The Skala Yizkor Book

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Skala on the River Zbrucz

In 1978, the Skala Benevolent Society (SBS) published a yizkor [memorial] book called Skala. The book was written by the town's (shtetl's) former Jewish residents who either had survived the Holocaust or had been born in Skala andpreviously had emigrated. Its purpose was to honor Skala's Jewish community, which had been annihilated by the Nazis and their cohorts. Most of the contributors to the original book were the survivors themselves, who felt a deep inner compulsion and moral obligation to those who perished, to tell the story of Jewish Skala and to share with their children and future generations their memories of suffering, struggle and loss. The yizkor book was written primarily in Yiddish and Hebrew and was largely inaccessible to many modern researchers, most of whose families came from this shtetl. Skala on the River Zbrucz, a translation of the entire yizkor book into English, now has been published by the Skala Research Group (whose members are investigating their roots in Skala) and the SBS.

Situated in eastern Galicia and once ruled by Austro-Hungary, the town ofSkala was part of Poland during World War II. It now is called Skala Podil'ska and is part of Ukraine. The Skala yizkor book includes articles, photographs, and documents on the history of the town's Jews from the 15th century up to and including the Holocaust, when the Jewish community was completely destroyed. This material recalls a once vibrant shtetl, its people, the environment in which they lived, their hopes, dreams and struggles for survival. The yizkor book also describes the tragic events of the Holocaust, stories of those who survived and provides a list of Skala's Holocaust victims and survivors. The English translation contains a new chapter about the town's righteous gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust, as well as photographs showing Skala as it is today. It is a precious legacy that deserves to be preserved.

The entire yizkor book has been scanned in its original form and may be viewed on the web site of the New York Public Library. Copies of either the original yizkor bookor the 2010 translation into Englishmay be purchased by contacting Skala Shtetl Leader Tony Hausner . This English translation can be downloaded via http://legacy.www.nypl.org/research/chss/jws/pdf/skalapodilska2009.pdf. It is a very large pdf file so it opens slowly.

Click here for the most complete listing of libraries in which the yizkor book may be found.

In 2011, a copy of the translation of the Skala yizkor book was presented by Tony Hausner (Head of the Skala Research Group, on the left) to James Sweany, Head of theLocal History and Genealogy Reading Room of the Library of Congress (on the right).


This page created by Max Heffler
Updated Nov 19, 2012. Copyright 2005 Skala Research Group. All Rights Reserved.