Choose your language
Use our multimedia maps, and explore the family pictures, archival material, and personal stories of 21 Jewish Holocaust survivors to get a unique insight into Europe’s rich Jewish heritage, and to discover sites of Jewish life in towns in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.
We are standing in front of the ruins of the former industrial pride of Tarnów: Henryk Szancer’s mill, built in 1846. This ingenious entrepreneur created a business that over the years proved to be one of the most modern of its kind. The profits the grain industry brought to Szancer enabled the construction of slightly smaller branches in other cities — Bochnia, Przemyśl and Stanisławów (today’s Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine).
Henryk Szancer was a respected citizen of Tarnów. He was appreciated for his many charitable initiatives and his contribution to the city’s engineering development. In recognition of his achievements, the City Council awarded him the title of Honorary Citizen, and Emperor Franz Joseph awarded him with the Imperial Austrian Order of Franz Joseph.
Szancer died in 1885 and was buried at the Jewish cemetery in Tarnów. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the mill remained in his family, although its best years and greatest economic yields were behind it. After the Second World War, it was nationalized and, following the fall of communism after 1989, it was closed. Eventually, it ended up in private hands. Unfortunately, in 2015, a series of fires almost completely destroyed the mill’s post-industrial interiors, leaving a dilapidated ruin in which state the building has remained until today.