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Polska / małopolskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:małopolskie / krakowskie (before 1939)
County:tarnowski grodzki / tarnowski (before 1939)
Community:Tarnów / Tarnów (before 1939)
Other names:Tarnau [j. niemiecki]; טארנא [j. jidysz]; טרנוב [j. hebrajski]
50.0118° N / 20.9868° E
50°00'42" N / 20°59'12" E

Location /

Tarnów – a city in southern Poland, in Małopolska Province, Tarnów County. It is located 82 km east of Cracow and 298 km south of Warsaw. It lies by the Biała River, on the southwestern part of the Tarnów Plateau.


History /

członkowie Komitetu delegacji żydowskich na konferencję pokojową w 1919 r. | Daniel Zawadzki (reprod.)

The first Jewish families settled Tarnów's eastern suburbs of Tarnów in 15th century. In the sixteenth century, Jews were permitted to purchase a several houses within the town walls, but on a clearly separated street. This was how the Jewish quarter was created and gradually began to expand.

On May 4th 1581, Tarnów Jews received the privilege from the then owner of Tarnów, Prince Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, of exempting themfrom the jurisdiction of Tarnów (urban jurisdiction), and guaranteeing the safety of the synagogue and the cemetery. However, by 1633, a decree had been issued prohibiting the admission of Jews to the town and forbidding them from dealing in trade, leasing property and from collecting rent. On July 3rd 1637, all the former privileges were restored, only to be cancelled, once again, in 1654.

In the second half of the 18th century, the town, economically deperate and falling into disrepair, permitted  Jewish merchants to settle within the city walls. In 1772, 1,200 Jews lived in the town, constituting 34% of the population. In 1788, a Jewish school  was established, the first principal being Naftali Herz Homberg. In 1842, a Jewish hospital was created and, in 1890, the Baron Hirsch Foundation established a second Jewish school in Tarnów.

By the second half of the 19th century, Jews dominated trade and small industry. Their compact settlements occupied the entire eastern part of the city, called Grabówka, as well as the market square and a few adjacent streets. In 1890, 11,677 Jews lived in the town, accounting for 42.4% of the total population.

In 1887. a Zionist Association was founded called Hatchija ("Revival"), which later changed its name to "Zion". In the years 1891-1893, Tarnów became a "metropolis" of the Zionist movement, which attracted similar organisations, not only from the towns of Galicia, but also from Vienna and Berlin. In the years 1895-1896, large quantities of wine and cognac were brought from Palestine to the local shops (like in Lwów). Profits from the sale of liquor were passed on to colonisation societies. In 1897, a prominent Zionist activist, Abraham Salz, established the Ahavat Zion Association ("The Love of Zion"), and the Galician Association for Colonization Work in Palestine, with its offices in Tarnó


Local history

Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN /

Ulica Krakowska w Tarnowie | nieznany

The city of Tarnów developed from a settlement which was first mentioned in 1105. It was granted town privileges in 1330. The grew in large part thanks to its location at the confluence of two trade routes: from Wrocław to Hungary and from Kraków to Ruthenia.

From the 14th to the 17th century, Tarnów was a major center of trade (especially in grain and wine) and handcrafts (home to about 100 craftsmen). The city had staple rights and served as the economic center of the estates owned by the Tarnowski family. From 1597 it was owned by the Ostrogski family and from 1742 by the Sanguszko family. In the 16th century, the city housed the temporary seat of the poviat, but beginning in the second half of the 17th century until the 18th century, it suffered an economic collapse, chiefly because of war damage.

From 1772 to 1918, Tarnów found itself within the territory annexed by Austria. In that period, the city recorded  significant growth. Beginning in 1782, Tarnów housed the seat of the district, while from 1787 on it was owned by the government. In the period from 1785 to 1806, and then again after 1826, it was seat of a bishopric. In 1856, the city was connected to the railway by the Kraków—Lviv route. Later, it became an important railway node thanks to the routes to Muszyna and Szczucin. In the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, it developed into a major center of industry (among others: a farming tools factory and glassworks) and culture (a theater, printing houses, etc.). Beginning in 1846, Tarnów enjoyed a period of rapid spatial expansion. An electric tram line was launched in 1911.

From as early as the 16th century, a large number of Jews lived in Tarnów. There were 15.6 thousand Jews in 1939, which accounted for 42% of the town’s inhabitants.

The interwar period saw further development of industry including, among others, mechanical engineering, electrotechnics, and the chemical industry. In 1928, the State Factory of Nitrogen Compounds was opened in neighboring Mościce.

During the German occupation (September – October 1939), Tarnów was the site of a temporary camp for Polish prisoners of war (about 4 thousand people), later a labor unit for Soviet prisoners of war and then a forced labor camp (averaging of 1.1 thousand detainees at a given time) operating from 1944 to 194





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