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Polska / zachodniopomorskie

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Province:zachodniopomorskie / inne (before 1939)
County:drawski / Kreis Neustettin (before 1939)
Community:Czaplinek / Tempelburg (before 1939)
Other names:Tempelburg [j. niemiecki]
53.5579° N / 16.2338° E
53°33'28" N / 16°14'01" E


Małgorzata Grzenda

Czaplinek is situated in the southeastern part of the Zachodniopomorski province.  The city is located in the center of the Drawski Glacial Lake, on Drawko Lake, at the mouth of the Drawa River.  Czaplinek lies on national route 20, 120km from Szczecin, 78 km from Koszalin and 62 km from Piła., which is located in the province of Wielkopolska.  Currently, the city is part of Drawsk county.




Małgorzata Grzenda

In the 18th century there weren’t any Jewish residents in Czaplinek, which was confirmed in a report by a postal worker (German, Steuerrat) named Hille, published in Maszewo (Massow) on September 30, 1753.  Information contained in this report also indicated that one Jewish family lived in Łobez (Labes), and it was suggested that settlement by Jews in the area might have a positive effect on its cities.  It was also proposed that Jews from Łaba (Werben), Stargard Szczeciński (Stargard), Pyrzyce (Pyritz), Gryfino (Greifenhagen) or Chociwel (Freienwalde), might settle in the area because the percentage of Jews in those parts was quite high.  The next report, from 1765, listing all names of residents living in the cities which fell under Hille’s jurisdiction showed that there were still no Jews registered as living in Czaplinek.  What’s more, the magistrate of Czaplinek was against allowing even one person of Jewish descent to settle in the area.  The first Jewish families arrived in the years 1806-1812.  In 1812, when all Jews living in the Pomorze region were required to take a Prussian citizenship, there were nine Jewish families in Czaplinek.  The official names which they took on, as well as their traditional Jewish names which they kept, are included in a chart.  Year after year, the number of Jewish residents in Czaplinek grew, mainly thanks to an influx of people from the area of Prusy Zachodnie (Westpreußen), Poznan (Posen) and other cities.  The first city worker hired by the municipality to perform a religious function was Jacob Schlesinger, a teacher, who took up the position around 1834.  The chairman of the Jewish municipality at that time was most likely Leyser Borchard because it is his signature which can be found on the municipality’s hiring records dated 1835. Five years later the municipality had 170 members, and in 1849 it reached its highest point in history, with 197 members.  Death and birth records from the years 1829-1852 indicate that in the first half of the 19th century, and also later, 65 Jewish families lived in Czaplinek.  Some remained in the city only a few years; others came from nearby Warniłęg (Warlang) and Siemczyn (Heinrichsdorf).  The names of all the families are listed in the table.  During this time the municipality counted 197 births (on average 8-9 per year) and 73 deaths


Local history

Małgorzata Grzenda

The oldest remnants of settlement in the Czaplinek area were discovered on Bielawia Island on Lake Drawsko, and in Stary Drawsk, and date back 2,500 years.  Originally the area was inhabited by Gotów tribes, and later by Słowian tribes.  At that time the Polish-Pomorska and Pomorska-Wielkopolska borders ran through the area, using a pass between the lakes as a natural barrier.  In 1286 prince Przemysław II of Wielkopolska brought in knights from the Order of the Shrine of Jerusalem to built the fortress Świątynny Gród, known as Tempelborh (or Tempelburg), next to the Czaplinek fishing settlement.  In approximately 1300 the territory of Czaplinek was incorporated into Brandenburg, and later into an area overseen by Bishop Kamieński.  In 1345 the Joannites took over the area, and ten years later the fortress burned down.  The fire was set by a prince from Szczecin seeking revenge against the Joannite Order for their favoring the Brandenburg counts.  The brotherhood rebuilt the fortress, but on a pass between the lakes Drawsko and Żerdno they also began to found a defense called Drahim.  Kazimierz the Great purchased Czaplinek from the Joannites and placed their order under his crown in 1368, and the Drawski Treatise was to end the Polish – Brandenburg war and incorporate Drahim into Poland.  However, after Kazimierza the Great’s death, a Joannite- Pomorska war again erupted in Drahim territory.  The people of Pomorska raided the country, though Drahim remained unconquered.  The Joannites began to form a pact with the Krzyżaki in an effort to reclaim Drahim, however this was thwarted by Władysław Jagiełło, who, in 1407 called the Joannites under his rule, and, when they resisted, sent his knights to take over the castle.  The king banished the Knights of the Szpitalnik Brotherhood, and in their place created the headquarters of the Polish eldership of Drahim.  It turned out to be useful when, in 1410, knights from the West were moving toward Grunwald, and those stationed in Drahim were able to stop some of them.  The conditions which persisted in this area from the middle of the 15th until the end of the 17th century were accurately described by the German researcher Tumpel as a 150 year “border war.”  During the whole existence of the aforementioned Czaplinek it remained behind the shadow of Drahim, functioning only in ser




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