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Summary

Province:inne / tarnopolskie (before 1939)
County:Тернопільська область [obwód tarnopolski], Теребовлянський район [rejon trembowelski] / trembowelski (before 1939)
Community:Теребовля / Trembowla (before 1939)
Other names:Теребовля [j.ukr./ros.]; טרמבובלה[j.hebr.]
 
GPS:
49.2974° N / 25.7024° E
49°17'50" N / 25°42'08" E

History

Robert Kuwałek /

Tablica pamiątkowa w Bełżcu | Adam Marczewski

The Jewish community of this town was first mentioned in the second half of the 17th century, when the political situation in Podole calmed down. Trembowla was traditionally a small Jewish village. In interwar years, it was home to slightly more than 1,500 Jews, who comprised 28 percent of the population at large. The town boasted a wooden synagogue. The Jewish district was located in front of the Carmelite’s Church and a Greek Catholic Church. In addition to the synagogue and the office of the kahal, there was also a butchers’ prayer house. A significant Jewish community also lived on Sobieskiego Street, which led from the monastery. From the 19th century, a local Chasidic dynasty of the Turkels was active here. It was founded by Rabbi Israel Menachem Alter Turkel. His grandsons, who were also his followers, Szraga Fajwel Turkel and Jaakov Turkel, were shipped to the concentration camp in Belzec, where they both perished.

Under the Soviet occupation, the number of Jews in town increased by refugees from western and central Poland. Some of them were deported by Soviets in 1940.

Germans entered Trembowla on 5 July 1941. There were no cases of pogroms in the town. However, several days later, thirty-eight Jewish men were arrested, accused by local OUN activists of collaborating with the Soviets. Officially, Germans captured these people as labour force. In reality, however, they were all executed in the area near military barracks.

On the following days, Trembowla Judenrat had to designate a group of workers for force labour camps in Stupki and Borki Wielkie, where Jews from other places were shipped. Force workers were building an eastward route and replacing Soviet rails with European ones.

In 1942, transports with Jews deported to Bełżec began to pass by Trembowla. Jews were informed about the fate of the deportees by their Christian neighbours. Initially, the only disclosed fact was that the trains were heading towards Tarnopol. However, it was only a matter of time that the existence of the death camp in Bełżec was disclosed. Yet, only few believed this.

In the Summer of 1942, Germans defaced the Jewish cemetery in Trembowla. Firstly, Jewish matzevos were removed by French prisoners of war, who were camped in town. The prisoners  rebelled and refused to continue their work, as a result of which Jews were forced to do t

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Local history

Robert Kuwałek /

Trembowla | Krzysztof Bielawski

It was one of the earliest Ruthenian fortified towns in the Podole region. In historical documents, it was referred to as being the capital of a sovereign duchy already in 1097. In 1241, Trembowla was burnt down by Tatars led by Batu-chan. At that time the town was part of the Principality of Galicia. After the Ruthenian lands were incorporated into Poland, Trembowla was granted the town charter as soon as 1389. Earlier, a castle was built there (1366). In 1434, the town became the site of the county authorities. Due to its strategic location, it was an important point of defence that protected the Podole region from Tatar invasions.

During Bohdan Chmielnicki’s uprising, Cossacks took over the local castle thanks to the help of Trembowla townspeople who joined them.

The most famous siege of Trembowla took place during the Turkish-Tatar invasion of 1675. Having taken over Zbaraż and Podhajce, a 30,000-strong army of Sultan Ibrahim Szyszman’s brother-in-law approached the town on 20 September and began the siege of the castle which was defended by just 80 infantrymen, a small number of gentry and 200 peasants and townspeople. Jan Samuel Chrzanowski (who was reputed to be a baptised Jew) commanded the defence. When Chrzanowski wanted to surrender the castle leaning to the pressure of those who advocated capitulation, his wife Anna Dorota Chrzanowska (nee von Fressen or de Frezen, she was also said to be a neophyte), armed with two knives or pistols, threatened to kill the husband and commit suicide. She talked him into organising several incursions against the enemy, in which she also took part. She was wounded twice. Trembowla continued the defence until 11 October 1675. At the last moment the Turks ended the siege having learned of King Jan Sobieski’s forces coming from the vicinity of Lvov. Only 20 people able to fight were left in the castle at that time. In appreciation of the Chrzanowskis’ heroism, they were ennobled under the Poraj coat of arms by Poland’s Sejm (parliament). Jan Samuel Chrzanowski was raised to the rank of colonel and received 5,000 zlotys as a reward. Later he served as the military commander of Lvov. A monument to Anna Dorota Chrzanowska was erected near the Trembowla castle already in the 17th century. A new one was built in the inter-war period. In was destroyed in 1944 and only in 2012 a new effigy of Chrzanowska was placed

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