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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 beginnings of Tarnów can be traced back to a settlement first mentioned in historical sources from 1105. It was granted town rights in 1330. Its development was bolstered by its location on the intersection of two trade routes: from Wrocław to Hungary and from Kraków to Ruthenia.

Between the 14th and the 17th century, Tarnów was a big centre of trade (especially grain and wine) and benefited from the staple right. It was a lively centre of crafts (ca. 100 foremen) and the economic heart of the region, which became the property of the Ostrogski family in 1567 and of the Sanguszek family in 1742. In the 16th century, Tarnów temporarily performed the function of the capital of the district, but in the second half of the 17th century and in the 18th century, the town suffered an economic collapse due to war damages and other circumstances.

In the years 1772-1918, when Tarnów was a part of the Austrian Partition, it experienced significant development. In 1782, it became the seat of the district authorities. Since 1787, it was the property of the government. In the years 1785-1806 and from 1826 onwards, Tarnów was the seat of the bishopric. Tarnów gained its first railway connection in 1856 thanks to the Kraków – Lviv rail line; later, the town became a railway hub, with lines connecting it with Muszyna and Szczucin. In the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century Tarnów became a big centre of industry (a farming tools factory, a glassworks) and culture (a theatre, several printing houses). In 1846, the town started to expand in size. In 1911, an electric tram line was opened there. Since the 16th century, Tarnów had also been home to a large community of Jews; in 1939, it had 15,600 Jewish inhabitants, constituting ca. 42% of the total population.

In the interwar period the town became a centre of machine industry, electrical engineering industry and chemical industry. In 1928, the State Nitrogen Compounds Factory was opened in the nearby village of Mościce.

During the German occupation, a transitional camp for Polish POWs (ca. 4,000 people) operated in Tarnów (September – October 1939). Later on, Germans created a commando of Soviet POWs in the town, as well as a forced labour camp (operating in the years 1944-1945; on average, it had ca. 1,100 inmates). In the years 1942-1943 a ghet


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