Alternate names: Stary Sacz [Polish], Alt-Sanz [Yiddish], Altsandez [German], Tzantz Yashan [Hebrew], Stary Soncz
(Founded in 1280)
185.9 miles S of Warsaw
Stary Soncz, Cracow District, Poland - Jews are first mentioned in 1469, but only formed an organized community under Austrian rule with the end of residence
restrictions in 1860. The Jewish population stood at 666(total 5,156) in 1910. All Jewish stores were looted in 1898 and declining economic conditions and the
rigors of WWI led to emigration, the Jewish population standing at 553 in 1921. The Halberstam Hasidic dynasty of Zanz provided the community with rabbis.
Under the German occupation, a Judenrat was set up at the end of 1939 and a ghetto crowding together 1,000 Jews including refugees was established in
spring 1942. On 17 August, after the sick and old were murdered, all were expelled to Nowy Soncz for deportation to Belzec death camp.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust by Shmuel Spector (editor)and Geoffrey Wigider (consulting editor), Yad Vashem,
Jerusalem  0-8147-9356-8
Nowy Sacz (Sonch)'s older sister town of Stary Sacz (Sonch) lies 6 miles (10 km) south, high above the Poprad, just before it joins the Dunajec
(Dunayets). Its cobbled Rynek is among the quaintest squares in the country: the houses, which are only one or two story high, mostly date
from the 18th century, and one of them contains a delightfully ramshackle local museum. To the south is the parish church, a Gothic building
with Baroque decoration. More significant is the fortified convent of the Poor Clares to the east, which was founded in 1280 by the Blessed Kinga,
widow of King Boleslaw the Chaste. The Baroque frescos in the nave depict scenes from the life of the foundress, whose statue can be seen in the
chapel devoted to her memory. Opposite the latter is the seventeenth-century pulpit, which incorporates a florid carving of the Tree of Jesse.
In spring 1940 the Nazi authorities established a ghetto in Stary Sacz. Jews from Stary Sacz were taken there and also those displaced from nearby villages.
The ghetto was dissolved on August 17, 1942 and its inhabitants were deported to Nowy Sacz, and from there they were subsequently taken to the camp in Belzec.
During the action of dissolving the ghetto the Nazis shot a group of elderly and sick people in the Piaski district.
Source: Virtual Shtetl http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/city/stary-sacz/
Synagogue –Originally Built in 1906
(Stanisława Staszica 10)
Stary Sacz – Summer, 2009
Compiled by Deborah Raff
Lovingly Updated 22 June 2013
Copyright © 2003 Deborah Raff
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