|City of district significance|
Old town of Rava-Ruska
|Named for||Rawa Mazowiecka|
|• Total||8.5 km2 (3.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||349 m (1,145 ft)|
Rava-Ruska (Ukrainian: Рава-Руська, translit. Rava-Rus'ka; Polish: Rawa Ruska; Yiddish: ראווע, Rave) is a city in the Lviv Oblast of western Ukraine. It is what is known as border town between Ukraine and Poland.
Rawa was founded in 1455 by the Duke of Belz and Mazovia, Wladyslaw I plocki, who named it after his seat, Rawa Mazowiecka. Due to a convenient location along a merchant trail from Lublin to Lwow, the newly located town quickly developed. For centuries, Rawa, part of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was in private hands of several szlachta families, such as the Glogowski, Suchodolski, Rzeczycki and Bogusz. In 1622, the town received permission of the King of Poland to organize fairs. In 1672, a skirmish between Polish and Crimean Tatar forces took place here, in which Polish unit under Atanazy Miaczynski freed hundreds of captured peasants. In 1698, Rawa was the site of a meeting between Peter the Great and Augustus the Strong, which led to the Treaty of Preobrazhenskoye in 1699.
From the first partition of Poland in 1772 until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the RAWA RUSKA district, one of the 78 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Austrian Galicia province (Crown land) in 1900. In 1880, its population was 10,500, with 37% Jews, 35% Poles, 20% Germans and 7% Ukrainians. In 1857, Rawa received a rail connection with Jarosław, and next year, the railroad reached Sokal.
In the early 20th century, Rawa developed into a rail junction, with a connection to Lwow, and Rejowiec, built in 1915. After the rebirth of Poland Rawa Ruska became part of the Lwów Voivodeship, and the seat of the Powiat Rawski county (area 1,401 km²). The line from to Rejowiec was of main importance, as it connected two main cities of Poland, Warsaw, and Lwów. Due to the rail lines, Rawa prospered, and several businesses operated in the town. In 1924, a Belgian company opened here a factory of railroad ties. Furthermore, in the interbellum period Rawa was home of Main School of the Border Guard, which was moved here in 1928 from Góra Kalwaria. The school had a department of training of guard dogs, also located in Rawa Ruska.
In 1921, the population of the town was app. 9,000, with 42% Poles, 42% Jews and 14% Ukrainians. By 1938, the population jumped to 12,000.
On 14 September 1939, during the Invasion of Poland, Rawa Ruska was captured by the Wehrmacht, but German troops left the town in late September in accordance with the German-Soviet Frontier Treaty, and Rawa was occupied by the Soviet Union. It was again recaptured by the Germans in 1941, during Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. Many of its Jewish residents were killed at Belzec. Approximately 5,000 Polish Jews from Rawa-Ruska were shot during a liquidation "Aktion" between 7 and 11 December 1942. The last execution of Jews occurred in June 1943, during which 300-400 Jews were executed in a forest outside the village.
After World War Two, the Polish community of Rawa was forced to abandon the town and move to the Recovered Territories. Nevertheless, Rava remains one of the key centres of the Polish minority in Ukraine, with the local office of the Association of Polish Culture of the Lviv Land operating here.
The city has a railroad station which also has a border and customs checkpoint "Rava-Ruska". Since 2005 it used exclusively for freight transportation only and has two directions, one towards Hrebenne, another towards Werchrata.
Points of interest
- parish church of St. Joseph, built in 1700 - 1776 upon initiative of Castellan of Belz Andrzej Rzeczycki. In the Soviet Union the church served as a warehouse,
- Franciscan Abbey of Archangel Michael, founded in 1725 by Starosta of Belz Grzegorz Rzeczycki and Jozef Glogowski. The complex of the abbey and the church was completed in 1737 by architect Pawel Fontana, and was one of the most interesting sights of the town. In the Soviet Union, the complex was turned into a warehouse serving the local collective farm.
- Maurice Abraham Cohen, Educator and linguist
- Walter V. Bozyk, conductor, bandurist
- Oswald Frank (born 1887), Polish Army general
- Olgierd Gorka (born 1887), Polish historian and diplomat
- Michal Dadlez (born 1895), Polish poet
- Edward Olearczyk (born 1915), Polish composer
- Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
- "Execution Sites of Jewish Victims Investigated by Yahad-In Unum". Yahad Map. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- Daily Mail, 24 August 2015,'Blood oozed through the soil at grave sites. You could see the pits move, some of them were still alive': The secrets of Ukraine's shameful 'Holocaust of Bullets' killing centre where 1.6million Jews were executed
- Execution Sites of Jewish Victims - by Yahad-in Unum
- Ukrainians visit Nazi atrocity sites as taboo ends, BBC News (19 July 2015)