NOWY SACZ (Pol. Nowy Sącz; Ger. Neu Sandec; in Jewish sources Zanz, Naysants), city in the province of Cracow, S. Poland. Jewish settlement is mentioned in a document of 1469; in 1503 a Jewish eye doctor, Abraham, practiced in Nowy Sacz. The Jews participated in the reconstruction of the town after the invasion of the Swedes. The royal privilege of 1676 (ratified in 1682 by King John III Sobieski) accorded them the right to build their houses on the town's empty lots and to engage in commerce (mainly with Hungary) and weaving. The Great Synagogue, renowned for its beautiful frescoes, was completed in 1746. In 1765 there were 609 Jews (154 families) in Nowy Sacz paying the poll tax and owning 70 houses (595 additional Jewish poll tax payers lived in 103 surrounding villages). At the beginning of the 19th century Austrian authorities compelled the Jews to live in a special quarter. During the first half of the 19th century the ḥasidic dynasty of the Zanzer Ḥasidim was established (see *Halberstam). In 1880 there were 5,163 Jews (46% of the total population) living in the town, earning their livelihoods from the sale of wood, agricultural produce, and clothing, or engaging in such trades as tailoring, carpentry, shoemaking, and engraving. By 1890 the number of Jews had decreased to 4,120 (32%), to rise again to 7,990 (32%) in 1910. Between 1900 and 1914 a Jewish school was established by the *Baron de Hirsch fund, which in 1907 was attended by 204 pupils. In 1921 the Jewish community numbered 9,009 (34%). *Tarbut and Beth Jacob schools, a yeshivah, and sport clubs were supported by the community. Over 10,000 Jews lived in Nowy Sacz before the outbreak of World War II, with another 5,000 living in smaller towns of the county.
The German army entered the town on Sept. 5, 1939, and the anti-Jewish terror began. In March 1940 about 700 Jews from Lodz were forced to settle there; in August 1941 a ghetto was established. Two forced labor camps for Jews were built by the Germans near the town: one, in Roznow, existed from the spring of 1940 until December 1942, and the second, in Lipie, from the autumn of 1942 until July 1943. Over 1,000 Jewish prisoners perished in these camps. In April 1942 a few score members of the underground *Po'alei Zion organization fell into German hands and were executed on the site of the town's Jewish cemetery. In Aug. 24–28, 1942, the entire Jewish population was deported to the *Belzec death camp and killed there.
R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Pólsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 112, 146, 150, 156; J. Sygański, Historya Nowego Sącza, 3 vols. (1901–02); I. Schiper, Studya nad stosunkami gospodarczymi Żydów w Polsce podczas średniowiecza (1911), index; idem (ed.), Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; R. Mahler, Sefer Zanz (1970). HOLOCAUST: E. Podhorizer-Sandel, in: BZIH, 30 (1959), 87–109.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.