Żółkiewka, Poland     

District Krasnystaw, Province of Lublin

Description: kehilalinks

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Żółkiewka through History


Timeline | Historical Record Locations | Geographical affiliation



 Some general Polish events are mentioned if they had an effect on Żółkiewka

Jewish specific events are in Italics



The earliest mention of Żółkiewka (then called Żółkiew) occurs in historical documents although the first written mention of Jews in Żółkiewka is in the 17th Century.



The village Żółkiew receives town status and later on acquires the name Żółkiewka.

Austrian rule

1772 to 1795

The Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The partitions were carried out by the Russian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia, and Habsburg Austria dividing up the Commonwealth lands among themselves.
Żółkiewka is under Austrian rule.


Twenty wooden tenement houses are built around the market square by Alexander Żółkiewski for the purpose of renting flats for craftsmen. This gives shape to the market and the central part of town. Most of these houses are purchased by Jews, and in this way, they settle in the town center


Beginnings of a Jewish Community -
The Vierländersejm (AKA "Vaad Arba Artzot", "Council of the Four Lands"), the highest authority of the Jewish self-government, allows the establishment of an independent Jewish community in Żółkiewka. 

In the same year, the Jewish community consecrates a wooden synagogue and a cemetery



Żółkiewka becomes part of the Duchy of Warsaw

Congress Poland


Żółkiewka becomes part of Congress Poland.
Lublin Voivodeship is formed from the Lublin Department as part of Congress Poland.


506 Jews live in Żółkiewka, they are 64% of the total population

Russian Empire


In the aftermath of the November Uprising earlier that decade (1830–1831), the administrative division is reformed once again, bringing Congress Poland closer to the structure of the Russian Empire: Lublin Voivodeship is initially transformed into Lublin Governorate / guberniya.


The wooden synagogue is burned in a fire


385 Jews live in Żółkiewka - 51% of the total population


Polish peasants (just as their Russian counterparts) are freed of feudal obligations. This effects the rural Żółkiewka 


Poland's patriots were not satisfied and demanded unification with the old Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In January 1863, a rebellion breaks out against the Russian EmpireThe January Uprising. The uprising is suppressed, and the Kingdom of Poland or Congress Poland are dissolved and incorporated into the Russian Empire.
Russian becomes the official language of the country, used exclusively in all offices of the general and local government.
Studies in the schools are ordered to be in Russian as well.

1863 to 1868

In 1868, after the January Uprising, as part of the repression of the Tsar, Żółkiewka is deprived of its town status. 


A new Synagogue replaces the burnt one


About 70% of the total population of Żółkiewka is Jewish

Late 19th Century

A postal service is set up in the village


A Credit Society was established for Żółkiewka and the neighboring communes of Rudnik and Rybczewice.

World War I


Żółkiewka is occupied by German forces.

1914 to 1918

The German occupiers imposed economic restrictions on the Jews and confiscate their wares.

Towards the end of the war the inhabitants suffer bombardment by the retreating German army, and many houses are destroyed.

1916 to 1918

The Kingdom of Poland is a state created during World War I (in 1916) by Germany and Austria-Hungary after their conquest of the former Congress Poland from Russia.
The kingdom, largely considered a puppet state, is transformed into the Second Polish Republic at the conclusion of the war.

Inter-War Period


A hospital is opened in Krasnystaw servicing the neighboring communes including Żółkiewka

1918 to 1939

The Second Polish Republic / Republic of Poland / the Commonwealth of Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland is restored as an independent state.
It continued to exist until 1939, when the second World War brokes out


1308 Jews live in Żółkiewka composing about 65% of the total population (according to the 1921 census)

1921 to 1926

The road from Żółkiewka to Krasnystaw is paved


An outbreak of anti-Semitic Pogroms


The road from Żółkiewka to Turobin is paved


A modern school building is constructed


The cemetery, already extended and improved, is desecrated and many gravestones destroyed

1937 to 1938

More anti-Semitic riots take place - many Jews are beaten; house and shop windows are smashed

21 May 1938

A major part of Żółkiewka is destroyed by a huge fire that burnt down the brick synagogue as well as hundreds of wooden houses, most of them Jewish. 
Most Jewish families either stay in temporary lodgings or move to nearby villages.
There are about 1,500 Jews living in Żółkiewka

The outbreak of war and the German occupation does not allow for proper reconstruction. Therefore, the primitive housing survives until the late 1970s when a housing cooperative was set up.

World War II

September to October

Division of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union pursuant to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:
Żółkiewka is "in between" for about a month -

In the first days of September it is occupied by German troops.

As a result of the negotiations, they withdraw on 28 September and the Russians enter Żółkiewka. 

As a result of additional agreements reached in early October the Russians retreat and Żółkiewka is momentarily no man's land. 
Then the Germans occupy the village for a second time.

7 & 8 October

On the night between 7 & 8 October 1939, during the few days between the Russian retreat and the Nazi re-entry, there is a pogrom against the Jewish population killing 23 Jews and leaving many more wounded


A Judenrat & a Jewish police force are formed.
Hundreds of Jews are sent to forced labor camps in Belzec & Ruda-Opalin. Many die in the harsh conditions.


A forced labor camp and a ghetto are established

1942 May

14th May action rounds up the Jews in the market place and transports them to Krasnystaw. From there they are sent to the extermination camp in Sobibor.
All the remaining Jews are concentrated in the ghetto

1942 October

The remaining Jews are sent to Belzac extermination camp

9 May 1945

Germany accepts an unconditional surrender. 
Poland's borders are redrawn following the decisions made at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 at the insistence of the Soviet Union.

Under USSR Influence

1945 -

With the beginning of the liberation, control over Polish territories passes from the occupying forces of Nazi Germany to the Red Army and from the Red Army to the Polish Communists who hold the largest influence under the provisional government. After the War many people are willing to accept Communist rule in exchange for the restoration of relatively normal life; tens of thousands join the communist party and actively support the new regime.
Nonetheless a latent popular discontent remained present

The Jewish cemetery is annihilated – remains and headstones are removed and the area is utilized for small industrial storage.
It is never restored

1975 to 1998

The commune administratively belongs to the Zamość province


The independent trade union "Solidarity" is formed and over time becomes a political force swiping by 1990 the parliamentary elections and the presidency. 
A new non-Communist government, the first of its kind in the former
Eastern Bloc, is sworn into office in September 1989.
1990 is thought by many to be the formal end of the Communist
People's Republic of Poland and the beginning of the modern Republic of Poland.

Republic of Poland

December 1999

Official name is changed to Żółkiewka-Osada


The village has a population of 790, none Jewish.


Note: The information in the table above was compiled from many sources some of which were translated. If there are any errors, please contact me with the relevant sources so I can correct them ASAP.

Sources: Wikipedia.org (English & Polish), Żółkiewka Official web site, Jewish Life in Europe site, Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich, Pinkas Hakehilot – Polin


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Żółkiewka Historical Record Locations



Record Type

Lublin [Archive #35]

(mostly fond 1791)

1826 – 1870, 1875


Zamość [Archive #88]
(mostly fond 789
 but also 648 for mixed records in some years)

1826 - 1863

Some years not available yet online

1864 - 1880

Not available yet online





1883 - 1905




1907 - 1914


1915 - 1917


1918 - 1921

Not available yet online

1921 - 1929

Not available yet online

Note 1
: Records from the second half of the 19th century (1860s and onwards) would probably be in Cyrillic and not in Polish.

Note 2: In the past few years, the Polish state archives have started digitizing their records. Some of these are already available for Jewish BMD records.
When available, the access to the Żółkiewka records will be through the following links:
In the Lublin Archive:
http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/35/1791/0#tabJednostki [Unavailable as of Mar 2024]
In the
Zamość Archive: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/88/789/0#tabJednostki [still missing some books]


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Żółkiewka Geographical affiliation







13th Century



Kingdom of Poland




Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth








Duchy of Warsaw




Congress Poland




Congress Poland under Russian Empire








Second Polish Republic




People's Republic of Poland




People's Republic of Poland




People's Republic of Poland


About the Administrative division of Poland:

The administrative division of Poland has been based on three levels of subdivision: voivodeships (provinces); these are further divided into powiats (counties), and these in turn are divided into gminas (communes or municipalities). Major cities normally have the status of both gmina and powiat.

The voivodeship has been a high-level administrative subdivision of Poland since the 12th century. Usually, to facilitate understanding outside Poland, the word "province" (Polish: województwo) is a recommended translation. Voivodeships are further divided into powiats (counties) and gminas (communes or municipalities).

A powiat (pronounced [ˈpɔvjat]; Polish plural powiaty) is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries.

The gmina (Polish pronunciation [ˈɡmina], plural gminy [ˈɡminɨ]) is the principal unit of territorial division in Poland at its lowest uniform level. It is often translated as "commune" or "municipality".

Sources: Wikipedia


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Compiled by Tamar Amit

Updated 05 March 2024

Copyright © 2011-2024 Tamar Amit
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