Documents associated with this entity:

Town formerly in Galicia, now in Western Ukraine, 26km (16 miles) from Berezhany [Brzeżani], 70km (44 miles) from Ternopil [Ternopol], and 100 km (62 miles) southeast of Lviv [Lemberg].

Podhajce, which dates back to the middle ages, was located within southeastern Galicia, which was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire from the late-17th century and an autonomous province of the Empire from 1873 until 1918, when it fell briefly within the boundaries of Western Ukraine. From 1921 until 1944 it lay within the Polish Republic. Podhajce's population in the late 19th century comprised largely Poles and Jews, the Jewish population (estimated at at least 40% of the town's populace) suffering extermination at the hands of the Nazis in 1941‒42.

Podhajce and the Schenker family

Johann and Julia Schenker moved from Wisniowczyk (during which period their first five children were born) between 1868 and 1874 to Podhajce (where their last child, Moriz, was born). Podhajce's remote location, surrounded by forest, may have made it susceptible to the chassidic and other movements. The town certainly had a strong orthodox contingent, and Johann, as an educated and Germanically-oriented member of the Jewish Enlightenment, would have kept the family independent of that influence. He studied medicine and served as the town medical doctor (Stadtarzt) there until his death in 1887. Several death registrations in the town survive bearing his signature, and his service was sufficiently recognized for the town council, as Schenker's diary records, to name a street in his memory in Spring 1916. Birth records in Podhajce survive for three people with the last name Schenker, and some distant relationship to Johann's line may not be impossible.

Julia left Podhajce for Vienna (where Heinrich had moved in 1884) soon after her husband's death, taking Schifre, Moriz and a niece with her. In 1914 there was some question of her returning to Podhajce, but she rejected the plan ("she would like neither to be with Sophie nor to go to Podhajce" ‒ diary October 15, also October 17, 1914).



  • Lee Rothfarb and Ian Bent

Download all selected files as or or (check files to select/deselect)
Where appropriate save: English and German versions German version only English version only