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Polska / lubelskie

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Province:lubelskie / lubelskie (before 1939)
County:krasnostawski / krasnostawski (before 1939)
Community:Żółkiewka / Żółkiewka (before 1939)
Other names:Żolkewka [j. jidysz]; ז'ולקייבקה [j. hebrajski]; Жулкевка [j. rosyjski]
50.9098° N / 22.8346° E
50°54'35" N / 22°50'04" E



The rural commune of Żółkiewka is situated in the County of Krasnystaw, in the Lubelskie Province. It has a population of 790 inhabitants  (as of 2008).

It lies in the north-western area of Roztocze and in the mid-northern part of the Giełczewska Heights, by the  Żółkiewka river.



yarek shalom/Marta Kubiszyn /

Jews first started to settle down in Żółkiewka in the early 17th century; they came there at the invitation of Stanisław Żółkiewski, the landowner. Initially, the small Jewish community was subordinate to the Jewish Community Co-operative in Turobin. It was not until 1769-1770 or slightly later that a Jewish cemetery and a wooden synagogue were erected there. In 1775, the Council of Four Lands (Va'ad Arba Aratzot – the most important institution in the system of local government in Poland) allowed for the Jews of Żółkiewka to create their own independent community.

Most Jews lived in the town centre, owning most of the estates located there. In the first half of the 19th century, Jews made up over 60% of the entire population; the percentage reached 70% at the end of the century. The ratio remained unchanged until World War I.

Most Jews in Żółkiewka made their living out of trading in groceries, iron, and leather accessories. Aside from numerous workshops (tailors, shoemakers and capmakers), in the second half of the 19th century, the local Jews ran windmills and founded small-scale manufactories and industrial plants.

In 1852, after the wooden synagogue was destroyed in a fire, the local community started to build a new one, completed in 1868. A credit union was established in Żółkiewka in 1899 and in 1911, a shelter for the poor was opened. In the early 20th century, the political and cultural life in the town was flourishing. In 1904, Poale Zion and the Bund opened their branches there and in 1912, the Jewish Public Library started to operate.

In the interwar period, the local Jews made up more than a half of the entire population of Żółkiewka. Craftsmanship and trade still were their main sources of income. Jews were also hired by small textile factories and tanneries. In 1930s, tourism became an important occupation of the Jewish population – many shops, restaurants, and guesthouses were opened by Jews for the arriving patients.

At the time, many Zionist parties and organisations operated in the village (Mizrachi, Poale Zion and the Organization of General Zionists); they also had active youth wings. In 1923, a branch of the orthodox Aguda party was opened in Żółkiewka. The Bund enjoyed wide s


Local history


The oldest records mentioning Żółkiewka (Żółkiew) date back to 1359 and are part of a document where heads of the Lublin and Chełm counties map out borders among landowners. In the second half of the 15th century, a Catholic parish was established in Żółkiewka.

In the second half of the 16th century, when Stanisław Żółkiewski converted to Calvinism, a Calvinist church was founded in the place of the former Catholic one. The Calvinist church existed until 1596. In 1702, Żółkiewka was granted city rights.

The Żółkiewski family owned the town until 1720. After them, the Głogowski family took over the property. In 1738 Antoni Gruszecki became the town owner, who was next followed by Tomasz Stamirowski.

In 1772 Żółkiewka was acquired by the Austrian Empire during the partitions of Poland , later, in it belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw, and in 1815 – to the Kingdom of Poland. In 1801 Antoni Stamirowski sold the town to Jan Weber, a merchant from Lublin. In 1817 a primary school was founded in Żółkiewka, which in 1869 was deprived of its city rights and became a village once again.

In the late 19th century as post office was established here.

In 1906 a Credit Society was established here associating the members of communes of Rudnik, Rybczewice and Żółkiewka. After 1918, on the initiative of Stanisław Wrona-Merski, a member of the Sejm, the Infectious Diseases Ward was established at the Krasnynstaw County Hospital in Krasnystaw. Between 1921 and 1926 a paved road from Żółkiewka to Krasnystaw was built. In 1931, the next step was building a road from Żółkiewka to Turobin]. On the 21 May 1938 a fire broke out in the village and consumed all wooden buildings in the village.

After the Second World War broke out, on the 17th September 1939 the German army entered the village. At the end of September, the Russian Army also appeared there. They, however, retreated from Żółkiewka on the 6 October, and on 9 October the German army entered Żółkiewka again.




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