Sambor

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SAMBOR

SAMBOR , town in Lvov oblast, Ukraine; annexed by Poland in 1349; from 1772 to 1918 under Austrian rule (eastern Galicia); and from 1918 until 1939 once more under Polish rule. Jews came as settlers to the recently acquired land in the 15th century. Some engaged in trading salt, which was mined in the region of the town, while others were tax-farmers. In 1542 the townsmen of Sambor obtained a royal privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis which was ratified by Queen Bona in 1551, and Jews were moved to the suburb of Blich. In the middle of the 17th century the municipal authorities of Sambor prevented Jewish merchants and craftsmen from entering the town and endeavored to expel the Jews from Blich, where there was an organized community under the jurisdiction of that of *Przemysl, but they were allowed to remain on payment of an indemnity, guaranteed by the Przemsyl community (1682). A privilege granted by King Augustus ii in 1725 authorized the Jews to reside in the area controlled by the fortress of Sambor and placed them under the jurisdiction of the royal governor. The king also permitted them to trade freely and to maintain a synagogue, a cemetery, and one slaughterhouse. This privilege was ratified by King Augustus iii in 1740. Permission to build a synagogue was officially granted in 1763; this magnificent building, which took a number of years to complete, remained standing until World War ii. In 1764 the Jewish community numbered 513 persons. At the close of the 18th century there was a Jewish press in Sambor which specialized in printing calendars. In the 1790s the Austrian authorities ordered a reduction in the size of the Jewish quarter. Throughout the 19th century Hasidism exerted a powerful influence on the community.

The Jewish population of Sambor numbered 2,129 (42% of the total population) in 1880, rose to 3,072 (48%) in 1900, and 4,073 (38%) in 1910, decreasing slightly to 4,067 (42%) in 1921. The majority earned a livelihood as small craftsmen and shopkeepers, while the wealthy families engaged in the wholesale trade of wood and cereals. At the beginning of the 20th century the municipal council was headed by a Jewish delegate, Dr. Steierman. A Jewish commercial school, which received government recognition, was founded at that time. There was also a Jewish hospital and a hostel for Jewish students of the local high school, where 150 Jewish youths studied in 1910. At the end of 1918, a Jewish national council was established. Between the two world wars *Tarbut and Beth Jacob schools functioned in the town. Zionist parties and organizations played a considerable role in the Jewish public life of Sambor. According to the 1931 census, there were 6,068 Jews in Sambor. Estimates for 1939 put the number of Jews at about 8,000.

[Meir Balaban and

Arthur Cygielman]

Holocaust Period

When war broke out, a wave of refugees from further west came to Sambor. During the period of Soviet occupation, which lasted from the end of September 1939 until the end of June 1941, Jewish communal activities were banned, the only exception being the synagogues, which continued to function while paying heavy taxes. In the summer of 1940 hundreds of Jews were deported to the Soviet Union. When war with Germany broke out in June 1941, many young Jews from Sambor joined the Soviet Army. When the city fell to the Germans (July 1, 1941), about 100 Jews were immediately killed by the Ukrainians, with German support. In the winter of 1941–42 the able-bodied Jewish men were sent to labor camps to work on road constructions. Many of them succumbed to the harsh conditions. In March 1942 an open ghetto was established in the suburb of Blich, into which Jews from Sambor district and the vicinity were brought. The Judenrat was headed by Dr. Schneitscher.

The first mass Aktion took place on Aug. 4, 1942, when 4,000 Jews were "selected" and sent to *Belzec death camp. On September 4 about 100 aged persons were executed; 2,000 Jews were sent to Belzec, followed by 3,000 on October 17, and more on October 22. On Dec. 1, 1942, the ghetto was closed down. A small number of remaining Jews were sent to the labor camp of Janowska, in Lvov. At the beginning of 1943 there was an attempt to organize a Jewish underground. A group of young Jews, one of whose most active members was Artur Sandauer (d. 1989), acquired firearms, and began training in the area of the Jewish cemetery. A series of Aktionen carried out by the Nazis interfered with the preparations for active resistance: on March 14, 1943, the remnants of the Jewish community were brought to the Jewish cemetery. Mothers were ordered to put their children in a central open space, where they were forced to watch them being shot. Nine hundred persons were killed on this day. Two months later 1,200 Jews were murdered. An attempt by some Jews to leave the ghetto through sewage canals was thwarted. By July 1943 the Jewish community of Sambor ceased to exist, and the city was declared "judenrein." The last remaining Jews were executed in a forest near Radlowice. In the summer of 1944, 165 Jews in hiding were found and executed. When the Russians occupied the city in August 1944, a handful of Jews were still alive. No Jewish community was reestablished.

[Aharon Weiss]

bibliography:

Halpern, Pinkas, 282, 285, 286, 288; Warsaw, Archiwum Glówne Akt Dawnych, Ksiegi kanclerskie, no. 26, Przywilej Augusta iiiiii (= cahjp, Ḥm 2703/1); A. Eisenbach et al., Żydzi a powstanie styczniowe, matreriały i dokumenty (1963), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 118, 128, 147, 152, 157; I. Schiper, Studya nad stosunkami gaspodarczymi Żydów w Polsce podczas średniowiecza (1911), index; M. Balaban, Dzieje Żydów w Galicji i Rzeczypospolitej Krakowskiej 1772–1868 (1916), index; Brustin-Bernstein, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 6 no. 3 (1953), 45–100.