Philip M Halperin

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About Lubcza

(Special Thanks to Ursula and Andrew Zemek who compiled this for me)

The Yiddish name Lubtch (or Lubcz in the Polish spelling) refers to a tiny settlement in what is now Belarus and used to be Poland before World War II and Lithuania before that. The Polish name of the settlement was Lubcza, and current Belorussian pronounciation and (Latin character) spelling follows this (Lyubcha). It is located on the shores of the mighty river Niemen some 90 km (54 mi) west of Minsk. (53o45’N and 26o3’E)

Pre-War Map of Poland
Showing Lubtch and Smargon

The map above shows historical Lubcza among other Jewish settlements of Eastern Polandi

Location of the contemporary Lyubcha is shown belowii and here .

Contemporary Map of Belarus
Showing Lyubcha

It can be reached by bus from Minsk. There is only one bus on weekdays (dep. Minsk 15:00) and an additional one (dep. 20:00 on Fridays and Sundays). The journey takes about three hours.

Despite being a small place, there is even a book about Lubcza. It is in Hebrew and was published in Haifa:

Lubtsh ve-Delatitsh; S. Z. (Lubtch-Delatich; in memory of the Jewish community) (1971, 480 pp) [H, Y], K. Hilel, Ed., (Haifa: For. Res of Lubtch-Delatich in Israel) [Lubtch-Delatitch]

According to 1919 census it had a population of 559 of which 327 (58.5%) were Jewish as evidenced in the table belowi:


Table of Populations
Towns in Pre-War Poland

Lubcza was very famous for its inn or karczma in Polish or kretchma in Yiddish.iii It used to be frequented by Zionist leaders and MPs as shown in this photograph from the 1930s (this is the only one we have – sorry – no photographs from 1905).

Click on Button for
Photo of Kretchma
(42kb jpeg)

I believe that my great-grandmother used to be the innkeeper here.

iImage Before My Eyes
iiMicrosoft Encarta World Atlas CD-ROM
iiiDavid C. Gross: English-Yiddish, Yiddish-English Dictionary, Hippocrene Books Inc, NY 1992. I believe he spells the word "kretshmeh", which is just a bit too precious for my taste.

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