“Przeclaw” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume III

50°12' / 21°28'

Translation of “Przeclaw” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume III, page 301, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(page 301)

Przeclaw, Poland

(Mielec District, Krakow Region)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Donated by Sara Schechter-Schoeman



Przeclaw is first mentioned in documents from 1419 as a private city of the nobility. During the 17th and 18th century, it belonged to the Pilzno district of the Sandomierz Wojewoda. During that time, there were annual fairs and a weekly market day in Przeclaw. Aside from agricultural workers, there were also merchants and artisans in the town. During the 19th century, the town stagnated. Its population declined during the 20th century, and it became a village for all intents and purposes.

We know about the first Jews in Przeclaw from the beginning of the 18th century. Several Jewish families lived in the area. One of them leased the inn. During the second half of that century, 25 Jewish families lived in Przeclaw, and 25 souls, that is 3-4 families, lived in the villages of the area. Among those who earned a livelihood were, among others, one leaser of the inn, a Jewish artisan, and one ribbon maker. The Jews of Przeclaw lived at that time in fourteen houses, of which they owned six. The Jews of Przeclaw paid the head tax in the jurisdiction of the district of Sandomierz. Apparently, the Jews of Przeclaw did not have an independent community, and they were subordinate to one of the communities of the region. Still during the Austrian era (in 1789), the Jews of Przeclaw were answered in the negative to their request to establish an independent community. The government responded to them that only when the number of Jewish families there would increase to the point that they would be able to sustain two communal heads and two assistants would they be permitted to establish an independent community.

Apparently, the Jewish community of Przeclaw only became an organized community with its institutions toward the end of the 19th century. At that time, Rabbi Yaakov Izland served as the rabbinic judge and teacher in Przeclaw. In 1907, Rabbi David the son of Rabbi Avraham Horowitz, the Admor of Poloniec in Rzeszow, was chosen as the rabbi of Przeclaw. Rabbi Elimelech Altman served as the rabbinic judge and teacher in Przeclaw during the 1920s, and Rabbi Moshe the son of the aforementioned Rabbi David served as the local rabbi during the 1930s.

On account of the dearth of sources of livelihood, during the latter decades of the 19th century there was Jewish emigration from Przeclaw to larger cities and abroad. This continued into the 20th century and the final decades of the existence of the community. In May 1919, the villagers of the region were prepared to perpetrate a pogrom upon the Jews of Poloniec. First, words of incitement were heard from the villages of the region, where it was stated that “It is permitted to attack the Jews between May 1st and May 5th”. Indeed, on the 7th of that month, approximately 500 villagers gathered together and marched in the direction of Przeclaw, armed with sticks and iron bars. The local police stood their guard and dispersed the villagers. Several of the townsfolk stood with the Jews, especially Henryk Przeczlinski, who went before the stormy troublemakers to calm them. However, this did not prevent the troublemakers from attacking Jews who lived in the villages, beating them and pillaging their property.

Zionist activity began there, during the period between the two world wars. A chapter of the General Zionists was established. Already in 1920, a delegate from Przeclaw participated in the Zionist convention that took place in Tarnobrzeg. A chapter of Akiba was active there during the 1930s. Fourteen payers of the shekel participated in the Zionist Congress of 1935. All of them voted for the list of the General Zionists.

At the time of the outbreak of the Second World War in September, 1939, several young Jews fled eastward from Przeclaw. A few returned to Przeclaw after a short while, and others arrived in eastern Galicia which was annexed to the Soviet Union. Forced labor and restriction of movement was imposed on the local Jews, and they had to wear the badge of shame. Jews were permitted to work on the fields that they owned until the spring of 1941. In the spring of 1941, all of the agricultural plots were confiscated, and the Jews were commanded to move to larger settlements in the region. In 1941 and the first half of 1942, young Jews were went to work camps near Mielec. In the summer of 1942, the last Jews of Przeclaw were transferred to the gathering points in the area where the Jews were concentrated to be sent to the death camps.

Amt”y HM/7107, HM/7101
Atz”m Z-4/2997, Z-4/234-13, Z-4/222-23

Machzikei Hadas, Aug 29, 1907
Diwrej Akiva, April , 1936; Nowy Dziennik May 12, 1919, May 22, 1920, March 17, 1927 July 6, 1933.

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