From The Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora
November 12, 1989
Rogatin (Pol. Rohatyn), city in Ivano-Frankovsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; formerly within Poland, it passed to Austria in 1772, and was incorporated within Stanislawow Province, Poland, between the two world wars. One of Poland's oldest cities, Rogatin suffered severely from the depredations of the Tatars. A Jewish community apparently existed there from early times; in the 16th and 17th centuries Jews from other parts of Poland attended fairs which took place in Rogatin.
Within the framework of the council of four lands Rogatin was within the "Province of Russia." At the beginning of the 18th century, there were a number of Shabbateans in Rogatin. Jacob Frank had many adherents there. The town was one of the three towns allocated to the Frankists by King Augustus III. A noted Frankist, Elisha Schoor (Wolowski) lived in Rogatin. There were 797 Jews living in Rogatin in 1765 and the number increased during Austrian rule (1772-1919): The community numbered 3,192 (48.9% of the total population) in 1887; 3,217 (about 46%) in 1912; 1,294 (22.6%) in 1921; and 3,002 in 1931.
During World War I the city was in the battle zone, and did not recover during the period of the Independent Polish Republic. The Jews suffered from the discriminatory policy of the Polish government and the economic depression of the 1930s. Jews took part in the social and political life of the city, and their representatives were elected to the community council of 1933, the Zionists gained the most seats.
After the outbreak of WWII, during the period of Soviet rule (1939-41), Jewish community institutions were dissolved, political activity was banned, and restrictions were placed on private enterprise.
Some Jews were deported to the Soviet Interior. During the German campaign against the Soviet Union, Rogatin was captured by the Germans on July 2, 1941. On July 6, Ukrainian police attacked the Jews, and by the end of 1941, a ghetto was established. Its inhabitants suffered from hunger and from a typhus epidemic in which 30 to 40 persons died daily.
Shlomo Amarant was head of the Judenrat. On March 20, 1942, 2,000 persons were murdered near the city. On Sept. 21, 1942, some 1,000 persons were deported to the Belzec death camp.
In October Jews from Bukaczowce, Bursztyn, and Bolszowce were brought to the Rogatin ghetto. On Dec 8, 1942, an Aktion took place in which 1,250 persons, including the medical corps. and patients from the Jewish Hospital, were deported to Belzec.
In January 1943, the ghetto area was reduced. The survivors in the community prepared bunkers and hideouts, and it was difficult for the Germans to search them out. On June 6, 1943, the Germans began to liquidate the ghetto. They surrounded it, set houses on fire, and threw hand grenades into them. Some Jews were able to escape, reach the forests; the others were murdered and buried in mass graves near the new cemetery.