KOMARNO

KOMARNO, town in Lvov district, Ukraine. When the town was granted municipal status in 1555, Jews settled there. Construction of the synagogue was begun in 1620, and the cemetery was established in 1644. During the 1648 Cossack uprising of chmielnicki , the Jews of Komarno and the townspeople together successfully defended the town against them. The rabbi in 1666 was Isaiah Segal, the son of the author of Turei Zahav. In 1686, Eliakim b. Jacob Melammed of Komarno published a Hebrew grammar, Leshon Limmudim. During the rabbinate of Saul Margalioth (1754–73), the influence of Hasidism was felt in the community. In 1765 there were 686 poll-tax paying Jews in the town and 844 in the neighboring villages. Their main sources of livelihood were tailoring, shopkeeping, trade in livestock and wood, the leasing of estates, and brandy distillation. Toward the end of the 18th century, a second synagogue was erected. At the beginning of the 19th century, the "court" of the ẓaddik R. Alexander, a disciple of Jacob Isaac Horowitz ha-Ḥozeh of Lublin , was established in Komarno. The dynasty of ẓaddikim of the safrin family remained in the town until the Holocaust (the last ẓaddik, R. Baruch Safrin, perished in the Holocaust). As a result of the development of crafts and the trade in agricultural produce, the Jewish population of Komarno increased in the 19th century; in 1880 it numbered 2,161 (40% of the total population) and in 1910, 2,716 (44%). During World War I the Russian invasion brought sufferings; 17 Jews were murdered, and 50 were taken hostage. After 1918 and for a number of years, the municipal council was headed by a Jew. According to the Polish census of 1921, there were 2,004 Jews (25% of the population) in the town, and 2,387 in 1931. In the interwar years, Zionist organizations were active and Jewish educational and cultural institutions functioned in the town. The U.S. Yiddish writer, Kalman Heisler, was born in Komarno. (Aharon Weiss) -Holocaust Period Before the outbreak of World War II there were 2,500 Jews in Komarno. The German army entered the town on Sept. 17, 1939, but, according to the German-Soviet agreement, it withdrew after two weeks when the Red Army entered. With the Soviet regime, all Jewish communal life stopped, and shops and industrial premises were nationalized. The town was again captured by the Germans on June 30, 1941, and a ghetto and a Judenrat were established there. The first Aktion took place on Oct. 24, 1941, when hundreds of prominent Jews were killed. During the winter of 1941/1942 about 400 Jews died of hunger. The second Aktion took place on Nov. 6, 1942, when about a thousand Jews were deported to the belzec death camp . The remaining few hundred were crowded into a few small houses, and in December 1942 deported to Rudki ghetto, and were killed there, together with the Jews of Rudki, on April 9, 1943. After the war, the Jewish community of Komarno was not reconstituted. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Wroclaw, Zakład im. Ossolińskich, 2494/II (= CAHJP, ḤM 661); Cracow, Wojewódzkie archiwum państwowe, Zbiory Czartoryskich, no. 519 (= CAHJP, ḤM 2747); M. Berensohn, Dyplomataryusz dotyczący Żydów w Polsce (1910), no. 53; Halpern, Pinkas, index; N.N. Hannover, Yeven Meẓulah (1949), 63; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 117; M. Balaban, Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Frankit, 1 (1934), 29; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; B. Yashar (Schluehter), Beit Komarno: Korot ha-Ir ve-Toledoteha me-Hivvasedah ve-ad Ḥurbanah (1965).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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