The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Tyszowce – the shtetl

The shtetl in Tyszowce occupied the entire Ostrów district, the oldest part of the town, located between two wide arms of the River Huczwa.

 

The beginnings of Jewish settlement

Tyszowce was established on the site of the fortified settlement of Cherven (Czerwień) destroyed in the second half of the 13th century. The new settlement surrounded by the arms of the River Huczwa, where the main trading center was moved, was given the name of Tyszowce. In 1419, Tyszowce received the charter of incorporation from Siemowit IV, the Duke of Bełz; the charter was confirmed in 1453 by Ladislaus I, the Duke of Masovia.

In 1565 king Sigismund II Augustus, alarmed by the condition of Tyszowce and its depopulation, signed a charter encouraging Jews to settle in the town.
With the desire to better the condition of the town each day by increasing its populace, we allow the Jews to own houses, gardens and land both inside and outside the town; to buy and sell measured and weighed goods of all types; make and sell beer, honey and liquor; slaughter and sell meat, and also: to enjoy the same liberties as the townsmen on condition that they bear the same burdens. However, we forbid the Jews to hold municipal offices. To enable the Jews to trade freely, Tuesday shall remain the market day according to the previous charter, and if it were to be moved to another day any time, it shall never be Saturday.
Since then, the number of Jewish inhabitants was growing steadily. In 1571 the whole town comprised 218 houses, including 31 owned by the Jews.

The Jewish shtetl occupied the entire Ostrów district, the oldest part of Tyszowce, located between two wide arms of the River Huczwa. The shetl’s limits were at the so-called long bridge on "Zamłynie" ("Behind the Mill"). The town was dirty and neglected. The market square and the main streets were not paved until July 1936 when the mayor Józef Zarębski commissioned Ajtel and Piprowski to carry out the paving work. In the market square, the pharmacy, the primary school and the synagogue were made of brick.
During the Second World War, the Jewish inhabitants were murdered in pogroms and the rest were taken to the Bełżec death camp in 1942.

The synagogue and the Jewish cemetery

The synagogue in Tyszowce, located in the western part of the market square, was burned down in 1939.
The first Jewish cemetery in Tyszowce was probably established in the 17th century, and at the turn of the 20th century it was replaced with a new one, destroyed in 1942. The cemetery had a sold brick wall on the side of the Łaszczów road, and the remaining sides were surrounded with a two-meter wooden fence. At present, a kindergarten exists on the site of the former Jewish cemetery, with a stone marker commemorating Ben Josef, a rabbi from Tyszowce.

The second Jewish cemetery (by the road to Tuczapy) was renovated in 1988. There are 9 old gravestones there and 4 new ones in memory of the Jews murdered during the Second World War.
North-west of the synagogue, there was a house of learning (Beth ha-Midrash), adjoined by a Hasidic shtiebel (small house of prayer). The other shtiebelekh were scattered around the market square. Cheders were also located in the market square. On the banks of the no longer existing river channel, there was a mikveh (ritual bath).

Political and cultural life, education

The Jewish Cultural and Educational Society "Frajhajt", mainly devoted to education work among adults, functioned in Tyszowce. The Society was influenced by Poalei Zion Right.
The "Icchok Lejbusz Perec Library" Association promoting reading books among the Jewish population. A local branch of the Mizrachi, a Zionist Orthodox party, was also formed in the town. The party supported the cultural and national autonomy of Jews, and opted for the preservation of their religious identity.
The local economy was supported by the Jews who enjoyed privileges thanks to which they could buy and sell goods, make honey and liquor, slaughter and sell meat. In 1919 there were two Polish shops and one restaurant in Tyszowce.

Well-off Jews accounted for only 15 percent of the population. One of them, Abram Laks, owned a flour mill by the river and a timber yard. There were also many Jewish carpenters and tailors in Tyszowce (e.g. Fiszer, Hipersztajn). As you entered the market square from the east, on both sides of the road you could see the most famous Jewish restaurants owned by Jankiel Glik and Sonia Szek. The western arcades of the market square housed the best soda water shop run by a certain Mr. Rub.
A short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Last Demon, is set in Tyszowce.


Prepared by: Aleksandra Duź

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