Rzeszów, Poland

(Pronounced zhe-shof)
(Other Names: Reisha, Reyshe, Zhezhov)

Visiting Rzeszów

By Marian Rubin, 2017

There is no organized Jewish community today in Rzeszów. There may be a few Jews living there. There is a small Jewish community in Przemysl and a larger Jewish community in Krakow.

 Two Synagogues and the old cemetery

The two large synagogues are still standing in Rzeszów. The Old Synagogue, pictured on our Rzeszów website was, until 2017, the Rzeszów branch of the Polish State Archives. Address: ul. Boznica 4 . The Rzeszów Polish State Archive is now at Warnenczyka 57, 3 kilometers east of the city center.

In 1997, some Jewish former residents of Rzeszów from the Reyshe Landsmanschaft (organization of people who were born in the same area) in Israel held a ceremony in Rzeszów to affix a memorial plaque to the Old Synagogue. The newer synagogue is separated from the old synagogue by two buildings, and is now an art gallery. There is a grassy park in front of the two buildings. But it is much more than grass—it was the old Jewish cemetery, and it was the point at which the Jews were forced to assemble to walk to their deportation to the Staroniwa Railway Station.

The New Cemetery (with thanks to Elisha Amidan for the directions)

If you have a guide, ask him to take you to the other cemetery, the “newer” cemetery, where some stones are still standing. You can see some of the photos on our Rzeszów website. Some stones photographed are legible, so you may see a family name. There may be more stones visible in the cemetery than those shown on this website.

This cemetery is shown on a current map of Rzeszów as “Cmentarz Zydowski”. It is located somewhat out of the town center, on the Eastern bank of the River Wislok.

Drive eastward along Pilsudskiego Street to Lwowska St. Approximately 100 meters after crossing the river, turn right (south) to Al.T. Rejtana. Second turn to the left (east) is Dolowa Street (Ul.Dolowa) and the cemetery is immediately on the right side.

Next to the Cemetery gate is a pink house. The man who lives there will let you in to the Cemetery. It is customary to give him a small monetary gift.

The Old Town

Ask someone to direct you to the “old town”, where the Jews lived. Look for the Rynek (town square) where the market days took place. The name Rynek is in use today. A map shows the Rynek as part of "J.Matejki" street. Many Jewish homes were on the Rynek or nearby. I think that the buildings in the old town look much as they did before the War, but may have been re-built. Ask your guide what changes took place. If you know the names of the streets where your relatives lived, you may be able to find those streets. However, some street names have been changed.

Mass Graves in the woods of Glogow

Glogow Woods, about 6 miles north of  Rzeszów, is the site of mass graves for approximately 5,000 Jews from Rzeszów and nearby towns (Blazowa, Czudec, Glogow, Kolbuszowa, Lancut and others) who had been inmates of the Rzeszów ghetto, and were taken to the forest and murdered by the Germans. In 1995, the Rzeszów Landsmanshaft in Israel dedicated a beautiful memorial site in Glogow woods. It is a very isolated area, so it would be prudent to go with several other people. The ceremony was attended by Jews who were natives of Rzeszów living in Israel, Canada, France and the US, and by several Jews living in Poland. Others who attended included officials and citizens of the city of Rzeszów and several priests. A Polish Army band played somber music. Mr. Natan Beck z”l, a native of Rzeszów  living in Israel, led the prayers. Mrs.Klara Ma'ayan z”l, President of the Rzeszów Landsmanschaft in Israel spoke. The mayor of Rzeszów and a priest also spoke. The mayor and some other officials participated in the planning and building of the memorial site in the Glogow woods.

The Polish State Archive in Rzeszów

The address: Warnenczyka 57. It is three kilometers east of the city center. For further information, please visit its website.