First historical sources which mention the Jewish community in Uchanie date back to 1611[1.1]. Jews in the town were tradesmen and craftsmen. Most of their houses were situated around the market square. 175 Jews lived in the town in 1769.
There were 1,382 Jews living in Uchanie in 1886, constituting 64% of the total inhabitants i.e. 2,152. Many Jews left Uchanie during World War I and moved to other towns in Poland or emigrated to Russia[1.2].
Jankiel Kantor held the position of rabbi in Uchanie from 1910 to 1918[1.3]. Kiwa Klajner was the chairman of the Jewish Community in Uchanie from 1918. Zyndel Lipszyc was rabbi from 1918 to 1928. His son, Mejłach Lipszyc, succeeded him and became rabbi in 1928. In 1921 Uchanie had 1686 inhabitants, 999 (59%) of whom were Jews[1.4]. Ten years later there were 2,142 people living in the town, including 1,028 Jews (47%). Uchanie had 2,044 inhabitants in 1938 and 1,161 (70%) of them were Jews.
The German troops occupied Uchanie at the end of September after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. The Nazis used Jews from Uchanie as forced labor. Jewish properties were confiscated. The Germans established a ghetto in Uchanie in 1940 in which over 2,000 Jews were held captive.
680 Jews from Horodło were transported to the ghetto in Uchanie in April 1942. 2025 Jews were held in the ghetto in May 1942[1.5]. Approximately 1,650 Jews from the ghetto were transported by the Germans to the train station in Miączyn near Zamość on the 10th of June 1942 where a segregation took place. The weaker ones were sent to the concentration camp in Sobibór and the young, strong Jews were transported to work as laborers in the village of Staszic near Uchanie and to the village of Staw near Chełm.
The Nazis killed the Jews who worked in Staszic in the fall of 1942. This event marked the end of the Jewish community in Uchanie.
- Mosze Opatowski – „Zapamiętajcie co przeżyłem” [“Remember what I survived”] (Article) [as of the 8th of January 2008].
- Pinkas Hakehillot Polin (Yizkor Book in Hebrew) [as of the 8th of January 2008].
- The Central Database of Shoah (list of victims of the Holocaust ) [as of the 8th of January 2008].
- [1.1] J. Górak, Miasta i miasteczka..., p. 101.
- [1.2] Uchanie, Pinkas Hakehillot Polin, http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_poland/pol7_00044.html, [as of the 8th of January 2009].
- [1.3] K. Zieliński, Żydzi Lubelszczyzny 1914-1918, Lublin 1999, p. 379.
- [1.4] W. Złotko, Gmina Uchanie w latach 1918-1939 [in:] Dzieje Uchań..., p. 86.
- [1.5] Uchanie, Pinkas Hakehillot Polin, http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_poland/pol7_00044.html, [as of the 8th of January 2009].