KALUSH


KALUSH (Pol. Kalusz), city in Ivano-Frankovsk (Stanislavov) district in southwestern Ukraine, formerly within Poland; in 1772 it passed to Austria, reverting to Poland in 1919, and was within the U.S.S.R. from 1939 to 1991 when Ukraine gained independence. The salt mines in the area around Kalush became noted as early as the 15th century, and were leased on occasion by Jews during the following century; they were the main source of livelihood in the 19th century. An organized Jewish community existed in the city by 1650. According to the census of 1765, there were 1,087 Jews in Kalush who paid poll tax. They owned about 130 buildings in the city. The great synagogue was completed in 1825. In 1880 there lived in Kalush 4,266 Jews, representing 59% of the total population. Apart from salt, they controlled trade in lumber, grain, hides, and clothing. The community numbered 4,363 in 1910, about half the total population, and maintained six synagogues and charitable and religious institutions. During World War I the town suffered, mostly from Russian troops, leaving 200 widows, 400 orphans, and about 250 Jewish homes in the center of the city destroyed, along with the community's archives and records. In the fall of 1918 the region came under independent Ukrainian rule. A Jewish local council was set up and a Jewish militia organized to defend the community against pogroms. When Kalush reverted to independent Poland, the Jewish council and prewar communal organizations were disbanded and a government-appointed Jewish community council established. In 1921 there lived in Kalush 3,121 Jews, representing 47% of its total population. During the period between the two world wars, a Hebrew school (200 pupils in 1938), a talmud torah, a *Beth Jacob school, and various welfare associations were established. The community numbered approximately 6,000 in 1938, about one-third of the total population in Kalush.

[Arthur Cygielman]

Holocaust Period

During the period of Soviet occupation (1939–41), the Jewish community in Kalush underwent many changes: independent political activity was prohibited, and the community institutions, political parties, and youth movements were disbanded. Trade and industry were nationalized. After the German occupation of Kalush at the beginning of July 1941, the Jews and their property were attacked. In October 1941 several hundred Jews were murdered. Other Aktionen took place in March–April 1942, and the victims were sent to the *Belzec death camp, where they perished. On Sept. 15–17, 1942, the ghetto was destroyed and the city was declared Judenrein. The few remaining Jews in Kalush were transferred to *Stanislav and subsequently perished. The community was not reconstituted after the war.

[Aharon Weiss]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Almanach gmin źydowskich (1939), index; B. Wasiutynski, Ludnosé źydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 122; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu ẓydowskiego na ziemiachi polskich, 1939, index; R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index.


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