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Barwice

Polska / zachodniopomorskie

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Summary

Province:zachodniopomorskie / inne (before 1939)
County:szczecinecki / szczecinecki (before 1939)
Community:Barwice / (before 1939)
Other names:Bärwalde [j.niemiecki]
 
GPS:
53.7438° N / 16.3554° E
53°44'37" N / 16°21'19" E

Location

Małgorzata Grzenda /

Barwice – a town located in north-western Poland, in the West Pomerania Province, in Szczecinek County. It is situated 25 km north-west of Szczecinek, 168 km north-east of Szczecin, 491 km north-west of Warsaw. It lies on the Gęsia River.

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History

Małgorzata Grzenda

First Jews arrived in Barwice (then: Behrenwalde) probably in 1690 and there were six of them. 15 years later it was recorded that there were six Jewish households. Among the families were those of: Marcus Levy, Benjamin Jacob, Jacob Levin and Jacob Israel. Marcus Levin acted as a delegate to Pommersche Landjudenschaft (Assembly of Jewish Communiteis in Pomerania) in Stargard. In 1712 there was a standard fee of 6 thalers for the possibility to live in Barwice. Shortly afterwards this decision became groundless , because according to the regulation passed by Hinterepommersche Regierung (Pomerania Government) in a private town, like Barwice, only one Jewish family could live. All unprivileged Jewish families were forced to leave the town in the following years. A report of the 2nd of April 1718 shows that Marcus Levin was granted a letter of protection, but had to give up on his court privilege. Jochim Salomon on the other hand was made to leave the town and he asked for permission to settle in Połczyn (Polzin), where there were no Jews at that time. This permission could be granted provided that he renounced his privilege. At the end of 1728 only Samuel Salomon lived in Barwice. He had been granted his privilege ten years earlier and had been referred to as “wirklicher Schutzjude” (Ger. “true Jew under protection”). It is known that a Jew from Szczecinek (Neustettin) named Jacob Arndt spent some time in the vicinity of Barwice. In 1737 the Barwice magistrate described Samuel Salomon’s wealth as so poor that he could not afford to go to the market and buy some new goods. It can be concluded that the economic situation those days in Barwice was very disadvantageous. The government however supported purchase of locally manufactured fabrics , including woolen ones (Ger. Rasche). Those goods were transported to Gdańsk (Danzig) and to Poland, and Jewish merchants played a key role in it. The name of Joachim Levin is associated with this craft. Samuel Salomon and his household (9 persons) were mentioned for the last time in 1753. Since 1800 the conditions of settling in Pomerania towns changed for the better. Due to this fact, in 1804 there were 15 Jews living in Barwice. Eight years later Barwice had 14 Jewish households. This number was growing due to the inflow of people from Eastern provinces, West Prussia and Poznań (Posen). In

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Local history

Małgorzata Grzenda

Barwice is one of the oldest settlements in Pomerania. In the area where the town is located nowadays, on the so called “salt route” from Greater Poland to Kołobrzeg, there were once two fortified settlements. The town changed its name at least three times. Till the 12th century it was known by its Slavic name Barwice. At that time also its German name Behrenwalde was known (Bear Forrest – it clearly indicates that the area had once been a primeval forest). It was then changed into Bärwalde. The name Barwice was used again after the area was incorporated into Poland in the aftermath of WWII. First records of Barwice are contained in a document dating back to 1286. Przemysław II donated the settlement to the Templar Knights. Probably in the 14th century Barwice was granted Lübeck town location charter. in 1477 Barwice was owned by the Duchy of Pomerania and in 1648 by Brandenburg-Prussia. As a result of the fire of 1626 most of the buildings, including the church and town hall, were destroyed. In the 19th century a new church was build. The town is also known for old city plan and timber-frame houses from the turn of the 18th and 19th century. The oldest known town seal dates back to 14th century. It consists of a town symbol – a bear heading to the right side in the background of an oak tree . On the rim of the seal there is a Latin inscription “SECRETV BURGENSIVM BERWOL”. What is interesting, on the seal from 1626 and its later versions, the bear is heading to the left side, not to the right as it was originally. After the war the town was rebuilt. Nowadays there a few industrial plants.

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