My Rzeszów. Our Rzeszów.
Poles and Jews lived in Rzeszów side-by-side for hundreds of years. We were neighbours, and the city on Wisłok and Mikośka was the only homeland the Jews of Rzeszow knew.
The common history was interrupted by WWII and this Catholic and Jewish city became a home only for the former. It cannot be disputed, however, that Poles’ resentment towards those of their neighbours who survived Holocaust also played a part in the current absence of the Jewish community in Rzeszów.
There is a void where our neighbours used to be, and we want to see it filled. Material evidence of Jewish presence in Rzeszów is rare and inconspicuous, but it is not the lack of memorial plaques that is felt the most, but rather, the lack of awareness of the city’s shared history. This is where the idea for the project „Mój Rzeszów. Nasz Rzeszów”/ ”My Rzeszów. Our Rzeszów” comes from. The past is still very important to us, and in order to understand the loss we experienced, we need to know that, what had been.
Project „Mój Rzeszów – Nasz Rzeszów”/ „My Rzeszów. Our Rzeszów” is about unearthing of Jewish stories by Rzeszów’s current inhabitants. There are people around the whole world with ancestors – sometimes parents, but nowadays more often than not, grandparents or great-grandparents – from Rzeszów. Those people could have heard stories about the city with a difficult to pronounce name, or seen family photos, postcards, or yellowed birth certificates. If they try to learn about their family roots, the process is often slowgoing due to a language barrier and distance. How much easier would it be to conduct that research on-site! This is why Rzeszów’s youth became their assistants, as well as detectives. They checked numerous lists of inhabitants of tenement houses, students of local schools, or investigated the press, and then described the effects of their work.
Because of the large percentage of Rzeszów’s citizens being Jewish, the city used to be informally called Mojżeszów/Mojrzeszów, alluding to Mojżesz (Moses). Swapping the first syllable „Moj” to „Mój” (where „mój” translates to „my”), „Mojrzeszów” sounds similar to „My Rzeszów”. To us, Rzeszów is a shared place – it’s ours.
Journalist and educational workshops
Creator and coordinator: dr Grażyna Bochenek.
Participants: high-school students (from DLUR, I LO, IV LO) and descendants of six Rzeszów’s Jewish families (USA, Israel, France).
Organizer: Fundacja Inwencja
Partners: Urban Lab Rzeszów, Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie.
Time: 2021 rok.
Dzieje Rzeszowa, tom II, red. Feliks Kiryk, Kaw–Rzeszów, sp. z o.o., Rzeszów 1998.
Dzieje Rzeszowa, tom III, red. Feliks Kiryk, Wydawnictwo Libri Resovienses, Rzeszów 2001.
Dzienniczek Basi Rosenberg (Przeworsk 1938-39), Muzeum w Przeworsku, Przeworsk, 1997
Herzog Henry Armin, …And Heaven Shed No Tears, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI 2005.
Kotula Franciszek, Losy Żydów rzeszowskich 1939–1944. Kronika tamtych dni, Fundacja Rzeszowskiego Ośrodka Archeologicznego, Oficyna Wydawnicza Zimowit, Rzeszów 2019.
Paradowski Stanisław, Zagłada Żydów rzeszowskich, cz. 1, „Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego”, 1983, nr 2–3.
Paradowski Stanisław, Zagłada Żydów rzeszowskich, cz. 2, „Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego”, 1984, nr 1–2.
Paradowski Stanisław, Zagłada Żydów rzeszowskich, cz. 3, „Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego”, 1985, nr 3–4.
Szymczak-Hoff Jadwiga, Życie towarzyskie i kulturalne Rzeszowa w dobie autonomii Galicji, K.A.W., Rzeszów 1993.
Dokumenty ze zbiorów Archiwum Państwowego w Rzeszowie.