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Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Galicia Memorial Sites

Galicia is an area in the borderland between the Russian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the pre-1918 era. After 1918 it was defined, for the most part, as Southeastern Poland (East of Krakow) that extended into Ukraine and was all part of Poland before World War II, stretching East to the city of Lvov (noiw Lvin). Most of Galicia was occupied by the USSR in 1939, and then by Germany after June 1941. The Jewish population that lived mainly in small towns, 10% of the entire Polish population, was exterminated in the German death camps of Sobibor, Belzec and Majdanek, as well as other ghettos and camps, and in shooting operations. What remains today is a landscape of occasionally restored cemeteries and synagogues, but few Jews.

Eastern Galicia, including the city of Lvov (Lwow, Lviv, Lemberg) is now in Ukraine.

For a map of Galicia see:

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery. Cemetery was destroyed by Nazis and has been partially restored by volunteers.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery. Cemetery was destroyed by Nazis and has been partially restored by volunteers.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery. Cemetery was destroyed by Nazis and has been partially restored by volunteers.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery. Cemetery was destroyed by Nazis and has been partially restored by volunteers.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery. Cemetery was destroyed by Nazis and has been partially restored by volunteers.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery: Grave of the tsaddik Halberstam was also active during the second half of the nineteenth century. He founded a dynasty of tsaddikim and a well-known yeshiva. Szlomo Halberstam (1847-1906), grandson of the tsaddik from Nowy Sacz, Chaim Halberstam, the rabbi of Oswiewcim and Wisznica, was an outstanding teacher of rabbis.

galicia memorial

Bobowa Jewish Cemetery: Grave of the tsaddik Halberstam was also active during the second half of the nineteenth century. He founded a dynasty of tsaddikim and a well-known yeshiva. Szlomo Halberstam (1847-1906), grandson of the tsaddik from Nowy Sacz, Chaim Halberstam, the rabbi of Oswiewcim and Wisznica, was an outstanding teacher of rabbis.

galicia memorial

Sign at Bobowa synagogue. Rebuilt from original in 1889, destoryed by Germans, restored in post-World War period at the initiative of rabbi Frydman of Vienna, a former pupil of the Krakow Rabbinical School.

galicia memorial

Bobowa synagogue

galicia memorial

Bobowa synagogue interior

galicia memorial

Ark of Bobowa Synagogue

galicia memorial

Rabbi ben Zion Halberstadt of Bobowa, 1874-1941. Killed in Lvov with his family by Germans.

galicia memorial

Courtyard of Bobowa Synagogue

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Text: History of Bobowa Synagogue

Text of Tarnow Cemetery Sign: The Jewish Cemetery

galicia memorial

The Tarnow Necropolis belongs to the oldest and best preserved cemeteries in southern Poland. It occupies an area of 3.27 hectares, and has about 4000 tombstones, of which the oldest date back to the 17th century. Most of the gravestones are greatly ornamented and rich in symbols. On some of them only traces have been preserved. Numbers of tomb stones have Hebrew, Polish and German inscriptions. The cemetery was established in the 16th century (the first record of its existence comes from 1581) on the premesis of the former town farm Podwildow. Devastated by the Germans during the occupation period, it was between June 1942 and September 1943, a place of mass murder of the ghetto Jews.

After the war it was the sculptor Dawid Beker who designed a monument, a broken column from the  remains of the New Synagogue (The Jubilee Synagogue) and located it in the  place of the victims' mass grave. The inscribed Hebrew quotation, "And the sun shone and was not ashamed..." was taken from the poem of Nahman Biakik written after the slaughter of the Kishinev Jews in   Moldavia-Bessarabia (Moldova) in 1903.

Since 1989 the cemetery has been under the custody of the City Council and the Committee for the Protection of Monuments of Jewish Culture in Tarnow and was enrolled in the national monument register. The cemetery fence was completed and rebuilt, wild bushes and weeds were removed, and the graves are still being fixed. Among the tombs there are well-preserved graves of rabbis, judges, artists, Zionistic activists. There is also a quarter dedicated to the Jewish soldiers of the Austrian army, who died in the nearby hospital in World War I. The original iron cemetery gate from the pre-0war period was donated by Polish President Lech Walesa to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, during his stay in the USA in 1991. It is one of the largest objects in  the museum.

The Jewish cemetery in Tarnow is an open necropolis managed by the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow. The cemetery has its own monograph Cmentarz Zydiwski w Tarnowie (The Jewish Cemetery in Tarnow) written by Leszek Hande and published in 2001, and a guide book written by Janusz Kozol.   

galicia memorial

Tarnow Jewish Cemetery was not destroyed by the Germans and includes old graves and a monument to the destruction of the Jews of Tarnow from June 11, 1942 to September 5, 1943.

galicia memorial

Tarnow Jewish Cemetery was not destroyed by the Germans and includes old graves and a monument to the destruction of the Jews of Tarnow from June 11, 1942 to September 5, 1943.

galicia memorial

Tarnow Jewish Cemetery was not destroyed by the Germans and includes old graves and a monument to the destruction of the Jews of Tarnow from June 11, 1942 to September 5, 1943.

galicia memorial

Tarnow Jewish Cemetery was not destroyed by the Germans and includes old graves and a monument to the destruction of the Jews of Tarnow from June 11, 1942 to September 5, 1943.

galicia memorial

Tarnow Jewish Cemetery was not destroyed by the Germans and includes old graves and a monument to the destruction of the Jews of Tarnow from June 11, 1942 to September 5, 1943.

galicia memorial

Graves in Tarnow Jewish Cemetery

galicia memorial

Graves in Tarnow Jewish Cemetery

galicia memorial

Graves in Tarnow Jewish Cemetery

galicia memorial

Graves in Tarnow Jewish Cemetery

galicia memorial

Graves in Tarnow Jewish Cemetery

For more information see:

Photographs by Stephen Feinstein, University of Minnesota, 2007