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Translation of Osiek Jasielski chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Translation of Osiek Jasielski chapter from
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem
Published in Jerusalem
Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume III, pages 54-55, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
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(District of Jaslo, region of Krakow)
(Osiek is located East of Krakow, south of Jaslo and north of Nowy Zmigrod.
The place is officially called Osiek Jasielski)
The hamlet is 14 kilometers from the nearest railway station and two kilometers from the highway. The first information that we have about the place is that it was administered under the Magdenburg provisions and the hamlet belonged to the royal estate of the king since 1365.Osiek received the municipal status in 1502.
The place became well known during the 19th and the early years of the 20th century due to the annual horse fairs that were held here.
It is possible that some Jewish families lived in Osiek prior to the 19th century but we know with certainty that 50 families lived here in the second half of the 19th century. 10-20 Jewish families left the place between 1900 and 1921, some moved to bigger places and some left during World War I (the area was the scene of heavy fighting between the Russian and Austrian armies in 1914).
The Jews dealt mainly in small trade, peddling, and artisanship. Some Jews were horse dealers and others were middleman in the trading of horses during the fairs. In the second half of the 19th century, we find in Osiek a well organized Jewish community but lacking a rabbi. We do not know the names of the previous rabbis besides the one of Rabbi Aaron Halbershtam (son of Rabbi Sinai Halbershtam, rabbi of nearby Nowy Zmigrod, translator) that administered the needs of the small community until the outbreak of World II and perished in the holocaust.
The period between the great wars, saw the opening of a local Zionist branch in Osiek. The Zionist activities became more widespread with the opening of a branch of the youth movement Hanoar Hatzioni" in 1933 that attracted 40 youngsters.
For the Zionist elections in 1935, the movement managed to sell 43 shekalim that entitled the purchasers to vote for delegates to the National Zionist Convention. The voters gave 42 votes to the list of the Palestinian working party and one vote to the General Zionist movement. In the local rural elections of 1939 in Osiek, 4 Jewish members were elected to the rural council that consisted of 20 members.
Jewish children that attended the local school suffered greatly from anti-Semitic teachers. Frequently, the principal of the school cut the peyote or ear locks of Jewish children. Frequently, the punishment that was given the children consisted in kneeling in front of the cross that was hanging on the wall. During the anti kosher slaughter campaign in Poland, the local authorities cancelled the license of the only Jewish kosher butcher shop in Osiek in 1937.
( See story of Nowy Zmigrod, near Jaslo, Galicia, Poland)
On July 7th 1942, all the Jews including those of Osiek Jasielski and nearby villages were ordered to assemble in the square whereupon they were surrounded by German, Polish and Ukrainian police units. Women, children, sick and elderly people were separated from the able bodied people. The latter were directed to a table where representatives of the various German firms issued them work permits. These were then directed to a separate corner of the square. A blanket was spread in the square and the Jews were forced to deposit all their valuable possessions. On the day of the round up, the head of the Judenrat, Hersh Eisenberg was murdered by the Germans under the pretext that he did not pay the requested contribution. Three other people were killed with him including his two children. After hours of waiting, 1250 Jews were led to the forest of Halbow where they were killed in pits. Some of the survivors of the round up were send on August 15th 1942 to the Zaslaw camp. Another group of survivors were sent to the Plaszow death camp. The last remnants of the Jewish population were then sent to the Belzec death camp at the end of the summer in 1942.
During the great round up of Zmigrod Jews in July of 1942, a few dozen Jews escaped to the forests. A group of 70-80 Jews wandered throughout the area and searched shelter. They were hunted down by the German and Polish police as well as by the local farmers. Some f the Jews were killed in skirmishes, others were apprehended, questioned, tortured and finally killed. During the second half of 1943, three Jews from Zmigrod were caught by the Germans and brought to Jaslo where they committed suicide.
Yad Vashem Archives, 021/16
Central Historical Archives of the Jewish People in Jerusalem; HM/7921
Central Zionist Archives; Z-4/234-13
Book on Staszow, Tel Aviv, pp.625-627
A.Rutkowski, Zaglada Zydow w dystrykcie radomskim
Biuletyn ZIH, Warszawa 1955, no.35.pp86,164
Nowy Dziennik (newspaper), 18/5/1925. 16/2/1933, 18/1/1937
Bibliography of Nowy Zmigrod was added
Yad Vashem Archives,TR-10/778;016/1764;M-1/E 728/602
YIVO Archives; ADRP 49H
Central Historical Archives of the Jewish People in Jerusalem; HM/712, HM/7101, HM/7099, HM/7096
Central Zionist Archives; Z-4/226-24; Z-3/178, Z-3/149
American Joint Archives; Poland, Reconstruction 399.
Jaslo, Oskarza, Warszawa 1973, pp12,59.
'Hamitzpe (newspaper) ; 24/3/1905, 31/3/1905, 16/6/1905
Hatzfira (newspaper) 19/1/1906
Kol Machzikei Hadath (newspaper)23/6/1905
Divrei Akiva 26/12/1936
Chwila Wieczorna (newspaper) 15/4/1935
Noar Hatzioni (newspaper) 17/11/1933, 26/6/1936
Judishe Rundshau (newspaper) 22/11/1918
Monatsschrift der Oesterreichisch (newspaper) Wien, May 1905
Nowy Dziennik (newspaper) 14/12/1919, 24/1/1931, 28/1/1933, 11/2/1934, 5/1/1936, 8/1/1937, 20/5/1938,23/5/1929,4/6/1939.
Translator's Note: The last paragraphs of the story of Osiek appearing in the Pinkas do not relate to Osiek Jasielski but to another Osiek located in the district of Radom and have not been included here. Osiek Jasielski is in the district of Jaslo near Nowy Zmigrod and deals with the local Jews. The bibliography may not be appropriate to Osiek Jasielski. The authors of the Pinkas at Yad Vashem have been notified of the situation.
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