PARCZEW, district capital in the province of Lublin, E. Poland. Since it lay on the border of the kingdom of Poland and the Duchy of Lithuania, it served as the seat of the sessions of the Sejm until 1564, a fact which greatly affected the sources of livelihood of the Jews living there. An organized Jewish community existed from the beginning of the 16th century. In 1564, 11 houses were owned by Jews. Between 1563 and 1570 a violent struggle was waged between the Jewish community and the municipal council, which sought to move Jewish merchants and craftsmen from the center of the town to its suburbs. In 1591 a compromise was reached: The Jews were to remain in their former places of residence in exchange for their consent to bear an equal share of obligations imposed on the town, an arrangement ratified by the king in 1623. In 1654 King John II
On the outbreak of World War II there were 5,000 Jews in Parczew. On Sept. 19, 1942, the Germans began to deport the town's Jewish population to the *Treblinka death camp. During this deportation, as well as those from a number of places in the vicinity, several thousand people fled to the Parczew forest (Lasy Parczewskie). Most of them were shot by German armed units, which searched the woods frequently, but a few hundred managed to establish themselves within the forest in a family camp called Altana. A guerrilla battalion under the command of a Jewish officer, Alexander Skotnicki, operated in the Parczew forest. Its largest detachment was a Jewish guerrilla company commanded by Jechiel Grynszpan. When the Parczew region was liberated (at the end of July 1944), about 150 Jewish partisans and about 200 survivors of the Jewish family camp, which existed thanks to the defense provided by the Jewish partisans, left the forest.
R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; Warsaw, Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych, Lustracje woj. lubelskiego (1660), pp. 49, 58; ibid. for. (1762), p. 40; Lodz, Archiwum Państwowe, Archiwum Kossowskich z Glogowy, no. V-29/1; W.A.P. Lublin, Kzięgi gródzkie lubelskie księgi miasta Parczewa (= CAHJP, ḤM 7049, 6706); B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIV i XX (1930), 34; I. Schiper (ed.), Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; M. Zakrzewska-Dubasowa, Parczew w XV–XVIII wieku (1962), 26, 27, 28, 40, 46–48; T. Brustin-Bernstein, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 3, no. 1–2 (1950), 51–78.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.