Table of Contents Yesterday: Life in Krosno Genealogical Resources JewishGen’s Krosno Page Surrounding Towns Families from Krosno Find Fellow Researchers

Welcome to Krosno

and the Krosno Area, which includes nearby Korczyna, Jasienica, Dormaradz, Brzozow, Rymanow and Jaslo! These pages were written for those researching their Jewish ancestry.

Krosno is today a major town and the center of dozens of smaller towns in southern Poland that were once home to many of our Map of Galicia ancestors. Krosno was in Galicia, an Imperial Province of Austria Hungary from 1776 to 1919, then was returned to Poland after Austria lost World War I. Krosno is located at latitude 49° 41´ longitude 21° 47´, 45 miles west of Przemysl, 180 miles south of Warsaw.

From 1975 to 1998 Krosno was the chief city in Krosno Province (see map below); after that the provinces of Poland were reduced from 49 to 16, and so today Krosno is in Podkarpackie Province.

The towns surrounding Krosno are (clockwise, see map below): Jedlicze (6 miles WNW), Jaslo (15 miles WNW), Frysztak (13 miles NW), Korczyna (3 miles North), Strzyzow (13 miles North), Map of Krosno Dubiecko , Domaradz (10 Miles NE), Jasienica Rosielna (9 miles NE), Haczow (5 miles East), Brzozow (10 miles East), Besko (10 miles SE), Zarszyn (12 miles SE), Rymanow (8 miles SE), Iwonicz-Zdroj (5 miles South), Dukla (9 miles SW), Chorkowka (5 miles West) and (Nowy) Zmigrod (12 miles SouthWest) Kolaczyce (18 miles WNW) Most of these towns had large Jewish populations until World War II. Those towns highlighted in blue have web sites dedicated to them which you can visit by clicking on the town name.

If you are visiting this page because your family came from Krosno you might want to read about the surrounding communities too, as in Galicia marriages were most often arranged between families from nearby towns; the young couple moved to one of the family towns. So even if, say, your great grandfather came from Krosno, it is possible that his people came from a neighboring shtetl! Thus on this site you will find information about most of the towns around Krosno.

This page is dedicated to the memory of the Jews of the Krosno Area....in August 1942 almost the entire Jewish population were killed or sent to Belzac. On this page you will find many lists -- 2900 Jewish people who lived in Krosno in the 1940s, and another of those who lived in Korczyna......most of whom perished in this catastrophe; still other lists are of those who survived.

I hope you will find all this interesting and helpful. Please contact either of us if you have photographs or information to add, or any questions by clicking on our names. As with any genealogical research, this is an evolving project.
Phyllis Kramer, New York City & Palm Beach Gardens
William Leibner, Jerusalem, Israel

Page created October 2000; updated May 2016. Copyright © 2000. Since April 2003 you are visitor #:

Please note: This site exists because of your Jewish Gen-erosity. Your tax deductible donation to JewishGen makes these services possible. We spent a great deal of time organizing this information so that your genealogical search might be more rewarding....and you can reward us -- just click on Jewish Gen-erosity.

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Krosno: Yesterday and Today

  • Krosno, History, Life in Krosno, Photographs, Cemetery & Synagogues Krosno photo
  • History of Krosno
  • The Cemetery
  • Photographs Krosno synagogue

  • Historical and Genealogical Sources for the Krosno Area
  • Surrounding Communities: (Visit by clicking on the name of the town) :
  • Other Sites to Visit
  • Family Information available through this Web Page
  • The Holocaust

    This site exists because of your Jewish Gen-erosity. Your tax deductible donation to JewishGen makes these services possible. We spent a lot of time organizing this information so that your genealogical search might be more rewarding....and you can reward us -- just click on Jewish Gen-erosity.

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    Krosno Synagogue

    We have a friend in Poland! I asked for anyone who had a photograph of the Krosno Synagogue. I just received a note from Micha Lorenc from Poland (march 2006), who said: "Dear Phyllis, At the Krosno page you are asking for the pictures of Krosno Synagogue.So, here you are! It’s one picture, bigger view and closer view. I found the two of the at the Polish internet archives. You can easily use them at the page. Best regards from Poland!!"
    krosno synagogue
    Our other friend, in Jerusalem, Bill Leibner, said: "Both photographs show the Krosno Synagogue; one close up and one in the distance. The close photograph is very rare and shows the entire building from the main entrance." krosno synagogue

    And this one, received in 2007 shows another view

    Thank you Micha! Isn't the Internet wonderful???!!!???

    Return to Table of Contents

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    Return to Krosno's Table of Contents

    Recent Krosno Visit

    by Rabbi David Blumenfeld (Descendant of Schiff-Hack Family)

    Krosno was the home of my mother (Esther) and her extended Schiff and Hack family. Fortunately, she and my father (Rabbi Meyer Blumenfeld) came to the U.S. in 1927. Both of their families were brutally murdered back in Krosno and in Kielce (my father’s home) by the Germans.

    In the past, I have had occasion to visit Poland four times (1986, 1987, 1996 and recently in July 2012). On my recent visit to Poland my son, Dr. Hal Blumenfeld, accompanied me. He took notes and some excellent photographs. I am pleased to be sharing some of them with you with the hope that they will prove to be informational. Also, perhaps they will serve as an incentive for us to further communicate with each other and perhaps even organize some sort of Jewish memorial together in Krosno.

    Certainly, as Jewish descendants of Krosno we have a moral obligation to maintain its Jewish cemetery. It is to that cemetery that I draw your attention now. Back in 1986 when I visited the cemetery, its condition was utterly scandalous. A swastika was painted on its rusted entrance gate inside the Jewish star. Sheep were grazing all over the graveyard. Upon viewing the graves more closely, I was shocked and deeply angered to see sheep droppings on whatever gravestones were visible.

    Back in 1986 and again in 1987, I complained about this situation to the Polish Embassy in New York. In 1996 I returned to Krosno with my daughter, Laura (Washington Post writer). We went to the cemetery and it was covered with brambles and bushes. We tore at them with our bare hands to uncover the gravestones that I had previously discovered of my great grandparents, Eliezer Dovid Hack (after whom I am named) and Yehudis Hack. Ironically, the jungle-like condition of the cemetery had come about because there were no longer any sheep present to munch away at the growth. The Polish government had acted on my complaint and that of others no doubt!

    Fortunately, the cemetery is in fairly good condition now. Very much of the credit goes to a young Polish teacher from Krosno. What follows is a description given of his efforts:

    “The change came in 2002 when a group of young Krosnians (Olszowka), under the direction of Gregory Bozka (local teacher and environmental activist) went to work. With a little help from the municipality and the Jewish communities over the next four years until 2005 these young people sweated grubbing bushes and removing rubbish. The renovated the cemetery gate and mounted new and well-secured information boards, removed unimaginable amounts of scrub and cut out tons of rubbish.

    On 3 July 2005, the Embassy of Israel and the Jewish Historical Institute granted Grzegorz Bozkowi an honorary diploma for the activities to protect the heritage of Jewish culture in Poland. "This diploma is granted to extraordinary Poles, Polish organizations and cities, making the discovery of truth for many of the past and build a better future."

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    Krosno has a City Hall (see photo) that contains archival records of births, deaths and marriages. We went there and they found the recorded handwritten entry of my great grandmother’s (Yehudis Hack) date of death. I was able to obtain an official document of the entry from the Records Office. Proviso - you must have an exact date for your inquiry.

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    We met the mayor of Krosno (see photo at right) quite by accident who was out in the rynek (market place square) supervising the removal of the old cobblestone pavement there.

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    As for the synagogue that was located near the river, it was torn down. In its place today is a bankrupt restaurant (see photo below). We were told that any enterprise over the years that was tried at that site ended in failure. Maybe it’s time to restore the synagogue!!

    It was particularly gratifying to actually identify my mother’s childhood home located right off the Rynek. She always said that it was near a church and there it was just as she said! When I happened to ask the elderly person who was leaning out the window at the residence - who had lived there before the war, he said “Rabbiner, Rabbiner”. Well, that “Rabbiner” was my maternal grandfather, Rabbi Chayim Yitzchok Schiff, A”H.

    There is so much more to tell but let this suffice for now.

    Rabbi David L. Blumenfeld. (click on his name to contact the Rabbi)

    Narrative Additions by Hal Blumenfeld

    son of David Blumenfeld

    We walked to 9 Francis Zkanska Street where Esther Blumenfeld lived with her family when she was a girl. Her father was Chaim Yitzhak Schiff, whom I am named after. Esther’s mother was Rezyl (maiden name Hack). Esther Blumenfeld described her family Shabbat table with her father at the head, three girls and the mother on one side of the table and the four boys on the other. She always said there was so much love in their home. She described the Shabbat candles in a candelabra that hung over the middle of the table and could be lowered each week for Shabbat. Esther loved telling stories about her childhood, the countryside, animals (kittens behind her house, cow wondering in town square, etc.). Krosno is way out in the country and Jews were not allowed into town officially until 1900. Before WWII there were only about 6,000 people living in Krosno but about 2,000 of them were Jews. Jews in the area lived before that in neighboring towns including our family (see below). The Hack family was in the timber/lumber business.

    Chaim Yitzchak Shiff was a dayan, and used to travel to serve on batei din in the region. Getzl Schiff (Esther Blumenfeld’s first cousin, patriarch of Schiff family in Israel) told me some stories about Chaim Yitzchak: One time a family with a tavern lost their business because of an inspector. At that time Galicia was part of the Austrian empire under Franz-Josef. Chaim Yitzchak was known to have an excellent persuasive writing style, and also beautiful handwriting. He decided to write to the Tszar Franz Josef on behalf of the tavern owner. By doing this he was likely taking his life into his hands, since no one would dare write to the Tszar. Chaim Yitzchak implored Franz Josef to not leave the tavern owner with no way to support his family. To everyone’s amazement (most of all the inspector) the Tszar wrote back to Chaim Yitzchak, and also ordered the inspector to allow the tavern owner to resume his business. In another story, Chaim Yitzchak was once asked why he only shined the fronts and not the backs of his shoes. He replied that he shone his shoes so he can see them, and did not mind what other people saw on the backs of his shoes. Esther Blumenfeld also said that Chaim Yitzchak once was going on a journey and was worried about being attacked on the way by his fellow passengers in the coach. As he entered the coach he saw that another passenger was wearing a cross, and he felt reassured, since he felt that someone who believes in God would be inclined to do the right thing.

    Esther Blumenfeld told other stories about her childhood in Krosno. She loved to travel to the “big city” Krakow where the fancy stores were, and buildings had the “hoychah fenster” (high windows, meaning high class). One time she was on the train back to Krosno on a Friday when the train was delayed and Shabbat arrived. She would not ride the train on Shabbat so got off in a small town along the way. A poor Jew met her near the station and invited her to spend Shabbat with his family. She described that Shabbat as very depressing because the family lived so poorly, but they were kind to her. After Shabbat she continued on to Krosno, where her family were furious with her for not coming back sooner since they were so worried, but also very relieved to have her home safely. Esther Blumenfeld also described how one time the Yiddish play “The Dybbuk” was coming to town. She and her sisters were excited to go to the show but thought their father would not allow it, so they planned to go after he left for a business trip. Shortly after he left the house they got dressed up for the show and were about to leave when Chaim Yitzchak reentered the house and announced he was not going on the trip after all since he saw that “The Dybbuk” had arrived in town!
    During World War I her family had to move several times.

    One time the Russians came looking for Chaim Yitzchak at their home (probably because as an important man they wanted to get rid of him), possibly at 9 Francis Zkanska Street. Somehow he found out they were coming and so he grabbed his tallis and tefillin and escaped through the second-floor back window. The boys were apparently not home so Reyzl thinking quickly smeared some oil on her face and the girls’ faces, and put cotton in everyone’s mouths and put everyone in one bed. When the Russian’s entered the home they thought the girls and their mother had fever from the mumps and quickly left the house. Another time, either the Russians or possibly Polish anti-Semites came to the house and they were again tipped off and this time the whole family escaped. When they came back to the house some time later they found the whole place ransacked, with the linens cut up and bloodied with goose blood.

    Esther Blumenfeld also described the Synagogue in Krosno which had a river running behind it where she and the other children would play during davening. Esther also told the story of how her parents would not allow her to have pierced ears. So she decided to do it herself, using ice cubes to numb her ears before piercing them with a pin. Even as an adult many years later it was clear that her ear-piercing was not quite a perfectly symmetrical job!

    Esther married relatively late for those days since she was in her late 20s. It is not clear why, possibly because she was independent-minded and particular about whom she married. In retrospect, if she had married younger to a wealthier man she might have never left Poland. Chaim Yitzhak apparently heard about the brilliant young Rabbi Meyer Blumenfeld from Kielce during his travels as a dayan. Esther recalled that when she first saw Meyer Blumenfeld she did not like the fact that he was wearing boots “like a Cossack” (he always admired soldiers). But apparently she got over it, since they were soon married. They had very little money as newlyweds and Rabbi Meyer Blumenfeld did not have a way to make much money in Poland. Esther’s uncle Julius Hack (Reyzl’s brother) had a lucrative furniture business in America and offered to pay for their journey there. Esther appealed to her father to allow them to move to America. He refused, saying that America is a “treyfa medina.” Not one to take no for an answer, Esther went to the town of Dukla near Krosno where there was a renowned Chassidic Rabbi, the Dukla Rebbe. She explained her situation to him and the Dukla Rebbe decided she and her husband should go to America. Esther Blumenfeld relished describing the scene when she returned home and told her father “Heh-heh-heh! We’re going to America!” Her father, furious said “what do you mean you’re going to America?!” She replied “The Dukla Rebbe said we should go to America” to which he had to agree.

    At 9 Francis Zkanska Street in Krosno, we went inside the hallway and looked around on the second floor (where they likely lived), and out in the back. Esther Blumenfeld described living in a house across from a church just off the Rynek (main square) of town; according to my dad during prior visits he investigated and the house at 9 Francis Zkanska Street was the only residence seeming to meet this description; also when my dad on a previous visit inquired from an older neighbor, he said that “Rabina” used to live in the house at 9 Francis Zkanska Street before the war.
    Hal Blumenfeld

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    Photographs from the Polish Digital Archives:

    The Polish National Digital Archives has posted wonderful photographs from some of our shtetls in the 1920s and 1930s. You can search for your shtetl by going to http://www.audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/; put the town name (as it is spelled today) in the box on the upper left hand corner. Each photograph is labeled and dated.

    Our friend Monika, who was born in Poland, has translated some of the captions, but you can do this too, by using poltran at http://www.audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/. Just cut and paste the caption into the search box. The first photograph is Krosno's main square in 1932 < img src="PDAkrosno.jpg" width="800" height="554" hspace=2 vspace=2 align=right">
    Next is a photograph in Jaslo, showing the laying of the cornerstone for a Talmudic school in 1934. In the photograph: Cadik from Bobowa, Ben Zion Halberstam, leader of the kehilla, and Mr. Spirer.
    This 1929 photograph shows Ben Zion Halberstam with his secretaries during his stay at a spa in Truskawiec.

    and this last photograph shows Krosno town leaders Greeting the President of the Polish Republic, Ignacy Moscickiego, in March of 1927.

    The Joint Distribution Committee

    The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) was active in Eastern Europe during the 20th century. Recently the JCC has put its archives online. When you do a search at http://archives.jdc.org/archives-search/, the following surnames come up for Krosno:

    • Bobka, Breitowitz, Burd,
    • Englehardt, Findling, Fleischer, Freff, Fries,
    • Hornik, Kempler, Krill, Kurschner, Kurz,
    • Lindenberg, Michlin, Muschel, Oling,
    • Ranozy, Reizer, Rettig, Rezmovits, Rubenfeld,
    • Sauer, Schildkraut, Spira, Steifel, Steiner, Szklint, Stolina,
    • Tag, Trenczer (multiple),
    • Weissman, Zeman

    Among the documents I found an interesting letter relating the [b]typhoid epidemic in 1921[/b]; the following are excerpts that may be of general interest:

    Information reached my office on May 15th, that an epidemic of typhoid Fever broke out at Krosno, a small town in West Galicia, with a total population of 8,000 of which 2,000 are Jews...There are no hospitals in the city and the patients are being cared for at their homes....The generil sanitary conditions of ths city are primitive and poor. No water system nor sewers are there. Neither can be found a bath house....It was discovered that nearly all persons affected have been using the water from the local river (Wislok) for drinking purposes. The Epidemic was found concentrated among the Jews who dwell around the market place and who were compelled to use river water for their homes because of the fact, that the well Pump situated on the market place was out of order and their non-Jewish neighbours not allowing the Jews to draw water from their wells.

    Upon the recommendation of the city physician, orders were issued by the local authorities prohibiting the use of the river water for consumption and that all private wells should be free for public use. We furnished the Jewish community, under the supervision, of the local Jewish physician, a supply of lime, carbolic acid and corrosive sublimate for disinfectiom...also a supply of 5O suits of underwear, 50 sheets and 50 pillow cases and soap for the use of the patients and their families, also 15,000 Mk. in cash.
    We furnished 300 doses of antityphoid vaccine to the Jewish physician Dr. Siegel for the purpose of Inoculating all the contacts, thereby immunizing them against the disease. Upon my request the Health Commissioner of Krakau furnished Krosno two trained nurses Misses Dobrsanska and Szulgenia who together with our sanitarian Mr, A. Mlrowski, visited the affected families giving than instruction to the care of the sick and how prevent the healthy persons of becoming contaminated and infected
    We also requested the local Jewish Communily to prohibit, for the present, the use of the Mickvah by all persons convalescent from Typhoid fever. The Community was also requested to prepare a plan and budget for the construction of a bath house in Krosno, thereby promising them support in the undertaking.
    signed, Dr Irvin Michlin

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