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KRASNIK (Pol. Kraśnik ), town in Lublin province, E. Poland. Jews are first mentioned in 1531 as merchants trading with *Gdansk and visiting the Lublin fairs. In 1587 they were granted the right of residence by the ruler of the town, Prince Alexander Slucki. The steady increase in the Jewish population caused the lord of the manor to decree in 1654 that Jews were to reside only in the street where the synagogue was being built. In the 18th century the Krasnik community always provided one of the three elders for the *councils of the Lublin province. The community numbered 1,353 persons in 1765 (921 in the town itself). The majority of the Jewish artisans were tailors. The Krasnik community numbered 1,778 (55% of the total population) in 1857, 3,261 (49%) in 1897, and 4,200 (51%) in 1921.

Holocaust Period

Over 5,000 Jews lived in Krasnik before the outbreak of World War ii. The German army entered the town in September 1939 and established a ghetto in August 1940. On April 12, 1942, around 2,000 Jews were deported to Belzec. The next deportations to Belzec took place on November 1, when another 2,700 were sent to Belzec. Others were employed in local labor camps. A few hundred fled into the forests, but most of them were shot by Germans. In the vicinity of Krasnik, a few Jewish guerilla units were organized, including the unit under the command of Abraham Braun ("Adolf ") and the unit called "Berek Joselewicz" under the command of Eduard Forst.


Halpern, Pinkas, index; R. Mahler, Yidnin Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; B. Wasiutyáski, Ludność żydowska w Polsce… (1930), 33; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, s.v.; R. Przegaliński, Opowiadania o Kraśniku (1927); T. Wierzbowski, Matricularum Regni Poloniae Summaria, 4 (1910–17), no. 16175; Warsaw, Archiwum Głóne Akt Dawnych, Dyspartymenta pogłónego zydowskiego, no. 2; T. Brustiń-Bernstein, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 3:1–2 (1950), 51–78, passim. add. bibliography: Sefer Krasnik (1973); J. Bartys, O zydowskim osadnictwie rolniczym w Ordynacji Zamojskiej w pierwszej polowie 19w. bŻih, 15–16 (1955).

[Stefan Krakowski]