In 1978, the Skala Benevolent Society (SBS) published a Yizkor [memorial] book called Skala. The book was written by the town’s (shtetl’s) former Jewish residents who either had survived the Holocaust or had been born in Skala and previously had emigrated. Its purpose was to honor Skala’s Jewish community, which had been annihilated by the Nazis and their cohorts. Most of the contributors to the original book were the survivors themselves, who felt a deep inner compulsion and moral obligation to those who perished, to tell the story of Jewish Skala and to share with their children and future generations their memories of suffering, struggle and loss. The Yizkor book was written primarily in Yiddish and Hebrew and was largely inaccessible to many modern researchers, most of whose families came from this shtetl. Skala on the River Zbrucz, a translation of the entire Yizkor book into English, now has been published by the Skala Research Group (whose members are investigating their roots in Skala) and the SBS.
Situated in eastern Galicia and once ruled by Austro-Hungary, the town of Skala was part of Poland during World War II. It now is called Skala Podil’ska and is part of Ukraine. The Skala Yizkor book includes articles, photographs, and documents on the history of the town’s Jews from the 15th century up to and including the Holocaust, when the Jewish community was completely destroyed. This material recalls a once vibrant shtetl, its people, the environment in which they lived, their hopes, dreams and struggles for survival. The Yizkor book also describes the tragic events of the Holocaust, stories of those who survived and provides a list of Skala’s Holocaust victims and survivors. The English translation contains a new chapter about the town’s righteous gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust, as well as photographs showing Skala as it is today. It is a precious legacy that deserves to be preserved.
For copies, please contact Tony Hausner, firstname.lastname@example.org .
The book will be distributed to contributors at a luncheon to be held on May 16, at 12 p.m. at the Darna Restaurant , 600 Columbus Avenue (89th St.), New York, NY 10025.