WE REMEMBER THE COMMUNITIES!
Editor: Avraham Klevan
Download the List (file in Excel) (last version 13.10.2009)
The Holocaust that befell the Jewish people caused the destruction of thousands of ancient and flourishing communities in those European countries which fell under Nazi domination. These communities were the scenes of generations of vibrant and flourishing Jewish life which grew up wherever Jews settled. Their institutions were the expression of the time - honored values of Jewish tradition, and the means by which those values were transmitted from generation to generation. Together with six millions Jews, these communities were wiped out by Nazi Germany in its savage war against the Jews and against the Judaism. It is a sacred duty to commemorate the names of these communities.
At Yad Vashem, on the Mount of Remembrance, is planned a monumental memorial project for the commemoration of these Jewish communities: The Valley of the Destroyed Communities. The memorial will symbolize a world that has been destroyed, which has sunk beneath the earth leaving behind nothing but its ruins to testify to the richness that had once existed. The Valley of the Destroyed Communities together with other commemorative sites at Yad Vashem, including the Hall of Names, will express the dimension of the Catastrophe.
This publication lists the names of 4,500 Jewish communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust. They are recorded according to the geographical boundaries of 1938, before the territorial changes which were caused by the expansion of Nazi Germany. Included in this book are the names of the settlements in which the number of Jews exceeded several dozen, and in which there were Jewish communal services and institutions. Thousands of settlements in which there lived a smaller number of Jews are not mentioned here. In Hebrew, the names of the communities are spelled phonetically. However, some names are written as they were pronounced by the Jewish inhabitants themselves.
The memorial to the Destroyed Jewish Communities will be sited to the west of Yad Vashem on 6 acres of rocky, wooded hillside. The memorial has been designed as a total environmental experience, the chief feature of which will be a Valley, from the floor of which will rise massive rock - forms (ruin mounds) some 3-5 meters high. These mounds will recall debris - heaps of rubble left by the destruction of the destroyed communities. Courtyards linking clusters of rock forms will provide passages within the Valley. A cluster of rock forms, including the courtyards in the midst, will comprise a given country. The location of the communities in the Valley, whose names will be incised on the surface of the rock forms, will correspond roughly to their geographical location in Europe. These courtyards will be placed at a different level thus providing visual and physical continuity, and enabling groups and individuals to gather for commemoration and communion. It is planned to give artistic expression to the characteristics of each country in appropriate visual or symbolic form. The mood of desolation in the Valley will be reinforced by scattered, non - flowering vegetation, the uses of spaces in conjunction with the rock - forms and by the texture of the mounds.
A wide plaza at the headland to the Valley will enable a general overview of the site, as well as a gathering place for visitors. The landscape design for this area will exploit the natural topography of the terrain and will include trees and non - flowering shrubs.
A path will lead down from the plaza to the courtyards serving as the
entrance to the Valley. From the Valley, a path will lead to a
We welcome advice and commentary from the public and the Landsmenschaften concerning the names of the communities, and/or additions to our list.
The memorial project will be carried out over the next 5 years and will
complete the commemorative sites of the Mount of Remembrance. It is envisaged
that the Valley of the Destroyed Communities will become a major national memorial
for many generations to come, and it is our hope that it will be built with the
support of the Jewish people in
Yad Vashem, January 1997.
The Lost Jewish
Message from Ada Holtzman
Following the request of Mr. Benjamin Meirtchak, the general secetary of the
Association of Polish Jewry, I am very pleased to post hereunder the list of
the Communities from Poland, as have been in 1939, before the break of WWII.
I added more information to the original one which was all taken from the Yad Vashem book: " JEWISH COMMUNITIES DESTROYED IN THE HOLOCAUST", Editor: Avraham Klevan, Preliminary Edition, Yad Vashem Martyrs' And Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, 1982, Poland, pages: 45-84.
I added some towns which were not included in the original book. In addition, I added the following information:
You may order any one of those books from Yad Vashem, the Publishing Depratment:
Yad Vashem Books
Tel. 972-2-6443-510 or 6443-505
Pinkasei Kehilot of Poland, Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities (Poland), which
wre published by Yad Vashem, Martyrs' and Heroes' Rememberance Authority
All Rights Reserved by Yad Vashem
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL I:- The
Communities of Lodz and its Region, (editors Danuta Dabrowska & Abraham
Wein ) Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1976, 297 pages, Hebrew, introduction in
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL II: Eastern
Galicia, (editors Danuta Dabrowska, Abraham Wein, Aharon Weiss), Yad
Vashem, Jerusalem 1980, 569 pages, Hebrew
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL III: Western Galicia & Silesia, (editors Abraham Wein & Aharon Weiss) Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 1984, 399 pages, Hebrew
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL IV: Warsaw
and Its Region, (editor Abraham Wein) Yad vashem, Jerusalem 1989, 485
pages, Hebrew, ISBN 965-308-007-5
HAKEHILOT, VOL V: Volhynia and Polesie, (editor: Shmuel Spector), Yad
Vashem 1990, 346 pages, Hebrew, ISBN 965-308-011-3
HAKEHILOT, VOL VI: Districts Poznan and Pomerania; Gdansk (Editor:
Abraham Wein), Jerusalem 1999, 160 pages, Hebrew, Introduction in English, ISBN
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL VII:
Districts Lublin Kielce, (editor Abraham Wein), Jerusalem 1999, 635
pages, Hebrew, ISBN 965-308-070-9
PINKAS HAKEHILOT, VOL VIII: DISTRICTS Vilna • Białystok • Nowogródek (Editor: Shmuel Spector, Co-Editor: Bracha Freundlich, Jerusalem 2005, 657 pages, Hebrew, ISBN 965-308-246-9