Josef Feuer, 1925-2002
It is with great sorrow that we note the passing of Josef Feuer, the last surviving pre-World War II Jew living in Stryy.
Josef was born in Stryy in 1925. His father, Israel Feuer, was chief accountant at the "Sabor" sawmill in Stryy. In June 1941, Josef escaped Stryy on one of the last trains before the German occupation of the town. During the German occupation, both of his parents and his sister were killed.
Josef served in the Soviet army and returned to Stryy in 1948. In 1954 he graduated from Lviv University and served as a law adviser until 1967. After that time, he was manager of an agency for the sale of newspapers and magazines, retiring in 1991. He is survived by a daughter living in Odessa, Ukraine.
Josef's apartment was a regular stop for Jews from around the world making visits to Stryy, and he served as a gracious tour guide for many of us. In his later years, realizing that he was the only remaining pre-war Jew in Stryy, he frequently referred to himself as "the Last of the Mohicans". Those of us who had the good fortune to visit him will always remember his friendliness, enthusiasm, humor, and interest in our genealogical and historical studies of Stryy.
Josef Feuer will be deeply missed, both by those who were fortunate enough to meet him, and by those who indirectly benefited from the knowledge and stories he passed on.
Stryy was first populated by Jews in the late 1500's. The first synagogue was built in 1660. After Poland was partitioned, Stryy became part of the Austrian Empire in 1772, at which time there were about 440 Jewish families in the town and suburbs. After World War I, Stryy was part of the area that became a free and sovereign Poland. The town had a Jewish population s 10,988 in 1921 and about 12,000 in 1939.
The Germans occupied Stryy on July 2, 1941, and hundreds of
Jews were immediately killed. In November 1941, 1,200 Jews were shot in
the Holobotow forest. Several depotations to extermination camps took
place beginning in September, 1942. Between June and August of 1943 the
Stryy ghetto and labor camps near the town were liquidated. When the
Soviet army occupied Stryy in August, 1944 there were only a few Jewish
survivors. No Jewish community was re-established.
Update: Until 2001, no memorial had been established to commemorate the thousands who were killed at Hobotlow. Due to the generosity of Prof. Adam Zielinski, a former resident of Stryy, a memorial has been placed at the spot. In 2006, Dr. Zielinski arranged for improvements to the monument. A detailed article describing the placement of the memorial can be viewed at "Memorial to the Martyrs of Holobotow".
More historical information about Stryy can be found in the section A History of Stryy, from the book Chasydzi of The Past: The Story of Stanislawowsko-Kolomyjsko-Stryjska Lands, by Kamil Baranski.
Updated by MFK September 17, 2013
Copyright © 1999-2013 Mike Kalt