The Town of Baligrod - Its History

Translated from the Polish, Town of Baligrod website:

The settlement had been established in the early years of the 17th Century by Peter II, Bal. Circa 1600-1615 they built a castle that was surrounded by fortifications. The existence of the settlement is shown with a document issued by king Wladyslaw IV and given to Peterís son Adam Bal in 1634. The next owner of Baligrod was Adamís brother Stephen Bal. After him, Baligrod was inherited by Stephenís son John (Jan) Bal. John contributed to Baligrodís economic boom. Under his management Baligrod became a famous wine market and a popular place of country gentlemenís meetings.

Salomea Bal Karsznicki was the last owner from the line of the Bal family. Her son Andrew Karsznicki inherited Baligrod after her.

In 1780 Baligrod had 84 houses occupied by 593 people including 148 Jews. In the 19th century Baligrodís landed property had many owners. In 1870 Jewish settler Hersch Grossinger bought the town of Baligrod for 50,000 zlotys.

Hersch Grossinger was a very enterprising person. He bought Cisna and soon after sold it for a huge profit. In 1898 his two sons Lazar and Chiam inherited the towns of Baligrod, Bystre, Huczwice, Mchabe, Rabe and Steznica.

In the 19th century the people of Baligrod were mostly farmers and cattle breeders. In 1870 they are listed as having 50 horses, 166 oxen, 117 cows, 63 sheep and 63 pigs. Some of the residents worked in the foundry at Rabe.

Each year huge market events were held. A regular market day was Monday. They sold Hungarian wine, wax, honey, leather, wool, linen etc.

In 1862 a public school was opened and still exists in a building that was built in 1909. The first post office was opened in 1855. In 1876 Baligrod had its own medical doctor. In 1879 the town church was built.

World War I wasnít easy for Baligrod. From January 1915 through March of 1915 Baligrod was in the middle of a war zone. The fighting was heavy and extremely dangerous. They were caught between the Russian and Austro-Hungarian armies.

The 1921 Census showed 179 houses, occupied by 1260 people, of which 515 were Jews. The Jewsí houses were located in the central part of Baligrod. The Jews owned 52 of the stores, taverns and inns. At that time there were two sawmills, a mill, smithy, bakery, craftsmen, tailors and shoemakers, although the main occupation was breeding and cultivation.

Just before World War II, the population of Baligrod was 2366 people of all backgrounds.

On September 10, 1939 Baligrod was occupied by Slovakian and German troops. They opened a police station for Gestapo and Arbeitsamt (administration). Vacancies (?) were taken by the Ukrainians. Soon the Ukrainians took over the school building and opened their own school. The Polish school was sent to the poorest place in town.

In the autumn of 1942 the Germans took 880 Jews and killed them in Zatawie, near Sanok. Very few Jews survived by hiding in the forest. The Germans destroyed the Synagogue and paved the roads with tombstones from the Jewish Cemetery.

In August of 1944 the Ukrainian army invaded Baligrod and killed 42 Poles.

Today there are approximately 1400 people living in Baligrod. NO JEWS.

NOTE: The Yahrtzeit for the Jewish Community of Baligrod is September 6, 1942, or the 24 of Ellul. Please light a candle the night before. Those of you who go to Yizkor, please remember them in your prayers.   MIK