I wanted to share a list of records in the Israel State Archives concerning people who were born in Kańczuga. A little background – the Israel State Archives has been going through a major digitalization effort over the last few years, and has scanned over ten million documents. Those documents have been placed online, but are not always easy to search. Some basic information is sometimes included, such as one name, usually culled from OCR software, and that means that its really hard to find documents on their site, even if it has been scanned.
Some organizations have stepped up to fix this issue, such as the Israel Genealogy Research Association (genealogy.org.il) which has volunteers indexing British Mandate marriage and divorce records, and MyHeritage, which recently indexed naturalizations records from the British Mandate period as well. In fact, due to strict privacy laws, most of the useful genealogical records are from the pre-state period.
Most of the records that follow are naturalization files, although a couple which are from 1950 are copies of passports used during immigration. You can click on the link to go to the page on the Israel State Archives where the file is located, and the site will let you download a PDF of the complete file for review. I’ve included spouse information if it exists, and while sometimes the spouses are also from Kańczuga, that’s not always the case. In files where the wife was from Kańczuga, and the husband (who the file is listed under) is not, I’ve listed the wife in the first column. One person (Isaak Thurm) shows up twice because it appears he naturalized twice (once when single and a second time when married). There is a lot of useful genealogical information included in these files, and I believe all of them have photos of the people mentioned.
In the future as more records are indexed, I think this list will grow. I’ll check back from time to time to see if there is anything new. If you want to help index these records, you can volunteer for IGRA and their indexing efforts. More information on IGRA’s indexing effort can be found on it’s web site.
Fond 1731 in the Polish State Archives branch in Przemyśl contains vital records from the Jewish community of Kańczuga. The archive has scanned these records, and put them online. Below is a table listing the sections of that fond, with links to the scans online for each section.
Thanks to Raphael Thurm for pointing out this additional online database that includes people born in Kańczuga. The web site Tracing the Past has a database of the 1939 German “Minority Census”, which it describes as:
In May 1939 a census, or Volkszählung, was conducted in Germany (including annexed Austria and the Sudetenland) that required the head of each household to fill out a supplementary card, or Ergänzungskarte, which mandated marking the Jewish background of each of the resident’s four grandparents. By 1942, the cards of households with one or more residents with a Jewish grandparent marked on their card, the so-called “Minority Census,” were collected and and sent to the Reich Genealogy Office (Reichssippenamt), then located in a building seized from the Berlin Jewish Community, where the cards most likely survived through the end of the war.
By the 1980s, the cards were in the custody of the State Archives of the German Democratic Republic in East Germany, and in the 1990s the cards were in the custody of the German Federal Archives. It was discovered that the cards are about 87% complete, lacking only for Thüringen, the Rhine Province, the districts of Erfurt and Minden, and several districts of Bavaria. Many of the districts included are areas that are now part of Poland (such as Silesia and Pomerania) and Russia (Königsberg / Kaliningrad).
In the database, there are fifteen people listed as having been born in Kanczuga. There is clear overlap with those listed in the German Gedenkbuch posted earlier. Presumably those that are the same were killed by the Nazis, and those in this list that are not in the Gedenkbuch either survived, or were killed by other people (the Gedenkbuch seems only to list those people who both lived in Germany and were killed directly by the Nazis).
If you go to the database you can find the address associated with the person listed below.
After publishing the list of those born in Kańczuga who were in the German Gedenkbuch memorial, Raphael Thurm sent two other sites that have lists of victims from the Holocaust that list people born in Kańczuga. The first one is the Dutch site Joods Monument (Jewish Monument) that “commemorates the more than 104,000 persons who were persecuted as Jews in the Nehterlands and did not survive the Holocaust”.
If you click through to the site using the Details link for each person below, there is a profile for them, including where they died, any known relatives (and links to their profiles), and for some added photographs and stories. If you know about people in the below list, you can contribute your own information to the site.
The Federal Archives in Germany has an online Memorial Book, listing as they state on the site “Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 – 1945”. This memorial book lists Jewish residents of Germany that were killed by the Nazis, and contains some 170,000 names. Of those names, nineteen names are listed as having been born in Kańczuga, which I’ve listed below.
Keep in mind that these are only those people who were both residents of Germany and were killed by Nazis during the war. This list does not include residents of Kańczuga who were killed by the Nazis who never lived in Germany (most of them) or those residents of Germany that were killed by groups other than the Nazis (such as those massacred post-liberation on Passover in 1945 by local Poles – even if they had lived in Germany).
If you click on the Details link, it will take you to the page on the Federal Archives web site with details on the person, including if known where they lived before the war, and where to and when they were deported during the war.
I’m happy to announce that as part of our Kańczuga Nearby Villages Project, we’ve now digitized and made available a cadastral map of Krzeczowice, a village 2.2 miles east of Kańczuga, which shows up in Kańczuga records with surnames including Braten, Einsidler, Engelberg, Knispel, Lilien, Morsel, Schein, Seidenfeld, Spatz, Wolfman, and Zellerkraut.
The map dates from 1849 and includes the plot numbers and house numbers.
Responding to the previous post about a new stone memorial being planned for those Jews murdered in Kańczuga in 1942 and after the war in 1945, Raphael Thurm sent some additional information. He pointed to the 2002 article in Polish – “Nikt ich nie tykał” which is referenced as a source in the post about the memorial project. That article explains the investigation into the massacre, and the unsuccessful attempt at figuring out who carried it out (basically the locals wouldn’t name names). He also pointed to the page about the massacre at the Virtual Shtetl web site – “The post-war murder place – Węgierska street, św. Barbary street“.
The source for the Virtual Shtetl page is the same article from 2002, which is why one anomaly in the story is the same on both pages. They say the massacre happened on March 31, 1945, which was the Easter Eve, or the night before Easter. The Virtual Shtetl page simply says it was Easter. What’s strange is that one of the victims of that massacre was in my own family, and her granddaughter recounted to me that the murders took place on the second night of Passover, at the second seder. The second night of Passover would have been March 30, not 31.
I don’t know what accounts for this discrepancy. Perhaps contemporary newspaper reports of the murders might shed some light on this, although maybe not. It seems the investigation done by a Polish journalist in 2002 went into many of these details, and determined it was March 31. Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust simply says “Thirteen survivors were murdered in spring 1945 (during Passover) by Polish nationalists.” which is true in either case, it was still Passover on the 31st. Does anyone else have information on this event that might shed some light on when exactly it happened, or adds any other details?
On our Facebook Page, Łukasz Biedka shared a link to a page describing the efforts of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research to build a memorial to Jews killed in Gniewczyna Łańcucka and Kańczuga between 1942 and 1945. During the war they were buried in mass graves, and after the war the bodies were exhumed and moved to the cemetery in Jagieła – Niechciałka near Jarosław.
The bodies were buried in mass graves with only numbers referencing the exhumation protocol numbers. The center was able to track down the exhumation protocols and identify some of the bodies buried in the graves, and now want to build stone memorials for those who are buried there. For Kańczuga, the names they found were:
Izrael Ejzig, age 35
Chana Krieger, age 20
and her unborn child
Sima Krieger, age16
Pinia Krieger, age10
Jankiel Krieger, age 12
Fejwel Jakubes, age 33
Dora Bergman, age 32
Mindla Saltzman, age 55
Bernard (Berek) Zwanziger, age 26
Izydor (Azri) Reitzfeld
murdered on March 31, 1945
and 72 unknown persons
murdered in 1942
Unfortunately only 12 names out of more than 80 buried in the mass grave, but it’s something.
They’re looking to raise about $4600 for the two stone memorials (one for Kańczuga, and one for Gniewczyna Łańcucka). Read more on the page. There’s nothing that indicates how far they’ve come in their fundraising efforts, but it only started a few weeks ago, and I guess you can e-mail the center directly and try to find out how much they now need if you’re interested in donating.
Thanks to Marla Raucher Osborn, who shared a photo of a book about Kańczuga with me on Facebook. That book, Kańczuga. Miasto i gmina. Dziedzictwo kulturowe, is about the cultural history of the town, and includes a section on the Jewish cemetery in Siedleczka. When trying to track down this book, I found that the publisher, Podkarpacki Instytut Książki i Marketingu, has actually published four books about Kańczuga, although all are out of print. Those books are:
Kańczuga. Miasto i gmina. Dziedzictwo kulturowe(Kańczuga. Town and Municipality. Cultural Heritage.)
Kańczuga. Miasto i Gmina (Kańczuga. Town and Municipality.)
Kańczuga i okolice. Przewodnik (Kańczuga and its surroundings. A Guide.)
Historia Miasteczka Kańczugi pisana 1889 r. (History of the town of Kańczuga. Written 1889.)
The first three seem to essentially be guidebooks. The last one is perhaps more interesting, as it is a re-print of a book written in 1889 about the history of Kańczuga. It was written by a priest, and apparently was based on many documents he found in the church there, so I have no idea how much, if any, deals with the Jewish community, but being as it was written when the Jewish community was still a major portion of the town, it would be interesting to read.
Of course, all of these books are written in Polish, and hard to find on top of that since they’re all out of print. If I knew we had someone willing to translate the important parts of these books, I would try getting copies of them. If you can read and translate Polish, and want to help out, let me know.