Zmigrod Nowy

Approximately 800 Jews lived in Zmigrod Nowy during the interwar period. Zmigrod Nowy is a village, in Jaslo County, Poland. This represented roughly 40 per cent of the villages population. The community had active Zionist Parties, and youth movements, that held classes in Hebrew and also ran a library. In November 1918, pogroms were carried out against the Jews in the village. A great deal of Jewish property was plundered and several Jews were seriously injured.

After the German invasion in September 1939, a number of Jews from Zmigrod Nowy fled to the area controlled by the Soviets, and during the summer of 1940, most of these Jews were deported to the Soviet Union. The Germans restricted the freedom of movement of the village's Jewish residents by ordering them to wear the 'Star of David' badge, and the German authorities levied ransoms,from time to time. They also required the Jewish inhabitants to perform forced labour. In late 1939, a Jewish Council (Judenrat) was established, headed by Hirsh Eisenberg. The Judenrat was responsible for recruiting Jewish forced labourers for the Germans.

During 1940, deportees from other locations in the area, were brought to Zmigrod Nowy, along with refugees from more distant places, such as Litzmannstadt (Lodz). The Judenrat and members of the Judische Selbsthilfle (JSS) established and ran a public soup kitchen and provided medical and material assistance. In the second half of 1940, abductions of Jews from Zmigrod Nowy to labour camps escalated. A number of the people seized worked near the border between the Generalgouvernement and the Soviet Union.

In the first half of 1942, a ghetto was established in Zmigrod Nowy. Additional deportees from locations in the area were concentrated there, and its population increased to more than 2,000. The Judenrat attempted to secure jobs outside the ghetto, so as to maintain contact with the outside world, and to obtain permits to work in factories vital to the German war effort.

In early June 1942, the Judenrat were ordered to remit another ransom payment. On July 7, 1942, an 'aktion' was carried out. Following a selection, some 1,250 Jews were shot to death in a forest near the village of Halbow, by German, and Ukrainian policemen. Polish police members assisted in the round-up of Jews. The head of the Judenrat, Eisenberg was also murdered, because the Germans claimed that he failed to pay the ransom. Dozens of Jews fled to the forests, and a group of between seventy and eighty Jews wandered the area in search of refuge. Most were apprehended and murdered, others fell in battle against the German police.

On August 15, 1942, a group of skilled workers were transferred to the Zaslaw labour camp in Sanok, and another group was transferred to Krakow. In late summer 1942, on August 21, 1942, the last surviving members of the Zmigrod Nowy community were deported to the Belzec death camp, where they perished in the gas chambers.


The Encyclopaedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933-1945, USHMM, Indiana University Press Bloomington and Indianapolis 2012

R.O’Neil, Belzec – Stepping Stones to Genocide, Jewish Gen 2008

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