This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #poland #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

Once the Germans were routed in World War 2, many Jews who weathered the Nazi storm hiding in bunkers, or in the forests or who had sheltered in other countries began to make their way back to the towns they were forced to flee. They did so with a range of expectations and emotions: the hopes of seeing a familiar face or place that still stood, and of making a life again in the town in which they were raised.
“Tarnogrod’s Surviving Remnant” from the Yizkor book of that Polish town captures this sense of longing and the realities Jews faced when they emerged from their hiding places or came home. Many hoped that the shtetl would once again become a Jewish settlement.
Those hopes were soon dashed. The enmity and anti-Semitism of Poles who did not want to see a return of the Jews made itself felt through violence and expropriation of Jewish houses and shops. Jews were robbed and told to leave on pain of death. “It appeared that the Tarnogrod Jews' attachment to their town was so strong that even after the night of attack by bandits some families remained, thinking that the danger would pass,” wrote Nachum Krymerkopf in this chapter. But “in 1946, when the last victims … were murdered by the Polish bandits, not one Jew dared to stay in Tarnogrod.”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel