CZARNIECKI, STEFAN° (1599–1665), Polish army commander and leader of popular resistance to the Swedes in the wars with Charles X of Sweden (1655–60). In the fighting against the Protestant Swedes, Czarniecki's units, fired by Catholic fervor, attacked the Jews in many places through which they passed. They devastated synagogues and massacred important communities in Greater and Lesser Poland. A number of Jews perished as martyrs for their faith. These persecutions accelerated Jewish emigration from Poland westward. While a hero to the Poles, Jewish sources refer to Czarniecki as the ẓorer (enemy), rasha (cruel evildoer), or talyan (hangman) of Poland.
Dubnow, Hist Russ, 1 (1916), index; L. Lewin, Die Judenverfolgungen im zweiten schwedisch-polnischen Kriege (1901). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Balaban, Historja i literatura zydowska, III (1925), 270–71.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.