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Hrubieszów is situated only 18 km. from the border checkpoint in Zosin and 5 km.
(in a straight line) from the border with Ukraine over the Bug River. The first mention of the
Jewish community is in 1440. From 1648 to 1657, there was a Cossack war of liberation
from Poland called the Khmelnytsky Uprising, during which many Jews of the city perished.
Twenty-seven Jewish houses and the smaller synagogue were destroyed in a fire in 1736.
The leaders of the community and its rabbis were active on the Council of the Four Lands.
The first Jewish-run hospital in Poland was inaugurated in 1818, a new synagogue in 1874,
and an old age home in 1905. The Hasidim were active from the early 19th century, and
between WWI and the Holocaust, the Zionists, Bund, and Agudat Israel were active in the city.
There was also an old brick synagogue as well as six private houses of prayer in the city.
The Jewish population numbered 709 in 1765 and grew to 3,276 in 1856. By 1897 the Jewish
population was 5,352 out of 10,636 total. The Jewish population before the war was 11,750. The
most prominent business leaders in the community at the outbreak of the war included: Fishel
Zylbersztein, president of the Jewish hospital and orphanage; Szol Ajzen, landlord; Szmuel Brand,
businessman; the Reglow family, owners of the steam mill; Yoel Rabinowicz, lawyer; (unknown) Krajcer,
chemist; (unknown) Brand, Polish army officer and doctor; Pucer family, grain trade; Pachter family,
tree trade; Zys Rojtman, owner of a large store; Berel Rozenblum, shoe store; (unknown) Szer,
haberdashery shop; and (unknown) Gertel, owner of a store with electrical instruments.
The Nazis entered Hrubieszow on September 15, 1939, and immediately organized a series of
pogroms. Ten days later they withdrew and the Soviet Army occupied the city, but after a Soviet-
German agreement the city was returned to Nazi hands. During the pact period, 2,000 Jews fled
with the withdrawing Soviet Army and entered Russian territory. On December 1, 1939, all Jewish
men aged 15 to 60 were ordered to assemble on the Wigun common, a cattle-grazing area. About
1,000 Jews gathered there. All of their monies and valuables were taken from them at this time. The
next day, 1,000 Jews from Hrubieszów and 1,100 from nearby Chelm were led on a death march to the Bug River, where 1,500 Jews perished. Some of the victims are listed here.
A death march memorial website was created here.
In early 1940, around 9,000 Jews including some refugees were confined to the Hrubieszów
ghetto. All Jews over the age of 12 were ordered to wear a white armband with a Shield of David
on it. The Nazis appointed a Judenrat of 12 members, including Szmuel Brand, chairman, and
Joel Rabinowicz, deputy chairman. The Judenrat was given the same tasks as in other Jewish
communities: to supply the slave labor, to collect contributions, and to confiscate items of property.
In general, Judenrats in the Lublin district were not particularly compliant with the Nazi demands.
The Hrubieszow Judenrat was no exception, and did what it could to help the community. A soup
kitchen was opened in the ghetto, as was a hospital with 30 beds. Medicine was given to the sick.
In August, 1940, 500 Jews from Czestochowa arrived in the ghetto. Four labor camps were
established in the vicinity, and each day hundreds of Jews, including young Jewish boys and girls,
went off to pave roads, dig ditches, build bridges, and work on Polish farms. Labor camps in the
Hrubieszow area where Jews were sent included: Busno (near Bialopole), Dolhobyczow, Mircze,
Obrowiec, Oszczow, Tyszowce, and Wereszyn. In November, 1941, 300 Jewish deportees from
Krakow arrived in Hrubieszów. In March of 1942, hundreds arrived in the city from Mielec.
Jews were forced to give Poles their remaining possessions in return for food. In May, 1942 there
were reportedly 5,690 Jews in the city of Hrubieszow.
Five localities were designated as the collection points for Jews from the entire Hrubieszow powiat:
Dubienka, Grabowiec, Hrubieszow, Uchanie, and Belz. In March, 1942, 1,343 Jews from Hrubieszow's
ghetto were sent to the Belzec Death Camp gas chambers. Separately, a
group of 1,800 Jews deemed fit for work were deported to Budzyn Labor Camp before April, 1942.
According to one testimony, more than 200 villages in the area of Hrubieszow were canvassed by the
Nazis for the aktion of summer, 1942. More than 14,000 Jews were murdered in May and June
of 1942 according to researcher David Silberklang. For this aktion, the Judenrat was told by
German authorities the Jews would be sent to work in the Pinsk district. Instead, on June 1-2, 1942,
Nazis assisted by Polish policemen assembled 3,049 Jews in the market square, put them aboard
goods wagons and sent them to their deaths at Sobibor Death Camp.
Forty Jews who resisted in the market square were shot on the spot. A few days later, from June 7-9,
the Nazis removed hundreds of remaining Jews from their houses. Despite some resistance, 180
Jews were taken to the cemetery and murdered there. The remainder, among them Jews from
Grabowiec, Uchanie, Dubienka and Bialopole, were taken to Sobibor Death Camp. This transport
is described by eyewitness Dr. Michael Temchin, who was able to escape one of the train cars
destined for Sobibor, in his book "The Witch Doctor." Some 3,400 Jews still remained in the city.
In June of 1942, Jews concentrated in Belz were driven in a 31 mile death march to Hrubieszów.
Otto Busse, the local Nazi district leader, mobilized inhabitants of several places in Hrubieszow powiat
who were armed with axes and sticks in order to hunt down Jews in hiding. From a German report for
the period Nov. 16-Dec. 15, 1942, it emerged that as a result of local cooperation with the police, "five
bunkers sheltering 65 bandits were finished off". (Note: Bandits is a reference to Jewish partisans.)
Thus, Jews in the area had little opportunity for survival. Despite this, heroic partisan activities
took place among the Betar, the Dror, and local Hrubieszow and Grabowiec residents.
The remaining Jews in Hrubieszow were working at German plants and were concentrated in a small
ghetto close to the cemetery. On October 28, 1942, this ghetto too was closed, and most of its
inmates sent to Sobibor, around 3,000 Jews. Some 400 Jews who resisted at the time of deportation
were annihilated in the cemetery area. Jewish partisan Julek Brandt jumped off of his train-car destined
for Sobibor, was reported to German authorities by Polish peasants, and then was forced to return
to the Hrubieszow ghetto by the gendarmerie. He somehow convinced the Gestapo to create the
Jatkowa street camp, where 200 (mostly young) Jews were able to work. They were forced to clean
the ghetto and destroy the cemetery. In September of 1943, this group was sent to the Budzyn
Labor Camp near Krasnik. Hrubieszów was liberated in July 1944 by the Red Army.
The Nazis destroyed Jewish synagogues, cemetery, and private prayer houses in Hrubieszów.
Around 10,000 Hrubieszów Jews were murdered in the Shoah.
Nazis implicated for murdering Jews during the Chelm-Hrubieszow march include: Josef Kraml, unknown
Grosser, Josef Laska, Ludwig Pilles, Konrad Obermuller, Karl Scholz, Johann Stifter, unknown
Weinreither, Josef Weissmann and officers in Belz Adolf Pohlmann, Karl Kohler, Karl Beier, Fritz Pietsch.
The Nazis in charge of the deportations and murders in Hrubieszow were Gestapo Commandant
Weidermann, Commander of the Gendarmerie Henig, Police Officer Johann Demant, and other
officers: Alex unknown, Johann Ackermann, Helmut Altmann, unknown Astman, Dr. Walter Behrendt,
Otto Busse, August Ebner, Curt Englaender, Karl Hermann or Heinrich Franke, Gerchow (Hans Girtzig?),
Groth or Grott, Gerhard Hacker, unknown Heitmuller, unknown Kiel, Arnold Klaus, Karl Knuhr,
Wilhelm Meyer, Herman Muller, Gustav Nagel, Richard Nitschke, unknown Otto,
Ferdinand Radtke, Konrad Rimpler, Arthur Rosenow, Fritz Sauermann, Eberhard Schafer, unknown
Schistel, Max Stoebner (Stybner), Harry Sturm, Richard Thomalla, Werner Thunak, Karl Vielweib,
Bernhard von Loewen, Hans Wagner, Adolf Waldner. Thomalla was executed by the Soviets in 1945.
Demant, perhaps the most brutal of the bunch, received a life sentence but did not serve it. Adolf Walder
was sentenced to just six years for his criminal activities. Ebner and Ratdke were killed during the war.
Hacker, Nagel, Rimpler, Rosenow, Thunak, and Wagner were killed shortly after the war.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
[History] [Surnames] [Holocaust]
[Wikipedia - Hrubieszów] [Notable Residents]
[Unidentified Jews] [Old Cemetery] [New Cemetery]
[1939 Death March] [Death March Victims (Martyrs)]
[Emigrants to America] [Sephardim in Hrubieszow]
[Family Research in Southeast Poland]
[Hrubieszów Memorial Foundation in Israel]
Click to subscribe to Hrubieszow
Learn more at the Sobibor Remembrance Project
Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project
A map of Hrubieszow. Another map, from 1938, located HERE.
Hrubieszow market, 1925.
Members of the Hrubieszow Bet Lechem Society. Front row, left to right: David Cukierman, Mote Cymet, Ber Buchtreger,
Ber Migdal, Leibl Zederboim, Peretz Shtorm (Szturm?); Back row, left to right: Fiszl Adelshtein,
Moshe Beker, Israel Tzigel, Yeshachar Laks, Noa Fajfer, Gerszon Ajzner (Eisner), and Itche Badneshtain.
Unidentified images of Hrubieszow residents are available HERE.
Please review them to see if you can help identify these people.
Hrubieszow cemetery, circa 1910-1920.
A photo at a Yiddish school in Hrubieszow, 1938. In this photo are also Jacob
and his sister Hinda. Photo courtesy of the Biskubicz family.
Jewish girls attending school in Hrubieszow, 1925. The girls were born circa 1913.
Hrubieszow, 1920s. Yerachmiel Biterman, standing far right; Zeev Deutsch, next to him;
David Helfman, kneeling. Others unknown.
Pre-war: Judka Biterman and his wife Bluma and their son and daughter with a female friend and her son.
Perla Hecht Cymet, right side. Others unidentified. 1939 in Hrubieszow.
A photo of Sobibor uprising survivor Jacob Biskubicz from Hrubieszow.
Photo courtesy of the Biskubicz family.
A photo of the Biskubicz family, rescued from the flames of Sobibor. Photo taken on Passover 1939. Left to right:
Perle, Lejb, Jacob, Hinda, and grandmother (mother of mother) Chana-Sara. Courtesy of the Biskubicz family.
Cymet family members, Hrubieszow.
Joizep Cymet and his wife Rywka Biterman Cymet. Both were Shoah victims.
Hrubesher Society in NYC in the 1930s. Includes Leib Brustman, bottom row, 3rd
from left, and Moishe Krakower, middle row, 7th from left. Photo courtesy of Rich Brustman.
First Hrubieshower Society's 35th Anniversary Banquet, 2nd Ave., NYC - Jan. 13, 1940.
Additional group photos plus unidentified people from Hrubieszow are HERE.
Please review them to see if you can help identify these people.
A family from Horodlo, a village near Hrubieszow.
[Click here for an enhanced version]
The Hrubieszow Death March to Sokal, Ukraine took place in 1939. We have a memorial page for the victims.
Forced labor in Hrubieszów during the war period.
Jews in the sewing shop of the Hrubieszów Ghetto. Front right: Nathan Scher. Behind him: Joe Scher (Szer).
Photos from the Hrubieszow Ghetto.
Shlomo Brand of Hrubieszow led a group of Nazi resisters in Vilna.
Memorial to victims at the restored Hrubieszow Cemetery.
Restored Hrubieszow Jewish Cemetery.
Memorial to 49 murdered Jews in Malkow near Hrubieszow, unveiled by the Lasting Memory Foundation in November 2013.
Thank you to Zbigniew Nizinski. Learn more.
A memorial at the Budzyn Labor Camp where hundreds of Hrubieszow Jews were sent.
Jews who survived slave labor at Budzyn were sent to Majdanek, Mielec, Plaszow, or another camp to be murdered.
Pinkas (Yizkor book) committee list, Hrubieszow.
Join the Hrubieszow group on Facebook!
Books about Hrubieszów:
Forbidden Strawberries by Cipora Hurwitz
I Shall Live by Henry Orenstein
Joszko Z Hrubieszowa by Krzysztof Pilarczyk
Little Dove in a Silent Garden: Fredzia Sztuden's Story by Shmuel Rothbard
Our Roots: Shorashim Shelanu by Z. Einat
Pinkas Hrubieszów (Memorial Book of Hrubieszow) by B. Kaplinsky
Until Our Last Breath: Lejzor Bart's Story by Michael Bart
Until We Meet Again by Michael Korenblit
The Young Soapmaker (Testimony) by Leonard and Gertie Lerer
City of Hrubieszów:
Abraham Jakub Stern
Budzyn Labor Camp Description
(includes description from Hrubieszow's Abraham Dichter)
Description of Hrubieszow During War - Mrs. Dichterman/Dychterman
Frumke and Chajke: Jewish Resistance in Hrubieszow
Horodlo Yizkor Book
Hrubieszow Discussion Group
Hrubieszow Genealogy Group (outdated)
Hrubieszow Aerial View from 1943
Hrubieszow Aerial View from 2010
Postcard from the Judenrat of Hrubieszow
Sephardim in Hrubieszow
Ustilug Yizkor Book
Concentration and Labor Camps:
Ghetto Listing: Poland
Belzec Death Camp
Budzyn Labor Camp
Majdanek Death Camp
Majdanek Sub-Camp: Trawniki
Plaszow Concentration Camp (Krakow)
Return to Majdanek: Cipora Hurwitz
Sobibor Death Camp
Stutthof Concentration Camp
Lists from Hrubieszów:
First Hrubieshower Sick Benevolent Society
Hrubieszow Death March Victims - "Sefer Ha'Zvaot"
Hrubieszow Ellis Island Records
Hrubieszow Burials in NYC
Surnames in NYC Hrubieszow Burials
Pinkas Committee from 1962 (page 431)
Families of Hrubieszów:
Survivors of Hrubieszów:
Note: Additional survivors listed in Pinkas HaNitzolim II
Chaim Ajzen (Henry Steel)
Ethel Apel Ajzenkranz
Abraham Blander (video testimony)
Matale Blender (testimony)
Lea Boden (went to Kalmar, Sweden)
Usher Cukierman (went to Israel)
Michael Finger (Drori)
Eve Finkelstein Silver
Jean Finkelstein Peltz
Rosa Gelertner Frenkel
Nechama Goldberg Kaspi
Sura Hartin (went to Sweden)
Cipora Hurwitz, aka Fela Rozensztajn (video testimony)
Helen Firszt Jakubowski (video testimony)
Schyja Martin Kaner
Manya Nagelsztajn Kornblit
Leonard (Lejb) Lehrer
Chaim (Harry) Nagelsztajn
Shalom Omri (Schwartz)
Fred Orenstein (testimony)
Henry Orenstein (testimony)
Herschel Pucer (went to Germany)
Kopel Rabinowitz (Esteron)
Yankale Jacob Rosenblatt
Fredzia Studen Rothbard
Regina Sherer Franks
Molly Weisbrot Schneiderman
Lejzor Sztokhamer (went to Israel)
Jozefa Karpik Szypulka (non-Jew)
Josef Szwarcz (Schwartz)
Szloma Szwarcz (Schwartz)
Ruth Hudes Tatarko (video testimony)
Yankel Tschechovitz (Tschechowitz)
Chaim Zelcer (went to Israel)
Mejer Zojm (went to Lithuania)
Survivors from Uchanie:
Enrique Hersh Dychter
Jack Kucher (Jacob Kuczer)
Chaim Ella Leder
Rubin Shafran (video testimony)
Sarah Shafran Gutterman
Survivors of Horodlo:
Freda Perelmutter Schipper
Rabbis of Hrubieszow:
Chaim (Chajke) ber Shmuel Halevi Horowitz, until 1665
Meshulem Feibush ber Menachem Ginzburg, 1667
Yakov Ben Tzvi Hirsz
Avraham Avli Zak
Yitzhak Charif, 1695
Aryeh Leibush ben Meir Kantschiner
Yoel ben Dawid Katzenellenbogien
Yosef ben Mordechai Katzenellenbogien, 1818
(unknown) Hillel, 1824
Josef Eliezer Gelernter, until 1864
Moshe Klug, 1878
Efraim Zalman Rokach (Rokeach)
Izrael Isser Jawic, 1896
Moshe Lejb Berman, rabbi of Horodlo
Josef Wertheim, 1924-1935
Yochanan Twerski, 1936-1939
Rozalia Baran was murdered for giving her identification papers to a Jewish woman.
Alfred Haponski saved Chaja Papir by giving her false identification papers.
Nikolay and Mikhail Vavrisevich rescued six Jews from Horodlo, Poland.
Sofia Apteiker (Sarah Freynd)
Avraham Sztern (Stern)
Yosef Almogi, Israeli Knesset member
Daniel Goldman, Argentinian Rabbi
David Kimche, former director of Israeli Mossad
David Mamet, American playwright
Zalman Shazar, past president of Israel
Eichmann Trial Transcripts Document Hrubieszów Events
Frumka Plotnik and Hava Follman Eyewitness Testimony: Hrubieszow
Hrubieszow Records in Israel
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Hrubieszów
Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives
Remember Your Family:
The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
Guide to the YIVO Archives
Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
JewishGen Family Finder
JewishGen Holocaust Database
JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families
ISRAEL: Aaron Estaron email@example.com
The Israeli Organization of Hrubieszów
U.S.: Aaron, firstname.lastname@example.org