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Busk, Ukraine

Busk is a small town in Ukraine (E. Galicia); in Poland until 1772 and from 1918 to 1939. Jews were known there before the 16th century. In 1518 the king exempted them from taxes for one year as they had suffered from Tatar raids. In the first half of the 18th century Busk was known as a Shabbatean center (see *Shabbetai Ẓevi ), and later King Augustus III assigned the town as a residence for Frankists. Naḥman b. Samuel of Busk represented the Frankists in the disputation at Kamenets-Podolski in 1756. Jacob *Frank himself stayed for a while in Busk, leaving there in 1759 to take part in the disputation at Lvov. There were about 481 Jews living in Busk in 1765, about 2,000 in 1909, and 1,460 in 1921.

Holocaust Period

About 1,900 Jews lived in Busk when German forces entered in July 1941. Jews were immediately kidnapped for slave labor; the free movement in public of Jews was restricted, and Jews were physically attacked. A *Judenrat was set up, headed by Isaac Margalit. It attempted to organize the Jews for the emergency, in particular by ensuring work for the entire community, in the belief that thereby deportation could be avoided. The Germans carried out the first Aktion on Yom Kippur 1942 (Sept. 21), executing around 700 Jews in a village near Zloczow. In November a ghetto was set up for all the Jews in the area. A resistance movement, headed by Jacob Eisenberg, collected arms inside the ghetto and made plans for a breakthrough to the forests, but these could not be carried out, because on May 19–21, 1943, the ghetto was liquidated. There is a society of former residents of Busk in Israel and a B'nai B'rith branch in New York comprising former residents of the town.

[Aharon Weiss]


Russko-Yevreyskiy Arkhiv, 3 (1908), 96, 103–4, 126; I. Schipper, Di Kulturgeshikhte fun di Yidn in Poyln beys Mitlalter (1926), index; T. Brustin-Bernstein, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 6 no. 3 (1953), 45–153; Sefer Busk (Heb., Yid., Eng., and Pol., 1965).

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.