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

49°53' / 21°28'

Translation of “Ryglice” 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, pages 355-356, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(pages 355-356)

Ryglice, Poland

(Tarnow District, Krakow Region)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Donated by Sara Schechter-Schoeman



The town of Ryglice was established in the latter part of the 18th century. It was under private ownership of the nobility. The official status of a town was granted to Ryglice in 1824. During the period between the two world wars, Ryglice again became a village from an administrative perspective. It was located approximately 8 kilometers away from the train station. The Christian residents of Ryglice were occupied in agriculture, and some of them were involved in home weaving or providing service to the estate of the landowner. During the market and fair days in Ryglice, they traded in threads, coarse woven products, and agricultural products.

We have very little information about the history of the Jewish settlement in Ryglice. Apparently, the first Jews settled there during the second half of the 18th century. However, during the first half of the 19th century, the Jewish population grew, and even reached the status of an organized community at the beginning of that century. Jews lived in the center of the town, and were occupied in small scale business and peddling. Some of them worked in trades such as tailoring, sewing, and glassblowing. Several Jewish families lived in the suburbs of the city. They had fields or small gardens. The wealthy people in the community were involved with leasing from the local landowner or estate owners of the region.

The employment of the Jews of Ryglice did not change during the 20th century, but their numbers declined in the wake of the First World War. During the economic depression that the town-village suffered from during the inter-war period, the natural increase did not even take place. At the end of the war, the Jewish community was assisted by the JOINT. In 1923, support was provided from the JOINT and the local Chevrat Bikur Cholim.

We know the names of the local rabbis who served from the beginning of the 18th century. The first was Rabbi Tovia Gutman, one of the students of the Seer of Lublin (The Chozeh of Lublin). His rabbinical seat in Ryglice was inherited by his son-in-law Rabbi Nachum-Tzvi Horowitz Tencer. It was then passed on to his son Rabbi Avraham Abba, who in turn bequeathed the seat to his son Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz. The latter served then as the rabbi of Limanowa, and since he reused to leave his place of service, he only traveled to Ryglice for festivals and the High Holy Days.

In 1904, Rabbi Yekutiel Tzvi Zalman Gutwirt, the grandson of Rabbi Nachum Tzvi Horowitz Tencer, occupied the rabbinical seat. In 1912, Rabbi Alter Eliezer, the son of Avraham Simcha Horowitz the Admor of Baranow, served as the head of the rabbinical court. Rabbi Yisrael Yosef (Yosele) the son of Rabbi Alter Eliezer Horowitz was appointed as rabbi of Ryglice around 1922. He moved to Tarnow after a few years, and emigrated from there to the Unites States in 1932. The final rabbi of Ryglice was apparently Rabbi Yosef Shmuel Shmelke Ehrlich, who was accepted as the rabbi of Bardijov close to the time of the outbreak of the Second World War and perished during the years of the Holocaust.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Jewish refugees who were not able to continue on their journey eastward due to the rapid advance of the German army found refuge in Ryglice. Hard labor, payment of contributions, the wearing of the badge of shame and restrictions of movement were imposed upon the Jews of Ryglice. Additional Jewish refugees from Krakow and other settlements of the region arrived in Ryglice in 1940.

The Judenrat was set up at the end of 1939 or the beginning of 1940. It was headed by Cygler (according to another version, his name was Cygman). The Jewish police operated alongside the Judenrat. Its chief was Eli Szwebel. The Judenrat was obliged to arrange a precise registry of all the Jews, including the refugees. This list served to provide the daily quotas of Jews for the hard labor in city and the nearby area. A delegation of the J.S.S. and the members of the Judenrat organized a communal kitchen and distributed hot meals to those members of the community and refugees who were in need.

In 1940 and 1941, German officers would come on occasion from Tarnow to Ryglice. The spread out to the Jewish houses and stole the property. At that time, the snatchings for work camps increased. At the beginning of June, 1942, all of the Jews of Ryglice were ordered to present themselves in the market square for a registration and renewed certification of the documents and permits for the workplaces. At the end of the registration, a group of young people was taken to the Szebneja Camp. During this action, there were attempts to flee from the market square and to hide. The chairman of the Judenrat was arrested a few days before the aktion. In the summer of 1942 (according to one of the sources, already at the end of June), the order of expulsion of the Jews of Ryglice to Tuchow was proclaimed. The attempts to bribe the German authorities to cancel or at least postpone the expulsion did not succeed. Some of the deportees made their way to Tuchow on wagons, and others by foot. In Tuchow, the Jews of Ryglice were among the victims who were sent to their deaths at the end of the summer of 1942, apparently to the Belzec camp.

AYO”Sh: 021/19, 021/15, 021/6; 03/3271
AJDC Archives: Countries – Poland, Medical report 377.

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