Welcome to Sanok, Poland! (Sanuk, Sonik, Sunik, Sunok)

Latitude 49°34´, Longitude 22°12´ ~ 192.5 miles SSE of Warsaw


Rynek                                                                                                                       River  San



Maps/Province Information

Town History

The Rabbis

The People

The Places

The Writings

Jewish Cemetery

World War II

·       Judenrat Correspondence

·       Sanok J.S.S.(Jewish Self Help) Fact Report  

·       Ordeal and Deliverance by Avraham Werner

Yizkor (Memorial) Book

Family Trees


·       Sanok

·       Bukowsko

·       Dynów

·       Nearby Towns with ShtetLinks

·       Other




Monument of Remembrance

For the holy martyrs of


And its environs; may G-d avenge their blood

Our brothers and our sisters

Caught in the grip of the cursed Germans and their Collaborators

In the era of the Holocaust

Starting from Elul 5702 (September 1942)

“May their souls be bound up in the bond of everlasting life

Organization of Survivors of Sanok and its environs in Israel


Photo and translation courtesy of Neil Schwerd





Join our“Sanok Group”(over 100 people researching their Jewish roots to Sanok) at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sanok

A wonderful place to ask questions and share information!


Maps/Province Information ~

·        Sanok Today (Centrum Miasta/Town Center)

·        Town Location (MapQuest)

·        When a part of Galicia - Sanok was in the Administrative District of Sanok.  Sanok is listed as part of  the Province of Lwów  in the “1929 Polish Business Directory”.

·        Today - Sanok is in the Administrative District of Podkarpackie  

Town History ~

Lwow dist., Poland.  Jews settled in the early 16th century, barely eking out a living as tradesmen.  Austrian rule brought further hardship, but with the development of commercial links with Cracow and Lwow the economy improved and Jews gained control of the wholesale trade in steel, grain, flour, food products, and lumber.  They also were among the pioneers of light industry, operating factories for rubber products, concrete piping, vinegar, and natural juices along with a brickyard, sawmill, brewery, mines, and two printing presses.  Jewish doctors and lawyers were respected members of their professions.  Hasidism became influential in Sanok as it spread through Galicia, with Zanz and Ruzhin Hasidim maintaining a klaus and the Dynow dynasty a court.  The Zionists became active in the late 19th century, when antisemitic agitation also began to intensify and the Jewish population stood at around 3,000 (50% of the total).  At the beginning of WWI, Russian soldiers pillaged Jewish property, while at the end of the war Polish soldiers unleashed a reign of terror lasting a few months.  In 1921 the Jewish population reached 4,067.  Between the World Wars, Jews were prominent in the textile and haberdashery trade as well as in businesses connected with the building trade.  Heavy taxes and economic boycotts cut into Jewish livelihoods.  The Germans arrived on 9 September 1939, inaugurating a regime of persecution and burning down the synagogues.  On 28 Sept. (Sukkot) all those not selected for work were driven across the San River into Soviet-held territory; many were subsequently exiled into the interior of the Soviet Union.  A Judenrat was established at the end of 1939.  Those Jews remaining in Sanok were concentrated in an open ghetto in summer 1941.  On 22 September (Rosh Hashanah) a group of Jews caught praying was deported to Auschwitz, while Gestapo agents continued to carry out random killings.  With refugees pouring in, the now closed ghetto was packed with 10,000-13,000 Jews.  All but 1,500 were sent to Zaslawie concentration camp in September 1942 and afterwards deported to the Belzec death camp along with the last of those remaining in Sanok in February 1943.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust by Shmuel Spector (editor)and Geoffrey Wigider (consulting editor),Yad Vashem, Jerusalem [2001] 0-8147-9356-8



The Jewish community once constituted half of the population of Sanok and was dominated by Chasidim. One could find members of groups from Bobowa, Belz, Sadogora as well as ultra-Orthodox Chasidim from Nowy Sacz. The Safa Berura school which included classes in secular subjects opened in 1909. A weekly newspaper "Folksfraynd" was published here between 1910 and 1914. The most famous of the Jews from Sanok were: Meir Szapiro, leader of Agudas Isroel and founder of the Lublin Academy of Sages; Benzion Katz (1907-1968), Hebrew poet, graduate of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and rector of the University of Tel Aviv, and Kalman Segal, a modern Polish writer, who died in Israel.

During the Holocaust many Poles in the Podkarpacie Region risked their lives to hide their Jewish neighbours. From among the hundreds of heroes we should spare a special thought for Stanislaw Pyrcak from near Sanok. In a cellar at his home he hid twenty Jews who had escaped from the camp at Zastawie. They all survived the war.

At Rynek 10 (entry through the hallway, you can also go round the frontage onto the square from the right hand side) there is the Chasidic synagogue called Klaus Sadgora, meaning belonging to the Chasidim from Sadogora, followers of the tzaddik Izrael Friedmann. Today it is an archive storage and the interior has been completely re-designed.

Source: originally published in the guide Where the Tailor Was a Poet..., by Adam Dylewski (Pascal). http://www.diapozytyw.pl/en/site/slady_i_judaica/sanok



Sanok, called "Sonik" by the Jews, is a town in the Rzeszow Province, in south-eastern portion of Poland.  From 1772 to 1918 the town was under Austrian rule (Central Galicia).

The remains of an ancient Jewish cemetery in the vicinity testify to the existence of a Jewish settlement in the town in the second half of the 14th century, after Sanok had been annexed to Poland by King Casimir III.  The names of some Jewish members appear in a list of the craftmen's guild of the town in 1514.  However, a Jewish community was organized only at the end of the 16th century and was subordinate to that of Lesko.

In 1570, 17 of the 200 families residing in the town were Jewish.  They earned their living as traders in wine and grain, and as furriers, tailors, and tanners.  At the beginning of the 18th century, the Jewish settlement at Sanok grew, receiving privileges from King Augustus II (1720) and King Augustus III (1754).  A synagogue was built in the 1720's.  There were 467 poll tax paying Jews in Sanok and its environs in 1765.

During the 19th century, local trade in lumber, timber, and cloth manufacture was concentrated in Jewish hands.  At the end of the 19th century, the Jews of Sanok initiated the development of oil production in the area.  From 1868 the representatives of the local Jewish community played an important part in municipal institutions.  Under Austrian rule, the Jewish population grew.  In 1880, it number 2,1239 (42%); in 1910, it was 4,073 (38%).  Chasidim became strong in the community toward the end of the 18th century, and up to the end of the 19th concentrated around the Kloyzn of the Chasidim of Belz, Bobob, Nowy Sacz, and Sadgora.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Zionist organizations sprang up.  The teacher Tzevi Abt founded in 1909 a Hebrew school called Safah Berurah, which had 77 pupils in 1911.  From 1910 to 1914, the weekly Folksfraynd was published.  In 1921, 4,067 Jews formed 42% of the total population of the town.

Between the two world wars, the Jews of Sanok occupied key positions in the town economy.  From 1919 to 1921, Meir Shapira served as Rabbi of Sanok.  Among those born in the town was Benzion Katz.

The number of Jews in Sanok in 1939 was over 5.000.  The Germans entered the city on September 8, 1939, and in the first days of the occupation the synagogues were burned.  A few hundred Jews were deported to the other side of the San River, which was under Soviet rule.  In 1941, the Jews were concentrated in a ghetto, which contained about 8,000 people, including Jews from nearby townlets.  There, they were put to forced labor, including work in the stone quarries or Trepcza.

On September 10, 1942, most of the Jews of Sanok were deported to a concentration camp at Zaslaw.  Only a few succeeded in escaping.  After the Germans concentrated Jews from the entire Sanok area in the Zaslaw Camp, 4,000 people were sent to the Belzec death camp.  The sick and the aged were shot in the nearby forests.

In October, 1942, two more transports were sent to Belzec.  On September 14, 1942, the Germans announced that those who had escaped would be allowed to return to the ghetto and live there.  About 300 Jews returned to the ghetto; they were later executed or transported to concentration camps.  A few hundred Sanok Jews survived the Holocaust, most of them having been in the Soviet Union during the war.  Some Jews rescued from the Nazis were killed by anti-semitic Polish bands.

Sources: http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/text/x29/xm2937.html , http://members.aol.com/Sandhaus/SanokHistory.html and "Encyclopedia Judaica", Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd, Jerusalem, Israel, 1972.



…The town is paved and fairly clean. It has 318 houses and 5,121 inhabitants (3,029 male, 2092 female). In terms of religion there are 2,073 Roman Catholics, 902 Greek Catholics, 17 Protestants, and 2,129 Jews. In terms of ethnicity (per the Spec. Ortsrepert. for 1883), 4,262 were Poles, 551 Ruthenians, 270 Germans, and 21 others. Military personnel number 601 individuals. Due to the extensive meadows in Posada Sanocka and Posada Olchowska there is cavalry stationed there, and in Posada Olchowska there is a government-owned stud farm. In the town there is a public garden, as it were, with a restaurant…

Source:  Slownik Geograficzny (English) a gazetteer published between 1880 to 1902 – above is a partial excerpt ~ to read more on Sanok click on link



The oldest written record about Sanok dates back to the times when this land belonged to Ruthenian princes. The mention, recorded in a Ruthenian Chronicle, informs that Hungarian King Gejza II seized the stronghold of Sanok and many villages near Przemysl, during a campaign against one of Ruthenian princes in 1150. This means that Sanok was the most important defensive stronghold and a center of Ru- thcnian administrative power over the stronghold and its vicinity, in the area between the Hungarian border and Przemysl.

In 1339, when Sanok belonged to Rus, it was located on the Magdeburg law. Ruthenian Prince Jerzy II Trojdenowicz. from the Mazovian Piasts, granted the privileges on 20th January, 1339. In 1340. King Kazimierz Wielki annexed Rus Halicka to Poland, and confirmed the civic rights of Sanok on 25th April, 1366. As different written sources reveal, an administrative unit called the Sanok Land, existed since the days of King Kazimietz Wielki. The Land bordered on the Provinces of Krak6w and Sandomierz in the west, and the Przemysl Land (Province of Rus) in the north and east. The Sanok Land included the area of the later administrative districts of Sanok, Brzoz6w, large part of Lesko, Krosno, Rzesz6,w, Przemysl and Ustrzyki.

Around the 16th c., the whole property of the administrator was included in the Sanok starosty. A quarter, where an administrator’s farm used to be located, bears the name "W6itowstwo" (Administrator’s District) after the property.

The town council watched over the economy and order in the town. The town and district authorities with a starosta at the top had their seat at the Sanok castle. The court of the first instance, district court and higher court of German law were active in the town. These facts were undoubtedly of significant importance for the economic development of Sanok. The town flourished in the period from the mid-14th c. to the 16th c. according to historians.

From the mid-16th c. until the mid- -17th c.. the fall of Sanok intensified. A series of dangerous fires in the town seems to be the main reason. besides other objective reasons leading to the fall of towns similar to Sanok. Only the castle, the Franciscan church, five houses and the upper suburbs were preserved from the greatest fire in 1566.

The castle. still preserved in a slightly changed shape. was the most important building in the town. The medieval castle was reconstructed in Renaissance style in the days of Queen Bona who owned the Sanok starosty. A theme from the coat of arms of the Sforza dynasty (a child with a snake), depicted in the crest of Sanok, confirms the connections of the town with the Queen. There was a parish school attached to the church. Sons of the Sanok townsmen and local nobility, out of which many continued their studies at the Jagiellonian University, were educated here.

The most distinguished and well-known are: Grzegorz of Sanok - great humanist and the Lvow archbishop from the 15th c.. and Jan Grodek of Sanok - professor at the law department and dean of the Jagiellonian University nine times in the years 1540-1552.

After the first partition of Poland, Sanok was annexed to the Austrian section. The paupered town wasn’t even the capital of the Sanok Land then. About the mid-18th c., the economy slowly revived in the town. In the second half of the 19th c., a grammar school was founded and railway line from the region of Galicia through Lupkc5w, Zag6rz, Chyr6w, Przemysl (where it merged with line from Krakow to Lvow) to Hungary was constructed. In 1884, so called near-the- Carpathian-Mountian line from Jaslo  through Sanok to Zag6rz was opened. This way. the town had direct connections in three directions. The first  industrial plants, including the railway carriages factory, present Buses Factory "Autosan", Joint stock co., were established some time earlier. In 1880, Sanok was inhabited by 7,460 people and 17,860 in 1939.

The second half of the 19th c. and the early 20th c. marked the period of the extension of Sanok. Besides industrial plants, many public buildings. such as: hospital, grammar school, railway station, general school, parish church, theatre-cinema at the "Sok6l" building, management of the treasury, regional court. administrative office, and bar- racks were constructed.

Numerous tenement houses, one-family houses, and streets were built as well. One of the most beautiful municipal parks was established on the slopes of Stroznia.

 World War One stopped the prosperous period of the town, temporarily occupied by the Russian army. Sanok regained its independence in November, 1918. In the period between two world wars, other industrial plants, such as: rubber goods factory - present Rubber Industry Works -Stomil". joint stock co., and batteries factory - destroyed in 1944 and not rebuilt after the war, were founded. Secondary schools and cultural-educational institutions were opened. Electrical lighting, water-supply and gas systems were installed.

The Sanok Land Museum - present Historical Museum occupying the castle was established in 1934.
World War Two and its results is a chapter in the history of Sanok being only recently thoroughly elaborated by historians. Sanok was occupied by the Nazis from 9th September, 1939. until 3rd August. 1944. A broad underground activity of the Sanok inhabitants, connected basically with ZWZ AK’s (Ho- me Army) dispatch-riders routes service to Hungary, marked this period.

The population of Sanok decreased by 30% as a result of warfare. Until the end of 1947, fighting with units of WIN (Freedom and Independence) and UPA (Ukrainian Rebel Army) was waged around the town and Sanok was the biggest garrison in this part of Poland. The results of the action "Wisla" weakened the opportunities for the development of the town and the region. However, "Autosan" and several years later "Stomil" were rebuilt. In this period. the following housing estates were established; Robotnicza and Robotnicza II (factory estates of the Sanok Buses Factory in Posada quarter), Traugutta and Traugutta II (in W6jtowstwo quarter), and new quarter with Blonie and Slowackiego estates (estates of Sanok Housing Association). New secondary schools, such as: Mechanical Technical School (present Group of Mechanical Schools), Vocational School attached to the factory (present Group of Technical Schools), and Group of Building Schools, were opened. Moreover. 4 primary schools, 5 kindergartens and 3  nurseries were built.

The establishment of the Folk Building Museum in 1958 should be mentioned in the cultural branch. It is a 38-ha ethnographic park exposing secular and sacral buildings of historical interest of the former inhabitants of the Near-the-Carpathian-Mountains Region (Bojko, Lemki, Pog6rze and Dolina) in almost natural conditions. Complexes of sports-recreational facilities were erected in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These are: Municipal Center of Sports and Recreation (hotel, indoor and out- door swimming pools, speed skating ar- tificial track), indoor artificial skating rink, two stadiums, tennis courts, and sports hall. The following plants were developed as well: buses and rubber factories, Sanok Oil and Gas Mining Works,  Meat Industry Works "Beef San", and Regional Diary Co-operative.

Source:  Andrzej Orybkiewicz

Various Official Seals (Library, etc.)


The Rabbis ~

Yehuda Meir Shapira (Szapira), Rabbi of Sanok from 1918-1920, 1919-1921 or 1922-1924 depending on the source

Born: 1887 in Suczawa, Poland 

Father: Jakob Samson - Mother: Margula - Spouse: Tauba Breitmann

Education: Sejm-School    

Rabbi Szapira had more than 12,000 volumes on talmudic sciences

From 1911-1918 Rabbi in Gliniany, 1918-1920 Rabbi in Sanok, 1920-1928 Rabbi of Pietskan, 1928 Rabbi of the city of Lublin.

Source: http://dok.uni-lueneburg.de/memory/whoswho/BioFileS.HTML#Szapira,%20Major


Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapira                                1918-1920, 1919-1921 or 1922-1924

Rabbi Tuvia Horowitz                                              ???? – Outbreak of WWII

Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson                      Last Rabbi of Sanok


According to the Oswiecim; Auschwitz Memorial Book, a Rabbi Eli Elias from Sanok lived in Oswiecim.

(This is a work of progress.  If you have details to add or corrections, PLEASE e-mail me!)

The Great Teachers

Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapira

But Rabbi Shapira's restless spirit would not let him remain in Galina. He became a public champion of Torah and faith, and in public gatherings he raised his voice against the neglect of young people and proclaimed himself spiritual father to the yeshiva students who, because of lack of attention, were condemned to waste away. He had labored successfully in Galina for ten years, but he started to feel that the place was too small for him; in 1922 he became rabbi in Sanok.

Public Leader and Delegate to the Sejm
In Sanok he also found much to do. Here, too, he did a great deal for the community, and his fame increased. Legends spread about his dynamic personality. He became a member of Agudath Israel and did a great deal for that movement. From Sanok he was often invited to appear on the podium on behalf of Poland's religious Jewry, as a speaker, he fired up the masses. He was chosen to head Agudath Israel and was elected delegate to the Polish Sejm (parliament).

On Adar 16, 1924, he was chosen rabbi of the great town of Piotrkow, which boasted many sages and writers, devoted Jews and Jewish scholars. In 1923 he had proposed at a great assembly of Agudath Israel in Vienna the study of a "daily page" of Talmud and the establishment of universal yeshiva; both proposals were received with loud applause.(page 73) - excerpt from A Tale of One City: Piotrkow Trybunalski

to see the entire biography of Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapira in this yizkor book, go to: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Piotrkow/pit073.html

a photo of Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapira is located in “The People” portion of this website – (scroll up)


Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech passed away in 5684-1924, and his position was inherited by his son Rabbi Yehoshua, who had previously been the head of the Rabbinical court in Ritowice. However, he did not live long, and his son Rabbi Yisrael the head of the Rabbinical court of Prucznik filled his place. Rabbi Yisrael survived the Holocaust and currently lives in the United States. His son-in-law Rabbi Tuvia Horowitz who was the Rabbi of Sanok until the outbreak of the war, was killed by the evil Nazis. Rabbi Tuvia was one of the refugees from Galicia during the First World War, and lived in Vienna. There he became friendly with Dr. Nathan Birenbaum, who returned in repentance and later became an ideologue for the Agudas Yisrael movement. In the statements of Rabbi Tuvia one could detect the way of thinking of Dr. Nathan Birenbaum, his teacher from whom he gleaned many things and was heavily influenced.

Source: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/rzeszow/rze115.html


Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson, the last Rabbi of Sanok, and at the time of this writing a member of the chief rabbinate of Petach Tikva.

An excerpt from Pinkas Sochaczew , which memoralizes “The Admor Rabbi Dovid of Holy Blessed Memory” (1878 – 1942)

The Rabbi of Sochaczew advised me to leave Warsaw and to return to my family and community in Sanok, where I had served as a rabbi, and from where I had fled since the Gestapo interrogated me. When I came back to my house in the Sanok Ghetto, it became clearly evident to me – after about a year – at the beginning of the winter of 5702 (1941) about the establishment of a death camp in Chelmno (Kolmnhauf) by Kaul, and about the many acts of murder in the forests of Kozmir. From the information that I gathered and the terrifying news that was transmitted to me by the sons of Rabbi Yissachar Cohen of Gostynin, may G-d avenge his blood, and after I investigated the truth of the matter, I wanted to debunk the lie, for the Jews of the Ghettos were not sent out for work alone. I wrote a letter to the Rabbi of Sochaczew of holy blessed memory, in cryptic language, that the aunt Esther from Megilla street, house 7, dwelling 4 is coming… the innuendo was clear, for it says in verse 4 of chapter 7 of the Scroll of Esther “for me and my nation are given over to be annihilated, killed, and destroyed, and if we were only to be sold as slaves and maidservants I would have maintained my silence”. The hint was clear, for after a very brief period of time I received a response that advised me to draw strength from verse 4 in chapter 23 of the book of Psalms. ( "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.")

        to read the entire article, go to: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Sochaczew/so628.html

The People ~


New!! Click here for additional group photos (including E.Plater School & Kvotzah Tzviah, etc.)


The above photo appears in 2 sources. In The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, the caption is in English and reads, “Jewish dignitaries with visiting philanthropists, Sanok, Poland, July, 1925.” In Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva, the caption is in Hebrew and more detailed,  Workers of the "Talmud Torah," members of the board and management, during the visit of the philanthropist Mr. Max Jonas in Sanok, in 5685.” Also, the names of most subjects in the photos are given.

Sitting (right to left): R' Moshe Moritz, [title][title] R' Eliezer Brumer, ?, R' Jacob Gerber, R' Joseph Trom, Mr. Max. Jonas, Dr. Solomon Ramer, R' Zvi Jonas, R' Shalom Salik, R' Zvi Amsel. Standing (right to left): R' Isaac Schnitzler, ?, ?, R' Pitchia Miller, R' Zvi-David Wilner, R' Zvi Schwartz, R' Isaac Gorfein, R' Joseph Springer, ?, R' Israel Trattner. (Correction: The 7th person seated from the right may be Dr. Solomon Ramer, not R’Zvi Jonas. )

Notes: For those standing, there are only 10 names in caption, but 11 in the photo.  R' Brumer (second from right in lower row) has 2 titles in his name. Perhaps, he's the head of the Talmud Torah or a distinguished Rabbi. It's possible that the second title is something like (R?) Av Beit Din (head of the local Jewish Rabbinical court). I have a copy of the photo with the Hebrew captions.  If you can translate the titles of R’ Brumer, know who a (?) would be, or believe a name is incorrect, please contact me at: seraph@dc.rr.com

Sources: Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva (translation: Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) edited by E. Sharvit, Jerusalem, 1970.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust by Shmuel Spector (editor)and Geoffrey Wigider (consulting editor), Yad   Vashem, Jerusalem [2001] 0-8147-9356-8


Photo is courtesy of Marek Silarski (Poland)

                                                                                   The 5th person from the left (wearing a fur hat and holding a walking stick)
                                                                                   is the Bobov Rebbe (Chasidic rabbi),  Rabbi Ben-Zion Halberstam. 

                                                                                                  He was killed during the Shoah. (Information provided by Tomer Brunner)

                                                                       Do you know who any of the other townspeople would be?


AbischSchikler Family - 1935


                      Sara Kiehl                                   Stella Landau, a granddaughter of *        Brothers: Shlome and Yitzchok Schiff  and ?

*Andzia  née Abranowicz (Sanok ~ 1894) She died as a little girl.

(Sources: (Landau) “And I Still See Their Faces – Images of Polish Jews” http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/exhibits/faces/440.html

(all others)  Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva (translation: Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) edited by E. Sharvit, Jerusalem, 1970.




Abraham FREIFELD of Sanok joined this organization on June 3, 1906

Source: http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Nadvorna/enku1b.htm


 “1891 Galician Business Directory”

158 names/occupations of Sanok residents!!

~ Click Here ~


“1929 Galician Business Directory”

~ Click Here ~


Jewish Record Indexing – Poland (JRI-Poland)

Records of 422 People from Sanok!

Search "Town"/SANOK - Using Towns Precise Spelling!

The Places ~


“The Great Synagogue”(Beit Midrash) at ul.Mickiewicza - Sanok

 Photo: F.Strachockiego / Courtesy of Łukasz Biedka (Poland)



The Gymnasium                          Hebrew School - "Sofoh Brura"  (Report Card)                 The Talmud Torah



Hymn from “Yeshiva Bnai Torah” founded by Rabbi Meir Shapiro                                     "Yad-Charutsim" (diligent hands) Synagogue

Source: “The Places”- Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva (translation: Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) edited by E. Sharvit, Jerusalem, 1970.


"Yad-Charutsim" (diligent hands) Synagogue - Photo is courtesy of Marek Silarski (Poland)


The Writings ~





             Source: Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva (translation: Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) edited by E. Sharvit, Jerusalem, 1970.    


Jewish Cemetery ~

Cemetery photos were taken in July of 1998. This monument had been vandalized.


This cemetery was once one of two.  It is on ul. Kiczury and contains fifty matzevot. All the others form the pavement on ul. Rejtana.

Source: originally published in the guide Where the Tailor Was a Poet..., by Adam Dylewski http://www.diapozytyw.pl/en/site/slady_i_judaica/sanok

SANOK (I):     US Commission No. POCE000732 - The town is located in voivodship of Kroonienskie or Krosno at 49ş33' 22ş13', 45 km from Krosno. Cemetery: 3 Maja (Trzeciego Maja) Street, Karpacka Restaurant. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with no Jews.

The earliest known Jewish community is the second half of the 14th century. 1921 Jewish population was 4,067. The 1939 Jewish population was around 5,000. Meir Szapiro lived here. The isolated urban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no fence, wall or gate. No stones are visible. The municipality owns the property used for recreation. Adjacent property is commercial or industrial and residential. It was vandalized during World War II. No care or structures.

Source: Pietr Antoniak, survey completed on 11 Sep 1992 after a visit on 8 Aug 1992. 



SANOK (II):     US Commission No. POCE000733 - Cemetery: Kiczury Street. See Sanok I above for history. The isolated urban flat land has no sign or marker has Jewish symbols on gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is entirely closed with a continuous fence and locking gate. The cemetery is 0.1.67 ha. 20-100 19th-20th century marble or sandstone flat stones with carved relief decoration or finely smoothed, 1-20 in original location with more than 75% toppled or broken, have Hebrew and Polish inscriptions. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery. Adjacent property is residential. Rarely, private visitors stop. It was vandalized during World War II. Family Nissenbaum Foundation cleared vegetation, fixed wall, and fixed gate in 1988. Occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities is the care. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vegetation is a constant problem disturbing graves. Weather erosion is a moderate threat. Pollution and vandalism are slight threats. See Sanok I for survey information.

Source: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 78

Note:   All cemetery photos come from the cemetery described under SANOK(II) above.


These are a pile of discarded gravestones, which were in the cemetery during my 1998 visit.  I placed a pebble brought with me from a California beach on the pile on the far right.  If you look closely in the photo on the far left, you can see the well-kempt Catholic cemetery, which surrounds this one.


Museum of Family History Cemetery Project

To see the surnames found within four of the ten Sanok society plots located in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area.

Go to:  http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/cp-brzozow.htm



Register of Burials in Antwerp, Belgium

(Name of the deceased, date of birth, place of birth,  date of death and Hebrew date of death.)


19.03.1878, Sanok


24 Iyar


24.12.1870, Sanok (P)


08 Chesvan


08.11.1890, Sanok


01 Teveth

Source: http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Kolbuszowa/resources8.html

World War II~

“Announcement of Registration of Jews for forced labor"

By decree of October 26, 1939, a work requirement was introduced for Jews residing in the General government, to take immediate effect.

To implement this decree, I order the following:

§ 1

All male Jews from the ages of 12 to 60 are to report immediately to the Jewish council connected to the office of the mayor of the responsible source community for the purpose of registration. The responsibility of the Jewish council extends to the entire area of the source community. Baptized Jews are also subject to registration. ...

§ 5

Up to 10 years’ imprisonment may be imposed on any Jew eligible for forced labor:
a) who does not report immediately to the responsible Jewish council for registration,
b) who supplies false or incomplete information about himself,
c) who pretends inability or reduced capacity to work,
d) who disposes of the tools of his trade.

Announcement by the District Head of Sanok, Dr. Schaar, March 7, 1940

Source:  http://www.ghwk.de/engl/catalog/cateng3.htm


Ordeal and Deliverance by Avraham Werner

Dr. Werner’s book describes his childhood in Sanok, escape from the Sanok ghetto and how he managed to survive the war.  This book was originally written in Hebrew in 1999 and is titled "Revach Vehazala Mimakom Acher".

(Dr. Werner’s book can be read online by clicking on its title.  You may contact Dr. Werner by clicking on his name.)


Judenrat Correspondence

World War II Correspondence

Courtesy of Dr. Abraham Werner / Translated by William Leibner

(Dr. Werner is the son of the author of the letters below & received permission from the Polish Jewish Historical Archives to publish these documents.)

The document below was provided by Dr. Avraham Werner and loosely translated from Polish by William Leibner.  It appears to be a copy of a report sent by the local Sanok J.S.S. (Jewish Self Help Organization) branch to its headquarters in Krakow.  The J.S.S. helped various Jewish communities during the initial stages of World War II.



Place - Sanok District - Sanok Region - Krakow
Postal area - Sanok, 9 Galicia, Poland

Sprawozdanie” (Fact Report)

From September 1st 1941 to September 31st 1941

~ Click Here to Read this Report ~             


My War Years by L.T.

      (excerpt from Memorial Book of Zaglembie describing an escape from Zaglembie and contact with the town of Sanok)

On the train all the four of us – my two cousins, my friend and I – stayed silent for the most of the journey. Each was thinking her own sad thoughts, but after some time we regained our confidence and our hopes grew brighter with every past mile. We were planning to get over to the Russian side and then to help our families do the same. The train stopped at Tarnow. We slept there in the abandoned farmhouse of "Ha'noar Hazioni". The whole town looked a dead town. Not a single Jew could be seen in the streets. We reached Sanok by various side-ways and paths on the 1st of November. Sanok was situated on the river San, which formed the Russian-German border. Most of the local Jews had escaped to the Russian side, but there was still active there, a special help-committee for the refugees. At that Committee we got same food and a place to sleep. We intended to wait there for the border to be opened, but after three days of useless waiting we decided to smuggle the border on our own. In the dark and cold of the night, wearing heavy clothes and carrying our rucksacks on our backs, we stepped into the deep, cold waters of San, following a Ukrainian smuggler. Suddenly the Ukrainian disappeared, and we, four frightened girls, heard the first Russian: "stoi, kto idiot ?" In front of us stood three Russian soldiers with threatening guns. We exclaimed happily: "My Yevrei !" But the soldiers laughed and told us to follow them. Page 49

Source: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Zaglembia/zag043E.html


Gypsies in the Holocaust - Gypsies from the General Government [Poland] who were not sent to Auschwitz and to the operation Reinhard camps were shot on spot by the local police or gendarmes. In the eastern region of the Cracow district, in the counties of Sanok, Jaslo, and Rzeszow, close to 1,000 Gypsies were shot..."

Source:  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/gypsies.html


Polish Rightous Among Nations –“Those who Risked their Lives”

PYRCAK, Michal, living at Sanok, Krosno province - arrested for his part in helping Jews, sent to the camp at Mauthausen, from where he never returned.  Posthumously awarded the medal of "Righteous  Among the Nations".  Source:  http://www.savingjews.org/perished/p.htm


·        3,000 in Rebel Band Terrorize Galicia (NYTimes – April 18, 1946)

·        Sanok, Poland, September 1939, German Soldiers Guarding Jews (photo)

·        Claims Resolution Tribunal - Klara Ramer, Salomon Ramer and Samuel Herzig

·        Personal Receipts, Postcards

Excerpt from the testimony of Yakov Gurfein (photo, 1961)


One morning, in the middle of January 1943, they woke us up. We saw that we were surrounded by SS men who were stationed around the ghetto. They ordered us to line up in the courtyard, allowed each one to take a blanket, and led us on foot to the Zaslaw camp (from Sanok ghetto). At Zaslaw they put everyone into one hall and kept us there for three days and two nights.

(to read more of this account, go to: http://www.deathcamps.org/belzec/belzecjumpers.html )





Transcript from Session-021-03 – People vs. Adolf Eichmann


Judge Halevi:  Mr. Gurfein, you mentioned the members of the
SS - Kratzmann, Mueller and Schulz.
Witness Gurfein: Schulz was the commander of the Gestapo in
Q. And who was Kratzmann?
A. Kratzmann was the Judenreferent within the Gestapo.
Q. Where was his office?
A. In the Gestapo of Sanok.
Q. And Mueller?
A. He was also a Gestapo man in Sanok.
Q. I didn't understand what you said about them. How did
they take part in these events?
A. Kratzmann and Mueller were the most terrible Gestapo men.
They also took part in the killing of Jews. The officer
Schulz reached us in 1942 from Yaroslav. Subsequently we
realized that he had come especially to organize the
deportation of the Jews of Sanok. As I mentioned, they came
to us, for we were a number of Jews together with their
families within the camp of the Schutzpolizei (Civil
Police). We hoped that we would be able to remain and to
work there. They arrived that night, and saw that not all
the people were capable of working. There were also small
children. Despite the fact that previously they had allowed
us to come into that camp with the members of our families
as well, they separated us from each other and left only 20
Presiding Judge: You were asked what was the role of each of
these Gestapo men.
Judge Halevi:  What did the three Gestapo men, whose names
you mentioned, do?
Witness Gurfein: At that time they separated our families
from us, they loaded them onto trucks and transferred them
to the Zaslav camp to be deported.
Q. You stayed there?
A. We remained in the camp of the Schutzpolizei.
Q. What happened to your families?
A. They removed them to the camp at Belzec in that same
train, except for my uncle whom they gave another three
months to live, and he was shot at the time the 500 people
were shot.
Q. You said something about 10,000 Jews. Were they sent away
all at the same time?
A. They were sent away together in three trains.
Q. Where to?
A. To Belzec.
Q. Was a separation made between those fit to work and
A. They took all the 10,000 Jews, both those who were fit to
work, and also women, children and old men.
Attorney General: The camp at Belzec was an extermination
camp, not a labour camp. There they did not separate people.
There they exterminated everyone who arrived at the place.
Judge Halevi:  You spoke of a particular case of separation
of the families and that they cheated you and told you that
within a short time you would see your families again?
Witness Gurfein: This was on that night, before the
deportation, when they took the parents and the children
away from us. The people who still remained in the camp
began to plead that they should leave the families behind as
they had promised. They calmed them down by saying that this
was nothing, they were taking them only to some new
habitation - we would be reunited within a week.
Q. Who said this?
A. The Gestapo commander in Sanok, Albert Schulz.
Q. That was a lie?
A. Of course, seeing that on the following day they
transferred them by train to an extermination camp.
Judge Raveh:   Did you meet any other persons from your town
after the War?
Witness Gurfein: Yes. I met people. There were those who hid
and who were not included in this transport. They hid with
Christians and managed in this way to be saved. But of those
who were on the train, I didn't meet anyone.
Q. Do you have an idea how many Jews of your town were
A. I think that it would be possible to count them on the
fingers of one hand - five or six people.
Q. Out of a population of 13,000?
A. Yes.
Q. Did your uncle survive?
A. No. They took him on the second transport and he perished.



JewishGen Holocaust Database


The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names

**Yad Vashem**



Jews who Lived in Germany, Registered in Krakow Ghetto in 1940

    BRAKSMAJER, Reizla

    FELIKS, Helena Chaja

    SCHEINER, Chaja

    SCHEINER, Chuma

                                                            Additional Details at: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Krakow/Krakow.html



List of the Children

(from Sanok)

Original list of the children who arrived in Eretz Israel in the middle of World War II, after escape from occupied Poland to Russia, suffering hunger, diseases, orphanage… These children survived a life of helpless wandering child refugees in Siberia, the Asian Republics of U.S.S.R, Iran and finally Eretz Israel. Those from Sanok include:  Genek and Natan Hock, Rosa and Szajndla Irom, Eliasz Schuerz, Hersz and Tania Sobol and Dorota Szor.  For more details, such as date of birth and parents’ names, click on the source addresses listed below.

Sources: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Tehran/teh001.html & http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Tehran/Teh002.html


Sanokers of Kibbutz Gat, 1985

(Left to right: Bilha Rosenfeld, Asher Rubinfeld, Ozer Pipe, Eliahu Lindenberger, Malka Lewenthal, Towa Sztolberg, Yakov Mayus, Miriam Gurfein)

Photo courtesy of : Mark Salik


The Jews of the Homonna District, Hungary (1808)

Lebel Israelovitz (birthplace) Sanok? - lived in Modra – Brandy Maker

Nachus Michalovits (birthplace) Sanok – lived in Homonna 24 Years – Broker

Moyzes Izak Michalovits (birthplace) Sanok – lived in Homonna 24 Years – Broker

Abraham Pilz (birthplace) Sanok – lived in Szinna 2 years – Home Teacher

Lebel Schomann (birthplace) Sanok – lived in Sztara 18 years – Tailor

Sources: http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/humenne/MyHTML.htm


Stateless Internees at Liberty in the United Kingdom

Heinrich LIEN, Date of Birth: 06/04/1903, Place of Birth: Sanok (Poland)

Sosia MOSZKOWICZ, Date of Birth: 25/05/1911, Place of Birth: Sanok

Andrea STARZYSKI, Date of Birth: 12-1898, Place of Birth: SANOK, Austria

Hermine Sara Gelb KUNOWITZ, Date of Birth: 27-12-1897, Place of Birth: Sanok, Poland

Source:  http://www.movinghere.org.uk/search/default.asp

(The actual documents are online!  A search for “Sanok” will find all four people.)


Yizkor (Memorial) Book ~

Yizkor (Memorial) Books are some of the best sources for learning about Jewish communities in Eastern and Central Europe. Groups of former residents, or landsmanshaftn, have published these books as a tribute to their former hometowns and the people who were murdered during the Holocaust. The town of Sanok has such a book.  If you go to the Table of Contents link, you will find the portions translated into English in the form of blue hyperlinks. The entire village of Bukowsko section is translated into English beginning at:  http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/sanok/San579.html

Sefer Zikaron le-Kehilat Sanok ve-ha-Siviva (translation: Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) edited by E. Sharvit, Jerusalem, 1970. 

To view the entire non-translated original book in digitized form, go to:  http://yizkor.nypl.org/index.php?id=1812

The Economic Situation and Jobs of the Korczyner Jews following WWI

A Korczyner Jew would travel to Kros, or Rymanow, or Sanok (Sunik in Yiddish), or Nowy Sadz (Zanz in Yiddish) and buy merchandise. A week later, the salesman from Krosno, Rymanow, Sanok or Nowy Sacz would come to Korczyn and repurchase the merchandise at a higher price. A week later, the merchant of Korczyn would again travel to look for merchandise and pay more money for the same merchandise he sold last week. Everybody made money, everybody had bundles of paper money, everybody lived way above their means and people counted their money that grew by the day. Yesterday's nobody was today a millionaire. Money was constantly printed but merchandise became scarce. What you purchased this week, was more expensive next week, in short, a galloping inflation.(page 37) Source: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Korczyna/kor011.html



This is one building at the Sanok Skansen (Outdoor Museum/Ethnographic Park)

For more information go to:  http://www.lemko.org/lih/travel/sanokm.html


Join our“Sanok Group”(over 100 people researching their Jewish roots to Sanok) at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sanok

A wonderful place to ask questions and share information!

Sanok Family Trees”

 Salik/Kushnir/Tym Family

David Salik, my father, was born to Salim Salik and Rosalia née Tym in Sanok, Poland, 1914.  He survived WWII.  Today, Salik family descendants live in Canada, Israel and France.  The Kushnir family descendants live in Israel and the Tym family descendants live in the United States.  For more information, contact Mark Salik at: http://salikweb.perso.sfr.fr/


This space is reserved for your family tree!  Just let me know!


Sanok Links ~

Bukowsko Links ~

Dynów Links ~

Nearby Towns with ShtetLinks ~

Region - Related Links ~

Other - Related Links ~

And don't neglect the wonderful treasures at JewishGen ~


Gesher Galicia is hosted by JewishGen at: http://www.jewishgen.org/galicia


   Comments?/Questions? (send an e-mail)

 Compiled by Deborah Raff
Lovingly Updated  23 June 2013 Copyright © 2004 Deborah Raff

Jewish Gen Home Page | ShtetLinks Directory

This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity is greatly appreciated.