Sokal Historical Regional Overview

Period Town District Provence Country
Before WWI (c. 1900): Sokal Sokal Galicia Austrian Empire
Between the wars (c. 1930): Sokal Sokal Lwów Poland
After WWII (c. 1950): Sokal' Soviet Union
Today (c. 2000): Sokal'     Ukraine
Jewish Population In 1880: 2408       In 1931: 5220

Sokal History (from

Web Author Note: This is from a Google translation of the original Russian text published at .  Some editting has been carried out to improve English readability.   As of Dec 2014, this website displays an error when trying to access it and the link has been removed until further notice.


Sokal is a district town with a population of 21,500 in the Lviv region of Ukraine, the administrative center of the district . Sokal is located 75 km to the north of Lviv.

The territory of Sokal contains archaeological finds of the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age. The first documented mention of Sokal was in the XI century as an important city of the Vladimir principality, which was part of the Belzkogo principality. In 1366, the city fell under the rule of the Polish Piast dynasty. In 1377, Sokal was mentioned in documents as the city Belzskogo, the principality belonging to Prince Wladyslaw of Opole. In 1424 it received the Magdeburg Law. From 1462 Sokal was the county town in the Belzskogo province of Poland.

The first documentary evidence of the Jews in Sokal was given around 1564-1565.  A complete description of the middle-class artisans makes mention of two Jewish homes. A document from 1578 says that there were 12 Jews, who lived mainly through trade. In 1609, the Jews in Sokal signed an agreement with the magistrate for the right to build an additional 18 homes. However, the magistrate put a condition that the houses could not be in the market place, so a Jewish quarter was established to the east of the market square.

Since 1754 the city operated a Jewish printing house, which was moved from Tartakova.

A new era in the development of the city and Jewish businesses in Sokal began in 1885, when railroad access was established. A significant advantage to trade was the fact that here, as in Brody, there was a border crossing between Austria-Hungary and Russia (since 1772 Sokal was a part of the Austrian Empire).

In 1910, Sokal had 11,600 inhabitants, of whom 3248 were Ukrainian Greek Catholics, 3828 Polish Roman Catholics and 4,524 Jews. That is, it was the usual Galician shtetl.

After the First World War, during which the city suffered considerable damage, Sokal again became part of Poland (1919 -1939). Between the World Wars Hasidism was struggling with the new trends - Zionists, socialists and even communists.  By 1931, many Jews had emigrated, reducing the Jewish population to 2,826.

Almost the entire Jewish population of Sokal was killed during World War II.  The site of their homes is now a park.

Sokal Jewish History by Daniel Abraham

This is an extensive family history project compiled by Daniel.  It includes information about the earliest known Jewish community (16th century) and follows through events leading up to the eventual extermination by the Nazis of all but a few of the Jewish inhabitants (who managed to escape).  There are many photos and postcards of Sokal (past and present) and the synagogue ruins.

Extract from: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps And Ghettos 1933-1945

Extract provided through Google books.  This is a limited preview and some pages may not be displayed, or only display a limited number of times in your web browser.

A document of what happened to the Jews in Sokal between 1939 and 1941 under Soviet rule, and following, from 1941 to 1944 under German authority.