OLESKO, town in Tarnopol district, Ukraine (E. Galicia). Twelve buildings in Olesko were owned by Jews in 1628. The provincial council of *Bratslav (see *Councils of Lands) convened here in the 18th century. In 1765, 771 Jewish taxpayers were registered in Olesko and its "boroughs." The Jewish population numbered 832 (20% of the total) in 1910, and 636 in 1920 (10.7% of the total population). Noted rabbis who lived in Olesko include Ze'ev (Wolf) b. Samuel, author of Ḥiddushei ha-Razah (Zolkiew, 1771). *Ḥasidism had a following in Olesko which was the residence of ẓaddikim; one of them opposed the establishment of a modern Jewish school there by the *Israelitische Allianz of Vienna; it was eventually opened in 1910 after a fierce struggle.
[Nathan Michael Gelber]
In 1931 some 600 Jews lived in Olesko. Soon after the outbreak of World War ii and until June–July 1941 the whole of the district of Tarnopol, in which Olesko was situated, was under Soviet administration. After the Nazi occupation the town belonged to the "District Galizien" created in August 1941 by the German authorities and incorporated into the General Government. The majority of the 472 Jews remaining in Olesko were deported to the *Belzec concentration camp on Aug. 28, 1942. A Jewish labor camp, where "selected" men were employed by the Nazis, was situated in the town or in its vicinity; it was liquidated in June 1943.
T. Brustin-Bernstein, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 6:3 (1953), passim.