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Polska / zachodniopomorskie

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Province:zachodniopomorskie / inne (before 1939)
County:sławieński / Landkreis Schlawe i. Pom. (before 1939)
Community:Darłowo / Rügenwalde (before 1939)
Other names:Rügenwalde [j. niemiecki]
54.4210° N / 16.4106° E
54°25'15" N / 16°24'38" E


Małgorzata Grzenda, Robert Dziemba /

Darłowo – is a city in north-western Poland, in West Pomeranian Province, in Sławno County. It lies by the Wieprza and Grabowa Rivers, 23 km northwest of Sławno, 208 km northeast of Szczecin and 544 km northwest of Warsaw.



Małgorzata Grzenda, Robert Dziemba

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) . 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


Local history

Małgorzata Grzenda, Robert Dziemba

Brama Kamienna | Robert Dziemba

The earliest signs of settlement in the area of Darłowo date back to about 8000 BC.It might be inferred from archeological excavations that Roman traders traveled along the Amber Route to those lands in order to trade bronze, silver and glass for amber, honey, leather, wax and most likely also for slaves. In the period between the 8th and 9th centuries the settlements and gords (ancient Slavic wooden fortified towns) in this area combined to create one large settlement called Dirlov, located at the mouth of the Wieprza River into the Baltic Sea. In the 11th century Darłowo was already an important trading center, while the location of the fort at the mouth of two rivers, the Wieprza and Grabowa, which flowed into the Baltic, the fertile land and the close proximity to major trade routes all greatly influenced the population growth in the area. Darłowo received its city status under Lübeck law from the hands of the Święca brothers (Pomeranian noble family): Jasiek, Piotr and Wawrzyniec, in 1312, which sped up the development of the town. The urban layout of Darłowo was based on Lübeck plans, with a characteristic rectangular market square in the center of the settlement. This arrangement has been preserved to this day; the only the street names have been changed. In 1317 the Duke of West Pomerania, Wartislaw IV, began to rule the city. Both the city and port expanded at a fast pace, ensuring the welfare of its residents, and for these reasons Boguslaw V, Wartislaw IV’s son, chose it as his place of residence. He purchased an island with a mill from a wealthy resident of Darłowo, Elżbieta Behr, and began building a castle on it, making sure that it had a representative character. With Kołobrzeg as mediator, in 1631 Darłowo began working with the Hanseatic League, which turned out to be an important move and added to the significance of the port as a trading center. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries Darłowo had its own trade fleet, larger than the nearby Słupsk, and actively traded with Lübeck, while ships belonging to local traders traveled as far as Normandy and even Spain. After a while the benefits of the membership in the Hanseatic League became evident not only at the level of trade, but also moved into other spheres of life, including the cultural sphere. After Eric I of Pomerania died without an heir, Duchess Sophia, the wi





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