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Chapter 12

This webpage reproduces a chapter of

Abyss of Despair

Rabbi Nathan Hanover

Bloch Publishing Company
New York, 5710‑1950

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please
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Chapter 14

 p87  XIII

The massacres of the community of Narol

From there they journeyed to the holy community of Narol and laid siege to the city. Tens of thousands of Jews, and thousands of nobles had assembled there, and there was not among them even one of the Ukrainian people. Three large settlements, one next to the other were there. The Jews wanted to flee from there but the city official did not permit them. He said to them: "Let us stand up against them and engage them in battle as did the other fortified places." When the enemies besieged the city, they offered to compromise with them. The Jews were willing to do so, but the city official rejected the proposal and they fought against them three days, inflicting a heavy loss on the enemies. Then, the arch-enemy Chmiel sent a large reinforcement of troops, as many as the sand of the sea, and they captured the city on the 17th day of Heshvan, 409,1 and they slew first, the city official, Laszcz, and skinned him alive. They subjected him to all sorts of terrible tortures. Then they slew among the Jews more than twelve thousand persons by all sorts of terrible deaths, as mentioned above. Many were drowned in the water and several hundred locked themselves in  p88 the synagogue, but the enemies smashed through the doors, and killed all the Jews therein, and later set fire to the synagogue and burned it, together with all the slain. There was no massacre so horrible in the whole Kingdom of Poland as in the city of Narol. Many were taken by the Tartars into captivity. They set fire to the three settlements, and they destroyed them as the city of Sodom was destroyed.

A woman who remained alive, related to me that several hundred women, and children, and a few men survived the carnage. These had no food for five days and ate human flesh. They cut off organs from the slain and roasted them on fire and ate them. Many thousands of the slain were eaten by dogs and swine. The survivors sent some men to the city of Przemysl, and provided them with several hundred gold pieces to buy linen for shrouds. The victims were thus brought to burial. May the Lord recompense them for their kind deeds.

The Editor's Note:

1 November 2, 1648.

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Page updated: 12 Dec 22