Jewish Presence: From 16th century Holocaust Period: Jewish population grew from 5,700 in 1931 to 14,000 with arrival of Western Polish refugees in 1939.
Fate of Jews during WWII: Despite active resistance, the entire community was wiped out and never revived
Early Nazi Period
(Pol., Zloczow), town in Lvov Oblast (district), Ukrainian SSR; between the two world wars it was part of Poland. On the eve of World War II, the town had a Jewish population of over seven thousand. In September 1939 it was annexed to the Soviet Union, and many hundreds of Jews took refuge there, especially from the parts of Poland occupied by the Germans. In June 1940, some of the refugees were expelled from Zolochev to the Soviet interior. Only a few Jews, however, managed to escape from Zolochev to the east after the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The Germans occupied the town on July 2, and two days later the Ukrainians went on an anti - Jewish rampage. The pogrom lasted for three days and three thousand Jews were murdered. In August of that year, the Jews of Zolochev were ordered to pay a ransom of four million rubles. The Judenrat (Jewish Council), which had been set up in July and was headed by Zigmunt Mayblum (a leader of the community and former deputy mayor), had to implement a variety of decrees, such as supplying manpower for forced labor; collecting valuables, furniture, and other household equipment and handing them over to the Germans; and ensuring observance of the curfew and regulations on the movement of Jews in and outside the town. From time to time, members of the Judenrat were taken hostage as a guarantee that German orders would be carried out.
Deportation to Work Camps
In the fall of 1941, the Germans began to seize Jews at random and send them to work camps that had been established in the vicinity. In November, two hundred Jews were abducted and taken to the camp in Lackie Wielkie, and in the following weeks many others were apprehended and taken to various camps -- in Kozaki, Korowice, Yaktorov, Pluhow, and Sasow. The Judenrat and the families of the men in the camps tried to help, mainly by sending them food and clothes, but as time went on they lost touch. Most of the camp inmates were killed or died from mistreatment, hunger, or epidemics.
In the spring of 1942, the Judenrat made efforts to find employment for the Jews in projects of importance to the German economy, in the town or nearby, in the hope that this would put a stop to the random seizure and removal of Jews to forced labor in the work camps. In mid - August of that year, the Judenrat was ordered to draw up a list of three thousand Jews for deportation from the town. Most of the members of the Judenrat refused to comply and even warned the Jewish population of the impending Aktion. On August 28, the Germans launched the Aktion, which lasted for two days. Close to twenty - seven hundred Jews were deported to the Belzec extermination camp on August 30.
Another Aktion took place on November 2 - 3, and when it was over, another twenty - five hundred Jews were loaded on a freight train and also taken to the extermination camp at Belzec; this number included Jews from the vicinity of Zolochev who had been brought to the town just before or during the course of the Aktion. A ghetto was set up on December 1, 1942, and into the small area allotted to it were crowded the surviving Jews of Zolochev, as well as the remnants of nearby Jewish communities, including those of Olesko, Sasow, and Bialy Kamien. Many died from starvation and contagious diseases. Groups of youngsters in the ghetto made attempts to organize an escape to the forest to join the partisans; most of these efforts failed because of the hostile attitude of the local Ukrainian population.
The Liquidation of the Ghetto
On April 2, 1943, the ghetto was liquidated. The Germans and their Ukrainian helpers rounded up the Jews in the market square. There were some instances of resistance; the Judenrat chairman, Mayblum, was asked to sign a document stating that the ghetto was being liquidated because of a typhoid epidemic; he refused to sign and was killed on the spot. From the market square, the last of the town's Jews were taken to Jelechowice, a village 2.5 miles (4 km) from Zolochev, to pits that had been dug in advance, and there they were killed.
"Encyclopedia of the Holocaust"
©1990 Macmillan Publishing Company
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