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Coat of arms of Limanowa Alternate names: Limanowa [Pol], Limonov, לימינוב [Yid], Ilmenau [Ger]. 49°42' N, 20°26' E, 35 miles SE of Kraków, 13 miles WNW of Nowy Sącz. Jewish population: 571 (in 1880), 905 (in 1921). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), V, pp. 232-233: "Limanowa". This small town (population 14,624 in 2005) in southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship and is the capital of Limanowa powiat/gmina. Located in the mountains, the town has connections with the main southern cities of Poland via a secondary-rail line between Nowy Sacz and Chabowka. During WWII, a ghetto was the site at which the German occupiers murdered 50% of Jewish population. A refinery taken over by the Germans was one of the main sources of oil for this German army in this part of Nazi-controlled Poland. [June 2009]

The first documentation of Jews in Limanowa in 1640 concerns a court matter about removal of a brewery lease from Israel Izaakowiczowi. Michael Różański's conversion to Catholicism in 1761 is recorded in the parish records. In 1765, 21 Jews lived there, subject to religious commune in Wiśnicz. In 1769, a Jewish family was the publican and brewer. In the 17th century, the market day was moved from Saturday to Monday, enabling Jews to trade. By the end of the 18th century, Jews dominated economic life in the town. The Dydyńskich heirs, owners of the manor, leased them the right to make and sell alcoholic beverages. In 1789, the government complained that the heirs made an error and that the right should be kept in that city, not in an inn belonging to Jews. The 1841 population of 787 residents included about 100 Jews. In 1884/85, a new railway from Nowy Sącz resulted in a massive influx of Jews so that by 1880-1890, the city population rose from 1410 to 1603 and the Jews from 398 to 571. In 1907-1909, a French oil refinery built near Sowlinach Limanowa created more employment and a significant population influx; Jews monopolized the supply of goods and services. In 1931, the Jewish population was 1,002, mainly in trade and service. Despite the varying assimilation, their religious community had a full complement of educational and social services. Difficult economic conditions at the turn of the centuries contributed to the emergence of national conflicts; in 1898 and 1918 were anti-Semitic riots although the rabbi, Chaim Teutelbaum, had warm relations with the Catholic Church and the parish priest, Father Łazarskiego.  Jews served on the town Council. Dr. Jan Hamerschlag was mayor and represented the city regionally. Boycotts of Jewish businesses continued in the interwar period. The Jewish population declined to 905 (42%) because of immigration. Nazi troops occupied Limanowa on September 10,1939. Two days later, they murdered twelve Jews at a quarry at Raszówkach. The occupiers closed shops belonging to Jews and confiscated their goods. Jews were subject to slave labor and increasing repression. In June 1942, the Nazis created a ghetto for between 1500 and 2000 Jews. Some were killed immediately in the woods near the Old Village and the rest deported to Nowy Sacz and then to death camps. [May 2009]

The Jewish cemetery, an elongated rectangular plot, located on the hill in the vicinity of the streets Kolejowej and Rejtana probably was established in the 19th century at the same time as the local kahal. Germans shot and buried local Jews in the cemetery photo. In the spring, several Jewish elders were shot and their bodies paraded through the city in a cart. Documentation in the Jewish Institute by a woman named Konińska [no other name] describes the execution of young people from the ghetto: "They were placed on the ground face down and shot in the neck, in the back. Ranna crawled toward the graves with her last breath. (....) Then, the Gestapo already put their faces to the sun." ("Stories of Holocaust Sacrifice" AŻIH, No. 301/3192). U.S. Holocaust Museum has photos of the executions at the Limanowa Jewish cemetery. The cemetery was partially destroyed during the war, but  devastation continued in the PRL years when part of the gravestones was used as the benches in the market. Perishable stone and weathering made most of them illegible. In 1990s, restoration work in the central part at the cemetery included two monuments erected in honor of the victims of the Holocaust. Plaques in Polish and Hebrew read: "To the eternal memory of the Jewish people and victims of Nazi war crimes during the years 1939-1945 in the municipalities Limanowa, Tymbark, Dobra, Słopnice, Pisarzowa, and Skrzydlna. Monument built by Leiba Gatterera"; "In eternal memory of my family: Rachel Aftergut - mother, Chaim Aftergut - grandfather, Rudel Aftergut - grandmother, Menachem Schweid - uncle, Raizel Schweid - aunt. Here rest with the victims at the hands of the Nazi murderers. Monument built by Leiba Gatterera." The orderly cemetery has a metal fence, but the entrance is not locked. Photos. video. The WWI Jewish graves in the Nowy Sącz-Limanowa Military Cemetery number 29. [May 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000747

Located in Nowosgdeckie at 49º43 20º25 E N, 84 km from Krakow and 24 km from Nowy Soyer. Cemetery location is on Kolejowa Street, opposite the railway station. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mayor, Urzad Miejski, ul. Orkana 18, 34-600 Limanowa, Tel. 371261
  • Regional: (see Bobowa). Wojewdolzki Konserwetor Zabytkow mgr. inz Zygnunt, Lewerick ul. Killnokiogo 68, 38-300 nowy Sgcz. tel 238-38 ??wew? 234.
  • Person with cemetery key: Bronistaw Tacki, Koszary 14, 34-600 Limanowa

1921 Orthodox Jewish population was 905. The isolated urban hillside has a sign in the local language, which mentions Jews. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all. A continuous fence with a non-locking gate surrounds the cemetery. Approximate size of cemetery before WWII and now is.4 ha. 20-100 gravestones, all in original location with 25%-50% toppled or broken, date from 19th-20th centuries. The marble and sandstone rough stones or boulders and flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew inscriptions. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and marked mass graves. The municipality owns property used as a Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are residential. Occasionally, organized individual tours, private visitors and local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized in WW II. Local/municipal authorities, Jewish individuals abroad, and the Lejb Getterer Foundation (see Mszana Dolna) re-erected stones, cleared vegetation and fixed the wall and gate. There is a regular caretaker. There are no structures. Threats: Weather erosion and vegetation are moderate threats, and pollution and vandalism are slight threats.

Piotr Antoniak (see Bobowa) visited site 8/22/92 and completed the survey on 9/7/92.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 13:23
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