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Coat of arms of Biłgoraj CountyAlternate names: Bircza [Pol], Berch [Yid]. 49°41' N, 22°28' E, 33 miles SE of Rzeszów (Zheshuv). 1900 Jewish population: 1,050. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), I, p. 230: "Bircza".  Powiat biłgorajski) is Lublin Voivodeship, eastern Poland since January 1, 1999. Its administrative seat and largest town is Biłgoraj. The county contains three other towns: Tarnogród, Józefów, and Frampol. Jews settled in Birczy in the second half of 16th century. For many years, Jews were 50% of the total population. 1921 Jewish popuation: 1,038 Jews, 54%. [April 2009]

Photos [January 2016]

CEMETERY: Birczy Jewish Cemetery on the main road on the right side of the active Catholic cemetery was destroyed during WWII,with many ards nagravestones used to construct the bridge to Sana'a. Only a part of the old fence remains. Shrubs and very high grass cover the site with about dozen sandstone gravestones visible, but no longer legible decorations and inscriptions. A few years ago, the elderly cemetery died. Since then, the cemetery is neglected. photos. [April 2009]

Bircza Online is an attempt to collect all information about the pre-Holocaust Jewish community of Bircza in order to memorialise it and provide information for genealogists researching their roots there. photos. [April 2010]

"Birtcha: mostly destroyed." Source: Cohen, Chester G. "Jewish Cemeteries in Southern Poland" from `An Epilogue' in Shtetl Finder. 1980.

US Commission No. POCE000142

Location: 49°41 22°28. 24 km from Przemsyl. The cemetery is E of the town, N of the road to Rybotycze and a river. Present town population is 1000-5000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy, whose telephone number is 52.
  • Local: Pawel Koziol, Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 37-700 Przemysl, ulica Rybek 24, telephone 59-44.

1921 Jewish population was 1038, 53.8%. The Orthodox Jewish cemetery was probably established about the end of the eighteenth or beginning of the 19th century and probably not used by other communities. The cemetery is landmarked (no further details were given). The isolated rural, agricultural hillside is reached by turning directly off a public road with access open to all via a wall and fence with no gate. 20 to 100 gravestones, some in original locations and 50-75% broken, date from 1804 to 20th century. The sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, or flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew inscriptions. The cemetery contains unmarked mass graves, but no structures. Municipality owns property used for agriculture (grass and animal grazing). Properties adjacent are agricultural. The cemetery boundaries are slightly smaller than in 1939 due to river erosion. The cemetery rarely is visited. The cemetery was not vandalized during the past ten years. There is no maintenance; grass is cut for agriculture. Security and erosion are moderate threats.

Jan Pawel Woronczak, ulica Sandomierska 21m 1 02-567 Warszawa, telephone 49 54 62, completed survey on September 9, 1991. The site was visited in 1990 by Marcin Wodzinski and Robert Kaskow, and in 1991 by Jan Pawel Woronczak. No interviews were conducted.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 05:49
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