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Jews were present in the town of Bircza already in 1570. Five years later, one of them, Rachwał ben Izaak, moved to Lesko. As few as two Jewish families lived here in 1577, but the number of Jewish population was growing rather fast and it was already at the beginning of the 18th century that a Jewish community operated here with their own synagogue and cemetery.

In 1785, there were 160 Jews in Bircza alone, and in 1793 a Jewish school was in operation in the town.

In 1824, the town had only 615 inhabitants, including 144 Jews. In the mid-19th century the duties of a rabbi were performed by Szmuel Szpiro (1831-1893), son of Tzadik Elimelech from the town of Dynów. He was succeeded by his brother, Cwi Elimelech from Bircza (1841-1931), whose son, Josef (-1932) became a tzadik of Dynów.

In 1870 the Jewish community of Bircza numbered 528 people, while in 1900, as many as 2,063, whereas in Bircza alone there were 1,050 Jews, who made up 50.7 percent of the entire population. Their number grew by World War One to approximately 1,200 members.

In 1921, there were 1,038 Jews in the town, who constituted almost 54 percent of the entire population. They had at their disposal a synagogue, which was already built in the 19th century. In the interwar period, the following initiatives were especially active in Bircza: “Jad Charuzim” Association of Jewish Artisans, Gemilut Chased Loan Fund and Merchants’ Association.

After the outbreak of World War Two, Bircza found itself in the Soviet occupation zone. About 2,500 Jews, who had escaped from the western territories of Poland occupied by the Germans, were gathered in the town. There were also refugees from Austria among them. Most of them were sent up the USSR.

Towards the end of June 1941, Nazis seized the town once again and formed a ghetto for Jews from Bircza and neighboring villages, as well as Jews relocated from the ghetto in Pruchnik.

The first execution was carried out in April 1942, when, outside the town, the Gestapo and SS-men shot to death about 50 Jews. Approximately 150 Jews were killed in other executions that took place in Kamienna Góra, while, in July, on the hillside of the Wierzysko Mountain, next 800 Bircza ghetto’s inhabitants were executed. In September the same year, the Germans shot dead over 100 Jews in the forest in Kamienna Góra. The rest of the people were transferred to the ghetto in Przymśl. In the nearby village of Łodzinka Górna, towards the end of December 1943, the Gestapo killed by shooting seven Jews who had taken shelter with a Polish family. 

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