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Jews settled in Turobin beginning as early as 1420. By the 17th century, a well-organized kahal
functioned in the town, and owned a synagogue erected probably around 1657. In 1825, a new brick
synagogue was built in Turobin. In 1915, it burned down and was rebuilt after 1918. A prayer house
for women was attached to the synagogue. The Jews of Turobin earned their living mostly from fur
and leather trade, crafts (mostly tailoring), and tavern and inn-keeping. They sold such products as
grain, honey, alcohol, meat, industrial goods, cloth, herring, and salt. In 1648, during the invasion of
Khmelnytsky’s Cossacks, the town was destroyed and some of the Jewish inhabitants of Turobin were
killed. During the years 1712-1715, Turobin lands were leased by Herszek Chaimowicz, a Jew.
In the second half of the 17th century the community was restored, and as many as 126 Jewish
families lived in Turobin at the turn of the 19th century. On June 30, 1754, there was a fire in the
town as a result of which 10 Jewish houses worth 20,750 zloties were destroyed. Mordko Pejsakowicz
from Turobin took part in parliamentary sessions of the Four-Year Sejm (1788-1792). In 1799, there
were 2,161 inhabitants in Turobin, including 480 Jews (22%). In 1820, the town was inhabited by
1,866 people, including 501 Jews (26%). In 1869 there were 2,782 inhabitants, including 1,065 Jews
(38%). In the mid-19th century, Wulf Goldman and Chaim Wajsner were supervisors of the synagogue.
In about 1910, the wealthiest Jews in town were Chemia Zylbersztejn, Szyja Rozenfeld, Szyja Naj,
Moszek Rozenfarb, Icek Gajer, Icek Kaminier, Dawid Tauman, and Benjamin Fersztendyk. In the inter-
war period the Jewish community of Turobin had a brick synagogue, a cemetery, and a wooden mikvah.
Before WWI, anti-Semitic riots broke out in the town. Many Jewish political parties and organizations
were active in the town. Aside from Zionist parties formed before the First World War (Mizrachi, Poalei
Zion, and others) and the Jewish Labor Party "Bund" active from 1906, the Orthodox Agudat Yisrael
was established and won strong support among the local inhabitants. Besides traditional aid
institutions such as Bikur Chojlim, Linas Checedek or Hachnasat Orchim, there were numerous
modern social and cultural organizations operating under the auspices of specific political parties and
organizations. The Jewish community of Turobin was greatly influence by the Haskalah, or Jewish
Enlightenment, movement, with its center in the nearby Zamosc. In the first half of the 19th century,
the influence of the Hasidic movement was also extremely strong.
In 1913, a Jewish Public Library was opened, and in 1924 a Jewish Cooperative Bank was established,
which offered low-interest loans. Other financial institutions in Turobin included a Loans Fund
"Provident" set up in the late 1920s and a loans fund established by Jewish craftsmen in town. The
village of Turobin was featured in a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer entitled "The Wife Killer".
The Jewish population before the outbreak of World War II was around 1,400 people in Turobin.
In late September 1939, about 100 Jews fled the village eastward, together with the withdrawing Red
Army. At the beginning of the German occupation, Turobin became a place of concentration for Jews
from various regions of Poland. In 1939, about 1,250 Jews from Lodz, Kolo, Konin and Slupsk were
resettled to Turobin; in 1940, about 500 Jews from Lublin, and in 1942 several hundred Jews from the
neighboring towns and villages were relocated to Turobin. In winter, 1942, around 5,000 Jews were
in Turobin. Unlike at other locations, there was no designated ghetto area. The resettled people were
accommodated in the buildings located around the market square and in the community buildings, and
most especially the synagogue. In April of 1942, the Nazis murdered about 100 Jews, including 20
children. In May of 1942, almost 3,000 ghetto dwellers were driven to Krasnystaw and then taken to
the Sobibor Death Camp. The Turobin ghetto was liquidated in October of 1942. Some camp laborers,
mostly the old and the ill, were murdered on the spot. The rest were driven to Izbica from, where some
were taken to Trawniki Labor Camp. Those unable to work were sent to the Belzec Death Camp. A group
of leaders from the Jewish community -- including Szloma Kipfer (Kupfer), unknown Brandt, Icek Juffe,
Szyja Liberman, Abram Wolf, Dawid Akerman, Mordka Baum and his daughter, Abram Baumfeld,
and Abram Cwekin, among others -- were executed by firing squads in gorges near the village of Olszanka.
The old Jewish cemetery in Turobin was probably established in the early 17th century, and functioned
until 1941, when it was destroyed by the Nazis who used the gravestones to pave roads. In the 18th
century a new Jewish cemetery was established in Zamkowa Street, and it functioned until 1942. At
present it is a field. In 1994, several preserved matzevot from the Turobin cemetery were found dating
back to the 19th and 20th century. In the 18th century, a new Jewish cemetery was established on a
plot of land located outside the town and purchased by the kahal from Sebastian Stodzki. The
cemetery functioned until 1942. During the Second World War, the Nazis devastated the synagogue.
After the war, a local cooperative used the building of the synagogue until its dismantling in the 1960s.
The Jewish community of Turobin, including all Jewish residents, ceased to exist, after October 18, 1942.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
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Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project
The destroyed synagogue in Turobin.
Join the Turobin group on Facebook!
City of Turobin:
Survivors of Turobin:
Mendel Bergman (went to Shanghai)
Estera Bergman (went to Shanghai)
Moshe Licht (went to Russia)
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Turobin
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
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