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

49°50' / 20°41'

Translation of “Czchów” 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 304, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(page 304)

Czchów, Poland

(District of Jaslo, region of Krakow)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

(Region of Brzesko, Krakow Province)

Year General
1880 1,550 154
1900 1,748 252
1921 2,541 136

During the 11th and 12th centuries, the settlement of Czchów belonged to the Batinice Monastery. Later, it became part of the estates of the kings and counts of Poland. The beginning of the development of the settlement in the 12th century was dependent on the population of the Dunajec River valley and the trade with Hungary that passed through Czchów. The place was also a tax depot during the 13th and 14th centuries. Czchów was granted the status of a city in 1355, and the royal starosta (regional leadership) resided there. Czchów was a trade center for wine imported from Hungary during the 16th century. During the 17th century, the city was badly affected by wars, and the decline that began at that time lasted until the end of the 19th century. The city of Czchów lost its status of a city between the two world wars. During that time it served to some degree as a center for healing and tourism. The primary occupation of the gentile population was farming and small scale crafts.

Apparently, Jews did not settle in Czchów during the time of the Kingdom of Poland. The first Jewish families settled there at the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th centuries. Communal institutions were established only at the end of the 19th century. Rabbi Yitzchak Yeshaya, the son of old age of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam the founder of the Tzanzer (Nowy Sacz) Hassidic dynasty, was appointed as rabbi of Czchów in 1883 at the age of 19. Rabbi Yitzchak Yeshaya conducted a Hassidic court there. He moved to Szatmar in 1893, and later set up his court in Krakow. Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon Kanner, one of his prime Hassidim, took his place in Czchów. He also conducted a Hassidic court, especially after the death of his father-in-law Rabbi Moshe of Sieniawa. From Czchów, Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon moved to Klausenberg (Cluj). His son Rabbi Baruch Kanner took over his position in Czchów, apparently in 1925. Later he went on to serve as the head of the rabbinical court of Nowy Sacz. The rabbis of Czchów did not remain in the city for a long time on account of the small size of the Jewish population, and furthermore because most of the Jews earned their livelihoods in a meager fashion from small scale trade and peddling in the villages.

In November 1918, the villagers of the region perpetrated a pogrom upon the Jews of Czchów. Many were beaten, and their property pillaged. The income of the communal council, which was generally small, was significantly affected in 1936, when the right of kosher shechita (ritual slaughter) was revoked, and the collection of 20 groszy for every kilogram of kosher meat was cancelled.

The attempt to set up a Zionist organization in the city did not progress well until the 1930s, the era between the world wars. 1935 was the year when the most shekalim (tokens of membership to the Zionist organization) were sold – for a total of 25 shekalim. The Bnei Zion organization was established in 1936, however it appears that its members were few and its activities meager.

At the time of the conquest of the area by the Germans in September 1939, decrees of harsh labor and restriction of movement were imposed upon the small Jewish population. Several Jewish families who had been expelled from Krakow arrived in 1940. In 1941, the Jewish farmers of Czchów were forbidden from working on the plots of land that they owned. All of their property was confiscated. That year, young Jews were sent to labor camps in the region. In the spring and early summer of 1942, the Jews of Czchów were expelled to larger settlements in the region, apparently to Brzesko and Bochnia. The Jews of the entire region were concentrated in those places prior to being sent to the death camps.

Amt”y HM/7921
Atz”m Z 4/234-13: Z 3/178
Nowy Dziennik 5.6.1936 24.12.1936

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