Skala and Its Changing Name through the Ages

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In official documents of the 18th, 19th and the first 37 years of the 20th century, the town was known as Skala or Skala nad Zbruczem (in Polish) or Skala am Zbrucz (in German) --- both meaning Skala on the banks of the river Zbrucz.

In 1937 the town was renamed by the Polish authorities as "Skala Podolska" after the region of "Podole" in which it was situated, because there was another town in Poland called Skala, north-west of Krakow, named "Skala pod Ojcowem" (Skala near Ojcow). There were also two other towns with similar names --- Skole and Skalat. In order to avoid confusion and frequent mail misdirections (there were no postal codes at the time), "Podole" was added to the name of Skala.

The name of Skala also appeared in the noun "Skalar" --- a Yiddish word that refers to a person from Skala. “Skalar” was also used in the original Yiddish name of the Skala [landsmanshaft] Society in America, which was "Skalar Unterschtitzungs Verein".

Since the 1939 annexation of the region by the Soviet Union and the emergence of an independent Ukraine over a decade ago, the town has been called Skala Podilska (in Ukrainian) and Skala Podolskaya (in Russian).

The spelling and pronunciation of "Zbrucz" --- the river on whose banks the town is located --- was always the same under Austria and Poland and remained the same in the Russian and Ukrainian Cyrillic spelling. For the English-speaking person, it can remain "Zbruch" or, to preserve the proper sound of the word, could be spelled "Zbrooch". The sound "ch" corresponds to the Polish, German, Russian and Ukrainian spellings.

Page designed by Helene Kenvin
This page created by Max Heffler
Updated Mar 28, 2006. © Copyright 2005 Skala Research Group. All Rights Reserved.