Editors note: This is an excerpt of pages 219-275 from Zagonczycy Chliborobi, Chasydzi of The Past: The Story of Stanislawowsko-Kolomyjsko-Stryjska Lands (Przemineli zagonczycy, chliborobi, chasydzi). The book was written by Kamil Baranski and was originally published in London in about 1988. Although the section deals with the history of Stryy in general, many sections discuss the Jewish population of the town, and the names of many prominent Jewish citizens are mentioned.
Special thanks to the following people for making the
publication of the material on this web site possible:
The town, on the road from Russia to Hungary, located on the Stryj riverside, falling into the Dniestr river, was settled in the valley, at the foot of East Bieszczady Mountains, part of Karpaty mountain chain. This is the same road that was chosen by Swietoslaw, the son-in-law of the Polish King Boleslaw Chrobry, Prince of Kijev and his large family to escape from his brother. According to old stories, here, not far from Stryj, in what is presently the large village of Siemiginow, Swietoslaw’s seven sons were killed.
We obtain more information about Stryj from 14th century documents. It is known that before this century Stryj was a salt-mining center that attracted people to come to find jobs and to stay. In 1340 the Polish king Kazimierz Wielki left the land with an old ruined castle, which over the years became a fortification. Near Stryj (presently Urycz, before Tustany) another fortified castle was built, which testifies that Stryj was founded as a settlement much earlier than the 14th century. In the coat of arms of the town of Stryj is a shape of a hermit with a walking stick in his hand. According to tradition, Stryj was originally a hermitage, where a church was founded later. A settlement was built around the church, and the hermit on the coat of arms of the town is to commemorate this fact. Beginning in the 7th century, or maybe earlier, this land was occupied by the Duliby nation. According to maps published after World War II by the Ukrainian authorities, the Duliby nation lived on this land through the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th centuries and they were not the one of Russian nations, because the Russians did not come here until the end of the 10th century.
As mentioned above, the first historical written information about Stryj comes from the year 1396, and pertains to the Roman Catholic church in Stryj. In that year, on the 26th of February, Jan, the archdeacon of the Lublin area, passed judgement based on the Pope’s decision, in a dispute about the mill in the village of Zboiska between Jan Rusin, the rector of the parish of Our Lady Mary in Stryj, and the authorities of the town of Lwow. We know that after the death of King Kazimierz Wielki, Grody Czerwienskie was inherited by the Hungarian king Ludwik, and due to this fact, Hungarian soldiers were stationed in a castle in Stryj. They left the castle after 15 years and after many fights. Before his death, the Polish king Kazimierz Wielki rebuilt Tustany castle into a fortress and donated it to the knight Sasso. Members of local nobility took his name as the surname Sas, and also on the coat of arms. The castle in Tustany kept watch over the road from Sambor to Hungary. Tustany was located near the present village of Podchorzec. Stryj was annexed to the voivodship of Przemysl, and the Roman Catholic parish in Stryj became part of the diocese of Przemysl. The administrative district of Stryj is also mentioned in another internal church document—a decision by bishop Piotr from Krakow dated from the year 1398. Stryj was at that time a Royal domesne, which in 1403 was granted by king Wladyslaw Jagiello to his brother Boleslaw Swidrygielo. When he resigned from this Royal gift, the second brother of king Wladyslaw, Prince Fedor Lubowlowicz, obtained the administrative district of Stryj. King Wladyslaw Jagiello equipped the Roman Catholic parish in Stryj.
The parish priest received the village of Chodowice and inn in Uchersk, and the next parish priest received ploughland and one tenth of the nobility property's income in corn. The parish priest received a salary From the local authorities, but despite the proportionally high level of this salary there few persons among the Poles who were willing to become a priest. This made it impossible to establish new Roman Catholic parishes in Polish areas. A lack of Polish churches and Polish parishes was the main reason for the growing influence of Russian habits and traditions among Polish yeomanry and lesser nobility in the Stryj region, and particularly in the Skolszczyzna region, including the villages of Zupanie, Korczyn, Kropiwnik, Monasterzec, Podhorodce, Tustany, Komorniki, Dobrowlany, Jamielnica, Polanica, Stara Sol, and Turza.
The same process was observed in Lawoczne and in part of country along the Hungarian border. At the begining of the 15th century there was a Roman Catholic parish in the village of Niezuchow near Stryj, were nobility with crest of "Sas" lived. In the year 1431, the starost of the Stryj district was Zaklika Tarlo. During his tenure in this post, Stryj was under medieval city law (Magdebur law) and also during the same period of time, the Franciscan convent was built. As early as the 14th century, Jewish people came to Stryj. Zaklika Tarlo, in the process of organizing town activity, encouraged people to settle in the town, promising them land for building houses and roads, as well as free fishing and free lumber for the construction of their first buildings. Moreover, town authorities were allowed to build cloth halls for merchants. All inhabitants of Stryj were released from obligation to pay rent, tributes, and taxes for 10 years.
In the year 1460, King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk confirmed Magdebur law for the town of Stryj and released all citizens from the jurisdiction of voivodes (town governors), castellans (keepers or governors castles), starosts, and other officials. Now they were accountableto the village mayor, who was only subordinate to royal court. All these acts caused a great number of new colonists, particularly of Jewish origin, to decide to settle down in the town, and the town itself became an important trade center located on the road to Hungary.
The 15th and 16th centuries were a period of great improvement for the Polish townspeople of Stryj. It was also a time of significant developement of trade activity. For example, horse fairs in Stryj were so famous that even King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk used to buy horses there.
In the 15th century the castle in Tustany, near Stryj, was part of the property of the Suchywilk de Strzelce de Baranow family. Leonard Suchywilk, a horse captain, was the one of the family members who lived in the castle in the 15th century. This castle and the castle in Stryj, together with mountains and forests, were the natural western border, and sort of a fortification against the enemies. In 1461 the Roman Catholic parish received the baths from the starost Zaklika Tarlo, which was the source of additional income for the town. The next starost of Stryj, after Tarlo, was Andrzej Ossolinski, and the following starost was Jursza from Chorodostowo in 1469. At the end of the 15th century, the chapel of Our Lady Mary was erected in the parochial church in Stryj, and new foundation for the chaplaincy was created.
In 1498 the Polish king Jan Olbracht offered the parish in Stryj to the priests from Przemysl as property with all funds. The starosty (a castle and domain conferred on a nobleman for life –ed.) of Stryj was a gift from King Jan Olbracht to the Paniowski family for their loyalty during the Bukowinska catastrophy. After that, other unfavorable events took place in Stryj. In 1509 the town was destroyed by the Moldavian hospodar; then in 1515 it was fired on by Tatars and Turks, and in 1523 was again attacked by Tatars.
In 1527 King Zygmunt repealed the court of first instance in Stryj. The Paniowski family continued the starosty of Stryj until 1549; then it went to the Tarnowski family. After 1579 this post went to the Blyszczynski family. While the Tarnowski family fulfiled duties of the starosty post, the castle in Stryj was fortified with cannons from Lwow.
The castle in Tustany remained in hands of the Suchywilk de Strzelce de Baranow family.
In 1500, Mikolaj Przytocki erected a parish, and built a church in Sokolow, a small village near Stryj. In 1550, Waclaw Dzieduszycki and his son Jerzy were the owners of Sokolow and a nearby small village, Dzieduszyce. Between 1575 and 1604, Jerzy was also the governor of the castle of Lubaczow. Sokolow remained the property of the Dzieduszycki family up to World War. II In 1567, Stryj authorities prohibited Jewish people from settling in the city, but in fact, Jews were part of the Stryj population in the 16th century.
In 1570 the estates of Stryj and the starosty went to the hands of Mikolaj Sieniawski, governor of the castle Kamieniec, and field royal hetman (a Cossack headman or general—ed.). In 1538 King Zygmunt I allowed Mikolaj Branicki to open a salt shaft in Morszyn near Stryj, which led to the establishment of a spa in a Morszczyn well known for bitter salt and saline baths.
In 1550 the hereditary village mayor in Stryj was Mikolaj Blizynski. The city court and all colonization affairs were under his control. Under this control were the jury box, defense of the city, and crafts. In 1585, the population of Stryj was 1580 inhabitants. At that time in Stryj, a brewery, mead cellar and malt-house operated. The next village mayor was Marek Piecinski. Mikolaj Sieniawski, the starost of Stryj in 1578, was in conflict with the townsfolk. Stefan Batory, who was the king of Poland at that time, took the side of townspeople in this conflict. He also bestowed upon them the privilege of "salt warehouse" which meant that salt mined from the valley had to be offered for sale in Stryj before it was offered to other places.
The next two years brought changes on the post of starost of Stryj – after Sieniawski, the next starost was Hieronim Filipowski, and after his death, the governor of the Krakow Province, Andrzej Tenczynski, was promoted to the starost office by the king of Poland, Zygmunt III.
Under the rule of King Stefan Batory, in 1576, Jews in Stryj received privileges to purchase houses and to carry on trade activity. Among King Batory's privilege for Stryj, one was an oddity--in the territory of the eastern part of Poland, only in the town of Stryj could scythes and sickles be offered for sale.
For Stryj, the 16th century was a time of numerous invasions and attacks by Tatars, Turks, Walachian and Moldavian tribes, and Hungarian bandits from the mountains. To defend Stryj against these enemies, 30 footsoldiers in arms were called up. Other events that took place in Stryj in the same century included the construction of a new church of St. Magdalene. It was a gift from the priests of Przemysl and was located behind the Halicka gate, in the direction of the riverside. The building was partly brick. At the end of the 16th century, five Orthodox churches existed in Stryj. They were: the Church of Ascension of Our Lady, (nearly hidden, outside the gate), Birth of Our Lady (near Lwow Gate), Church of St.Spirit, the monastery on the land near the river, and the sanctuary of Wychowska Our Lady. There were three gates around the territory of Stryj: Halicka Gate, Lwowska Gate and Stryjska Gate. When Andrzej Teczynski took the post of the starost of Stryj (1588), the following inventory of the castle in Stryj was presented to him: "The edifice was imposed and well fortified, and contained three kitchen rooms and bakeries, sixty one rooms, day-rooms, palatial-rooms, receptacles, and alcoves. One room with nine windows, two painted rooms with eight windows, another few rooms with four windows. Almost half of rooms were empty, without doors, locks, iron bars, and even without window glass. In some rooms stoves and chimneys were completely destroyed. The strong room, despite iron grating in the window, did not have any locked doors. The moat flowing around the castle has only one access to it, through sort of a drawbridge with iron hasps. The defense system of the castle consists of 18 harquebus (firearms), 33 of them were very old-fashioned, 3 little barrels of gunpowder, and 48 cannon balls for guns. One of the guns with iron wheels was placed in a turret, another one in the entrance gate, and the third one operated in the field. Through the wicket door, one can go to farm outside the moat and rampart, close to which a brewery and bath are situated. On the farm, a newly built stable was placed, and not far from it there was a cowshed made from dry twigs with a thatched roof. Another stable was a wooden one with shingles. Around the farm a donjon was rising." This is the historical record about the castle in Stryj. Unfortunately, there are no actual relics of the castle.
According to a manuscript from the Ossolinski Library (No. 238), there are documents concerning the history of Stryj dated back to following years: 1502, 1517, 1518, 1519, 1549, 1554, 1563, 1578, 1585, 1627, and 1766. Thanks to them we know, for example, that in 1592 there was a great fire in Stryj, which destroyed many private houses and a parochial church. In 1595, King Zygmunt III bestowed to the parish priest a privilege of felling trees in surrounding forests. The parish priest was at that time Maciej Wyszomirski, and a bachelor in parochial school--Walenty Felsztyn. The parish consisted of 31 villages. The starost of Stryj in that year, Sir Gabriel Teczynski, invited the Italian painter and architect Jakub Madlain to Stryj to improve the architecture of the town.
In 1589 King Zygmunt warned citizens of Stryj not to aggravate the Jewish population of the city. At the end of the 16th century, in the small village of Daszawa near Stryj, iron ore was extracted. In 1605, the post of starost in Stryj belonged to Adam Stadnicki. Farmers living in small villages--Synowodzko, Dolhem, and Stynawa--refused obedience to Stadnicki. In those days the parish priest was J. Rogowski, and in the church of St.Madlaine the priest was Ludowicz. In 1611 Andrzej Kakowski was the village mayor in Stryj. The parish priest was at that time S. Bialkowski, who promoted the foundation of church associations like the Association of Rosary, and the Association of Religious Literature, which was particularly concentrated on the cult of the Virgin Mary. These associations were developing intensely in 1623, when the parish priest was Adam Manicius. Unfortunately in the same period Stryj was not free from negative events--in 1620 Tatars burned a large part of the town, and in 1625 they burned the suburbs of Stryj.
In 1622, Mikolaj Staninski was one of the rich landowners in Stryj, Zulina, and Bolechowo. In in the 17th century, in Simiginowo, near Stryj, there was a manorial estate in the form of fortified castle with walls and a drawbridge, built by prince Jabionowski. In Chromochoroba, near Stryj, there was another big castle. The population of Stryj in 1630 was 1,800. In 1624, the starost of Stryj was Krzysztof Koniecpolski, the voivode of Belz. During his administration, various sorts of crafts were developed: tailors, shoemakers, potters, furriers, wheelers, bakers, butchers, glaziers, weavers, metalworkers, maltsters, and coopers. The total number of craftsmen in Stryj in the first half of the 17th century was 58. Starost Koniecpolski built a millpond close to the castle, and built a mill over the pond. Water from the pond flowed to the moat. He also rebuilt the parish church in Stryj in 1642. As a result of this renovation, the church changed its character from Gothic to a piece of Renaissance architecture. In the 17th century, the following Roman Catholic parishes belonged to the decanate of Stryj: Stryj, Kochawin, Mikolajow, Rozdol, Niezuchow, Sokolow, Zurawno, Zulin, Zydaczow and Podhorce. A chaplaincy existed in Skolem, and a branch in Machliniec. An inscription in Latin over the main entrance of the parish church commemorated the rebuilding of the church of Stryj. Another inscription found on the one of the outside walls read as follows:
"DOMM Wawrzyniec Wojtaszkiewicz, councillor of Stryj, he paid the debt of nature due to epidemic in 1646. In the eternal memory from his sorrowful descendants. God, be merciful for his soul"
The Russians owned 5 Orthodox Churches in Stryj in 1640, but they were not able to maintain them and therefore starost Koniecpolski pleaded to the king to obtain help for these churches in 1643. In 1650 this help materialized, thanks to the decision of King Jan Kazimierz, who after invasion of Chmielnicki’s armed groups and after farmers revolt, gave back to the Russian Ortodox churches their properties--namely houses, gardens, lands, and market stalls--and also made them free from taxes and war duties. The possible reason for this decision was the attitude of the citizens of the Russian part of Stryj to Chmielnicki's attack. They simply did not take part in all the crimes of Chmielnicki's soldiers.
According to documents, there were some other fortified castles on lands around Stryj -- in Podhorce and Dolhem. As was mentioned above, in 1646 Stryj was afflicted by an epidemic.
During the invasion by Chmielnicki's Cossacks and Wysoczana corps, people from Stryj were looking for a hiding place in the castle. They stayed there together with their cattle. In 1648, when Stryj was in a state of siege, the commander of the city defense was Andrzej Kakowski. The other officials of Stryj at that time were Krzysztof Koniecpolski, the starost; Sebastian Sadowski the parish priest; and Jachimowicz and Wysoczanski, deacons of Orthodox church. The commander of defense, Andrzej Kakowski, did not give up the castle, and moreover, he found extra forces to send to Drohobycz castle for help.
Unfortunately, when triumphal forces came back from Drohobycz to Stryj, it turned out that the Russian citizens of Drohobycz gave up the city and killed a large number of citizens of Polish and Jewish origin. Andrzej Kakowski had another chance to prove that he was a brave and smart commander while he defended the Stryj castle in 1650.
Some time after the terrible wars, Stryj recovered to normality and was strong enough in 1653 to raise 100 footsoldiers and 200 soldiers on horseback for the Pilawian campaign. Maciej Kwiatkowski was the priest in the St. Magdalene church at that time, and in the parochial church the parish priest was M. Opatowski, who introduced the register of marriage in 1647. Stryj castle was equipped at that time with 6 cannons and 70 dragoons. The castle Treasury was a place where all of the precious stones and money of Stryj citizens, both nobility and townsfolk, were stored. In 1655, members of the Turkish-Mahamet and Tartarian-Koryca Parliament paid a visit to Stryj Castle, accompanied by two Polish companies under the command of Kuderowicz and Borkowski. For a short time after the Pilawian campaign, Stryj remained in an atmosphere of glory. In reward for their courage and bravery, the king of Poland relieved citizens in Stryj from numerous taxes. As a place on the communication route to Tartarian countries, Stryj received many foreign guests; among them the Patriarch of Antiochia, Ludwik Bawarian, who was on the way to Tartarian Khan-Hodza. Antiochia, being threatened by Turkey, was seeking the assistance of the Tartar Khan.
At the end of second half of the 17th century, the post of starost in Stryj went to Piotr Ozoga, a very rich man. Among his belongings, we can mention that the merchant marine on the San River used to transport corn to the Polish port Gdansk. To travel to the country he used a plushly upholstered coach decorated with silver. On each trip he usually took Persian carpets; he probably possessed about 288 of them. He had a special room covered with some of his Persian carpets where he spent the nights. In his possesion was also a collection of books. He also used to keep parrots. Finally, he was a member of Vehmgericht. Before Piotr Ozoga began serving in the starost post, a Hungarian Prince, F. Rakoczy, arrived in Stryj. During the Swedish wars, in 1656, Prince Rakoczy's soldiers came to Stryj from the direction of Skole, and located themselves in Stryj castle. They occupied the villages of Zydaczow and Doling, and came close to the village of Brzezany. Prince Rakoczy was one of a group of conspirators, together with the Swedes, with Chmielnicki, with prince Boguslaw Radziwill, and with Branderburgia. In the village of Ratne, in Hungary, the conspirators voted a resolution partitioning Poland, but fortunately their plans were upset by the Tatars, who were initially on same side as conspirators. Rakoczy had headquarters in the Stryj castle, where he met, for example, Polish deputies from Lwow. Meanwhile the Polish prince Potocki made an agreement with Khan in Horodenka, in which they agreed on the neutrality of the Tatars in the war between Poland and Sweden. Moreover Austria and Denmark had declared war against Sweden; thus, prince Rakoczy was forced to withdraw from Poland.
In 1660, after the death of Koniecpolski, one of the former starosts of Stryj, the post went to the crown standard-bearer Jan Sobieski--not in the usual peaceful way, by the the use of arms. Sobieski did it with a company of Husars and 200 soldiers from Skolne given to him by his sister, the wife of prince Radziwill. She was the owner of the Skolne lands, and she lived in Tuchla near Skolne.
In 1662 the mayor of Stryj was Jakub Hoernel, and in 1665 the parish priest was Andrzej Jedrzejowski. The priest of the Greek Catholic church was Iwan Michalewicz. In 1666 the administrator of the villages of Stryj region was Dominik Potocki, governor of castel from Krakow; the next administor was S. Truszowski. In 1663, Jews in Stryj received a document of prolongation of all the privileges from King Stefan Batory. In 1666, as per regulation of the starost Jan Sobieski, representatives of the Jewish population had to participate in town-tax sessions; two of them in each session of assessement. In 1660 Jews built a synagogue in Stryj. The building was well fortified and adapted to military actions in case of enemy attack. (The second fortified house of prayer on this teritory was built in the village of Podkamien in the 17th century).
In the 17th century in Zulina, near Stryj, there was a fortified manor house with an embankment and a moat under, over which there was a drawbridge. The embankment was enclosed with a boarding, equipped with a type of gun. The manor house and lands belonged to Stanislaw Gidzinski. In the 17th century, in Rozhurcz, a village near Stryj, there was monastary of Basilian monks. The caves with windows, stairs and balconies on two stages of rocks are testimonies to this fact.
In 1672 a Tatar invasion destroyed Stryj lands. Under the comand of Adzi Girej, they passed by the town of Stryj to the villages of Dolina and Bolechow. Near Kalusz, they were defeated by soldiers of Jan Sobieski. The same misfortune occurred to Turkish invaders, who came to Stryj in 1664. The commander of the defense of Stryj was hetman Jablonowski. Wladyslaw Przyjemski was one of the most courageous soldiers in that battle.
In 1673 M.Kloskowski gave a bequest for the church of St.Mary Magdalene.
In 1676 Turks plundered Stryj and Chodowice; the property of the Roman Catholic parish was completely destroyed. A large part of the population of these villages was taken away. The parish priest at that time was S. Stopski. Wars, hunger and epidemic stopped the developement of Stryj and lands surrounding it. Craftsmen began to leave the city. Due to tremendous war damage, the citizens of Stryj decided to apply to the court in Zydaczow to be released from the tax obligations that had been established in the last session of the Warsaw Parliament. More than half of the citizens had died from epidemic diseases, and the town was ruined by enemy attacks and by the prolonged stay of armies. Additionally, a fire in 1672 destroyed a great part of the buildings in Stryj.
In 1674, after the election, King Jan III Sobieski, together with his wife Marysienka, stayed in the Stryj castle. He worked there on plans to initiate an anti-Turkish league.
In 1676 King Sobieski fought a 14-day battle in Zurawno, near Stryj, against the Turkish army commanded by Ibrahim Szejtan. In this battle one of the most courageous soldiers was A. Chodorowski, the Cossack’s cornet and horse captain. Another was a Russian colonel, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, who a few years later fought in battle in Vienna. The battle in Zurawno ended with the signing a peace treaty with the Turks in Zurawno.
In 1676, Jewish people requested that King Sobieski change the day of fairs in Stryj from Saturday to Tuesday. After this, trade activity began to move from Polish to Jewish hands and was left in their hands for many years.
Due to the fact that the description of many episodes of coexistence of citizens of Stryj have been preserved, showing the background of social conflicts in town societies, we would like to present these episodes further.
In the second half of the 17th century, many representatives of the nobility class decided to liquidate their estates in the country and move to towns, establishing small agriculture and fruit farms. They hired workers and paid them in cash. The money that was earned was put into banks to obtain high interest. Part of the nobility in Stryj did not want to follow the city jurisdiction and pay city taxes. This gave rise to conflicts between the nobility and townspeople, particularly in matters of heritage in mixed-marriage couples. An example was with the heritage of nobility member Jerzy Zelislawski and the widow of Andrzej Kakowski.
The conflict between nobility and townspeople was growing step by step. At the end of the 17th century, lesser nobility around Stryj, accompanied by a group of officers crying "Alla, Alla!", attacked the small town of Kawsko, and took away cows and horses. Being drunk, they were shooting, beating, and robbing; the representative of the town administration, Mr. Weglinski, barely escaped death. Similar events took place in 1683, between Marcin Przyslupski and Jan Eliaszewicz. Przyslupski attacked Eliaszewicz's farm and took away his cows. Another important reason for fighting was over leadership. In 1692 the mayor of Stryj was A.Kunicki and in 1696 it was Jan Baranowski. The administrator of the villages was R. Popiel. In 1694 another conflict took place between admistrator Popiel and deputy mayor Cebulszczak. Popiel on horseback, entered the inn, and tried to kill Cebulszczak using his sword. Due to this, legal proceedings were taken against Popiel, and he was forced to resign from his post. Adam Sieniawski replaced him. Conflicts between the two heads of the authorities, the village mayor and the city mayor, started to get very serious and dangerous and became a fight with use of all available means, including armed invasion. In 1690 such a situation took place when the village mayor was T. Gulczewski. Together with his soldiers, he attacked the guards of Stryj castle; he conquered the castle and freed his imprisoned liege. Other similar cases involving the participation of violent noblemen were much more dramatic; they did not even respect buildings of religious character and celebrations taking place there. For example one event occurred in 1689 with the participation of squire Marchocki of the parish church, and squire Sieniawski, who attacked the priest M. Pawlowicz while he was celebrating mass.
The year 1651 was notable in Stryj for falsification of money. After the horrors of war, a leaseholder in Stryj, Mr.Kielman, put false coins into circulation and took the real gold and silver coins abroad to Woloszczyzna.
In the second half of the 17th century, the customs chamber in Stryj was leased by Jewish people. Hence, they were obliged to fix the duty rate and they made this rate very high, causing the unfavorable reaction of all who were obliged to pay it. Besides customs and trade activity, leasing of salt mines, forests, vineyard, and credit companies were in Jewish hands. It is interesting that even the Roman Catholic parish used to save money in a Jewish company. Over time, Jewish people in Stryj and other cities took possession of all the banks. At the end of 17th century, the most eminent bankers in Stryj were Moszek Stynawski, Jozef Moszkowicz and M. Jelenowicz. In 1695, King Jan III Sobieski approved the Assembly of Elders to decide on all matters concerning the Jewish society. Under the Assembly administration, Jews who leased the starost's land properties paid taxes. After the robbery of the church in Stryj of 12,000 zlotys, a Jewish goldsmith was suspected and arrested, but while he was taken to prison, other Jewish people rescued him.
In 1689 the parish priest was S. Stronski and it was he who, as mentioned before, was attacked by the squire Jan Marchocki.
In autumn of 1681, before the Viennese campaign, King Jan III Sobieski was hunting in the forests around Stryj. He was accompanied by the queen’s brother, Count de Maligny; a member of the French parliament, Marquis de Vitry; the emperor’s resident count Zierowski; and many other members of establishment, including, for example, the administrator of Krakow province, Dymitr Wisniowiecki, and the castle governor from Wolyn province, Jerzy Wielkowski. At that time, the castle in Stryj was at the height of its splendid fashion and glory, magnified by the person of the eminent visitor, the future liberator of Austria--King Jan III Sobieski. This castle was one of the favorite places of King Jan III Sobieski, and therefore it seems quite strange that about 100 years after the aforementioned bear hunting, the castle was destroyed by Austrian soldiers.
In 1687 on the order of King Jan III Sobieski, the body of saint Jan Suczawski was brought to Stryj, from Suczawa in Bukowina. The relics had been brought by the metropolitan of Suczawa, Dosifeusz, who started to live in the castle in Stryj. Short after that, the relics were removed to Zolkwia.
In 1696, a disasterous flood took place in Stryj, destroying the town and moving the Eastern Greek-Catholic Monastery building, which was on the riverbank. In 1686, the castle was visited by Queen Maria Kazimiera, who came there to meet the king on his way back from Woloszczyzna. In 1690, the castle fortifications were reinforced.
In 1695 the cost of the hussars crew which was staying in the Stryj castle were growing, and devoured a big part of the town’s expenditures. The city mayor at that time was Jan Grylowski. Jewish people could use the new synagogue--the second in town-- for prayers, and had expanded trade activity together with profitable leases, tax collections, and duties.
The invasion of the Tatars, in 1696, caused next great fire in town, but it did not stop the growth of the Stryj population, starting from 1667 when the number of citizens had dropped to 1,477.
After King Jan III Sobieski’s death, Queen Maria Kazimiera recieved the starosty of Stryj as a dowry from the Republic. In 1701 the starost of Stryj was Andrzej Zebrowski. Each marriage was evidenced and confirmed by a marriage certificate. The priest of the Catholic Church was at that time Szymon Bialkowski, and the prior of the Franciscan convent was Fabian Wislocki. In 1709, the bishop of Przemysl, Pawel Dubrowski, paid a visit to Stryj and the region. In that year, new troubles for the city were brought by a Saxonic crew, which stayed in the castle for 9 months. The regiment of Saxonic soldiers was commanded by the General Neftelhorst. Soldiers burned many buildings and they totally ruined the town. The starost of Stryj was then Adam Sieniawski, royal hetman, and after him was Princess Lubomirska.
In 1722, when the starost of Stryj was Mikolaj Sieniawski, the castellan of Krakow and the royal hetman, parish priest S. Bialkowski, priest Jan Benkiewicz, and nobleman Jan Sadowski, attacked the parish church during the procession of Corpus Christi. The same Sadowski attacked the parishioners and priests with sword in his hand during the funeral ceremony.
In 1728 Stanislaw Ciolek Poniatowski, the father of the Polish king, became the starost of Stryj. He and village mayor M. Stawski were in continuous dispute about personal questions. He dismissed Mrs. Poniatowska from the post of village mayor, and delegated Tomaszewski for this post. During the Saxon dynasty, the customs chamber in Stryj was in German hands. At the same time, the Jews from Stryj were clearly distinguished among the other Jews in the territories described above. In the organization of Jewish regional councils, Stryj belonged to the Pokucka Lands. In 1723, the marshal of the Assembly of Elders of the Russian voivodship, Marko Becelowicz, designated members of the Stryj Assembly of Elders as deputies to represent the Stryj Jewish community in Warsaw, in what was a great honor for them.
Despite the unfavorable events for Stryj, such as the devastation by the Saxon army and another fire in 1726, Jewish merchants were doing good business. For example, in the period of 1701-1724 one of them, Samuel Majkowicz, sold 18,000 barrels of salt every year. Stryj was attracting a growing number of Jews.
The 18th century brought further development of the residences of nobelmen in the Stryj area. One of the eminent residences was the property of Kazimierz Nasilowski; it was well equiped inside, including tile stoves, picutures on the walls in all rooms, a shingle roof, and stables and sheds with thatched roofs. The properties included gardens, orchards, and plough lands, all in large scale. Similar residences belonged to Antoni Borowski, the Pilecki family, Jan Szpotanski, Ksawery Zielanko, and Michal Chojecki. A large grange with buildings, a pond, orchards, gardens, plough lands, and meadows belonged to Jan Pilecki (1746); another one belonged to the Kurdzwanowski family, and three others to Zofia Pilecka (1754). In 1757 she donated all these farms to the Franciscan convent in Stryj. The prior of this convent was Antoni Krasowski in 1722, and Kasprzycki in 1731.
The year 1729 brought another type of conflict in Stryj society. This time it was within the Catholic community, between the parish priest Michal Brzozowski and his parishioners, against whom he used physical force--he simply beat them. When Bishop Waclaw Siekawski discovered this, he decided to remove the parish priest to Przemysl. Shortly after, the priest’s relatives, the Czajkowski family, and their Cossack friends took revenge on all those townspeople who had sent the parish priest to Przemysl by destroying their farms and houses. In order to restrain the Czajkowski family, a corps of militia, consisting of Smolaks under the command of Falczewski, was used. In general, the Smolak corps was used to protect people against the attacks of various bandits who used to overrun the mountain region and plunder residences.
The next fire in Stryj occurred in 1743, causing major damage in the city. After that, the citizens of Stryj were released from half of the tax on the sale of liquor. In the same general period, Jozef JabIonowski resided in the castle in the village of Podhorce, near Stryj. Besides him, other landlords represented the Stryj region; the most eminent among them were the Lubomirski family in Skolskie (they founded two Orthodox churches in this area), the Godlewski family in Strzalkow, the Popiel Family in Dobrowlany, the Stankowski family in Stankow, the Kabedzki family in Bratkowce, the Kossakowski family in Kukawica, and the cupbearer Lubaczewski in Simiginowo. Rozhurcz was administrated by forewoman Wieniawska, lands in Dolholuce belonged to the esquire carver Swiechowski, and lands in Klodnica belonged to starost Gedymin (he also owned the lands in Holobutow and Niezuchow).
In 1731 Jozef Swiechowski, a sword-bearer from Braclaw, made a donation to the parish church of his residence located in Stryj together with plough land, garden and other buildings. In 1754 the prior of the Franciscan convent in Stryj was Adrian Marchwinski. He kept all convent funds in Jewish banks. In 1756 the population of Jewish people in Stryj was 1627.
In 1764 the president of the Assembly of Elders was Abraham Michlewicz, and the starost of Stryj was Kazimierz Poniatowski. In the 18th century, in Stryj, the trade of salt, wood, cows, liquors, gold, wine and drygoods was under the control of Jews. All inns in the city and region were leased to Jews, including inns that were the property of the Polish starost. The same pertained to the starost's grain. The salt mine in Stara Sol, which had been in Jewish lease (Szmujlo Chajmowicz), brought 1800 barrels of salt every year. The cattle market was under the control of Jozef Moszkowicz. The owner of the brewery and soap factory was Chaim Horszowicz. The great wholesaler of a wide assortment of products was Dr. Amilech, to whom belonged warehouses. Famous Jews in the banking business were Dawid Koniuchowski, Hersz Winiarzow, and Joachim Mendel. As was mentioned earlier, they not only accepted the money of ordinary people, but also church funds. Many Jews bore Polish surnames like Skolski, Wimiarzow, Leleniewicz, Mendelewicz, and Jankielowicz. All these surnames came from Stryj.
In 1764 in all four Greek Catholic churches that existed in Stryj, the parish priest was J. Tchorzwski and the ordinary priest was B. Chlibkiewicz. At that time the village mayor was F. Swiechowski. In the second half of the 18th century, there were a great number of Catholic chapels in the Stryj administrative district: in Strzalkow, in Simiginow (founded by Gumowski), in Rozhurcz (hewn in the rock), in Stankow (founded by the Stankowski Family), in DolhoIuka (founded by Swiechowski), and in Holobutow. In 1754, Discalced Carmelite monks from Kochawina found a new place to stay in Stryj, in the former residence of the Prokieciewicz family,
At the end of the 18th century, according to an inventory from 1768, the town of Stryj owned pubs, liquor mills, a malt house, and five water mills. Income from theses activities went for the defense of the town and for repairs of roads and dams. The starosty in Stryj brought in income of 73 365 zlotys yearly. In the days of the Kingdom of Poland, the city mayors of Stryj came from the Polish population, and the vice-mayors were usually picked from the Russian population. Town councillors were recruited from both Polish and Russian citizens. In 1770 the Stryj starosty was leased by M. Dessert and the land mayor was Jan Zaleski.
In 1764 the Wychowszczyzna residence in Stryj was the property of Stefan Samlicz; another one belonged to Jan Sniezkom and the farm was in hands of the Rogoczewscy family. In 1771, when the fate of Poland was hanging in the balance, soldiers from Moscow invaded Stryj, but they decided to withdraw shortly afterwards. In the first partition of Poland, Stryj became part of Austria and was incorporated into Galicia. The last starost in Stryj in the days of the Kingdom of Poland was Kazimierz Poniatowski. He had begun the construction work for the city hall, and the work was completed in 1782. In those days the parish priest was Franciszek Rogaczewski, from the rich family of Stryj land-mayors. Thanks to this fact, he was able to make large donations to the Roman Catholic church. In 1777, the Austrian authorities of Stryj decided to eliminate the Franciscan convent in town and to demolish the Church of St.Magdalene. In its place, the Greek Catholic church was built, and one of the walls of the old church with an organ loft was adapted for this project. All together, three Roman Catholic churches were liquidated by Austrian authorities (the Jesuit church in Stanislawow and the church in Kolomyja were also liquidated). Finally a new Greek Catholic church was erected in 1836 in place of the old St. Magdalene. As mentioned above, a wall from old church became part of the new presbytery.
In 1780 the mayor of Stryj was Jan Rogoczewski, and after him Andrzej Teodoryk. In 1782 Michal Siemianowicz became the new mayor. In 1776 another fire occurred in town. In 1783-4, a class school was opened. In 1787 M. Wielochorski transformed the castle in Stryj into a palace and installed a library. The library contained the rescued Polish remains of the lands that were punished by the Austrians' for Polish cooperation with Napoleon, the enemy of Austria. Austria had probably forgotten about the Polish defense against the Turks. In 1785, the library from the Franciscan convent was moved to Lwow University. In 1780 the priests in the Stryj Roman Catholic churches were Kotowicz, Kiszewski and Martynowicz. In 1787, while S. Makuszynski was the parish priest, the parish in Stryj was incorporated into the Lwow diocese. In 1792 Marcin Grzywaczewski was the parish priest.
Between 1778-1813, the rabbi in Stryj was Aryech Leib ben Jisef ha Koohen Heller, known as "Prince Torah". He popularized orthodox religion (chasidism). As a writer, he published the famous dispute "Hezat ha Hasheh". The next rabbi in Stryj was Jakub Lorderbaum, who held this office until 1832.
When Austrian authorities introduced their administration in Stryj, a controversy arose between the town and officials about size of lands that belonged to the town property, specifically to lands just around the town and starosty forests. On September 3, 1791, it was agreed that the villages of Duliby and Grabowiec, with an estimated value of 42,351 zlotys, together with the Franciscan monastery and the starosty castle reverted to town property. In 1783, the authorities gave back to the town a part of the Hajdaszczyzna forests between Daszawa and Oleksice, as well as part of the forests from Krolewszczyzna, where oak-trees were growing.
At the end of the 18th century, in Sokolow near Stryj, the surgeon Jozef Damse was born. As he grew up, he became an eminent person in 19th century Polish culture. He acquired fame first as a distinguished actor in the National Theatre in Warsaw in 1820; then as conductor of an orchestra, composer of operas and ballets, an author of opera libretto, translator of stage plays, director, and ballet master. He wrote the three-piece opera "Klarnecik magnetyczny" and the opera "Kontrabandzista" with a libretto by S. Boguslawski. Together with Kurpinski, he worked on the ballet "Wesesle w Ojcowie". All together, he worked in the National Theatre in Warsaw for 31 years. His son and daughter followed his career.
Entering the 19th century, everyone expected an abolition of serfdom. Citizens of Stryj and the surrounding region had not enjoyed freedom for a long, long time. Austria did not accept privilege from the right of military service as it was done in Poland. Austria was very democratic in this matter and people of all nations and all statues were accepted for military service. In 1800, all able-bodied men were obliged to go to fight in Italy against Napoleon. They went to fight there, but were not convinced that they should go. Men from Stryj also were sent to this war, and they were dying in a foreign country. In the vicinity of Marengo, for example, they were dying for the cause of another country's freedom. All went to fight, no matter what origin they were--Jews, farmers, townspeople, and noblemen. But before the partition of Poland, the situation was quite different. By the second half of the 17th century, farmers and Jews were not obliged to fight for country borders. Later on, Jews could pay for exemption from military service, and farmers could be placed into regiments only in case of extraordinary danger resulting from invasion. Hence it is no exaggeration when we state that in the period of time between 1340 and 1771, only the Polish nobility was fighting for freedom of its homeland. For four centuries Polish governments accepted this obviously nondemocratic selection. The Austrian government set a different policy--all men were equal in terms of military obligation, and all, despite their social or religious status, were forced to fight, even abroad. The equalization in obligations did not go together with equalization in rights of all citizens of the Austrian Empire. They had to wait for several decades for the abolition of serfdom. As for the battles in the vicinity of Marengo, a large number of Stryj's soldiers must have died, since at the end of the 19th century the Austrian authority approved the erection of a monument, in Stara Olszyna Park in Stryj, commemorating the victims.
The restriction of freedom for citizens applied by the Austrian authorities caused underground activity, particularly among people of Polish origin. Their reaction was based on the introduction of the German language in universities and in offices; the appointment of Germans to higher posts; and censorship and the limitation of the identity of nations living on this teritory. The reaction of the Polish people was very visible and spontaneous, in contrast to the rather weak involvement of Russian citizens. In Stryj and vicinity, Poles, risking their lives, began distributing antigovernment propaganda in the form of underground poetry and literature, and political leaflets. In Sokolow, a village near Stryj, the parish priest, Lipinski, entered the secret organization "Conspiracy of Polish Democrats". Unfortunately, he was exposed, and was sentenced to death, which was changed in 1848 to imprisonment. Poles from the Stryj region, upon receipt of information about an uprising in the Russian sector of partitioned Poland in 1831, decided to take part in this action. Among them were Emil Korytko, J. Pietruski, and Aleksander Dzieduszycki--landlords from Stryj region.
Poles from Stryj organized and took active part in the Springtide of Nations in 1848. One of the leading revolutionists was was J. Pietruski from Lachowice, who in 1845, a few years before the revolution, was elected to the secret Commission of Class Parliament which was called together to precondition the reform of serfdom. In 1848, J. Pietruski was a member of the Central People’s Council in Lwow. Another Pietruski, whose given name was Oktawian, was an activist in the Stryj region in the Revolution of 1848. Besides him, Aleksander Dieduszycki, another previously mentioned Polish landlord, took an active part in the 1848 revolution. Among people of Russian origin, the Greek Catholic priest, J. Zajaczkowski was a very active participant in the Springtide of Nations in 1848.
The Austrian government managed to persuade the majority of Russians in Stryj to act against the revolutionists before the Springtide of Nations, and they armed the National Russian self defense with about 15,000 men with uniforms, cannons, guns and horses against the insurgents in 1848. When the Polish insurgents in Galicia and the revolutionists in Hungary and Vienna succeeded, and emperor Ferdinand had to step down, the Russians willingly took advantage of the achievements of the revolution, such as the abolition of serfdom, the introduction of citizen representation to the sejm and Viennese parliament, the introduction of Polish and Russian language to the departments, and the broadening of education.
Stryj endured the plague of cholera in 1831. In that time, the Roman Catholic rector was the priest Jan Mischke, and Rabbi Jacob ben Jakob Mojzesz from Leszno wrote a greatly appreciated, religious thesis "Dereh ha Hayyim". In 1833 in the town of Otyniowiec near Stryj, the great painter Artur Grottger was born. He later attended school in Stryj. In 1845 the paintings in the parish church were renewed and repainted. The ten paintings were drawn by A. Reichfau, M. Jablonski and K. Radecki. In 1848, an Institute for the Poor and Sick was established, which was turned into a hospital in 1858. In 1851, after an Orthodox church had been built in place of St. Magdalena near the river, a new house for the rector was constructed, with an orchard, fields and a stable. A. Reichfau painted the pictures in the aforementioned Orthodox Church. The o1d, crumbling, Orthodox Church was closed. In 1858 the building of helwecko--the Augsburg Church and the German Culture House was started. The same year, the first and the second class of the real school were joined in the existing school. Two years earlier, the third class of the real school was established, and in 1852 the church was renovated. In 1849 there were 6,000 people living in Stryj and 12 distilleries and 2 breweries belonged to the town. In 1844, in the time of emperor Ferdinand, Stryj was raised to the dignity of royal city.
Before the 1848 revolution, having failed to find support for scientific research in the University in Lwow, which was under control of German scientists, Stanislaw Konstanty Pietruski, a land proprietor in Podhorce near Stryj and a scientist and researcher, founded probably the first private Scientific Research Institute in the world. Using his own land and buildings for the purposes of the Institute, he organized research laboratories, equipped them with the necessary devices and carried out research of various kinds for several years. For the purposes of zoological research he gathered over 500 animals. He raised silkworms and observed their developement; he grew over 100 species of apple trees, 80 species of pear trees, 45 species of plums, 20 species of cherries, and 75 species of gooseberry. Pietruski published the results of his research in European scientific publications. In 1848 a criminal set fire to the buildings of the Institute, and the great research work was destroyed and the scientist forgotten.
After 1832 Ashel Enzel Kuzmir was the rabbi in Stryj. For the purpose of cultural entertainment,the travelling theatre of Leon Borkowski performed in Stryj in 1857. A well-known actor A. Glowacki was cast on the stage. In 1862 Adam Miloszewski performed with the theatre as well.
As the year 1863 approached, Austria announced a state of siege in Galicia. The insurgents from Stryj were: Aleksander Dzieduszycki from Izydorowka near Stryj, who was a member of Civic Comitee (from 1861 he was a member of parliament from the Stryj region for the Gallic sejm and for the parliament in Vienna), Izydor Dzieduszycki, the writer, born in Izydorowka, Napoleon Krzywda from Stryj, Rzewuski (Pope’s doctor) and Wirylak--both from Stryj. The uprising of 1863 was supported by J. Pietruski, who was a member of the Gallic sejm from the Stryj region and who was, from 1861, a member of the Country School Council of Stryj and the vice president of the State Tribunal.
In 1856, the third class of the real school was established. After 1848, because of an economic revival, the Credit-Land Company, Economic Company, and National Bank were founded. Economic issues were run by the Regional Council, of which A. Dzieduszycki was a member in 1861. Oktawian Pietruski was actively involved in the previously mentioned companies, for which he was presented with an honorary citizenship in Stryj. In 1867 Wladyslaw Badeni became a member of the Gallic sejm. In 1863 the City Savings Treasury was created, and later the City Casino was established. During the time of Rabbi Kuzmir, the Jews built a new synagogue. Austria's colonization of Eastern Galicia led to an uprising in Stryj and the region of the German colonies. German estates were organized in Karlsdorf, Brigidau, Felizienthal, Grabowiec, Gensendorf, Annaberg, and Zaplatyn.
After 1871 Ludwik Grzymala-Jablonowski, who settled in Stryj, was actively engaged in the activity of the Regional Council there. He was an insurgent of 1831 and an outstanding activist of the revolution of 1848 in Lwow, where he created a squadron of the National Guard as an act of his will. He was imprisoned from 1835 until 1837 for his pro-liberation activity. He was a writer as well, and he represented those whose aim was to sustain nobility. During the revolution of 1848, the famous painter Artur Grottger attended high school in Stryj. He was the author of the immortal series about the uprising of 1863, and some of his works have been part of the exhibition in British Museum in London since the 19th century. He died as a young man in 1867. The oration at his funeral was performed by the poet Kornel Ujejski, who was an inhabitant of the same region. In 1872, an eight-class real school was founded in Stryj. In 1872 Antoni Chloniewski Myszka was born in Kawsk near Stryj. He attended high school in Stryj, and within years he became a well-known journalist, commentator and historical writer. In 1870 Jozef Nikorowicz, a musician and composer, lived in Stryj. He composed music for the words of a poem written in Lipki by the poet K. Ujejski, who lived in a modest property and earned his living with his pen; he wrote for the "Dziennik Literacki" in Lwow. Nikorowicz lived in Stryj with his son, who attended the high school there. His son, Ignacy, soon became an author of several theatre plays and was awarded the literary prize of Lwow.
In 1873 a train track between Stryj and Lwow was built and between the years 1872-1875 the connection between Chyrow--Sambor--Stryj--Stanislawow was finished. After 1885 trains were running on the Stryj--Kawocze--Munkacz route. Trains enlivened Stryj, which became a rest stop and, owing to easy access to a river, a destination for numerous summer tourists. They rented villas with orchards and enjoyed sun and river baths in a calm, comfortable atmosphere, learning the names of the fish such as pucmaryna, kobel, bzdryka, piedustwa and many more (which are impossible to be found in encyclopedia or Polish ichthyology) that lived in the river;. During that time several villas with rhododendron and magnolia orchards were built in Stryj, including the Halbazani villa, Hreczkowski villa, Lauterbach villa, and Wolodkowicz villa, where they grew blissful apple trees.
The intoduction of the trains enabled more people to travel to the mountains. Skiers from Lwow traveled to Slawsk for skiing, where they built a jump. The sick made their way to Morszyn for bitter salt treatments. Korczyn was discovered in the Skoli region, where the people suffering from tuberculosis were treated with whey of sheep’s milk. People started visiting Skoli, Tuchla, Zelmianka, Hrebenow, Rozanka, Klimca, Dqbina, Synowodzk, and Lawoczny, looking for a holiday spree. A large area called Zupanie in the Skoli region was founded in an area inhabitated by partly Russian Polish noblemen nicknamed Sas (which derived from a knight del Sasso, who used to be a lord of Tustany castle near Stryj).
In 1872 Stefania Gromnicka of the Kopystynscy family, who was a famous actress in Warsaw, Lwow, and Cracow, was born. In 1876 Fediw-Dmytrakowa, who became a well-known actress and director in the Ukrainian theatre "Besida" and in the Ukrainian theatre in Stanislawow, was born in Stryj. A performance of Helen Benda-Modrzejewska in the Cobojka travelling theatre was a great splendor for the citizens of Stryj. After that, Stryj was visited by several theatre groups, which was great entertainment for the tourist audience resting in Stryj.
In 1876 the edifice of the hospital was finished, which stood the test of wars and became famous for its enlightened management. In 1873, the priest A. Baczynski was an acatechist in the real school. In 1876 the Russians founded a dormitory. In 1876, Maurycy Dzieduszycki, historian and writer, became a member of the Gallic sejm. From 1878 to 1904, Horowitz Arie Leibush ben Izaak was the rabbi in Stryj and after 1904, he was the rabbi in Stanislawow. During his tenure, a Jewish hospital was built. In 1876, W. Gubrynowicz, a book publisher from Lwow, founded a bookshop in Stryj.
In 1880 there were 12,625 people living in Stryj. Karol Dzieduszycki was then managing the Regional Council, and 5 years later he became a member of the Gallic sejm. His wife, Anna, was, along with him, socially engaged. They founded chapels in Chromochorb and Sieciechow near Stryj, and organized TOW Organizations and farmer exhibitions. In 1880 Petelenz was the principal of the high school in Stryj. After him came T. Wasilewski and Tralka. Jaworski was the caretaker of the youth, and educated sons, who were Polish patriots. In 1880 a train service station was built in Stryj to repair engines and carriages. A few thousand people were employed there, which contributed to a broadening of the city’s suburbs, where a number of railwaymens’ cottages were built.
In 1880 there were 2,900 Roman Catholics, 3,923 Greek Catholics, 5,245 Jews and 573 Germans in Stryj.
In 1880 crude oil appeared in Pohar-Ropienko. In Synowodzk, Szczepanwski had the land drilled for oil by F. Lodzinski.
In 1826 O. Nizankowski, a Ukrainian composer, was born in Stryj, and in 1878 Konstanty Srokowski, a Polish writer, was born there.
After 1880 the citizens of Stryj began to create political organizations, on both the left and right wing. A National Democracy party came into being with S. Majewski and P. Wroblewski as chairmen. This party was controlled by the intelligentsia. Workers and railwaymen were the main groups that made up the Polish Socialist Party. Its greatest development occurred when Jedrzej Moraczewski moved to Stryj. He organized it as a vehicle for the first social funds for railway workers. An outstanding activist in the Christian Democratic Party was F. Walczak.
The Ukrainians founded UNDO in 1890, with E. Olesnicki as president. The Old Russian Party strongly influenced the Ukrainians. The Jews established the Zionist Party in 1882, which later competed with the Orthodox party Agudat Israel for influence in the Jewish community.
In 1866 there were 3 peasant schools; two separate schools for men and women, which consisted of 4 classes each, and a 1-class school in Lany. The director of the school was Halubowicz. The Greek Catholic rector was then the Reverend Huminski. In 1885 a high school was founded in Stryj. The next year there was a big fire in Stryj. 900 buildings were destroyed including the court, the building of the board of the city, the high school, the peasant schools, Roman Catholic churches, the synagogue, the trade bank, the peasant defense warehouse, the tax department, and the building of the Regional Council. Historical documents of the city were obliterated in the fire as well. After the catastrophy, the city was reconstructed.
The Olszyna Nowy Park was created, and in the Olszyna Stary Park the officers of the Stryj garrison erected a monument in memory of the Stryj citizens who died in the Marengo battle of 1800 and in the Solferino battle of 1859. There were 488 killed in the latter. A photograph of the dedication of the monument appears with the other photos at the end of this book. (On the right side of the picture is Kamil Baranski Sr., the father of the author). In the new park, a concert bowl and a cafe were built. Along flowered avenues, benches made of cast iron were placed. They were manufactured in Benczer’s factory in Stryj.
Between 1884-1888, a theatre group consisting of M. Lasocki, with singers M. Potkiewiczowa, Paulina Popiel and T. Skalski, actress S. Lasocka, and actor I. Popiel gave performances in Stryj. In 1889 an Operetta Theatre arrived, in which Andrzej Lalewicz, who later became the director of the theatre in Stanislawow, sang. In 1892 the group of L. Kwiecinski performed in Stryj. Konstanty Krumlowski, the author of comedies and the well-known vaudeville production"The Queen of the Suburbs", was one of the actors. Kwiecinski’s also included the noted actor Ludwik Senowski and his wife, and the noted actor Sieniawski.
About 1890 there were many Polish people flooding Eastern Galicia, coming from the Russian annexation. By offering many convienient allowances, Stryj lured people who were trained or had skills in particular professions that could help in rebuilding the city. In 1888 a chemist, Master of Pharmacy Juliusz Baranski, the grandfather of the author, settled in Stryj along with his wife Helena from the Faliszewscy family from Przemysl and 3 sons—Kamil (the father of the author), Stanislaw, and Wladyslaw. The Baranski’s pharmacy soon became a meeting point where patriotic discussions were held; these were not free from conflicts with Austrian police. Between 1888 and 1910 there were 260% more Polish people in Stryj, 180% more Ukrainians, and 100% more Jews. In 1890 there were 16,520 people in Stryj including 6,572 Jews. After 1890, the land began to come into hands of the Polish people and the Ukrainians. While in 1889 the Jews had about 63.8% (55,969 hectares) of land in Stryj, in 1902 they had only 20.3%, or 16,278 hectares. Before the end of the 19th century, the parish church in Stryj was reconstructed. At the end of 19th century, Badeni was the land proprietor in Lubience near Stryj and just before The First World War Baranscy, who also farmed another property in Lukawica near Stryj, became the successors of the estate.
In 1892, the Jews founded a National Society "Agudat Israel", which helped the Jewish insurgents in Palestine.
In 1890 the principal of the faculty school was Hahn and the teachers were W. Dzidowski, S. Chyrowski, P. Wroblewski, the brothers Marian and Stanislaw Lewiccy, the priest Baryszko, and Daniow. During this time the land proprietor Julian Brunicki was professionally interested in ornithology, and wrote a book titled "The Birds Spotted Around Stryj". In 1890 the Jan Kochanowski faculty school was erected in Stryj, and two years earlier a high school with a gym and a large youth center was built. In 1892 a new slaughterhouse with a refrigerator was built, and in 1889 the edifice of the court was constructed. The chairman of the court was Misinski.
In 1884 in Stryj and the region there were: a farming machine factory, 2 steam mills and 20 other sawmills, 4 breweries (Slobodka, Lubience, Stryj, Podhorce), 4 spirit distillation factories, a mead factory, a vinegar factory, 6 distilleries, 2 oil factories, 3 starch factories, an underwear paint factory, a match factory, an iron foundry, an iron factory in Pobuk, 7 American mills, and 127 water mills. In Skolem there was a steelworks as well.
During that that time there were 4 train tracks leading from Stryj to Lwow, Bolechow, Synowodzk and Drohobycz.
At the end of the 19th century the heads of the Stryj powiat (Polish administrative unit) were Michel, Retinger and L. Wysoczanski, and the mayoral responsibilities belonged to Z. Zatwarnicki, L. Gottinger, Z. Machniewicz, B. Wajdowski, and A. Stojalowski. The vice-mayor was the chemist J. Baranski and the city concil members were Dienstl, Kasprowicz, Majewski, the Reverend Cislo, Serkowski, Abend, Falik, Fruchtman, F.Walczak, Altman, F. Tralka, the Greek Catholic priest Pelenski, and others. In 1896 the activists of the Jewish community were Altman, Fink and Fruchtman. In the high school taught Teodor Wasilewski, M. Kurek, K. Rupik, W. Turasz, J. Tralka, F. Fryz, K. Wojciechowski, F. Walczak, Trojner, and J. Okon. The notaries were A. Malewski and Matkowski.
In 1906 the Ukrainians established the dormitory school in a brand new building. The Poles founded a Peasant School Society with a library, reading room, and the Juliusz Slowacki lending library in 1892. Kobrynska from Bolechow founded the Russian Women's Society in Stryj in 1891 and called a Russian Women's Society Convention there. The organization established nursery schools for Russian children. In 1888 Polish people organized a Gym Society called "Sokol" ("Falcon"), which was founded by P. Wroblewski and Slusarski. "Sokol" built an edfice with a large sports field, performance and gym halls, and clubrooms. The Society soon gathered numerous members, who made up the Polish avant-garde in Stryj.
In 1906 in the railway garages, the chief was Majewski, and the chief of steam engine garage was engineer B. Wasylewski, the father of Stanislaw, who later became a writer. In 1900 the director of the hospital was Dr. B. Stalberger. Doctor Temple, whose stepdaughter had a love affair with an Austrian archduke, was a physician in the hospital. Other physicians were Serkowski and Gozdecki. At that time the best hotel in Stryj was run by Mrs. Dienstl, a charity activist. Kazimierz Bartel worked then in the railway garages as a locksmith. He later became a polytechnic professor and the Prime Minister.
In 1900 the priest Ollender of the Stryj parish was visited by the Lwow archbishop Jozef Bilczewski. There were many famous people studying in the schools of Stryj before the First World War. They included Kornel Makuszynski, a writer, Marian Dienstl-Dabrowa, a critic and a journalist, Stanislaw Wasylewski , a writer, R.Zreboowicz, a writer, Rudolf Waigl, a professor of medicine, Kazimierz Wierzynski, a poet, Z. Diesendruck, a writer, William Horzyca, the director of the theatres, and W. Lodzinski, a pioneer of the oil industry.
During that time there were several pharmacies in Stryj; they belonged to Juliusz Baranski, Aichmuller, and Chalbazani. In 1900 there were 23,210 citizens in Stryj. In that year the railwaymen launched the Railway Reading Hall, where they organized bowling, billards, a social games club, and a performance hall. There were theatre and choir circles running. In 1904 "Sokol" started a choir and an amateur theatre group. In 1903, under the management of the engineer Budzynski, the court building and prison were finished. Founded at the end of the 19th century, the Polish Ladies Society and the St. Wincenty a Paulo Society were developing their charity activity. A monument to Kilinski, the hero of the uprising in Warsaw in 1831, was erected in front of the Faculty School at the end of the 19th century.
In 1902 the Ukrainians opened a building for the National House, the base of the cultural organizations, above which they placed words "Ruskomu Narodowy". The educational organization "Proswita" had its base in this House, which had a large performance hall, a gym, and clubrooms.
The Jews in Stryj, on rabbi Chaim Majerson’s own initiative, built the Talmud Torah School for the Hebrew language students. In 1900 the Poles organized a farm exhibition in Stryj. At the end of the 19th century T. Debrowski, a prospective writer, literary critic, and publisher, was born in Stryj. The painter Onyszkiewicz was another person from Stryj whose name would be remembered in Polish culture. In 1904 Polish choir was established by the T. Kosciuszko Music Society, whose activity was supported by the grand piano teacher Gluszkiewiczowna. The conductors were Dr. Chalbazany and T. Czyzewski. The Music Society in Stryj was a branch of the organization in Stanislawow. After 1900, the Roman Catholic rector was the Reverend Cislo.
In 1906 a socialist, Jedrzej Moraczewski, founded a Bakery Association among railwaymen in Stryj. The following year he became a member of the parliament in Vienna. The priests Cislo and Gawlikowski, and Mrs Dienstl were active the Christian Democratic Party during this time. Another very socially active person in Stryj was the priest Okon. Among the Ukrainians was the outstanding political and social activist E. Olesnicki, who became a member of the parliament in Vienna in 1907. He was also the director of the regional Silski Hospodar Association Board. The Greek Catholic priests J. Mokrzycki and Pelenski cooperated with Olesnicki. In political matters, he was supported by O. Nizanowski. A well-known activist of "Proswita" was a doctor, F. Ozorkiewicz.
In 1908 the Polish citizens finished a marvelous construction for the Citizen Society "Gwiazda" (star). In this two-story building there was a performance hall and dancing hall, social game rooms, and billards. In 1908, a Pole, Andrzej Potocki arrived in Stryj on the occasion of the meeting of Ukrainian politicians which was presided over by E. Olesnicki, the authority representative of Galicia. He came from a family that built several Orthodox churches in many towns in the area, and had always manifested their friendship towards the Ukrainian nation. Potocki arrived in Stryj in order to talk to the Ukrainian members of the parliament about the Polish-Ukrainian policy with respect to the Germans in the parliament in Vienna; in particular about the matter of the language freedom for the Czechs, and other issues linked to the Polish – Ukrainian aliance. It was Potocki’s last political mission, as a few days after he left Stryj he was murdered by Siczynski, a Ukrainian student, who shot him in the head with a revolver.
Before the First World War an impressive edifice was built. It was the train station. In 1908 the dormitory for Polish youth was erected and the Ukrainians organized the St. Wlodzimierz dormitory, which had its own building. After 1900, the mayors of Stryj were Tralka, Sobota, Falik, Abend, and F. Fruchtman. In 1911, a second high school was built in Stryj. The principal was J. Lebiedzki, and after him came J. Kuczera. In 1905 the Polish football players founded a football club called "Pogon", which was the first one with this name introduced into Polish football.
During this time S. Olesnicka presided over the Russian Women's Society in Stryj. A new dormitory for youth was founded by "Proswita". In 1912, the Poles organized a choir group called "Gedzba". The chairman was Dr. D. Soltysik, who was also the director of the hospital; the vice-chairman was Judge W. Mayer; the conductor was Dr. D. Chalbazany; the treasurer was M. Cabikar, the secretary was A. Kozakiewicz, and his assistants were J. Datko and S. Szczygiel. S. Iwaszko and the government members mentioned above sang in this choir. In joint rehearsals with the railway orchestra, Miska-Oleska, an actress of the Lwow operetta, was the conductor. In 1913 the choir participated in a 9-choir contest, where they were third.
In 1906, a gas lighting system with iron street lamps was introduced on the streets of Stryj. They were working day and night, as keeping the light assistants was too expensive.
Natural gas from Daszawa, near Stryj, was used by metal factories in Stryj, such as Benczer’s foundry, Werstein’s drilling tools factory, and the Perkins-MacIntosh-Zdanowicz factory. The gas was also later used in homes. The Poles who discovered the purest natural gas in Daszawa didn’t even dare dream they also did it for the Russian citizens in Charkow and Moscow. During this time Apfelgrun founded a tannery in Stryj. In the first years of the 20th century the railwaymen built St. Joseph’s church in Stryj. Mrs. Dienstl, and railwaymen S. Kutowski and Nadziejowski gave special credit to the building of the church.
In 1909, while conflicts among the members of the coalition were soaring, war was already being predicted. The Poles founded an Independent Youth Organization called "Zarzewie". The organizers were S. Tchorznicki, K. Vrtel, and Shenk, who were supported by S. Druzba and S. Zalewski. The organization carried out military exercises. After 1910 the Poles and the Ukrainians established scout teams, which in Ukraine were called "Plast", among the youth. In 1912 a Polish Jan III Sobieski scout team was established; H. Shenk was the scoutmaster. In 1912, when a training camp for scouts from Eastern Galicia was organized in Skolem, the Shenk’s team from Stryj took part in it.
Before World War I, the mayors in Stryj were predominantly Jewish, and the high-ranking representative of the authority (starosta) was the Ukrainian Kasaraba. Mayor Abend was a supporter of the idea of assimilation, and his family eventually "Polonized". Another supporter was Dr. Wisenberg, the president of the Jewish community. After him came Meirson. In 1912 Szymszon was the rabbi. After 1910, a great military parade took place, which was attended by Archduke Karol. During that time, the Szewczenka’s Science Society was formed, with the involvement of E. Pelenski, a teacher and publisher. The Ukrainian "Piast" had its base in Dom Narodny. A paper called "Stryjski Tygodnik", edited by E. Holod began publishing in Stryj.
The Polish supporters of the National Democracy, of which the major representatives were Semkowicz and Targowski, dominated the "Sokol" organization. In 1910, a secret organization called the Polish Army appeared. The members were R. Vrtel, H. Shenk, and Tchorznicki. In 1910, P. Wroblewski, Dienstl, and Kasprowicz were participants in "Sokol". In 1912-1913 the "Strzelcy" teams were created. The commanding officer was H. Shenk; T. Hodam, A. Kornicki, M. Myslinski, S. Pozniak, L. Rudka, R. Rudka, S. Tchorznicki and W. Tyczynski can be given much credit to the creation of the teams. T. Tchorznicki led the "Zarzewie" organization. In 1913, when the shooting team in Skolem came into being, S. Pozniak, W. Tyczynski, and S. Tchorznicki went there to train the shooters.
In 1913, J. Brunicki was Stryj’s representative in the Gallic sejm, and J. Tralka became the mayor. In that year, the military barracks for the cavalry were built. The Ukrainians led by the barrister E. Olesnicki, in cooperation with the Greek Catholic priest J. Mokrzycki and Dombczewski, organized military groups of Siczowi Strilce, which during World War I joined the Austrian army. Until the First World War, the Ukrainians published the magazines "Stryjski Hoios", "Nasza Dola", "Hospodar" and "Promyslennyk". in Stryj. In 1913, S. Tchorznicki became the scoutmaster in Stryj. He also managed the Polish Secret School. In 1914, M. Bielczyk was the scoutmaster, and the instructors were S. Wojnar, I. Zalewski, and S. Tchorznicki. The members of the scouts before World War I were S. Baranski, Z. Sieczkowski, J. Jaworski, and Tyszkowski. In 1914, the scout team counted 86 members. In 1914, L. Rudka became the commanding officer in Stryj. When the First World War started, the Polish Legions were joined by W. Horzyca, S. Iwaszko, Gedzinski, Makarewicz, M. Niemczyk, K. Niemczyk, S. Niemczyk, T. Hodam, M. Kornicki, M. Myslinski, Rawski, H. Shenk, S. Pozniak, L. Rudka, W. Tyczynski, F. Szczurek, J. Kuston, J. Zalewski, J. Koiodziej, S. Wasylewski, K. Wierzynski, Zabienski, and others. Marian Dienstl-Dabrowa and Robakowski joined the Haller’s team.
In 1914, the Russians, led by General Ruzszky, seized Stryj. In the Marcinkowice battle in Gorgany between the Legions and Russians, J. Zalewski was killed. On the graves of Legion members killed in Gorgany near Molotkow, a fenced monument was erected. The grave was remembered until 1939. Our fathers, and grandfathers--men had to leave their families and were enlisted into the Austrian army, which moved back beyond the Carpathian Mountains. Others fought on the Balkan front, where most of the Poles from Stryj ended up. During the occupation of Stryj, the Russians organized stops for the horses in some larger yards. In June 1915, after the successful Austrian offensive, Stryj was freed from Russian occupation. The retreating Russians took hostages, among whom were Makuszynski, S. Dienstl, and Scholta. The march of the Russian army into Stryj in 1914 was depicted in a film, which was produced in Poland in 1980. It was based on the book written by the one of the citizens of Stryj, Pes Stark. He also designed the backround for the film "Austeria", which is the name of an inn in the suburbs of Stryj. The film, which presents the religious rituals of the Chasids in Poland, was also shown in England. Currently, a Polish composer, K. Penderecki, is working on the opera titled "Austeria".
The Russians came back to Stryj in 1916, when General Brusilow’s army again seized Eastern Galicia. Famine came to Stryj. Many people died during that time, including 30-year old Anna Baranska from the Wojciechowscy family, the mother of the author. Due to her death, the author was left alone in the age of six as his father was then fighting in the Austrian army. The Russians occupied Stryj until July 1917. The cemetery in Stryj was getting bigger as thousands of soldiers were killed--Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish, Austrian, German, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Serb and Croatian. A large military cemetery was then built in Stryj for the over 10,000 killed.
Many citizens of Stryj didn’t return from the war. They were mostly killed in the Balkan front and in Italy. During the war Cislo, the Roman Catholic rector of Stryj, the Greek Catholic priest Pelenski, and Rabbi Elizah Meir ben Jakow Roseman raised the spirit of the citizens. Drajewicz was then the organist in the Roman Catholic church, and Nissan May was the choir leader. In 1917 Dr. J. Falik was the mayor, and beginning that year, Elizier ben Sholmo Ladier was the rabbi. Beginning in 1917 the Polish scouts had a new leader, professor Wegrzynowski. When the Austrians seized Stryj in 1917, portraits of the Austrian emperor Karol were hung in all departments, courts, and restaurants.
When the Allies defeated the Germans on the Western European front in 1918, the Austrian Empire collapsed. In November 1918, Austria retreated from Galicia and gave their arsenals in Eastern Galicia to the Ukrainians. A government was created in Lwow with Stecka and Pietrusiewicz as the leaders. In November 1918, Stryj was brought under control of the Ukrainians. The president of the Ukrainian National Council was the priest Peienski. Another Ukrainian, the barrister Kalitowski, was appointed mayor of Stryj. The Ridna Szkola Society founded a Ukrainian high school and a seminary. In January 1919, an Officer Artillery School, Harmatna Starszynska Szkola, was founded. The school was later moved to Stanislawow. Under the Ukrainian rulers, Stryj was the base of the 3rd Ukrainian Corps. The commanders were H. Kossak, Gen. Gombaczow, and Colonel A. Kraus. The Corps heads were mainly Austrian and Czech officers: Lieutenant Colonel K. Dolezal, R. Jakwert, Colonel W. Lubkowicz, and Colonel Parm de Janossy. This Corps of the Ukrainian Halicka Army consisted of the 11th and 7th Stryj Brigade of Siczowi Strilcy, the 8th Samborska Brigade, the 2nd Kolomyjska Brigade, and the 1st Gorska Brigade.
During this time, the Jewish community in Stryj was controlled by the Zionists (the leader was the Zionist Dr. Binenstock), and declared its cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities. This support was noticably helpful in the matter of military backup, as it was mainly Jews who owed the arsenals, horses, carts, and warehouses with military equipment. The Jewish material support was used against the Polish defenders of Lwow, and also helped to kill Polish youth. The Jews also provided leather and cloth for clothing for the Ukrainian army. These facts were obliterated from the Jewish history in the following years, and only the unpleasant, reactions of the Poles from the Poznanski region, who were liberating Stryj, towards the Jews remained and were remembered.
In 1918 a commemorative plaque was fixed outside the parish church to commemorate Tadeusz Kosciuszko’s success in the battle of Raclawice against the Russian army.
Under the Ukrainian rulers in Stryj, the most active members of the authority were: Nizanowski, the Greek Catholic priest Pelenski, Dombczewski, and Okon. The Ukrainian associations led by the Greek Catholic priests L. Goralewicz (Malsojuz Association) and A. Pelenski (Silski and Hospodar Associations) were intensively operating in that period. In the Ukrainian government, engineer Pawlykowski from Stryj was a vice minister. He was later a member of the Central Cooperation Board in Stryj.
In April 1919 Stryj was seized by Gen. Iwaszkiewicz’s army with Gen. Konarzewski's brigade. When in 1918 the Polish Legions took Cracow over from the Austrian army, lieutenant S. Iwaszko from Stryj became the commander. In 1919 the Ukrainians sent a diplomatic mission to Czechoslovakia, in which a Ukrainian from Stryj, barrister R. Dombczewski, took part as a Ukrainian attache. In 1918 his wife looked after the camp for the injured of Siczowi Strilcy. After 1919, a group of Polish immigrants from Croatia settled in Stryj. They became the roots of many Croatian families who established themselves in Stryj, among which were: the Kowalczyks, the Mularczyks, the Kozinas, the Kucharscys, the Bileccys, and the Pirges.
Most of the German inhabitants who lived in Stryj in the 19th century did not leave the city with the withdrawing Austrian army, as they were mostly polonized, which gave rise to many patriot families with German surnames. Groups of Germans remained in Stryj and in the Stryj region (Brygidau, Gensendorf, Karlsdorf, Annaberg).
The city quickly recovered after the war. In 1919 the Polish authorities established Stryj as the regional base of the 659 square mile territory, with a widespread working regional Sick Treasury unit which included 10 towns and 100 villages (this included 13 city communes). In 1932 the Stryj region was broadened by joining with the Skole region. Stryj was the base of many departments and units, for example, military garrisons, courts (local and regional), and railway garages. In 1933 a portrait of prelate Rev. Rector Cislo, painted by Freliks Megn, was hung in the vestry of the parish church. Outside the church, a plaque was placed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the visit of King Jan III Sobieski to Stryj.
There were numerous units operating in Stryj: a Border Guard Inspectorate, National Police Station (superintendent--M. Ratajski), the Regional Department (president--S. Dzieduszycki), the Regional Land Department (presidents--R. Lyszczarz, M. Stepalkowski), Regional PKU (a unit registering the reserve soliders--official Second Lieutenant B. Zak, manager Lieutenant Sobolta), the National Water Board (engineer--Kwak-Jakubski), the National Road Board (engineer Wolinski), the Local Work Inspectorate (head--M. Jablonski), the Regional Work Inspectorate (engineer A. Mianowski, who was also a head of the Work Inspectorates in Dolina, Kalusz, Rohatyn, and Stryj i Zydaczow), the Scales and Measures Department (head F. Zieba), the Catastrum Department (carried out a property census; head F. Daum), and the Regional Sick Treasury (president--Horski).
In 1921 there were 27,358 people living in Stryj, which included 10,987 Jews. In the whole Stryj region (powiat) there were 72,543 people, which included 2464 Germans. 38.2 % of the land in the region was arable, and 18.2% was forest. A national forestry management was established. The much-needed stability in the life of the citizens was soon interrupted by the 1920 campaign--the war between Poland and Russia. The Ukrainians, who supported Petlura, made an agreement with Pilsudski, and in April 1920 they seconded S. Lucki from Stryj to be the liaison officer between Petlura’s and the Polish army. Lucki was at that time the chief of the headquaters of the 4th Ukrainian Brigade of the Halicka Army. Before the Russians moved back to Warsaw, Russian patrols came to Stryj from Drohobycz. They encouraged the citizens of Stryj to create Russian authorities in Stryj, but they took flight as did the members of the Soviet assembly gathered in the Dom Narodny when the Polish patrol, led by Plutonowy (a rank above corporal and below sergeant) Golebiowski stepped into Stryj.
Stryj sent a 100-man unit led by Professor Szediwy (Voluntary Legion). The Legion was destroyed in the Zadworz battle. The two Kukaszewicz brothers and 20-year-old A. Wojtowicz, the son of the "Orbis" owner, were among those killed. The members of the Legion were the Florkiewicz brothers, Mercik, K. Solinski, and Ostrowski. In the Ukrainian army supporting the Polish side were professor D. Wajcowicz (former captain in the Austrian army), Lewicki (prospective restaurant owner), and O. Eucki (prospective senator).
In 1920, after the war, Stryj developed very fast, and in 1939 the number of citizens rose to about 40,000. The railwaymen and the youth were very active in the city. The life of the city was organized in harmony by all the citizens. The following persons consecutively administrated the Stryj region: S. Nowak, L. Zgoda, S. Harmata, Pajgczkowski, and M. Stefanicki. The assistants were MA J. Iliasiewicz, Soja, and MA J. Orlowicz; the secretary was Stec; the heads of the region were: MA Niec, Sozanski, and Linke; the officials in the region were M. Jarosz, MA J. Brodowski, Kudla, Z. Kocian, J. Krasinski, and W. Prosewicz. The agendas of the city were led by the mayors: Dr. E. Kaleta, engineer Z. Machniewicz, Rev H. Kaczorowski, F. Kasprowicz, Piotrowski, W. Zdanowicz, Ozga, and B. Kaim. The vice-mayors were: Kamil Baranski Sr., Reif, Kaufman, and M. Sztern, and the secretaries of the magistrate were S. Skrzywinski, Owsianik, and W. Somerfeld. The directors of the Stryj magistrate were Kozakiewicz, Powroznicki, engineer Sieczkowski, W. Szczerski, Horzyca, and Bauman. The official reciever in the magistrate was Dr. Harasymow; the usher in the magistrate was Kedzierski. The members of the City Council were Abdanski, Berwid, K. Baranski Sr., Wojtowicz, F. Kasprowicz, S. Pozniak, Cyprys, Dr. Muszynski, Dr. Semkowicz, Reiter, Werstein, Krasinski, S. Kaminski, Soja, Sluka, priest CisIo, Domanski, Reif, Bieniaszkiewicz, Daum, Wesowicz, Heinrich, and others. The Ukrainian Council members were barrister Ochrymowicz, Dr. Euzecki, Dr. Harasymow, Mykytko, Dr. Lewicki, M. Danygszyn, Welyczko, Hawrylak, Kalitowski, Jackiewicz, J. Bandera, engineer Kysak, priest Wysoczanski, and others. The Jews were represented on the City Council by Dr.Eisenstein from the Hitahdut party, Neubauer from Agudat Israel, Apfelgrun, and Zwilding from the Mizrachi party. The Zionists were represented by Dr. A. Insler, Dr. Z. Presser, Dr. Z. Goldberg, and Z. Wohlmut. The Council members were Borak, Dr. Kiczales, Rabbi Ladier, and others.
The City Electric System Board operated. Szumski was in charge of city roads maintainance. The engineers Wiktor and Sieczkowski led the City Building Board. Ekstein was the city builder. Engineer M. Chwastowski was the director of the gas pipelines (the gas, apart from being used in Stryj, was also sent to the refinery in Drohobycz, the sugar factory in Chodorowm, and to Lwow). The city gas works and the gas mine were led by engineer Kowalczewski. The future professor of the Metallurgical-Mining Academy in Cracow, J. Rabczuk, was co-operating with Kowalczewski. The national gas mine "Polmin" was managed by Bielski, and W. Kulczycki. The previously mentioned engineers prepared the gas deposits in Daszawa for the vast exploitation. The gas from Daszawa was supposed to support the port in Gdynia and Warsaw. The slaughterhouse in Stryj was run by D. Grutz Sr. and Matuszewski Sr. The veterinarians were B. Reif, Seredynski, Kuczera, J. Geilchofer, M. Grutz Jr., Matuszewski Jr., J. Scholta, and T. Dubrawski. The chief of the fire brigade in Stryj was P. Dubyk.
The midwives were: Derzko, M. Cichocka, K. Majer, K. Erdenberger, M. Klodnicka, Bojczukowa, B. Drucker, K. Ilko, and B. Gutkind. Dental care was provided by 2 doctors and dental technicians--Czackieski, D. Sobel, Mycka, H. Moklauerowa, Taub, Glanz, H. Wepper, M. Katz, Zwilling, W. Wach, Sz. Diamand, F. Hertz, and Lapczuk. The post office was managed by Hiolski, Balaban and Buianda; the workers were M. Godziemba-Gierowski, Wolak, Kondyjowska, and R. Szurkowski. The director of the railway post was M. Lewandowski. The technical manager of the telegraph and telephone office was T. Slowik. The Tax and Revenue Fees Department was run by B. Trenczak and Wall, and the revenue chiefs Johan, Hebal, and Buczek. The responsible revenue chiefs were K. Starkiewicz, Lesser, Sarnecki, Porwisz, R. Wall, and A. Trenczak. The treasurer for Revenue Cash was J. Fisher and the accountant was E. Hordt. The Revenue Supervision was wielded by J. Bukowski. The director of the Excise and Monopolies Department was Heizig. The higher commisioner of the Revenue Supervision was J. Czemerynski. Safety was provided by the national police--assistant commissioner J. Sliwa, and superintendents Klementowski, Wnekiewicz, and Schwarc. The city police station was run by J. Lazarewicz. Reif was the police inspector and Lachowolski was the police secretary. The investigating superintendent was T. Bielanow, the commanding officer was Sowinski, and the most well known policemen were Argasinski, Presz, Kawecki, and Hoitynski. The heads of the city prison were Kostecki, Kostirko, and Mosingiewicz. The geometry workers were M. Krawcow, M. Daum, and R. Szechowicz. The notaries were represented by E. Ambros, T. Kasparek, O. Blaustein, and A. Wiesenberg.
The barrister profession was very developed in that time in Stryj. There were many people doing it, including Acedonski, Z. Abdanski, M. Muszynski, A. Pozniak, E. Semkowicz, B. Szlagowski, R. Dolubczewski, Aichmuller, Habaczynski, H. Lukasiewicz, M. Nikbor, J. Becher, M. Hoffner, S. Weissglas, Erdenbergier, A. Harasymow, W. Kaluski, Kalitowski, Kaleta, H. Fruchtman, N. Moldauer, M. Margulies, M. Kaufman, W. Neuman, P. Hausman, J. Dawid, Bromer, Goldberg, Parnes, J. Rappaport, Ringel, Rosenzweig, Zwinger, Schiff, Taler, Schuster, N. Schindler, O. Weiss, S. Wandel, Wurzel, Zaum, Fichner, Finkler, W. Gross, A. Groskopf, I. Moldauer, D. Mondschein, S. Sternheld, Jaciw, Ochrymowicz, Luzecki, Miklasiewicz, A. Muskat, and Schleifer.
Stryj was the base of many financial organizations, such as the Polish Industry Bank, Polish City Treasury, Cooperative Merchant Bank, Cooperative Stryj Bank, Cooperative Ukrainian Bank, Credit and Savings Society, and Credit Association. For the purposes of financial help for the citizens, the city organized the City Municipal Savings Treasury, which was run by A. Pozniak, Kamil Baranski Sr., Hebal, and Dembinski. In the council of the Treasury were Bandera, J. Kohn, Professor Cyprys, and Wallish. The loans for the region were provided by the Regional Savings Treasury (director Ryglewicz). The president of the Treasury was Harmata; his assistants were Dr. A. Harasymow and engineer J. Bienkowski, and the board members were Danalyszyn, Sluka, Dr. J. Mondschein, Dr. Kronstein, engineer Lysak, Baron J. Brunicki, S. Dzieduszycki, W. Kosina, A. Reif, J. Nowak, and engineer Kowalczewski. There was also a District Economical Society Circle led by Duke Czartoryski.
There were more and more people in Stryj; the number of citizens reached 32,914 in 1936. Population growth created the need for schools for children and youth. In 1936 there were in Stryj 15 primary schools, 6 high schools (including 3 national), 2 teacher’s seminaries, 4 vocational schools, 3 merchant high schools, 7 nursery schools, 3 dormitory schools. The following primary schools were patronized: Kilinski Primary School, A. Mickiewicz School, St. Kinga School, J. Slowacki School, M. Kopernik School, J. Sobieski School, St. Elizabeth School, J. Kochanowski School, Nazareth Nuns School, Szaszkiewicz School, Evangelical School, and Jewish School (with Hebrew language). The teachers were not only teaching, but they were also bringing up the youth, and it turned out later that they succeeded in doing it. The youth from Stryj presently scattered around the world have good memories of their teachers.
The principals of the primary schools in Stryj were: Boguniewicz, J. Burghardt, Humel, Kassaraba, K. Ciuroch, J. Babek, Insler, Babka, S. Lewicki, Niementowski, Sarmatiuk, P. Wroblewski, Wolanski, and M. Buca-Browicki. They were helped by the teachers: J. Giba, A. Petryna, A. Zenczak, H. Kotowicz, A. Kassarab, J. Budzinski, M. Lukasiewicz, J. Czaban, B. Bielecki, J. Prokopszyn, M. Dubowiec, K. Mazurkiewicz, I. Tauber, K. Czaslawski, M. Ustianowicz, J. Slepiec, P. Rewokowicz, S. Wielgusinski, M. Taras, Przezdziecki, Z. Kaluski, M. Welc, R. Wasner, J. Frankowski, Wernic, J. Witkowicki, H. Kmyta, M. Girzejowski, M. Bischof, M. Basseler, Honorata Wegkiewicz, J. Bernfeld, S. Soltysik, L. Czypczar, Z. Skwirczynski, L. Gelbing, M. Kostecki, H. Milski, J. Biegelmayer, Komorowski-Delawski, O. Taras, E. Wesowicz-Swiderski, Kmyt, E. Boczarski, O. Miejski, M. Sielecki, M. Mojsak, O. Sygierycz, E. Horodynski, Ch. Schonfeld, W. Cyprys, A. Wasserab, Z. Wronski, E. Lisinski, M. Lesiewicz, E. Preiss, P. Weissglas, O. Kraweryszyn, H. Chyrowski, W. Weinert, J. Jougan, Adlesberg, Fichtl, Dziadowski, Chowanski, L. Cabikarowni, Kubrycht, Kukrycki, Mokrzycki, I. Inschlicht, L. Strzelecki, Wilgosinski, Wasilewski, E. Przystalski, Kreuterblit, Popiel, J. Magiera, Mykitiuk, nun I. Kondracka, nun D. Warchalowska, M. Waruszynski, M. Zalewski, Janina Prokopszyn, M. Kliszcz, I. Synycia, T. Winnicka, M. Lewicka, O. Bagan, N. Halajczuk, O. Szumska, O. Nowicka, M. Serednycka, N. Selezink, W. Siengalewicz, J. Wagner, J. Gerhardt, Janina Gottel, Hrabarowa, Ryzinska, Szczurowski, Siemiaszkiewicz, Sobczuk, Mrs Swoboda, W. Szykalowa, R. Turkl, J. Sielecki, S. Popielowna, and Miekisz.
The youth usually continued their education in the high schools: J. Pilsudski Classic High School, Math-Natural National High School, National Ukrainian High School (classic type), Female High School "Lux" (private), Nazareth Nuns Female High School (private), Female High School opened in 1939 (private), Merchant High School TSH, Female High School of "Ridna School", Trade High School (private), Female Seminary (national), Female Seminary (Ukrainian), Pedagogical Society Circles (private), Loom National School, Dressmaker Vocational School ZPOK, Craft and Industry Male School (national), Mechanical Craft School for the Jewish youth, Jewish School "Tarbut", and Department School (German, private).
The Jewish Craft school was funded by WZ and was divided into 3 sections: carpenters, locksmiths, and mechanics. The school was run by a committee presided over by Dr. Schindler. There was also a Jewish school for the girls, "Safa Brusa", where the pupils were taught in Hebrew, and Wunderman Hebrew School. The big credit to education and upbringing was given by the high school principals: Hreczkowski, Freczkiewicz, Adamski, Kuczera, Pawlik, Wilk, S. Szediwy, Grazela, Weissblum, Czelny, and Cyprys. The high – school secretary was Jozef Hardawa. In the seminary the principals were priest W. Kutuski, and Czelny; the chief stewardess was Szwajkert. The principals of the Ukrainian male high school were M. Hrycaj and Lebiszczak. The principal of the Ukrainian female school was Kotowicz.
Wholly devoted to the youth, trying to provide them with the best and long-lasting knowledge, the professors played a very noble role in the high schools and seminaries. They included Barabasz, Bobin, Bajer, Bernfeld, Borer, Cisek, Bigk, Chowanski, Cyprys, Dubicki, H. Ekstein, K. Chobrzynski, Hausman, K. Czarnecki, Hrabczyszyn, Fries, Falik, Filar, Fritzhand, B. Kaim, Krynicki, Forostyna, Kagniuk, Krawczyszyn, Kozlowska-Browicka, Kubes, Kozak, Lehrner, Maluj, Krzywka, Milski, Neff, Patryn, Patrynowa, Prokopszyn, Prawur, Popkiewicz, Matfus, Rybczynski, Resport, J. Smagala, Szczudlowska, I. Jackiewicz, Bednarzewski, Kaminska, Szczyrbula, Szczerbowski, Szczerska, Segal, Sobol, Strilciw, Stinikiewicz, Rupp, Seinfeld, Smolana, Soltys, Nazarkiewicz, Spat, Turczanski, Teodorczuk, Tauber, Gorski, Romanszyn, Wacholka, Wachnianin, Ungar, Zak, Selzer, Ptasiewicz, T. Zalewski, and Jougan.
The longstanding caretaker of the classic school was Jaworski. He was always kind and caring for the youth. The school’s inspectorate was led by Bajorek. The school inspectors were Hirsz-Jelenski, L. Taras, T. Pachorek, and Worpachowski; the school’s inspector assistant was Jezuit. The private German school inspector was Butschek. The professors in the Wunderman’s Hebrew school were Axelbrad, B. Fuchs, Hobranski, M. Wunderman, Tennenblat, D. Korn, Shapiro, and others. In the Safah Bezurah school the teachers were E. Meir, J. Bromer, and Lipschutz. In the Ukrainian high school and seminary the Ukrainian language was the language of instruction. The primary and high schools (private and national) were attended by the youth of different origins and religions. There was a farm school in Bereznica near Stryj; Dzierzbicki was the principal.
A Polish dormitory school in Stryj was run by Prof. B. Kaim. The landlady was Mrs Magiera. There was also a Craft Dormitory and O1d People’s Home run by Burhardt. The home was also provided for by the city. There was a Mary’s Spinners Society, which supported the poor. Charity help was also provided by the St. Wincent a Paulo Society, which was led by Mrs Dienstl. She also supported the St. Joseph church and the nursery school, which was founded at the end of the 19th century by railwaymen from Stryj. It was run by the Serafin nuns. Moreover, social support was also provided by the Civil Womens' Work Association where, among others, Mrs. Hiolska, Mrs. Smagal, and I. Baranska were working. Also operating was the Mary’s Association
The Ukrainians in their building had a Russian dormitory; there was a National Society for Children Protection and Youth Care. The nursery school and the orphanage were run by the Basel nuns.
For the Jewish orphans, there was the Jewish War Orphans Institute. For Jewish orphan girls, a nursery school was organized by "Wizo". The Jews had their own old people’s home and the Jewish hospital. In 1930 a charity organization called "Beit Hoan" was founded. It had its own building. The members were Dr. Presser, Stern, Kindler, H. Meierson, and Diamant. In the Talmud Torah School, which was built before the First World War, young Jews were educated on religious matters. They were taught about the Five Tomes and Torah and reading in Hebrew. Once a child was 11 years old he or she was directed to the Talmud school (called jeszybot). For purposes of keeping the Talmud cult, there was a prayer school "Bet Hamidasz", where the Jews listened to Talmud lectures while they were praying. There was also a library "Batej Hydromim". The Jewish community founded a Jewish Sleeping House. Charity help for the citizens was given by the city magistrate. Poor Jews were supported by their compatriots from America (Stryjski Fundusz Macy).
The cultural life among the Polish people in Stryj concentrated mainly in the "Sokol" organization, in the City Society "Gwiazda" and in the railway reading library. All these organizations had their large buildings built before the war. After the war these edifices were enlivened by new people and new activities. In "Sokol", apart from the gym groups, there were new sports sections started which didn’t exist before the war. The "Sokol" was led by the chairmen Wroblewski, B. Kaim, and Germanski; their assistants were Wladyslaw Baranski Sr., Oidlinski, and Uljarewicz. In the "Sokol" management team were E. Thiel, Sluka, Czartoryski, Burhardt, Linke, J. Nadziejowski, Professor Turczynski, professor Smagala, Lindscheid, Turczanski, Polanski, Kitynski, A. Robakowski, Skwirzynski, Skislewicz, and Otto. The womens section of "Sokol" was led by Ciurochowna, Hiolska, and Smoluchowska. Women's gymnastics was dircted by Gierowska.
In the building of the Polish "Sokol", which was built in 1904 for performances, reading, and conference purposes, there was a spacious hall, where great balls and a cinema were organized. There was also an amateur theatre organized by M. Jarosz, Smoluchowska, Maria-Helena Gierowskie, Mosingiewiczowna, Petriowna, Smagalowa, Lachowolska, B. Szkola, Siemiaszkiewicz, Polanski, and others. Owing to a wide variety of gymnastic and sports field facilities "Sokol" shaped many good gymnasts, for example Wladyslaw Baranski Jr., K. Weinert, Maria Piasecka-Baranska, T. Parylak, W. Szalabawka, J. Rozycka, Maciow, G. Kohl, Helena Gierowska, Izykowski, and R. Hoszowski. They were trained by Erdenberger. "Sokol" also developed activities in the field of team sports such as volleyball and basketball; there was a hockey team where the very good players were Wladyslaw Baranski Jr., B. Dudzinski, R. Hoszowski, and J. Zielinski. During the winter the gymnastic field would be turned into an ice rink, on which an orchestra accompanied the skaters. The vast back area of "Sokol" was used for various games, for example billards, bowling, chess, draughts, dominoes, and cards. When bridge became popular, there were many followers in the "Sokol".
There were also a library and a lending library. In the cultural field there was a branch of the Music Conservatory in Lwow, where the teachers were: D. Deutsch (a violonist) from Lwow, Powalaczek (a violonist), and Iwo Sprit (a singer). In 1920 a Polish choir was organized by W. Kubrycht, M. Cabikar, M. Owsianik, and engineer Wielinski. In 1922 the "Gedzba" choir, which was organized before the war, was revived. The choir was presided over by Dr. Chalbazany, M. Cabicar, Gora, N. Kostecki, engineer Kuhn, W. Kubrych, Zawojski, and Dr. M. Soltysik. Their assistants were W. Zdanowicz, K. Ciurochowna, Dr. Muszynski, and J. Nadziejowski. The conductors were W. Kubrycht, Captain Tuczynski, T. Kaminski, Sledziona-Zawojski, A. Reif, Reichert, Ryglewicz, and J. Powalaczek. The members of the management of the choir were Cabicar, Szczygiel, Kolmer, S. Cyprys, Czubkiewicz, Priest Ferens, Dr. Hummel, Captain Balucinski, Judge Rybicki, Dr. Patryn, engineer Wielinski, Professor Szediwy, and M. Owsianik. The singers were Misko Botiuk, W. Czupkiewicz, M. Cabicar, A. Cyprys, E, Johan, M. Delawski, T. Hruby, Kuta, W. Meyer, M. Soltysik, Kunz, S. Kozlowski, Kleszczynski, J. Cerbach, T. Gerlach, J. Datko, J. Gerlach, R. Kolmer, D. Krawczewski, Kostecki, Langauer, Iwaszko, Wechowski, W. Kubrycht, T. Kaminski, J. Nadziejowski, Kornicki, Mosbauer, B. Kaim, N. Kopa, W. Kaminski, M. Owsianik, M. Odlewany, M. Jarosz, Rozycki, Reichert, Sledziona-Zawojski, A. Szenker, H. Spaidel, M. Szczerski, A. Kozdrowicz, S. Szczygiel, S. Rybak, B. Szkola, T. Terlecki, and Zyndram. The choir participated in all the national ceremonies, sang in the churches and took part in the "Sokol" theatre performances. The Moniuszko choir owns the archive of the "Gedzba" choir; a part of it is also owned by Jan Nadziejowski in Gdansk.
"Sokol" organized the youth and participated in all the demonstrations and national ceremonies wearing uniforms and headgear decorated with a hawk feathers. During the assemblies and on several other occasions they would sing the song "Zgrzybialy i gnusny ten Swiat" written by Lam from Stanislawow.
The townspeople of Stryj gathered in a 2-storey building of the "Gwiazda" Association, which was built before the war. The Association was presided over by Kamil Baranski Sr., Kasprowicz, and Weinert. The activists of the organization were Pilichowski, Bieniaszkiewicz, Sluka, Trunkwalter, A. Kaminski, Heinrich, and Domanski. Club life developed in "Gwiazda"; the readings, dance classes were organized in a large conference hall. At back of the club there were billards, bowling, chess, draughts and dominoes games organized. The "Gwiazda" association had its own standard and was one of the organizer, in addition to the Mary Catholic Association, of the pilgrimages to Kochawina, a town in the Zydaczow region, where the Karmelici monastery was situated. In the monastery there was a miraculous picture from the 16th century of Kochawinska God’s Mother.
Another center of cultural life for the Poles in Stryj was the Railway Reading Room, with a vast conference hall, which was often used as a ballroom. In the building there was a large library and bowling room. The Reading Room was run by the railwaymen. There was a Railway Workers Music Lovers Circle operating. The railway orchestra played during all of the national ceremonies, balls, and folk galas. The orchestra was also well noted for their performances in Vienna and in Gdansk, where they were awarded a diploma and an honorable place. There were many active members of the Reading Room such as Langaner, Nadziejowski, Waruszynski, and Respond. There were dancing classes often organized in the Reading Room. Waruszynski was the instructor.
Educational activity was developed by the Peasant School Society, which ran a large lending library and the J. Slowacki reading room. The Society also funded the A. Mickiewicz male dormitory school. The organization was presided over by Professor F. Cyprys. Other active members were I. Budzinski, Mrs Dienstl, Dr. Semkowicz, Muszynski (a barrister), and Judge Robakowski. The Society was the main organizer of the 3rd of May ceremonies, which every year gathered many Polish people, Polish organizations, Polish schools, and scouts. The 3rd of May is a national holiday.
During that time the following professional societies were in existence: the Polish Merchants Society, Merchant’s Association of Stryj, Polish Doctors Circle, and Polish Barristers Circle. There was also a Nobility Association (led by Judge Robakowski), whose aim was to repolonize the Polish nobility, which was being "russianized". The "Strzelec" organization was still working under the management of Pachorek, Koszaikowski, and Wyrozumski. The members were Wernicowa, Captain. Terlecki, Labedzki, L. Filipczuk, Tomanek, and Albin Srodzinski. In the Reserve Officers Association, J. Krasinski was the secretary, and the members were Sozanski, Datko, Wasilewski, Albin Srodzinski, and A. Robakowski. The Polish Veterans Association was presided over by Zabienski and its members were Makarewicz (an invalid), I. Golebiowski, Ostrowski, Lasota, and Captain Sobolta. There was also an association of the legionists, which was led by Rogala. There was also a Fire and Air Defense League, where the members were Captain Debicki and Jan Wasong. The Polish Red Cross was active as well.
There were Fishing and Hunting Societies. Very active was the Tatra Mountains Society, which was presided over by Boleslaw Kaim, and whose members were J. Krasinski, Czopor, and M. Jarosz. The Society promoted tourism with regard to the nearby Eastern Bieszczady, with a great ski center and ski jump in Slawsk. Stryj was surrounded by many mountain summer resorts such as Synowodzk Wyzny, Debina, Skole, Rozanka, Tuchla, Zelemianka, Hrebenow, and Lawoczne. The nearby health resort in Morszyn with sour magnesium salt springs, mineral sparkling water springs, and salty, mineral baths attracted the ill for the treatment. In 1931, when the Skole region was attached to the Stryj region, the Stryj authorities launched tourism activity. More and more people learned to spend their holiday and their spare time in the nearby summer resorts.
Most of the youth were scouts. From the schools, the sponsors of the scouts were Professor Szediwy, Neff, and Wegrzynowski. The scoutmasters in Stryj were Miksch, Z. Koszalkowski, Alberti, Muzyka, Wotoczek, Fiszer, Berg, Waksman, Slezak, M. Stepalkowski, H. Hordt, J. Kwak-Jakubski, S. Bardasz, J. Nadziejowski, Wolak, J. Smagala Jr., Kindel-Turski, and H. Olewicz. The female scouting troops were led by a high school teacher, Mrs Ekstein.
Among the Ukrainians, the cultural and social life was supported by the "Dom Narodny", which was built before World War I. In the front of the house it read "Ruskomu Narodowy". In the "Dom Narodny", which was a 2-story building, the Ukrainian organizations had their bases, including "Sokil-Batko", "Proswita" (an educational organization), Szaszkiewicz Pedagogical Society, and "Plast" (a scout organization). There was a large theatre-hall inside, which was also used for other purposes (meetings, academies, readings, balls and other activities). There were also a cinema called "Edison", a reading room and a lending library, gyms, clubrooms, and other facilities. The active members of the "Dom Narodny" were Giba, Dr. Harasymow, barrister Ochrymowicz, barrister Luzecki, M. Danygszyn, Dr. Kaluski, Professor Prawur, J. Mokrzycki, and W. Miklasiewicz. Also in Stryj at this time was the Starycki amateur theatre, and a folk dance group led by the dance instructor R. Petryna. The outstanding person in Ukrainian culture was the Greek Catholic priest. M. Petrusewicz, who was born in Stryj and developed an etymological dictionary.
The Lysenka Music Society was also in existence. It was presided over by Professor E. Forostyna, who was the conductor of the Ukrainian choir, and a composer. In 1932, R. Dombczewska, along with O. Silecki, O. Baczynski, T. Zalewski, and Maksymiuk, founded a museum called "Werhowyna". The curator was A. Charkow, a Ukrainian painter. In the Kysenka Music Society, a choir was working under the management of professor Forostyna and Dr. Luzecki. In the choir, the singer Ulicki was an outstanding artist, and he soon moved to the popular Eastern Malopolska Ukrainian choir called "Kotki" in Lwow. The Ukrainian Music Society had their base in a villa. The members of this Society were Mrs Siengalewicz and professor Bibjk. Also in Stryj was the Szewczenko Science Society. Elzbieta Buzko-Turkowska studied in the Lysenka Society, and she later became an opera artist in the opera in Bydgoszcz. After the Second World War she also sang in the opera in Gdansk. Many groups gave performances in "Dom Narodny", including Rubczak’s theatre from Lwow, the Ukrainian choir "Kotki", the travelling theatre "Promien", and the Sadowski Ukrainian Travelling National Theatre. The "Dom Narodny" was also the base of the Ukrainian scout troop "Plast". The leaders of the troops were S. Bandera, Kalitowski, W. Miklasiewicz, the Rak brothers, R. Kuchar, Wierzbicki, Erdenberger Jr., and Wysocznski. The female troops were led by Gibowna and Serednycka. "Plast" was in existence until 1931, when the "Luch" organization was founded. The Ukrainian branch of "Sokol" also met in "Dom Narodny". It was run by Giba and M. Taras. There was also a Ukrainian choir operating, run by W. Kotowicz and professor Olena Jacyszyn.
The "Sojuz Ukrainek" was presided over by Wesolowska. During the Ukrainian national holidays there were academies and marches organized, in which the teams of the Ukrainian "Sokol", "Plastuni", Ukrainian veterans, sportsmen, and Ukrainian citizens participated. The Tourist Society called "Plaj" and the Ukrainian Veterans Association existed during that time. The active members of the Association were Lucki, Lewicki and Okon. There were also the Ukrainian Merchants Association (presided over by Kolba), the Ukrainian Brickmakers Trade Union, the Ukrainian Barristers Circle, the Ukrainian Doctors Circle, and the "Ridna Szkola" Society.
The German cultural life was centred in the "Deutsche Heim", which was presided over by Heinrich, a baker. This cultural house in Stryj was organized by the evangelical church and was very supportive in the cultural matters of the Germans from the region, especially for the settlers from Brygidau, Zaplatynow and Gensendorf. The evangelical church and German Peasant House in Stryj supported the cultural and social aid for the German colonies in Felizenthaul, Karlsdorf, Annaberg, and Smorz.
The cultural and social life among the Jews was actually run by the Jewish commune. There were many Jewish cultural societies in Stryj. One of them was the Society "Iwrija" which popularized Hebrew language. Members met in Benjamin Stark's house, close to City Square, where the Hebrew Library was located. Among the pioneers and founders of this Society were N. Siegel, S. Neubauer, I. Schor, Dr. J. Schuster, Dr. N. Kudish, J. Oberlander, P. Stark, I. Nussenlat, and others. Besides "Iwrija" there was also the Society of Friends of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) had been functioning since 1920, assembling young Jewish women--advocates of women’s rights. The activists of this organization were Dr. Rozmarin and Kaufman. There was also an amateur Jewish theatre in Stryj managed by A. Hauptman and Dr. M. Bienostocka. The scene-painter in this theatre was B. Stern and the prompter was M. Katz. Jewish intellectuals in Stryj used to meet in the Jewish club called the "Jewish Citizen’s Casino". The presidents of this club were Dr. Zauman, Dr. Hoffner, Dr. Bromer, Dr. Weiss, and Dr. Schindler. The Jewish Combatant Union also was also established in Stryj, managed by Dr. Kiczales and Dr. Hopfen. The Jewish Citizen’s Club enjoyed popularity among Polish citizens, especially because of the very tasty food. For funeral affairs, the Jewish Funeral Guild "Chewa Kadisze" was brought into being in Stryj, Dolina, Rohatyna, Rozdol, Kalusz, Zurawno, Zydaczow, Bolechow, and Rozniatow.
In 1938 the Jewish Aid Comitee For Jewish Refugees From Germany was established in Stryj. Some of the Jews who resettled from Germany found new a home in Stryj. Many Jewish youth were members of the scout corps called "Haszomer Hatzeir", founded by Malka Leibowicz and Manes Stark after the First World War. Active members of this organization were Z. Steif and L. Szapiro.
Following an agreement with the Polish authority in Stryj, a military organization of young Jewish people, "Brit Trumpeldor", was established. This organization was created to educate candidates for future soldiers in Israel, and was managed by Z. Steiner, B. Igra, Miriam Hofler, V. Schenberg, and J. R. Hauptman. Leftist youth from the Bund belonged to the "Cunkunft"organization. In turn, the organization "Hehalutz" educated future farmers who were planing to move to Israel. In cooperation with the "Agudat Israel" organization, "Cejrej Al" and "Briat Al", Jewish youth organizations, were established. A globally famous citizen of Stryj, P. Stark, Master of Philosophy and former pupil of the first Grammar School in Stryj after World War I, described the lifestyle of orthodox Jews in Stryj in a very interesting way after World War II. He wrote in Polish under the pen name of Julian Stryjkowsk. Jewish students in Stryj were also very active. One of the most important student organizations was "Emuna", which followed the rules and tradition of a former organization called "Veritas", which was created before World War I. This organization promoted assimilation. Presidents of "Emuna" were M. Ringel, member of the senate of the Republic of Poland, Dr. A. Insler, deputy to the Polish Parliament, and Dr. Binenstock, a senator. Other "Emuna" activists were Dr. Rozenzweig, M. Scherlag (a writer), Dr. M. Schif, Dr. M. Kauffman (leader of the Zionists in Stryj), Dr. I. Reich, M. A. Einchorn, M. A. Elinger, M. A. Ingber, and others. Another student organization, "Kadima", came into being in 1922, and was managed by D. Sander, B. Bauman, W. Koppel, S. Kudish, F. Rechert, J. Ber, H. Baum, and others. The student organization of Zionist revisionists was "Hebronia", and was managed by J. Friedlander, M. Morer, Hazelnus, E. Zoldan, A. Zoldan, Klara Bleiberg, M. Garfunkel, and others. Jewish Zionist students who belonged to the socialist party " Hitahdut " created their own student organization called "ZASS" under the leadership of Dr. A. Eisenstein. Among the other leaders we could find are Dr. Ada Bortlew-Klein, Dr. M. Bortlew-Reinhartz, H. Mayer, Anda Budziniak, and Salka Wohlmut. The list of student organizations closes with the "Makkabi" organization.
The specific shape of cultural and social life of Jewish population in Stryj was defined by the aims and aspirations of the Jewish community. The President of the Assembly of Elders steered the Jewish community in accordance with the purposes and guiding rules of this political party, which he represented. Hence all political parties competed for political significance and political control in the Assembly of Elders. In Stryj, nothing could happen within the Jewish community without the decision of the Assembly of Elders. A strong Jewish community supported by the Synagogue enabled religious Jews to stay in isolation from the intellectual influence of the other nationalities living in Stryj. There was no isolation in trade, economy, and municipal affairs. The Assembly of Elders, the synagogue and the family were the supportive elements helping Jews to follow the rules of Jewish faith, tradition, customs, rituals, holidays, way of dress, food style, language, and finally a separate philosophy of life and separate political aspirations. The orthodox from the political circles of "Mizrachi" or "Agudat Israel" kept first the principals of Jewish religion, and made every effort to bring up their children in the same way. The Assembly of Elders organized social care and planned and managed works of charity. The Assembly of Elders was also responsible for the collection of money, and for its distribution for charitable purposes. The majority of funds came from the municipality and from philantropic, domestic and foreign organizations. Welfare work of the Assembly of Elders included care of the House of Orphans, the Hospital, the Senior House, and Jewish Mutual Aid aid societies.
In 1930 the Jewish charity organization "Beit Hoan" was established. On land received from the philanthropist Auerbach, they built a house that became the location for various Jewish welfare organizations. The organizational committee of this project included Dr. Presser as chairman, and H. Majerson, Diamant, Kindler, Dr. Kohn, Stern, M. Spiegel, Weinreb, and Wohlmut as members of the comittee. The Assembly of Elders supervised the method of preparing and the selling conditions of kosher meat. The same pertained to kosher bread and particularly to Passover bread. The Assembly of Elders mediated all disputes in the Jewish community. Another field of activity of the Assembly of Elders was the supervision of Jewish baths--an important ritual institution of Jewish social life. Quite early, in 1908, Jews from Stryj set up an aid association for small shopkeepers, craftsmen, and room painters called "Yad Harutzim". This organization was managed by A. Lewin and Dawidman. Shopkeepers themselves were organized into their own association "Oseh Tow", to give material help to those members who were in need. The top managment of this association included Kindler, B. Klein, Dr. Schif, I. Rechter, and D. Seidman. Also, Jewish craftsmen in Stryj had their own association "WR", which was a part of the Central Jewish Craftsmen Union in Poland. Those Jews who worked in administration were incorporated into the Central Union of Jewish Administration Workers. Besides the associations and organizations mentioned above, Jews organized professional circles such as the Jewish Lawyers Circle, Jewish Doctors Circle, Jewish Middle-Class Circle, and others. Jewish farmers belonged to a union set up before World War I called "ILAG" (Idishe Landwirtschaftliche Geselschaft), which gave material aid to small farmers. Jewish political organizations were also very active in the Stryj population. These organizations were mainly focused on the influence of municipal authorities, in cultural and social associations, in the Jewish Assembly of Elders, and in politics.
Among Polish people, and particularly among railway workers in Stryj, the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) was very popular. Just before World War I this body was created and organized by Jedrzej Moraczewski, a future prime minister, who was deputy to the Polish Parliement from Stryj. Besides this important reason for the popularity of the PPS in Stryj, the other one was election of railwayman Ozoga to the post of mayor of Stryj after World War I. Other eminent activists of the PPS in Stryj were Magiera, Tomanek, Gancarczyk, and Horski.
A big part of the Polish intelligentsia in Stryj promoted the Party of National Democracy, the president of which was Dr. M.Semkowicz, later senator of Republic of Poland. Lawyer Muszynski, F. Kasprowicz, Zdanowicz, Wojtowicz, Professor Patryn, director Wroblewski, Judge Robakowski, and Judge Skwirzynski all took an active part in the works of the National Democracy Party. This Party took care of TSL and exercised important influence in the "Sokol" organization. The Labour Party was presided over by Dr. Pozniak and the secretary was J.Krasinski. Among white-collar workers in Stryj the party called Bloc of Cooperation with Government (BBWR) was very popular. The Party was managed by B. Kaim, Pachorek, public prosecutor Wallisch, and Tchorznicki. Other activists included Koszalkowski, J. Nadziejowski, Balanda, and ngineer Kowalczewski. People of Jewish and Ukrainian origin belonged to the BBWR party in small numbers. The Party of Christian Democracy was directed by parish priest Cislo. Active members of this Party were professor Cyprys, Mrs. Dienstlowa, and Judge B. Dziedzic. The Peasant Party was directed by Dr. Tarkowski, who later became a deputy from the village of Dolina. BBWR organized the association "Legion Mlodych" for the youth, with its leader M. A. Niec. Another Parliament Deputy from Stryj was Dr. Krzyszton. The Communist Party was illegaly active in Stryj. Its prominent members were famous among the Polish population, including Siedlecki (a student of the Institute of Technology in Lwow), Taras, Butrym, and Gomulka.
Among Ukrainians, the most popular party was the Ukrainian National Democratic Party (UNDO).
In 1928 Party was divided. As a result of this fact, the Labour Party was set up. This party was characterized by pro-Soviet inclinations. Unfortunately it was long-lived. The Labour Party activity was ended after the Soviet government introduced collectivisztion and kolkhozes in the Kijev region. The original UNDO collaborated with Polish authorities. The president of UNDO in Stryj was S. Lucki, a member of Central Committee of UNDO in Lwow, and a member of the National Committee in Stryj. Lucki was a member of Petlura. He later became a deputy and a senator in the Polish Parliement. Lucki was also a vice-president of the Revisionary Union of Ukrainian Co-operative Movement in East Malopolska. Besides Lucki, other activists of UNDO in Stryj were Dr. Harasymow, Dr. Luzecki, Melnyk, and Taras. In Stryj there were many members of the "Old Russians" party, which aimed at good relations with the Polish population. The activists in this party were Dr. Lewicki, Klebowicz, M. Pyc (the pork-butcher’s factory owner), butcher Jackiewicz, Professor D.Wajcowicz, and others.
Other parties among Ukrainian society were the Social-Radical Party and "Catholic Union" party. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was party acting in Stryj illegally under the leadership of S. Bandera, who later became the president of Central Committee of OUN in Poland. Stryj soon became a center of OUN activity. In the country, OUN authorities "landed" Rebet and J. Spolski coming from Stryj. The editor of the illegal bulletin of OUN management, C.Ochrymowicz was also born in Stryj. Other citizens of Stryj in in the central authorities of OUN were Mirczuk, and O. Gasina. In the local (Stryj) OUN, authorities were P. Jaremowicz, O. Hrycak, Giba, and Mokrzycki, who in time joined the secret organisation UOW (Ukrainian Military Organization). At the begining of World War II they collaborated with the German SS Galizien Division, entering in July 1943. During World War II the leader of OUN in Poland was the above-mentioned S. Bandera from Stryj. In 1942, Germans took Bandera to the Nazi camp in Sachsenhausen, and the other activist, Rebet, was sent to Auschwitz. In August 1943 OUN created the Ukrainian Uprising Army, also known as UPA. UPA soldiers fought against the Germans and Soviets.
A great number of local newspapers and magazines were edited in Stryj. They represented political and religious options as well as national background. The most popular and independent were "Echo Karpackie" (editors: J.Krasinski, and Maslanka-Grodzinski), and "Gazeta Stryjska" (editor-in-chief S.Kozlowski). The Ukrainian population had two titles: "Stryjska Dumka"(editor A.Kozak) and "Ukrainska Muzyka". "Maly Dziennik" and "Slowo Polskie" were two newspapers of the Christian Democratic party--they were edited in Poland. In the BBWR circle the most popular was publication was an illustrated daily magazine "I.K.C.", edited in Krakow. The Socialist Party organ was "Robotnik". Members of the National Democratic Party read "Gazeta Lwowska". Two others newspapers edited in Lwow, "Wiek Nowy" and "Kurier Poranny", were very popular. In Lwow, the comic magazines "Pociegiel", "Szczutek", "Bociana" were edited. UNDO organs in Stryj were the newspapers "Dilo", "Wistnyk", "Swoboda", "Nowyny", "Batkwiszczyna", and "Narid".
Among Jewish people in Stryj after the First World War, a political fight between two competing groups, the Zionists and the assimilationists, developed, and persisted for a long time. Zionist leaders included Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Insler (deputy to Parliament, and a future leader of the Zionists in Poland), Dr. Presser, Dr. Goldberg, M. A. Sternberg, Dr. M. Schiff, Rachela Katz, Dr. Wandel, M. Wohlmut, S. Ginsberg, and Dr. Schmorak. The Zionists were opposed by extreme leftists and the orthodox Jews who did not accept the Zionist idea of creating the state of Israel in Palestine. The national Jewish faction called "Poale Syjon" with activists L. Opper, J. Klinger, B. Friedman, A. Kaufman, and S. Horoszowski, collaborated with the Zionists. Young Zionists, mostly intellectuals who spoke Hebrew, belonged to the Hitahdut Party. It was set up by Schwamer after 1920. Its activists were Dr. A. Eisenstein, Ada Klein, M. Fritzhand, Ben Zion Garfunkel, N. Kudischand, and D. Fruchter. Among the Hitahdut Party members were also blue-collar workers and shopkeepers. In 1930 many Poale Syjon members moved to the Hitahdut party, including the activist Opper. Devotees of the idea of assimilation were much fewer. In Stryj they were represented by Dr. Kiczales and Dr. Wiesenberg. Before World War I, Orthodox Jewish Nationalists formed the political organization "Mizrachi" in Stryj. The activists of this organization were A. Apfelgrun, Auerbach, S. Zwilling, A. Hubel, L. Pickholz, M. Wunderman, and others. The most intensive political fight was carried by the Zionist against the Agudat Israel Party. It was an orthodox party with conservatively rightist deviations. The leader of this party in Stryj was M. Neubauer and party activists were M. Horowitz, N. and Z. Goldberg, J. and S. Weiss, and S. Gertner. This party was the authority of the Jewish community for six years. Eventually, all of the Zionist-oriented parties (Poale Syjon and Hitahdut) set up a Committee of Collaboration. The Committee had its own abode at 3 Maj Street, the main street in Stryj. The Committee was presided over by Dr. Presser; the activists were Dr. S.Wandel, Dr. H. Muhlbauer, L. Schwamer, A. Apfelgrun, Dr. A. Eisenstein, and Dr. M. Kaufman. The Bund, an organization of Jews with leftist orientation, operated in Stryj under the leadership of Dr. Rappaport. The ideas of Bund were close to those of PPS. The activists of the Bund were N. Welker, J. Dornfeld, M. Wagman, L. Tepper, B. Ber, and others. Dr. Rappaport organized in Stryj the Jewish Economical Association, which, in time, went into Zionist hands.
In 1935, the great event in Stryj for all Jewish people was the visit of world famous Zionist leader, David Ben Gurion. Zionists in Stryj had their own Polish language newspaper, "Chwilla", which was edited in Lwow. The newspapers "Tagblat" and "Volks-zeitung", which was the organ of the Bund party, were available in Jidysz. The press organ of Hitahdut was "Neue Wort", which was read by orthodox Jews. Dr. Insler from Stryj was actively engaged on the editorial board of "Chwila". He was also the editor of the Polish-language Jewish magazine "Opinia", printed in Lwow. Several Jewish citizens of Stryj took active part in the Polish Republic Parliament and Senate, including Senator Binenestock, Dr. W. Krzyszton, Dr. P. Gsiak, Dr. E. Semkowicz, Dr. Insler (Zionist), Ringel (Zionist), and Lucki (UNDO)--deputy and senator.
City authorities took care of young people in Stryj—they wanted them to be able to practice sport and recreation in profesionally-adapted places. Therefore the riverside, canoe-river port, tennis courts, sport fields with cloakrooms, and cafe-gardens were built. Another special area close to the river, called Jordan Park, was designated just for sports clubs for young people of all nationalities living in Stryj. In this park there were stands for visitors, cloakrooms for sportsmen, storage rooms for sports equipment, sports fields, racing paths, and take-off places. Jordan Park was a place for all football and athletics clubs. The leading football club at that time was Pogon I, founded in 1905; other significant clubs were Pogon II, Pogon III, and club Stryjanka. Pogon I was a club in the A class league. The club patrons were Dr. F. Lassota, S. Tchorznicki (vice-president of the tribunal), prosecutor Wallisch, Sledziona-Zawojski, and Grabowski. The best players of Pogon I were R. Datko, Maslanko, Kobel, R. Hoszowski, L. Stefaniszyn, T. Datko, Zembaczynski, P. Swiatecki, B. Reif, Paraszczak, Z. Mykitko, Murias, Zaslawski, Gembara, T. Malina, Krawiec, Jung, Parylak, Morlinger, Swedich, and E. Mitrenko. A very active promotor of this club was Zelazko. Engineer Chomyszyniec was the football referee. The manager of Pogon I was J. Lenkisz. Captain of Pogon II was E. Mitrenko. In the framework of the Pogon club there was also a hockey team, whose top players were Lapczuk and E. Mitrenko. In athletics games, one of the best runners was Z. Jugan. In Stryj there was also a basketball club called KPW, managed by O. Paraszczak. In 1937 this club won the cup of Railway Management in Lwow. The best basketball players were M. Wolak, Nowosielski, S. Kogut, M. Magiera, J. Zielinski, and E. Skulski. Young Ukrainians played football on the teams Skala I and Skala II. The managers of these teams were engineer Chomyszyniec, Wegczko, Dyba, and engineer Pocalujko. Famous Ukrainian players were Rak, Chomyszyniec, Hawrylak, Worobec, Grechota, Kobzar, Lysek, Pawliczek, and Gorochowanka. In the framework of the Skala athletic section, the best competitors were Petryna, Hiszko, Sztynda, Kurowicki, Sniatynski, and Sobczak. Besides those mentioned above, there were also other Ukrainian clubs, such as the Ukrainian Club R.S. and the football club Zorza, whose best player was Chomyszyniec. On the Polish team Pogon, the well-known players were goalkeeper Maczalaba and player J.Magiera.
The Jewish football club Hasmonea was set up in Stryj before the First World War. Two others, Hakoach I and Hakoach II, were set up just after the War. Managers of Hakoach I were Wolowski and Garfunkel. Well-known players on this team were Z. Weiss, S. Borak, M. Redler, M. Grutz, M. Horowic, Landes, and Fruchter. The tennis courts in center of the city belonged to the Hakoach club. On these courts famous tennis players Benczer, Borak, W. Hausman, M. Stern, and Zimmerman used to play. A new Jewish football team, Dror, was established in 1925 with its best players being F. Meller, Haiber, Rap, Rotstein, and M. Meller. The next one, Hapoel, was founded in 1930.
People in Stryj could spend leisure time in the beautiful Olszyna Park,which was full of flowers, trees (mostly lime-trees), flower paths, and so on. There was also an open concert hall, a restaurant, and a dance floor in the summerhouse with an orchestra. Near Olszyna Park there were Polish tennis courts. Such eminent tennis players from Stryj as Kalitowski, M. Matuszewski, T. Zdanowicz, R. Wajcowicz, Rawski, and Werstein used to play there. Skiers from Stryj belonged to Ski-Association, which built a ski shelter-home in Slawsko.
At an altitude of 1000 metres, on the mountain Daszkowiec near Slawsko, a take-off for skiers was built and ski-run lines were traced out. Skiing was popularized by T. Zdanowicz, R.Wajcowicz, Werstein, and others. An English family named McIntosh from the oil business lived in Stryj. Ralf and Molly, young members of this family, spent many years in Stryj between the first and second World Wars with their parents.
Many branches of industry were developed in Stryj and in the Stryj region. Local financial circles revealed many initiatives concerning new industrial enterprises. After World War I, factories started wide-scale production again, and were being technologicaly modernized.
New branches of industry such as wood and food industries began developming quickly. Oil and mineral industries made only slight progress. It was difficult to find the financial sources to develop a chemical industry that could use the natural gas from the Daszawa region. Natural gas is a very good raw material for chemical synthesis since it does not have any contaminants.
Beside the big industry, a significant part in the Stryj economy was played by crafts. Craftsmen were a respected group of professionals due to their timeliness and and good quality of work. Relations between people living in Stryj and craftsmen were very traditional. They used to go to the same shoemaker, tailor, baker, photographer, locksmith or carpenter for many years. Craftsmen followed tradition and kept it continued by handing down their workshop and modes and secrets of production to their children. Tradespeople in Stryj based their business on regular customers. Shopkeepers not only recomended what to choose from their assortment, but they were also the customer’s trustworthy advisors in various life problems. Shops were located mostly in buildings around the market square. Stalls with fruits, vegetables and flowers were placed on the central part of the square. All of this gave charm and a specific character to the look of the city.
In Stryj and in the region, a large number of Polish and Ukrainian co-operatives existed.
Nobody from the Polish population of Stryj could have expected that 20 years after the removal of the black-and-yellow Austrian flags and the crest othe two-headed eagle from the city hall, which had remainined there for the previous 150 years, they would be forced to leave Stryj, and the small towns and villages around Stryj.
On September 6, 1939, the Germans bombed the railway station in Stryj and railway workshops nearby. When the Second World War broke out, Polish military plans made the Stryj region a defense zone. General Stefan Dembinski, the commander of Operational Group "Stryj", was responsible for the organization of defense on the riverside of the Stryj River. Unfortunately the implementation of these and other plans turned out to be impossible when the Russian army invaded Poland from east and southeast on September 17, 1939. In September 1939, when the Germans invaded Gdansk, they arrested members of the Polish organization "Macierz Szkolna", and two men from Stryj among them, Wladyslaw Dubrawski and Zygmunt Bahr; both of them were executed.
Between September 8-13, 1939, the Polish army prepared a strategy of defense for the vicinity of the villages Falisz, Duliby, and Grabowiec. Defensive military operations also included the village of Mikolow. While the Soviet army entered Poland, the Operational Group "Stryj" moved back to the mountains, near Skole. In fights against Germans, the commander of the 21st Infantry Division, General Jozef Kustron from Stryj, was killed. On September 23, the Polish Army left for Hungary. Together with soldiers, a large number of young people from Stryj were transfered to Hungary by Professor Neff. In the years 1940-1944 these young people from Stryj went to a Polish grammar school, which was set up in Balaton-Zamorodi, in Hungary. Germans occupied Stryj and the region on September 18, 1939. It did not take a long time, because based on an agreement between the Germans and Soviets in August of 1939, these states dismembered Poland for the fourth time. Between September 19, 1939 and June 22, 1941, the Soviets established their authorities in Stryj, and started to arrest citizens of Stryj beginning in October of 1939. One of the people arrested was the mayor of Stryj, B. Kaim, who was taken away to Charkow, and later probably to Odessa. Some of citizens of Stryj were transported to the interior of Russia; including the director of local administration Pawlik, Judge Rybicki, Doctor W.Hausman, lawyers Wandal and Ochrymowicz, craftsman Sluka, railway workers J. Kobryn and Wartalski and power station director Wilde. Kobryn and Wartalski were sentenced to jail in a very short time by a tribunal in Stryj. All of the above died in the Soviet Union, except for Kobryn, who returned to Stryj with General Anders army. In Stryj, priest Strinski set up a clandestine organization, ZWZ; among the activists in this organization was Judge B. Dziedzic. Both of them were taken away by the Soviets to Russia. Only Judge Dziedzic came back with the Anders army. In February 1940, the Soviets arrested in Stryj a group of ZWZ led by Professor Selzer, who was also arrested. Also arrested with him were Niemczyk, M. Domanski, Zofia Necka, S. Langenfeld, A. Piasecki, Prezdziecka, J. Smagala Jr., M. Srodzinski, brothers J. and Z. Steczek, L. Sosabowski, and Z. Schlesinger. All these people were taken away to the Soviet Union. Only Niemczyk, J. Smagala Jr., M. Srodzinski, and Z. Steczek returned with the Anders army. Later on, other Stryj citizens were arrested, including Werstein, K. Filipowski, Ryglewicz, Smarzewski, brothers Wierzbicki (Ukrainian men) and other citizens of Ukrainian. In 1941 many people were murdered in prison in Sambor. L. and J. Szenker, two brothers from Stryj were there; one of them died there.
In 1939 in Skole, Sieczkowski, the officer of municipal authorities in Stryj, was killed bythe NKWD. The process of taking away the citizens of Stryj reached a mass scale in April 1940. Their destination was the interior of Russia. Regardless of age, all were taken away--newborns, children, teenagers, women, old men, and adult men. They were packed in covered wagons and stayed there for more than few weeks, until they were led to the empty, cold, inhuman land of northern Russia. These horrible conditions caused many people to die. It was a human tragedy. In some families, of 6 persons taken away to Russia, only 2 remained alive by 1942. That was the case of the Wall family from Stryj. On the way to Russia grandson Krzysztof--6 years old--died; both parents and another son died in Russia. Stryj citizens were mostly settled in regions of the Kokpeta-Semipalatynsk area, Kazachstan, Bilojarka, Saryagacz, and Uzbekistan near Taszkient. During transportation to the Soviet Union, the mother of Albin and Mieczyslaw Srodzinski was thrown from a wagon by a Russian soldier and she died. The wife of the mayor of Stryj also died in Russia. Among the missing were Ozogoa (the former mayor of Stryj), Andrzej Piasecki-Rylski from Stankow, and Wilder from Stryj. Among those killed were the wife of Colonel Szczuradlowski, the married couple Steczek, the married couple Rudnicki (his wife's baptismal certificate was used later by a lawyer from Stryj). She was also the office manager for AK in Warsaw. A full list of persons killed in Katyn and missing in all of Russia is at the end of this report.
In June 1941, when the Soviets left Stryj using the hands of the NKWD--one of Stalin's organizations--they killed almost all of the political prisoners in Stryj. Among them were K. Filipowski, Werstein, the brothers Wierzbicki, and over 100 Polish and Ukrainian prisoners. Murders committed by the NKWD in Stryj in June 1941 were immortalized in the form of photos taken by Germans and printed later in the German press. In a similar action in Sambor during the same period, Soviet soldiers killed Jerzy Szenker from Stryj. His brother Leszek escaped death by being covered by bodies of killed persons. The same incidents took place in the prisons of the Stanislawow voivodship--Nadworna, Horodenka, Zydaczow, and Stanislawow.
Starting in 1942, the clandestine Polish military organization "Armia Krajowa" was active in Stryj. Members of this organization were priest Swiezawski, Professor J. Fries, Jaroslaw Krasinski, A. Makarewicz, Mieczyslaw Jarosz, and others. During this time the administrator of Stryj was the German commander, Captain Weide. The mayor of the city was the Ukrainian Professor Prawur. After invading the southeast part of Poland (East Little Poland) in 1941, the Germans decided to put Ukrainians in charge of the municipal authority and brought the Ukrainian militia into being. From the moment of the invasion, this part of Poland was called District Galizien. Jewish people were forced by Germans to wear armbands with sign of Zion and brought into being a Jewish militia, which was obliged to cooperate with the Assembly of Elders acting in the same territory. The president of Assembly of Elders was Huterer. Jewish people were restricted to live and move in certain territories. In Stryj, this teritory comprised the district surrounded by Kilinskiego Street close to Lachowicz bookstore up to the corner of Iwaszkiewicza Street, Drohobycka Street, Batorego Street, and further along Stojalowskiego Street and along the castle boulevard. The city market square, Berka Joselewicza Street, Kusnierska Street, and Lwowska Street up to Zielna Street were included in the Jewish district. Into this territory, 12,000 Jews from Stryj and almost 11,000 from small towns and villages of the near region were transfered. This place was called the ghetto.
Jews were conveyed to work outside the ghetto. The ghetto in this shape and scale remained up to the end of 1942. During this time, the extermination of Jews continued--in November 1941 Germans murdered 1,200 Jews in Holobutow near Stryj--but generally until July 1942 Jews could live without special restraints. After September 1942 this situation changed. In this month, 1,000 Jews were transported by the Germans to the Belzec camp, and between October 7-18, another 7,000 Jews were taken there. 550 Jews were killed in Stryj. Among the Jews in Stryj there were also Jews from Austria., who had come to Poland in 1938 when the Germans drove them out from Austria due to their Polish origin. One of them was an Aryan-Jewish couple from Vienna named Gerbrose. They always stayed together, even until their martyr’s death from hands of the German Gestapo. The Ghetto in Stryj was reduced in size in comparison to the original layout at the begining of 1943, when 1,300 Jews were murdered in Holobutow. Then in May 1943, another few thousand Jews were killed in Jewish cemetery in Stryj, and another 700 were taken away to Belzec. Slaughters started to be commited on Jews on June 10th, 1943. The commanders of this crime were oberleutnants Klosman and Ebenrecht. Gestapo from Stryj recalled reinforcements from Drohobycz. Hildebrand, Jozef Gabriel, Gerber--Gestapo soldiers from Drohibycz who came to Stryj--had on their accounts slaughters of Jews in villages Bronica, Urycz and Podhorce. Murdered Jews were from Boryslaw and Drohobycz. The Ghetto was liquidated on the 24th and 25th of July, 1943, and within these two days Germans killed over 5.000 Jews and buried them in the forest in Holobutow and in the Jewish cemetery in Stryj. In August 1943, 800 Jews from the work camp in Stryj were murdered in Holobutow. In 1942 in Mikolajew, a Gestapo soldier killed a clerk of a gas plant from Stryj, Boleslaw Kitynski. Those who kept Jewish citizens in hiding were immediately executed; these included Judge Janicki, the married couple Bileccy (who were executed in the Jewish cemetery in Stryj), and a Professor of the grammar school in Stryj, Jan Fries. A small number of Jews decided to escape to central Poland or to Hungary. Members of Armia Krajowa, like priests Golen and Swiezawski, nuns from St. Joseph day nursery and ordinary people living in Stryj offered open-handed aid to Jews. Support also came from Armia Krajowa "Zegota" from Warsaw and Lwow. In 1942 AK emissaries came to Stryj in order to gather data to prepare personal identity documents with false Polish surnames, making Jews able escape from Stryj. It was a risky and dangerous activity. For example, a liaison AK officer nicknamed "Irena" was caught by the Germans at the railway station in Stryj while she was "convoying" a Jewish girl with false papers. Both of them were immediately executed. Thanks to new Polish papers from AK, lawyer Paulina Hausman left Stryj. She obtained papers for name Zofia Rudnicka, who was deported to the Soviet Union. She was a teacher and sister of the Krasinska family, who gave these papers to Paulina Hausman. Paulina Hausman vel Rudnicka vel Alicja, when she arrived in Warsaw, became a top director of the Aid Office for Jews, "Zegota", which was an AK section. In the framework of this organization, she gave financial help to Jews, and she delivered Aryan identity documents to them. She had many connections with the other AK sections "Weisa", "Freda", "Leona", which were engaged in production of false documents, and thanks to these connections, she could effectively help all Jews, but particularly those from Stryj. Paulina Hausman was saved from the Warsaw Uprising, and she lived in Warsaw until her death in 1982. A similar situation took place in the family of lawyer Wandl from Stryj, whose daughter, after receipt of false papers, escaped from Stryj and then, after the war moved to the USA. A friend of Paulina Hausman, engineer Jezierski from Warsaw, thanks to the help of priest Swiezawski and Jaroslaw Krasinski from Stryj, received a Catholic register from Roman Catholic parish in Stryj for his wife of Jewish origin (from the Hertz family, dentists from Stryj). These documents saved her life when she was arrested by the Gestapo in Warsaw. Based on the papers delivered by AK, other Jewish citizens succeeded in leaving Stryj. Among them were Dr. E. Begleiter, Dr. N. Schif, Dr. Schleifer, Hausman, Kindler, the brothers Apfelgrun, and M. Lerikstein.
Another interesting story was the case of Dr. Margulies’ daughter, Renata, who thanks to Aryan documents, was saved from death. She received help from priest Boguslaw Waszczynski and from the nuns of St.Joseph from Stryj. As a result of this help she was able to stay safely in the nunnery in Stara Wies near Tarnopol. Two citizens of Stryj, S. Chaiber and B. Wieseltier, decided to fight with the underground army in Weldziza in the Dolina district. One of them, S. Chaiber, survived and moved to Belgium after the war. Szuster a 34-year-old buyer from Drohobycz was harbored with his wife and daughter by people from Stryj; he also survived and moved after the war to New York, where he worked on the stock exchange. Izaak Nusenblatt was harbored in Stryj by Rozalia Paszkiewicz and also moved to New York. Rozalia Paszkiewicz also gave shelter to other Jewish citizens--Pinkas Rosenblat, Szymon Tigierman with wife and daughter, Betta Stok, and Helda Stok. The Kaminski family from Stryj gave shelter to the sister of Dr. Bardach from Stryj--Bardach, who after war decided to live in Israel. The caretaker of the Stryj municipality, Kedzierski, harboured lawyer Taler in the caves of the town hall. After the war, Taler settled in Gliwice (in the Polish Silesia Region). Eleonora Reisowna was harbored in Stryj by Stefania Rzeczykowska. The butcher Szulc gave shelter to several Jews in Marcinowka in the suburbs of Stryj. J. Fidler, with his wife, and O. Singer survived, thanks to Stryj citizens who gave them shelter. But it was not only Polish citizens who gave help to Jews. They also received support and assistance from the Ukrainian part of the Stryj population. One Ukrainian lady from Stryj named Bajtal gave shelter to a small girl, the daughter of Jewish family Wiseltier, well known Stryj bakers and millers. She baptized this girl and the girl stayed in the Catholic faith forever. She is a doctor and lives in Poland. The Wiseltier family changed their surname to Wilson and is living in London. Another Ukrainian lady, Hanna Krzywicka, gave shelter to her husband, a Jew named Gustein. After the war, they moved and lived together in Wroclaw. Very similar are the cases of two other Ukrainian ladies--Julia Markusowna harbored her husband Wolfinger, and Maryjka Serednicka gave shelter to her husband Horowitz, who was well known in Stryj as a football player. Both of the above couples survived and were living together after the war, one in Poland and the second one in Rio de Janeiro. Names of all those who harboured Jews in Stryj, exposing themselves to possible death, are listed in book written by Bartoszewski under the original title "Ten jest z Ojczyzny mojej". In the book by Teresa Prekorowa, "Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Zydom w Warszawie w 1942-1944", the case of Maulina Hausman vel Zofia Rudnicka vel Alicja is described. During the war, she was in the conspiratorial organization AK "Zegota" as the manager of the Office "Zegota", and after the war, she was a president of a court for the Warsaw District. In this post she did not fare well. Polish (PRL) authorities hunted AK soldiers after the war until the 1960's, threatening them with prison and even death. The Krasinski family, who helped Paulina Hausman to change her surname, is living in Poland, in Krakow (1988). Priest Swiezawski from Stryj, the other Polish citizen who helped Hausman, was honored by Israeli authorities for his help and devotion to saving the lives of Jewish citizens during the war.
S. Chaiber, a Jew from Stryj, aged about 25, and B. Wiseltier, also 25, from family of bakers from Stryj, entered the underground Polish-Jewish army in 1942. The army was operating in the forests of the Dolinski region. The commander of this army was a 25 year old Polish man from Dolina, Zbigniew Morawski. Only Morawski and Chaiber survived. Chaiber left Poland after the war, and settled in Brussels. Wiseltier died fighting in the underground army. In Stryj during the German occupation, a member of the NSDAP of German origin, who was a manager of an automobile workshop, organized the transportation of Jews to the Hungarian border in special cars. A Polish automobile mechanic, Stanislaw Szolta from Stryj, was engaged in the construction and reconstruction of the cars. When the Gestapo received information about this procedure, they tried to arrest them immediately and transfer them to the SS Sondergericht disposal. Szolta succeeded in escaping escape prior to their attempt to arrest him. He is now living in Australia.
The Germans left Stryj in August of 1944. The Russians replaced them immediately, and remain in Stryj up until today, incorporating Stryj into the West Ukrainian Republic. 16 years after the war ended, and after 16 years in Soviet work camps, Ostrowska-Pawlikiewicz, the owner of a large land property near Stryj came back home. Citizens of Polish origin were forced by the new Russian authorities to leave Stryj. The majority of them were displaced to Zabrze, Gliwice, Prudnik, and Gdansk. A few Poles stayed in Stryj: Professor Popkiewicz, Professor Cyprys, Professor Mazurkiewicz, and engineer Kowalczewski. A pastry-cook of Ukrainian origin also stayed in Stryj. In time, the parish priest in Stryj was Bernard Mickiewicz. In 1979 he was prosecuted and sentenced to 3 years in work camp. Presently (1988) services in church are officiated by a priest of Lettish origin. The parish church in was renewed in 1987.
Presently, Daszawa, near Stryj, is a central gas-mining region from where pipelines transport gas to Charkow and Moscow. The Polish People’s Republic has had to invest in building its own pipeline from Orenburg (Czkalow) to import gas from Russia. It is a few thousand kilometres from the Polish border to Orenburg, whereas Daszawa, in the vicinity of Stryj, is around 100 kilometeres from the border. To make this investment, Poland, already being in foreign debt, was forced to take millions of dollard in new loans from West Germany to buy all the parts the pipeline, such as pumps, pipes, adjustable-control instruments, building machinery, and so on.
Polish refugees, who in 1939 migrated to Beirut, received great help from part of Miklasiewicz family, immigrants born in Stryj from the period before the First World War. Anna Miklasiewicz, a representative of this family living in Beirut, organized together with her son, the Aid Comittee for Polish Children. She also raised money for buying liturgical equipment, canonicals, and so on for Polish priests. Her son Wladyslaw Miklasiewicz, who spoke Polish, also gave French lessons to Polish priests on the faculty of theology in Beirut. In recognition of her service and devotion for the Roman Catholic church during the war, she was honored by the Pope with the highest Papal Order in 1949. She died in Beirut, and her son Wladyslaw, a professor at the Roman Catholic university in Beirut, emigrated after 1960 to Paris, where he died in the eighties.
In 1942, together with the army of General Anders, the following people born in Stryj left the Soviet Union: Colonel Ryzinski, (commander of the Young Men's Brigade), Professor Helena Ekstein, Professor Komorowska-Delawska, engineer Chomyszyniec, and Professor Czelny. They helped to organize a Polish school and to teach children in Polish schools all over the world. It is interesting that first heart transplant in Johannesburg, South Africa was done by professor Barnard on Mr. Bleiberg, who was born in Stryj. Born in Stryj in 1915, was Second Lieutenant Jan Demkow, who died on September 26, 1939, fighting in the defense of Warsaw. The defeat of Poland in 1939 was never accepted by anybody in Poland. Sometimes the reaction of Polish patriots was dramatic, like the case of T. Kasperek, a notary in Stryj, and Judge Dawidowicz. In reaction to the Soviet invasion of Stryj, they commited suicide. Citizens of Stryj, as well as other Polish people who originated from the described territories, lost members of their family, friends and relatives due to war. They died, were killed in action, or murdered in the Soviet Union, in Germany, in their own country by invaders, but also in Persia, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Italy, Norway, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Austria, and other countries. A list of family names is printed at the end of this book. In a victorious march, the Soviet army entered Stryj on June 2, 1944, and immediately Soviet authorities started to arrest Polish women, men, girls and boys. The scale of arrests increased from August 1944, when an uprising in Warsaw broke out. Later on the Soviets started to also arrest those who did not want to be removed to the Polish Peoples Republic, to the so-called Western Territory. At the end of 1944 the scale of arrests dramatically increased, and Polish citizens were deported to the interior of the Soviet Union. Some of the people deported from Stryj, such as 18-year-old Bolesiaw Kitynski, and Mr. Schab, a 35-year-old bookstore owner, were sent to coal mines in the Donbas region. Those who physically survived came back only at the end of 1945. People deported in the winter of 1945 faced much worse conditions. The trip to their destination took about 21 days in covered goods wagons. Many of them could not stand the heavy difficulties of the trip and died. Many died in the Soviet Union, not being not able to bear the conditions they had to live in. All this happened to Polish people only because they were of Polish origin. It was characteristic of the Stalin policy. To show his power, he sentenced innocent, unarmed, unprotected people, without any reason, for a half year of slavish labor after the war was over.
In New York, an Association of Jewish Citizens of Stryj was created before the First World War. In London such an Association was established after World War II, and exists up until now.
Listed below are eminent Stryj citizens from the years 1919 – 1939: