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Q: Information about Polish shtetl between the world wars ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Information about Polish shtetl between the world wars
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: billbuster-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2005 10:24 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2005 10:24 PDT
Question ID: 533246
I am looking for any information about the Polish shtetl "Yzeran"
which I understand was wiped out by WWII. I need a map of Poland in
1920-30 showing me where this village was located. I am told it was in
the Southeast part of Poland, but that may not be accurate.
Photographs from this interwar period would be MOST appreciated, as
well as any statistical info available.

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 14 Jun 2005 11:22 PDT
Dear billbuster,

I am certain that I have identified and located the village. To make
sure I have really found the correct place, I will do extensive
additional research now. Please be patient since that may take a few

Subject: Re: Information about Polish shtetl between the world wars
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 14 Jun 2005 15:25 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear billbuster,

At the beginning of my answer stands a little surprise: The place you
refer to as Yzeran does still exist. Its Jewish shtetl has been wiped
out in World War II, but not the town itself. I will explain the
results of my research step by step:

I was aware of the fact that the eastern borders of Poland shifted
about 200 kilometers westward after World War II; so I knew that if
Yzeran was indeed located in the southeast part of what was pre-war
Poland, that region (East Galicia) would now belong to the Ukraine. I
kept that in mind during my research.

I also took into account that place names and their spellings are
anything but consistent or  enduring in those regions of Eastern
Europe. One and the same place could have various Polish, Ukrainian,
Yiddish and German names, all of them with numerous spelling variants.
So I also had to pay attention to possible alternate names and

Knowing that, I searched for references with the spelling you
provided, "Yzeran". I did not find much, but there was one important
hint: I found two articles about American comic book artist Joe
Kubert, who recalls the name of the place where he was born before his
family emigrated in 1926 as "Yzeran, on the south-eastern end of
Poland." [1][2] He also used his birth place as the setting for his
graphic novel "Yossel".[3][4]

This seemed to be the only explicit reference to Yzeran. And the
connection with the family name "Kubert" was my only reliable clue so

I consulted the ShtetlSeeker database of Eastern European towns [5]
with former Jewish communities. Among the results were no places
exactly matching with the name Yzeran, but in the list of resulst
there was one town ca. 237 miles west-south-west of Kiev whose name
was given in three different spelling variants: Jezierna / Yezerna /
Ozernaya. This town is located in the Ukraine today, but prior to
WWII, it would have been the south-eastern part of Poland. And two of
the possible spellings were similar to Yzeran.

I decided to do more research on this place. Through the Falling Rain
Global Gazetteer [6] I found out that this Ukrainian town still
exists, and that there are even more possible spellings: Ozernaya,
Ozernyany, Ozerna, Jezierna, Yezerna, Ozėrnaya, Ozernyani.

Knowing this, I now had to find out if the Ukrainian town known as
Ozernaya today is identical with the Yzeran where Joe Kubert was born.
Was Ozernaya home to a family of the name Kubert?

A full search of the entire JewishGen website content [7] led to one
clue that I was correct: I found a list of surnames of Holocaust
victims from Ozernaya [8], and the name "Kubert" showed up in that
list. It did not appear on other similar lists, so I assumed that the
name was typical for Ozernaya only and would only rarely occur

My assumption was confirmed when I searched for the surame "Kubert" in
the family records database of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland [9].
Numerous individuals of that name were found, and almost all entries
referred to the town "Jezierzany". And Jezierzany is, as I found out,
the Polish name for Ozernaya/Ozeryany.

The town has its own website in the JewishGen database, providing some
basic information:

This is an extensive article [11] on the history of the town and its
Jewish community:

Besides, the Yiddish/Jewish name of Ozeryany was Oziran or Ozieran. It
is obvious that this is actually a variant of "Yzeran".

Since Ozeryany still exists today, you don't even need a pre-war map
to locate it. This MapQuest map shows you its location; use the
zoom-out feature to get a better overview:

In addition, I have prepared this extract of a pre-war map of Poland
for you. The black arrow points to Jezierzany/Ozeryany; the red arrow
points to the city of Tarnopol, which can be easily located on a
modern-day map of the Ukraine (Ukrainian name: Ternopil), so you get
an impression on where the town is:

I hope that this information is useful for you!
Best regards,


[1] The Jewish Week: The Comic Book As Resistance

[2] Silver Bullet Comic Books: Joe Kubert - From Shtetl to Grand Master

[3] Yossel - Introduction

[4] Forward: Veteran Artist Evokes Jewish Strength - Overtly

[5] JewishGen ShtetlSeeker: Town Search

[6] Falling Rain Global Gazetteer: Ozernaya, Ukraine

[7] JewishGen: Search the JewishGen website

[8] JewishGen: Surnames of Jezierzany's Holocaust Victims

[9] Jewish Records Indexing - Poland: Search Database

[10] JewishGen ShtetLinks: Jezierzany - Ozeryany, Ukraine

[11] JewishGen: "Jezierzany" - Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in
Poland, Volume II (Ozeryany, Ukraine)
billbuster-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
An unbelievably quick, informative answer that gave me more than I had hoped for!

Subject: Re: Information about Polish shtetl between the world wars
From: myoarin-ga on 14 Jun 2005 16:53 PDT
Congratulations, Scriptor-ga.  Fantastic!

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