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Polska / zachodniopomorskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:zachodniopomorskie / inne (before 1939)
County:stargardzki / Landkreis Saatzig (before 1939)
Community:Chociwel / Freienwalde (before 1939)
Other names:Freienwalde [j. niemiecki]
53.4670° N / 15.3334° E
53°28'01" N / 15°20'00" E


Małgorzata Grzenda

Chociwel is a town located in West Pomaranian Province, Stargard County. It is located 25 km from Stargard Szczeciński. The town is situated on the Inskie Lake District, on the Krąpiel River and Starzyc Lake (known also as Chociwel Lake), with a shape similar to a crescent moon. Kamienny Most Lake with three floating islands is situated nearby.



Małgorzata Grzenda

The first record concerning Jewish settlement in Chociwel comes from 1705, when a  Jew called Arndt Salomon (or Salomon Arndt) was mentioned. In a magistrate’s report of 1720 one can read that Arndt Salomon and Hirsch Salomon possessed a wealth worth 1,000 thalers. They also had their own houses and lots, tools made of copper, tin and gold. They had their own goods and warehouses where they kept them. Another magistrate’s report “About Jews” from the same year stated that Arndt Salomon was a wealthy man, Hirsch Salomon on the other hand spend his money on a new house in the market square. The value of his house was estimated at 400 thalers and Arendt’s at 500 thalers. The fee for protection from the state was settled at 8 thalers, 12 groschen and 4 pfennig. Another document, a report of the Pomerania Government (Pommersche Regierung) on Jews settling in the private town Chociwel, states that Callmann Arend (78) was granted a privilege on April 12th ,1692. In 1716 he passed his store over  to his son Ardend Callmann. The document dates from1731. It is known that in 1728 three Jewish families lived in Chociwel. The families paid for their privilege 54 thalers and 6 groschen altogether. Callmann’s married son, Jacob, was supposed to hold the post of “Jewish butcher”. A magistrate’sreport from December 7th ,1736 described four Jewish families living in town and it mentioned their names and occupations. These descriptions are quoted in the book. Two years later the magistrate reported that Hirsch Salomon, who received his privilege on September 10th 1711, became impoverished. At that time there only were 27 families living in Pomerania. In 1764 there were five Jewish families living in Chociwel, 16 people altogether (including two widows). They paid 53 thalers for their privileges. Names of the families with all family members are contained in the book. When two years later Michel Meyer wanted to settle in Chociwel he had to take the obligation to buy goods for 1,000 thalers from the Berlin Government. This ‘compulsion’ was probably connected with the monopoly over china introduced by Prussia. In 1812 Chociwel had 17 Jewish households. Compared to other Pomeranian towns this number was high but the influx of Jewish population to Chociwel in the following years was pretty small. A chart


Local history

Małgorzata Grzenda

The name of the town changed throughout the history. The town was first mentioned in historical records in 1190 when the Wedel family conquered this Slavic settlement on the route from Szczecin and Stargard to East Pomerania. This settlement was called Freyenwalde at that time. Documents from 1321 mention the name Vredenwalde. In documents from 1329 we read about Nove Vrigenwaldis. When the town was granted town rights in 1338 it was known as Wreinwaldis, but the name was changed in 1492 to Nygen Vrigenwalde. Eventually the name Freinwalde remained, which described a settlement situated in an open forest or  field. The Polish name was used only after the WWII and it refers to the 14th-century name of the nearby lake – Kotzavil. Shortly after the war the name was spelled as Chociwół, in the end it was agreed upon Chociwel. From the archival materials preserved it results that there were Slavic settlements in the area of Chociwel already in the 6th – 8th centuries. After 967 Pomerania was annexed to Poland and all political and administrative posts were held by castellans. Unfortunately there are no historical sources whatsoever treating the town’s earlier history. The oldest written records date back to 1321. According to them Chociwel was an organized yet not documented town. As it was mentioned before, Chociwel was granted town rights in 1338. A document confirming this fact was prepared on March 12th of the same year, thanks to the brothers Wede and Hruning Wedel the then owners of the town. Chociwel was granted town rights under Brandenburg Law. In 1600, thanks to the Wedel family, the town was granted new rights under Lübeck Law. Between those two events the town developed very much. It had strong fortifications, a hospital, a school and even a Gothic parish church, built for over 50 years. Unfortunately the town was destroyed in 1492 by a great fire that consumed, among other things, all documents. Trade played an important role in the town, which was situated on the route connecting Brandenburg with Pomerania. Four fairs were held there annually. According to documents of 1628 the town had 93 residential buildings and 50 other buildings. The period of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was very dramatic, as the town was also hit by a plague that decimated the population of Chociwel. A great fire in 1660 caused the final de



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