The first known Jew to settle in Darłowo permanently was Gottschalk Wulff, who had a writ of protection and who came to town in 1714. He was able to settle there thanks to, among others, the recommendation given by a clerk named Casper Otto von Massow, president of the Pomeranian Chamber (German: Pommersche Kammer), holding the title of the Secret Financial Counselor (German: Geheimer Etatsrat) [1.1]. A report on the Jewish residents of Pomerania, prepared on April 2, 1718 in Stargard Szczeciński (Stargard), confirmed that Gottschalk Wulff of Darłowo was indeed granted special privileges, and that the town was open to one more Jewish resident because it lacked merchants. Ten years later Gottschalk Wulff hired a housekeeper, farmhand and teacher. He was taxed in the amount of 51.20 thalers, while his son had to pay 13.8 thalers. Gottschalk Wulff must have been very popular because he was nominated for the position of a member of the Pomeranian Jewish Eldership for a period of three years. The next report on Jewish residents was published on August 10, 1731 in Szczecin (Stettin) and indicated that Gottschalk Wulff, as well as one of his son’s, were still living in Darłowo (based on a permit granted on April 19, 1714). It was also stated that a young Jewish woman named Hinde Moises and her husband, who worked as a farmhand for Gottschalk Wulff, came to the area from Poland. A decree issued on Septembet 13, 1735 by the Royal Government, addressed to the Pomeranian Government (German: Pommersche Regierung), was concerned with the issue of placing Jewish residents in both private and national towns in Pomerania, and permitted for a Jewish man named Joseph David to settle in Darłowo. Five years later a report by the magistrate of the town announced that Gottschalk Wulff had supplied local producers with wool, in addition to supporting them financially. We can, therefore, conclude that he was well-off. In 1737 his farm housed 14 people. Apart from him and his wife, their five sons lived there: Jochim Gottschalk, Moses, Jacob, Isaac and Hirsch, and two daughters: Rebecca and Judith. In addition, Gottschalk’s sister Levinsche also lived in the house with her son Wulff and daughter Judith, as well as David, a teacher and Arndt, a farmhand. During that time there was also another Jewish estate in Darłowo, since Joseph David had moved there a few years earlier from Gryfino (Greifenhagen) after paying a fee of 150 thalers a few years before. In 1752 there were already five Jewish families in Darłowo, who together counted 36 people. Their names and the exact number of residents of each family are mentioned in the reference book, as well as the names of three families who were obligated to pay the protection fee in 1764 (the sum of the protection fee is also listed) [1.2]. Together the families paid 54.20 thalers. Two years later, in exchange for the privileges received, Ascher Gottschalk had to purchase and to sell immediately goods worth 1000 thalers from the government in Berlin. Based on a law, enforced in 1812, all the Jewish residents in Pomerania were forced to take on Prussian citizenship and official last names, with permission to keep their current Jewish last names. The list of names taken on by 21 Jewish families living in Darłowo at that time is available in the table [1.3]. For those times the kehilla in Darlowo was fairly large and well organized. The first administrative clerk whose name is known was H. Grünbaum, who worked as the chazzan, shochet and teacher around 1839. In 1851 the head of the kehilla was J. N. Jacobi, while M. Jonas and H. J. Gross sat on the managing board with him. The names of 11 Jewish families living in Darłowo are mentioned in the reference book [1.4]. Moreover, in the same year H. Moses settled down in town and was charged 20 thalers to join the kehilla. One year later the position of the teacher was filled by J. C. Spiro, who had previously worked in Strausberg near Berlin (he was chosen from 20 other candidates). He taught religion from 10 to 14 hours a week, to which he was entitled after having passed an examination at a rabbi in Slupsk (Stolp), Dr. Klein. He was also responsible for collecting donations from members of the congregation every Friday. The names of the 18 people who were obligated to pay donations are listed in the reference book Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 675.. He received a salary of 50 thalers, and had additional sources of income. The kehilla provided him with food and a heated apartment in Mühlenstraße (present-day Rynkowa Street) [1.5], for which they paid 9 thalers a year. Parents paid him 2-3 thalers annually for his teaching work, and he also made some money as a shochet and could count on donations on the occasion of a wedding or bar Mitzvah [1.6]. Isaac Salomon of Sławno (Schlawe) applied for the position of assistant chazzan during the most important holidays. Due to the fact that the contract with Spiro was to expire on April 1853, as early as in December 1852 the kehilla placed advertisements in the ”Berliner Zeitung” and ”Vossiche Zeitung,” announcing the search for his successor. However, J. C. Spiro died suddenly in February of 1853, and the kehilla turned to chazzan Aron Mechan of Krajenka (Krojanke) to fill the position immediately. They finally hired David Cohn of Sianowo (Zanow), who stayed in the kehilla from May 1, 1853 until April 1854. At the same time, at the beginning of 1853, J. N. Jacoby, the leader of the Darłowo kehilla, received a letter from Rabbi Dr. Klein which referred to the document that he had received from the Koszalin government on November 28, 1842. Dr. Klein informed him that his rabbinical duties included visiting religion classes held in neighboring communities at least once a year, and testing newly-hired teachers in the Koszalin area. For this reason he turned to Jacoby to set up a date for such a visit. On May 1, 1854, Michaelis Driesner, who had earlier worked in Strausberg, Polanów (Pollnow) and Połczyn (Polzin), took over the position of the clerk for religious matters. After one year, however, he submitted his resignation because the kehilla rejected his claim for a pay rise. The financial situation of the kehilla of Darłowo was not very strong at that time, and its members lived very modestly. There were frequent complaints to the court about late payments of fees and high taxes. It is worth noting, however, that the contribution fee was determined by the members of the kehilla board without taking into consideration a person’s income, so certain members of the community were right to feel treated unfairly. An important event for the kehilla was its statute, which numbered 100 clauses, that was passed on January 20, 1856. Two years later it was modified and the number of clauses was reduced to 81. The contents of the first clause and the names of the kehilla members who signed the statute are available in the reference book [1.7]. The modified statute was passed by the High-President of Szczecin (Stettiner Oberpräsident) in August 1858. The next person to fill the position of a religious clerk in Darłowo was 28-year old Meyer Rosenthal of Trzemeszno Lubuskie (Schermeisel), who came to Darłowo around 1868 after the former clerk, named S. P. Levin, disappeared without a trace before his contract expired. Meyer Rosenthal had previously worked in Okonek (Ratzebuhr) and was recommended by rabbi S. J. Karo of Sępólno Krajeńskie (Zempelburg) in Western Prussia (Westpreußen). In Darłowo he received a salary of 200 thalers. In searching for a replacement for S. P. Levin the kehilla decided that candidates had to have a special knife with which to slaughter animals and teaching certificates. At that time the kehilla was made up of 21 families whose names are listed in the book [1.8]. After Meyer Rosenthal left, the position was temporarily filled by Rachelsohn and later by chazzan Rosenkranz, who was to remain there from March 1, 1870 until April 1, 1873, but who, for unknown reasons, resigned from the post before his contract expired. He was replaced by chazzan Adolph Cohn of Lędyczek (Landeck). Despite the fact that the kehilla of Darłowo was not a wealthy one, in the years of 1860s-1880s it organized a fund-raising action for those who had suffered from a famine and typhus epidemic which had hit Augustowo, Łomża, Grodno and Kowno. According to data from 1871, the Jewish residents made up 2.5% of the population of Darłowo. In 1873 the kehilla numbered 23 families, 20 of which lived in Darłowo, while the remaining three lived in Barzowice (Barzwitz), Łącko (Lanzig) and Darłówko (Rügenwaldermünde). Their names are listed in the reference book [1.9]. In 1872 a number of unpleasant events occurred in the kehilla, caused by the commission’s rulings regarding contribution fees. S. Borchardt, the new head of the kehilla, was chosen in that year and remained in this position for a number of years. However, the kehilla still had no luck with its religious clerks. After accepting Samuel Lory of Klęcz (Kletz) as a temporary chazzan in July of 1873, in the same year the kehilla hired J. Saula of Nowe Miasto on the Warta River (Neustadt) near Poznan (Posen), who had earlier worked in Braniewo (Braunsberg) in Eastern Prussia (Ostpreußen). However, conflicts repeatedly arose between the kehilla board and their new religious clerk. Despite the optimistic attitude of the chazzan, the kehilla was not open and friendly to him. They accused him of being careless with his clerk duties and his teaching style. Rabbi Dr. Hahn of Słupsk even became interested in the situation in the kehilla after learning that a ram which had been slaughtered and deemed kosher was in fact found to be un-kosher. Chazzan Saul was blamed for this, since he had probably forgotten his stamp at the butcher’s. A decision to dismiss the chazzan from October 1 was made on July 1, 1875. However, we know that despite the notice of termination chazzan Saul continued to work in the kehilla until August 15, 1876. The following chazzan, S. Loewenthal, hired in the fall of 1876, also caused trouble for the kehilla because, despite having signed a contract, he never took on the position of a religious clerk. Classes in religion did not resume until November of that year when chazzan Jacob was hired. He resigned from his post in 1880 to take on a similar position in Ząbkowice Śląskie (Frankenstein), and was replaced by L. Marien, who, beginning with 1878, filled the position of an assistant clerk. He finally stayed with the kehilla longer, and in 1883 his contract was extended by one year, and later by three more years. His salary was 1,000 marks, and he had additional sources of income. In addition to the difficulties it had with filling the position of religious clerk the kehilla also continued to face complaints from Jews who petitioned to lower their contribution fees. When petitions were found to be reasonable, the sums actually were lowered, but otherwise they were dismissed. In 1874 two new members joined the kehilla: Gottschalk Baruch and Itzig Aschersohn. The following year the list of taxpayers (the total sum of taxes was 972 marks) was almost the same as three years earlier and did not change much in the future. The only name added to it was Nathana Jacobi, while J. Freundlich was replaced by Salomon Freundlich. Each year the lists of taxpayers had to be presented to the government in Koszalin for approval, and late lists were not accepted. Von Brauchitsch of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Royal Government was responsible for overseeing it. It is his signature that appears on the documents. The expected budget for 1877 was 948 marks, while in the years from 1877 to 1883 it hovered between 1,033 and 1,152 marks. In 1883 the kehilla in Darłowo numbered 125 members, 19 of whom were entitled to vote, while 24 were school-aged children. This is likely the highest number of members in the history of the kehilla. Beginning with the second half of the 19th century the government in Koszalin required to have any employment changes made for the post of religious clerk reported. The government, under the leadership of Count Clairon d’Haussonville, paid particular attention to the educational background of teachers. The budget of the kehilla between 1885 and 1886 hovered between 1,250 and 1,280 marks. At the beginning of 1888 chazzan Marien resigned and was replaced by another teacher, Lippmann Buchholz. Buchholz had a teaching certificate issued by the government in Koszalin. However, similarly to previous religious clerks, he too parted ways with the kehilla in May of that year. His successor, Abraham Steinkritzer, was of Russian descent and was again not accepted by the members of the kehilla, while the magistrate of the town looked unfavorably upon the decision to hire him because he had not been granted citizenship. Finally, at the end of 1888 Emanuel Kahn of Saarwellingen in Western Germany began working for the kehilla upon the recommendation of the government in Koszalin. The same government once again threatened the kehilla with a fine for not providing the list of taxpayers on time. The list should have been deposited by November 1, 1889. 28 names of those listed can by found in the reference book, in addition to the names of 22 members of the kehilla who had the right to vote in 1890 [1.10]. In 1891 the kehilla had the budget of 2,314 marks. It had one new member, Leopold Coburg, while Louis Lebbin moved and retiree Casparius passed away. One year later Dr. Hahn gave a guest lecture in Darłowo, and at that point the kehilla applied to become a member of the German and Israeli Union of Jewish Religious Communities (German: Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund). In 1893 Louis Badrian took on the position of a religious clerk, which he held for five years, during which he started a choir in the kehilla. During this time the “Society Against Anti-Semitism” (German: ”Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus”) was formed, with headquarters in Berlin, in response to anti-Semitic actions which were propagated in the Pomeranian region by instigators wandering around the countryside. One of the members of this organization, Richard Hasse of Słupsk, expressed his readiness to travel personally to Berlin in the event that such speeches were planned in the Pomerania territory. In 1894 he also sent a letter expressing his views to all the kehillas in the Pomeranian region. Beginning with the 1890s the kehilla also had a charitable organization called Chewra Kadisza [1.11], as well as Israelitischer Frauenverein [1.12]. In the years of 1893-1895 the kehilla in Darłowo numbered 100 members, out of which 11 were school-aged children. For comparison, we know that the total population of the city at that time was 5,400. S. Borchardt was still the head of the kehilla, while its board members included Hugo Dallmann and Hugo Loewenthal. In 1899 there were still 89 Jews living in Darłowo, spread out among 22 families, with somewhere between 7 and 15 children who attended school, while the budget of the kehilla was between 1,400 and 1,500 marks. The names of all the clerks, both religious and secular, who worked in the kehilla in the 19th century are listed in the reference book [1.13]. In the first decade of the 20th century the number of members in the kehilla remained fairly steady, and was approximately 78, with 6-9 school-aged children. The budget was approximately 1,900 marks, then rose to 2,300, and finally to 2,500 marks. The number of tax-paying residents rose to 24 by 1913, while no more than eight children attending the religious school at that time. The last person to fill the position of a religious clerk for the kehilla was a Ephraim Sternfeld,, who performed his duties until the outbreak of World War I. Similarly to the policy put in place in the rest of Germany, men of the Jewish descent from Darłowo were also called up to serve in the army. A plaque was placed in the cemetery to commemorate those lost. Four names are listed on it: Max Baruch, Siegmund Cohn, Arthur Freundlich and Georg Müllerheim. After the war the number of members in the kehilla dropped to 48 and later to 42, only 15 of whom paid taxes. The Jews made up less than 1% of the population of the town, whose residents at that time numbered approximately 6,000. The budget of the kehilla also shrank, and in 1923 was down to 1,400 marks. At the beginning of the 1930s the kehilla only had 36 members, while only 4 students attended the religious school, and its budget was 2,900 marks. Darłowo had many Jewish-run businesses, some of which were founded as early as the 19th century. Already in 1850 Selig Borchard, a long-time representative of the kehilla, founded a grain trading company, which was taken over by Adolf and Albert Rubensohn after 50 years. They were later nominated as honorary consuls of Sweden, while their company was the first to build a grain silo in the port. Around 1900 a merchant named Leopold Cohn was an appraiser of grain for the Trade Chamber in Słupsk, while also sitting on the municipal council of Darłowo, along with another merchant who joined the council in 1912, Emil Dallmann. In 1930 there were still 15 shops or other businesses whose owners were Jewish, while five years later their number was 14. Their names, as well as the type of business they operated and their addresses are listed in the tables [1.14]. Advertisements concerning the services rendered by two such companies are available in the reference book [1.15]. Gradually, however, more and more Jewish families began to leave the town because their businesses were boycotted and their customers threatened, so they began to loose their only source of income. During the last years of its existence the kehilla no longer had a religious clerk, while one of the members of the kehilla, Leo Meyersohn, voluntarily fulfilled the duties of the chazzan. Based on a census conducted on May 17, 1939 there were still 12 Jewish residents living in Darłowo, all of whom lived by the market square or in Erbstraße (present-day Pocztowa Street) [1.16]. Their names, dates of birth and addresses are in the table . We know that Anna Posner was able to flee to the United States of America, while the remaining members of the kehilla moved to Berlin or other cities in order to continue their escapes from there. Four of those in Berlin were deported between 1942-1943, while one, Else Meyersohn, committed suicide. Her name, as well as the names of the remaining people, and the exact dates and destinations of deportation, are available in the table . Ruth Meyersohn who had been deported to Auschwitz was the sole survivor. A list from the end of August 1942 of people on a transport from Słupsk to Terezin (Theresienstadt) over the age of 65 did not include any residents of Darłowo, however, no lists were made for an earlier transport that left on July 10. That transport included all people under the age of 65 from the Koszalin region. The Aron family hid with two farmers, first in Brynki (Brinkenhof) near Sulimice (Zillmitz) and later in Dzierżęcin (Dörsenthin), and later moved to Lubeka (Lübeck). Kurt and Irmgard Cohn were able to make it to Montevideo in Uruguay, while Ruth Müller nee Meyersohn managed to reach Israel. These are, however, only rare instances of those who were lucky. The fate of all the others, those unnamed people, remains unknown.
[1.1] A secret financial counselor (German: Geheimrat) was first a title bestowed upon high ranking officials who worked closely with the sovereign in the council which oversaw internal affairs and made regulations. With the passage of time these counselors no longer worked closely with the leaders, but the title remained to honor administrative members. In the first half of the 19th century the title of Real Secret Counselor (Wirklicher Geheimrat) was put in place to honor those with the highest distinction.
[1.2] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken. Die einstigen jüdischen Gemeinden Pommerns, vol. III, New York 2006, p. 674.
[1.3] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...], p. 674-675.
[1.4] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 675.
[1.5] Fritz R. Barran, Städte-Atlas Pommern, second edition corrected, Leer 1993, p. 99.
[1.6] Bar mitzvah (Hebrew: to whom the commandments apply ) – a Jewish ceremony celebrated since the 14th century. During such a ceremony a Jewish boy becomes adult, to the Jewish law. The first day after the 13th birthday boys are considered to be adults (i.e. able to follow the commandments of the law of Moses). From that day on they are responsible for their actions in the eyes of God and can participate fully in all religious ceremonies held in the synagogue
[1.7] Gerhard Salinger, , Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...], vol. III, op.cit., p. 676.
[1.8] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 678.
[1.9] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 679.
[1.10] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 681.
[1.11] Jewish charity and funeral society – also known as the “Holy Funeral Brotherhood,” which oversaw male burials.
[1.12] A Jewish society of women to support other women and oversee female burial.
[1.13] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...], vol. III, op.cit., p. 675-682.
[1.14] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 684-685.
[1.15] Gerhard Salinger, Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken [...],, p. 688.
[1.16] Fritz R. Barran, Städte-Atlas Pommern., p. 99.
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