In one of his messages on October 30, 1998, Mel Wolfson wanted to learn
about Nowy Sacz.
The first historical mention of Jews in the town was in 1409. (According to
my Gazetteer the town was founded in 1204.) During the 19th century a famous
Rabbi, Chaim Ben Arieh Lejb Halberstam lived there. About 150,000 Jews lived in
the city and nearby towns before WWI. Most of these were carted off to Belzec
and exterminated. There were also about 25,000 people buried in the area,
groups of whom were executed en masse. The synagogue was abandoned. (This
information comes largely >from Joram Kagan, Poland's Jewish Heritage,
(Hippocrene Books, 1992). However, another book, Ruth Gruber "Jewish
Heritage Travel," (John Wiley & Sons,Inc.1994) says that "[t]he main
synagogue, built in 1746, is now an art gallery." I don't know whether the one
in the Kagan book is the same as that in the Gruber book.)
There are two Yizkor (memorial) books concerning Nowy Sacz:
Le-sekher kehilat Tsants [In memory of the Community of Tsants]. Ed.
Ya'ahovi Tefuhah. Jerusalem: Bet ha-sefer ha-tikhon ha-dati la-banot Oylinsh
di Rotshild, (1967/68). In Hebrew.
Sefer Sants [The Book of the Jewish Comunity of Nowy Sacz, Ed. R.
Mahler, New York: Former Residents of Sants in New York, 1970. In Hebrew and
(Again, according to my old gazetteer, during WWII, when the Germans
occupied it, it was called "Neu Sandez." There was or is a salmon hatchery,
probably on the Dunajee River,and there was or is manufacturing of tools,
chemicals , cement and bricks; flour milling and lumbering. There are nearby
brown coal deposits.)
When YIVO reopens next year, one of the staff might be able to tell Mr.
Wolfson whether there is a Sants Society and maybe even the name of a person
to whom Mr.Wolfson should write for more information, but I am almost certain
other Jewishgenner will write to him and tell him what they know.