provided all meals free of charge. However as the economic situation worsened due to the impoverishment of the Jewish population, the number of recipients grew while the resources of the Jewish Council steadily declined.[33] The Jewish Council's income was made up of fees and donations of the town's residents and a subsidy from Krakow. Impoverishment and decreasing subsidies meant fewer services for the people.

Starting August 1941, the Judenrat limited the number of breakfasts and charged for lunches. In March of 1942 lunch cost 40 groszy.[34] Other towns in the county faced similar problems. The Kitchen in Brzozow faced several financial difficulties. In October of 1941, the town had 1,007 Jews and the kitchen issued 4,862 portions to 187 people during this month. Lack of subsidies in 1942 led to a significant decrease in the number of meals. The same situation existed in Rymanow. In May of 1942, its kitchen issued only 300 lunches a month. Jedlicze's kitchen was set up in September of 1941 but quickly run out of money and was shut down. It was reopened in March of 1942 and thanks to the subsidies from the JSSO it issued 4,500 meals a month. In June of 1942, the kitchen in Dukla issued 500 meals, which was far below demand. The town had at the time 1,600 Jews including 300 refugees. The situation in Korczyna was the best. Its kitchen served 14% of the population, issuing 3 meals a day.

It is hard to estimate how many people could afford to pay for this kind of lunch that most of the time consisted of a bowl of soup with very low calorie content. The main ingredients of the meals were brukiew or beet derivatives and potatoes.

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The fat content of such meals was very modest.[35] Assuming that portions were standardized, in August of 1941, one portion distributed by the kitchen contained 4.1g of fat. Jewish authorities and organizations did their best to help the poorest. They appealed to the head office of the JSSO in Cracow for financial and material assistance and in response received some money and food that were distributed among the poorest.[36] Cracow benefited from donations from the US Red Cross and the Committee to Help Jews. The donations were distributed to different branch offices. On September 12th 1940, Krosno received 100 kg of peas and 100 kg of grains, on November 18th 1942, Krosno received 500 packages of soup – out of 3,400 that were available in Cracow. This, however, did not meet the needs. The November contribution was reduced to one meal per ghetto resident.

In April of 1941, 318 people received help. Judenrat distributed 3,450 zlotys and 673 kilograms of matza.[37] The table at the end shows some names of people who in April of 1941 received help from the Judenrat and JSSO in Krosno. Korczyna had 700 Jews in December of 1941 and the town's Judenrat spent 17,686 zlotys in that year on social welfare. The kitchen received 12,085 zlotys and other services 5,169 zlotys. Jedlicze had 512 Jews in July of 1942, including 210 deportees. Its Judenrat spent 5,893 zlotys and 72 grosze on social services in the first seven months of that year. The poorest also received basic foodstuffs in the beginning of every month. However this help was a drop in a sea of demand.


Jewish association of artisans in Krosno in 1942


About 1,000 people needed assistance in Krosno. The situation was worsening. In

August of 1942, the Judenrat was able to allocate only 2,885 zlotys for the needy in the ghetto. About 1,110 zlotys from that sum went to the displaced people. Spending on food supplements and medicines was also reduced. In April of 1942, 200 zlotys was spent on medicines and in July half of that figure. The Judenrat's main function, however, was to carry out tasks imposed by the Gestapo. These included compilation of lists of people for deportation, who most of the time came from the poorest social strata or had no connections within the Krosno's Judenrat.[38]

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Indirect extermination – forced labor

Following the Wermaht's entry to Krosno, Jews were forced to perform all sorts of tasks. They were also beaten and humiliated. Most often they were caught off the streets and used as labor. In December of 1939, the Gestapo decided that all Jewish residents of Krosno aged between 14 and 60 must perform public work.[39] The occupant treated the General Gubernia as a labor reservoir. Forced labor was classified as a duty for Poles and a compulsion for Jews. The difference between the two was in the conditions and payment for work as both were enforced brutally. Judenrats were obliged to supply workers and labor departments to assign tasks. They included street cleaning services, rubbish disposal, cleaning of toilets and German houses. On average about 140 people performed these tasks daily.[40] The number of the employed differed from town to town. In Korczyna in 1942, all men within the age bracket were employed. In Jedlicze in the same period, only 70 out of 512 workers were employed. A similar situation existed in Rymanow. To keep the town's streets passable in the winter, Judenrats in Dukla and Korczyna supplied some extra people.[41] In January of 1942, Korczyna supplied 40 men a day to clear the snow from the streets of Krosno. Judenrats themselves paid these laborers.

In 1942, Krosno's Judenrat spent on these services 20,000 zl.[42] The real value of the monthly pay was low. The prices were rising continuously and some of the pay went to pay membership dues of the Jewish Council that was helpful when trying to avoid deportations. A lot of money was spent on salaries of clerks. The monthly salary of the head of Krosno's Judenrat was 400 zl. Whenever possible, the Judenrat also tried to feed those employed by distributing some bread, marmalade, and sugar. The quantities were miniscule, in view of the type of labor and widespread hunger.

Jews were also employed in the quarry in Dukla and in military factories[43] The quarry employed Jews from all over the area. Dukla itself provided about 200 workers in 1942.

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The workers were beaten and treated brutally. In the Dukla quarry a Volksdeutch, Karol Marcinkowski, who was even more brutal than the Nazis, supervised Jewish workers.[44] The military factories employed in autumn of 1942 more than half of all the Jews in the Krosno area.[45] The table shows the number of Jews from Krosno and the region employed (by type of work) in November 1942.

Some Jews worked on German farms. They had chances of obtaining extra food, but at the risk of beatings that sometimes even resulted in death. To all these work details the Jews went frequently without shoes and appropriate clothes. In the autumn of 1942, every second Jew in Krosno had no shoes and to meet demand in that year about 500 pairs were needed according to Judenrat estimates. In its report, the Judenrat's board wrote, “The laborers wear out shoes very quickly and it is impossible to repair them. The 100 pairs we received are beyond repair and the wooden clogs are also very weak and useless after a month of use…”.[46]

Some Jews worked in crafts, which was the main occupation after trade of Krosno's Jews between the wars. This was a result of the occupant's policy.[47] Directives sanctioned the policy by General Governor Hans Frank. They included one issued on November 15th 1939 about confiscation of Polish state properties, and two issued on January 24th 1940 about confiscation of private property and about the duty to report all Jewish property in the General Gubernia. There were also directives about monetary transactions and about curfew. Both forbade Jews from trade dealings and limited their contacts with producers and clients in other towns.

Looting, seizures, and restrictions resulted in shop closures and the impoverishment of Krosno's Jews. Despite this, until mid–1941, most Jewish artisans worked in their own trades. This is confirmed by witness accounts. “In 1941, I left Jaslo for Krosno because the Gestapo there was nicer to Jews.[48] In Krosno, together with dentist Wandenstein from Cracow we opened a clinic.” A representative of JSO gives a similar testimony from Cracow who was in Krosno in the autumn of 1941: “When one travels across the town one can see Jewish shops on both sides of the street without commissar boards.”[49] Commissar boards were formed by the Germans in order to take over Jewish manufacturing, trading, and service facilities.

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Undoubtedly this policy was pursued to prevent the total elimination of Jews from trade and crafts that would harm local economy and German interests.[50] Memories of Icchak Goldberg, formerly of Krosno now in Israel

Only at the end of 1941 did the Nazi authorities start the process of full “aryanization” of the economy. They implemented draconian rules that were strictly adhered to and quickly and dramatically worsened the situation of the Jewish population. They deprived the Jews of the means to earn a living and to exist. To fully utilize Jewish labor, Nazi authorities formed a collective called Jewish Craftsmen Association (JCA) on February 1st 1942 with Leopold Altman as chairman.[51] Jewish Newspaper –March13rd 1942. These kinds of collectives were formed in the entire area occupied by the Nazis. On July 31st 1942, Jewish Work Collective was formed in Jaslo. It included the following trades: leather, textiles, timber, metal, paper, and brush. The leather section gathered shoemakers, slipper makers, and bootmakers. Until the end of January 1942, Krosno's Jewish Craftsmen Association was a branch of Jaslo's Chamber of Craftsmen. The association covered all towns in the county and such trades as clothing, shoemaking, and metal trades. Its main function was to distribute raw materials supplied by the authorities and to coordinate work.[52] With help from JCA, a shoemaker team was formed in Brzozow and later in Dukla. They had three sections: underwear, tailoring and shoemaking, and employed 25 women.

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Slave–like work in workshops gave the employed a false sense of security. Until mid–1942, the Jews were not subjected to deportations. To save from bankruptcy those few Jews who were still working in the second half of 1942, the Judenrat decided to grant them financial assistance in the form of Interest–free Loans from a fund established for that purpose on June 25th 1942[53]. The funds were raised among Jewish inhabitants of Krosno and the region. However its resources were very limited because of widespread poverty. In 1942, it lent 4,920 zl. to 33 people, mainly merchants and craftsmen who were members of the Judenrat. The fund was closed in the winter of 1942 when the Jewish quarter was liquidated.

Besides forcing Jews to work in their local areas of residence or nearby, the German authorities also sent Jews to labor camps. There were a few camps in the Krosno region. On August 25th 1942, one such camp was set up in Krosno proper and was under the jurisdiction of the command center of Luftwaffe.[54] There were two camps in Dukla. Both were set up in August of 1942 and liquidated in November and December of 1942. They employed an average of 310 people. Inmates worked in nearby quarries and building the road from Barwinek to Nowy Zmigrod for the companies of Artur Walde – Breslau and Emil Ludwig – Munchen. From 1940 until August 1944 there was a big labor camp at Szebnie. About 80% of 130 men and 30 women in the camp were Krosno Jews.[55] The figures are supplied by Leopold Blech. They were mainly craftsmen employed as carpenters while women worked in the kitchen and laundry. They were on the verge of starvation fed only 100g of bread and a bowl of soup a day. There were some in the camp who ate quite well. Those included inmates who were employed in the administration of the camp, skilled master craftsmen, and doctors.[56] The supervisor was Leib Langsam from Gorlice and the doctor was Tadeusz Lass from Cracow. Money and contacts with Poles allowed them to get extra food, medicines, and clothes, making their existence much more bearable. There is no data about mortality in the camp, but certainly diseases were widespread because of hard work (from 7 A.M. until 5 P.M.), poor nutrition, and overcrowding.[57] Inmates lived in two barracks that were divided into a few rooms, each housing about 12 people.

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From the winter of 1942 this was the only official place in Krosno where one could find Jews. The camp was liquidated on January 1st 1944 and the inmates were shipped to the death camp of Belzec and other places[58] According to Franciszek Selz.


Photo 5. The first on the right is Moshe Szebersziner who comes from Gorlice. He was the Hebrew teacher at the Hebrew school in Krosno. According to unverified sources he died at the death camp of Plaszow
[Leah Krill–Bleiberg photo collection]


Direct extermination

From the first days of the German occupation of Krosno, there were cases of Jews being murdered in the city and its vicinity. The first such crime was committed by a detachment of the Wermacht that shot 12 Jews from Jaslo and Krosno in the forest of Warzyce soon after entering the area.[59] In the forest of Warzyce near Krosno, the Germans killed Jews and Poles brought from prisons in Jaslo and Frysztak, from camps in Szebnie, and ghettos in Iwonicz, Jaslo, and Krosno. That moment marked the beginning of humiliation and degradation for the Krosno Jews. Goods and equipment of workshops were confiscated. Frequently the value exceeded 10,000–15,000 marks[60] according to S. Polanski, currently living in Israel.

However, these events could be considered calm when compared with the events of 1942. Witnesses remember the period as calm: “In October 1939 I returned to Krosno. Jews were relatively well off at that time financially but morally they felt terrible…”[61]. Helen Steifel came back to Krosno from Truskawiec in 1941: “The situation of Jews I saw in Krosno could be considered ‘idyllic’ compared with other places…”[62].

Terror against Jews intensified in the winter of 1941. In December, under the threat of death they were forced to surrender all their furs and warm clothes because the German army needed them. The collection process was brutal and a few people were killed including an unknown man and 26–year–old Tonia Turst who was shot in the back in the street[63].

Mass debasement also started at the time. In December of 1939, there were 500 Jews in Krosno who were evicted from areas incorporated into the Reich. The Jewish Council appealed for assistance to absorb these refugees[64]. In the autumn of 1941, mass evictions started in the Jaslo region. On November 19th 1941, the first 100 people were taken from Krosno to Rymanow.

[Page 21]


Photo 6. Several Jewish women from Krosno prior to WWII. The first on the left is Hanka Friess from Zrencina, who studied in Krosno. She survived the war during the occupation. On the right is Pepka Breitowicz, a resident of Krosno, who perished during the war. In the center is Maria Haber, a resident of Krosno, who also perished during the war
[Lea Krill–Bleiberg photo collection]


They were allowed to take with them all “movable” possessions[65]. The largest wave of evictions came in the summer of 1942. This was the prelude to the ‘Final Solution’ in the Krosno area. In July of 1942, most people were settled in the ghettos of Brzozow, Dukla, Jedlicze, Korczyna, and Rymanow[66] The evictions resulted in migration of people: 550 to Brzozow, 500 to Dukla, 170 to Jedlicze, 160 to Korczyna, and 600 to Rymanow. The first months of 1942 brought more victims among Krosno Jews. The Gestapo murdered 10 people and hardly a week went by without an execution. Nobody was safe. The summer of 1942 opened the bloody finale in the history of Jews of Krosno.

The directive of the central authorities of the General Gubernia from October 1940 put restrictions on Jewish settlements and served as a base for establishing isolated Jewish districts. At first it didn't have a significant impact on the Krosno County. The first practical step towards the ghetto establishment in the Jaslo region was the order issued by the Gestapo dated August 7th 1941 forbidding the free movement

[Page 22]

of Jews in the whole region. This was followed by the decision to set up Jewish districts in most towns of the Jaslo area and the selection of their residents. The first such selection in Krosno took place on August 10th 1942[67]. The Judenrat, under the threat of death, ordered all Jews to gather at the market place. Each Jew was allowed 10kg of luggage. This order prompted panic among people. A witness remembers:


Photo 7. The Jewish deportations from Western Galicia to the death camp of Belzec in 1942


“This was like the day of reckoning. Krosno was so far spared such actions but we knew from the experience of other towns that this meant death…”[68]. Fewer than half of Krosno Jews showed up on the square. The members of the Gestapo, notably Oskar Backer, Ludwig von Davier, and Gustaw Schmaltzer carried out the selection.

[Page 23]

Most of the selected Jews of Krosno were taken to the death camp of Belzec and some to the Rzeszow Ghetto. The old, sick, and children were driven by truck to the forest near Brzozow and shot there by the SS and Ukrainian police. Those who stayed were given registration cards. The Germans murdered many of those who tried to hide and their bodies were buried at the Jewish cemetery. In charge of burial were two Jewish undertakers, Jozef Korba and Szyja Altman. Helping them was a Pole, Andrzej Janas.

It is difficult to establish the number of victims of the first selection. Those shot in the town numbered about 50[69] The exact number of the murdered is not known. Among them were: Karol Nussbaum, Benjamin Girch 37 years old, Marcus Glutz 35, Joseph Leib Urtem 27, and Samuel Hein 72.

To catch the hidden Jews in Krosno, the Gestapo issued two registration appeals. Only a small number responded to the first appeal and all received registration cards. This encouraged those in hiding and many more responded to the second appeal. This time the outcome was tragic for the majority who were rounded up and sent to the death camp of Belzec. Only a few received the promised registration cards.

On the day of the first selection, a Jewish district was established in Krosno.[70] The date is given according to Jewish survivor testimonies. Polish witnesses state that August 6th 1942 was the selection date. The “Jewish Daily” states that on July 8th 1942, “Jewish merchants were moved to the Jewish Housing District.” Krosno's ghetto was so called “rudimentary” and hence was small encompassing only one street in the town – Franciszkanska.

[Page 24]

Sienkiewicza and Spoldzielcza streets demarked the Krosno Ghetto along Franczkanska Street. A brick wall surrounded the ghetto and the two entrances were fenced with barbwire. One entrance was from Sienkiewicza Street and the other one through the church of the Franciscans. There were 12 multi–story buildings in the ghetto crowded with 600 people[71]. This overcrowding resulted in a tragic housing situation that improved with time as people were murdered. A small number of Jews managed to avoid being locked up in the ghetto. They were rich people who could afford to pay high “ransom” to the Gestapo. The Weisenbergs and the Tiszlers lived outside the ghetto. Unfortunately they shared the fate of the majority of Jews. The Tiszlers were murdered in December of 1942 in their house and buried there. The Weinbergers survived the liquidation of 1942 paying for it in gold. The Gestapo shot them a few months later[72].

Those locked up behind the ghetto walls were without means. The best–off were county officials and the families that resided prior to the war on the Franciszkanska Street. The last ones avoided displacement. The worst–off were people from other places in the region who constituted the majority of ghetto residents. The latter were forced to leave their possessions in their original place of residence and were taken to completely alien surroundings. This had psychological implications and many suffered apathy and depression. Some tried to adapt by setting up small workshops and shops in the gates of buildings, some tried to buy food selling their last possessions.

The residents of Franciszkanska did not have medical care. The ghetto had only a small first–aid station and dental–aid room. The doctors employed there had no tools or supplies to try to control the spread of disease.[73] The doctors included Baumring, Rosenberg, and the dentist Wandstein. The first two were long–term residents of Krosno. Jakub Braumring was shot while being taken to a camp. The fate of the others is not known.

[Page 25]

Somehow the ghetto avoided an epidemic.[74] The most widespread were diseases of alimentary canal, respiratory diseases including Tuberculosis, and circulatory diseases. They were due to heavy work, poor housing, lack of hygiene and clothing, hunger, and worries about loved ones.[75] The official daily food rations were one slice of bread and a small amount of soup.

On December 4th 1942, the Nazis started to liquidate the ghetto of Krosno.[76] By December 1942, the Nazis liquidated most of the ghettos in the Krosno county. This was due to the order issued by Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler on July 19th 1942, demanding that all Jews within GG (General Gubernia) must be liquidated by the end of the winter of 1942.

[Page 26]

With cries and beating the Jews were gathered in the square on Franciszkanska Street, formed into columns, and marched to the train station. One witness remembers: “I saw people led from the ghetto. The Nazis were rushing so fast that they did not even allow the victims to dress properly. There were children walking without shoes or proper clothes, which shows how hurried they were.”[77] Witness Helena Kenig.

They were taken to the Rzeszow Ghetto and settled in the so–called west ghetto, earmarked for those unable to work and deported to other places[78]. Hunger and diseases had bumper crops, especially typhoid. There are no data about the number of dead among the Krosno deportees. We can assume that there were many. The deported were always the worst off.


Photo 8. Deportations of Jews from Rzeszow and Szebnie during November and December of 1943


In the autumn of 1943, the majority of those from Krosno who survived and others were taken to Belzec and Szebnie, and from there after 4 months to Auschwitz– Birkenau. The transport from Szebnie of 4,237 people arrived in the camp on November 5th 1943[79] The table at the end lists Krosno Jews who died in Auschwitz–Birkenau in 1942–1943.[80] After the selection at the ramp, 952 men and 396 women were taken to the camp. The rest (2,889 people) were gassed on arrival.

Despite the meticulous plan for the ghetto liquidation and the surprised timing, some people managed to hide or escape during the march to the station. Some survived. The Gestapo searched the abandoned Jewish district and found a few people whom they shot at the monastery wall[81]. A group of escapees found a week after the liquidation of the ghetto was handled with special brutality[82]. All were taken onto the street and the seven children who were among them were shot in front of their parents. The parents were taken into a building that was on fire. Those who escaped during the march were more difficult to find. An appeal that was issued stating that if they reported voluntarily, they would be spared. They were all shot dead. The hunt for hidden Jews lasted until March 1943[83].

[Page 28]

The locations of the last mass killings of the Jewish residents of Krosno were the synagogue, the wall of the Franciszkanow church, and the building itself that housed the Gestapo offices and a prison. Krosno prison was set up in 1939. It was located at Czajkowskiego Street. From July until December 1942, it held about 120 Jews. They were fed starvation rations that consisted of a chunk of bread and 50g of margarine per day per person.

When the ghetto was liquidated, all Jewish prisoners were deported. Young ones were taken to the Szebnie camp, children and the old to nearby forests where they were shot. Of course, they were robbed of their possessions prior to being murdered, and those who resisted were shot immediately.

Realizing that deportations from the ghetto meant death, many people tried to escape but only a few succeeded[84]. The Nazi authorities made it impossible for Jews to leave closed districts by issuing inhumane orders. These include the directive of the General Governor on October 15th 1941 who imposed the death penalty on Jews escaping from the ghetto and anyone who helped them. (The issue is elaborated in Szymon Datner's “Nazi crimes on ghetto escapees: Threats and ‘legal’ orders towards Jews and cooperating Poles” – the Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw 1970, no. 75.) Poles from Krosno and the surrounding area helped them. In the village of Zrecin, Polish residents hid seven Jewish ghetto escapees for 2 years: Mark Bergman, Romek Bergman, Rubin Bergman, and the family of Ignacy Lipner. Later Haskiel Morgenstein and Breitowicz joined them. Hunger forced them to wander and search for food. Only Morgenstein returned, the gendarmes shot his friend. The others survived the war[85].

Many Jews tried to avoid being taken to the ghetto. First they tried to hide by themselves, usually in attics or cellars of their own houses, workshops, or shops. As the liquidation plan unfolded these hideouts proved insufficient. Thus they were forced to seek help. A lucky few had some money and friends among the Poles. For them hiding, getting fake documents, and leaving the town or joining the partisans was easier.

To hide one Jew, Poles had to be very resourceful and brave. They also needed cooperation of others. A typical example is the story of Stefan Stiefel and his family. At first he was hiding in a shed of a Polish friend and then, wearing the robes of a priest, left Krosno. The priest, Chodorski–Kedra, who sheltered him in his own house, helped him.


Photo 9. Registration card of Josef Golbard from Krosno at Auschwitz–Birkenau death camp


[Page 29]

He introduced Steifel to his neighbors as a priest who escaped from the Poznan area. As a result of his persecution by the Germans, he suffered a nervous breakdown and therefore was unable to conduct mass. The priest managed to get “Aryan” papers (false identity papers) for him in the name of Stefan Szymanski. Steifel used them until the end of the war, first in Cracow, then in Tarnopol where he settled with the help of Jadwiga Niepokoj from Krosno. Jadwiga Niepokoj also helped to hide his two sisters Helena and Sala, and their father Samuel, who at first was hiding in the house of a Krosno man whose surname we could not establish.[86]

This man was the first to offer his help, sheltering Samuel in his cellar[87]. When offered money for his efforts he said, “I will not take any money for helping to save the life of Samuel Steifel”[88]. When the Gestapo summoned him, he found a new hideout for Samuel with the Sochanski family. Here he remained sheltered until the end of the war along with 3 other Jews.

Jan Niedzielski from Lutcza also helped to hide Krosno Jews. He hid Herman Stercel and put him in touch with the partisans after Herman obtained his Aryan papers.

[Page 30]

Herman survived the war in a detachment of the Home Army (AK) under the command of Edward Kurcon as Henryk Pieniowski, Polish officer, a POW[89]. In April of 1942, a Krosno engineer named Blazejowski sheltered Helena Kenig and her child[90]. The family helped them get Aryan papers and travel to Warsaw. She survived the war. These were the lucky few. The worst off were children. Many lost their parents and they wandered the streets looking for help most often from their compatriots who worked for the kehilla as they would have most resources. Unfortunately, their generosity left much to be desired. The most infamous, etched deep in the memory of Krosno Jews, was the head of the Judenrat in Jedlicze, Szymon Fries[91].

Orphaned children often turned to Poles for help. It is hard to establish the exact number of people who risked their own lives and those of their families in order to save strangers. Many remain unknown as they perished along with those they were trying to save, denounced by their Polish neighbors or even fellow Jews[92]. Survivors confirmed these facts. Rena Kant from Jedlicze stated after the war: “I looked for help from Polish peasants. I slept in their house, they fed me….I was sheltered by a Pole but he did not want me to disclose his surname”[93].

The balance of losses

The population chart illustrates the situation of Krosno Jews. The result of the Nazi policies was the declining birth and the growing death rates.

The table below shows the grim statistics.[94] The table doesn't give a full set of data for births and deaths and it is difficult to establish if the numbers are complete because it is not known whether all newborns were registered. The same applies to the registration of the deaths that may have not been recorded especially in 1942.

Period Number of deaths Number of births
1940 35 no data for Jan and Feb 26
1941 43 no data for March 18
1942 22 no data for June–December 7 [Jul–Dec out]
1943–4 no information no information

[Page 31]

Between 1941–1942, 56 people married in Krosno. Akiba Hermeling, who temporarily replaced Krosno's rabbi Ozon Leib Furher who was murdered by Gestapo man Oskar Backer, married them[95] The exact date of the death of the rabbi is not known. Witnesses say Oskar Backer killed him in 1942. There are two versions of events. According to the first, he was murdered in the last selection of people from the ghetto in December of 1942. According to the other version, he was shot on the street.[96] The only information we actually have of the period is a census conducted by the Judenrat in June of 1941. At the time, Krosno had 2,072 Jews consisting of 1,181 women, 885 men, 172 people above the age of 60, 395 children below the age of 12; and 84 babies.

Presenting the balance of losses among Krosno's Jewish population, a few factors have to be noted. As a result of the Nazi policy, only some original Jewish residents remained in Krosno. Many were deported or emigrated to the East. At the same time, there was an influx of Jewish people from other areas, including escapees from various ghettos in the region.

All these factors create difficulties in estimating the Jewish population of Krosno. In the first three years of occupation, Krosno's Jewish population shrunk from the pre–war level by 25% as a result of deportations, escapes, death from starvation, disease, and murders. In 1942, most of the Jewish residents were eliminated, and Krosno's population shrunk further. A census in 1946 showed there were 13,873 people in Krosno.[97] the results should be evaluated carefully. Movements of people following the war changed the figure rapidly.

With the extermination of Krosno's Jewish residents, we need to note those who survived WWII. They were mainly those transported by the Russians to the Soviet Union. We know that a few survived Soviet labor camps and settled later in Israel.

[Page 32]

They make up a small percentage of Krosno Jews. Among those who returned after the war, only a few contemplated starting a new life in Krosno[98]. The majority returned in the hope of finding relatives or getting some information about them. Some who felt a need to settle old real or imaginary scores stayed for longer. One witness describes his revenge on Poles in the following way: “After the Russians came I joined NKWD. I wanted to take revenge on the Poles who denounced my siblings. I worked for the NKWD for 18 months. During that time I avenged not only my family but many other Jews.”[99] During the occupation, Herman Stelcer lost all his family: his parents and 6 siblings. Poles sheltered two of them but because of denunciations they were murdered. He himself survived the war thanks to help from Poles.

Many returning Jews also hoped to find lost children who survived the war while entrusted to Polish families.[100] Zionist centers attached enormous importance to the emigration of Jewish children. The Joint among others did the financing. This was not simple. Children brought up by Poles frequently did not remember their relatives and did not know their origins. They developed close relationships with their guardians. These ties were hard to break. If financial compensation did not appeal to the Poles, the cases usually went to court where the children were returned to their families. Then, they often ended up in Jewish orphanages in the western and northern parts of Poland.

There are a few known cases from Krosno that ended in this manner. About 20 children recovered their Jewish identity, among them Berta Akselrad, the daughter of the former head of the kehilla in Korczyna and Krosno, and some children from the Fogel, Majerowicz, Montagu, and Nussbaum families.[101] Berta Akselrad was growing up in a Polish family under the name of Barbara. In 1946, a court ordered that she be returned to the Jews. She was then placed in a Jewish orphanage in Zabrze. From there, via France, she went to Palestine. A boy from the Nussenbaum family who lost all his relatives in the war followed a similar route. At first he was sheltered by Poles, then ended up in an orphanage in Miejsce Piastowe. On court orders he was handed over to Jews.

Krosno Jews were released from prisons and Nazi camps, and those returning from the Soviet Union, settled in the western parts of Poland mainly in lower Silesia.


Photo 11. Document permitting Baruch Muntz
to leave the Soviet Union following the end of the war.
Front and back of the document


Those linked to the Zionist movement before the war picked up their work in the revived organizations that focused on facilitating emigration to Palestine.

[Page 33]

At first the Polish authorities did not meddle in these kinds of activities. This policy changed at the end of the 1940s. In 1949, 12 Jews were arrested and jailed by the Polish security services in Wroclaw and Wlabrzych[102] Memories of Baruch Munz. Among them were a few from Krosno. At first they were charged with espionage but, then in the course of court proceedings, their death sentences were overturned. The espionage charges were dropped and they were sentenced to one year for belonging to illegal organizations whose membership they denied anyway.

[Page 34]

Those who settled in lower Silesia were just waiting for a chance to leave Poland. Most of Krosno Jews emigrated legally. But because this route entailed long waits, some opted for illegal means. It is hard to estimate how many left Poland legally or illegally. Some were captured at the border and sentenced to jail, especially those who tried to cross the borders at the end of the 1940s.[103] Before autumn 1946, it was not difficult to cross the Polish border illegally. Only from the end of 1946 were illegal emigrants handled in a stricter manner. The problem is elaborated in Natalia Aleksiun–Madrzak's “Illegal emigration of Jews from Poland” in a bulletin of Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw 1996, no. 4. P. 34.

Not all Jews who were left Krosno aimed at settling in Palestine. Some wanted to go to the US or Western Europe, where they saw opportunities to make a living with the help of their relatives who already resided there. Changes of decision as to where to settle permanently were usually made after leaving Poland. The decisions were influenced by hearsay or media information about the situation of Jews in the relevant country. One witness describes his motives behind choosing Israel as his place of permanent residence in the following way: “I felt too old to start my life anew carrying two humps: one on the front as a ‘greenie’ among US Jews who called new immigrants this way and the other on the back, as a Jew among strangers.”[104]


Photo 12. Polish and 4 Jewish girls from Krosno, uncertain date. First on the left is Hanka Friess, who survived the war. The fourth on the left is Leja Krill, who left for Palestine in 1934. The fifth on the left is Gena Platner, who was in Russia during the war. The first on the right was Blima Fischbein, who perished during the war



The story of Krosno's Jews during WWII is no different from that of other Polish Jews, since the Germans aimed to eliminate all the Jews. In contrast to the Nazis, the Russian government did not consider Polish Jews a separate nation nor did it adopt special policies towards them. They were considered foreign nationals and deported to the depths of the Soviet Union.

The German policy of extermination was carried out in two stages. Indirect extermination included robbery, eliminating Jews from social and economic life, and forced labor. Direct extermination meant murder. All these stages affected Krosno Jews. The only difference was that the first stage was relatively peaceful in Krosno and lasted much longer than in other places. The tragic finale of the history of Krosno Jews started with the day of the first selection in August of 1942 and ended on December 4th 1942 when the ghetto was liquidated.

From more than 2,500 Jews in Krosno before the war, only a few survived. Their attitudes towards life in post–war Poland were no different from those of other Polish Jews. Many did not see any place for themselves in the country regardless of the current situation and treated their return as a stepping–stone towards resettling in Palestine or the USA. Still others left due to the political system that was being established in Poland. A handful of Polish Jews decided to stay in Poland.

[Page 36]

Free Krosno kitchen output


Breakfast 226 210 203 216 210 180 190 198 206
Lunch 220 206 201 215 209 178 189 197 200
Dinner –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– ––––


Breakfast 198 186 200 206 190
Lunch 196 182 200 204 191
Dinner –––– –––– –––– –––– ––––

Table 1 Describes the number of breakfasts and lunches distributed by the Krosno kitchen during the month of August of 1941. The table does not include the days that there were no meals.
Source: AZIH, Acta ZSS, sygn 4924

Table II (Tables should consistently use Roman numerals or Arabic, not both) types and amounts of products used by the kitchen in August 1941.


Products Quantity in kilos or liters
Onions 8 kilos
Sugar 7 kilos
Bread 14 kilos
Beans 116.5 kilos
Eggs 67
Grains 95 kilos
Matza 673 kilos
Milk 155 liters
Meat 30 kilos
Salt 18 kilos
Coffee substitute 22.5 kilos
Potatoes 400 kilos

Source: AZIH, Acta ZSS, sygn 4924


Last and first name Money in zlotys Kilos of matza
Alter, Jakob 28 2
Breitowicz, Lea 25 5
Buchsbaum, Sala 25 5
Lipner, Feiga 20 4
Fessel, Lipa 40 8
Fischbein, Genia 20 4
Geller, Feiwell 20 4
Heferling, Blime 28 2
Nord, Hirsch 25 5
Holloschuetz, Berta 25 4
Pinkas, Mendel 28 2
Langbaum, Mozes 25 5
Liberman, Hirsch 20 4
Lehrer, Leiser Josef 30 6
Lehrer, Wolf 50 10
Mandel, Jakob 20 4
Mostowicz, Chaja 30 6
Riedel, Gitel 25 5
Sitzer, Isaak 25 5
Stiefel, Chaim 25 5
Wehrmann, Ida 25 5
Wrobel, Bernard 25 5

Table III Lists of people who received the Judenrat's biggest assistance in April 1941.
Source: AZIH,Acta ZSS, sygn 4924


Table IV

Name of establishment Number employed
Krosno Airport About 100
AVI, HUV About 100
Farms About 110
Tank camp About 30
Road work About 70
Crafts About 80
Factories in Kombornia About 50
Quarry in Dukla and factory in Rymanow About 320

Table IV Places of work and number of employed Jews in November 1941.
Source: AZIH, Acta ZSS, sygn 4924

[Page 37]

Table V

Occupation First and last name Birth date Birth place Residence Killed on
Clerk Baruch Berglass 9.12.1901 Korczyna Holland 26.09 1942
Clerk Szlama Simon Berger 2.07 1920 Krosno Krosno 29.07 1942
  Lea Sara Fischer 7.03 1905 Korczyna Krosno 26.02 1943
  Daughter Chaima and Sary Margules        
  Beila Gebel 1889? Korczyna Krosno 26.02 1943
  Daughter of Mehel and Rosy Kuref        
Worker Dora Hersohn 27. 02 1908 Korczyna Krosno 7.03 1943
  Daughter of Moshe and Bajlli Gebel        
Seamstress Sara Hersohn 15.03 1915 Krosno Krosno 1.03 1943
  Daughter of Jakob and Dory Hersohn        
Carpenter Jozef Jakubowicz 5. 11 1920 Krosno Paris 4.07 1942
Worker Jozef Kaufman 28.09 1918 Krosno Antwerp 30 08 1942
Butcher Abraham Kircher 14.05 1899 Korczyna Bruxelles 10. 01 1943
Farmer Lazar Kirschner 14 05 1893 Korczyna Slovakia 5.01 1943
Clerk Israel Lieber 2. 08 1892   Krosno 16.08 1942
Photographer Mendel Rozenzweig 19.08 1890 Dukla France 16. 10 1942
Cook Leser Kohn 1.4 1908 Dukla France 11.07 1942
Tailor Szyja Trenczer 8.08 1897 Krosno Antwerp 6. 01 1943
Seamstress Rachel Wiener 7.07 1903 Krosno Tarnow 6.01 1943
  Daughter of Jakob and Dory Pinkas        

Jews from Krosno, Korczyna, and Dukla who died in the death camp of Auschwitz–Birkenau in 1942–1943. Cause of death was not given. To hide the real cause of death, documents often gave fictitious diseases etc.
Source: The National Museum of Auschwitz, Politische Abteilung, Sterbebucher, 1, 1/2, 1/3, 4/1, 7/2, 8/2, 8/3, 10/1, 10/3, 15/3, 18/1, 22/3, 25/1, Death lists of Auschwitz, Munich–New Providence–London–Paris, 1995, t.2–3

[Page 38]

The list of Jews from the Krosno area who moved to Israel after the war based on the list owned by Baruch Munz.
The list doesn't include people who are only mentioned by surname without a first name.

[The list only includes people who registered in the Krosner association in Israel.]

Aichton Zisle Firer Ben Zion Krill Lea Rozner Mosze
Aisen Jakow First Szoszana Krill Szlomo Rozner Meir
Akerman Riwka Flapan Maria Kufic Arie Rozner Ruben
Akselrad Berta Freud Jochewet Lang Abraham Rowheizer Riwka
Akselrad Josef Freud Szmuel Lang Josef Rubin Szmuel
Akselrad Wolf Freud Baftali Laufer Frida Rubin Riwka
Atlas Aron Fris Menachem Leiser Jona Stiefel Hela
Arzenberg Gershon Goldberg Icchak Leiser Jechial Szachar Jakow
Baim Zisle Grin Henoch Liber Aron Szlanger Natan
Bail Avraham Grin Sara Lipszic Jochewet Szerf Mendel
Balser Nachem Grinbaum Kalman Majerowicz Lea Szpringer Leon
Bart Genia Gross Icchak Majerowicz Zwi Szpringer Dawid
Ber Avraham Hak Mosze Maiz Mordechai Tabish Abraham
Berger Benjamin Hak Szlomo Manster Szmuel Teplicki Cesia
Bnedar Pinchas Herbsman Szlomo Margules Mechel Teplicki Lewi
Bobker Ester Herbsman Jakow Margules Josef Trenczer Mosze
Brand Zwi Hirschfield Zofia Margules Icchak Trenczer Jeshajahu
Brandt Menachem Holoshitz Menache Margules Mosze Unger Leib
Bursztein Arie Horowitz Jehial Melamed Dawid Unger Malka
Dominitz Lea Kac Jehoshua Mendel Pinchas Weisman Chawa
Dominitz Sonia Kac Naftali Montag Josef Weisman Josef
Dorf Dawid Kaner Rachel Munz Adolf Weisman Menach
Dranger Chaja Kaner Luba Munz Baruch Walach Aron
Dym Zofia Kaufman Leib Munz Nechema Wald Miriam
Ehrich Dawid Kaufman Szmuel Nachtigel Eliazer Weinberger Efraim
Ellowicz Eliazer Kiwiel Avraham Nachtigel Dawid Weinster Gershon
Elrenberg Pinchas Kisenstein Menach Nagel Sima Weinster Icchak
Engelhardt Szlomo Kinderman Menah Nais Aron Wilner Zwi
Engelhardt Josef Klagsbald Mosze Neimarch Rachel Wolf Abraham
Erenreich Jecheskel Klein Jakow Nord Icchak  
Erenreich Leib Kleinman Dian Nord Marie  
Erlbaum Jehoshua Kleinman Josef Nowember Menach  
Faber Arie Kleinman Zwi Nussbaum Jakow  
Feltkard Henoch Koner Jehuda Ofner Atara  
Feltkard Zalmen Koner Maier Oling Genia  
Fesel Mosze Koner Mordechai Orenstein Leib  
Fink Hela Kriger Michal Reich Jecheskiel  

[Page 39]



Introduction 3
The occupation of the city p 4
Krosno Jews in Russia 7
The Jewish community organization 10
The indirect extermination of Jews 16
The direct extermination 20
The result 30
The conclusion 36


  1. Andzej Dashkiewicz, Z dzejow ruchu oporu… Krakow 1973,t.II,s.185 Return
  2. See text Return
  3. See text Return
  4. Jozef Garbacik,Stanislaw Cynarski, Jaslo oskarza…Warszawa, 1973,s.26 Return
  5. Glowna Comisja Badania zbrodnip–co…sygn 85,t.I–III [ dalej GKBZ IPN Return
  6. Yad Vashem Archives, Relacje, sygn 1270 Helene Stiefel's testimony Return
  7. See text Return
  8. Jewish Historical Institute, sygn 301/4681, testimony of Sachar Grunbaum Return
  9. See text Return
  10. See text Return
  11. See text Return
  12. See text Return
  13. See text Return
  14. See text Return
  15. See text Return
  16. See text Return
  17. See text Return
  18. See text Return
  19. See text Return
  20. See text Return
  21. AZIH, Akta Zydowskiej Samopomocy Spoleczenej[dalej AZSS] sygn 4924 Return
  22. See text Return
  23. See text Return
  24. See text Return
  25. See text Return
  26. Gazeta Zydowska, July 9th 1942 Return
  27. See text Return
  28. AZIH, AZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  29. ibidem Return
  30. See text Return
  31. See text Return
  32. See text Return
  33. See text Return
  34. See text Return
  35. See text Return
  36. See text Return
  37. AZIH, AZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  38. AIYV, sygn, 1270 testimony of Helen Stiefel Return
  39. See text Return
  40. See text Return
  41. Gazetat Zydowska, May, 20th 1942 Return
  42. Gazetat Zydowska, May, 20th 1942, AZIH,ZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  43. See text Return
  44. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/3448 testimony of Rubin Bergman Return
  45. AZIH,ZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  46. AZIH,ZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  47. See text Return
  48. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/1093 testimony of Leopold Blech Return
  49. AZIH,ZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  50. See text Return
  51. Gazeta Zydowska, March 13th 1942 Return
  52. See text Return
  53. Gazeta Zydowska, July 15th 1942 Return
  54. GKBZ IPN, Anicta Sadu Grodziekiego, sygn 16D [DALEJ asg] Return
  55. See text Return
  56. GKBZ IPN, Anicta Sadu Grodziekiego, sygn 16D Return
  57. See text Return
  58. GKBZ IPN, sygn 25, testimony of Franciszek Selz Return
  59. Szymon Datner, …55 dni Wehrmachtu w Polsce, Warszawa 1967,s.477 Return
  60. See text Return
  61. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/2832 testimony of Helena Konig Return
  62. AZIH,IPN, sygn 1270 testimony of Helena Stiefel Return
  63. GKBZ IPN, Anicta Sadu Grodziekiego, sygn HS93/71 Return
  64. AZIH,ZSS, sygn 4924 Return
  65. Gazeta Zydowska, November 19th 1941 Return
  66. Gazeta Zydowska, July 8th 1942 Return
  67. AIYV, sygn 1270,testimony Hele Stiefel Return
  68. Ibidem Return
  69. See text Return
  70. See text Return
  71. GKBZ, IPN Ankieta. Obozy… sygn 58, t.1 [dalejAOG] Return
  72. GKBZ, Akta proc… sygn HS93/71, T.I. Testimony Andzej Janas Return
  73. Gazeta Zydowska, July 8th 1942 Return
  74. See text Return
  75. See text Return
  76. Kronika gmin, op.cit., t.III, s.522 Return
  77. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/2832 testimony of Helena Konig Return
  78. Stanislaw Parandowski, Zaglada Zydow rzeszo… Warszawa 1988, nr.I–2,s.98 Return
  79. Danuta Czech, Kalendarz wydarzen w KL Auschwitz, PMO 1992, s. 521 Return
  80. Ibidem Return
  81. GKBZ, IPN,Akta proc… sygn HS93/71, t.II. Testimony Hilary Zajac Return
  82. Ibidem Return
  83. GKBZ, IPN,Akta proc… sygn HS93/71, t.II. Testimony Franciszek Zajder Return
  84. See text Return
  85. AZIH,IPN, sygn 3421 testimony of Andzej Czajkwski Return
  86. AIYV,sygn 3421, testimony of Sala Heiler, nee Stiefel Return
  87. Ibidem Return
  88. Ibidem Return
  89. AIYV,sygn 672, testimony of Herman Stelcer Return
  90. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/2832 testimony of Helen Konig Return
  91. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/1373 testimony of Rena Kant Return
  92. See text Return
  93. AZIH,IPN, sygn 301/1373 testimony of Rena Kant Return
  94. See text Return
  95. See text Return
  96. Kronika gmin,op.cit., s.521 Return
  97. Statystika Polski, Seria D. z.1 Return
  98. See text Return
  99. AIYV,sygn 672, testimony of Herman Stelcer Return
  100. See text Return
  101. See text Return
  102. See text Return
  103. See text Return
  104. See text Return


The Krosno synagogue between the wars
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