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Translator name :Natalia Kłopotek

In the second half of 1944, Jews from the liquidated ghetto in Łódź and the liquidated labour camps in Kielce and Radom Province (mainly Skarżysko-Kamienna) were transported to the labour camps in Częstochowa. Consequently, the number of prisoners increased to about 10,000. On 15 and 16 January 1945, around 3,000 Jews were rapidly evacuated and transported in trains to concentration camps inside the Third Reich (they all died). 5,200 Jews were freed in Częstochowa itself, while ca. 3,000 Jewish inhabitants of the town were liberated from the camps in Bergen-Belsen (15 April), Buchenwald (1 May) and Ravensbrück (5 May)[5.1].

Following the end of WWII, more than 5,000 Jews resided in Częstochowa. Most of them were former prisoners of German camps operating in Częstochowa and its surroundings. The local Jewish life was revived. Branches of various organisations were established in the town, including the Jewish Committee under the Central Committee of Polish Jews. The community opened a Jewish school, orphanages and a branch of the Jewish Congregation (at 18 Garibaldiego Street). Local committees of Jewish parties resumed their activities. This included the Bund and Zionist organisations which, apart from implementing their programmes, also offered social assistance to its members and their families. In the 1940s, many Jews were given financial aid by JOINT and the Central Committee of Polish Jews. The Częstochowa branch of the Jewish Committee established a cooperative for tailors and shoemakers in order to guarantee jobs. Moreover, private tailors', shoemakers' and carpenters' shops were opened in the town. In June 1946, Częstochowa had around 2,000 Jewish inhabitants, but the Kielce pogrom (4 July 1946) forced most of them to migrate. After the events of 4 July, as in other towns inhabited by Jews, a branch of the Special Commission of the Jewish Committee was established in Częstochowa.

At the turn of 1950, most Jewish institutions and facilities in Częstochowa were either liquidated or nationalised. On 29 October 1950, the Central Committee of Jews in Poland and the Jewish Culture Association merged and the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland came into being. A local branch of the Association was established in Częstochowa; in the 1950s and 1960s, it aimed its activities at children and youth. It organised, for instance, English courses and a drama circle. Following the reactivation of the Organisation for the Development of Industrial, Artisanal and Agricultural Productivity Among the Jewish population of Poland (ORT) in 1957, a local committee of the organisation was set up and ran, for example, courses in leathercraft[5.2].

The situation of Jews in Częstochowa and in other cities deteriorated after an anti-Zionist campaign carried out during the summer of 1967 which culminated in the events of March 1968. This caused another wave of migration, in the aftermath of which the Jewish community ceased to exist at the beginning of 1970s.

The revival of Jewish social life began with the fall of the Communist government of Poland in 1989[5.3]. the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland re–opened its branch in Częstochowa.

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[5.1] S. Waga (ed.), The Destruction of Czenstokov (Częstochowa, Poland), (1949) [online] http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Czestochowa2/Czestochowa2.html [Accessed 15 April 2014].

[5.2] Borkowski M., Kirmiel A., Włodarczyk T., Śladami Żydów: Dolny Śląsk, Opolszczyzna, Ziemia Lubuska, Warsaw 2008, p. 8; Brener L., Der jidiszer jiszuw in Czenstochow noch der cwejter welt-milchome (1945–1956), [in] Czenstochov. A New Supplement to The Book „Czenstochover Yidn”, ed. S.D. Singer, New York 1958, pp. 81–84; Namysło A., Utracone nadzieje. Ludność żydowska w województwie śląskim/katowickim w latach 1945–1970 / Lost Hopes. Jews in Silesian/Katowickie Voivodeship in Years 1945–1970, Katowice 2012, pp. 40, 124, 141, 160, 168, 172.

[5.3] M. Borkowski, A. Kirmiel, T. Włodarczyk, Śladami Żydów: Dolny Śląsk, Opolszczyzna, Ziemia Lubuska, (2008), pp. 8-10.

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