March 2007

Stories and Photographs from Rohatyn: Past and Present

We've collected a number of photographs of Rohatyn and we hope you enjoy viewing them. If you have one that's especially pertinent, please feel free to send it along (either as a photo or in jpeg format). Please email Phyllis Kramer.

A Recent Trip to Rohatyn and Photographs of the Holocaust Memorial

by Linda Cantor

My maternal grandmother left her home shtetl, Bukaczowze, in what was Austria-Hungary and is now Ukraine, in 1910. This past May, 2001 I had the opportunity to visit it and explore my personal history, on a trip that included visits to Cracow, Lviv, Poninka, Polonnoye, (my grandfather's towns) and Kiev as well as the Galician towns of my grandmother, Pauline. Plaque at cemetery

We stayed in Ivano-Frankivsk, Stanislau in my grandmother's time, as a base to explore Galicia. From there, we drove through Burstyn and Rohatyn on our way to my grandmother's town of Bukaczowze. In Rohatyn we visited the Holocaust memorial on the site of the mass grave, where most of my grandmother's siblings and their families were slaughtered in 1942. The Holocaust memorial is in the middle of a field, on the outskirts of Rohatyn.

There is one marker, in Cyrillic, which commemorates the Soviet citizens who died during World War II, with no mention of Jews. The more recent monument, put up by Israelis, commemorates the Plaque at cemetery 3500 Jews from Rohatyn and surrounding communities who were killed by the German in March 1942.
Plaque at cemetery

My relatives who died at this spot were among those 3500. I grew up knowing their names and faces from family photos. I am named for one of my great-aunts and there I was standing at her grave. I don't have the words to tell you how I felt. As a history teacher I have taught the story of the Holocaust countless times. As a genealogist I have thought about it many times. But standing at that place where my Mandel family was actually killed brought it home in a way that nothing else ever has.

The Jewish cemetery stands on a hill a little nearer to town. There are only a few stones left and they are largely illegible. The monument on the cemetery Plaque at cemetery site reads " In commemoration of the Jewish community of Rohatyn and its surrounding areas that had lived for 600 years and was brutally annihilated by the German Nazis during the years of 1941-1944." It also indicates that the tombstones were destroyed by the Nazis, during the war.

The Memorial

In 1998 the Israeli Landsmanshaften society wrote to the Mayor of Rogatin to request permission to place a monument in the town. They also wanted to clean up and fence in the old and "new" cemetery sites and the two areas of mass graves (from the Aktions of 1942). These areas were all neglected. The mayor responded positively and met with members of the society. By 1999 the Israeli society collected over $2000 and had a promise of a large donation from an ex-Rohatyner.The monument was erected, and there was a ceremony held in Rohatyn. If you are interested, questions and/or checks can be sent to Israel % Fishel Kirshen, 34 Yonathan Street, Zahala, Tel Aviv 69081.

A Sentimental Reunion

by Kuba Glotzer

This photograph at left is of Kuba Glotzer Kuba Glotzer, a native of Rohatyn, who returned in June 1998 with his family. The photograph was taken at the monument in Rohatyn and sent to us for publication on this web page.

Kuba lost his entire family in Rohatyn during the Holocaust. He was ordered with few other young men from the ghetto, to bury the victims of the March 20th massacre. When it was suggested that he could look for his cousins, with tears in his eyes he said "I buried my cousins in the mass grave where the monument is erected, the one in the photo".

At the liquidation of the Rohatyner Ghetto, Kuba escaped to the woods and survived.

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The Kahal Office in 1938by Howard Steinmetz

These are photographs of the Kahal Office in Rohatyn in 1938. There are two persons that seem to appear in both photos of the Kahal office. Can you find them? One is the man with the cigarette in his right hand in the first photo and standing on the ladder in the Kahal 1 400x271second.

It is interesting to note the seemingly large number of record books (with labels identifying the contents) appearing on the shelves in the cabinets behind the people.

The Second photo appears to be the older of the two photos. And, do note two the small padlocks on the upper doors. Kahal2 44x254

My grandfather, Wolf Steinmetz mentions in a letter of September 1939 that there were two individuals who were involved in packing up the Jewish Court records in preparation to evacuate the records to Sansk (I'm not sure what Sansk means). He named a Mr. Stein and Seligen. Seligen was the person traveling by rail accompanying the records, on the way to Chadrow (which i believe means Chodorow, the next larger train station going west).

However, it is unclear of what became of the records. Seligen was trying to get the records via the circuitous rail route, which was under bombardment, to safety in Stanislaus. He made it to Stryj, and then beyond Bolechow. The train had to back up to Bolechaw where the Polish authorities freed Seligen and permitted him to go back to Stryj; at the time my grandfather's letter was written he was with the Poles in Stryj. I have no indication at all of what eventually happened to the vital historical records of the Rohatyn Jewish Community!

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Photographs from the Yizkor Book

courtesy Herman Skolnik and Phyllis Kramer Yizkor photo yizkor photo

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And lastly, some street scenes taken recently in Rogatin

Present Day Rohatyn Street Rohatyn Street
(courtesy Joan Krotenberg)

A contempory Bus Stop (courtesy a Ukrainian Web Site). bus stop in rohatyn

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The Cemetery

Rohatyn  Cemetery

The cemetery photograph on the left was donated by Howard Steinmetz. Howard said: "This photo was taken in the Jewish Cemetery in Rohatyn in 1918 by my father. I have seen a photo taken by a recent visitor from a similar prospective; the stones are all gone, the trees are all gone; only the church spires in the background are still there, along with our blessed memories of the Jewish Community.

The US Commission Report

In 1992 the US Commission reported on all the cemeteries in Poland and the Ukraine. The report included the following information on Rogatin:

The cemetery is in the NorthEastern section, near the stadium. The last known Jewish burial was in 1940; It was used mainly by Hasidic Jews. The cemetery is located on a hillside, isolated, marked by no sign or marker; entrance is off a public road; it has no wall,gate or fence; it is used as dump. The cemetery has less than 20 stones, most toppled or broken. Vegetation overgrowth is a constant problem, disturbing graves. Today there are fewer than 10 Jews in Rogatin. (The form was completed by Jewish communite of Kolesnik Victor Pavlovich [ph:(03422)34894].

The photograph of the gravestone below is from the Jewish Cemetery in Rohatyn Rohatyn  Cemetery
(source: Joan Krotenberg).

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One More Cemetery

Before we complete our information on cemeteries, I wish to share with you an photograph of a Jewish graveyard in the Ukraine. Although this photograph is not from Rohatyn, instead from Chernovitz, when I saw it, and purchased a copy, I felt compelled to talk with the photographer. I asked him if I could add this photograph to my Rohatyn web site, as it evoked in me a strong sense of the history, the warmth and the sadness of European Jewish graveyards. Yuri agreed.

From a short biographical sketch, I extracted the following:
"Yuri Lev was born in Leningrad, Russia and spent the greater part of his life living in Moscow. He traveled all across the Soviet Union ...in 1985 ... established his own studio, where he taught...photography. His works appeared in major publications such as Life and The New York Times Magazine as well as other American and Russian magazines.

In America, where he has been living since 1990, Yuri Lev continued professional photography, while working as a computer programmer. In 1999 he decided to once again devote his full time to photography. He now resides in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with his wife, daughter and two cats. Cemetery

Now, isn't that an amazing photograph!

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The EICHELs of Rohatyn by Phyllis Kramer

My great grandmother Dora EICHEL was born in Rohatyn in 1862. Dora married Reuven LINDNER (photo circa 1893). Dora's father, Anschel EICHEL was a tailor who specialized in making uniforms for the Pravoslav priests and monks. We can trace the Eichels back to Yitzhak Eichel, who lived in Hamburg at the end of the 18th century; he was a scholar who published a textbook of the Yiddish language and was a pupil of the German philosopher Kant.

Here is the family tree: Anschel EICHEL married Beile BERLIN in Rohatyn around 1850. Their children were:


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The Faust Family Kappella from Rohatyn, 1912

by Alexander Feller, August 2005 Do any Rohatyner decscendents have any pictures of musicians in their personal collections? I have many pictures from Rohatyn of relatives that also contain persons that I can not identify and may be just friends. For instance, the musical group below. faust 440x237
Those I can identify are, from top right to left: David Faust (violin), Itsik Hersch Faust (flute), unknown (the badken), Yankel Faust (trumpet), Mendal Bass (bass), and Mautra Schmiel Faust (clarinet). Sitting from right is Wolf Zimbler (viola), Moses Faust (violin). This photo is a scan from the original photo and handed down through my Faust relatives. If you have any photos of these musicians playing other than this one, I woud be interested in viewing them. Any information into the identities of the bassist, the badken, or Wolf Zimbler, please relay that to me
Alexander Feller

The attached playbill is for a play called "The Big Lottery" written by Sholom Alichem and performed in 1924 in Rohatyn. The play was directed by Jack Faust and actors included other playbill
members of the Faust family such as Max, Kalman, and Bertha. Listed on the play are other actors and contributors from Rohatyn. This photo is courtesy of the Faust Family Collection. Alexander Feller August 2007

One last note: the nearby town of Bukachevtsy also has a shtetlinks site, and there are quite a number of wonderful photos of the Blitz family recently added by the author of that page (Cipora Blitz's mother was a Faust from Rohatyn and her father a Blitz from Bukachevtsy); to see them go to: http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Bukaczowce/Blitz.htm.

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Jack Glotzer's Family

by Beatrice Walzer Glotzer, February 2007

My children and grandchildren are very interested in reading about their roots. In the Yizkor Book there is an article by Jack's Uncle Zev Barban. Too bad that Jack is not alive to read it. In his immediate family, Jack was the only survivor after the Holocaust. He gave his testimony to the Shoah Spielberg foundation . The copy of his biography could be found in Yad Vashem and also in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jack’s entire family came from Rohatyn. He told us:

My maternal grandparents, Leah and Kalman Yankel Barban lived and died in Rohatyn. My father Meyer Glotzer emigrated to the United States. My mother Toba Barban Glotzer perished in the holocaust along with my uncles/aunts Morris Barban and Golda and Wolf Rappaport. Zissel and Joseph Loew immigrated to the US.

My brothers Samuel and Moshe Glotzer perished in the Shoa, along with my aunts and uncles Iser and Esther Glotzer, Jack and Goldie Glotzer, Malka Glotzer Altman, and Malka Glotzer. Uncle Max Altman came to the United States, along with aunts Chane Kuperman, Rose Altman, Jeni Hecht and Charne Schwartz.

Thank you very much Bea.
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Rohatyn Genealogical Records

The following was sourced Rohatyn Business Directories, Rohatyn Tax Rolls, JRI-Poland, Private Researchers LDS microfilms and Miriam Weiner’s database (details below the table):

Item Repository/SourceDetails Comments
Voters ListLDS microfilm1870Indexed and on Our Surname Listing
Business DirectoryJewishGen1923Indexed and on Our Surname Listing
Galician Business DirectoryJewishGen1891 Indexed and on our Surname Listing
Army/Military Record State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk1900-1908; 1919-1923
Army/Military Record Historical Archives-Lviv 1849-1945 Hired Researcher 10/08 for inventory
Birth AGAD-Warsaw 1859-1881; 1884; 1898-1905; 1914; 1922; 1934; 1938-1939 JRI-P has indexed 1859-1881;1889
Birth USC-Warsaw 1906-1922; 1931-1939
Death AGAD-Warsaw 1877-1886; 1914; 1938-1939 JRI-P has indexed 1877-1886, 1887-1898
Death USC-Warsaw 1899-1942
Voter Lists State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1933; 1938
Immigration Records State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1919-20
Migration – to Israel (alijah passports) Jewish Historical Institute-Warsaw 1929-1939
Holocaust Records State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1941-1945
Index State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1918-1937 (poviat)
Kahal/Jewish Community Records State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1920-1939; 1921-22,1935-8(poviat)
Land/Business OwnersState Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1926-7 1924-7(poviat)
Property Records Historical Archives-Lviv 1785-1788; 1819-1820; 1822; 1846-1879; 1880 Hired Researcher 10/08 for inventory
Marriage AGAD-Warsaw 1923; 1925; 1927; 1935; 1938-1939
Marriage USC-Warsaw 1908-1912; 1923; 1925; 1927; 1935; 1938-1939
Police/KGB Files State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1920-1930; 1919-1938(poviat)
Reference/Address B ooks State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1926-1927 1926-7(poviat)
Jewish School Students Historical Archives-Lviv` 1923-1939 Hired Researcher 10/08 for inventory
Jewish School Students State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1908-1913; 1919-1939; 1861-1939(poviat)
Jewish Workers State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1937-1939; 1921-1938(poviat)
Local Govt Docts State Archive-IvanoFrankovsk 1933-8; 1907-1923(poviat)

Archive Information and Notes

  1. Our Surname Listing contains over 650 surnames including an alphabetical listing of Surnames from
    • Ancestry manifests from Rohatyn
    • N.Y. 1942 Draft Cards
    • the 1891 Galician Business Directory, the 1923 Rohatyn Business Directory,
    • the 1870 Tax Rolls, and
    • Results of Privately hired researchers. ( at http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/rohatyn/RohatynNamesCD.htm#SURNAME)
  2. Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation Great database of vital records in the Ukrainian Archives (http://www.Rtrfoundation.org)
  3. Poviat refers to the area around Rohatyn
  4. Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv Soborna Pl., 3-a; Lviv, 79008 Ukraine; Tel: 380/322/72-30-63; Fax: 380/322-72-35-08 E-mail: archives@cl.lv.ukrtel.net
  5. AGAD (Archives of Ancient Acts) ul. Dluga 6, skr. poczt. 1005; Warszawa 00-950, Poland Tel: 48/22/831-5491; Fax: 48/22/831-1608 e-mail: archagad@poczta.onet.pl http://www.archiwa.gov.pl/index.eng.html
  6. Jewish Historical Institute ul. Tlomackie 3/5;Warszawa 00-090, Poland; Tel: 48/22/827-92-21; Fax: 48/22/827-8372 e-mail: secretary@jewishinstitute.org.pl http://www.jewishinstitute.org.pl Urzad Stanu Cywilnego w m. st. Warszawie Archiwum ul. Smyczkowa 14; Warszawa 02-678 Poland Tel: 48/22/847-4821; Fax: 48/22/847-6062
  7. State Archives of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast [Derzhavnyi arkhiv Ivano-Frankivskoi oblasti] 42a Sahaidachnoho, 76006 Ivano-Frankivsk Tel/Fax: (03422) 4-90-77; 6-38-16 E-mail: daifo@il.if.ua
  8. Jewish Records Indexing-Poland A wonderful collection of vital record indexes available from the AGAD archives in Warsaw; online at http://www.jewishgen.org/JRI-PL/jriplweb.htm

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