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Ropczyce

ROPCZYCE

ROPCZYCE (Yid. Ropshits ), town in Rzeszow province, S.E. Poland; in the period between the two world wars in Cracow province, W. Galicia. Jews settled in the town soon after its foundation. King Sigismund iii Vasa (1587–1632), complying with the demands of the townsmen who wanted to remove Jewish competition, prohibited Jews from residing in Ropczyce, excepting those who leased the crown taxes. The prohibition was annulled by King John ii Casimir in 1662, and subsequently Jews again settled in Ropczyce, numbering 663 by 1765. During the 19th century the Jewish population increased, by 1909 numbering 1,054 (29.4% of the total population). It decreased during World War i and had dwindled to 311 (10%) in 1921. At the beginning of the 19th century, Ḥasidism had a strong influence in the community. The celebrated Ẓaddik, Naphtali Ẓevi (*Ropshitser), established his "court" in Ropczyce. A report of the head of the police in *Lvov (1827) mentions Rabbi Asher of Ropczyce, and also states that the influence of Ḥasidism had diminished.

[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

On Sept. 7, 1939, Ropczyce was occupied by the Germans. They immediately set fire to the synagogues including their Torah scrolls, and proceeded to confiscate Jewish property, deny Jews the rights of citizens, and send them to forced labor. In the spring of 1942 some of the Jewish males were transferred to the Pustkow labor camp. On June 22, 1942, a ghetto was established in Ropczyce where the Jews suffered from overcrowding, hunger, and disease. On July 2, 1942, they were deported. The aged and sick were shot near the city, and the others sent to the *Belzec death camp.

[Aharon Weiss]

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