Polska / śląskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)|
|County:||Częstochowa / Częstochowa (before 1939)|
|Community:||Częstochowa / Częstochowa (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Chenstochov [jidysz]; צ'נסטוחובה [j. hebrajski]; Ченстохова [j. rosyjski]|
Częstochowa – district town in southern Poland, seat of Częstochowskie District, Śląskie Province. It is located by the Warta River, 217 km west of Warsaw and 76 km north of Katowice.
Adam Marczewski /
The first mention of Jews settling in Częstochowa dates back to the beginning of the 18th century, even though at the time, the town had the de non tolerandis Judaeis privilege, which remained in force throughout the pre-partition period and was only repealed by the reforms of the Four-Year Sejm (1778-1882). One of the first preserved documents confirming the presence of Jews in the town mentions a contract between a Jew, Mosiek, and the local Mayor and Municipal Council. The contract refers to a loan granted to the town, necessary to cover a contribution imposed on Częstochowa by Swedes in 1705. In exchange, the municipal authorities allowed Mosiek to live in Old Częstochowa for as long as it took for the loan to be repaid. In 1765, 56 Jewish families lived in the town.
It is worth mentioning that in mid-18th century, Jacob Frank (1726-1791), the famous leader of the Frankist movement, was kept in the local prison. In 1760, rabbinical court found him guilty of blasphemy and he was sentenced to prison in Częstochowa, where he was kept for thirteen years until being freed by Russian General Bibikov. Despite his imprisonment, Jacob Frank had a number of supporters in Częstochowa.
During the reign of King Stanisław Poniatowski (1764-1794), Jews most probably lived off small trade and weaving. They remained under the jurisdiction of the kehilla in Janów – Jews who died in Częstochowa were also buried at the cemetery there. The first prayer house in the town was established in N. Berman's private apartment at Stary Rynek Square 15. It was closed in 1765 when the Old Synagogue was built (on the corner of 32 Nadrzeczna Street and Mirowska Street).
The situation of Jews in Częstochowa began to improve after 1793, when Poland was partitioned and Częstochowa came under Prussian control. An independent Jewish community was created there in 1798 and a year later, a Jewish cemetery was established. In 1806, a Jewish school was opened in Częstochowa. In 1806, when Częstochowa became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, 496 Jews lived in the town (14.8% of the total population). The entire Częstochowa district had 1,310 Jewish inhabitants (18.8%).
Based on archaeological data, it is assumed that Częstochowa was founded before the end of the 11th century. First mentions of a ducal village come from a document issued by Bishop of Kraków Iwon in 1220. Next information on Częstochowa appeared in the Bull of Pope Innocent IV dated around 1250, where the settlement was mentioned as one of the villages paying the tithe for the cannons of Wrocław. At that time, Częstochowa belonged to the Małopolska region. In 1325, Częstochowa was referred to in the documents of the Apostolic Camera concerning the collection of Peter’s Pence; it can be concluded that towards mid-14th century, Częstochowa was one of the least populated towns of the region.
In 1356, Częstochowa was chartered as a village under Średzkie law. In 1370, the neighbouring area became part of the fiefdom of Duke Władysław Opolczyk and, within seven years, Częstochowa gained a city charter. The existence of an ironworks here dates back to 1377. By the end of the 14th century, the Częstochowa ironworks and iron ore mines were known throughout the country. In 1382, the Pauline monastery of Jasna Góra was established – an important centre of the Marian cult. In 1393, Częstochowa became a royal town.
In 1430, Czech and Moravian marauders attacked the town and plundered the monastery (among others, they st