Jacob Shatzky (also: Yaakov, or Yankev Shatski; in Polish: Szacki) (1893–1956) was a distinguished Jewish historian.

Shatzky was born in Warsaw. He received a traditional Jewish education and went on to study at universities in Lwów, Vienna, Berlin and Warsaw. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw in 1922 with a thesis on "The Jewish Question in the Kingdom of Poland During the Paskiewicz Era."[1][2] Historians who studied under Shatzky include Lucy Dawidowicz.[3]

Shatzky enlisted in Pilsudski's Legion and fought with distinction in the First World War; he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He was sent by the Polish Foreign Ministry in 1918 to report on a pogrom in Vilna. He resigned from his post when it became clear that the government would not act to punish the perpetrators of the pogroms.[1]

Shatzky emigrated to the United States in 1923. He served as Chief Librarian of the New York State Psychiatric Institute from 1930 to 1956.[1] He acquired the personal library of Sigmund Freud for the collection.[2]


  • The Chmielnicki Massacres of 1648 (1938)
  • Jewish Educational Policy in Poland from 1806-1866, (1943)
  • The History of the Jews in Warsaw, (3 volumes, 1947–53).


  1. ^ a b c [1]"Guide to the Papers of Jacob Shatzky, 1910-1963," Fruma Mohrer, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
  2. ^ a b "JACOB SHATZKY, HISTORIAN, WAS 61; Author of Monumental Work on Jews of Warsaw Dies --Editor and Librarian, June 14, 1956. New York Times obituary.
  3. ^ Guide to the Papers of Lucy S. Dawidowicz