Economic Life

The Economic Life

Social and occupational structure

The decision by the founder and commander-in-chief of the city of Zamosc, Jan Zamoyski, to allow Jewish settlement there was mainly due to economic considerations. Apart from issues of a general character, the Settlement Act of 1588 established very precise rules as to how the Jewish population could earn a living.  In accordance with the provisions of the Act, trade would be the main occupation of the Sephardic Jews arriving in Zamosc. Similarly to the Germans, Scots, Englishmen, Armenians before them and later Greeks, commercially savvy Jews were to turn the hetman's stronghold into an important local and national trading hub. He hoped that the international connections of the foreign merchants would be conducive to the fulfillment of this plan. In order to encourage them to settle in the city, its owner promised them almost unlimited freedom of trade. This privilege, granted in 1588, did not impose any restrictions on Jewish merchants. In all legal matters they would be treated on a par with Christian merchants who were already established in Zamosc.

However, no such freedom was granted to craftsmen. Restrictions on their ability to earn a living applied to the type and quality of products manufactured by them and also to their customer base. Jewish craftsmen were granted a license to manufacture a number of consumer goods that until then had not been produced in Poland and to market them without any limitations. However, other products manufactured by them, and mainly food products, could be sold to their coreligionists only. These requirements originated in concern for the prosperity of the existing Christian guilds.

These limitations had a decisive influence on the initial socio-economic make-up of the Jewish population of Zamosc. The first Jews to establish themselves in the city were Turkish and Italian merchants from Lvov who, at the time, engaged in lucrative trade with the Levant. They were followed by wholesalers, doctors, barber-surgeons and pharmacists, while craftsmen were few, at least initially. At the outset, Jews only produced food for their own use and objects meeting the requirements of Judaism. The rules of kashrut and the specifics pertaining to fabric production (a ban on wearing woolen clothing sown with hemp threads) were the reason why most of the few Jewish craftsmen were butchers, bakers, alcohol-distillers and tailors. Those manufacturing luxury goods – furriers, goldsmiths, haberdashers and shoemakers - constituted the craftsmen's elite. The second privilege, granted in 1623 by the heir in tail Tomasz Zamoyski, did bring about an upturn in Jewish trading. Drapers from the Netherlands and Flanders who wanted to settle in Zamosc were guaranteed the exclusive right to manufacture luxury woolen and silk dresses. The newly arrived manufacturers brought with them their own looms and raw materials via Danzig.

The ban that prevented Polish Jews from settling in Zamosc and the limitations laid down by the laws of 1588 and 1623 was the reason why the Sephardic Jews who arrived in the city became a fairly wealthy and influential community. The Zamosc Jews who mainly engaged in lucrative long distance trade, in production of luxury goods, credit operations and wholesale trade, came from well-known European families such as de Mosse (Mosze de Mosse Cohen – "the first Zamosc Jew"), de Campos, Castiell, Zakuto, Uziel and Salomons. Their professions made them wealthy and respected. Local Ashkenazi Jews who were arriving in Zamosc in spite of the formal ban were a totally different community. They were usually much poorer and plied their traditional Jewish trades. They came mainly from local towns and villages such as Szczebrzeszyn, Wojsławice, Goraj and Hrubieszów. During the first half of the 17th century their number increased constantly. The wealthiest among them mainly reaped profits from leasing out (tax on the sale of liquor, mills, ponds, distilleries and breweries). The poorer ones had various stalls, were poor craftsmen or at best retailers. The poorest among them worked in Sephardic homes as (so-called servants), sales reps on the road, coachmen and so on.

The distribution of the ownership of tenements and houses in Zamosc reflected the economic domination of the Sephardic Jews. In the 1930s, out of 24 properties, 15 were owned by Sephardic Jews (9 at Zydowska Street, 4 at the Solny Square, 1 by the ramparts of the city and 1 at an unknown location) and 4 by Ashkenazi Jews (the latter belonged to leaseholders and were all located in the suburbs).

A succession of wars in the 17th century brought about a change in the proportion and significance of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities. A faltering internal market, the termination of trade with the East and the South, a drop in the number of buyers of luxury goods and a general sense of insecurity and impending danger caused most of the Sephardic Jews to leave Zamosc. Subsequently, they were replaced by Ashkenazi Jews.

This shift in the proportion of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews also brought about other changes. The poorer but more numerous and dynamic Ashkenazi group gradually started to take over the commerce and crafts. In spite of the fact that the majority of the newcomers were much poorer owing to the general downward economic trend, a limited merchant class continued to maintain a long-standing Sephardic commercial tradition. There were changes, but mainly in the direction of the trade. Documents dating back to the middle of the 17th century tell about Zamosc Jews venturing to Silesia in search of business opportunities. From the beginning of 1684 Zamosc Jews turned up at Leipzig fairs, representing Polish towns on the periphery. On the one hand, the commercial activity of Ashkenazi Jews strengthened their position in relation to the townspeople; on the other hand, at the end of the 17th century it led to their financial dependence on credit provided by the Church and the nobility. In the second half of the 17th century, noblemen granted four times as many loans to Jews as they received from them, and the clergy, including the Zamosc Academy, 56 times more.

The wealthiest Jews became increasingly prominent among the property owners of Zamosc. In 1657, out of a total of 222 properties in Zamosc, 19 were owned by Jews. Seven years later, there were already 24 Jewish properties and in 1691, their number increased to 31(9)?. At the end of the 17th century, most of the 18 properties belonging to Jews were located at Zydowska Street (Zamenhofa St.). There were 7 properties near the streets by the ramparts, 4 at the Solny Square and 2 near the Bonifratrow Church. Subsequent attempts by the owner of Zamosc to prevent Jewish acquisition of properties within the boundaries of the town led to the creation of a fictitious form of property ownership called "hajzowka". M. Potocki comments on "hajzowka" in his manuscript dating from the 19th century. "Hajzowka" was the secret registration of Christian property in the name of fictitious Jewish owners. The existence of a real Jewish owner next to the fictitious one resulted in considerable benefits for the former. At first, a Jew who acquired a property from a Christian would go the synagogue (where records of properties and their Jewish "owners" were kept and registered) and establish who held the "hajzowka" ownership rights to a specific property. Then the Jew in question would pay a specific sum of money to the owner of the "hajzowka" and thus acquire the exclusive right of purchase. No other Jew would be able to seek the purchase of the property described in the agreement as it would constitute a grave sin (herem). Only after "the transaction" in the synagogue, did a Jew interested in the purchase approach the real owner and offer him a minimum price. If the latter stalled, during subsequent negotiations, the Jew would offer him a lot less than the first time. Due to lack of competition on the part of his Jewish co-religionists, the finalization of a sale would usually cause a Christian selling his property, considerable losses. The absence of data in other information sources about this specific form of ownership makes it impossible to establish with certainty whether the above-mentioned sales method really did exist or whether it was an invention of anti-Jewish prejudice at the time.    

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the percentage of Jews among the craftsmen of Zamosc was gradually increasing. In 1657, out of 193 persons involved in crafts, 15 were Jewish (7.8%). No less than 5 were butchers (three of them were "pork slaughterers"), 2 were musicians (Abram – a cello player and Jonas – a violin player), 1 was a carpenter, 1 a binder, 1 an oil vendor, 1 a soap-boiler, 1 a cabinet-maker and 1 a shoemaker. In the last decade of the 17th century, there were already 27 Jewish craftsmen and they made up 10.7% of the total number. Among them were 3 barber-surgeons, 3 tailors, 3 bakers, 3 goldsmiths, 2 soap-boilers, 2 brewers, 2 glazers, 2 haberdashers, 2 weavers, and one cap-maker, 1 butcher and one wine-maker. In some of the crafts Jews were in the majority (barber-surgeons and goldsmiths), and in one case, that of the soap-boilers, they were the only representatives of the craft. Originally, Jewish craftsmen were considered not up to the mark and as such they did not belong to the guilds. However, as their numbers gradually increased, they were granted a special status, namely that of "suchedniarzy", meaning nominal guild members who paid their quarterly dues but did not participate officially in the everyday life of the guild. In the 17th century, those who were not considered as being up to the mark and those called "suchedniarze" increasingly gained control of certain crafts This trend mainly applied to tinsmiths’ work, glazing, furriery, baking, brewing and tanning. As a craft, tailoring was almost totally dominated by Jews. In 1709 no less than 9 "suchedniarze" were registered in the tailors' guild and in 1827 only 3 Christian tailors remained as opposed to a few dozen Jewish tailors.

The position of Jews in the town's economy was enhanced by the gradual weakening of their competitors. In 1706 Greek merchants left the town, and in 1738 the Armenian community was dissolved. In 1760 an attempt was made by the heir in tail to prevent the Armenians from leaving in great numbers by granting them, at the expense of the Jews, a privilege of preemption with regard to property acquisition. The Armenians also gained the exclusive right to sell certain goods on condition that they would not sell them to Jews. These regulations did not have the intended effect (in 1772 Armenian merchants left the town for good), however they were the first of certain steps taken by the heir in tail aimed at strengthening non-Jewish trade, crafts and ownership. In 1764 restrictions were imposed on Jews with regard to trading in fabrics, steel and spices. One year later, they were banned from tapping honey. In 1767 the heir in tail, Jakub Zamoyski, made a gift of 10,000 Polish zloty to Zamosc merchants and craftsmen who were supposed to use these funds to purchase houses and goods.

In the second half of the 18th century, Austrian legislation in partitioned Poland resulted in modifications of conditions in trading and crafts that were of benefit to the Jews. As early as 1732, a permit was issued allowing them to trade on Sundays. The Theresianum Patent of 1776 and the regulations of 1789, issued by Emperor Franz Josef, established freedom of production in the sphere of crafts. The first document allowed Jews to manufacture whatever was required to meet the needs of all the inhabitants and the second one allowed them to perform all crafts on a par with the Christian population. In the 19th century advantageous legislative changes, combined with a steady increase in the number of inhabitants in the town, resulted in an almost complete Jewish take-over of crafts, and, last but not least, of commerce in Zamosc. In 1821 all the sixty shops and stalls in the citadel were the property of Jewish traders.

In the 19th century the economic development of the town was hampered by two factors: the first one (lasting until 1866) was the submission of the inhabitants' life to military requirements made by the Zamosc fortress; the second factor (lasting until World War I) was the lack of a train connection with the rest of the country. In a period of rapid industrialization of other cities, these factors hampered the development of industry and of large-scale production in Zamosc.   At the turn of the 20th century there were only 14 industrial plants in the town, and only 7 of them employed more than 5 people. (22)? In the 19th century most of the revenue stemmed from commerce and leaseholds. This was the period that saw the growth of the fortunes of Jewish merchants such as the Kahane, the Cukier, the Kornblit, the Dychter, the Manzys, the Margules and the Epstein families. In the first half of the century, the wealthiest of the Zamosc Jews was most probably Pejsach Cukier – a merchant and bar-keeper who dealt in arrack, coffee, Hungarian and French wines and, no joke intended (Cukier in Polish means sugar), in sugar. He invested the money accruing from trade in municipal construction - among other projects, the construction of the post office building in Nowa Osada. Others would invest in a similar way, thus contributing to the development or renewal of the city. One of these people was Moszko Dychter who refurbished the collegiate church and the city hall at his own expense.

The year 1852 saw the founding of the first Jewish "factory" in Zamosc . Its owner was Julian Manzys. It produced annually 66 quintals of wax candles, 82 quintals of soap and 90 quintals of olive oil. In the 1870s the second largest distillery in the Zamosc district was set up. The owners of the plant that was manufacturing vodkas, sweet vodkas, liqueurs and rum, were Bernard Margules and Samuel Eliasberg. In 1878 the distillery employed 6 workers and its annual profit stood at 36,458 rubles. In 1877 a Jew by the name of Rejman opened a matchsticks factory in Wółka Infułacka. In 1878 its production was worth 1,000 rubles. Four years later, its turnover increased 14 times. At that time the factory employed 25 workers. On its liquidation, the factory building was taken over by a merchant from Chełm, Chaim Joseł Mejer, and turned into the first steam mill in the district. It was equipped with four pairs of stones powered by a 24 HP steam engine and it employed 7 workers. 28.? During that period, almost all of the mills located on the estate in tail were leased by Jews. In 1902, in Zamosc itself, Wigdor Kornblit built a water mill on the Łabuńca River, near St. Nicolai's Orthodox Church. The next Jewish venture in Wółka Infułacka was Samuel Dychter's tillery founded in 1886. Other small Jewish industrial enterprises were oil mills, vinegar factories, paper mills, cigarette tube mills, soap works and candle factories.

Traditionally, Jews derived large revenues from leaseholds and inn renting. A particularly lucrative occupation was the collection of taxes on sales of kosher meat. In the third decade of the 17th century, Hersz Krasnopolski was collecting these taxes on behalf of the Zamosc Treasury. His revenue was very high, considering that one installment paid by him into the coffers of the treasury amounted to 12,433 Polish zloty. In the fifties of the 17th century, Hersz Krasnopolski's tax collector’s job was taken over by Judka Peretz, originally from Lubartów, who was the son of the well-known writer, Icchak Lejb.

A place where Jewish trade was blossoming in the period preceding World War I was suburban Nowa Osada. At the end of the 19th century, all the 39 shops in the square of this suburb belonged to Jews. In 1914 the vast majority of shops in the Old City also belonged to Jews.

World War I left Zamosc mostly unscathed. The center of the city was practically not damaged at all and only a few houses in the suburbs were destroyed. The only Jewish industrial enterprise that was completely destroyed was Kornblit's water mill.

A detailed occupational structure of the Zamosc Jews in the period between the two wars is not available. No record of statistics produced by the municipal authorities has remained (if there was any). With regard to district centers, no information mentioning both religious adherence and occupation was included in a comparison of the results of two general censuses, carried out in 1921 and 1931.

A partial reconstruction of the socio-occupational make-up of the Zamosc Jewish community is possible, due to an analysis of the lists of names of people who had been paying the community tax (the so-called "etat"). Compilations of this type, preserved from the mid-30s, listed the profession of the person paying the tax as well as the amount of the tax, which to a certain extent reflected the revenue that the person in question had accumulated in the previous year. However, a major shortcoming of this type of lists is their being far from representative. One must bear in mind that the group of persons paying the tax constituted only a small percentage of the total of the city's Jewish inhabitants. In the years 1934-36, this percentage constituted only 6-7% of the Zamosc Jewish population. They were the wealthiest segment of the population that was professionally active. They were mainly independent businessmen hiring workers, and to a lesser extent intellectuals and independent businessmen who did not hire anyone. One must remember that in 1931, for every 100 Jews who were professionally active in the Lublin Province, there were twice as many other Jews. The group of Jews who hired paid labor constituted only 4,6% of the total Jewish population.

Occupational structure among Jews paying the community tax, 1934-36


Old City

Nowa Osada


Trade                276             65.7%               139           75.1%            415          68.6%

Industry                 6               1.4%                   7            3.8%               13            2.1%

Crafts                  88                21%                34           18.4%             122          20.2%


Professions         27               6.4%                  4             2.2%               31            5.1%

Renting               15               3.6%                -                 -                     15            2.5%

Transport              1               0.2%                -                 -                     1            0.2%

Farming                7               1.7%                  1              0.5%                8            1.3%






 605 (36)  


The overwhelming number of traders among those who paid community tax in Zamosc was most likely in line with the general trend. From an economic point of view, Jewish Zamosc had a distinctly commercial character.

A similar number of members of the Jewish community supported themselves by trading and were not included in the records (people not working in the professions such as owners of small commercial and crafts-related businesses and workers). This prevalence would not be affected by the difference in the number of professionally non-active people in various economic spheres. In the largest of these spheres - trade and the crafts - the number of non-active persons per 100 active persons was similar. In 1931, at province level, for every 100 professionally active people there would be 186,7 professionally non-active people with regard to trade and 184,7 with regard to the crafts.  This is not clear to me. And the numbers are strange…

Small tradesmen were more numerous than the owners of small workshops and the small proportion of the urban proletariat in Zamosc. This is confirmed by the description of the town provided by attorney Mieczysław Garfinkiel. The former chairman of the Zamosc Judenrat wrote after World War II: “The make-up of the population corresponded more or less to the composition of the Jewish population in any typical Polish district city. In Zamosc there were a few dozen doctors, lawyers, teachers (…); some prominent merchants and industrialists, a considerable number of Jewish craftsmen most of whom were small tradesmen – the so-called Luftmenschen – and a limited number of urban proletariat”.

While in 1936 60% of the Jews made their living through trade, it was a smaller percentage than five or ten years earlier. This trend was already noticeable in the 1920s; a gradually declining percentage of Jewish participation in commercial activity. At the level of the province, in 1921 Jews made up 78.2% of the total number of people employed in the trade business and 88% of the owners of shops. Ten years later their proportion was 73.6% and 56%, respectively. In Zamosc in 1921, no less than 94.2% of all the owners of commercial enterprises were Jewish. In 1924 this percentage declined to 84.5%, two years later it declined further to 83% and in 1929 – to 79.2%.

The prevalence of trade-related occupations among the Jewish population of Zamosc did not reflect the general socio-occupational structure of the city. According to a general census that was carried out in 1931 and comprised both the professionally active and non-active population, only 21% of all the inhabitants of the city supported themselves by trade. The majority, namely 40%, were employed in industry and in the crafts, 7.7% in haulage and transport, 6.5% in public service, denominational and social institutions, 6.1% in agriculture, 2.5% in medical and hygiene-related services, 2.4% in schools, education and culture, 0.3% in gardening, fishery and forestry. The remaining jobs were performed by 13.5% of all the inhabitants of the city. 

When comparing the situation in Zamosc with province indicators, it is clear that there was an exceptional prevalence of people in the town working in trade, crafts or industry. In 1934 the total percentage was 90.9% and in 1936 – 90.1% of the total population, whereas in 1931it was only 82% 43 in the whole province. The prevalence of the commercial profession in Zamosc reflected a tendency contrary to the one in the province as a whole, where the majority, namely 46%, of the Jewish population lived by industry and crafts and only 36.6% by trade, 3.5% by agriculture, 5.2% by haulage and transportation, and 9.3% supported themselves by other economic activities. However, in 1929 the participation of Jews in the town’s commercial life, which slightly exceeded 78%, was almost identical to that in the province in 1931 - 77,7%.

The amount of wealth of the various occupational groups is displayed by a compilation of the value of the community tax paid by them.

Level of community tax (in Polish zloty) paid, 1936

by representatives of the various occupations.


Old City

Nowa Osada



























































Compilation based on: APL, UWL, WSP sygn. 838, p. 198-221.

In 1936, the wealthiest group were the factory owners, who resided in the Old City and paid a community tax of 260 Polish zloty per person. Industry was generally the most lucrative economic activity resulting in maximum profits (a community tax that translated into 146.5 Polish zloty per person in the entire town and 146.5 Polish zloty in Nowa Osada). On the average, property owners paid 75.9 Polish zloty and those working in liberal professions 51.8 Polish zloty (56.6 Polish zloty in the Old City and 16 Polish zloty in Nowa Osada). A Zamosc tradesman paid an average of 45.7 Polish zloty (54.1 Polish zloty in the Old City and 23.1 Polish zloty in Nowa Osada); a farmer paid 28 Polish zloty (10 Polish zloty in the Old City and 10 in Nowa Osada), a craftsman paid 17.1 Polish zloty (17.5 Polish zloty in the Old City and 15.6 Polish zloty in Nowa Osada), and a person in the transportation business paid 16,7 Polish zloty. Judging by the level of the community tax paid, people in crafts and transportation were the two poorest occupational groups in Zamosc. The largest occupational group – tradesmen and merchants – were the most internally diverse with regard to their income. Wealthy Old City merchants paid twice as much in community taxes than the mostly poor Nowa Osada tradesmen.

An occupation and wealth-related specification of various Zamosc neighborhoods was actually defined quite clearly. "Basically, trade and crafts were concentrated in two neighborhoods", wrote Stefan Sendlak, "wealthy merchants, wholesalers, other tradesmen and relatively wealthy craftsmen lived in the Old City, whereas Nowa Osada was the site of small commerce, small crafts, cattle dealers, kosher butchers, porters, cabmen, carters etc."

To sum up the Zamosc Jewish occupational structure, we can say that it was mostly a commercial center. Two years after Poland had achieved independence, almost 95% of all the commercial outlets in Zamosc were in Jewish hands. In the mid-1930s, more than 60% of all the Jews residing in Zamosc supported themselves by trade. During the same period, more than 20% of the total Jewish population supported itself by crafts and 6%-8% were in the liberal professions.

The occupational groups that achieved the highest profits were industrialists, property owners and professionals. The poorest segment of society was made up of transport workers and craftsmen. Merchants and tradesmen were the occupational group with the highest differences in income.


The development of industry in Zamosc and in other cities of the Zamosc province was conditioned, first and foremost, by the agricultural character of the region. Fertile soil spread over relatively vast areas and the crops produced there were the only natural resources of this region. The almost total lack of mineral resources led to the development of industrial branches exploiting agricultural raw materials. Insignificant quantities of minerals such as ceramic clay, limestone, ground stone, sandstone and sand made it possible to manufacture bricks, calcium, tiles, building materials, clinker, mill stones and glass. This was the reason why industry in the Zamosc region developed slowly and was on a very limited scale. More successful industrial branches were food production, construction, minerals and wood production and to some extent steel. Factories of the above-mentioned type were the most common among the industrial plants of Zamosc. In 1919, there were 23 plants operating in Zamosc: 3 mills, 3 oil mills, 3 soda water plants, 2 breweries, 2 agricultural equipment plants (and two equipment repair workshops), a brick-yard, a clinker-yard, a tilery, a soap mill, a vinegar factory, a steam sawmill, a coach factory and a power plant. 48. The slow development of industry was caused mainly by lack of new large-scale public and private investment. The only new major enterprises opened in the 1920s were the new municipal power plant built in 1924-28 and several (agricultural) industrial facilities of the "Ziemianin" company (a mill, a grit mill, an oil mill, an agricultural equipment plant, a brush factory and a foundry). A furniture factory, reopened in 1924, was also operating on a large scale.

In 1919 there were 23 industrial plants operating in Zamosc, only two more than in 1905. 49. A year later there were only 21 plants and in 1924 only ten major enterprises. 50. At the end of the 1920s, 42 production plants operated in the city, namely: 2 breweries, 2 brick-yards, 4 tileries, 5 sweets factories, a chicory factory, 2 cigarette tube factories, a clinker yard, 9 mills, 2 soap factories, 5 oil mills, a stockings factory, an agricultural equipment plant, a brush factory, 2 sawmills and 3 soda water factories.  51. In the second half of the 30s, there were 29 major and middle-sized industrial plants in operation. 52. A report about the state of the town, prepared by the municipal authorities and the police in 1931, mentions 21 industrial plants "which (…) could be refurbished to operate for the purpose of the defense of the State”. 

It was characteristic that the main thrust of industrial development was not the creation of new types of production, but only the extension of existing plants. Not only was the number of plants limited, they also employed few workers. In 1919 a total of 286 persons was working in the plants. Plants employing more than 50 people were an exception. A few cases in point: the clinker works (employed 80 people in 1919), the Municipal Power Plant (70 employees in 1930), 2 brickyards (70 employees each in 1937) and the factory of bent? furniture (150 employees in 1937). In most cases they employed up to 12 workers, and it also happened that the only employee of "a factory" was the owner himself, sometimes assisted by members of his family.

Newly created enterprises, mainly in the sphere of foodstuffs, were producing small quantities mostly aimed at local markets (although there were exceptions). The limited number of raw material suppliers and buyers of finished products (perhaps with the exception of the food business) resulted in the enterprises being relatively short of capital. The technical equipment of the enterprises was also limited. Quite often, and especially in the case of oil mills, soap works, soda water or cigarette tube factories, the only working machine was powered by human muscles. The limited scope of the Zamosc industry is born out by the number of industrial certificates issued to local businessmen. In 1935 no such certificates were issued and in the subsequent two years only two – one each year.

The significance of Zamosc as the industrial capital of the region was also limited. In the 1920s, industry in the city was very poorly developed, even taking into consideration the local conditions. In 1929 a mere 11.5% of all the industrial enterprises in the district 56 were concentrated there. In 1920 out of 21 industrial enterprises in the city, 11 (52.4%) were owned by Jews.  There were 22 Jewish enterprises in the whole district and they made up 12.1% of the total 57. Consequently, the enterprises in Zamosc constituted half of all the industrial enterprises. In 1924 6 out of 10 major industrial plants in the city were owned by Jews and as many as 20 out of the remaining 37. Five years later, Jewish enterprises constituted 73.8% of the total (31 out of 42). Exclusively Jewish were the following enterprises: the stockings factory, the vinegar mill, 2 soap works, 2 cigarette tube factories, the chicory factory and five sweets factories. Out of two brickyards, 2 breweries and 2 sawmills one was Christian and the other Polish. Moreover, there were 2 soda water factories (and a third one that was Polish), 7 mills (2 Polish ones) and 3 tileries (1 Polish) 58. In 1927 all 10 cereals factories operating in the city were the property of Jews. At the outbreak of World War II, 12 out of the 22 (54.5%) enterprises of "strategic importance" were owned by Jews. They were the following: a brewery, 5 mills, 2 oil mills, a furniture factory, 2 brickyards and a tilery.

Food production was the main branch of Jewish (and Christian) industry in Zamosc. Mills had the greatest economic importance among industrial plants of this type. Their steadily increasing number attested to the lucrative character of mill operation. Mills were also the most frequently modernized industrial plants in the town. Most of the machines and engines (steam, engine? and electrical) in use in the town were in plants of this type.

The largest Jewish mill operating in Zamosc in the period between the two wars was Lejba Kahane's mill. It was set up in 1910 on the premises of the former Wółka Miejska (27, Mlynska Street). After the death of its owner in July 1925, the mill became the property of a company founded by the heirs of the deceased. They were the sons of Lejba Kahane: Mendel, Hersz and Samuel, Abram (Adam) Galis from Warsaw and Jakub Hertz. The company equity to the amount of 10,000 Polish zloty was invested equally by all five shareholders. Until 1939 the shareholders were joined by Lejba's widow Sura Kahane, and Szajndla Wolfisz. All the heirs, with the exception of Hertz, lived in Zamosc right next to the mill on 27, Mlynska Street. Kahane's mill was the second steam mill in the Zamosc region (after Mejer's mill, established in 1885). The steam machine with 85 HP that functioned in the mill since 1910 was replaced in the mid-1920s by a motor and then by an electrical engine. In 1927 the motor engine powered 15 corn-grinding rollers. In the same year, the average annual production was about 50 thousand tons of flour and the maximum 55 thousand tons. The largest Polish mill at the time – the "Ziemianin" company – had an annual production of 15 thousand ton only. In 1937 the average daily production stood at 200 quintals. At the time, two Polish mills belonging to Bolesław Badzian had similar results (the motor mill produced daily 225 quintals and the electrical one – 200 quintals). The annual mill operating costs in 1937 totaled 150,000 Polish zloty and the profit amounted to 22,000 Polish zloty. Superior flour brands were sold in Poland while flour of lesser quality and its by-products were exported, mainly to Czechoslovakia and Gdansk.

Until 1914 the mill had 32 employees. In the years 1913 and 1919, only 15 people were employed there, 18 in the year 1921, as many as 30 in the year 1925 and an impressive 56 in the year 1927 63. In the second half of the 1930s, 40 workers were employed by the mill and 6 white-collar employees. At the time, only the bent furniture factory and the brickyard employed more people 64. In 1927 Kahane's mill had the largest quantity of raw materials – 75 thousand ton. The largest corn silo in the city with a capacity of 500 ton was located next to the mill 65.

In the mid-1920s, after a fire in two Jewish mills – Kornblit's during World War I and Ehrlich's in 1918 – the only Jewish mill owner in the city besides Kahane was Icek Kruk. Kruk's mill was built in 1898 on the premises of the Podtopole settlement. The mill had a steam engine of 35 HP. In the years 1913 and 1919, Kruk employed 19 workers and only 10 in 1921. In 1923, Kruk sold his mill to Zyndel Szpizajzen who increased the number of mill employees to 11 and installed a new electrical engine of 25 HP. In 1937 Szpizajzen established a new mill at 57, Spadek Street, powered by an electrical engine of 30 HP. In 1927 another SzpizajnenSzyja – was operating a small electrical mill in Nowa Osada. It had one roller, employed 5 workers and the average annual production stood at 250 ton. It didn't have a corn silo but a 3-ton stock of available raw materials.

In 1926, Tobiasz Hejnoch Fuks, born in Krasniczyn, was granted a license to operate a motor mill at Lubelskie Przedmieście near the barracks (22, Lubelska Street). A year later, his mill was ready and the building of a former corn silo was refitted to suit its needs. Three electrical engines with a HP of 10, 11,5 and 15 HP respectively were installed in the mill and 12 workers were hired. The average annual production stood at 5 thousand ton (maximum production was 12 ton) and the corn silo had a capacity of 600 quintals 68. The mill had modern equipment and it was operated skillfully. A technical committee that inspected it in 1932, wrote this in a report: "The mill is powered by two electrical engines of 37 and 30 HP, respectively. All the mechanisms are automatic and state-of-the-art. With regard to technical quality and hygiene-related aspects, the mill equipment is faultless and constitutes an example for Zamosc mills and other mills in the region".

Since 1935, Jankiel Herc, who also came from Kraśniczyn, leased the mill from Fuks. In 1936 the mill employed 22 workers in a three-shift system and the annual output, mainly wheat flour, amounted to 4 thousand ton. In addition to the gas engine that was installed that year, a large engine room was added to the mill. A year later, besides 2 white-collar employees, the mill employed 18 workers, the daily production reached 60 quintals, the annual mill operating costs amounted to 40,000 Polish zloty and the profit was 8,000 Polish zloty.

In the mid-1920s, in Nowa Osada, two of Zamość industrial tycoons, Szulim Tyszberg born in Mołożów and Abram Manzys, started operating a mill. Tyszberg's mill was located in the Podtopole settlement, had 17 workers in 1927, and its annual output was 1 thousand tons of flour. In 1929 Tyszberg operated his mill together with Zyndel Szpizajzen, the owner of the neighboring mill that formerly belonged to Icek Kruk. Tyszberg's mill was still operating in 1934. Manzys's mill was built in 1923 on the premises of the candle factory and oil mill (at 3, Spadek Street), burnt out during the war with the Bolsheviks. A 20 HP motor engine was installed in it and it employed 18 people working in three shifts. In 1925 Abram's heirs, his son Jakub Moszko Manzys and Jankiel Zoberman who came from Annopol, added another building to the mill that would serve as a silo with a capacity of 150 ton. In 1927 a motor engine powered 15 rollers, the mill employed 19 workers and the average annual output stood at 1.3 thousand tons of flour. The mill, as the property of Manzys and Zoberman, kept functioning until 1939.

In 1933 the brothers Froim and Mordko Josef Zycer and Fiszel Bojm, born in Grabowiec, submitted a project to the provincial government office for the construction of a new mill. Their small mill at 27, Hrubieszowska Street did not start operating until 1937. Besides the two owners, working as white-collar employees, the mill had 3 workers on its payroll. The daily output varied between 5 to 10 quintals of flour.

The second well-known Zamosc family, besides the Kahanes, were the Szarfs. In the 1930s, they owned two mills. In October 1926, Lejba Berko Szarf who was born in Jaślików, his son Josef and Moszko Griner who came from Udrycze, opened an electrical mill at 46, Spadek Street. The partners brought in an initial capital in equal parts of 4 thousand Polish zloty. One year following its establishment, the mill was equipped with 3 rollers, it employed 7 workers and the average annual production was 600 ton of flour. At the end of the 1920s, Josef Szarf, together with his brother Bencjan and Abram Brumer, opened a new, electrical mill at 31, Listopadowa Street. Both mills went on functioning until 1939. From 1934 a small mill, the property of Herszko Opatowski from Telatyń, was also in operation.

Until 1914 the well-developed brewery business in the Zamosc district was represented in the by two Jewish breweries. The first one, located at Lubelskie Przedmieście, was the property of Icek Majer Kestenberg. Shortly after World War I, it was nevertheless turned into a granary (later, Tobiasz Fuks's mill was built there). The second brewery, established in 1903 by Jonas Szyja Peretz (the writer's brother), was called "Livonia". This brewery was located at 28, Listopadowa S treet and was one of the largest industrial enterprises in the town. Initially, the sole owner of the business was Peretz, but as soon, in 1918, Sanel Garfinkiel became his partner. Eventually, in 1927, Peretz gave up managing the company and from then on the brewery became the property of the Garfinkiel family. At the end of the 1930s Garfinkiel's son David and his wife Maria took over the management of the brewery. The brewery was equipped with a steam engine (a locomobile) of initially 12 and subsequently 25 HP. In 1913 the brewery had 16 workers on its payroll, a year later 30 regular workers and another 30 on and off, in 1919 again 16 regular workers, in 1920 – 20 workers and in 1921 only 17 workers. In 1937 the brewery had 17 workers and 2 white-collar employees on its payroll. The plant was extended and rebuilt a couple of times. The first reconstruction dates back to 1922. In 1924 a project was submitted (and implemented in 1927) to reconstruct the burnt-down ice-producing factory and to establish a kiln and a malt-house. According to the owners' declaration, prior to 1914 the brewery was producing beer "on a large scale". However, the war years 1915 and 1920 made it incur "losses running to millions". In 1937 the brewery was brewing Lager, Bitter and Stout from local barley and hop from Dubno. The annual output was between 6 to 10 hectoliters. The annual operating costs amounted to 250,000 Polish zloty and the net profit was 17,000 Polish zloty. The brewery supplied its beer to customers all over the Zamosc district and in Lwów. Moreover, in the 30s two small beer distilleries were operating in the city. Szmul Izrael Rozen who came from Chełm and owned a brewery there, operated a small beer distillery at 10, Orlicz-Dreszer Street. The business was functioning from 1932 and its daily turnover averaged 50 hectoliters of beer. The second distillery was operated by Lejba Rozen, the owner of a beerhouse and a large wholesale warehouse of groceries and vodkas. It was opened in 1927 at 3, Sienkiewicza Street and its daily output was 10 hectoliters of the well-known "Haberbusch & Schiele" beer.

At the end of World War I, 4 oil mills were operating in Zamosc. The oldest and largest of them, dating back to 1855, was operated by Adam Manzys. It had a 12 HP steam engine (later a motor). Until 1919 it employed 6 workers and only 3 one year later. In 1927 hydraulic presses were in use in the oil mill, it employed 2 workers and produced 15 quintals every 24 hours. In addition to the oil mill, Manzys also operated a soap works (established by Julian Manzys, the father of Abram), a candle and varnish factory and a paint and lacquer warehouse. After a fire in the candle works that had employed 5 workers before the war, the above-mentioned mill was established on the premises of the former soap works. After the death of Abram Manzys the mill and the remaining businesses were taken over by his sons, Jakub and Jankiel Zoberman.

Szulim Tyszberg was another mill owner who also operated an oil mill. His business operated since 1904 and it employed 3 workers until the outbreak of the war. It did not function in the years 1915-1920. The oil mill had 3 HP steam engine and its daily output was 30 poods of oil. At the time, it again employed 3 workers. In 1927 an electrical engine, powering 1 hydraulic press, produced 12 quintals a day. Two smaller oil mills in Nowa Osada were operated by Chaim Szmaragd and Chaim Lempel. The first one, established in 1925, employed 3 workers until the mid-1920s, it was equipped with a 2 HP motor engines and two manual screws. During the Bolshevik invasion "military operations had an adverse effect on the mill's operation" and the business faltered. Due to "capital shortage" in the years 1921-1924, the oil mill was shut down completely. Although it was reactivated again, it never reached its earlier production levels. In 1927 the daily output of the oil mill was only 2.5 quintals. During the same period, Lempel's oil mill produced even less i.e. 2 quintals. It had a 2 HP steam engine and its only employee was the owner himself. In 1920 a small oil mill belonging to H. Edelsberg, was also operating.

In the 1920s small soda water works, employing 2 workers at the most, were operated by W. Brones (at 18, Boznicza Street), Srul Cukier (Nowa Osada), M. Finksztajn, Chaskiel Topf ("Rusałka" factory at 11, Zydowska Street and Hinda Topf (at 6, Bazylianska Street). The oldest of the works was operated from 1902 by Chaskiel Topf. In all of the works of this type production was manual and only simple "boiler" machines were used. The only larger and relatively lucrative business of this type was operated in Nowa Osada by Dawid Lejba Kac, who both manufactured and sold soda water.

From 1905 a small vinegar factory, belonging to Mendel Bornsztajn, functioned at 5, Zydowska Street. The owner himself operated a manual machine and produced 50 liters of vinegar a day. Borensztajn's factory was closed down in 1922 when a search carried out on its premises led to the "discovery of a device designed to extract spirit from a mixture used to produce vinegar". At the beginning of the 1920s, one of the Kahane brothers, Samuel, owned a chicory factory called "Słoń". A few small foodstuffs factories produced sweets and grits. At the end of the 1920s, sweets were manufactured by Godel Kaufman (at 3, Dluga Street), Hersz and Lejb Szmul Kaufman (at 13, Ormianska Street), Aron Szmul Najmark (at 3, Boznicza Street), Szmul Rajsfeld (at 6, Ormianska Street), Abram and Lejba Ranc (at 10, Rynek) and Pesza Sztajn (at 6, 3 Maja Street). All of the 10 grit factories, operating in 1927, were owned by Jews. The largest one, belonging to Estera Zymerman, had a daily output of 550 quintals of grits. The remaining ones (owned by Nusym Laks, Berek Gelibter, Jankiel Borek, Dwojrak Borek, Brana Minc, Rechla Finkielsztajn, Herszko Ruba, Mindla Elcter, Liba Eksztajn) were small businesses, more like workshops than factories, and their output was rather limited.

Beginning in 1890, the municipal slaughterhouse was an important component of the Zamosc foodstuffs industry. In 1917 Samuel (Szmul) Goldcwajg won a municipal tender for the lease of this plant and committed himself to paying into the coffers of the Zamosc Municipality an annual amount of 13,770 croner. From 1924 Goldcwajg operated the slaughterhouse together with Jozef Gerszzon. In the 1930s the lease passed on from Goldcwajg to Kiwa Herc and Ajzyk Szwarcbir.

Other Zamosc industrial branches were far less developed than  production of foodstuffs. In the 1920s the wood industry, with strong roots in the Zamosc district, was represented by only two Jewish enterprises, a sawmill and a furniture factory, established in the years 1908-1910 at Lubelskie Przedmieście by Tobiasz Fuks (jointly with Ferdinand Zipser who came from a German family). Originally the factory employed 20 workers and the furniture it manufactured was sold locally. In 1924 the development of this enterprise was hampered by a fire. Despite the speedy reconstruction, the output of the factory dwindled and the co-owner, Zipser, left Zamosc for a couple of years and moved to Warsaw. The plant was expanded and modernized only after his return (at the beginning of the 1930s) and after Fuchs had left (his shares were taken over by Ferdinand's son, Zygmunt Zipser). In 1936 the factory employed more than 140 workers and its products were exported to Belgium, Italy, Palestine and even Africa. Fuchs himself went back to wood production in 1933. At that time he opened a small bent furniture factory, located behind the prison at Okrzeja Street. In 1935 the finishing and French-polishing works employed 25 workers. The main output was chairs (approx. 50 a day) made of bough. The business brought in a monthly revenue of 1,200 Polish zloty. At the end of the 1930s, an engineer from Lwów, S. Horowitz, opened a lucrative sawmill in Lipsk near Zamosc.

The mineral-based industry comprised 2 tileries and a brickyard. Samuel Dychter's tilery operated in Zamosc from 1886 till 1939 without any interruptions and it was located at 40, Lwowska Street. It manufactured regular tiles and Berlin tiles "renowned for their high quality", sold locally or exported (mainly to Lublin). Initially, until 1914, specialists from Prussia, Russia and Galizia were employed by the factory. After World War I, they were replaced by local, highly skilled workers (there were 18 in 1930). Samuel Dychter, who also owned a steam-powered brickyard called "Okszów" in Chełmo, moved to Warsaw and entrusted the management of the plant to Mendel Ejzensztal. After Samuel's death, his son, Izaak Dychter, took over the factory. From 1913, a brickyard and a tilery were operated in Wółka Panieńska by two brothers, Eliasz and Salomon Epsztein, and by Sanel Garfinkiel. In the 1930s the brickyard employed 120 workers and its annual output was 4 million bricks. In spite of the considerable number of people working in this factory, its owners did not go out of their way to pay their workers' salaries. So much so that the brickyard workers resorted to strikes in order to get paid by the reluctant Epsztajn. Consequently, the latter was a frequent visitor in the labor inspector's office.

There were also small workshops, sometimes with only one person working in it. The one exception with regard to size was the only tannery factory in town that operated in the years 1909-1920. In 1912 the tannery employed 28 workers and the value of its output amounted to 29,000 rubles, which made it the leading company among the industrial plants in Zamosc. Production ceased in 1915, and four years later the owner of the plant, Szulim Kupfer, sold it to Srul Cukier (the soda water manufacturer) and Chaim Judka Ruderman. In June 1929 the new owners obtained a license from the Provincial Office to restart production and to tan skins. The plant was either not activated at all or it only operated for a few months. This is confirmed by the fact that the City Hall records list the plant as "non-operating due to capital shortage". A few cigarette tube plants were operating in the Old City and mainly at Franciszkanska and Bazylianska Streets. These plants were owned by Jankiel Grubman, Moszek Zylberlicht, Moszek Gerzohn, Ela Herszenzohn and Ela Hersau. Such factories, usually equipped with small (3/4 HP) electrical engines, were operating seasonally and employed up to two workers on and off. The even smaller stockings factories were actually craftsmen's workshops. In the 1920s such workshops were operated by H. Ader (at 12, Boznicza St.), Jankiel Fecher (at 14, Rynek), Symche Inlender (at 11, Boznicza St.), Srul Wajnberg (at 3, Zydowska St.). Next to the above-mentioned soap factory of the Manzys family that had been operating since the middle of the 19th century, similar workshops were operated by N. Lande (at Hrubieszowska St.), E. Kasner and D. Zoberman (at Bazylianska St.) and, in the 1930s, by Salomon Turkieltaub (at Kolejowa 7). In the early 1920s, at Stolarska St., Majer Edelsberg ran a small, mechanical weaver's shop, employing 2 workers. He mainly manufactured cotton fabrics, using a machine powered by a 1 HP engine.

One of the main features of Jewish industry in Zamosc was the overwhelming prevalence of foodstuffs production. This was mainly due to the abundance of local vegetal raw materials, their easy and reliable supply, a ready market and a general need for this type of industry. Moreover, judging by the speedily increasing number of new mills, oil and grits mills, this type of production was surely profitable.

The profitability of other industrial branches and of small foodstuffs plants mostly depended on current economic trends. Limited revenue would often force owners to resort to seasonal production (for example only on certain days of the week) or to the gradual dismissal of workers.  Major market crises resulted in lengthy production slumps and massive lay-offs, even in large companies. The market crash of the 1930s that engulfed all of the Zamosc industry, affected the wood and minerals production particularly hard. In 1930 Salomon Epsztajn, as well as Samuel Dychter, were forced to stop production for an entire year in the brickyard and in two tileries, respectively. While in the mid-1930s revenues were again considerable, at the beginning of the decade Zipser's furniture factory (formerly co-owned by Fuks) was struggling with its most serious slump. The scope of changes caused by the Great Crash is reflected in the analysis of the community taxes, paid by industrialists in the years 1928-1934.

The highest community tax levied on an industrialist in 1934 was three times lower when compared to six years earlier. The first 5 wealthiest owners paid a total of 1,325 zloty, 875 less than in 1928. When comparing the amount of fees paid by industrialists with the general sum levied on the wealthiest Zamosc Jews (those who were paying more than 100 zloty), one notices their very low percentage of the former. Not clear to me. In 1928 out of 60 "tycoons" paying a total of 12,120 zloty, five were paying 2,200 zloty, which was 7.6% of the total. In 1934 this percentage was even lower. It is noteworthy, however, that in the years 1918-1939, industrial activity in Zamosc was the most profitable form of industrial enterprise. Profit levels averaged by industrialists exceeded by far the revenues of merchants, craftsmen or professionals. From an economic point of view, Nowa Osada was the most important neighborhood of Zamosc Out of the previously mentioned 62 large and small industrial plants operating in the years 1918-1939, exactly half (31) were located in Nowa Osada, 19 in the Old City, 5 at Lubelskie Przedmieście and the location of the remaining 7 was has not been established. The largest factories - 10 out of 11 mills, a large brewery, 4 oil-mills, a brickyard and a tilery – were located in this suburb. The only major Jewish plant that was operating outside of Nowa Osada was a mill and a furniture factory located at Lubelskie Przedmieście. The factories operating in the Old City were mostly small craftsmen's workshops that employed a few workers and manufactured cigarette tubes, sweets soda water or stockings. One of their main features was the fact that most of the owners either lived on the premises of their business or in its immediate vicinity. Only three families residing in the Old City constituted an exception – the Garfinkiel, the Epsztajn and the Peretz families, Samuel Dychter who stayed out of Zamosc on a permanent basis and S. Horowitz.

At the turn of the decades, Jewish employers had between 300-350 industrial workers on their payroll (130 working in mills, 100 working for Dychter and the Epsztajns and 20 in the brewery). Jews were a minority among them as most of the workers belonged to the Christian population. Stefan Sendlak writes about the Jewish mills: "In all of the mills, Poles who belonged to the Food Industry's Trade Union would work as millers. More often than not, they would be at loggerheads with the owners because the latter were not paying wages on time". In Poland, a general rule also applied to Zamosc: a diminishing number of workers and a decreasing level of industrialization were followed by a decrease in the percentage of Jews in this occupational group. A limited, local Jewish working class lived off an impoverished population, unable to find any means of support in the traditional trades such as commerce or the crafts.

To sum up, in the period between the two wars, a total of 62 large and small industrial plants operated in Zamosc. Among others 11 mills, 5 oil-mills, 2 sawmills, 2 tileries, a brickyard, a tannery, a furniture factory and a brewery. The remaining plants (a soda water works, a vinegar plant, sweets, cigarette tube, stockings, soap factories and grit mills) were small production units that resembled craftsmen's workshops rather than industrial plants. Most of the Zamosc industrial plants were owned by Jews (more than 50% of the largest ones alone). Foodstuffs were the most widespread form of industrial production. The construction business and the wood and minerals industries were less important. Jewish industry in Zamosc was mainly concentrated in Nowa Osada that housed exactly half of the total of the town’s businesses.

Entire families were involved in profitable industrial activity in Zamosc – the Garfinkiel, the Epsztajn, the Manzys, the Kahane, the Scharf and the Szpizajnen families. In addition to them, several industrialists, such as Samuel Dychter, Tobiasz Fuks, Szulim Tyszberg and Srul Cukier who mostly came from the province, also owned businesses in Zamosc.     


Out of the 40% of the inhabitants of Zamosc who, according to a general census carried out in 1931, were earning a living in industry and mining, most were craftsmen. In the years 1918-1939, the percentage of Jews in this occupational group varied from 55% to 75%.

In 1922 59.4% of all the Zamosc masters, 50.7% of the apprentices and 55.8% of the learners were Jewish. Two years later, out of 561 craftsmen's workshops, 425 (75.7%) were owned by Jews. In the years 1925 and 1929, Jewish craftsmen constituted 57.5% and 64.9% of the total number and it may also be assumed that this lasted into the 1930s.

In spite of the considerable number of Jewish apprentices and learners (124 to every hundred masters), craftsmen's workshops operated by Jews were rather small. It was a standard practice to employ or to take on one or two persons as apprentices. Businesses supporting three or more employees were very rare. In 1924 there were only 21 such workshops and they made up only 3.6 % of the total number.

Two well-known Zamosc tailors, Wolf Rychtman and Moszko Chaim Grosman, employed 5 people, the highest number. 4 people were on the payroll of carpenter Gerszon Messer (at Ormianska Street), of carpenter Abram Szwarcberg (in Nowa Osada), of well-sinkers Sanel Magaryl and Anszel Fass (at Slusarska Street), and of the Hernhut brothers (at Stolarska Street) who were printers. Three people were employed by carpenter Hersz Messer (at Kollataja Street), by locksmith Tewel Luft (at Wielki Rynek), by saddler Hersz Zyngierman ( 3 Maja Street), shoemaker Gdala Rochaman (at Franciszkanska Street), by shoemaker Icek Majer Rochman (at Ormianska Street), by leather-stitchers, Jakub Totengreber (at Franciszkanska Street), by Lejzor Broch (at 3 Maja Street), by Nojech Rechener (at 3 Maja Street), by Abram Brumer (in Nowa Osada), by tailors, Szaja Finkielsztajn (at Bazylianska Street), by Michel Sztorch (at 3 Maja Street), by Azryl Szeps (at 3 Maja Street), by Gedala Ewigkeit (at 3 Maja Street), by hatmaker Szloma Szek (at Stolarska Street), and by bakers, Moszko Becher (at Bazylianska Street), by Gdala Jonesgartel (in Nowa Osada) and by Lejba Szyffer (in Nowa Osada).

In 1922, the ratio of masters to apprentices and learners in the various branches of Jewish crafts was balanced. One constant fact was the absence of Jewish apprentices in trades that did not have Jewish masters. This might explain why few Jewish apprentices and learners were employed by Polish masters. It is most likely that the reverse situation occurred more often. This was borne out by the absence of Jewish apprentices in certain branches (confectioners, engravers, jewelers, furriers, rope-makers and weavers), and by the large number of Jewish masters. In 1924 gentile apprentices were employed by the following hairdressers: Lejba Sznycer (Witold Pawlowski), Motek Sznycer (Edward Pik), Hejnich Wechter (Edward Hubicki and Czeslaw Czerner) and tailors: Berko Majl (Wladyslaw Gil) and Gedala Ewigkeit (Adolf Zych).

In the second half of the 1920s and during the 1930s, there was a gradual decrease in the number of Jewish youth doing their apprenticeship in crafts. In 1928, out of 280 businesses registered by the Professional Association of Jewish Masters, only 78 (27.8%) had Jewish apprentices (105 altogether). There were only 19 businesses (6.8%) that employed two or more trainees and there were only two businesses (!) – run by tailors Gedala Ewigkejt and Lejzor Roffel - that employed a higher number of trainees.

The increasing number of young people leaving the crafts mainly in favor of commerce, as well as the economic crash in early 1930s, led to a gradual decline of Jewish crafts. There was a constant increase in the number of small, family businesses run by modest means, and usually on their owners' permanent residence. Lusia Raz (Pekler) reminisces about her family home and describes the business run by her family in the following way: "My parents had a small hem-stitching workshop at 3, Maja Street. The apartment consisted of a small kitchen and one large room, which served as my parents' bedroom and mine, as a dining room, as a living room, a study and a workshop. Three hem-stitching machines, an overcast stitch and embroideries, were placed there. There was constant bustle in the apartment, my parents worked from dawn till dusk. Apart from home appliances, all the available space was filled with embroidery fabrics and finished hems. Our home was a place where people lived, ate, slept, received guests and, at the same time, a workshop where my parents worked".

Traditionally, tailoring and shoemaking were the two crafts most typical of Jews. In the years 1922, 1925 and 1929 respectively, 40 %, 50.3 % and 44.5 % of all the registered Jewish masters were tailors or shoemakers. A significant number of Jews were cap-makers, barbers, leather-stitchers, bakers, butchers and carpenters. In the second half of the 1920s, 80 % of all the craftsmen were working in the above-mentioned trades.

The following trades were completely dominated by Jews: cap-making, fabric-dyeing, comb-making, corset-making, tanning and furriery, and until 1929, jewelry-making, glazing, well-sinking and brush- and paintbrush-making. In 1922 all of the masters, apprentices and learners in these professions were Jewish. There were more than 80 % Jews among barbers, shingle layers, hatters, tailors, leather-stitchers, bakers and watchmakers and more than 60% among tin men, painters, harness-makers and carpenters. However, in the 1920s there were no Jews among coopers, pavers, tillers, wheelers, basket-makers, chimney-sweeps, cooks, boiler-makers, pork-butchers, millers, beekeepers, coach-builders, sieve-makers or tile-stove setters. Only a few Jews were bricklayers – a trade plied by the highest number of Christians. As a rule, Jews did not engage in trades that typically attracted a rural population or required physical strength. Consequently, the structure of Jewish trade in Zamosc was traditional and at the time, the numerical and percentage proportions of the various types of trades were similar to those in other district towns of the Lublin province.

A characteristic feature of the Zamosc crafts in the 1920s was a progressive denominational differentiation among specific professions. Until 1929 Jews completely ousted Christians from the shingle-laying, leather-stitching and hat- making trades. In the years 1922-1929, the percentage of Jews exceeded that of the Poles in the following trades: confectionery, hairdressing, harness-making, carpentry and shoemaking. This process applied most clearly to the tailoring business, with the percentage of Jews growing from 84.9% in 1922 to 91.1% in 1929. On the other hand, in trades such as tinsmith's work, wall-painting, locksmith's work and upholstering, the percentage of Jews was on the wane. The same applied to the brick-laying trade. Until 1929 Jews were completely ousted from the photography business. An analysis of the location of Jewish trade in Zamosc points to certain characteristic features: Out of the 373 businesses included in the analysis, 60.3% operated in the Old City, 32.7% in Nowa Osada and 7% at Lubelskie Przedmieście. Considering that in 1924, 52.9% of the Jews resided in the area of the former fortress (43.1% in Nowa Osada and 4.5% at Lubelskie Przedmieście), it may be assumed that the Old City, including the Wyjazd Lubelski and its adjoining streets, was more of a craftsmen's neighborhood than Nowa Osada. Most of the craftsmen's businesses were located in the old City, followed by Nowa Osada and the fewest at Lubelskie Przedmieście. Only with regard to the book-binding, mechanics’, bakery and well-sinking businesses was their number identical in the Old City and in Nowa Osada. A few trades such as shingle-laying, comb- making, blacksmith's work, wall-painting, rope-making, harness-making, turning and above all carpentry were predominant in Nowa Osada. A few streets actually specialized: 9 out of 10 Old City bakeries were operating at Orminaksa Street. Tinsmiths and butchers were concentrated in Perec and Zamenhof Streets. The considerable number of carpenters in Nowa Osada worked in Dluga, Gminna and Hrubieszowska Streets and at Nowy Rynek. Streets that were considered "rather exclusive" and "wealthy" such as 3 Maja Street, Staszica Street and the Mickiewicz Square, housed relatively prosperous tailors and shoemakers. Most of the Zamosc watchmakers, jewelers and hairdressers businesses were located there as well.

Streets adjoining the Wielki Rynek housed no less than 66.7% of the Old City's craftsmen's businesses and 40.2% of those in the entire town of Zamosc. Three-quarters of the 82 businesses that were most profitable and employed the greatest number of people were operating in the Old City; 51 of them (62.2%) were located at the Staromiejski Rynek and its adjoining streets, 6 were situated in Perec and Zamenhof Streets, 5 in Bazylianska Street, 16 in the new town and 4 at Lubelskie Przedmiescie. The area of the Staszica, 3 Maja, Ormianska, Kollataja Streets and of the Mickiewicza Square can be considered as the center of Jewish trade in the town, where the largest and most prosperous craftsmen's businesses were concentrated.

The smallest and least prosperous craftsmen's businesses were concentrated in Nowa Osada. This was due to the general poverty of the population living there, which to a large extent had an adverse effect on its ability to purchase craftsmen's products. Small businesses in Nowa Osada were miserable places, hard to come across elsewhere. Reminiscing about these places, Lusia Raz wrote: "Nowa Osada with its run-down shops and workshops was the poorest part of Jewish Zamosc. The people who lived there – porters, carters, poor tradesmen, craftsmen and a large number of urban ‘lumpenproletariat’ - provided this place with a local color all its own. It was particularly depressing to see the workplaces of poor tailors, shoemakers and boot top makers. Situated in the most squalid locations, in basements, in dark, dirty and damp spots, these businesses served at the same time as living quarters for the people who worked there. Often one would see there worn-out fathers working from dawn till dusk and entire gangs of neglected, sickly, pale children and their mothers who supported them by unknown means".

The revenues of the most prosperous craftsmen were much lower than those that could be derived from industry, commerce or the liberal professions. In the 1930s, the average community tax paid by the wealthiest craftsmen did not exceed 100 zloty and it was almost ten times lower than the corresponding tax paid by the richest merchants and industrialists.

The well-sinking businesses, only slightly less profitable than the traditionally most lucrative jeweler's craft were operated by Anszel (the father) and Samuel (the son) Fass and by Magaryl Sanel and Chaim. They derived an important income from the monopolized local market and lucrative municipal orders. Among 6 of the listed tailoring businesses were the well-known workshop of Wolf Rychtman (operating since 1890) and the workshop of Moszko Jankiel Grossman. The workshop of the latter was widely appreciated by Jews as well as Poles. Even the most hardened advocates of an industrial boycott of the Jews, including the well-known Sochański who was known for his anti-Semitic views, would seek out Grossman's services. Describing Sochański, doctor Zygmunt Klukowski wrote: "By the way, in spite of his anti-Semitic attitude, he would order his suits from the tailor Grossman, the same that would fit me out. The old Grossman would boast of his exclusive clientele showing Sochański’s special card in his tailor's order book".

A popular Zionist activist, Azriel Szeps, operated a ladies' tailoring business, known for its high prices. Customers, availing themselves of the services offered by this business, were mainly attracted by the Szeps himself; he was a politically active city councilor, a member of the Jewish Denominational Board and chairman of the Jewish Masters' Trade Union. His wife Pesia operated a very popular ladies' hairdressing business combined with a beauty parlor. According to doctor Klukowski's memoirs, "ladies looking to have their hair done and permed swore by Mrs. Szeps's business at 3 Maja Street. They would sit there for hours and gossip endlessly. The business of Mrs. Szeps, frequently advertised in the local press, prided itself on the first-class service it provided and "it won a gold medal at a Vienna competition". Like the Szepses, the married couple Gdala and Szajndla Ewigkajt operated a tailoring and hairdressing business (also at 3 Maja Street).

In addition to Mrs. Szeps and Mrs. Ewigkajt, two other Jewish families were involved in the hairdressing business – the Cymryng (Chaim, Jakub and Moszko) and the Sznycer (Lejba, Nusen, Moszko, Motel and Zelman). Their businesses were at Lubelskie Przedmieście and also in the Old City and in Nowa Osada.

Jankiel Guthajt was a popular and widely esteemed shoemaker in the city. He had a workshop in Wyspianska Street (and lived at Mickiewicza Square) and his business was well-known for the good quality, moderate prices and reliability of the products he sold.

A well-known workshop manufacturing ladies' hats was run at 17, Staszica Street by Ruchla Luksemburg. The workshop was located in a building belonging to Berko Luksemburg, Ruchla's husband and the brother of the most famous member of the family, Rosa Luksemburg.

Entire families were working at different types of crafts. More often than not, a specific craft was passed on from father to son. There was the tinwork business of the large Spodek family, hat-making by the Fuks and Rasz families, leather-stitching by the Cycman family, tailoring by the Ajnwojner, Ajzenkopf, Becher, Finkielsztajn, Holc, Perel, Roffel and Sztarkier families, the butcher’s shops of the Majl and Nyr families, carpentry by the Intraub, Messer and Szwarcberg families, shoemaking by the Holc and Rochman families, locksmith's work by the Putter family and matchmaking by the Huff and Rajchman families. 

In addition to their manufacturing activities, several of the wealthiest craftsmen were also operating commercial outlets. This mainly applied to jewelers and watchmakers. In his workshop, Icek Majer Kohen advertised his shop that had been operating since 1892 and recommended his products: gold, silver, diamonds and platinum.

Next to their tailoring and hairdressing businesses, the spouses Szeps also operated a shop with ladies' haberdashery. The shoemakers, brothers Icek Majer and Gedala Rochman, owned a shop at 21, Staszica Street.  Shoemaker Wolf Szerer (at 6, Wyspianska Street) and well-sinker Anszel Fass were also owners of haberdashery shops. A few Zamosc tailors owned shops with ready-made clothes. It is noteworthy that several of the wealthiest craftsmen derived most of their revenue from trade and not from their crafts-related activities.

In the period between the two wars, approximately 20 % of the Jewish population of Zamosc made their living by crafts. The Jews constituted a majority (varying from 55% to 75%) of the local craftsmen. Jewish crafts in the city had a traditional character. More than 80% of all the craftsmen were shoemakers, tailors, cap-makers, bakers, hairdressers, leather-stitchers and carpenters. Some trades were completely dominated by Jews. This applied to cap- making, dyeing, tannery, furriery, jeweler's work and glazing, while there were no Jews in other trades such as coopery, wheel-making, boiler-making, brick-laying and tile-stove setting.

Jewish crafts in the city were far from lucrative and the majority of the masters and apprentices belonged to the poor strata of society. Very few craftsmen derived any noteworthy profits from their activity. The jeweler's craft and watch-making were lucrative professions. Some well-known workshops and monopolists made significant profits.

Most of the craftsmen's businesses were concentrated in the Old City. Rynek Wielki and its adjoining streets were the location of most of the wealthiest and highly esteemed workshops. Some of the streets in the Old City specialized in a specific craft. In the years between the two wars, a few hundred smaller and larger Jewish craftsmen's workshops were active in Zamosc. It was possible to establish who were the owners, the specialization of the workshops and their addresses. 


Most Zamosc Jews engaged in commercial activities. The city where in 1931 and in 1937 21% and 25% (respectively) of the total population engaged in commerce, Jews made up more than 75% of all the tradesmen. In 1917 Jews owned 465 commercial outlets (94.7%). Poles only owned 26 outlets and three years later, out of 582 shops, Jews were the owners of 94.2% of them. In 1924 the Jews owned 84.5%, in 1926 - 83% and in 1929 – 79.2%. In the mid-1930s, trade constituted the means of support of almost 70% of all those who paid community fees.

In 1920 only 34 out of 582 shops in Zamosc were the property of Christians. With the exception of bakeries, confectionery stores, bookstores, pharmacies and stores with agricultural equipment, the remaining trade branches were either completely dominated by Jews or their participation exceeded 90%. 64.3% of all the shops sold foodstuffs and 63.1% of them were in Jewish hands. Thus Jewish commercial outlets in this sphere amounted to 93%. In the leather and clothing trade, constituting 13% and 9.5% (respectively) of all the Jewish shops, the proportion of businesses belonging to Jews exceeded 98% (in each of the two above-mentioned trades there was only one shop belonging to Christians). The metal and chemical trades were completely dominated by Jews.

With regard to the significant involvement of Jews in trade, often exceeding 90%, Zamosc in 1921 presented a similar picture to that of many towns bordering on the former Russian sector of partitioned Poland. Whereas in 1921 the participation of Jews in trade in the area of the former Congress Kingdom of Poland barely amounted to 63.5% on the average, it amounted to a significant 92% in Volhynia and to more than 90% in the Lwów (not included), Tarnopol and Stanisławów provinces.

Zamosc also resembled other towns along this border with regard to the decrease in the percentage of Jewish trade enterprises during the years 1921-1929. From 1920 till 1929, Jewish participation in trade plummeted by 15% (from 94.2% to 79.2%). An almost identical decrease occurred in Bialystok during the same period, where the number dropped by 14.7% to 78.3%. In other towns of Eastern Poland the drop was slightly more moderate. In 1926 it was from 90% to 86% in Łuck and 84% in Włodzimierz Wołyński. This decrease was mainly due to a considerable growth in the number of non-Jewish commercial enterprises and it was most notable in provincial, regional or district centers. In Warsaw the decrease reached 19 %.

In 1929 the following type of shops remained completely monopolized by Jews: electro-technical appliances, clothing, textiles, musical instruments, oil, optical devices, bakeries, harness-making, metal products, glazing and kitchenware. Jews completely dominated the following trades: sugar (wholesale), wood and wood-firing, the sale of eggs, horses, fruit, feathers, railway bedding, hides (also raw hides), shoemaker's tools, herrings, paper bags, ready-made clothing, plaster and cotton wool. No less than 27 out of 61 different types of trade were completely dominated by Jews. They owned a 90% share of the following trades: textile fabrics, haberdashery and corn, and more than 80% of furniture stores, shoe stores, stationary and soda water sales were in Jewish hands.

In spite of the still high percentage (90%) of Jewish foodstuff shops, the participation of Jewish tradesmen in the overall foodstuffs business fell to 71.2%. The main cause of this development was the fact that the Christian population took control almost completely of the retail and wholesale trade in alcoholic beverages. Only 25% of shops selling alcoholic beverages and 45.8% of breweries were owned by Jews. With regard to wholesale sale of beverages, there was only one active beer bottling factory and none selling spirits. Only 10% of all the Zamosc restaurants were run by Jews.

However, the following trades were still completely dominated by Jews: metals, chemical and wood products. In the clothing and leather trades, Jewish participation made up 96.6% and 97.5% respectively. A slightly lower level of participation, namely 81%, was in agricultural produce. The share of ownership of the tobacco trade differed from that in the province as a whole. Whereas in 1921, 100% of the tobacco trade and production was in Jewish hands, in 1929 it was only 26.9 % in Zamosc.

Although food products were the main item sold by Jewish shops, compared to 1920 the percentage of their share of the sale of food products decreased by half to 31,8 %. Shops selling clothes made up 24.5 % of the total (a 15.5% increase), leather shops made up 8.4% (a 4.6% decrease), shops with agricultural equipment made up 10.9%, shops selling metal products made up 3.2% and shops with wood products made up 2.4%.

Small businesses prevailed among the Zamosc business enterprises. In 1924 out of the total of 746 registered Jewish commercial outlets, 160 were classified as "large and middle-sized", whereas 586 (78.6%) were categorized as "small". Polish trade was even more dispersed than the Jewish trade. The percentage of small businesses made up 83.2% (114 out of 137); 87.4% of the large and middle-sized businesses were the property of Jews and 83.7% of the small ones.

The Great Crash of the 1930s resulted in a tremendous decrease in the turnover of commercial enterprises on the one hand, and in their even greater dispersal on the other. In the years 1931-1932 turnover in the foodstuffs business fell by 20-40% at national level, by 35-50% in the haberdashery-leather business, by 50% in the furniture business and by 35-40% in the shoe selling business.  Overall commercial turnover in the years 1928-1932 fell by 26.5%. Within a few years, trade in Zamosc shrank in an unprecedented way and many commercial enterprises broke up. The outcome was characterized by J. Schneider in the following manner: "…the predominant number of the smallest businesses has an adverse effect on the economic role of commerce and on its development, due to the fact that small retailers have only limited capital at their disposal. Furthermore, this kind of business activity only requires a modicum of business intelligence on the part of the merchant, so he won't display any entrepreneurial spirit or initiative. At most, he will serve as a go-between in terms of relations between towns and the countryside."

It is noteworthy that in 1932, the Zamosc district had a relatively high percentage (5.7%) of the largest commercial enterprises at the provincial level.  On the verge of the Great Crash, the Zamosc district was characterized by a relatively high number of large and middle-sized industrial businesses and a relatively limited number of small and extremely small businesses. The most lucrative commercial activities in the 30s were the large textile shops, mercer's shops, haberdashery shops and the corn and wood trade.

During the entire twenty years between the two wars, Wigdor Inlender was the wealthiest Jewish Zamosc merchant (and probably the richest Jew in the Zamosc province). Born in 1874 in Zamosc, Wigdor Inlender was the descendant of one of the wealthiest Zamosc families, related to Ber Meisel, the Cracow rabbi who was known for his struggle for independence. Inlender had wide-ranging business interests.   The first ever power supply generator was activated in his home at 1, Mickiewicza Square. One of the largest Zamosc textiles shops was located in his house and it was a joint retail and wholesale business. Inlender dealt on a large scale in products manufactured by his company "Inlender's Textile Company Ltd." located in Lodz at 83, Piotrkowska Street. He derived considerable profits from credit operations (he was the chairman of a merchant's bank that granted credit to Jewish wholesalers) from various financial operations (including the operation of a lottery office and sale of lots), from rental of space in two properties that belonged to him and a landed property in Nowa Osada.

Well-known clothing, haberdashery and textiles stores were also operated by the following: M.H. Aszyn, since 1903 in a corner of the Central House (he advertised his "Pesach special" clothing in the Yiddish press of Zamosc), by Dawid Ewigkajt (at 29, Staszica Street), by Hessa Goldsztajn, the sister of I.L.Peretc (at Staszica Street), by M. Markfeld and then his heirs (at 25, Staszica Street), by the firm of A. Bukowicz, Sz. Tajtelbaum and L. Grossman (at Staszica Street), by the Edelsberg brothers (at 3 Maja Street), by Chaim Szek (opposite the Collegiate Church) and by J. Loberman (at Staszica Street). A few textiles shops were operated by well-known political activists in Zamosc such as the Orthodox Todrys Nikielsberg among others (at 10, 3 Maja Street). The Chairman of the Board of the Denominational Community, Bencjon Lubliner, owned (at the outset jointly with Samuel Eljasberg and Aronowicz) a large haberdashery stock at 31, Staszica Street. Wealthy merchants and craftsmen as well as officers of the local regiment were regular customers. The Religious Zionist, Mordko Josef Kronfeld, was the owner of a commission stock at Kollataja Street.

Another well-known spot on the commercial map of Zamosc was Eljasz Epsztajn's pharmacy. Maria Matuszewska reminisces: "People would buy kerosene and perfumes by the grammes there". An appropriate quantity would be taken out of large jars by means of a burette and then poured into a bottle brought by the lady customer. The fragrance could be that of lily of the valley or jasmine. There were rubber pears for enemas, cupping-glasses for treatment of colds, thermometers, marsh-mellow sweets for children suffering from worms, dyes for dyeing fabrics, angel and ballerina heads to make toys with for Christmas trees. Everything could be bought there including a devil with horns skipping after carol singers who wandered from house to house with the Star of Bethlehem, which was probably also acquired at Epsztajn's". In addition to Epsztajn, pharmacies and pharmaceutical stocks in Nowa Osada were operated by: Hersz Cwirn, Moszko Sztern, Herman Rubinsohn (at 61, Lwowska Street) and by Szymon Wechter in the Old City (together with an optician's shop).

 The largest wholesaler who sold groceries as well as wines, vodka, liqueurs and other spirits was Lejba Rozen, the owner of the beer bottling company "Haberbusch & Schiele". His shop, located at 2, Mickiewicza Square, was opened in 1912 and, in addition to beer sales, it bottled excellent Pesach wine. This brew was provided with a quality certificate signed by a Kielce tzaddik residing in Zamosc. Until 1925 Liber Emer operated a well-known shop selling "spirits in closed receptables".

The most famous restaurant operated by a Jew was Szlomo Fersztendik's winery at 33, Staszica Street. This is what Zygmunt Klukowski wrote about it: "One of the odd spots of Zamosc was Fersztendik's winery in the Square, nicknamed The Fukier (famous restaurant in Warsaw) of Zamosc. On the groundfloor there was an ordinary stock of vodkas, wines and other drinks, and a special entrance led to a wide, basement, branching out in several directions, lit by electricity. It was crammed with barrels, moss-covered demijohns and thousands of wine and honey bottles. There was a table with massive wooden chairs around it, at which people sometimes drank excellent wine, usually served by the owner of the business himself, the old Fersztendik, an Orthodox Jew in a long, black gabardine cloak. He knew his wines and his customers, so they always got what they wanted. The company, founded by his grandfather, existed for a hundred years. It was originally in Turobin, but was later moved to Zamosc. It was known all over the Lublin province. Almost every visitor to Zamosc had to drop by. Even high-ranking state officials, ministers, provincial governors, generals and university professors did not find it beneath their dignity to call on Fersztendik's famous winery". Judging by press advertisements, Fersztendik's firm prospered from 1836 and its specialty was Pesach raisin wine. Its emblem was a relief hanging inside the winery, representing Fersztendik's grandfather with a fitting motto: "If you are in a bad mood, drink Fersztendik's wine and everything will be fine", and there was a visitors’ book with inscriptions by famous guests. Next to the winery, in a room on the ground floor, Fersztendik had a stock of groceries and wines, offering "retail and wholesale high-quality wines, vodkas and honey." 

Other restaurants in Zamosc in the period between the two wars were operated by the folllowing: Hersz Diament (at 4, Zydowska Street), by Krajndla Sztrasberg and Hersz Wilder (at 8, Bazylianska Street), by Ruwin Luft (tea-room at 1, Zamenhofa Street), by Szaja Weksler (at 33, Perec Street) and by Majer Birkan. Both Diament and Weksler ran their restaurants next to the inns that also belonged to them.

Well-known grocery stores at Mickiewicza Square were operated by Jehuda Jungman and the Ranc family (2 businesses). No less than 3 grocery stores belonged to Sz. Wamzer. Three well-known iron stores were the property of Wolf and, subsequently, Abram and Lejba Wagner (at 1, Mickiewicza Square), of Aron and subsequently of Bajrach Pfeffer (at 4, Mickiewicza Square) and Icek Fink (at 35, Staszica Street). In Fink's shop, founded in 1880, one could buy iron and iron products, cement, roofing felt, tar paper, coke, ordinary and fire-resistant bricks. M. N. Kligel and H.L. Horenfeld had two shops (at 8, Ormianska Street and at 8, Mickiewicza Square) and one wholesale warehouse (at 8, Lwowska Street) of kitchenware, china and glazing. Equally large businesses were run by Hersz Horowitz, Lejba Erlich and Icek Dawid Szlam, the owners of the company "Ziarno i Światło" that dealt in commission sale of kerosene and sold coal and corn on a wholesale basis. In addition, the company owners ran a major trading house called "Agricola" at the Wyjazd Lwowski and from 1929 they were shareholders in a company called "Karpaty". This company that operated a gas station and dealt in kerosene products, had an equity capital of 2,000 Polish Zloty. Horowitz, Erlich and Szlam put up almost half of this sum (49.2%) and the remaining shareholders paid up the outstanding amount, 32.8% of which was the share of Josef Kopelman who owned the firm of "Kolos", also involved in the kerosene trade, and the remaining part of 18.2% was contributed by Symcha Ledermann.

The following people were involved in the lucrative corn trade: Anszel Maler (at 2, Sienkiewicza Street), I. Szwarc (at Listopada Street), the brothers Jankiel and Josef Bron (in Pilsudski Avenue), Mordko Zycer (in Krysinksiego Street), Szloma Frug (in Zdanowska Street) and the brothers J. and M. Kejzman. The wood trade was in the hands of Moszko Nirenberg (in Sienkiewicza Street), E. Zymerman & Co. (in Krysinskiego Stret), Froim Zycer (in Krysinskiego Street) and Hersz Majer and Szloma Rajchenberg (with an initial capital of no less than 10, 230 zloty).

Not unlike the crafts, certain types of trade were the specialty of entire families. The Flugs operated three furniture shops, the Harc family ran six shops with ready-made clothes (on the premises of the City Hall) and also the Kliger family (in Ormianska Street). The Flug, the Griner, the Hochman, the Kruk and the Urysz families dealt in corn.    

Hotels and inns deserve special mention as commercial and service-related enterprises. The oldest business of this type, dating back to the end of the 18th century and actually functioning until 1939, was the so-called "Dychter's Inn", located at 2, Staszica Street (it was also called the Lvov Hotel). For three generations the typical building of the inn with its high, Dutch-style roofing belonged to the Dychter family. The last owner of the hotel (until 1939) was Helena Dychter. The hotel "Victoria", initially the property of Fema Waks, was built in 1899 between the Kollataja and Perec streets. Subsequently, it was owned by among others by Szaja Weksler (in 1929) and Szprync Cederbaum (ten years later). In the 1920s small hotels and so-called "furnished rooms" were operated by Liber Emer (at 13, Boznicza Street), Hersz Diament (at 4, Zydowska Street) and Icek Dolcher (at 4, 3 Maja Street). In 1939 similar businesses were run by Mirla Perel (at 2, Kollataja Street), Golda Zyngier (at 4, 3 Maja Street), Sobol (at 7, 3 Maja Street) and Gersztengraupen (at 6, 3 Maja Street).   

A comparison of employee salaries, based on a poll carried out in 1937 in the commercial enterprises of Zamosc, shows a tremendous differentiation depending on position and type of trade. In the largest foodstuffs enterprises that had an initial capital in excess of 200,000 zloty and a daily turnover to the tune of 1,000-2,000 zloty, the monthly salary of a board director would amount to 400 zloty, of an accountant to 250 zloty, of a cashier to 200 zloty and that of a trainee to 50 zloty. In other types of commercial enterprises, the salary of an accountant would vary from 100 to 25 zloty (it was near the top level in stores with electro-technical appliances and a minimum salary was paid in the clothing business, the haberdashery business, by textile shops and by shops selling wood and building materials). The salary of cashiers would vary from 200 to 40 zloty (the highest salary was paid by trading houses and fur shops and the lowest by iron warehouses, and that of trainees ranged from 120 to 10 zloty (the highest salary was paid by fur shops and the lowest by grocery and foodstuff stores and by harness making shops).

In the period between the two wars, Zamosc had a typically commercial look. At the beginning of the 1920s, more than 90% of all the commercial enterprises of the town were the property of Jews. Although this percentage would gradually decrease, at the beginning of the 1930s it was still about 80%. Almost three quarters of the Zamosc Jews lived off trade. The most widespread branches of Jewish trade in the city were the following: foodstuffs (almost 60% of all the shops in 1960), clothing, leather and to a slightly lesser degree the agriculture, metal and wood trades.

A very significant trade diversity was not only typical of Zamosc, but of the entire province. Like many other towns with a similar percentage and number of Jews, Zamosc also had an overwhelming number of small shops. This diversity became even more evident in the 1930s, as a result of the Great Crash.

The Old City Square and its adjoining streets constituted the commercial heart of the town. Almost 70% of all Jewish Old City shops were concentrated in this area and more than 40% of all the commercial outlets of the town. In total, more than 600 Jewish shops were operating in the town in the period between the two wars, and it has been possible to identify some 80% of them.

Liberal professions                                                                                 

In Zamosc the Jewish intelligentsia and people in the liberal professions constituted a differentiated and a relatively small occupational group (approx. 100 persons). Traditionally, the local intellectual and often financial elite came from this layer of society. Most Jewish lawyers, doctors (including various medical personnel), technicians, architects, office workers and accountants, teachers, writers, editors of local newspapers, artists and also rabbis were active in the political, social and cultural life of Zamosc between the two wars. However, instances of this occupational group's activities reaching beyond the framework of Jewish institutions or private practice (which focused mainly on serving the Jewish population) were very rare. Only very few individuals did work for state institutions and offices at the district or town level. There were two reasons for this situation: the denominational policies of the state administration and a large and strong Polish intellectual community in Zamosc. The feeling of being different or cultural and religious isolationism on the part of the Jewish intelligentsia was a relatively negligible factor. The absolute majority of the Zamosc Jewish lawyers, doctors or teachers were assimilated to a significant degree (especially the younger generation). They spoke Polish at home, changed their names into Polish ones and their children went to Polish schools. Their sense of Polish identity, the ethos and ideals of the Polish intelligentsia were stronger than the religious or cultural heritage. For this stratum of Jewish society, the barriers and limitations were particularly painful.

In the years 1918-1919, Zamosc had 7 Jewish practicing lawyers. The two oldest had acquired their legal education before World War I, whereas the 5 others graduated in already independent Poland. Only four of them came from Zamosc itself.

Henryk Cygielman from Lublin was the dean of the Jewish Bar in Zamosc. He was held in the highest esteem and had a great many customers. After completing his university studies in Warsaw in 1913, Cygielman worked as a trainee in the office of the well-known Lublin attorney, Boleslaw (Bera) Warman, until 1920 and then was made an attorney. In 1921 he moved to Zamosc and opened a lawyer's office at 2, Staszica Street. Three years prior to the outbreak of World War II, he moved the office to 2, Przybyszewskiego Street (he lived at Lwowska Street). Among legal trainees who practiced in the office of this most popular attorney of Zamosc were Samuel Aba Brandt and Bernard Cygielman (the employer's cousin). Cygielman's only trainees who settled down in Zamosc on completing their legal apprenticeship were Mieczyslaw Garfinkiel and Berel Edelsberg.

Mieczyslaw Garfinkiel, born in 1898, was the son of the owner of "Livonia". After two years, in 1930, he completed his apprenticeship at Cygielman's. According to S. Sendlak, the young Garfinkiel rarely practiced as a lawyer, he generally pleaded in court and dealt with his own property issues. He moved temporarily to Warsaw and for some time worked there as a lawyer (in the first half of the 1930s) and registered his law firm with the District Bar Association.

Berel Edelsberg was born in Zamosc in 1902 (he was the youngest Jewish attorney in town) and just like Garfinkiel came from a well-known and wealthy Zamosc merchant family. In 1921 he finished high school in Łódź, in 1925 he graduated from Warsaw university, was a legal trainee in the Zamosc District Court and then completed his apprenticeship in Zygielman's law office. By dint of a decision by the Lublin Bar Association, Edelsberg was to open a legal practice in Tomaszów, but in the end he managed a practice in Szczebrzeszyn (probably until 1939) and his hometown Zamosc (at 25, Staszica Street). Moreover, in the 1930s Edelsberg served as the chairman of a right-wing Zamosc Zionist organization.

Szyja (Seweryn) Brener, a year younger than Edelsberg, was another attorney born in Zamosc. He came from a wealthy merchant family from Hrubieszów. Like Edelsberg, he graduated from Warsaw University in 1926 and started his legal career in 1929 as a judge in a court of first instance, first in Biłgoraj and then in Tarnogród. In 1932 he was registered as an attorney and one year later he opened a lawyer’s office in Zamosc at 12, Zeromskiego Street. Initially, his legal practice prospered, but a few years before World War II it fell on hard times. This was mostly caused by clients complaining that Brener would forget to appear in court and notify clients about their trial dates and that he would appear in court for both litigating parties. These complaints even reached Lublin, where the local Bar Association threatened to initiate disciplinary proceedings on the grounds "that, allegedly, attorney Brener was acquiring clients through the services of professional client procurers and in particular those of a certain Chil Hochman residing in Biłgoraj". Although several of these accusations turned out to be unfounded, the reputation as a bad and incompetent lawyer kept following Brenner and the number of his cases plummeted.

The last lawyer who was born in Zamosc (in 1897) was the nephew of I. L. Perec, Julian Goldsztajn. He was the son of the sister of the writer Hessa and of Jozef Goldsztajn who came from Łuck. Goldsztajn spent the first years of his life in his father's hometown, where he completed high school. After studying law in Cracow and obtaining a law degree from the Jagiellonian University, he returned to Łuck and started his apprenticeship in the law firm of the local attorney, Leon Stolikarz. In 1930 he moved to Warsaw and found a new master in the person of Jozef Rozenberg. He passed an attorney's examination and opened a private practice. He didn't return to Zamosc for good until 1935, when he opened his own law office at 24, Zeromskiego Street. Julian Goldsztajn enjoyed the reputation of a good lawyer and a respected noble human being. Expressing his professional opinion about the young lawyer, the Warsaw attorney, Tadeusz Kon, wrote: "I have known the legal apprentice Julian Goldsztajn for a considerable time as a man of solid ethical principles and high moral culture. Mr. Goldsztajn stands out by his remarkable intelligence and he acquits himself of the tasks entrusted to him in a most conscientious, meticulous and faultless manner". Goldsztajn's wife, Regina, was also a lawyer by training.

Henryk Katz and Maksymilian Klinkowsztejn (except for Cygielman the oldest Jewish attorney) both came from outside Zamosc. Henryk Katz was born in 1900 in Stanisławów into the family of the well-known local lawyer, Dr. Ferdynand Katz. He spent the years of his childhood and youth in Rohatyń, where his father's law office had moved. During World War I the whole family moved to Vienna and in 1918, a few months prior to the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the young Henryk volunteered for the imperial-royal army and served in Pressburg. After the war Katz graduated from the University of Jana Kazimierza in Lwów and until 1931 worked for his father. Then he moved to Sanok and eventually, in 1934, he settled down in Zamosc. Katz's law office was initially located in the same building as Goldsztajn's (at 24, Zeromskiego Street). From 1937 it was at 9, Kosciuszki Street, where Katz's wife, Chaja Kreisler-Katzowa, a physician, also had her practice.

The Jewish attorneys in Zamosc came from the same social stratum. They were all scions of well-known and wealthy families of merchants or industrialists. Sometimes the profession passed from father to son (as in the case of the Cygielmans and the Katzes). All those belonging to the younger generation also had to overcome serious obstacles with regard to starting and legalizing their practices. Applications for a permit to open law offices in Zamosc, submitted to the Lublin Bar Association, were rejected. For a period of not less than two years and without any valid reason, these attorneys were barred from settling down in any location that was the seat of a District Court (as for example Zamosc). Appeals were lodged with the High Bar Association of Warsaw and in all the cases it found in favor of the plaintiffs and testified to the unlawfulness of such limitations. Such efforts to start a professional career eventually bore fruit, but were nevertheless lengthy and humiliating. They were proof of the prejudice on the part of administrative bodies and also of a lack of goodwill of the local Polish legal community (in particular Waclaw Bajkowski and Tomasz Czernicki were against admitting a larger number of Jewish attorneys to the Zamosc Bar). 

In 1929, out of the 11 attorneys working in Zamosc, only two (Cygielman and Klinkowsztejn) were Jewish. In the 1930s there were 6 Jewish attorneys in Zamosc and no less than 13 Polish ones and probably more, since these 13 were only the most popular ones. Consequently, Jews were only a small component of the Zamosc Bar and their number never exceeded one third of the total.

Dr. Izaak Gelibter, born in 1852, was the oldest Jewish doctor in Zamosc. Almost seventy in the early 1920s, the doctor was known all over the city as a most eccentric character. Z. Klukowski described him in the following manner: "During my first visits to Zamosc, I got acquainted with an old Jew, doctor Izaak Gelibter, who was in the autumn of his life. Once a very sought-after doctor, he was almost completely deaf. Of small stature, fat, squat, he spoke with a distinct Jewish accent. He was fun to look at, especially when he would don an old-fashioned top hat. Nevertheless, he was an intelligent, thoughtful and able doctor and talking to him was always interesting".

Eleonora Slobodnik speaks about the doctor (under the distorted name of Gottlieb) in the following way: "This versatile, experienced doctor was famous for prescribing castor oil in several cases. Or maybe this is just what they said about him to mock this genial fatso, a sworn bachelor who, nevertheless, was not averse to the company of ladies. Actually, the poor man expired in the arms of his mistress, which caused quite a scandal in this provincial community”.

In addition to Gelibter, the most popular doctors in Zamosc were Bronislawa Rosenbusch-Spiegelglass, Mojżesz Cynberg, Leon Rozenman, Saul Grosbaum,  Janusz Perelmutter and Izaak Wechter.

Morko Sznajder, Janusz Perelmutter and Henryk Skotnicki were highly esteemed ophtalmologists. They were the few Jewish doctors in the city who besides their private practice were employed by non-Jewish medical institutions (Military Hospital, Social Insurance, Health Fund). Henryk Skotnicki was an exceptional figure in this group. He was an assimilated doctor with all-round and not only medical interests, a social and cultural activist. Skotnicki arrived in Zamosc in 1937 after staying in Warsaw, Vienna and Persia, where he worked in the years 1929-1936 on behalf of the League of Nations. The Shah Reza Pahlevi himself was a patient of his. Some of the Jewish doctors were dentists, one was a venereologist, and doctor Szajndla Wechter was an obstetrician and specialized women's diseases.

The largest practices among the internists were those of the local Bund member, Saul Grosbaum, the Zionist and vice-chairman of TOZ (Health Care Association) Mojżesz Cynberg, and the very popular (among both Jews and Poles) Bronislawa Rosenbusch-Spiegelglass. The most popular among the Jews was Cynberg. "In the eyes of the Jews", wrote Z. Klukowski, "he was such a great doctor that he would be called " Professor". The Poles would very often seek medical advice from Izaak Wechter who received them in his medical practice at 4, 1 Maja Street.

Laja Huberman, the sister of the world-famous violin player and founder of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic, Bronislaw Huberman, was a very well-known Zamosc midwife and nurse (she was the only Jewess employed by the Zamosc hospital).

The percentage of Jews in the local medical community was quite significant, but it never constituted a majority. In the years 1925-1931, out of 24 doctors practicing medicine in Zamosc (apart from dentists), ten (47.7%) were Jewish. The number of Polish doctors was growing faster than that of Jewish doctors. Two years before the war, Jews only made up one third of the total. Nationwide, the proportions among dentists, assistant surgeons and midwives were relatively equal.

The most popular office, offering services in the writing of applications, belonged to Jonas Szyja Peretz, the younger brother of I. L. Peretc (the former co-owner of the "Livonia" brewery). The office was located at 2, Wyspianskiego Street. In addition to application writing, the office owner provided legal counseling and witnessed commercial transactions concluded in his office. Perec's office was also used by religious judges who settled disputes among Jews out of court. Izrael Aron Rozen (at 5, Staszica Street), Josef Rozenberg (at 10, Przybyszewskiego Street) and Mojzesz Feldman (at 2, Wyspianskiego Street) also had offices writing applications. 

Jewish architects and engineers in Zamosc were Lejba (Leon) Ajzen (born in 1902 in Zamosc), Jakob Margulies (born in 1866 in Zamosc), Karol Zygmunt Braunstein (born in 1894 in Grodek Jagielloński), Mojżesz Goldsztajn and the husband of doctor Rosenbusch-Spiegelglass, Ignacy Izaak Spiegelglass (born in 1901 in Zamosc). In the years 1928-1934, Margulies, who came from a well-known Zamosc family, held the office of city engineer. He had designed a few buildings in the city and in 1931 he was also the Zamosc delegate to the Organizational Convent of the Cities of the Lublin Province. The same year, unexpectedly, the City Council decided to cut down on all (but one) permanent offices in the Technical Division of the Municipality. They suggested to Margulies, who was to be dismissed, to forego his salary and continue do the work he had been doing in a honorary capacity. On this condition he could keep the position of city engineer. The only permanent post of city referent of the municipal technical division was entrusted to Karol Braunstein. According to Z. Klukowski, Braunstein was an assimilated Jew and at under German influence, brought to Zamosc by the starost Pryzinski, to whom he owed his position (actually, he was not suitably trained to fill this position).

Ignacy Spiegelglass (the husband of Bronislawa, the well-known doctor) was an architect and interior decorator and he also designed objects for everyday use (mainly furniture).

A distinctive feature of the law offices and practices of the wealthier group of attorneys and doctors was the fact that they were located far away from the traditional place of residence of the Jewish population and from the commercial hub. No less than 18 (almost 36%) of the 53 offices in the Old City were located in streets such as Kosciuszki, Przybyszewskiego, Zeromskiego, Wyspianskiego and 1 Maja. These streets were considered as mostly Polish and they housed offices and public services. The streets were peaceful and "quiet", located far away from the urban bustle and commercial centers. The fact that barely 16 (30%) of the workplaces of the professionals were situated in the elegant and typically commercial streets (Mickiewicza Square, Staszica Street and Ormianska Street) and 18 (34%) were to be found in the area that, traditionally, was densely populated by Jews (3 Maja Street, Zamenhofa Street, Pereca Street, Bazylianska Street) reflected the considerable mobility of that occupational group and its trail-blazing role in the breaking down of the territorial and cultural ghetto.

The most lucrative of the liberal professions of the Jews was that of an attorney. The total amount of the community fees paid by the 5 previously mentioned Jewish lawyers (Cygielman, Brener, Katz, Edelsberg and Goldsztajn), who made up 22% of those working in the liberal professions, constituted 44% of the total amount. On the average, the income of a Jewish attorney in Zamosc was 2.75 times higher than that of any other Jewish member of a liberal profession in Zamosc. The community taxes paid by the 12 doctors amounted to 770 zloty (41% of the total) and were distributed very unevenly (ranging from 200 zloty paid by Mojżesz Cynberg to 10 zloty, paid by Estera Pik). The number of wealthy people (paying more than 100 zloty) was larger than in the crafts, it was comparable to that in industry, but was four times lower than in commerce.

Tenement-house owners, renters and landowners                                                                 

During the twenty years between the two wars, the structure of Jewish ownership in Zamosc was subject to radical changes. In 1917, out of the 812 properties situated within the boundaries of the city, no less than 462 (56.9%) were owned by Jews. Twenty years later, this became 25.5%, as only 413 properties were owned by Jews (privately, as well as by the Jewish Community) and 1,204 by Poles (only private buildings). The drop was both in percentage (a decrease by 31.5%), and in real numbers (over 20 years, the number of properties belonging to Jews fell by 49). This development was caused by a number of factors. The main one was the extension of the boundaries of the towns to include suburbs, mainly with a rural population. Some of the other factors were a speedier growth of the Christian population of the town, more construction activity among the Poles, the concentration of Jews in specific, already densely populated city neighborhoods, and a higher territorial mobility of the Polish population. The decrease in the real number of properties owned by Jews reflected faster impoverishment among the Jewish population in relation to its Polish counterpart, resulting in a Polish take-over of a certain number of properties previously owned by Jews.

The structural change regarding ownership of properties was probably least noticeable in the Old City. In 1937, more than 75% of all private properties in the Old City were still owned by Jews.

Private Jewish properties were predominant in almost all of the Old City streets with the exception of Kosciuszki Street (no Jewish property), of Zeromskiego Street (40% of Jewish properties) and Kollataja Street (50%). All private houses belonged to Jews in such streets as Kollataja, Ormianska, Zamenhofa and Wyspianskiego. In 1917 one could still read the following in the newspaper Gazeta Lwowska: “Nowadays, it is customary in Zamosc that every house has a plaque with the number of the house in question, the name of the street and also the name of the owner of the property. This last feature is most characteristic of the part of the city that is delimited by the lengthy Ormianska Street. In long rows, one can only read such names as Cymerman, Rosenduft or Zweigman – there is no trace of Armenians. Today's Zamosc is almost exclusively populated by Jews and does not have any Armenian inhabitants. Reminding us of that period long ago, only the name of the street has remained, and a long row of properties in the square (…). These buildings, probably the most luxurious of all in the entire town have already found new owners and, unfortunately, it shows!"

In the Square and at Staszica Street, 62.5% of the properties were owned by Jews. In the northeast part of the city, traditionally densely populated by Jews (the streets Ormianska, Zamenhofs, Pereca, 3 Maja, and Bazylianska), no less than 57 of the properties belonged to Jews (92%) and only 5 to Poles. Private Polish property, belonging to the Church or the State, was concentrated on the southern (the streets of Kosciuszki and Zeromskiego) and eastern border (the streets of Grecka and the surroundings of the Strzelecki Square) of this part of the town. The lack of Jewish property was also noticeable in the eastern part of the former citadel (the streets of Przybyszewskiego and Akademicka).

The areas situated in the eastern part of the City (Nowa Osada, Lwowska Street and its side streets), almost 30% of the privately-owned properties were in Jewish hands, but in Lubelskie Przedmieście maximum 15%. Out of 215 properties located mainly in the western and southern parts of the city (the neighborhoods of Janowice, Karolówka, Błonie and Majdan), only one was owned by a Jew.

Jewish ownership in Nowa Osada was concentrated in the area located around the Square that was delimited by the following streets: Gminna, Hrubieszowska, Mlynska and Zagloby. Out of 352 properties located in this area, comprising the streets Gesia, Gminna, Gorna, Hrubieszowska, Listopadowa, Mlynska, Nowy Rynek, Ogrodowa, Polan, Reja, Spadek, Styczniowa, Szkolna, Zagloby and Zarwanica, 193 properties (54.8%) were owned by Jews. The streets in this area, mainly containing Jewish property, were Gesia – 100%, Gorna (it does not exist any more) – 100%, Szkolna (does not exist any more) – 100%, Reja – 87.9%, Styczniowa – 83.3%, Nowy Rynek – 81.3%, Zarwanica – 74.2%, Spadek – 64.3% and Polan – 56.3%. In the remaining streets in the eastern part of the city, Jewish properties were in the following streets: Krotka – 100%, Szopena – 100%, Krysinksiego – 62.5%, Sienkiewicza – 60%, Cicha, Slowackeigo and Zielona – 50% each and Wierzbowa – 44.4%. In the main street in this part of the city, Lwowska Street, 29.6% of the properties were Jewish. In Lubelskie Przedmieście, Jewish properties were predominant only at Ludowa Street. In Pilsudskiego Avenue, Jewish properties made up 35.6%.

A characteristic feature of Jewish properties in the city, and especially in the Old City, was the progressive break-up of larger properties and the increasing numbers of co-owners of individual properties. It was a frequent occurrence that due to complex legal acts, a property belonging to one or several people, belonged to over a dozen heirs in the next generation. The number of properties that belonged to one single family for a number of generations was decreasing steadily¹. According to available data for 1939, more than 60% of the Old City properties, belonging to Jews, had 5 or more owners and their shares were strictly defined. The following families owned properties in the Old City in the 1930s: the Mendelsohn, Edelsberg, Gelibter, Inlender, PfefferMargulies, Luksemburg and Garfinkiel families.

Revenue accruing from these properties would vary considerably. In 1936 the highest community tax (200 zloty) paid by property owners in the Old City was charged to Bajram Bajczman's heirs (property at 1, Zamenhofa Street) and to Malwin Klajnerman's heirs (17, Staszica Street). Chuna Edelsberg (13, Zamenhofa Street) had to pay 100 zloty, Beniamin Elbaum (Okrzei Street)  - 75 zloty, Chaja Fradkin (at Wyspianskiego Street) – 25 zloty, Berko Luksemburg (at 34, Żeromskiego and at 37 Staszica Streets) - 15 zloty, Bajla Gitla Taub (at Ormianska Street) - 15 zloty and Gerson Messer (at Sienkiewicza Street) and Berta Mandeltort (at Staszica Street) 10 zloty each.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the following properties belonged exclusively to the following Jewish families: 17, Bazylianska Street – to the Klisztajn family; 3 Grodzka Street – to the Mendelsohn family; 6, Grodzka Street – to the Dolcher family; 9, Grodzka Street – to the Brondwajn family; 10, Grodzka Street – to the Sobol family; 12, Grodzka Street – to the Szmuc family; 13, Grodzka Street – to the Gordon family; 2, Kollataja Street – to the Garfinkiel family; 4, Kollataja Street – to the Herszzon family; 6, Kollataja Street – to the Weksler family; 2, Ormianska Street – to the Edelsberg family; 3, Ormianska Street – to the Dolcher family; 4, Ormianska Street – to the Mendelsohn family; 14, Ormianska Street – to the Szlafrok family; 18, Ormianska Street – to the Zegen family; 20, Ormianska Street – to the Gelibter family; 24, Ormianska Street – to the Korns; 26, Ormianska Street – to the Bluzers; 30 Ormianska Street – to the Gelibter family; 10, Pereca Street – to the Frajd family; 1, Rynek Solny – to the Wechter family; 2, Rynek Solny – to the Birkan family; 3, Rynek Solny – to the Gelibters family; 1 and 3, Rynek Wielki – to the Inlender family; 7 and 7a, Rynek Wielki – to the Pfeffer family; 12, Rynek Wielki – to the Sznycer family; 6, Staszica Street – to the Huberman family; 17 and 19, Staszica Street – to the Margulies family; 21, Staszica Street – to the Hercberg family; 23, Staszica Street – to the Perec family; 29, Staszica Street – to the Hernhut family; 31, Staszica Street – to the Mandel family; 33, Staszica Street – to the Mandeltort family; 37, Staszica Street – to the Luksemburg family; 10, Zamenhofa Street – to the Wittlin family; 12, Zamenhofa Street – to the Mendelsohn family; 8, Zeromskiego Street – to the Welczer family; 36 and Zeromskiego Street – the Luksemburg family.

Some twenty Zamosc Jews owned small farms (usually in the immediate neighborhood of Zamosc) and a few were landowners. In the mid-1930s, the following people were involved in farming: Jankiel Ajzenberg (in Sitaniec); Joel and Towia Lejzorowicz (village in the Wysokie borough); Falek Rozner (Horyszów) and Moszko Lederman (in Sitaniec). Icek Torem, who had a farm in the village of Niewirkow, was the wealthiest Jewish farmer in Zamosc.

Abram Welczer, who owned a farm at Szczebrzeska Street (he leased the land from the army) had previously owned a landholding in the village of Potok Górny in the Biłgoraj district. In 1934 two Zamosc Jews, Ignacy Margulies and Sanel Garfinkiel, defined themselves as gentlemen-farmers in the telephone directory. For a number of years, Margulies, who lived at 17, Staszica Street, leased a farm in Płosko near Zamosc and he was the owner of a landholding called Zdanów Górny in Mokre. According to Z. Klukowski, Margulies was widely known and esteemed, he ran his farms in an impeccable manner and contributed generously to Polish and Jewish social causes. The second of the Margulies brothers, Tobiasz, owned a landholding called Tarzymiechy in the Krasnystaw district.

The well-known industrialist, Sanel Garfinkiel, was the owner (jointly with the Kahane family) of a landholding called Danczypol, situated near Grabowiec. After a while, the landholding together with the property at Kasirówka 3, Kollataja Street and part of a forest in the Zamosc district (in) became the property of Sanel's son, the attorney Mieczyslaw Garfinkiel.

Apart from the Margulies and the Garfinkiels, other Zamosc Jews also either leased or were owners of landholdings: Jozef Lachman owned a landholding in the Hrubieszów district (and together with Josek Honigman and Jakub Szpinger a landholding in Żólkiewka), the Mitzberg family owned the landholding Klątwy in the Tomaszów borough and Szmul Rotenberg owned the landholding Skryhiczyn in the Hrubieszów district. Jews also owned landholdings in the Zamosc district in Krynice in the Tomaszów borough (Jakow Berencwajg), in Krzeszów in the Biłgoraj borough (Efroim Goldsztajner), in Miączyn (Symcha Torem and Jakub Bernard), in Nielisz (Icek Kajzman), in Pilaszkowice and Rybczewice in the Krasnystaw borough (Leon Epstein), in Siedliska in the Krasnystaw borough (Szmul Ajchenbaum), in Suchodoły in the Krasnystaw borough (J. Rubinsztejn) and in Wasylów in the Tomaszow borough (S. Lederman). 

The wealthiest Zamosc merchant, Wigdor Inlender, was the owner of a large farm on the outskirts of Nowa Osada. The farm was called "Awigdoria" after the name of the owner.

Transport and Communications

The Jewish population of Zamosc owned a large share of the transport and communications-related businesses. A great many of the Zamosc cabmen, porters, carters, drivers and water-carriers were Jewish. Some of the communication companies operating in the city were the property of Jews. 

Cabmen were the largest group in this occupational category. In accordance with a regulation of 1918, only persons who held a license issued by the police could work as cabmen. In 1918 the first licenses were issued to six cabmen: Szmul Zec, Dawid Szpindel, Chaskiel Wajnblat, Srul Zylber, Herszko Szyc and Herszko Szwarcberg. A year later, there were 30 registered cabmen in the city, most of them Jewish. The cabman’s job was a family business. The most popular cabman businesses in Zamosc belonged to the Fuks, the Klajn, the Litwak, the Magiel, the Wajnblat and the Zylber families. In 1939 the surname of 8 cabmen was Perel and 9 were called Wajnblat.

In 1919 no private automobile or motorcycle was registered in Zamosc. In 1925 Samuel Szuch was the first one to offer regular transport to Lublin. Later there were also other carriers, among them Sz. Szpizajnen and M. Erbesfeld.

In the 1930s Szajndla Wajnberg was the owner of the largest Jewish goods-hauling company in Zamosc.

The revenues of representatives of the transport-related professions were not very high. Only owners of transport companies and thrifty and cabmen who provided a top-of-the-line service (mostly to local dignitaries) did manage to make a considerable profit.

The lumpenproletariat and the lower classes 

In Zamosc, as in any other large town, there was a certain group of people whose source of income was either unknown or unlawful. People who were unable to document their source of income were classified as "Luftmenschen", meaning persons who "lived on air". Others in the same category were pimps, prostitutes, beggars and all kinds of criminals, who made a living in dubious ways.

The fundamental and also the most problematic issue regarding Jewish criminal circles in Zamosc was the question of the number of people involved. Unfortunately, there are no sources that could provide an answer. It is slightly easier to define the character of the crimes committed in Zamosc at the time. In the period from September 27, 1921 until May 1922, 1,275 cases of various punishable acts were registered in Zamosc. No less than 65.6% of them were committed by Jews. Although this proportion was relatively high, it does not indicate a higher propensity for crime among Jews than among Christians. However, it does suggest that the Jewish population displayed less respect for the regulations in force, in particular those related to commerce and health (a whopping 82.2% of the violations committed by Jews related to non-compliance with requirements regarding cleanliness and commercial matters). Jews committed fewer serious crimes than Christians. Only one out of 21 life and health-threatening crimes were committed by a Jew. Jews made up 22.8% of the people who committed property-related crimes; 18.8% of them were cases of theft and extortion.

Violations of the law by Jews were mostly economic (non-compliance with regulations and commercial dishonesty), violations of sanitary and hygiene-related regulations, and also fencing, fraud, attempts at bribery, vagrancy, traffic violations, damage to public property and morality-related crimes (by prostitutes and pimps). The Jewish community of Zamosc was rather typical in that respect. According to research carried out by Szyja Bronsztejn and Liebman Hersch, crimes that were most typical of the Jewish community in Zamosc were also the most frequent type of crimes committed by Jews at a national level.

Among the perpetrators of property-related crimes there was a significant number of Jewish fences (dealing with stolen goods). Most of their dens were located in Nowa Osada. In the period between the two wars, after almost every major case of theft, these places were regularly raided by the police. For example, after the Bolesław Leśmian burglary of the notary's office run by the famous poet, the fences' dens searched by the police were the apartments of Moszko Wurm, Herszko Wajntraub and Nuchim Szer. Women were also involved in fencing. In 1925, one of the most notorious women in this ‘trade’ was Chana Gajsman, who lived at 2, Plac Targowy.

Most of the thefts committed by Jews were incidental. However this does not mean that Zamosc was short of ‘professionals’ in this line of business. In the period between the two wars, Nowa Osada even had a Jewish Thieves' Guild. In the 1930s, the perpetrators of the largest thefts were Symcha Lewkowicz, Srul and Mordka Rozenman, the Feldsztajn brothers,  Perec Handwerkier and Josef Korn.

The most frequent type of crimes committed by Jews was financial fraud, such as the circulation of counterfeit money, cheating when changing foreign currencies, falsifying signatures, bills of exchange, bonds and other securities.

Jewish cabmen were the perpetrators of most traffic violations. Under the uence of alcohol, they used to ride on the pavement, block traffic, cause collisions or even run over pedestrians. In 1937 several people were injured as a result of "a close encounter" with a cab driven by a Jewish cabman. One of these, Srul Perel, ran over two people within a period of a few months.

In Zamosc, just like in most other cities, Jewish carters and porters were considered a group with a propensity for crime. Jews performing jobs that required physical fitness often came in contact with the world of crime. In the 1930s, the entire trade union of carters, water-carriers and porters in Zamosc was controlled by mob elements. In 1939 the Zamosc police reported the following to the starost: "We have carried out inquiries and discovered that the Trade Union of Transport Workers of Zamosc, with its headquarters at 10, Ormianska Street, is made up of people with a criminal record. The chairman of this trade union is Lajwand Gecel, a professional thief who has committed a number of thefts in Zamosc and consequently has been arrested several times. His assistant is Waldman Srul, who is also suspected of a number of thefts. Porters such as Frydrych Abram, Fryd Judko, Zylber Szloma and others are also known to the Zamosc Police Department as professional thieves and fences".

Considerable revenue was derived from alcohol monopoly violations. In the early 1920s, Mendel Borensztajn, the owner of a vinegar factory, engaged in illegal alcohol distilling and bootlegging, and so did Bina Ojcer (at 7, Zydowska Street), Fiszel Kac (in Nowa Osada) and Kuna Lejzor (Nowa Osada).

Economic organizations, credit institutions and trade unions 

After 1900 associations with a distinctly economic character were established in Zamosc, just like in the other large and small towns of the Lublin province. The newly created economic organizations had a cooperative structure (credit and mutual aid) and three basic forms of organization: industrialists' funds, mutual credit societies and small credit institutions (savings and credit societies). The last two types were the most widespread and popular among the Jewish population of the Lublin province. Prior to 1918, three institutions of this type operated in Zamosc.

In 1901 the First Zamosc Loan and Savings Society was created (it was the fifth institution of this type in the province, modeled on those in Lublin, Hrubieszów, Kazimierz and Janów). Its tasks and spheres of activity were defined in a statute adopted in 1901, stating in its Article No. 2: "The objective of the Society is to enable its members to receive loans on favorable terms to meet their economic needs, to place and increase their savings by means of interest paid on the latter, to mediate the purchase of objects serving the economic needs of the members and the sale of the products manufactured by the members”. Although the majority of the members of the newly established society were Jews, the denominational make-up of its board was mixed. In 1907 the board consisted of the following five members: attorney and property owner Abram Gerson was chairman, Iwan Deliaszkiewicz, a landowner, employed as the City Hall cashier, and attorney Borys Bronstein were members of the board and they had two deputies, the clerk Konstanty Matwiejczuk and doctor Henryk Suchowolski. The six-member council was presided over by doctor Kazimierz Porebski. The other members of the Council were pharmacy owner Ilia Mandeltort, tenement owner Zelman Edelsberg and merchants and textile shop owners Samuel Eliasberg, Wigdor Inlender and Zelik Sobol. The most important decisions pertaining to the activities of the cooperative (including the election of board and council members) were made at a general meeting of the members.

In 1904 the Second Zamosc Loan and Savings Society came into being. Unlike its predecessor, the newly created cooperative only admitted Christians. The situation, in which one of two identical credit institutions operating in the town had a mixed denominational make-up, while the other was off-limits to the majority of the city's inhabitants, did not last very long. Already in 1919, both the Second and the First Zamosc Loan and Savings Societies had a uniform denomination structure. The Board as well as the Council had an exclusively Jewish make-up. The three-persons board consisted of Mordko Josef Kornfeld as chairman, and members Ignacy Margulies and Chuna Edelsberg. The chairman of the five-person council was Bajrach Pfeffer and its members were Chaim Brenner, J.M. Fiszelzon, Ruwin Rapaport, Wolf Rychtman and Szymon Wechter.

The third credit institution created in Zamosc before World War I was the Zamosc Mutual Credit Society of 1906. Until the outbreak of the war, the governing bodies of this institution were denominationally mixed. In 1906 the chairman of the board was Kazimierz Porebski, and Abram Gerson and Judka Mandeltort were members of the board. The Board of Directors was made up of Jan (Iwan) Deliaszkiewicz, Jonas Peretz, Szmul Lejba Lewin, Szymon Majer Roth, Eugeniusz Leszkiewicz and Josif Brache. In 1914, besides Kazimierz Porebski, the Board consisted of A. Hirszsohn, Samuel Eliasberg, Dominik Kowalewski and Wigdor Inlender.

One of the first institutions of an economic character established in Zamosc after World War I was the Association of Merchants in Poland. This association, registered in Zamosc in May, 1920, constituted one of the 78 branches of the Central Association of Polish Merchants, created as early as 1906 (until 1918 it operated under the name of Association of Merchants of the Capital City of Warsaw). The  Zamosc branch was located at 8, Boznicza Street and the first three-person board was made up of Bajrach Pfeffer as chairman, Josef Wajntraub as secretary, and Eljasz Epsztajn as treasurer. According to a 1929 census, the branch numbered approximately 100 members and its annual budget amounted to 1,000 zloty, of which 400 were sent to the Warsaw headquarters. In the first half of the 1930s, the positions  of chairman and deputy chairman were held permanently by Eljasz Epsztajn and Bencjan Lubliner. In 1932 the board consisted also of Chuna Edelsberg, Chaim Brener, Nuchim Sztern and Majer Waks.

Just like the Merchants' Association, most of the emerging economic and trade organizations were branches of all-Polish institutions. The main office of most of these institutions was located in Warsaw. The governing bodies of just a few of them were located mostly in Lodz and in Cracow. Not infrequently, an organization that functioned in the town had two parallel branches reporting directly to the main office. Their activities extended over the area of the Old City and that of Nowa Osada, respectively. One of such institutions was the Association of Small Merchants and Tradesmen of Poland, formed in 1927. The Old City branch was located at 21, Staszica Street, whereas the Nowa Osada branch was located near the house of prayer in this suburb. The Old City branch was much larger, it had almost 200 members and its annual budget was 3,000 zloty. In 1927 it was run by Hersz Cwirn as chairman, Icek Manzys as deputy chairman and Lejba Rozenman as secretary. Although it was established two months earlier, the Nowa Osada branch was had only a third of the numbers of members and its annual budget was that much smaller. In the first period of its activity it was headed by Moszko Rajsfeld, his deputy Symcha Cwirn and the secretary, Hersz Edelsberg. Menasza Majman and Icko Szporer were members of the board.

Jewish credit institutions, established after World War I, were strictly local. In the 1930s there were two organizations of this type in the city: The Merchants' Bank and the Credit Cooperative (which was an extension of the First Zamosc Loan and Savings Society). The first one was established in March 1927, on the initiative of the local merchant and industrial circles. The bank was located at Zeromskiego Street and in 1927, an individual share amounted to 50 zloty. Two years later the bank had 212 members, the sum of its capital amounted to 21,000 zloty and the annual turnover was 15 million zloty. Most of the Zamosc financial and industrial elite were involved in the governing bodies of the bank. In 1929 the board was made up of Wigdor Inlender as chairman, Ignacy Margulies as deputy chairman, and Samuel Kahan as secretary. The Board of Directors comprised Bencjon Lubliner, Szulim Tyszberg, Hersz Horowitz, Hersz Horenfeld and Hersz Adamczuk. Just before the outbreak of World War II, Bencjon Lubliner held the post of chairman. Unlike the Merchants' Bank, comprising only the wealthiest Zamosc merchants and industrialists, the Credit Cooperative also admitted smaller shareholders. In 1929, 690 Zamosc Jews were members and their occupations varied greatly. The share capital of the Cooperative that was located at 5, Mickiewicza Square, was 23,000 zloty, but the turnover was 1/3 short of that of the Merchant Bank and amounted to 10 million zloty. In the early 1930s, Bajrach Pfeffer, Salomon Epsztajn and Hersz Chaim Gelibter were on the board of the Cooperative and the directors during that period were Jakub Margulies, Mordko Josef Kronfeld, Chaim Brener, Szyja Fuks, Berko Majl and Judka Mildner.

The workers' and craftsmen's trade organizations in Zamosc during the period between the two wars resembled guilds or trade unions.  All the guilds, registered at the end of the 1920s, were local. The largest of them were the guild of tailors and capmakers (chairman Azriel Szeps, 48 members), the guild of barbers, shavers and wig makers (Hejnoch Wechter, 38 members), the guild of bakers and confectioners (Bencjan Sztuden, 34 members), the guild of carpenters and cabinet-makers (Lejba Szporer, 32 members) and the guild of shoemakers, harness-makers and leather-stitchers (Motel Holc, 25 members).

Jewish trade unions in the 1930s had about 1,200-1,330 card-carrying members. Most of these unions were under the political influence of specific parties, mainly of the Bund, the Communist Party, the General Zionists or the Hitachdut. The boards of the trade unions were elected by general assemblies of its members, usually held every year. The board retiring would submit a report about the most important aspects of its activities in the past year, such as the balance, the number of members, the number of meetings and the type of assistance provided to the poorest trade union members. After the submission of a report, the meeting would hold a vote of confidence (or no-confidence) in the retiring board and proceed to a new election. Frequent reshuffling of staff positions in the Zamosc trade unions was an everyday and typical occurrence. The only people to have held the post of chairman for a longer period of time were Josef Firstenfeld of the Polish Accountants' Trade Union, Zelman Gewercamn and Ignacy Cukierman of the Jewish Craftsmen's Trade Union, Izaak Ojcer of the Wood Industry Workers' Trade Union and Gecel Lajnwand of the Polish Transport Workers' Trade Union.  The main task of the trade unions was the social and economic protection of their organized members. Apart from their trade-related initiatives, the trade unions also engaged in political activity (parliamentary and municipal elections, participation in the work of the Class Trade Unions), in social activity (matters pertaining to Jewish charity organizations, Sick Funds, TOZ and "Gemilus Chesed" charity funds) and in cultural activity (lectures, amateur performances by members of the trade unions, collection of money for cultural purposes). Trade unions had a large number of members and thus constituted an important pressure group that shaped many aspects of Jewish life in Zamosc. Cooperation at several levels made their activities more efficient. In April 1926, six of the largest Jewish trade unions and the Polish Union of Farm Workers took the initiative to create the Council of Trade Unions in Zamosc. Its main tasks were the coordination of the activities of the individual trade unions (mainly in the area of relations with employers and strikes) and the launching of shared economic and political initiatives. The seven-person Governing Council comprised 5 well-known trade union leaders, Icek Morer, Icek Szyf, Roza Gartenkranc, Josek Grinbaum and Dawid Fidler. In 1927 the Class Trade Unions launched efforts aimed at uniting all of the Jewish trade institutions in Zamosc and building a new base for them. The planned unification did not take place; however, in 1929 the construction of a wooden bungalow to serve as the seat of the unified trade unions was initiated. The land on which the house was to be built was purchased from the City and the cost of the building materials was covered by funds received from Zamosc workers residing in the United States.

Besides the Merchant Bank and the Credit Cooperative, there were three other Jewish cooperatives in Zamosc: the Cooperative Association "Izrael", and the Associations of Jewish Craftsmen "Samopomoc" No. 1 and No. 2. All the three cooperatives were connected to the foodstuffs market. The first one was located in the Old City at 9, 3 Maja Street, while the other two were branches of the same organization (Branch No. 1 was located in the Old City in Pfeffer's house at 3 Maja Street and Branch No. 2 was next to the square of Nowa Osada). According to the articles of the association of "Samopomoc", it was established "to provide its members with food products and household appliances at the lowest possible or relatively low market prices". According to the articles, all types of employees could be members of the association. The governing body of "Samopomoc" No. 1, operating in the Old City, was chaired by Izrael Rozen and the members of the board were Moszek Cymryng, Ruwin Holc and Azriel Szeps, while the Board of Directors consisted of Wolf Rychtman, Jakub Hechtkopf, Hersz Gryj, Berko Majl, Icek Celler and Chaim Cycman. Five years later, the composition of the Board remained unchanged, whereas only Wolf Rychtman remained on the Board of Directors. The new members of the Board of Directors were Jakub Totengreber, Nojech Rechner, Chaim Blank, Gerszon Kielmanowicz and Jankiel Guthajt. In 1922 the leadership of "Self-help" No. 2 consisted of Moszek Rajsfeld, Nachman Brand and Urysz Wajntraub (Board members) and Luzer Sznycer, Szloma Icek Rajchenberg and Wolf Horem.

Initially, both cooperatives were profitable. Their existence came to an end due to the Great Crash at the beginning of the 1930s. In spite of the efforts of both chairmen (Izrael Rozen and Moszko Rajsfeld) who strived to prevent the complete bankruptcy of their associations, both cooperatives were liquidated in the mid-1930s.

Except for their involvement in denominationally mixed credit institutions, established before World War I, after 1918 Jews only rarely participated in joint economic organizations with Poles. The exceptions were Jews serving on the governing bodies of Polish economic organizations in Zamosc. Until 1926 a well-known Socialist activist in Zamosc, Dawid Fidler, was the manager of the Workers' Consumer Cooperative, established by the local branch of the Polish Socialist Party. An assimilated Jew, Kazimierz Fiszhaut who, according to Z. Klukowski was quite well-liked in Zamosc, was the director of one of the most popular banks in the city – the Zamosc branch of the Łódzki Bank.

Economic hardship played a far from insignificant role in the everyday life of the Zamosc Jews. Issues pertaining to industrial activity preoccupied them far more than social, political or cultural matters. Current economic trends, profitability of a specific type of production or trade, and various disruptions of local or national markets were the main focus of attention and caused the greatest concern among the Zamosc Jewry.

Paid work and commercial activity and everything related to it constituted the foundation of the existence of the Jewish minority. The overwhelming majority of the organizations and associations in the city were of an economic nature. Almost all of the members of the local Jewish community were organized in trade unions, merchants' and craftsmen's associations, cooperative societies or credit and savings institutions. Jews determined the economic-industrial profile of the city to an extent that was incommensurate with their real numbers and their percentage in the Zamosc population in the period between the two wars. 


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