(Formerly Stanyslaviv; Pol., Stanisławów; Ger., Stanislau; Rus., Stanislav), city in Ukraine. Jews first settled in Stanisławów just after its establishment in 1654; provisions for the community’s autonomy were guaranteed by the town’s owner in 1662. By 1736, Jews constituted 1,470 of the town’s 3,321 inhabitants, working primarily as leaseholders, artisans, and merchants, the latter in competition with local Armenians throughout the Polish period. In 1772, the city was incorporated into the new province of Galicia in the Austrian Empire.
Stanislau’s Jewish community grew considerably during the nineteenth century, from 2,237 people (41% of the population) in 1792 to 5,958 (55%) in 1847, to 10,028 (54%) in 1880, and to 15,253 (46%) in 1910. Jews owned a majority of the city’s houses and by the end of this period dominated local commerce, with 92.8 percent of local businesses in Jewish hands, as well as ownership of 34 of the 50 largest factories before World War I.
Religious leadership was dominated by the Horowitz family, members of which (uniquely in Galicia) held the post of rabbi from the appointment of Aryeh Leibush in 1784 until the murder of Mosheh Horowitz during the Holocaust. Members of the Horowitz and Halpern families, the latter one of the city’s richest and most prominent in the nineteenth century, dominated Jewish political life throughout this period as well. Both Hasidism and the Haskalah made early inroads in Stanislau, but the city did not develop into a major center of either movement. This was partially due to the efforts of Aryeh Leibush Horowitz, who strongly opposed Hasidism but who also managed to prevent the establishment of a progressive temple during his lifetime. For a brief time, reformers did establish a temple during the tenure of his son Meshulam and another in 1899 with the blessings of Yitsḥak Horowitz.
Mandolin orchestra at a high school in Stanislau (now Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukr.), 1910. (YIVO)
Following their emancipation in 1867, Jews played a critical role in local politics. In 1873, Jews already constituted 17 of the city’s 36 council members, while from 1897 until 1919 an assimilationist Jew named Artur Nimhin served as mayor. Stanislau was a particularly important center for Galician Zionism. By the 1880s, Zionists had established a variety of organizations in the city; indeed, Stanislau headed the southern Galician Zionist district following the establishment of the movement in 1902. The local organization benefited especially from the presence of Markus Braude (1869–1949), a pioneer of Galician Zionism and the preacher at the progressive temple from 1899 until 1907, when his support for Zionist parliamentary candidates and a run for office himself cost him his position.
As throughout Galicia, most Jews of Stanislau fled the city, twice brutalized by Russian occupation, during World War I. In 1918–1919, Stanyslaviv served as the capital of the short-lived West Ukrainian Republic and as such was also the seat of Jewish politics in the region. Following Polish conquest in 1919, Jews continued to play an important, if not decisive, role in municipal politics, despite the incorporation of surrounding villages into the city that led to a dilution of its Jewish percentage. In addition to active branches of all major political movements, interwar Stanisławów boasted an extremely diverse assortment of cultural and charity associations, Jewish elementary schools for boys and girls, a Jewish hospital, a yeshiva, a secondary school, a modern Hebrew school, vocational schools for children and adults, and 55 synagogues and study houses. The city also published more than two dozen Jewish periodicals and papers before the Holocaust, primarily in Yiddish and Polish.
Approximately 30,000 Jews lived in Stanislav under Soviet occupation from 1939 to 1941, during which time all Jewish organizations were disbanded. Following the German invasion in 1941, Stanislav was first occupied by Hungarian forces who violently persecuted local Jews. The extermination of the city’s Jews began in the fall of 1941, most dramatically with the murder in October of more than 10,000 Jews at the local Jewish cemetery. Another 10,000 died at the Bełżec death camp, while thousands perished in smaller roundups as well as from disease and starvation inside the ghetto, which was established in December 1941 and liquidated in February 1943. The Jewish community was not reestablished after the war in the city, which was renamed in 1962 after the Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko.
Dov Sadan and Menachem Gelerter, eds., ‘Arim ve-imahot be-Yisra’el: Matsevat kodesh le-kehilot Yisra’el she-neḥrevu bi-yede ‘aritsim u-teme’im be-milḥemet ha-‘olam ha-aḥaronah, vol. 5 (Jerusalem, 1951); Shmuel Spector, ed., “Stanislawow (I),” in The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust, vol. 3, pp. 1233–1235 (New York, 2001).