In memory of the Jews of Limanowa

There have been no more Jews in Limanowa for 80 years. The history of this community, which spanned almost 400 years, was brutally interrupted by the German Nazis in the summer of 1942. With the death of most of our older brothers in faith, the memory of our Jewish Limanowa was also lost. Because this Polish-Jewish Limanowa was our city. Poles and Jews. Although the relations between the two groups of different nationalities were not always the best, the memory of the Jewish heritage cannot be removed from the history of the city, and therefore it should be alive among its inhabitants.
The first mention of the Jewish population in Limanowa comes from 1640, when the then lessee Izrael Izaakowicz was taken away from the lease of the local brewery in Limanowa. Further information from the mid-18th century concerns Michał Różański, who converted from the Mosaic rite to the Catholic faith. We have similar news from 1761, when a seventeen-year-old Jewish woman changed her religion to Catholic, adopting the baptismal names Anna Marianna. In 1765, 21 Israelites lived in the city. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Jewish community in Limanowa gained independence. In 1867, the Limanowa kehilla (a Jewish commune) was established, which included all the followers of Judaism living in the Limanowa poviat.
The Jewish community differed from the Polish one in religion, especially in terms of the legal position, costumes, customs and language. In Limanowa, as in other Galician towns, Jews spoke Yiddish at home. On the street, in contacts with their neighbors, they often used the Polish language. On the other hand, they were not fluent in Polish, they started learning it only around the age of 20.
In Limanowa, 50% of the Jewish community was made up of religiously moderate Hasidim who dealt in trade. They were to visit the synagogue at least once a day. Then in order, about 25% were the much more orthodox Jews. innkeepers spending several hours in the temple and visiting it 3 times a day. Finally, there were craftsmen and officials who, due to lack of time in the synagogue, occasionally appeared at religious ceremonies. There were three prayer houses in Limanowa.
During World War I, the Jews of Limanowa were one of the most aggrieved groups. In the reports of the County National Committee, we can find information about the escape of a significant number of Israelites and their migration from their hometown of Limanowa, who decided to take such a step in fear of the approaching Russian troops. Like everyone else, they feared the advancing tsarist troops. It was in the nineteenth century in Russia that the greatest pogroms of pacification of the Jewish population took place, so when the specter of the city’s occupation by Muscovites appeared on Limanowa, the Jews sealed their shops and left the city. Unfortunately, this did not protect their property from being stolen and destroyed by the Russians of Muscovites.
The Jews of Limanowa were to a greater or lesser extent Orthodox Hasidim. This is best evidenced by the fact that at the turn of the 20th century there were as many as 5 cheders (religious schools) in the city, where young Jews could receive religious education. Closure to the outside world was the main reason for the lack of traces of their existence in the city. Therefore, they did not create an intellectual environment on a larger scale that could leave behind a legacy in the form of diaries, diaries, correspondence, etc.
The sparse Jewish intelligentsia in Limanowa consisted of people who came from outside as at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. We include the lawyer Jonasz Hammerschlag and the doctor Phoenix Kohn. The first was not only a lawyer, but also a city councilor.