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Snyatyn

SNYATYN

SNYATYN (Pol. Śniatyń ), city in Ivano-Frankovisk district, Ukraine; incorporated in 1340 into Poland, passed to Austria in 1772, and reverted to Poland from 1919 to 1939. Jewish merchants from Poland and the east visited the Snyatyn fairs from the 15th century. An organized community was formed in the mid-16th century; in 1572 Jews owned 11 houses in the town. In 1578 King Stephen Báthory accorded the Jews in Snyatyn the right to trade freely there. In 1628, to strengthen its economy, King Sigismund iii Vasa authorized members of all nations to settle in Snyatyn. At that time the customs collection at the border station was leased by Jews (see *Naḥmanovich). In 1650, after the devastations by the Cossacks under *Chmielnicki (1648–49), the king granted the community a privilege to produce and sell liquor to facilitate their rehabilitation. There were 1,111 Jews living in the town in 1765; 2,333 (22% of the total) in 1880; and 4,386 (36%) in 1910. In 1894 a Jewish school was established, financed by the Baron de Hirsch *Fund; in 1910 it had 186 pupils. The Jewish population numbered 3,248 (31%) in 1921. After World War i, during the period of independent Poland, the Jews in Snyatyn were severely affected by antisemitic agitation and the economic boycott against them. They were compelled to seek the assistance of Jewish relief institutions.

[Shimon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

When the German-Soviet war broke out, Snyatyn was captured by the Hungarian allies of Germany (July 1941). They imposed economic restrictions on the Jews, but prevented violent attacks by the Ukrainian population. In September 1941 the city was transferred to German administration, and the systematic murder of the Jews began. From September to December, hundreds were killed in the nearby Potoczek forest. A ghetto was established in Snyatyn. In April 1942 the first deportation to the *Belzec concentration camp took place. The Jews began to construct bunkers in the hope of taking shelter there during the coming deportations. On Sept. 7, 1942, the ghetto was liquidated and the last of the Snyatyn Jewish community were sent to Belzec. Jewish life was not revived in the city after the war.

[Aharon Weiss]

bibliography:

Halpern, Pinkas, index; R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; M. Bersohn, Dyplomataryusz dotyczący Żydów w Polsce (1910), nos. 152–275, 365; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 124, 131, 155, 157; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index.

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