Originally called Galicia- Lodomeria, Galicia (pronounced Ga-lee-tzia) was an area in the borderland between the Russian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the pre-1918 era. It was returned to Poland when that state was reestablished after the First World War, and defined, for the most part, as Southeastern Poland (East of Krakow) that extended into Ukraine and was all part of Poland before World War II, stretching East to the city of L’vov (now L’viv). Most of Galicia was occupied by the USSR in 1939, and then by Germany after June 1941.

After World War II, the eastern part of Galicia was annexed into the Ukraine, and the western part of it became a part of Poland. The term Galicia is no longer recognized as a county, province or a region

The Jewish population lived mainly in small towns and consisted about 10% of the entire population. Most lived poorly, largely working in small workshops and enterprises, and as craftsmen, such as tailors, carpenters, hat makers, jewelers and opticians. At the same time, the number of Jewish intellectual workers proportionally to the Ukrainian or Polish population was much higher. There were many physicians, dentists , workers in culture, theaters and cinema, barbers, nurses, and lawyers.

In the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century Galicia was a stronghold not only of  Hassidism but also of the Haskalah Movement, which gave birth to Jewish nationalism and to Jewish strivings for assimilation into German and Polish society. But by the end of the 19th century Zionism started challenging assimilation.

After World War I, Galicia served as a battleground between Ukrainian and Polish forces. When in 1920, Galicia passed to Poland, Galician Jews and Ukrainians experienced ethnic oppression by undergoing a forceful Polonization.

In September 1939, most of Galicia passed to the Soviet Ukraine.

The majority of Galician Jews perished in the Holocaust. They were exterminated in the German death camps of Sobibor, Belzec and Majdanek, as well as other ghettos and camps, and in shooting operations. What remains today is a landscape of occasionally restored cemeteries and synagogues, but few Jews. Most survivors immigrated to Israel or the United States. The very few who remained in Ukraine or Poland have undergone assimilation.

In the popular perception, Galitzianers were considered to be more emotional and prayerful than their rivals, the Litvaks, who thought of them as irrational and uneducated. They, in turn, held the Litvaks in disdain. The two groups diverged in their Yiddish accents and even in their cuisine, separated by the "Gefilte Fish Line", Galitzianers like things sweet, even to the extent of putting sugar in their fish.