Book of Bursztyn

Translation of
Sefer Bursztyn
(Burshtyn, Ukraine)

Published by the JewishGen Press

Editor of Original Yizkor Book: S. Kanc
Project Coordinator: Rivka Chaya Schiller
Cover Design: Irv Osterer
Layout: Jonathan Wind
Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
8.5”x11” 256 Pages, Hardcover with original photographs

Available from for $33.00


Burshtyn, in western Ukraine is about 57 miles southeast of Lviv and about 107 miles from the Polish border town of Medyka. The Jewish community there can be dated to the early 17th century. The first synagogue in the town was erected in the mid-18th century.

Like many Jewish towns in the region, Burshtyn came under the rule of several countries. It was part of the Polish-Lithuanian empire until 1772 before passing to Austria-Hungary. During the tumultuous period of World War I, it was occupied briefly by Russia, flipped back to Austria-Hungary and then to the short-lived West-Ukrainian People's Republic before being absorbed into the reconstituted nation of Poland between 1918 and 1939. After World War II, it became the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine until becoming independent in 1991.

Around 2,000 Jews lived in Burshtyn at the turn of the 20th century, a number that dipped in the wake of World War I during which, the town suffered significant damage, which is recounted in the book. Heavy battles took place around the city and a large number of Jews fled westward to refugee camps in Bremen, Moravia, and Austria. Some returned following the war.

Death and destruction struck again with the start of World War II and the Nazi occupation. The handful of those who survived the Nazi horrors recount the terrible sufferings undergone by the Jews of Burshtyn in this Memorial Book: they describe the lives of their families in the town's ghetto and later in the ghettos of Bukaczowce and Rohatyn. Those who were not killed there met their end in the extermination camps of Majdanek and Auschwitz. A long section is comprised of photographs and names of those who perished..

The book also provides a rich picture of life in the town: its religious traditions, the livelihoods of its people and the education of its children. As one passage says, the role of the book was not to be merely a memorial candle for those who met terrible deaths, but to speak of the town's Jewish common folk, so future generations would understand what was destroyed..

Now available for the first time in an English translation..

May this book serve as a memorial to those who lived, worked and dreamed in Bursztyn.


Alternate names for the town: Burshtyn [Ukr], Burshtin [Rus, Yid], Bursztyn [Pol], Burschtyn [Ger], Burstyn

Burshtyn, Ukraine is located at 49°16' N 24°38' E and 274 miles WSW of Kyyiv


Nearby Jewish Communities:

Bukachivtsi 6 miles W
Bilshivtsi 8 miles SE
Cherniv 8 miles W
Zhuriv 9 miles WNW
Dolzhka 10 miles SW
Rohatyn 10 miles N
Voinyliv 11 miles SSW
Kniahynychi 11 miles NW
Halych 11 miles SSE
Stratin 14 miles NNE
Zhuravno 16 miles W
Khodoriv 17 miles WNW
Yezupil' 17 miles SSE
Berezhany 19 miles NE
Zavalov 19 miles ESE
Mariyampil 19 miles SSE
Narayiv 19 miles NNE
Novi Strilyshcha 20 miles NNW
Kalush 21 miles SW
Ustya-Zelene 22 miles SE


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