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Brześć Kujawski

Polska / kujawsko-pomorskie

Synagogen, Gebetshäuser und andere Friedhöfe Orte der Martyrologie Judaica in Museen Sonstiges


Woiwodschaft:kujawsko-pomorskie / pomorskie (vor 1939)
Bezirk:włocławski / włocławski (vor 1939)
Gemeinde:Brześć Kujawski / Brześć Kujawski (vor 1939)
Andere Namen: בריסק קױאװסק [j. jidysz]
52.6066° N / 18.9012° E
52°36'23" N / 18°54'04" E


Tomasz Kawski

A city situated in the Kujawien-Pomeranian Province, in Kujawien Lakeland on the Zgłowiączka River.

Distances: Bydgoszcz 96 km, Poznań 144 km, Włocławek 13 km, Warsaw 161 km.



Tomasz Kawski /

The earliest source of information about Jews in Brześć Kujawski dates from 1428, and the next one is from 1453. The Jews of Brześć paid 30 florins of rent in 1479, and in 1507, a coronation tax of 25 zlotys was imposed on them. In the 16th, and perhaps as early as the 15th century, there existed an independent kehilla in Brześć. The 1538 treaty, according to which Jews could possess 15 parcels and houses in the town, contributed to the growth of the agglomeration. In 1558, its citizens agreed to build another 8 Jewish houses in Brześć. In 1565, property owned by Jews included 18 houses and a schoolhouse. In 1566, the Jews of Brześć paid a poll tax of 108 zlotys and 9 grosze.

In 1616, they had 15 parcels and 8 buildings with squares. Jews paid rent for the properties and gave the county head (Polish: starosta) a cart and a horse. They paid taxes for the Jewish cemetery as well. King Stanisław August Poniatowski granted a privilege to the Jewish population on April 23, 1782, which allowed them to build houses on Żydowska Street (Jewish Street), where they already had 23 parcels and a synagogue built in the early 16th century. After a fire that broke out in 1781, only one Jewish house survived. The Jews were exempted from payment of all taxes for the duration of one year. The Jews were also granted the right to trade in all possible commodities. In 1793, 111 Jews lived in Brześć and they dominated in trade and selected crafts, including bakery, butchery, tailoring, and other  professions.

The Jewish district was situated in the northeastern part of the town including Żydowska Street (“Jewish Street,” which today is part of Krakowska Street) and Poprzeczna Street. It was a lower part of the town, much more indigent and decrepit. There was a synagogue there (on the left side of Żydowska Street), and the rabbi and Jewish craftsmen resided there. In 1782, on both streets, there were 22 parcels and 16 Jews, the heads of their families took up residence here (6 traders, 1 tenant, 4 butchers, 3 tailors, 1 barber, and 1 haberdasher). The financial situation of the Jewish kehilla in the 18th century was poor. The wealthiest members of the kehilla were Haim Rabinowicz and Haskiel Herszkowicz. In 1782, the rest of the Jewish inhabitants were Jewish tenants. There were a total of 16 heads of fami



Tomasz Kawski /

The first mention of Brześć dates back to 1228. The town was founded prior to 1250 on the initiative of Kuyavian Duke, Kazimierz, the son of Konrad Mazowiecki. In 1275, it was granted city status under German law. Prince Brzesko-Kujawski praised the importance Kujawski and then, in 1255, the the royal seat of the Dukes of Kuyavy (Polish:  Książęta Kujawscy) the city became of significant importance. In 1275, the castellany was located here and, in 1312, the starosty of the city (Polish: starostwo – the city authorities office). In 1312 and 1343, Brześć was the capital city of the Brest- Kuyavian  Province. In 1260, Duke Władysław, the future Polish king, was born here.

In the late medieval period Brześć was surrounded by the ramparts. Within its boundaries, there was a parish church and buildings belonging to the Dominican Order.  On a natural elevation, in the second half of the 14th century, during the reign of Kazimierz the Great, a castle was built there. The limitrophe (border) location was perfect for many meetings, reunions and for Polish-Teutonic convention.

Between the years 1300-1306, the city was in the hands of  the Czech King Wenceslaus (Polish: Wacław) and then it returned to being within the borders of the Duchy of Kuyavian Piast dynasty. In 1329, and between 1331-1332, the Teutonic Knights stormed the city. After the seizure of Brześć in 1332, it remained as a part of Teutonic state for fourteen years - until 1346. The Teutonic Knights built the preceptory  in Brześć. They also constructed a port on the Zgłowiączka River flowing through Brześć. At the same time, they linked the Zgłowiączka with the Bachorza River. New rulers relocated the castle and secured the city by fencing it with walls.

 The importance of  Brześć was reaffirmed by the fact that the city confirmed the Kalisz Treaty of 1343 (polish: pokój kaliski), ending the war with the Teutonic Order, along with cities as significant as Kalisz, Wloclawek and Poznań. The representatives of Brześć also confirmed the 1411 peace treaty.

After the peace with Teutonic Knights in 1466, the role of the Brześć castle as a border fortress dminished. In the second half of the 16t



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