HRUBIESZOW, town in Lublin province, Poland. The first information about Jewish settlement in Hrubieszow dates from 1444. Two Jewish merchants are mentioned in 1456 as court purveyors. In 1578 the Jews were authorized by charter to reside in any part of the town, to engage in their customary professions, and to establish a synagogue. In the same year a Jew Abraham obtained the contract for distilling in the town. By agreement with the clergy in Hrubieszow in 1678 the Jews had to pay annual imposts to the ecclesiastical authorities. The community suffered from the disasters of the *Chmielnicki massacres of 1648–49, and in 1672 from the Tatar incursions. Twenty-seven Jewish houses and the smaller synagogue were destroyed in a fire in 1736. The leaders of the community and its rabbis were active on the *Council of the Four Lands. The main occupation of the Hrubieszow Jews was trade in agricultural products. In the second half of the 19th century they expanded into industry and the building trades. The first Jewish-run hospital in Poland was inaugurated in 1818, a new synagogue in 1874, and an old age home in 1905. The Hasidim were active from the early 19th century, and between the world wars the Zionists, Bund, and Agudat Israel were also active. Many emigrated in the post-World War I economic crisis. The Jewish population numbered 709 in 1765, 3,276 in 1856, 5,352 (out of 10,636) in 1897, 5,679 (out of 9,568) in 1921, and 7,500 in 1939.

[Nathan Michael Gelber]

Holocaust Period

The German army entered on Sept. 15, 1939, and immediately organized a series of pogroms. Ten days later the Germans withdrew and the Soviet army occupied the town, but after a fortnight returned it to the Germans, according to a new Soviet-German agreement. Over 2,000 Jews, having experienced the Nazi terror, left together with the withdrawing Soviet army. On December 2, 1939 1,000 Jews from Hrubieszow and 1,100 from Chelm were led on a death March to the Bug River, where 1,500 died. In early 1940, around 6,000 Jews including refugees were confined to a ghetto. In early June 1942 Jews concentrated in Belz were driven in a 31 mi. (60 km.) death march to Hrubieszow. Those who could not continue on the way were shot by the SS guards. All the others, after a short stay in a camp established outside Hrubieszow were deported along with about 3,000 Jews from Hrubieszow, to the *Sobibor death camp and exterminated. The second deportation from Hrubieszow took place on October 28, 1942, when 2,500 Jews were deported to Sobibor and exterminated. Around 400 who resisted were executed at the Jewish cemetery and the last 160 Jews were sent to a forced labor camp in Budzyn, where almost all of them perished due to the subhuman conditions.


On the outskirts of Hrubieszow the Jewish underground, mostly members of the Zionist youth movements from the *Warsaw ghetto, tried to organize one of the first Jewish partisan bases as early as the summer of 1941. The attempt failed mainly due to a lack of support from the local peasant population. Hundreds of Jews succeeded in fleeing from Hrubieszow during the deportations, and found refuge in the forests. Many of them joined resistance groups, sometimes in faraway places, e.g., Solomon Brand who became one of the leading organizers of the Jewish resistance in Vilna, and Arieh Perec (known as Leon Porecki) who became a captain in the Polish underground Home Army during the Warsaw uprising. The Jewish community in Hrubieszow was not reconstituted after the war.

[Stefan Krakowski]


S.B. Weinryb, in: MGWJ, 77 (1933), 277; idem, Neueste Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Juden in Russland und Polen (1934), index; I.L. Schiper (ed.), Dzieje handlu żydowskiégo na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; Yaari, in: KS, 20 (1943/44), 219–28; B. Yanover, Adam be-Iro (1947); B. Kaplinsky (ed.), Pinkas Hrubieszów (Eng., Heb., Yid., 1962). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.