Translation of the
Yizkor Book of the Jewish Community
in Dzialoszyce and Surroundings

(Działoszyce, Poland)

Published by the JewishGen Press
part of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.

Original book Published by the Dzialoszyce Society in Israel
Translation edited and annotated by Fay and Julian Bussgang
374 pages with numerous illustrations in hard cover

Available from JewishGen for $37.00

Click here to see the index containing the family names in this book. If you already have purchased the book, please print out and insert into the back of the book.



Działoszyce is a small town in southeastern Poland, 27 miles northeast of Kraków, that sits on a fertile plain surrounded by mountains. The first Jews arrived there in the 16th century, attracted perhaps by the fact that Działoszyce was on the trade route from Kraków to the north. By 1820, 75 percent of the town’s 1700 residents were Jews; in the late 1930s, more than 80 percent of its 8,000 residents were Jewish.

Most Jews in Działoszyce made their living through trade or crafts. The town was surrounded by small villages inhabited by peasants. Jewish peddlers went from village to village selling merchandise and purchasing agricultural products.

While most Jews in Działoszyce were not very prosperous, some owned large estates in the surrounding areas, and the proprietors of most flour and barley mills, the oil refinery, and the town power plant were Jews.

Religious life centered around the beautiful town synagogue and the small Hasidic houses of prayer. Communal life was organized through the kahal [community council] and khevres [societies] with various functions. In the interwar period, theater productions and sports events were popular. Zionist organizations sprang up and trained young people to be pioneers; a sizable number emigrated to Palestine.

During the war, mass killings and deportations virtually destroyed the Jewish community. Some were sent to their deaths at the Bełżec camp, others to the Kraków ghetto and then to Płaszów. Today, the formerly Jewish town has no Jews and only 1200 inhabitants.

This Yizkor book, written originally in Yiddish and Hebrew by former residents as a memorial to their beloved town, provides a vivid portrayal of what Jewish life was like in Działoszyce before and during the war.

Działoszyce in Polish is also known as Zaloshitz in Yiddish, Dzyaloshitse in Russian, and Dzialoshitz, Zalazhtsy, Zaleshits, Zaloshits and Salshits.

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