ROZWADOW, town in Rzeszow province, S.E. Poland. In 1727 there were a synagogue and 30 houses owned by Jews in Rozwadow. According to the 1765 census, there were 333 Jewish poll-tax payers and a further 35 in the surrounding villages. The Jewish population increased rapidly during the second half of the 19th century following the construction of the railway which linked the town with Cracow and Lemberg. In 1880, 1,628 Jews (76% of the total population) lived in the town. The wealthiest among them (known as the Danzig merchants) exported timber by raft to Germany and mobilized peasants of the district for agricultural work in Prussia. The majority of the Jews of Rozwadow earned their livelihood in small trade and crafts such as carpentry, tailoring, shoemaking, the manufacture of soap, and the making of shirts for the peasants. From the middle of the 19th century the rabbis of Rozwadow were descendants of the Ẓaddik Naphtali Hurowic of Ropczyce. In 1910 there were 2,372 Jews (70%) in the town. The president of the Jewish community, Dov Ber Reich, also held the office of mayor (1907–40). From 1900 to 1914, a school founded by the *Baron de Hirsch functioned in the town. On the eve of Shavuot 1915, the Russian army expelled the Jews who had remained in the town and many of them were exiled to Siberia. In the fall of 1918, a Jewish national council headed by Jacob Schreiber was formed in Rozwadow. During the transition period and the first weeks of Polish rule, a Jewish youth group was organized to protect the Jews from rioters. In 1921 the Jewish community numbered 1,790 (66% of the total population). Between the two worlds wars the Zionist movement in Rozwadow gained in strength, and a Hebrew school, a Hebrew library, and the sport clubs "Maccabi," "Judah," and "Trumpeldor" were established.
In 1939 the Jewish population of Rozwadow numbered more than 2,000. On Sept. 24, 1939, the town was captured by the Germans and on October 2 they ordered it to be evacuated within 24 hours. The Jews were deported across the San River into the Soviet-held area of Poland. The deportees dispersed in the Soviet-occupied zone. In the summer of 1940, many were exiled to the Soviet interior. Later Jews were permitted to return to Rozwadow. In September 1940, 400 Jews lived there legally. The first head of the Judenrat was Eliezer Perlman, the second was B. Gorfinkiel. In the summer of 1941, the community had to provide workers for the labor camp at Pustkow.
The final expulsion took place on July 21, 1942. All the Jews in Rozwadow were assembled in the market square; many were killed on the spot, others were placed into railroad cars and taken to Debica, where Jews from the entire vicinity were concentrated. Some were killed in a nearby forest; others were deported to camps at Tarnobrzeg, Pustkow, Rzeszow, Mielec, Stalowa Wola, and other localities. A labor camp was established in Rozwadow. On Sept. 1, 1942, 80 Jews were brought there from Sieniawa, Lezajsk, and the vicinity. As the rate of expulsion of Jews from the vicinity grew, 600 male Jews, mostly from Wieliczka, were brought to the camp. On Sept. 15, 1942, 450 Jews from Wolbrom arrived. Late in 1942, there were more than 1,200 prisoners, including Jews from Przemysl and Rzeszow. The prisoners worked in the steel factories of Stalowa Wola. Working conditions were hard and anyone who could not withstand the physical strain was shot. More than 1,000 Jews died in the camp.
M. Baliński and T. Lipiński, Starożytna Polska (1845), 482; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 118; R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; N. Blumenthal (ed.), Sefer Yizkor Rozvadov veha-Sevivah (Heb. and Yid., 1968), incl. Eng. introd.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.